Reed Travel Features
TOKYO -- Nearly 1,000 Japanese families are opening up their
homes to foreign travelers as part of the Japan Home Visit System,
which is providing travelers with the rich cultural experience in
18 cities throughout the country, according to the Japan National
Japanese hosts fill out a profile sheet that describes their
home and family, including the age of their children, the languages
they speak, the places they've visited and their occupations and
hobbies, for example.
Clients must call or visit the local travel information office
in the city or town they want to visit and fill out an application.
The application must be made at least 24 hours in advance, and all
visits are made between 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. The local travel
information center uses the profile and application to match guests
with common interests and English speakers with English
One tip: It is customary to bring small gifts when visiting a
Japanese home, so pick up something such as an American baseball
cap and/or a box of chocolates.
The home visits are available in the Japanese cities of Narita,
Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Otsu, Shirahama, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe,
Kurashiki, Okayama, Mihara, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Nagasaki,
Miyazaki and Kagoshima.
To receive a free Home Visit System brochure, contact the local
office of the Japan National Tourist Organization either by
telephone or by e-mail: (212) 757-5640 in New York (e-mail
[email protected]); (312) 222-0874 in Chicago
([email protected]); (213) 623-1952 in Los Angeles
([email protected]); (415) 989-7140 in San Francisco
([email protected]), or (416) 366-7140 in Toronto
The JNTO has a site on the World Wide Web at