I just got back from a 3 day ski trip near Mount Fuji. Mount Fuji is 100km South-West of Tokyo. It is the highest mountain in Japan at 3,776.24 meters high. Mount Fuji is also a volcano. It last erupted in 1707. My host family tells me that it will erupt again some day.
My host family and I stayed in a traditional style Japanese room called a TATAMI ROOM. A tatami is a mat made out of rice straw. The entire floor is covered in these mats. I learned that the Japanese do not sleep in beds like we do. They sleep on the floor on mats called "futons'. Since most Japanese houses are so small, the living room and bedroom are the same room. During the day the futons are stored in a special closet and at night they are brought out to sleep on. The Japanese sit on the floor around a small table so there is no need for a couch.
In the picture below you can see me in a tatami room and then sitting on a pile of futons. (I felt like Princess and the Pea).
On my ski trip I learned my first Japanese word. I hope I can teach you some words too.
Konichiwa (ko-nee-chee-wa): good afternoon