HOMESTAY – when travelling is about living it.

By Yili Wong (from : Malaysia) on Nov. 2, 2016

By Yili Wong (from : Malaysia) on Nov. 2, 2016

When you're travelling, you don't have to end your day in a hotel/hostel. How about in a local's house? ;)

Homestay in a local's home definitely makes your journey an authentic one, as you are living under the same roof with the local people, that's the best time to mingle with them, to exchange thoughts and stories about each other's cultures. It is a good opportunity for foreigners to better understand the culture, country or language more, in which one can never had it in the class/lecture.

Our night in Ugo town was spent in Kakuzan, a 100-year old (more than that I guess!) straw-thatched Japanese traditional house. This house was first belonged to an old lady who lived alone. The Abe family (current host) then took over and made it for homestay use, so that this 'old' traditional house can continue to serve as as 'second home' for visitors.

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In the evening, we got the chance to prepare part of our dinner with the family. It's the Nameko mushroom soup! Thanks for the guidance and instructions from the kind mother of the host. Freshly picked Nameko mushrooms (from the woods) were first rinsed with water to remove the soil and dirt, then torn into halves, and put directly into the cooking pot. Seasoned with some soy sauce, sugar and vinegar, the mushrooms were boiled, without adding in a single drop of water. How to boil without water?! (you must be wondering.) Well, the 'water' is from the mushrooms! Mystery solved! After boiled/stewed for about 10 minutes, the soup was ready to be served! Not to forget to top it up with fresh grated radish!

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The dinner was a scrumptious one! Yummss~~~ Home cooked dishes are always the BEST!!!

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After the dinner, we were lucky to watch Nishimonai Bon Odori dance performance in the house. This is a traditional dance in Ugo Town, to pray for a good harvest and to show respect to deceased ancestors. It is usually performed by the locals (regardless of age) during summer (early August) for 3 days! Ranked one of the top 3 bon dance in Japan, the unique feature of this dance is, the dancers' faces are covered either by straw hats or black masks. Such mysterious~!

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We had a fun and enjoyable stay in Kakuzan! The Abe kids are such adorable ones, and the entire family is so enthusiastic, friendly and lovely! Felt the WARMTH from people of Ugo town!!!

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p/s: check out their website for more homestay info: http://kakuzan.ugotown.com/   (in Japanese)

曾否想过旅行的意义呢?

旅行,就是要开拓自己的视野、理解当地的生活文化、感受不一样的体验。

相信,留宿在当地人的家里,就能满足到以上的那几点,是最佳‘入境随俗’的途径了!

羽后町,小城故事多。体验了上山採蘑菇,也体验了下田割稻米。这就是他们的日常。自给自足的生活。很幸运的,我们能入住一间当地人的家,是间据有上百年历史的传统日式茅屋。这间屋子原本是属于一位独居老太太的。为了能让这间屋子得以‘生存’下去(毕竟已经历了百年的风雨),再次缔造下一个百年奇迹,阿部家就把这间老家给顶上来了,摇身一变成为了旅客们的第二个家。

踏进这间家时,就被它那怀旧、古色古香的氛围给吸引着了。一个典型的日式屋,呈现的是一种朴实的生活。不奢华、不绚丽,少了冰冷的石灰地,多了大家围在火炉旁的温暖。

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留宿当地人的家,是个与当地人沟通、交流的好机会。我们参与了晚餐的准备,料理新鲜採回的蘑菇,煮蘑菇汤!当然少不了‘偷师’的过程 嘻嘻(没办法呀~ ╮( ̄▽ ̄")╭ 日本的家常菜太美味了,必须学上几手!)在这里大爆料吧!其实他们所用的调味料非常简单,不外就是酱油、醋和糖(有些会加进味醂,一种日本的料理酒)。重点是,调配的比例!厨娘下手太快了,那些调味料都随意的加进去,呃。。。看来偷师失败了~ (✖╭╮✖) 随意加,过后再试一试味道,哪个不够又再随意加进去。姜果然是老的辣!不过没关系,熟能生巧嘛~相信有朝一日,我也能煮出独门的味道的!

我们也很庆幸能观赏当地的传统舞蹈,只有在羽后町有的“西马音内”舞。它被誉为日本三大传统舞蹈之一。当地人不分男女老幼,都会在夏天时(八月中左右)才跳这支舞,连续跳个三夜。所以说呀,我们是不是很幸运呢?这个舞蹈最引人注目的一点是,蒙面的舞者!一个用茅草帽,另一个则用黑布来遮盖他们的脸。他们说,戴着茅草帽的是为了祈祷有个好的收割,而黑布蒙面的代表着幽灵,以纪念亡者。

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太有爱的家庭了!♥♥♥  非常感谢主人家,阿部一家大小的盛情兼热情款待,让我们有个非一般的当地住宿体验!你们也来羽后町,亲身体验一下吧!(●'◡'●)

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可查看他们的官网:http://kakuzan.ugotown.com/ (日语版)

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