My Best New Year

Bina Antarbudaya
4 min readFeb 17, 2024

Nur Iftah Hayati Fil Arifa–INA AKP to JPN YP 22/23

Do you think time goes by so fast? I think so. 9 months in Japan seems like yesterday I came and tomorrow suddenly came home. I don’t realize I’ve sailed this far, happy, sad, I’ve been through it all. By the way, hello everyone, I’m Nur Iftah Hayati Fil Arifa. These are 9 months that will never be forgotten, lots of memories, experiences and surprises.

Of the many experiences, there must be one that is memorable, right? For me, during the New Year, I went to my host family with my friend from Vietnam. By the way, my host sister is from my school, and she is also my senior. I went to Host Family for 5 days. We spend so much time together. On the first day, my Host Sister threw a small party for us. She made “Doritos Party” . Just hear that at the time. She told us this is for a “Welcome Party” for us, so sweet.

(“Doritos Party” pict)

On the second day, my host family took me to “Fox Village”, so there are lots of foxes there, but besides foxes there are also goats, rabbits, and horses. Very cute, from the beginning I wanted to go there but I didn’t make it, but thankfully my host family even invited me to go there like I was lucky. After that we went to the wooden puppet museum, then I didn’t want to lose I also made wooden dolls, I didn’t make them, just painted wooden dolls. It was fun! Well, on this night before the new year, we had a big meal like that with my host family, everyone got together! Eat a lot and are also delicious. They said they always have a big meal before the new year and after the new year. And Japanese people have a unique culture, they always eat “Soba” eaten at midnight on December 31, before changing to the next day.

(In the fox village)
(painted wooden dolls)
(big meal with host family)
(ate “soba” on Dec 31)

On the third day, in the morning we went to the temple, because every morning on New Year’s Day the Japanese always go to the temple to pray, so I accompanied my host family to pray, it was very interesting because after praying they usually buy fortune-telling paper. After that, we went to my host family’s grandmother’s house for breakfast. It was really delicious. I was given this Angko food. But it’s really hard I swear, stirring it looks easy actually it’s really hard, I give up! In the evening we ate another big meal, very excited. The theme of the big dinner was “seafood”, it was delicious!.

(Went to temple)
(make a greentea)

On the fourth day, we went shopping, I was surprised to see the price of the clothes, they said they had a New Year’s discount but the price was 20,000 yen (2 million rupiah), I really cried when I saw the price, it was the same as my stipend for one month. Then in the evening we have another small party, a takoyaki party and chocolate fountain, because during the day I wanted to buy takoyaki but my host mom said “don’t buy takoyaki, because tonight we will have a takoyaki party”, i’m so love with my host mom!!

(Takoyaki and Chocolate fountain party)

On the last day we just spent time at home, but in the evening before being delivered to our dorm there was another big dinner with my host family, they said this is for ferewell party before we went dorm and my host sister before going on student exchange to new zealand. Did not expect this year’s new year to be very memorable, the most beautiful gift given by God! I will never forget this very beautiful new year, thanks for all the memories japan! See you in my next story!




Bina Antarbudaya

The Indonesian Foundation for Intercultural Learning Official Partner of AFS Programs