Japan is one of my favourite places to visit. I have been there quite a few times.
My first time in Japan was in 1999. I went to study at Himeji Dokkyo University for a month. I stayed with the Takahashi Family. They looked after me really well and they all have a great sense of humour which helped! They also helped me improve my Japanese.
One of the most memorable experience I had living with them was that I had to share a bath with them! By sharing a bath, I mean, we use the same water in the bath tub not all in the bath at once! Since I was the guest, I got to be the SECOND person to use it! Takahashi papa is the head of the family so he gets to bath first. As he is a salaryman and worked really late I had to wait for him 😦 .. sometimes Takahashi mama took pity on me (because I was so tired), she’d let me be the first! Woohoo!
It’s not all bad sharing the bath. You’ll have to clean yourself first before getting into the bath so it wasn’t dirty! Phew! I wrote a haiku about it:
It means, I am surprised. Everyone shares the bath water.
The second time I got to go to Japan was in year 2000. My last year at the Uni. I applied for a month’s internship with Best Denki. We stayed in the company’s dormitory and had to work at the store. My Japanese was so bad I didn’t understand what most customers were looking for. I could direct them to the toilet though so it wasn’t too bad. We also had to be trained in badminton and ping pong because that’s what the then President likes. He was quite fierce and told us off once when we were a bit too loud. We didn’t like meeting him.
He also invited us to his house and the lucky ones will get to make gyozas with his wife while the unlucky ones will be weeding and planting er plants in his garden. Not sure why we have to do this but apparently all interns have to do it. It’s a bit cheeky, if you ask me!
My third time in Japan was a 6 months work program with my ex-co. EPSON. I stayed in Matsumoto (Nagano Prefecture) It was one of the best time of my life! 6 months in Japan! I made a few good friends and spent my time there eating lots of good food and Mister Donut and put on 6kg!! I don’t know why I ate so many donuts. Two each day for breakfast! LOL! I was collecting points so I can get the cute Mister Donut diary or something.. can’t remember! My Japanese colleagues were very kind and told me to stop eating and collected the points for me!
My fourth and the last time I have been to Japan was in 2003. I went there with my husband. He was my boyfriend then! We visited Kyoto, Himeji, Koyasan and Osaka. He dragged me around the temples in Kyoto and I cried because I was sick of visiting so many temples! HAHAHA!
9 years since we’ve been back to Japan. It’s such a long time ago… and so we have decided, we’re going to Japan in April 2013!
Edit: 4th November 2012
I’ve only just remembered that I have been to Okinawa too! It was for business and I was there for only 2 days. I didn’t get to see much of it but I had the famous Okinawan Rafute – Braised Pork Belly.