People in Japan: Cheryl

Cheryl Portrait

The name may not ring a bell but it’s time you know Kichijōji, as it is voted as one of the most desirable places to live in Tokyo. Here you will discover a variety of shopping facilities, restaurants and live houses. If you’re wishing for a place for some peace and quiet, head down to Inokashira Park and gaze upon the ornamental ponds.

It is not uncommon to bump into university students such as Cheryl, for there are about 19 universities in the vicinity.  Bunka sits down for the last interview of the JAPAN ZAIJUUSHA series and questions how it’s like to be part of this calm district of Tokyo.

Describe your daily routine.
Cheryl: I eat breakfast, go to school, have lessons, have lunch at the cafeteria, lessons again, go for circle activities – what you know as CCA activities in Singapore – and return home.

Cheryl Routine

Which part of Japan do you live in and how is like living there?
Cheryl: I live in Kichijōji, a neighbourhood in the west of Tokyo. It is 45 minutes away from the station on foot. It’s peaceful and has a lot of facilities such as shopping malls, supermarkets, and a cinema. As Tokyo generally has a lot of people, it tends to be a bit crowded here on the weekends.


State one advantage and disadvantage of working in your city.
Cheryl: Tokyo has an abundance of events and opportunities but there are just too many people. It’s always crowded, especially during rush hour. The fast-paced city life here is a disadvantage.

What tips would you give expats/tourists who are new to Japan?
Cheryl: Visit Japan with an open mind and step out of your comfort zone!


Tell us something interesting that most people wouldn’t know about your city.
Cheryl: We have the Mitaka Ghibli Museum!

What activities would you recommend to tourists visiting Japan?
Cheryl: Homestay and farm stays! Actually, I didn’t go for any, but I heard that you get free accommodation and food by helping out on the farms. You can check out this website for more information:

I recommend traditional crafts workshops such as lacquer painting, dyes, making kokeshi – they are fun too!


What advice would you give to someone learning Japanese?
Cheryl: Watching Japanese dramas and anime helps with learning the intonation and vocabulary but practising the language with someone would be good too!

Learn Japanese words!

在住者 (zaijuusha) – resident
イベント (ibento) – event
機会 (kikai) – opportunity
ホームステイ (hoomu sutei) – homestay
農場 (noojoo) – farm
こけし (kokeshi) – wooden doll with a spherical head