Highlights of My Homestay in Mie Prefecture, Japan

Highlights of My Homestay in Mie Prefecture, Japan

One of our writers had a short trip to Mie Prefecture. Read about her experience in the home of Ninjas and one of the most famous shrines in Japan!

Contributed by Camera and Cheese

I’m back with more updates on my SSEAYP experience. I managed to find a good internet source thanks to my cabin mate (you know who you are).

Also read: SSEAYP: Highlights of My Ultimate Cruise Ship Experience


The longest country program in SSEAYP is Japan which lasts for about ten days. It is divided mainly into two—homestay and the Japan-ASEAN Youth Leadership Summit (YLS). On the 26th of October, we officially started the homestay program which stretched for three nights and four days. I was assigned to Solidarity Group (SG) E in Mie Prefecture with Orange and FB from the Philippines. Basically, there are eleven SGs in SSEAYP and these are composed of different Participating Youths (PYs) from all ASEAN countries and Japan. It’s a great opportunity to create friendships across borders.

Arrival in Mie

Mie Prefecture

From Tokyo, we took two train rides, one being the Shinkansen or Bullet Train. I was so happy to know that I was taking the train instead of airplane and it definitely did not disappoint. We arrived in Tsu City, Mie where we were welcomed and oriented by the Local Youth. Dinner was a very pleasant experience as we got treated to a buffet plus we got to see how a mochi (Japanese rice cake) is made.


Mie Prefecture

Our first night in Mie was spent in a hotel. The next day, on the 27th, we were brought to the Mie Prefectural Museum and Ueno Park where we saw the Ninja Museum of Igaryu. I learned so many new things about ninjas, far from the stereotypes that we usually see on TV. We also got to watch a very entertaining ninja show and saw how the weapons are used. Early in the afternoon, we had a courtesy call to Mr. Eike Suzuki, the Governor of Mie.

Also read: My Food Trip in Japan: 17 Must-Try Foods in the Kansai Region

Meet the parents

Mie Prefecture

Later that day, we were finally introduced to our homestay buddies and host family. I was buddies with Trang from Vietnam and our host parents were Motoko and Fumihiko.

Mie Prefecture

Our lunch was the traditional sushi meal and of course, we had random snacks all throughout the day.

Kimono time

Mie Prefecture

The highlight of the day was what came after lunch. Trang and I got to try out a kimono and walk around the busy area for about two hours! From choosing the designs to flaunting our OOTDs, I undeniably enjoyed the whole experience. We also watched a drums performance.

Also read: 10 Destinations in Japan to Spend Your Autumn and Winter Vacations

The onsen experience

Mie Prefecture

After a very long and tiring day, we decided to go to the onsen. If you don’t know what it is, it’s basically a hot spring bath place where everybody has to be naked (separated by sex). It was, I have to admit, a bit awkward since it was my first time. However, I really enjoyed the experience and I don’t regret doing it.

After onsen, we were taken to the supermarket where our host parents got us some goodies to take with us during the trip. Our last dinner in Mie was spent at the house with delicious home-cooked curry rice.

Mie Prefecture

Also read: The Ultimate Kyoto Travel Guide

To Motoko and Hiko, if you’re reading this, I want to say thank you for your hospitality. I hope Trang and I can come back to Mie!

About Author

Johanna Ella May Erroba
Johanna Ella May Erroba

Johanna is a free spirit. She channels her energy through music, writing, surfing, and travelling. She expresses all of her musings on Camera and Cheese.


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