Japan Winter Homestay ✈ #1 | Ono City

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Konichiwa & Happy Mother's Day to all the beloved Mothers out there! <3

Sakura is no longer blossom, Summer just hit my ass and now i'm putting up pictures about my Japan Trip last winter. I was really lazy and uninspired whenever I think about my Japan Trip that was like 5 months ago. Not even a single album on Facebook, besides those limited pictures I posted on Instagram when I was in Japan.

I always have this thoughts in me, an album in Facebook comes with a blogpost. So that people won't get bored by seeing my pictures first in Facebook, then read it all over again in my blog. Pardon my grandmother story and never ending excuses. Pfft! Seriously, i've no idea why i love to update what is happening now than those in Japan. 

But today i shall die die blog at least one. It was a long stay for almost a month time in Osaka, Hyogo and Kansai. Pretty much different from those luxurious Tokyo Shopping trip in Harajuku and Shibuya, visiting Tokyo Disneyland and etc. Sadly to say, of all Disneylandssss, i just happened to visit the one in Hong Kong when i was thirteen! I guess this would be the saddest part for the entire trip.

On the brighter note, i got sponsored by Lions Club, food and accommodation were all paid by my different hosts in Japan, from different area and different family. Exclude for my flight ticket and self expenses. :)

International Student Exchange/ Youth Camp & Exchange/ Winter Homestay or what ever it is were called, a Program organised by Lions Club International. 
The program introduces young people to life in other cultures by helping them travel abroad. Each Youth Camp and Exchange includes an extended stay hosted by one of our many international clubs where you have to live with a family in another country, you can meet people your age from around the world and learn about the bonds we all share – and the differences we respect in each other no matter where we live. For more details, http://www.lionsclubs.org/
Daddy could really saved up a lot, at this point! ;D

But... There's an advantages and disadvantages.

This program is an individual program where you have to live alone with your host family. Not knowing them personally until you meet them. Just a few emails to verify before the trip. No Family, no friends, NO BOYFRIEND are allowed to go with you. (Can you imagine how homesick i can be when i was there alone, as I'm one big sticky thing next to my boyf :/ ) Apart from that living in a foreign country when you don't familiar with their language is a hard task for a slow learner, like me. I'm not really into Japanese cultural or medias. All i'm able to say, for instance Oi-shii, Sake, Tamago, Unagi, because those were learned when you place an order in a Japanese Restaurant. Ahhh I love Jap Food! *Yumms* 

Well, this program came across my mind when my sister was once a Leo Club member during her high school time and she had the chance to exchange abroad to Japan few years back. As a sister, how could i miss this chance out.

Still many thanks to Lion Brian and Lion Hng who helped me out a lot in Lion Club. Not forgetting the club that sponsored me, New Centry Lions club of Tanjung Putra. Just a small PS here, Lion Club Youth Exchange Program is not as fun as you think you have a chance to go on your own and sponsor by the hosts. Whereas you have to first pass the general test and interview. Lion Brian told me it's not easy to be chosen because those people has to be independent, respectful and good in academic. Princess syndrome is a big NO NO! After all, I'm glad that I have been through all the stages and selected to be those 20+ candidates representing whole Malaysia to exchange abroad to Japan. How lucky am I?!

A brand new experience in life before my year 21. :)

Youth Exchange really meant a lot to me. They brought me into whole new range of travelling ALONE. I'm really grateful that I have been through these 25 days. Thanks to my hosts, I feel don't feel any cultural discrimination, disrespectful but friendly and warm. In fact they actually treat me as if i am one of their family member, bring me around, buy me good food and gifts. Nevertheless, My stay was located at the  rural areas, this is the first time i am so close to nature. Fresh air, mountain with snow on the peck, blue sky, paddy field those natural scenarios where it's hardly find in City area. I truly appreciate everything and enjoy every single moment in Japan. It's PRICELESS! 

So here you go for my first few days in Ono Himawari City

We took a night flight, 15 minutes before 12 midnight. Very excited but i slept through the entire flight journey. Thank god Lions Club did not get us Air Asia, they got us Malaysia Airline instead. Either wise with the hardly adjustable Seat by Air Asia, i would have serious muscle cramp after 7-8 hours of flight (not sure with the flight duration as Japan is an hour faster, if i'm not mistaken).

7 in the morning catching with a slight peak of Dawn
Check out those Japanese uncles in the blue blazer were our Lions in charged. It was a chaos mass when we first arrived at the departure hall. Banners with printed names were waving here and there just to look for their hosted 'child'! 
 Proudly to be one of the Lion member in District 308 B2 Malaysia

Can you see my name printed on the white board they made. Those aunties standing on my left hand side were all my hosting Mama. They even rented a Bus to airport just to welcome me. For the first time in life, i felt like an honor guest to them. Lol Anyway the girl next to me, she is Bella. She's playing an important role for this trip, one of my few friend who can understand my language. :)
A picture with my Hosting Mama & My friend's Hosting Papa. 

The sun begun to shine, time for a nap before i reached my first hosted town.

Ono City - one of the most beautiful areas in the Reihoku (northern) half of Fukui. Okuetsu is comprised of two cities, Ono and Katsuyama. Ono is most famous for its pure and refreshing water. 
This beautiful place with green paddy fields took two to three hours drive from Kansai Airport.

Paid a visit to my first host mama's house. Yamaguchi, 山口 is the surname, at the front gate.

Got my luggage settled at my first hosting place before starting off my busy day, meeting with the Lions Club members. The next thing i do was buying an international adaptor, as i forget to bring mine along. Forgetful me! Pfft!

First meeting with Male Lions Club, then Female Lions Club. I'm impressed by how Japanese respect their country by singing their Country Song every beginning and ending of the meeting.
My first Lunch Bento!

I was honor to meet the Mayor of the City. I find it very cool cause It's pretty rare to have Mayor in Malaysia. My first thought that came into my mind was Powerpuff Girl's mini, short, rounded body, Mustache guy, The Mayor of Townsville. Lol

P/s : Pardon me with my Not-so-fab Blue Leo Club's Blazer! I have to wear it to attend every single meeting! It's a RESPECT!

Ono is one of the state where you can see the most natural scenery in Japan! For once in my life, I love sun, i don't usually like them in Malaysia, however Sun is the only source that keep me warm all the time during this freezing winter!
Had Sakura Tea for my breakfast that comes in a love shaped mug! <3 

Joudoji, 净土寺.

Random Catch!
Le Princess on a Kitty Ride!
Jap kids are too adorable! I wouldn't skip any chance to catch them for a second! Never!

Elementary School Ono(primary school)
My favorite Girl <3

Once in a life time experience putting on traditional Kimono in the museum.
The Japanese kimono is one of the world's instantly recognizable traditional garments. Kimono styles have changed significantly from one period of Japan's history to another, and today there are many different types of kimono worn by men, women, and children. The cut, color, fabric, and decorations of a kimono may vary according to the sex, age, and marital status of the wearer, the season of the year, and the occasion for which the kimono is worn.
P/s: Kimono is different from Yukata where you can purchase anywhere.

Taking Off. Happy Moi! 

Traditional Tea Ceremony.
Lovely Maple Leaves <3

Japanese Traditional Powder GreenTea
Red bean Tsubaki! Too sweet to be true! #favorite

Ono has one the top ten best golf club in Japan. Host mama brought us to her golf club for dinner overlooking the entire golf landscape with sun set! Did i ever mention that sun sets at 4pm during winter.
Tepanyaki Night! NOT MY BEEF! Lol

Night illumination in Ono City. Was actually freezing, approximate 5 degrees at night. 
i rather kept both of my hands in the jacket! Lol

Indoor music practice for their upcoming Christmas show.
Sha-shin(take picture) group picture.

Group gaming session during lunch. Bingo & Gura Gura.

Last, My first stay in Yamaguchi Family. Bonding time with the family before we off to bed! Franking speaking, communicating with them took me quite awhile. They don't really understand basic english yet i don't really get Japanese. All we did was draw and guessing! It was quite fun though.
 Rilakkuma Pyjamas!
trying on the dried mango i brought over from Malaysia

 My sinful instant noodle! UFO!

Don't look down on this Apple Tatami. It has builded in heater underneath to keep warm. Not forgetting it was the place where i spent the most of my self entertaining time where the rest of the family have gone to bed. Facebook, Twitter, Skype & FaceTime.

My first stay for 3 nights!

Can you digest them in a short while? Please do so! Apparently I spent few days editing, combining those collage and etc.

Till then, going out in a bit before i get back to my assignment! Doodles. x


  1. finally....... something to see from 'long pending' blog... hahaha.... great introduction, never forget ur to introduced slightly about Lions club.. haha, anyway the club that sponsored for your trip was New Centry Lions club of Tanjung Putra.

    1. will never forget my great sponsor club yo! Thanks to you and lion hng! ;D

  2. I miss japan. Looking at your photos..really can't wait to go again.

    1. It was so nice, i will definitely pay a visit AGAIN! It's like a MUST! ;D

  3. I got the same pink Cotton On bag HAHA!

  4. May i ask how you get sponsorship from Lions to go? Im not a member, teach me what to do, just ask from them?