Homestay in Japan – Tips & Tricks

Are thinking of travelling overseas? Will you be staying with a host family? If so, here a few tips that I picked up along the way, when staying with host families, that might be helpful to you.

1. Do your research

Homestay Japan

Doing a bit of research on the country you’re travelling to can be of great benefit; especially if you will be staying with a host family. Having some prior knowledge of their native language and how their culture works can help to make connections with your host family and anyone else you may meet during your travels. When I stayed with a host family in Japan, having learned some Japanese and a bit about how their culture works beforehand, was helpful as I was able to communicate and connect with my host family and learn even more about their way of life and culture during my stay

2. Teach your culture

As well learning about the culture of your host family, why not teach them about your culture too? Being a part of a host family is just as much of a learning experience for them as it is for you, so teaching a little bit about where about you’re from and what life is like in your country is great way to show who you are and further connect with your host family. Often with my host families, we would discuss what like what life is like in our respective countries. How are we similar? What are the differences and why? They were some of the most interesting conversations I’ve had, and we were all able to learn a lot about each other.

3. Bring Gifts


Bringing gifts is a great way to show your appreciation towards your host family and thank them for their time and effort for hosting you. A possible idea is to bring gifts that are unique or related to your culture. With this, you’re able to give them a token of appreciation and have an opportunity to teach about your culture. It’s entirely up to you!

4. Be open to new experiences and opportunities.

With staying with a host family, it’s likely that you’ll go to new places with them and try new things that you might not be used to, which is okay. However, the best piece of advice that I was given was to just go for it and give it a try. Being open to new experiences and opportunities and giving it a go could lead to some of the most memorable moments with your host family and certainly make for good stories to tell back home.

5. Understand that sometimes things may go wrong.

Sometimes things don’t always go to plan and it can get a little stressful. Tensions can rise and potentially lead to conflict. This can happen with host families too if there is a language barrier and cultural differences.  Maybe there was a disagreement or a misunderstanding, maybe something didn’t happen the way it was meant to? These kinds of things do happen and it’s normal, but what’s important to remember is to be calm, patient and try to work through it with your host family. 

6. Respect & Be yourself

Your host family may have a certain way of doing things and it’s important to respect and be mindful of this when staying with them. This can also be an opportunity to learn about more them and their culture.

Overall, just be yourself! When staying with a host family, the best thing you can do is to just be you. You’ll be able to shine and show your host family who you are; your hobbies, your interests: your favourite things etc. They’ll be able to learn so much about you just like you’ll learn so much about them.   

Are you planning a trip to Japan soon? Then you really should consider purchasing a JR Rail Pass, especially if you are planning on hitting all the major tourist cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, and Sapporo. 

The JR Rail Pass makes getting around the country easy, and can save you several hundreds in travel expenses. All you need to do is just show your pass at the ticket gate, and you have access to any and all JR rail lines across the country, and not just the standard commuter trains, but luxury trains, and even the world famous Shinkansen (Bullet Train). A JR Rail Pass is an essential item for any visitor to Japan. Buy your pass today by clicking here now!

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