It all started with a suggestion from their daughter
Osaka couple Chieko and Hitoshi became Airbnb hosts after a recommendation from their daughter Michiko, who lives nearby. initially, they were nervous, as although they wanted to make use of their spare room they didn’t have much English or experience dealing with foreigners.
I would never have thought we could become so close to our guests.
Chieko was nervous about hosting strangers because of her poor English, but all their guests have been pleasant and she’s found herself making friends as she interacts with them. Now she looks forward to welcoming more visitors.
She even lent a guest a traditional yukata and took her to a local summer festival with her grandchildren. When she did, the locals welcomed her overseas guest warmly, bringing her lots of different dishes to try.
Three generations at a guest banquet
The whole family turns up, and it’s so much fun to sing songs with the guests at the end.
When Chieko and Hitoshi have dinner with their guests, Michiko brings her husband and children so all three generations of the family can join in the experience. They always have fun singing with their guests, and even though there’s a language barrier, they still have a great time together.
Some guests have come to stay with them again, traveling from South Korea or Taiwan, because they enjoyed they had such a great experience.
Invited by guests to visit America
Chieko and Hitoshi became particularly good friends with an American couple who stayed with them while traveling to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. So much so, that they took their second ever overseas trip to America to celebrate their own 40th wedding anniversary, staying with their former guests. With help from their hosts, they explored the local area, including baseball stadiums and the end of Route 66. The trip is one of their most cherished memories.
Although nervous hosts at first, Chieko and Hitoshi now look forward to getting to know guests from all over the world.