trying on a traditional Japanese kimono

Homestay in Tokyo, Japan

Please note that the rules concerning Coronavirus and the pandemic are constantly changing so the restrictions and rules during my travels may be different than yours. This page contains affiliate links – I may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links.

I’ve seen so busy settling into Fukuoka that this post is coming later than expected! It’s been a month since leaving my homestay in Tokyo – but because late is better than never, here we go! ?

Due to the current Coronavirus pandemic, I was required to quarantine in Tokyo for two weeks after my arrival. During this time, I was given the option of staying in a hotel (private room, meals not included) or finding a host in Tokyo. I considered the hotel option, but ultimately opted to try and find a homestay with the hope that I could immerse myself sooner in Japanese culture and jump start my language practice.

After a quick Google search I found a homestay booking site called – it almost seemed too straight forward and easy to be real, but it was! After putting in dates and my preferred location, I was given a list of avaliable hosts. One of the profiles included delicious looking food, furry cat friends, and noted the host’s ability to speak multiple languages – this looked like the right place for me 🙂

I put in a request and spent the next few days communicating with the host to work out logistics. Since I would be traveling during the pandemic, extra precautions were necessary. At the airport I would have to pass a PCR test, after which I would use private transportation to reach the home. Around the house I would wear a mask, and keep mostly to my room.

To complete the homestay reservation, I had to pay a small booking fee on the website. The rest of the payment was given directly to the host upon arrival.

For the two weeks of my stay, I had my own room and enjoyed delicious home-cooked meals. While I definitely got spoiled by all the food, I have been inspired to try and cook similarly once I live on my own. It was fun to talk with my host and learn about her extensive hosting experiences, life in Tokyo, and thoughts on Japanese culture. For a glimpse of some of my meals, take a look at the food diary below! (Warning: looking may make you hungry ?).

Spending the entire quarantine by myself would have been pretty boring, but because my host was so welcoming, and I was able to befriend many of the cats, my days went by very quickly.

Additionally, since my stay was at the end of December, I also got to celebrate Christmas and New Years. Japan has many special traditions during this time so I was excited to learn first-hand about them. I got to eat several traditional dishes for the last meal of the year, and first meal of the year, and I also tried on a kimono! It took over an hour to put on because there were over a dozen different layers (under clothes, ties, clips, elastic bands,….) to keep everything in place. Once it was all on, it was a bit difficult to breathe and walk normally, but for the photos it was worth it!

I am so happy that I was able to have a wonderful homestay experience and I can’t wait to visit again when I’m back in Tokyo. If you are thinking about doing a homestay to meet local residents and immerse yourself in Japan’s culture, I recommend it and hope you have a good experience like I did!

And here’s a little bonus: I had a lot of free time while in quarantine so enjoy this video!

Follow Maris Around the World on Youtube for adventure videos 🙂

Interested in reading more about life in Japan? Check out these Posts!

Share your thoughts here!