What’s your name?
How did we meet each other?
Coincidence! Ahaha. No, just joking, we met through the website Couchsurfing.com.
When and where were you born?
I was born in Nagoya, Aichi prefecture on the 27th of August 1993.
Did something important happen the year you were born?
I thing the biggest news this year was… Me being born!
Where is your family from?
Both my parents are Japanese. I’m half from Aichi prefecture, half from Mie prefecture!
Do you know why your parents decided to call you Shun ?
Because the kanji characters of my name mean falcon.
What’s your job?
I’m still a student but also learning hotel business. I’ve started my own hostel here in Kyoto two years ago.
As a Japanese that have been hosting foreigners through Couchsurfing for 4 years now. Do you see things differently from other Japanese people?
I think the people I’m meeting through Couchsurfing are more open minded than the Japanese people I know. I have had a lot of opportunities to meet foreigners which also give me more willingness to learn about Japan to share with foreigners. I think I know more about Japan than my Japanese friends. As a lot of travellers come to Japan only once in their life, I want them to have a real Japanese experience. Most of my Japanese friends would not do what I do as they are afraid that people might steal something in their house whereas I just trust foreigners.
What do you like the most about your country? What do you like the least?
I like the fact that Japanese people are kind and respectful. In every type of shops, they are polite and professional. It is not the same when I go to other countries. Also, even if we don’t speak English, we try to help others.
What I don’t like is that we have stereotypes about foreigners. Some people say that if it is non Japanese, they just don’t want it. Some people would not eat Chinese food for example!
A place in Japan that you would like to recommend and why?
Kyoto during the Gion Festival in Summer! It takes place in the middle of July. Great traditional Japanese culture and there is no cars in the streets.
Is there something in the actual world that gives you hope?
What gives me hope is that compared to the past we have more freedom. They are no borders compared to the way it used to be. Also things like flying used to be much more expensive. We were also a very closed country where we could not even have workers from abroad. Now it is different. Life is more open for young Japanese and we have more options. For example I can fly to another country pretty easily. Also there are less language barriers, nowadays it is pretty common to learn English.