My Morioka Moments

Bina Antarbudaya
4 min readDec 26, 2022


Rhodora Aliah Natasukarya — INA AKP to Japan YP 22/23

A picture of me in Morioka with a view of Iwate Mountain.


Hello! I’m Rhodora and I’m 17 years old. I’m one of the 33 Indonesian high school students who got the chance to go to Japan to experience living in Japan as a student. It has been a thrilling journey. Today, as I’m writing this, is my third month here in Japan. I still can’t believe that this is happening to me.

I got placed in a small city in Iwate prefecture called Morioka. Morioka is not a very big city. At first, I was quite worried that my exchange journey would not be as fun and exciting as those who got placed in a big city. But guess what! Here I am living my best life in Morioka and surrounded by such a nice people, and here I am, proving that living in a small city doesn’t mean you will get less fun and less experience than the others.

Life has been wonderful so far. Many things happened within my first three months here in Japan. I met a lot of new friends, went to many beautiful places, and experienced many things. Let me tell you the story about how my first 3 months in Morioka, Japan went.

Here, I go to a private school, and it is an all-girls catholic school. My first day of school was incredible. When I got into the class for the first time, my classmates were very enthusiastic. I introduced myself, and after that my classmates surrounded me. They asked me a bunch of questions. I love that they’re curious about me. Not only were my classmates curious and enthusiastic about me, some people in other classes were also very enthusiastic. They tried to talk to me even though there is a language barrier, and they are not very good in English and I’m not very good in Japanese. We tried our best to communicate. I’m very lucky that I got to meet them.

Luckily, I got to celebrate my 17th birthday in Japan! My birthday went great. My friends at school gave me so many snacks and my host family gave me a cake and a birthday gift! I got to learn new things on my birthday. Interesting thing that I learned here on my birthday is that Japanese students usually like to give snacks as a birthday gift. I find it very interesting. They think that it’s better to get many snacks from many people as a birthday gift rather than expensive things that not all friends can give, and I think that’s very precious.

In Morioka, I live with a wonderful Japanese family. My host family and I spent so much time together. Every night, we eat dinner while watching TV. My host family likes sports, so we often watch sports matches on TV. Usually, we spend hours eating, talking, playing games, and watching TV. One night, my host mother asked me if I wanted to play a game. I was clueless about what game we were going to play. Then, I said sure I would love to play a game, and then she explained to me about the game that we’re going to play. My host family was only allowed to speak in Japanese and I was only allowed to speak in Bahasa Indonesia! It was very fun! We laughed a lot. I could not understand many things about what they said, and they could not understand what I said either. We used a lot of body language to explain what we said. And after we finished the game, we explained to each other about what we just said, and I learned so many new words in Japanese. Those things will stay in my memories for sure. Spending the night with my host family, playing games, laughing, eating, watching tv, and just spending the time together.

On summer vacation, I spent a lot of time traveling with my host family. We went to many places. We went to Yokohama, Tokyo, Sendai, and Miyako. At the beginning of summer vacation, my host family and I went to a festival in Morioka. It’s the Sansa Odori Festival. This festival featured a drum parade and dance performances by large groups. My host sister joined the festival, and she played the taiko drum, so my host family and I watched her together. Sansa Odori festival is the world’s largest drum parade. Cool, right? It was very fun and beautiful. At the end of summer vacation, we decided to go to the beach in Miyako city. The beach was so breathtaking. It was very beautiful. My host family and I also went on a boat ride at the beach. To finish off the summer vacation, I went to watch fireworks with my friends. What a great way to finish off summer vacation.

Sansa Odori Festival
Jodogahama Beach in Miyako City

I am so grateful that I could experience all of these. I have made new friends, I met a lot of people who are very kind to me, and I have a super nice host family. My first 3 months here in Japan went great and I couldn’t wait to experience so much more. I will continue this journey and I’m ready to face more exciting things! Get ready, bigger and better things are coming!



Bina Antarbudaya

The Indonesian Foundation for Intercultural Learning Official Partner of AFS Programs