Having trouble trying to figure out what to get your new Japanese host family? Not to worry! It doesn’t have to be that much and it doesn’t have to be expensive at all!
The one thing to remember is to get items that represent your country!
Now I come from Australia so of course the presents are going to be different for anyone that lives anywhere else but these are a few examples on what I got for my host family.
A little about my host family. My host family consists of 4 people, mother, father and two young host sisters (9 & 11 years old). The father loves playing golf and the mum loves cooking, so I tried to base my presents off their interests and the fact that the little girls are only still young. So lets get into it!
Firstly I grabbed some Vegemite. Although most of you are screaming “Why!“, (although I actually love Vegemite) it is one thing that is very Australian. Although it requires individual taste as it is something you either hate or love, its popular in my home country and its interesting for them to try it!
TimTams & Cadbury Chocolate
Following the theme of foods, I picked up some TimTams and Cadbury Chocolates for the family as they are also titled Australian. I thought some fun popping candy chocolate would be great for the kids and fun to try something completely new! I did find out when I arrived here that in some supermarkets they do sell TimTams and Cadbury Chocolate in the international section, but they are quite pricey and only sell the one plain milk chocolate flavour of both items.
Nerada Tea Bags & Tasmanian Honey
If you didn’t already know, the Japanese are huge on tea. Tea is seen as such a respectable thing and usually they always drink tea instead of water! So it was a good idea to bring along some Australian Tea for them to try out! I’ve heard from a couple people that their host families loved that they brought them tea but I never heard much from mine. In a culture where tea is the norm for nearly everybody, it is only right to bring some tea from your home country as a present!
I decided to pack some Tasmanian Honey to bring with me as well as it really is a beautiful honey and I thought my host mum would love it as she loves cooking!
Key Rings & A Bag
Next I decided to get some colourful key rings, one for each family member. I bought kangaroo ones which represents my home country and the kids defiantly seemed to like them! They immediately attached them to their bags and pencil cases! In Japan a lot of women seem to walk around with bags (not handbags) to carry their things and their purchases. Even a lot of Japanese teenagers carry around linen bags so depending who your buying it for, make it cute! These bags are also helpful to mothers when they need an extra and strong bag when going out for family meals in the park!
You can’t go wrong with some soft toys for little girls! I bought similar soft toys for my host sisters in hope there wouldn’t be any jealousy and obviously they loved it! Even over three months later I still see them playing with them. I bought a Koala and a Kangaroo.
A Kangaroo Cap & Australian Animal Mitten and Apron
I wasn’t sure on what to get the host father that he couldn’t just eat. What do you get a full grown male man that he would use from another country that wasn’t food and you didn’t know much about him? Well my mum came up with a good idea to get him a cap, one that was still manly yet still represented Australia. Considering he likes golf he must wear a hat being out in the sun that long. As shown below its a simple black hat (you can wear anywhere and with anything) with a simple little kangaroo on the front to show its Australian. Glad my mum came up with that because it was a good idea and this family is really ‘sun safety’ so I actually see him wearing it quite often!
Next is an apron and mitten with Australian animals on it with their english names. Even though my host mum said she does love cooking, you can’t go wrong with gifting them a mitten or hand towel as they use them all the time!
Pencil Case & Stationary
Last but not least, I gifted a pencil case and pencils to both host sisters. Once again I bought similar pencil cases for both girls as I didn’t want any jealousy as ‘who got the better one’. If they are in elementary school they still use pencils otherwise as they get older they start to use pacers. Stationary is a big thing in Japan, so many cute things are girls love getting stationary! My host sisters immediately swapped everything into their new pencil cases and sharpened their new pencils! It was something completely different to what they could get here and they wanted to show off their new pencil case to their friends from a different country.
I did get quite a lot for my host family but don’t feel like you have to! You can keep it cheap and simple and get one thing for each family member. It doesn’t matter really what it is you get them as long as it represents your home country and its the fact you’re giving a gist which shows the respect. Hopefully this gave you some ideas, as I know before I left for Japan I was really struggling on what to get my new host family. Its more simple than you think and it doesn’t have to be much so don’t worry about it too much!
Have fun on your exchange!
What I got for each Family Member
– Apron and Mitten Set
– Tea Bags
– Tasmanian Honey
– One Key Chain
– Kangaroo Hat
– One Key Chain
11 Year Old Host Sister:
– Koala Pencil Case and Pencils
– Kangaroo Soft Toy
– Cadbury Chocolate Bar (Popping Candy Flavour)
– Two Key Chains
9 Year Old Host Sister:
– Kangaroo Pencil Case and Pencils
– Koala Soft Toy
– Cadbury Chocolate Bar (Jelly Bean Flavour)
– Two Key Chains