First off, let me start by saying that I feel so incredibly lucky to have the Yamada family taking care of me. Their entire family – Masahiro, the dad; Yuko, the mom; Arisa, the older sister; and Mao, the younger sister – is incredibly nice and extremely accommodating. From driving all the way to the […]Read more "Staying with the Yamada’s"
I am very fortunate that my host family, the Tokiwa family, speaks Chinese. After interacting with a slew of taxi drivers, cashiers, and concierges who spoke only Japanese and broken English, I felt an immeasurable amount of relief when I heard the mother ask me, “你是乔子游吗?” – “are you Jeffrey Qiao?” Mr. and Mrs. Tokiwa […]Read more "Host Family (Tokiwa) – First Impressions"
After touching down in Narita Airport (NRT), the first thing I noticed was the sweltering heat. Going from a cold, dry airplane into Tokyo’s hot and humid summer shocked me into the reality that I was at the moment alone in a foreign country. Filled with the softly purring engines of hybrid busses, the chatter […]Read more "First Day"