LWIF EP15: What’s Life Like Where You’re From?

We’ve made a few videos about what life is like for us in Japan, but we’ve always wanted to know what life is like where you’re from. So, we made www.lifewhereimfrom.com so you can share your stories, photos, and videos!

The whole point of the project was to have kids from around the world see what life is like for other kids around the world (but of course, you can be any age!) If we’re lucky enough to have you share your stories, we’d love to feature some of them at the end of the videos (and if all goes well even have whole videos of other families).

It’s really nerve wracking launching this site, as it feels so official, and I don’t know how many people will share their stories. I hope there are a few of you that will.  It’s been really amazing reading all the comments on the videos and seeing that people from all around the world really are connecting. As always, thanks for watching!

How to share your stories

Easy. Leave a comment on any post. You can even attach photos and share youtube videos (just make sure to put the youtube link on a separate line so that it shows up in the comments properly). Since this is a publicly available website, please don’t share anything you wouldn’t want others to see. We’re excited to share some stories at the end of our videos, so if you would not like us to do so, just mention it in the comments (Youtube videos unfortunately can’t be updated to remove content and we’d hate to show something you don’t want us to).

Social Stuff

I don’t know if we’ll post a lot, but you can follow and see.

So, what’s life like where you’re from?

Let us know in the comments below!

108 comments on LWIF EP15: What’s Life Like Where You’re From?

  • Alice Vargas

    I’m 13 and in 7th grade. I live in Rome, Italy and where I’m from, it’s really fun. There’s a lot of really yummy food like Calzone, Pesto, Gelato, Pizza and Pasta. I have a really big family but I really love my Nonno (Grandfather) The streets are beautiful and they look kind of Vintage. On Spring break and Summer, We go to the Alps, Venice and The Colosseum. Although, not all Italians speak Italian, Some speak French and German. We love sports like skiing, cycling, soccer and motor racing. We also love cooking, Arts and music. Most of my classmates know how to paint, play the violin and piano. Although, Italian history is really long and complicated but school is still pretty fun. I love the fact that the people are so kind and polite and also good looking. Although there is an active volcano and there are alot of pretty minor earthquakes, it’s usually pretty warm and sunny which is the perfect weather for going to the beach. We celebrate LOADS of holidays every year. We Italians are VERY superstitious. For example, if you spill salt, you have to throw salt over your left shoulder with your right hand to scare the little demon that stands behind you away. If you ever visit Italy, be sure NOT to leave a tip

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      Thanks for the comment Alice! It sounds like Italy is very nice. I didn’t know that some people didn’t speak Italian. Maybe I can use some of my French if I visit there one day.

      That’s pretty cool that you learn how to paint, play the violin, and play the piano in school. I used to film Italian weddings, so I know all about the food, fun, and good looking people 😉

      In Japan you also don’t leave tips.

      Aiko’s Dad

      • Lee Thao

        Hello! I’m from Sacramento,CA! I am 15 year old and a sophomore in high school. Right now over here is really really hot since there is the drought going on right now. I like to watch anime and read manga! I live with my family which I’m total have 8 people including me! I am Hmong which is a minor Asian group and our religion is shamanism. I guess you can say that it is busy over here too, but not as busy as Tokyo. I always wanted to go to Japan since I live in Sacramento my whole entire life. There really isn’t anything exciting over here, but I just wanted to share! 🙂 Lastly, here is a picture of my morning sky(since I have to go to school)!

        • Lee Thao

          Oh no sorry it’s backwards! T^T

  • Jessica

    I love the idea! I’m from New Zealand, it’s a small island that’s larger than Japan but with much, much, much less people! We have lots of fun things here. The Kiwi bird is only in New Zealand, and it is endangered, but they are loved so much that people who live in New Zealand are called Kiwis after the bird!

    We have a type of cookie here called a Tim Tam, and we mix it with hot chocolate to have a Tim Tam Slam! Here is a video I made to show you.

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      Hi Jessica,

      Aiko and I watched the Tim Tam Slam video. Thanks for sharing!

      Aiko thought the Tim Tam’s looked like Kit Kats. She said it looked so yummy.

      Aiko’s Dad

  • Park JinGyu

    Now I’m Japan Kyoto. But I can’t upload my image because file’s size limit.

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      As long as it’s under 3.91MB image you’ll be fine. If it’s bigger than that then contact me via the contact page and I’ll try to help out!

      I’ve bumped up the images to allow for uploads just under 5MB. I checked my smartphone and realized that the default image sizes can be quite large. So hopefully that helps.

      Aiko’s Dad

  • Chavela

    Hello! I’m from Puerto Rico. P.R. is an island in the Caribbean. Our official languages are Spanish (predominant) and English. The weather is always hot and humid since it’s an island, summer all year round. Beautiful beaches, like Flamenco in Culebra, wich is one of the best in the world. Our food is delicious, we are mostly known for mofongo, pasteles, our fried food (empanadas, bacalaitos, sorrullitos, etc) and the list goes on an on. Christmas is a big deal here, we begin preparations after thanksgiving and wrap everything up in the middle of January (and the food and music, amazing!) In terms of music, salsa is something we are known for, great musicians here. The architecture, especially in the founding towns is gorgeous, spanish colonial style. Growing up here, I had also the chance to learn violin, and I studied in a catholic school. Spent many weekends on the beaches and restaurants. Now I’m studying architecture in the islands capital San Juan wich is so much fun, lots to do here. P.S. you can edit this to fit what you were looking for.

    • Marisely

      Greetings! I’m from Puerto Rico as well. I was wondering on how to describe our island, but you seem to have grasped its essence quite well. Thank you! I wanted to include pictures of my own, like the famous Arecibo lighthouse and the food fritters known as “alcapurrias”. Also one of our beautiful beaches for which our island is admired. I’m from the town of Arecibo. Take care!

      • Jurelys

        OMG!! I’m from Puerto Rico too!! My name is Jurelys I’m from Toa Alta! And The way you described our island is really nice!! I also have some picture to share 🙂 I love to take pictures so they are a lot! Hihihi this pictures are from my Instagram ^^ if you guys want to see more my name is Jurelys27

        • Jurelys

          My other pictures dont show :/

          • lifewhereimfrom (author)

            Hi Jurleys, I really like the picture. Do people canoe or paddle boats in there. It looks like it would be fun to explore.

            Aiko’s Dad

      • lifewhereimfrom (author)

        Thanks for the photos Marisely, the beach looks wonderful! I had to google alcapurrias to see what it was made of. I’ve never eaten anything like that before.

        Aiko’s Dad

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      Hi Chavela,

      Thanks for sharing! My parents were born in the West Indies (Trinidad and Guyana), so kind of close.

      I’ve never heard of any of the foods, except for empanadas. I’ll have to try some if I get a chance to see a Puerto Rican restaurant (or meet a Puerto Rican person).

      Did you know that Christmas is not really celebrated in Japan. In fact, my kids have school that day. Over here it’s more of a celebration for couples (kind of like Valentine’s day if you have that holiday in Puerto Rico). While Christmas isn’t a holiday, New Year’s day and the days after are, and that’s when families get together.

      Those are some nice pictures. Aiko and Shin were wondering how the birds got their rainbow colour.

      Aiko’s Dad

  • Allen Laughlin

    Hi I am 6 years old and live in Iowa, USA. I live on a family farm that was started by my Great Grandpa when he married my Great Grandma. I have 3 dogs (Abby, Violet, and Violet’s puppy Ruby), 5 kittens, and a pony (Fizzy). I help my Daddy do chores on the farm by filling water tubs for the horses, sheep, goats, llamas, and cows. All our animals are raised for meat except the llamas… I don’t know what they are for. = ) I also have 30 chickens for eggs and meat. I like to hold and pet the chickens.
    I am going to start the first grade at the end of August when summer vacation ends. For fun this summer I went fishing on my Daddy’s boat and cruising up and down the Mississippi River. I also played with my dogs and with my cousin Lily.
    I like to eat fresh sweetcorn, greenbeans, and carrots from our garden at home and I really like BBQ chicken.
    Thank you for making your great videos.

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      Thanks for all the photos Allen!

      Can you ride your pony? It’s nice to have a farm. My brother and I love cats.

      Aiko

      I can’t believe you have so many animals. That plane looks like it’s flying so low, I’ve always wanted to fly in a crop duster (if that’s what it is).

      Aiko’s Dad

      • Allen Laughlin

        It is a crop duster. They are lots of fun to watch. I can ride my pony. She is a very good pony. My mom and dad have a cart we can ride in and Fizzy will pull us too. It is lots of fun. I want to ride in the cart in a parade someday.
        We do have lots of animals. It is fun living on a farm! We also plant crops. We have corn and soybean fields and hey for the animals to eat. The corn and soybeans we grow aren’t the kind people eat, they are used to make ethanol… a kind of fuel.
        I really like hearing about Japan and the stuff your family does for fun.
        Allen (with help from Mommy)

  • Allen Laughlin

    Sorry my other pictures didn’t show.

    • Allen Laughlin

      Me and Fizzy.

    • Allen Laughlin

      My dogs Violet (black white and brown) and Ruby (black and brown)
      Me at the Mississippi River
      Me and my chickens

  • Nevi

    Hello! My name is Nevena and I’m from Varna, Bulgaria. It is a small country in Europe mostly famous for its beauty and poor economy. We have beautiful seaside (where I was born and raised) and amazing mountains. I know that in Japan we are known for ブルガリア ヨーグルト, the unique Bulgarian rose and the sumo wrestler Kotoōshū.

    I am 19 years old, almost 20, and I know I don’t quite match the category “kids around the world” or at least not in the meaning you probably put in it, but I’ll hope this isn’t a problem.

    After watching your video about homework in Japan I got the sudden urge to dig out my school stuff. I literally dug them out from under my bed after a fight with my cat that was apparently waiting for the opportunity to get under there and create his headquarters.

    It turned out that I have kept all of my school books and notebooks all the way from 1st grade. I knew my mom had a reason to tell me to throw stuff away from time to time… more than 12 years worth of notebooks is a lot! Perhaps I will show some of them in another post or maybe even a video (I don’t think I am courageous enough for that though), because I don’t want this comment to turn into a rambling novel – not that it’s not one already….

    Candy! I don’t have any in the house at the moment, seeing as it can’t survive me or my father more than a few hours, but I promise I will try to find and show you some typically Bulgarian candy that kids here love.

    While I was under the bed I also found my toys, plushies and my first DVD player. I will put a picture of the ‘player’ and it will be showing Snow-white (because of some technical difficulties the words are the wrong way, but don’t mind that…). When it comes to my toys – once again full archive, nothing was thrown away. I will check that out as another thing I can possibly show later.

    I will try to cut my babble short now. I want to say thank you for your videos and thank you for showing the unique point of view that children have. As someone who is about to start their second year in university, studying Primary school education with foreign language teaching, I value that uniqueness a lot. In my opinion some adults have very grey and plain minds, whereas kids’ are so colorful and… just alive.

    Life where I am from is… well, currently asleep in its majority, seeing as it is past midnight. Sorry if I was way too much off topic (if there is next time, I will be more specific about things and won’t ramble that much), and also sorry if I was boring to read. I want to wish your family a nice day and a lot of smiles! 🙂

    • Nevi

      Hi! I had the time to go through my books and decided to share math for the forth grade from Bulgaria. The cover of my math book is bound with something that I can’t remove, it is literally glued to the covers, for some reason that was a thing back then, glue а bluish transparent book cover to protect them…

      Here we have books for arts and music too (the ones on the pictures are for the third grade )… I don’t think I have ever used my art one – it just has different paintings and basic crafts – make a face mask, make a stamp with a potato… The music one is full with lyrics of children’s songs and strange images to go with them.

      And as a bonus: Where I am from we apparently have black tomatoes. They are just as delicious as a regular tomato, but are black…

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      Hi Nevi, thanks for sharing everything!

      Poor you. What’s the cat’s name? My brother and I love cats.

      Aiko

      Aiko said “poor you” because your cat was fighting you 🙂

      Aiko and I went to Google Maps and used the street view to see what Varna looked like. Aiko never heard of the yoghurt, but Aiko’s mum knew all about it!

      Your age is perfectly fine. I kind of feel bad for saying kids, as of course anyone can enjoy the videos and share, no matter their age.

      The books were interesting to look at, especially seeing the characters used to write.

      Good luck with your studies!

      Aiko’s Dad

      • Nevi

        Hi!
        The cat’s name is Johnny and he is the cutest evil cat. When I got him I wanted to name him Jerry (from Tom&Jerry) because he was so small, like a little mouse, but my father was like “No, he is a man, he has to have a manly name, not the name of a mouse” and so we chose Johnny (apparently that is manly enough).

        What are some good cat names in your opinion? The next time I get a cat I want to be prepared with something good 😀

        Today I will show you two toys of mine – the “I don’t know what exactly that is” ball and the cylinder thing that is very similar to Rubik’s cube. The ball changes colors from blue to yellow and the other way around when you throw it in the air. I chose these two because I think they are more unusual I guess. 🙂

  • Logan Blake

    Hi!! My name is Logan I am from Maine, USA. Where I’m from it is very beautiful. We have a few state parks, and some mountains that are so fun to hike! We have some nice beaches too. A lot of people when they think of Maine they think we are a part of Canada which we aren’t. In Maine we have and are known for fresh Maine lobster 😀 I’ve never been on a lobster boat but I think it would be so cool. We also have hot dogs that are red. If you go other places In the United States they won’t have them I’m 20 so I’m not really a kid, I work at a grocery store and a daycare. I live with my parents and my younger sister who’s 17. I have a pet cat named nova she’s all black and so cute. I love your videos and would love to visit Japan someday!!

    • Logan Blake

      I forgot to post my pictures

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      Wow, those hot dogs are red! Japan has some sausages of similar colour, but the filling is fish.

      Thanks for sharing!

      Aiko’s Dad

  • Amanda

    Hello~ I’m Amanda from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It’s located in Southeast Asia. If anything, I’d say Malaysia is famous for the diversity in food.

    Since Malaysia is a multicultural country, it’s only expected that there are many different types of cooking: Malay, Chinese, Indian and Nyonya. Of course, there’s also a wide range of Western restaurants and chains, too. I’m sure most who have been to Malaysia know of Nasi Lemak (a Malay dish including cooked rice with dried anchovies, sambal, peanuts and an egg wrapped in banana leaf. Local mamak shops may include cucumber slices and/or a curried fish), Satay (skewers of barbecued chicken), or Roti Canai (a must-try Indian dish by cooking the flat bread rapidly in cooking oil and then served with curry. There may be any variations depending on where you go, but you can’t go wrong with this default version), but many still missed out on a lot of great eats because they didn’t have a local to bring them around.

    The climate in Malaysia is what I’d call a ‘tropical rainforest’, because it’s humid and rains a lot, more or less depending on the time of year. It’s also good to know a bit of the Malay language, as there can be foreign workers (like from Indonesia) who don’t know a single bit of English working in shops, mamak, and basically anywhere. If you’re planning on traveling with a tour team, you’re all good; if not, then you’ll miss out on a lot just because they cannot understand you. And I really mean it. They do not know a single English word. The only place I know you can’t find them will be fast food chains, but let’s face it, nobody travels to a country just to have fast food.

    Here’s a list of must-eat in Malaysia:
    Fruit: Durian (WARNING: it’s bitter to some, but milky to others. I’m not a fan of it, but a lot of people like them. Foreigners might have difficulty digesting the smell, but it’s a good experience.)

    Malay:
    – Nasi Lemak (spicy) The basic version you can get are the ones wrapped in banana leaf on a plate on tables.
    – Rendang (spicy)
    – Satay (spicy if included sambal) It makes a great supper.
    – Chendol (a cold dessert made up of green pea noodles, kidney beans, palm sugar and coconut milk)
    – ABC (shaved ice with variable flavors)

    Chinese:
    – Bak Kut Teh (pork broth boiled with Chinese herbs) Eat this with rice. Locals choose to order strong Chinese tea as well. I like to soak my rice with the broth.
    – Char Kui Teow (Flat egg noodles fried with soya sauce, pork oil, clams, prawn and bean sprouts) This can be a very oily dish so don’t eat it every day!
    – Chee Cheong Fun (minced meat wrapped in thin rice noodles with sauce)
    – Tuaran Mee (fried egg noodles with sweetened roast pork slices, chun kien and local vegetables)
    – Gan Lao Mian (noodles fried with soy sauce and sweetened roast pork slices)

    Indian:
    – Roti Canai (I usually ask for dhal instead of curry, since curry can be too spicy for me)
    p/S: There may be more Indian cuisines worth trying, just that there’s too many to try them all.

    Nyonya:
    – Kaya (egg and coconut spread used for toast, accompanied by a runny egg and coffee) This is a very simple, yet delicious breakfast.
    – Laksa (a variable spicy noodle broth dish depending on different states) I heard from many friends that it’s delicious, but my palate can’t handle spicy food. Nonetheless, it’s a dish worth trying for tourists, though it’s much spicier than curry in Japan.
    – Rojak (again, spicy. Should be eaten after meal)

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      Hi Amanda,

      I’ve eaten some of the Malaysian food you’ve described and it was all delicious. I especially like satay and roti canai. One of the ice cream places from where we used to live (in Vancouver, Canada) has durian flavoured ice cream and my Dad actually likes to eat the fruit. I can’t touch it, the smell is too much for me 🙂

      Thanks for letting us know all about the food. That’s a lot of variety!

      Aiko’s Dad

  • Jakub

    Hi, I’m from Poland and I’m 13 years old. I live in Bełchatów in Łódzkie. Our country is in eastern Europe. Poland is famous because of the World War II.
    History of Poland is not so long, but sometimes very sad. You know, Poland wasn’t on map for 123 years.
    We’ve got many funny things in Poland. For example; we eat sausages made of groats and blood. We don’t eat lunch. For first meal we eat medium breakfast, next is very big dinner( usually at 2 o’clock pm) at last we eat very small supper.
    I’m going to gimnasium this year, but last year when I was in six grade of primary school I was learning maths, science, history, music, PE, IT, technique, art and Polish and English language.
    We haven’t got many famous landmarks because of war (Warsaw was totally destroyed). We have Książ castle, The Palace of Culture And Science. Probably the Wawel in Cracow is the most well known Polish landmark all over the world.
    Our cities are beautiful. Of course not post communist cities, but old cities like Gdańśk and Wrocław.
    For holidays Polish families can go everywhere. There are mountains, lakes and Baltic sea.
    Our currency is Polish Złoty.
    Our language is strange. We’ve got 7 cases in Polish.

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      Hi Jakub,

      For 13, you’re English is very good! I’m always amazed at all the people who communicate in a second language so well. Aiko and Shin can speak English OK, but they need to practice their reading and especially their writing a lot more.

      That’s very interesting about the meals. It kind of sounds like how the hobbits from the Lord of the Rings name their meals.

      The currency looks quite colourful, I like it.

      Aiko’s Dad

    • Catherine Traveler-chan

      Hi, it’s cool to hear from you! I am American, and when I was studying in Leipzig, Germany two summers ago, I visited Wroclaw. It is a very beautiful city, and although it may not count as a “landmark”, there is the Racławice Panorama–a huge, circular painting depicting the Polish victory in the battle of Racławice against the Russians. It has miraculously survived until today, since it was hidden away during wars, and it is very interesting in terms of art and Polish history. The bottom of the painting usually depicts dirt or bushes, and so, instead of just hanging the painting up on the wall, there are sticks, rocks, dirt, and little shrubs placed between the path around the room and the bottom of the painting, which sort of extends the painting towards the viewers and makes it seem larger and more three-dimensional. The main square in Wroclaw is one of the biggest in Europe, and is very colorful. It is unusual because, since it is so big, the town hall is in the middle of the square, and does not make up one of the buildings on the perimeter. It, too, is very distinctive. For a small city, Wroclaw has a lot of very nice things in it. I want to go back to Wroclaw someday, and see more of Poland; I really liked the food, people, and architecture. You live in a very beautiful and nice country. 🙂

  • Jade

    Hi, I am a 12 year old kid from Taiwan. We Taiwanese love Japan! We sell loads of products from Japan( like the Kaboom,stationerys, body lotions… Etc!) almost everything in my house are from Japan! I’ve been to Japan more than 10 (probably 12 times) times already. I loved the Japanese sweets( and drinks, I bring them back to Taiwan). I buy the candies there every time I went to Japan! And I am envied that you guys live in such a good house! It’s so convenient! By the way, we Taiwanese have truly love Japan. We have Ramen restaurants and other Japanese restaurant almost everywhere. There are some JAPANESE STREETS( where the Japnese food restaurants)
    Something about Taiwan that is cool is that we have seven elevens everywhere. It’s very convenient( even more than Japan) and the food. Taiwan was famous of its foods. The traditional foods are cheap and delicious( well but sometimes it’s not good for your body though) I WISH I HAVE ONE OF THOSE JAPANESE BATHROOMS! I DREAM TO LIVE IN JAPAN SINCE I WAS 4 years old!!!
    PS: I love Japn MUJI, loft and Tokyu Hands!!!! I bought all my stationery there!

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      Hi Jade,

      We have Seven Eleven’s everywhere too!

      Aiko

      I wonder if the Seven Eleven’s are owned by the same company in Japan.

      I knew that there are older generations that still speak Japanese in Taiwan, but it’s nice to hear that there’s still positive feelings about Japanese culture and food.

      Every time I hear about Taiwan I always hear about the food, so it must be good! I love bubble tea (bobba tea, or whatever it’s called!). I heard it was first invented in Taiwan at the street markets and that there weren’t tapioca pearls in it originally. It was tea and juice shaken together so hard that there be foam and bubbles at the top. Do you know if that’s true?

      All the best,

      Aiko’s Dad

  • Madeline Williams

    Bonjour! I’m 13 years old and live in Toronto, Canada with my grand frère, Matthew, my maman and my papa. We live fairly close to the CN tower so it’s our daily view. I love Canada, We have friendly people, we treat each other equally, the healthcare is great, the scenery is amazing, the wildlife, our country is clean, life is pretty easy going, there aren’t many smokers, you can do lots in each season like fishing, swimming, spotting polar bears in Churchill and Hudson Bay, skiing, canoeing and HOCKEY! There’s also the cuisine. Poutine, back bacon, butter tarts, Nanaimo bars, pancakes and of course, Maple Syrup! But the winters here are VERY harsh and cold. Shoveling snow for at least two hours is not fun. But at least we could go skiing in the mountains in Alberta, Yukon, Manitoba and British Columbia and travel to the north and see all the polar bears. Here’s a weird fact: We buy milk in bags, not bottles. Every year, the Dutch sends us THOUSANDS of tulips to show their gratitude and that inspired Ottawa’s annual tulip festival. To Canadians, Hockey is basically our pride and most of my friends know how to play hockey, ski and skate. In the winter, me and my friends’ families play hockey as a competition. Speaking of hockey competitions, In the 1930 World Cup, Canada’s Hockey team was so good, they didn’t even have to play knockout rounds and were placed directly in the final game. Sorry if I sound like I’m bragging. Education in Canada is for the most part provided publicly, funded and overseen by federal, provincial, and local governments. Most education programs in Canada begin in kindergarten (age five) or grade one (age six) and go to grade twelve (age 17 or 18), except in Quebec, where students finish a year earlier. After completion of a secondary school diploma, students may go on to post-secondary studies. Piece of advice, Not all Canadians say “Eh” and no one says “Aboot” We just say all of the vowels so it sounds kind of like “Aboot” but it’s nott. Never make any of us say that

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      Bonjour Madeline!

      Yeah, we say about, not aboot!

      Aiko

      I love butter tarts and I often make pancakes with maple syrup for Aiko and Shin on the weekends. We used to live in Vancouver, so we never really had snow to shovel (maybe once a year). But, I grew up in Winnipeg, so know all about shovelling snow and playing hockey. I had the milk in plastic bags growing up, but haven’t seen them in over fifteen years. I’m surprised you still have them in Toronto.

      Thanks for the comment!

      Aiko’s Dad

  • Klaudia

    Hi Aiko,
    I’m Klaudia and I live in Ontario, Canada. You’re right, houses are much bigger in Canada and there’s a lot more space here. I really like watching your videos. I think they’re really fun. My favourite video was the one with you on the beach, because I like going to the beach too. Here are pictures of me with my collection of “Beanie Boos”, skating in the winter and a giant spider like the one you have in Tokyo. We have one in Canada too!! It’s a Mommy spider with eggs!!

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      Wow, I didn’t know there was more than one spider like that!

  • Laurie

    Hi Aiko (and Aiko’s Dad)
    My name is Laurie, and I live in Howard County, Maryland in the United States, which is in-between Washington DC, and Baltimore, Maryland. I have two little boys and I LOVE seeing the similarities and differences between your life and theirs. The boys grandparents live in Baltimore City, so on the weekends we often visit them and go to the zoo or the aquarium. We are members of both, so we only pay once a year and then can go as many times as we want! We have a ranch style house, which is very American. It is one story tall and very long. The boys like to race each other from one end to the other, scaring our two cats as they do so. Our back yard has a big hill in it so when it snows we go sledding and make snowmen. It also has lots of trees, so in the fall we rack them in piles and jump in them, or make scarecrows. Our trees also have cicadas in them, they look a little different from the ones you have and are thankfully a little quieter. They boys haven’t gone looking for the skins yet like your brother, which is good because I’m just as scared of them as your mommy is. There are not a lot of places we can get to by walking, we have to drive to the playground and to school. Our neighborhood does have lots of sidewalks though, and everyone rides bicycles or walks their dogs around the neighborhood. We also have lots of local farm stands that have local produce in the summer, pumpkins for Halloween, and Christmas trees in the winter.

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      It sounds like a nice big place (both the house and the outdoors). My kids would love to have a house where they could run around like your kids. That’s good that despite the need to travel by car to places like the school and playground, everyone still walks and rides their bikes around.

  • Pernille

    Hi! Where I’m from, Norway, we wear these folk costumes at special events like our national day. We call it “Bunad”, and this the romeriksbunad. All the bunader is different, and it shows where in Norway you’re from. They are really expensive, so this bunad I’m wearing is my grandmothers. She got this when she turned 18, so this bunad was made in 1958 (and I was 19 in this picture)!!

    I live near the capital of Norway, Oslo. In Oslo you can do the normal city-stuff (like shopping, eating, museums…) but you could also hike in the forest, or go on a boat ride to some islands that are close by.

    Norway is a country that is really long, so the distance from the most northern place and the most southern place is 2518 km. So we have huuuuge differences in weather and environment. I have never been at the most northern place in Norway, and I doubt that I ever will. But even here in Oslo, (southeast) it’s cold and snowy from november to april. Sometimes it could be snow until the middle of May.

    We do not have as much fancy stuff like you in Japan, and if I ever go to Japan, the toilets would probably scare me off. We have “regular” toilets with just the flush function. And we also bathe in our own bathingwater. Here it would be considered nasty to bathe in somebody elses bathingwater. So we sit right in and chill (with no shower, you either bathe or you shower. Never both).

    Our houses look much different than yours, we have much more space, and we have mattresses with legs. We have super thick feather duvets which keeps us warm in a cold winters night.

    I love the videos that you’re making, and I’m excited to see more of your country!
    I wish some day I will go to Japan, but right now I can’t afford it (or I could if I didn’t spend all my money on stupid stuff… ). I wish you luck! Or as we say in norwegian “Lykke til”.

    Best regards Pernille (and my name is a danish name)

    • Alice Vargas

      Oooh~! I would love to go to Norway! Your country seems so beautiful and the history is very interesting. It’s ice that it’s cold there. That would be a nice change for us since it’s usually hot and sunny.

      • Pernille

        You should come here, but I suggest other cities than Oslo. Go to Bergen, Trondheim or Stavanger if you want to see some beautiful mountains and lots of history and culture 🙂

      • Pernille

        Oh and by the way! All our stores and shopping malls are closed on sundays! On saturdays everything close a bit early. I feel sad for the tourist spending a weekend here, since almost everything is closed on sundays.

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      Thanks for the photo. It’s nice to see the traditional folk costume. Aiko kind of did the same thing, where she dressed up in the same kimono that her mother wore. I recently saw some videos of Norway and I was surprised to see how much it looks like Canada (where Aiko and Shin were born).

  • Samantha

    G’day Aiko & Aiko’s dad!

    My name is Samantha and I am from Australia (“Down Under”). I live ~ 4 hours drive from Sydney, the biggest city. 4 hours may sound like a long time, but that is not that far in Australian terms. There are many different parts to Australia with different lifestyles and climates – mountains (not very tall by world standards), beaches, tropics and the Great Barrier Reef, the Outback with everything in between. Australia is about the same size as the USA, but with a much smaller population, so everything is spread out a bit more.

    As we are in the Southern Hemisphere, our seasons are opposite to those in Japan, Europe and North America. Now (in August) it is winter, and in my town we even get snow! Another thing that is different here is that we drive on the left-hand side of the road. Here is a photo of some landscape from one of the major highways.

    In Australia we also have a lot of unique wildlife, such as koalas, kangaroos, wombats and echidnas. Here is a photo of me with a koala.

    I like seeing what life is like for you in Japan – I visited there earlier this year in January, and you have oishii food! If you want to try Australian food, I would suggest pavlova, it is one of my favourite desserts to make (although there is a trick to it).

    I look forward to learning more about your life in Japan!

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      I knew Australia was big, but never knew it was nearly as big as the USA. With the opposite seasons, we see a lot of Australians on are ski hills in British Columbia, Canada.

      Those shoulders on the highway look just as big as a regular lane.

      I’ve never heard about pavlova, so if I get a chance I’ll have to try it out.

  • JASMINELS

    Hey Aiko, I have been to Japan twice over the past few years. I have always been fascinated by Japanese culture and food. Some of which is similar to that of my Chinese culture. Attached picture is me wearing a yukata from a ryokan. My experience in Japan is memorable and I love to visit again once I have built up enough savings. Watching your videos makes me really happy because u r cute and I get to have an insight into Japan from a resident view. Thank you! 😀

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      Thanks for sharing the photo! Aiko’s mother and grandmother both thought you were Japanese when they saw it!

  • Jane

    Hi Aiko! (And Aiko’s dad, of course)
    My name is Jane, I’m 17, and live just north of Annapolis, Maryland. If there’s anything that’s popular in this part of the state, it’s water. There’s the Magothy River to the north, the Severn to the south, and the Chesapeake Bay to the east. There’s plenty of waterfront communities in this area, some of which have little beaches. (The photo wasn’t taken in my neighborhood, but a friend’s during a party. (That’s me next to the baby swing) I actually live nearer to one with a beach.) Yes, there is a lot of boating, fishing, and crabbing around here, and yes, the crabcakes are very good. (At least, according to people I know, I’m probably the only person in in Maryland who doesn’t like seafood.)
    In Annapolis, there are two main sections: Parole and Downtown. Parole has some of the main chain stores, the mall, and apartments. Downtown is the more historic part of the city, known for a lot of tourists, boats, and the Naval Academy. Some of the more popular things to do there are to shop on Main Street (It’s easy to tell which it is, it’s paved with bricks like in the olden days!), and get some ice cream and hang out on the city dock.
    Though my brother and I were born in Annapolis, our parents are actually from New York. My mom is from Long Island, which isn’t too far from New York City. There, they really do have those thick accents, and my mom used to talk that way, but pretty much dropped it after about 20 years in Maryland (But sometimes she does slip into it with certain words). My dad is from a small town in western New York State, which is not far from Buffalo and of course, Niagara Falls! I’ve been there a few times with my family, on both the American and Canadian sides, and it’s simply beautiful.
    I really love your videos! Though I’m not really a child anymore and haven’t been outside North America, I love learning about different cultures. Japan is definitely on my list of countries I’d like to visit one day!

    • Laurie

      What i love about Downtown Annapolis is how dog friendly it is. It seems like every shop has a bowl of water out and no one minds if you bring your dog into a shop.

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      I had to look up Annapolis on a map to see exactly where it was. Now I understand what you mean when you said it’s all about water!

      It doesn’t seem like your parents didn’t grow up too far away over in New York. It looks like you can drive through quite a few states in a single day.

      • Jane

        It usually depends where you are and where you’re going. When my family went to Disney World, it took about 2 days to drive to Florida. However, when we’re visiting family in New York, it takes about 5-8 hours on a good day.

  • Sierra

    Hello!
    My name is Sierra, I’m 13 years old and live in New York. I stumbled across your channel because I absolutely adore Japan! I thought that I should learn a bit more before going there myself! I have a couple of questions, in Japan does an outlet have 2 or 3 holes. I have asked around but I am still very confused, I was hoping to bring my computer so I could contact my family. Second questions is, what are the schools like? I know some children have schools very far from their home and they ride bikes to get there but I myself cannot ride a bike (embarrassing but I broke my wrists several times trying). Which brings me to my third question, how much does it cost for bikes? I don’t think the airplane would allow my bike to travel. I hope I didn’t bother you!
    ~Sierra 0//0

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      Hi Sierra,

      Thanks for the questions.

      Most outlets only have two holes, but this shouldn’t be a problem for you. I’ve attached an image of what a converter looks like. This is what I use with my macbook pro computer to convert from the three prongs to to the two prongs. I haven’t had a problem. The third prong is to ground the connection, so in most instances it’s safer to have the third prong, but it’s now always and it’s not always necessary. If it’s something that you’ll be permanently plugging into the wall, some plugs have a cord attached to them that can be screwed into the socket, grounding the plug. This is what I do with my desktop computer. I’m no expert in this stuff though, so you may want to read an article like this to find out more http://www.quora.com/Does-the-third-ground-prong-on-electrical-plugs-improve-safety. But essentially, I think you’re fine bringing 3-prong plugs as you can always get converters.

      For the second question, schools differ on where you live. Aiko and Shin walk to school in a group that congregates at the corner of the street. But we live in Tokyo where students who go to public schools generally live fairly close to where their school is. I don’t know what happens in schools in different parts of Japan.

      Bike riding is super common. I think it would be odd if someone didn’t know how to ride a bike. Not that it’s a bad thing, but you even see little old ladies riding pedal bicycles and gas scooters, so it seems everyone can do it.

      Bikes are very affordable. You can get a cheap one for just over $100 USD. If that’s too expensive, there are used ones that are cheaper. Have you ever tried a step-through bike https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Step-through_frame? Your feet are very low to the ground and unlike mountain or racing bikes, it’s very easy to put your foot down and stop yourself. You also don’t have to lean over the handle bars. So, if you haven’t tried this type of bike, you may have more success.

  • Sierra

    AHH, I’m embarrassed I didn’t say anything about myself, I was so fascinated by you I couldn’t help it! In New York, you see a lot of celebrities, especially at the hotel my cousin works at! Our family lives in a 3 bedroom town house but going to school is tough. We typically wear loafers and uniforms but not very cute ones. from my point of view as a fluent English speaker/teacher (I know bits of Japanese so I taught a transfer student English) it can be tough! Around every corner there is some fast food restaurants and sometimes I see Japanese styled ones! Since New York is so big I haven’t even gotten through half! Also Bagels are the best if you visit Long Island, I recommend Bagel Boss! Anyways, Aiko and Shin I wish you luck on your English and thank you for the videos Aiko’s dad!
    Sierra~!!!!

  • reem

    hello Aiko and family!
    your channel is amazing i love it ^^
    I am from Saudi Arabia! you can see in the pictures a herd of Camels and their babies in a desert road, it’s so cute! but camels are a dangerous animal when you come close to their children, so please be careful haha
    i also added a picture from DAISO in my city with the name written in Arabic, and a picture of my relative’s farm in the countryside (inaka) where they grow date palm trees, vegetables, mint and herbs. they also have sheep and goats and chickens on the farm, it’s never quiet haha
    have a nice day! ^^

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      Thanks for sharing Reem! What a cool shot of camels. I didn’t know Daiso was also in Saudia Arabia as well.

  • Sylvia

    Hi! Aiko, Shin, Aiko’s Dad and Mum. I really love Japan and your youtube channel make me understand Japan a little bit better than before (I’ve been there). I’m from Indonesia, originally from Surabaya and I took this photo in Bali, Pandawa Beach to be exact. Surabaya is located in Java Island and Bali is the island next to it. Surabaya is an urban city with a lot of interesting architecture and Bali is the tourism island with a lot of beaches.
    That’s all from me. I hope I can visit Japan again

    • Sylvia

      This is the Bali’s Beach: Pandawa

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      I studied South East Asia in University and was surprised to learn how many people live there.

  • Kalista Lee

    Hi! I’m from Minnesota, USA. Where I’m from, we experience all four seasons to the max. Our winters fall below -30° F (about -34.44°c I believe) The summers reach over 100°F (37.8°c) Our falls are pretty cool, with the leaves turning very pretty colors. Our springs have a lot of rain fall. I am going into 11th grade, and I go to school from September to June. In Minnesota, we have something called the Mall of America. It’s the biggest indoor mall in all of the United States! It also has an amusement park inside with a lot of roller coasters and fun rides. In the northern part of Minnesota, we have a HUGE lake that is also a part of Ontario, Wisconsin, and Michigan: Lake Superior. My family and I go up there every year during our summer vacation. Attached are a few pictures of me up by the lake. (Yes, in one of the photos, I took it right before I fell into the water!) Fun fact: We go to school, even if there’s 3 feet (91.44 cm) of snow covering the ground! Some times school gets canceled if the weather is below -10°f (-23.33°c), but it really is up to the school board if they want to cancel the school day or not. It’s pretty crazy. There’s so much more, but I don’t want to write a novel. I look forward to more videos!

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      I’ve been to the mall… although it was about twenty years ago xD I grew up in Winnipeg, so know all about the weather 😉

      Ahh… the dangers of taking selfies by the water!

  • Paweł

    Hello, I’m Paweł. I’m 25 and I live in Poland just like Jakub.
    Life where I’ from is full of delicious and sometimes bizarre food. (well, they are not that weird to me 🙂 ) 1st picture is of the blood sausage mentioned above – it’s called kaszanka. Generally it’s made of pig’s parts. We usually eat it fried on pan or grilled with onion.

    Another interesting food is pickled cucumber and sauerkraut. Cucumber is sour, usually prepared with lots of dill. It’s putted into jars or wooden barrels and left to ferment for some time. Sauerkraut is also sour and is strange because of the way it’s traditionally prepared. Like wine, sauerkraut requires stepping on it in a barrel. (Clean feet required)

    Poland is full of forests and Poles love to walk through it, especially for collecting wild mushrooms and wild blueberries. You need to be careful with classifying mushrooms, as some of them can be poisonous.

    The last thing you’ve got to try, are Polish “Krówki” – literally “small cows”. No, it’s nothing like “kaszanka” again, It’s semi-soft milk toffee candies. The best ones can completely seal your mouth, so you can’t speak for a while! (Good for talkative kids 🙂 )

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      I’ve had dill pickles and sauerkraut in Canada, but I don’t know if tastes like it does in Poland. I would love to try Krówki, and I’m sure the kids would too! I don’t know about the kaszanka though!

  • Paweł

    …oh, and Jakub said that we haven’t got any landmarks. But indeed we have many interesting places and I’ll show you those less common:

    For example there is a Zalipie Village. The village, that has houses totally painted with flowers, The furniture inside it are also very colorful.

    Another magnificent place is crooked forest near Gryfino. The shape of these threes is still a mystery. Some believe the trees may have simply been buried beneath a terrible snowstorm in their infancy, others suggest that a group of farmers manipulated the trees. Apparently, the farmers hoped to make furniture from the bent shapes.

    3rd one is a house in Szymbark, built upside down. Obviously it’s made for tourist attraction, but It’s fully functional inside.

    Let me know if you wanna see more.
    Take care and have fun!

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      Wow, the house with the flowers looks like it’s out of a kids fairy tale book! Those trees look like they’d make a great bench 😉 I don’t know about the upside house though.

    • Catherine Traveler-chan

      Wow, the crooked forest is so interesting! I had never heard of it; thank you for sharing! 🙂

  • Sarah

    Hey! I’m Sarah and I’m from Germany! I’m noch in the 10th grade from a grammar school!We don’t have often breakfast at home like in other countries!we eat our breakfirst often in our schools!Sometimes we eat even the lunch in school! But our dinner we have definetely at home!Our candys are not that sweet,thatswhy we’re often shocked if we eat candys from other countries,but our chocolate is the best!You should definetel try the ‘Ritter Sport’ chocolate! Everyone said that our language sounds if we are the whole time angry! But we aren’t! It’s funny,but German is hard to learn and speak! If you want to say ‘Hello my name is XY’ than you need to say ‘Guten Tag,mein Name lautet XY’.
    I love youre videos!I love Anime,thatswhy I’m so interested how to live in Japan!
    Have a nice day! 🙂

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      That’s interesting that you eat breakfast at your school as well. We like chocolate, so I’ll have the family try ‘Ritter Sport’ when get a chance. I had a couple german interns in my company a while ago, and they didn’t sound too angry to me ? They were very nice!

  • Haley

    hi (^_^)_) I’m haley from tennessee USA!
    In tennessee most people around here are country or redneck :3 and when the county fair comes (once a year) almost everybody goes! (except for me -.-) The Food is like typical usa food, but since my mom is organic we go to the farmers market every sunday. (which has good food by the way!)
    One of the bad things is there is alot of crime 🙁
    When i get old enough to go, i’m planning on visiting japan :).

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      Thanks for sharing. I’m sorry to hear about the crime.

  • Piper

    G-day, Im Piper from the land down under! (Australia)
    Im 14 and in grade 9 at the moment. We don’t have sophomore or freshman years here.
    i got to a public school where kangaroos normally wonder onto our oval and we get the occasional koala in the tree. We normally eat breakfast where it consists of vegemite on toast, weet-bix or Nutrigrain. Gotta love vegemite though! Lunch is normally home packed which consists of fruit, a sandwich and occasionally some biscuits. We do have canteens, though they’re normally more like canteens you would see at basketball games where you get food. We have two sessions for eating. Recess and lunch. Although recess is normally for the snacks or fruits, lunch is where the heavy meals come out. It’s pretty horrible weather at the moment (its raining as i write this now) but once it gets summer, it gets pretty hot. Heatwaves are normally found in high 40’s (celsius).

    Our favourite place to shop is Bunnings where house which is likely the equivalent of a home depot type shop. Though i only go there for the sausages they sell.

    Every where you go you’ll always see gum tress and the noise of cockatoos and kookaburra. lots of ducks to. AFL’s pretty big up here though. Also cricket. Any time you want to watch something, either of the two will be on. Anyway i’ll leave it at that.
    Going to japan next year for an exchange, so that leaves a very happy Australian!
    Hope you liked learning what life is like where i’m from. Nice videos by the way!
    Farewell!

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      Very interesting to hear what life is like for you in Australia. In Tokyo, the wildlife you’ll most likely get around schools are cats and crows 🙂 Have a fun exchange to Japan!

  • Elliot

    Hello Aiko and Family!
    My name is Elliot and I live in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Chicago is a very large and populated city famous for its architecture and food. Some famous landmarks here are “The Big Bean,” and “The Sears Tower,” (now called the Willis Tower, but most true Chicagoans still call it the Sears Tower) The Water Tower, Buckingham Fountain, Wrigley Field, and its many museums such as the Field Museum and the MSI. Chi Town’s also famous for it’s hotdogs, chilidogs, and deepdish pizza.

    Weather in Chicago is pretty crazy! It the winter it can snow up to 2ft in one night and reach temperatures of -10 degrees F, or about -23 degrees C. on average. In the summer it can reach temperatures of up to 105 degrees F! – I prefer hotter…

    Sadly, unlike Japan, Chicago is not a very conservative City. “The bigger the better” as they say. People love big homes and apartments, but hopefully they will try smaller living. With that said though, I think Chicago would be a great vacationing spot (but don’t put ketchup on your hotdog as that is badluck and bad manners in Chicago!

    Keep making Videos!!!!!

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      I actually visited Sears Tower on a band trip, coming from the Canadian windy city (Winnipeg), back when I was in high school. I didn’t know about the no ketchup on hot dog thing.

      Growing up in Winnipeg, I always thought bigger was better too. I actually wanted to live in a castle 😉 Now I really like small, but comfortable places. A lot easier to maintain and less of an environmental impact.

  • Elliot

    Pictures of the bean, the water fountain in millennium park next to the bean, and Chicago’s wonderful beach!

  • Elliot

    Chicago Beach

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      I didn’t know that Chicago had such a scenic skyline.

  • Elliot

    Chicago Skyline

  • Bethany

    Hi, Im Bethany, Im 18 and from a town called Liverpool in the UK.
    Liverpool is a famous city for its historical buildings, people, football club and of course its music scene. Have you ever heard of the beatles? They are from liverpool!
    Some of our famous buildings are of course ‘the liver building’, ‘the cunard’, ‘the bombed out church ‘ aka st andrews and many more!
    Liverpool is a place were the weater is mostly wet and cold in the winter and warm and mild in the summer months (if your lucky!)
    Our most traditional food has the same name as our accent, ‘scouse’. Scouse is made with beef, carrots, potato in a thick beef stock left to stew in a slow cooker for a couple of hours. Of course to many liverpuluans have their own take on ‘scouse’ but my family has passed down our recipe for generations.
    Another thing we are known for is our accent. We have a very recognisable accent compared to other british accents as we use a lot of slang, roll our r’s and k’s.

    Thank you for making your youtube channel and giving me an insight to what your daily life in japan is like! I find it really interesting and wish you luck for the future!

    Thanks?=

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      Thanks for sharing. With weather like that, it would seem that scouse makes a great dish xD

      • Bethany

        Thank you! It really does warm you up during the cold months!

        Bethany c:

    • Catherine Traveler-chan

      Mmm…scouse sounds good! But at first I thought you said “souse”….which is a horrible “food” and I was really shocked until I re-read the sentence, lol.

      Souse is something I learned about in North Carolina; it’s a traditional food there, but I think it’s also eaten other places. Traditionally, one boils an entire hog’s head (though pig ears, knuckles, skin, feet, brains, and other undesirable parts of the animal), mix it with gelatin, and let it congeal in the refrigerator and then eat it. We actually saw it in several grocery stores when we were staying there. My dad thought it was funny to gross me out.

  • Bronte Eden

    where I’m from there’s a park down the street from my house and there’s a lake behind the park and it has tons of turtles in it ..we feed them bread and sometimes even cereal…
    Do you eat fish with every meal!!!!!
    I don’t like fish that much!
    Here in America everyone mostly eat fast food
    But I don’t that much!
    I really want to go to Japan!!! So much!
    When I get old enough I’m going to live there and for work I’m going to a be a manga artist I’m already writing stories and drawing characters!
    my friends and my family say that my drawing is really good too!… well when Im draw anime at least!

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      Wow, those turtles look big compared to what we’re used to seeing in Japanese parks. No, fish is not eaten at every meal, but I thinks it’s normal to eat fish several times a week as well as other products derived from fish (like soup stocks).

  • Carissa

    Hi there! My name is Carissa, and I live in Singapore. Singapore is a multi-cultural country, and many have described us as a cosmopolitan city. We have people of many different races and religions here. The four main races are the Chinese, the Malays, the Indians and the Eurasians.

    The best part about living in such a country is that we get to learn a lot about different cultures and traditions. This is especially so since Singapore is a country deeply-rooted in tradition. I’m Chinese, and in addition to speaking Mandarin and dialects like Cantonese and Hokkien, I would say I’m pretty good with speaking Malay as well!

    As Singapore is a really tiny country, majority of the people here live in high-rise buildings called flats. The flat I stay at has 18 floors, and each floor houses 5 families. I’m good friends with my neighbours of different races and we often celebrate our different traditional festivals together, such as the Lunar New Year for the Chinese, and Deepavali (also known as the Festival of Lights) for the Indians!

    Singapore is also well-known for our food. There is a diverse range of food available and a wide variety of flavours. My personal favourite dish is Hainanese Chicken Rice, which to me (and many other Singaporeans), is the go-to dish when you can’t decide what to eat.

    One of my favourite things about Singapore are the Pasar Malams (Malay for “Night Markets”). They aren’t permanent, and tend to pop up around the different neighbourhoods for a week or two each time. They are kind of like carnivals – they have quite a few amusement rides for kids as well as games to play, in which you could win prizes! They also sell a wide-range of local street food, such as satay and these delicious burgers called Ramly burgers, which have a juicy meat patty wrapped up in a fried egg omelette. Probably not the healthiest food, but definitely very delicious! These night markets also have carnival food such as cotton candy and popcorn.

    If you do plan on visiting Singapore, there are quite a lot of fun activities to do! You could visit our zoo to see all the animals living among tropical rain forests. We are also currently hosting several Koala bears from Australia and a pair of Giant Pandas from China at our River Safari. If you like birds, we also have the Jurong Bird Park. But do remember to apply mosquito repellent as our tropical climate allows for a lot of pesky mosquitoes! My personal favourite attraction is Universal Studios Singapore, which is our amusement park that has a lot of rides.

    Unlike many countries, Singapore doesn’t have four seasons. We mostly experience summer throughout the year, though there are rainy periods too. However, it is great if you are a fan of the outdoors, as it’s always a great day to head to the beach! We also have this activity called Forest Adventure, which is an outdoor obstacle course, situated high among the tree-tops! It is lots of fun, especially when you are zip-lining across the reservoir.

    Interesting fact: The Chinese, in particular, are pretty superstitious. Similar to what Aiko mentioned in her breakfast video, we are not able to stick our chopsticks upright in the bowl of rice as it looks similar to incense offerings for the dead. In Singapore, we just wrapped up the Hungry Ghost Festival, which people believe is the month that the Hell Gates open and lost, wandering spirits are allowed to roam. During this month, people burn paper offerings (consisting of paper clothes, money, jewellery etc.) as well as leave food outdoors as offerings for the spirits. This food is not to be consumed later, but I heard that if you do try to consume the food, you will find that it tastes very bland – the spirits are known to suck up the flavour from the food. Hope this doesn’t scare you!

    Carissa

  • lifewhereimfrom (author)

    Very interesting! Sounds like there’s lots of interesting things to do in Singapore. One of Aiko’s grandparents grew up around Singapore, so Aiko wants to visit someday!

  • Vy

    Hi my Name is Vy and I’m from Viet Nam. My mum tell that we can go to Japan some times in future. I livei n Hanoi the capital city of Viet Nam. I’m learning at a iternational school which have English and Vietnamese. Life at here is much more diffrent then at Ukrain.I born in Uckrain but I’m a Vietnamese person.I was there for 8 years and about 3 years in Viet Nam. I’m 10 and I going to turn 11 in March. Compering to life in Ukrain and Viet Nam is very difrent.And when I’m going to be older it will change much more because I’m going to be learning in Australia.I also move my house aroud 1 or 2 weeks ago.

  • Becky

    Hi Aiko and Aiko’s dad!

    I know that I may not be a “kid” at 26 years old but I am definitely a kid at heart! I am from Tampa Bay, Florida USA! (well, really a small town called Largo, FL but more people know of Tampa Bay) I really love all your videos and enjoy learning about how people live all over the world.
    In Florida we have a very eclectic culture. We have a lot of people from all over the country and world that retire or move here and they bring all their traditions and cultures with them. We have some great Cuban food that is just delicious but we also have some amazing southern food. I am very active in my church at home and we have these meals called potlucks. Every person brings a favorite dish to share with the whole group and there is usually more food than people to eat it!
    Almost every outdoor activity revolves around the water. Florida is very flat so there isn’t much hiking or skiing and frankly it is so hot during the summer, we need to be in the water so we don’t burn up! We go sailing, surfing, diving, snorkeling, and just play in the water. It is a huge part of life here in Florida and one of the reasons so many people come to visit! We are definitely known for our beaches. (And Disney World… That too)
    We have a lot of different animals that are native to Florida. Like the American Alligator. They used to be endangered but we protected them so well that they are everywhere! I have seen them crossed the road by my house and are in most of the lakes at our parks. But they wont hurt you if you don’t bother them. Just don’t get too close! We also have a lot of Manatees and dolphins that spend a lot of time around our beaches and shores.
    Another big part of our culture (or at least my culture) is American college football. People follow it religiously and I have seen people argue over teams on many occasions. Going to football games was always one of my favorite things to do when I was in college.

    I attached some photos of a potluck meal with cornbread casserole, Sliced honey Ham, Salad, and deviled eggs! A photo of my at a Florida State Football Game, and a photo of me and my god-son at the beach on the fourth of July!

  • ellie

    Hi
    Where I’m from is austalia. Almost same time zone as you. I live on the east coast and here we have a lot of people who come from China. Japan and Korea. I live in a a town that they like to think of as the belly of the Dragon. I am a nurse and work in the city my husband and I both love japan. It would be his first time there my 5th trip when we do go back and visit.

    Ellie

  • Shoko

    Hello! I’m Shoko (yup. Like Aiko’s cousin :3 ) I’m 14 years old and I’m from Maebashi, Japan. Though we both life in the same country and life isn’t much different, Maebashi is an interesting city. For example, in front of a Fujiya store near my apartment, they have this creepy little statue. I hate walking past it on the way to school. It always freaks me out 🙂 Another photo is of a 7-Eleven near my school. Japan seems to be crawling with them! The last photo is of my class. I’m the only girl sitting, and I’ve got my red kanji binder. My apartment seems pretty similar to yours. Three bed, bath/shower area, kitchen. Stuff like that 🙂 In my school (first year of highschool) we still have to wash out school shoes. If you come to school with them dirty, my teacher would mark off points from an effort grade. My mother almost always prepares a traditional japanese breakfast, except on birthdays and stuff. I’m heading to Tokyo in the summer, so maybe I’ll get lucky as see you around :3

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      Haha, all those shots are so similar to Tokyo! I could probably recreate all of them. Thanks for sharing! – The Dad

  • neogalactic54

    Hi! I’m 15 years old and I live in Shanghai, China! This is my 5th year here, and it is a super big place! As a big city, it has an abundance of people…and pollution! Our pollution isn’t the best, but for the past couple of days it has been pretty ok! The city has a river running through it, splitting Shanghai into 2 big sides, Pudong and Puxi! Puxi is mostly where all the nightlife is-shopping, clubs and a lot more! Pudong is more residential, but it has quite a bit of nightlife as well! Shanghai also is very diverse. There are a lot of locals here, but there’s a huge population of expatriates! We also have a lot to buy! Local items are very cheap, but not always the best quality. I hope to see more of your guys’ videos!

  • Amaya

    Hi! my name is Amaya Fulton and I’m in seventh grade and I live in the U.S. Life where I’m from is pretty amazing. Usually on holidays (Christmas, thanksgiving, etc.) we like to gather with my family at my granny’s house, we eat turkey, dressing, greens (they’re kind of like spinach but different taste), Mac and cheese, and sweet potatoes and all kinds of pies yummy! We also love to play games together outside on a nice, warm evening like, tag, kickball, baseball, soccer, and volley ball! On our family reunions we would always go to the park and have a big family picnic and eat meaty, messy, delicious barbecue and have water ballon fights and visit the playground across the street. School where I live is really different and similar like yours like, we pack our lunch or buy a hot lunch, we also spend the day going to each classroom learning math (pre algebra), science, language, literature, character Ed, social studies, and p.e. (Physical Education). Well, there you go that how life is like in the U.S. Hope you enjoyed it! P.S. I love you and your dad so much your vidos are amazing I’ve always wanted to know what’s like in Japan because I would like to go there one day my self and experience everything!! (Especially trying the candy!). LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH!!!!! ?

  • Ryan

    Hey Greg and Aiko! (If you’re reading this) My name is Ryan, and I am 16 years old. I come from a small country in Southeast Asia called Singapore. In Singapore, there are all sorts of people living here. You mainly have the Chinese, which includes myself and my family, the Malays, the Indians and the Eurasians. Singapore does not have 4 seasons. It’s either summer or rain. This sometimes can be very hard to live with, but we also do not face any threat of natural disasters, thanks to our geographical location.

    Singapore is an ever-growing country. Our economy and technology are always improving. At the same time, technology is becoming more and more a part of our lives. However, we still never forget our roots and the traditions that brought us to where we are now. Chinese like me still celebrate Chinese New Year, where we buy new clothes, visit our relatives and exchange red packets. Malays still celebrate Hari Raya, which also includes visiting, and Indians celebrate Deepavali. Some families also celebrate Christmas. (Including mine) The best part is, all of these occasions are public holidays! (No school! Woooo!) Some of our pioneers also sell traditional Singaporean food and prepare them the same way they did many many years ago, although these are becoming rare.

    Where I’m from, you mainly see high-rise buildings, office towers, and modern housing estates. Middle-class people like me live in what we call HDB flats. (Which is what you call an apartment) HDB flats are tall-rise blocks which have a few apartments in a floor. My block has 14 floors, but others have even more. There are different sizes of HDB flats. From 3-room flats, to 4-room flats, and 5-room flats. The unit I stay in is a 5-room flat, which is extremely spacious for a small family of three. (Just me and my parents) You rarely see old houses here anymore. Higher-class families stay in condominium estates and private houses. HDB blocks are compacted into clusters all around the country to minimize the amount of space used. Just enough space apart for privacy and breathing space. We also do not have backyards, but there are public playgrounds where kids can have fun and courts where people can play sports like tennis or badminton. The clusters are usually separated by roads. There isn’t a lot of space in-between the blocks of a cluster, but the space is a little bigger than what you showed in the video about homes in Japan. You will find that my country is very tiny, even microscopic, compared to Japan. Condominium units are slightly bigger than HDB flats, and have public accommodations like a Swimming Pool, and a Gym. The whole area is covered by an electronic fence for maximum security. Private houses are detached houses which have a few floors depending on the price, as well as individual fences and security cameras which can be used in case of a break in. (1 of my classmates stays in one with 5 floors!)

    In Singapore, there are many tourist attractions to visit. My personal favourite has to be the Merlion, which is what you see in the first picture attached. I love it because it perfectly depicts my country. Singapore was named after a Lion and the word Singapore comes from the Malay word: ’Singapura’ which means Lion City, thus the Lion head. The fish body represents our humble beginnings as a small fishing country, before we became the bustling metropolis people see today. Other attractions include Universal Studios Singapore, and the Esplanade, which is shaped like a Durian fruit. (I know, it’s weird) We also have Jurong Bird Park, where all bird-lovers can view the wide range of birds it hosts, as well as the Botanic Gardens, where colourful plants and flowers as far as the eye can see reside. I personally have visited these places when I was younger, and I can safely say that some of my fondest childhood memories has to be from visiting these places. I can still remember my younger self running around these places and going all crazy like Shin in your videos, unable to contain my excitement.

    The public transport in Singapore is one of the biggest things here. The train system is what we call the MRT. (Mass Rapid Transit) MRT stations litter the entire country, as well as bus stations. They are usually located very near housing estates, and they also have some shops and convenience stores which sell a wide range of items. Some even have food courts where you can buy lunch or dinner on your way home! So it’s very convenient to travel in Singapore. Some stations are located above ground, which is what you see in the second picture. Others are located underground, similar to a subway station in America. They can be extremely crowded, especially during peak hours when everyone is going to work or to school. So it’s not really the best place for claustrophobics.

    The main advantage of living in a country as diverse as Singapore is that you adapt to the different cultures here. Despite our national language being Malay, it is sometimes so easy to forget as everyone communicates so well with each other here! I myself can speak some Tamil and Malay, thanks to my friends who are always ready to teach me simple words in their language for better communication skills in the future.

    Singapore is located extremely near Malaysia. We actually used to be part of Malaysia, before we became an independent country. I live so close to the north end of Singapore, that after a 3 Kilometre walk or jog, I can reach the sea which separates Singapore and Malaysia. I also can watch the sunrise from the horizon, so it really makes morning walks and jogging really worth it.

    So the first photo as mentioned earlier is the Merlion. The second picture is the view from my room window, which shows even more HDB blocks located rather near mine. The last is an example of a MRT station, which is also from my window. (Yes, I live that close to a MRT station)

    Hope that I gave you an even better insight to what my country is like. Hope that you guys can come to visit here in the near future. I’m very sure that you will have trip of a lifetime. Hope that my photos would be used in 1 of the future videos, but if they don’t make the cut it’s also fine. Not that good of a photographer myself, or an expert on Singapore, being 16 and all. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me and I’ll do my best to answer them. Hope to hear from you soon. Can’t wait till the next video comes out! Till next time! 

    • Ryan

      Oh and i also have other photos that i took earlier today. the 1st one is some of the many tall rise buildings in Singapore. My Mum told me that it is called the CBD or Central Business District. The second is another tourist attraction called the Marina Bay Sands. It’s a hotel and a casino. And yes, that is a ship on top of the buildings. The last one is the Esplanade, which is shaped like a durian.

      • lifewhereimfrom (author)

        The kids have seen Singapore on a tv documentary and they wanted to visit that hotel! – The Dad

        • Ryan

          Wow i didn’t know that there were documentaries of us. Thats cool! Hope that their dream of visiting Singapore will come true in the near future!

  • Storm

    Hey!! I’m Storm and I live in a city in Scotland!
    I like it here but sometimes the weather is bad. It doesn’t get very warm in summer and in the winter it rains a lot (well.. it rains a lot most of the time) at we only see the sun for 5-6 hours a day :(. Surprisingly though, it doesn’t get that cold in winter, it usual stays round about freezing, though it might be colder in the countryside.
    I’m 16 and in high school. Here, we only have two schools, primary (ages 4/5-11/12) and secondary (11/12-17/18). We go to school 5 days a week.
    My city is small compared to Tokyo, but still full of culture. There are museums, old buildings, a reaally old university (like 600 years old) that is very pretty. In the capital, there is also a castle that attracts loads of tourists. Scotland is also very mountainous, I can see some on the horizon from my bedroom. They are very pretty I like to go climb them, the views are stunning from the top. We also have lots of islands, ton of pretty beaches (but the sea is too cold to swim in >.<), and cool wildlife even in the city (I often see foxes and deer).
    Since it's a small country, it's quite easy to travel, and it's easy to catch a train to London, which only takes 4 and 1/2 hours. I really like London, it's more bustling and diverse than here.
    Scotland has a language other than English, called Gaelic, but unfortunately it's not spoken very widely anymore. You can still see it appear on road signs though, especially up north. We still have lots of Scottish accents though with added words like 'wee' (meaning small) and 'loch' (Scottish lake).
    I'm currently self-studying japanese which is how I came across your videos, though i have never been to Japan. I am thinking about going there to become an assistant language teacher in the future!
    Thanks for reading! I would love to share more but I'm not sure what else to talk about, so if you have any questions please ask 🙂

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      Thanks for sharing your stories and pictures! I’m actually 1/4 Scottish, which makes Aiko and Shin 1/8 Scottish. The kids have never been to Scotland, but I visited when I was 8 years old. I remember visiting a couple castles and it was fantastic! – The Dad

  • Jana

    Hi Aiko and Aiko’s Dad!
    I’m Jana and I live in Cologne, Germany (which here in Germany is called/spelled Köln). I’m already grown up, out of school, out of university, and got a job. I studied to be a social worker and help kids and young people who have had hard lives make their lives better. It was a difficult job because a lot of these kids’ stories are sad, but it was also amazing when I could help them make their lives better! I did that for a few years, and now I’m working at the same university I went to, and my job is to make education here better, so we ask our students and professors what they think, and then try to change things so that they improve!

    I visited Japan last year during hanami time, and I loved it very much. I especially loved kombinis and the food that you can get in them, especially inarizushi! I also loved seeing the history and the buildings and meeting people and eating Japanese food. I wanted to try and find German food in Japan, but other than Baumkuchen in kombinis, I didn’t (I didn’t have the time, there were so many other things to do!)

    This weekend it’s Easter weekend in Germany. This is a Christian holiday, and most people here in Germany are of Christian faith, either Catholic or Protestant. Both Catholics and Protestants celebrate Easter. There are also a lot of Muslim people living in Germany, and even though they don’t celebrate Easter, they enjoy that Friday and Monday are public holidays, so everything is closed. Everything is also closed on Sundays, or almost everything. Train stations, airports and gas stations are open, so you can travel to other places (a lot of people visit their families for Easter, since it’s a long weekend, for example), and emergency services like hospitals and police stations operate too, of course.

    Christian people celebrate Easter because a person who is central to Christian faith, Jesus of Nazareth, died and came back to life again on Easter. In (some) churches, this is symbolized with putting out all the lights in the church during a night time service, symbolizing the time when Jesus was dead, and then turning them back on one by one from one light source, symbolizing Jesus’ words that he was “the light of the world”, and symbolizing that he’s alive again.

    Cologne has a very big and famous church, it’s called the Cologne Cathedral, or in German “der Kölner Dom.” It took a very long time to build because they actually stopped working on it for hundreds of years (!) and restarted again when they found the original plans again, and when people said “this is embarrassing, we really need to finish building this!”

    Cologne is very old – it was inhabited more than 2000 years ago, and the Romans built first a fort for their soldiers, and then a real city here. It gained Roman city rights in the year 50 AD (the Romans called this status of a city a “colonia”, which is where the name Cologne / Köln comes from), so in 34 years’ time, this city will be 2000 years old. There is going to be a BIG celebration, I’m sure!

    Germany has a long history, like a lot of Europe. We used to be part of the Roman Empire (and before that, we fought with the Romans a lot), and a lot of our cities were founded by the Romans. There are still many Roman buildings that you can see that are thousands of years old! In more recent times, Germany used to be famous in a bad way (that’s “infamous”) because it started two wars that would grow so large that they became known as world wars. The first one happened more than 100 years ago, and the second one happened more than 70 years ago. My grandfather was a soldier in the last one, and he was very sad when he told me about it. It is a very sad and shameful piece of our history, and Germany has done a lot to make up and apologize for it, so that people these days know Germany for other things.

    These other things are, for example, inventions and engineering, similar to Japan! Like cars, or building things – we also invented the MP3 file format for music! Germany is also known for fairy tales like Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel – as a matter of fact I grew up not far from an old castle that claims to be Sleeping Beauty’s castle! A long time ago there were two brothers who traveled all around Germany and “collected” the fairy tales that people told each other – they would ask these people to tell those tales so that they could write them down. That collection came to be known as Grimm’s fairy tales. So these brothers didn’t invent them, they just listened to them and wrote them down.

    The region I come from is so heavily connected to them that the first school I went to was called “Brüder-Grimm-Schule” (Brothers Grimm school), and was in a street named after one of the persons who told them their fairy tales, Dorothea Viehmann. There is also a museum dedicated to them (they lived in the town I come from, Kassel, for a while), and a high school called “Jakob-Grimm-Schule” after one of them, and so on and so on.

    Germany is also known for beer (which I don’t like, it’s so bitter!) and for food like Bratwurst (grilled or fried sausage) and Sauerkraut (a form of pickled cabbage). A German breakfast usually consists of bread slices with either something sweet (jam or chocolate spread or honey) on it or something savory like ham or cheese. Some people also like to eat granola with milk or juice for breakfast. A lot of grown-ups drink coffee (I don’t like that either because it’s so bitter!), and kids drink milk or orange juice or water. A lot of people also like to drink tea. German kids can eat lunch at school or at home – not all schools are all-day schools. I used to be home around 1pm and then do my homework after lunch. Lunch used to be the main (and warm) meal of the day, with dinner being bread with stuff on it again (usually savory), but this is slowly changing to dinner being the main meal, and lunch being something smaller.

    When I was a kid, “foreign” food meant Italian, pizza and pasta, since there weren’t a lot of foreigners in Germany. The first to arrive were people from Italy and Poland and Turkey, and they brought along their food, and now pizza, pasta and Döner (a pouch of bread filled with grilled meat, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, cole slaw and yoghurt sauce that comes in a lot of variations) are a big part of what people eat here. American fast food like McDonalds, and Chinese restaurants came next, and then, when I was a teenager, even more foreign food like Indian and Japanese and Thai and Korean and so on started to open. The first time I had Japanese food was actually in Canada, on vacation, when I was 16! I had never seen it before. Now I love it, and I’m very happy that in a city as big as Cologne (it has about a million people) there are lots of different restaurants from all over the world. Alas, not many ramen places. I love ramen!! Although eating ramen would be considered “unordentlich” – “not orderly” in Germany, and that’s a very bad thing to a lot of Germans. German people like things orderly! Slurping noodles is bad manners – that’s what I learned when I grew up, and then when I came to Japan, everyone was doing it and it was good manners! And Japanese people are even more orderly than Germans, especially on train / subway platforms 😀 we Germans still need to learn to queue.

    I live in an apartment on the ground floor with my wife and our two cats. Our cats like to go outside and eat the grass, but they also like to sit inside, in front of the window, and just look outside, especially now at the tail end of winter. We’re slowly starting to see some flowers bloom, and there are some places that have cherry trees almost like in Japan! My wife and I ride our bikes to work, we don’t own a car because everything is so close by that we don’t need one. I’m a very unusual German in that aspect!

    German apartments and houses and buildings don’t usually have air condition, but we rarely need it. There is maybe one week during summer where I wish I had air condition! When the temperature is above 25°C at 10am on a weekday, students can get “hitzefrei” – a day off school because it’s so hot, because schools also usually don’t have air condition. That happens maybe once or twice every summer, and of course the kids love it! It doesn’t happen to adults in offices or factories or warehouses or on farms, though. They always have to work! Unless they’re on vacation, which we have a lot of! The law says that a worker has to have at least 4 weeks off per year, and a lot of people have more than that. I have six! Yay! And Germans like to travel to other places for those vacations. We’re world champion travelers!

    I hope that this gives you an idea of what life in Germany is like! I will try and find some pictures of what I talked about, so you can envision it!

    All the best!
    Jana

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