Smitten by Japan

“I’m a Japanese language teacher in Uzbekistan and I’m here in Japan for 6 months to train as an instructor and to take my Japanese skills to the next level. I absolutely love Japan. People are nice, always ready to greet you with a warm smile, and always showering you with an irasshaimase (welcome) at places like Lawson (a convenience store). One time at an izakaya (a Japanese-style pub), there was this sweet old lady dressed in a kimono who started a conversation with me, asking me where I’m from and what I’m doing in Japan. She invited me to her home and to her kimono shop, where I got to try some of her collection. I was deeply moved by her kindness, especially after having a first impression of people here being a little cold. How wrong I was! And the service here also surprised me. You buy a sweater as a gift for dad and they’ll even put it inside a beautiful shopping bag free of charge. Back home it’s going to cost extra.

Having a stroll near Japan Foundation in Saitama

Giving back

“The only thing I find hard to believe is how the elderly are neglected or sent to a home for the aged, which is unthinkable in Uzbekistan. Where I come from, we all live under one roof as one household. Maybe this is why I want to try nursing as a profession someday. Maybe I can help care for senior citizens in Japan since they’ve been so kind to me. I remember doing a homestay once and my host family was so nice to me. I was able to experience so many things thanks to them. And most of all, I got to try different dishes like gyudon, udon, and sukiyaki. I like sushi a lot since we don’t have much seafood with Uzbekistan being a landlocked country and all.”


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Finding diversity and inclusion. Breaking down barriers one post at a time. Stories and snapshots of foreigners making their way in Japan.

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