Homestay Testimonials: Joseph Matsumoto-Esteban

Joseph Matsumoto-Esteban
Summer 2017, Fall 2017

Favorite Food

Buri shabu nabe (Amberjack Hotpot), homemade onigiri, host father's french toast, natto, okonomiyaki, anything made by my host mother.

Favorite TUJ Course

Intermediate Kanji taught by Matsuhashi sensei. It was always so much fun, and she is one of the funniest people I have ever met. There is always a fun activity associated with Kanji, and she was always there to help whenever I struggled. I learned so much in the class!

Best Excursion

Oedo Onsen in Odaiba. This was an experience that as an American, I was nervous to participate in. However, it was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had the opportunity to partake in. The Edo-period themed interior is like taking a trip back in time, and then you change into your yukata and truly feel like you traveled back to Edo.

Homestay Experience

I am so lucky to have been able to spend my homestay with the Kaneko family. I truly value every opportunity that I had to spend with them. I have always been a very family oriented person, and from the first day I have been treated like a member of the family.

Coming to Japan on my own was very nerve-racking, but not once have I felt abandoned or alone while being here. The Kaneko family have been there from the day I had arrived to support and make sure that I was taken care of.

I generally spent time near the apartment on the weekends and with my family. We would go out and enjoy many Japanese activities like going to see kabuki, going to the onsen, participating in local festivals and seeing movies.

Every day my host mother made amazing breakfasts and dinners, which always reflected the culture and beauty of food in Japan. On days that I had to leave early to class, she would make me the best onigiri for me to take on the road. The food was always so good.

Communication was not a problem at all. Upon arrival my Japanese skill was minimal, but my host father who spoke some English would always find a way to bridge the gap between languages.

Overall, the experience was amazing and I feel as if I have gained more family. I will treasure the time I spent with the Kaneko's and will continue to keep in touch with them. I highly suggest the homestay experience for anyone coming to Japan, as it has given me the opportunity to live life the Japanese way and meet some amazing people.