Japan & Me

Jade Bouchier

Occupation: Student at Brighton Secondary School
Age: 17

Tell us about a place you like in Japan.
I lived in the western region of Tokyo with a host family. I liked it here, because I was able to experience Japanese culture and the way Japanese people live. I liked being able to call this place home, even if it was only for a week.

What did you do when you stayed in Japan
For one week we went to Kokubunji, the local high school. After school and on the weekend our host families took us sightseeing. The following week we travelled to the Kansai region and visited Kyoto and Nara, as well as visiting Hiroshima.

What interests you about Japan
As a student of Japanese, I am very interested in the language. But as with any country I visit, I am fascinated by their lifestyle and the differences between Japan and Australia.

How is life in Japan different to life in Adelaide
Tokyo is, of course, very crowded compared to Adelaide. As a consequence, the homes are smaller and narrower. Instead of bulky beds, cleverly they have futons, which are equally as comfortable and can be conveniently stored away during the day. Also, Japan is more high-tech than Adelaide. For example, everyone has ultra slim phones, and every home and most public places have electric loos with various features!

How does Japan influence your life at present
After visiting Japan, it has inspired me to continue my Japanese studies. I look forward to further study in Year 12, and hopefully also in University.

Tell us something memorable about your time in Japan.
After a long and emotionally draining day, we sat down to have dinner at a restaurant in Hiroshima station. The menu was challenging to read, with many complex kanji that were unknown to us, and no pictures. I decided to take my chances and pick something at random. Later, my friends had all received their meals and I was still waiting... ravenous. When the waiter came, our jaws dropped - I'd accidently ordered a roasted garlic bulb!

Edited: June 2013