“We are exactly a family. I have missed them too much.”Oni, Turkey, March 2020
“We want to stay here for like 3 months and see how things work. We are curious about Japanese culture. We love children, animals, and nature.” Ayaka-san read from her phone. Long-term guests and love children, wondering if they would get along with Himari-chan.
Himari-chan is the 2-year-old-daughter of Ayaka-san and Jumpei-san, her husband, who came late the first night she met with the guest. “I was curious, as Oni’s profile picture, he was wearing black glasses,” said Ayaka-san.
“We were there, knocked on the door, Ayaka-san and Himari-chan came out smiling.” Oni started, “Soon, I found out that Ayaka-san couldn’t speak English well and I can’t speak well either, so we used a translator, it worked out perfectly. Jumpei-san later came home, he was funny and laughed a lot.”
“We cooked Okonomiyaki, Miso soup with beers and snacks, it was a warm welcome”, Cem told us. Okonomiyaki, a traditional Japan savory pancake, sometimes with pork, beef, sometimes only vegetables in a wheat-flour-based batter. “It’s Oni favorite dish.”
During the homestay, Ayaka-san and Jumpei-san drove them to a sake factory on the first weekend, “Totally impressive, we drank with his brother too, and bar hopped to different Izakaya, Bar, Hub. We made new friends, drunk, but happy.” Oni laughed. He shared that they did lots of stuff, BBQ at the park, picnics, bars, restaurants, and cultural trips, and tried many different types of food. “We cooked meals together, we spent every weekend and having fun together.”
“We were first wondering if they could get along with Himari-chan, but things turned out well, they are like brothers to her (oni-san). They invited us to Istanbul sometimes” said Ayaka-san. Time flies, Oni and Cem return to Turkey, and the Ayaka-san family, they still keep contact, and always welcome.
In March 2020, after finished homestay, he left Japan, Oni wrote to us: “If this is going to be published like a story, I would like to be titled as my lovely family, because what I lived there was not a host relationship. They were with me when I was ill, they were with me when I was sad, and they were with me when I was happy. They were not less than a family. We went to Osaka, Kyoto, Nara with the family and even stayed in hotels. I spent the last 10 days of my holiday with the family of the father of the Ayaka in Yokohama. They hosted me there and we visited every place that can be seen in Yokohama and even Tokyo. They constantly prepared and shared for free good food, sake, beer, etc. just like Ayaka. Words are not enough…”