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Homestay questions: food intolerances/trans 2023/1/9 13:30
hi there, ive been planning on going to a japan host family, for now for a few weeks to a month.
im going just as a tourist, as i want to check out the city (fukuoka) i want to sign up for in a language school.
i havent found much via google/searching so i thought maybe i should try asking here.
ive been wondering if anyone has any experiences or advice with 2 things im a bit scared of.

how problematic will it be to be a non passing trans person? how should i go about it? should i notify them (or the service provider to find host families) beforehand about it? in case it matters, my gender is legally changed already.

food intolerances. i have lactose and fructose intolerance, and im worried about getting problems eating with host families or having to refuse/throw away food. i dont know how common or how easy it is to avoid these things in japanese cuisine.

i think a host family would be very benificial for me as i want the best experience to learn about japanese culture and practice my japanese skills but im not sure if i should even bother because of my problems.
thanks for the help.
by Elise (guest)  

Re: Homestay questions: food intolerances/trans 2023/1/10 13:39
Food issue: many kids here have food allergies - to different ingredients/substances - that their families need to prepare food according to their needs. And in some cases failing to do so properly can have grave consequences. So I recommend you to let the service provider know when you apply so that they can (to the extent possible) find a family possibly with similar dietary needs or one who is very accommodating.

Transgender issue: Ifm not fully familiar with the terminology so apologies in advance if i am mistaken, but if you look (for example) male but if your CV/application says female, you might also want to mention this when you apply - the family might think you as a guy (to play some sports with their son, just for example) but then that might not materialize depending on what you prefer, so you might also want to mention that upfront when you apply as well, for the sake of managing expectations.

Having said that, to me Fukuoka (or Kyushu in general) is a rather conservative area, that some families might find the second issue somewhat too new for them to manage.

If you are already 18 or older, you might simply want to sign up with a Japanese language school, live on their dorm or on your own, so that you might be able to cook for yourself for dietary needs, and find friends at school.

By the way,finding a language school for just a short term might pose some difficulty too, unless you aim for summer intensive course or something like that. Best wishes.
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Homestay questions: food intolerances/trans 2023/1/10 19:46
I agree with AK about the food.

As for transgender issues, there is awareness in Japanese society today. So, anyone who watches the news and/or read the papers are aware, and if they send their child to school, they should be more detailed because kids today learn about it in class.

But like the allergy issue, being aware and being able to put things to practice are two different things. I suggest you inform your organizer both about food and gender. I personally think it has little to do with location, and more to do with each individual.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Homestay questions: food intolerances/trans 2023/1/10 22:53
fructose intolerance.
https://www.shouman.jp/disease/details/08_05_059/#:~:text=%E6%A6%82%E8...
there is almost no case in Japan.
as reality, it is very hard to exclude fructose and sugar, etc. from every day's foods.
almost all dishes contain sugar in Japanese foods.
sweets and fruits contains fructose a lot. (probably, OP has no experience to eat them.)
it is better to think about Plan B that you live alone and cook by yourself to exclude those ingredients.
by ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Homestay questions: food intolerances/trans 2023/1/10 23:33
to clarify some stuff. i plan on going to a japanese language school for 2 years later on in the year, for now im just going for a short term stay as ive never been to japan before. i want to become a localizer/translator so learning the culture well is important to me, as i want to be able to get a job and stay there long term after ive finished school.

a host family would provide me the best experience with language immersion, having people to talk to and learning the culture. also i just think it would be a fun experience and i would have liked to do it for at least a few months.

i look "ambigious", im very feminine in my presentation etc but things like facial hair removal (visible shadow), wich takes a long time to complete, is the main culprit for now. but it should be done towards the end of the year before i go to school. its mostly just about not wanting to cause issues for my host family, since its a bit random if people will gender me as a guy or girl. at least in my country.

also i dont have heridetary fructose intolerance, its a much worse condition than normal fructose intolerance to my knowledge. think, lactose intolerance just for fruit sugar. HFI i believe is a lot more fatal and serious.
from my experience in my own family it was very difficult to find a diet that works with my family, my mum is italian and she cooks a lot of pasta/tomatosauce.

but i suppose i will just give it a shot anyway as people here have said, and just state my concerns regarding these issues. thanks for the answers
by Elise (guest) rate this post as useful

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