Unfortunately, Japan is a far too vast country so that I can visit it all in only two months and a half. Also, I absolutely wanted to go in homestay families and stay there a long time instead of short-stay at hostels. So here’s my itinerary!
With this website, I was able to get in touch with a lot of families that wanted to host me in their houses. I wrote a general message on my personal page saying how long I want to stay in Japan, when I’m arriving, how long I want to stay with each families (I want more than one so I can live in several different cities instead of always staying at the same place), if I want or don’t want the meals included in the price, and more. I was contacted by many families while I myself got in touch with others, which allowed me to make a selection of three families.
My first family is living in Tokyo, or Chiba more precisely. It’s a family of four. It’s so cheap it’s almost ridiculous : 10 000 yens for three weeks, or about 125$ (Canada). I have two meals everyday, a beautiful private bedroom with wi-fi and air conditioning, no curfew, and a generous family that are treating me like their own. See for yourself :
I found that in my bedroom when I got out of the aiport last night. Admit it, it’s so cute! I’ll stay here three weeks before moving to another family. I can already feel I won’t want to leave this place…
My second family is living in Kyoto in a typical Japanese neighborhood with small streets, houses close to each other, temples and some shops. My host parents are a retired couple. I’ll have exactly the same accomodations as I have in Tokyo (except for the air conditioning), but this time it will cost me 500$ for three weeks. It’s more expensive than my family in Tokyo, but I still think it’s more realistic than 125$. It’s the family that cost me the most among the three, but I suspect it’s because it’s in the center of Kyoto. This city is famous for tourists because it’s the largest after Tokyo while keeping its traditional Japanese sides. Between buildings and luxury shops (Prada, Chanel…), there’s temples, shrines and gardens. That’s what I like about Japan : they managed to welcome typical Western elements while keeping their own culture.
After Kyoto, I’ll probably go to South Korea. I’ve always wanted to go there (I love Kpop among other things), and it’s so close to Japan, I should take advantage of that. But nothing is decided yet.
Finally, I’ll end my journey with Fukuoka, in the South of Japan. Still with the same accomodations, it will cost me 350$ for three weeks. From there, I’ll be able to visit Hiroshima and its famous museum on the Second World War. [Author’s update : I never went to Fukuoka. My host family changed their mind at the last moment, so I had to find another host family that would accept to host me for four weeks before going back to Canada. I finally found a very funny and kind family in the middle of Shibuya, in Tokyo.]
So this was an overall of my travel itinerary! Next post, the arrival in my first host family!