I participated in the Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Programme in 1983 when the Nippon Maru arrived in Singapore. I was overage then, but two or three older participants were welcomed. And I was interested because I wanted to try out my newly learnt conversational Japanese with the participants from Japan. To that, I joined Mrs Nah (from the Siglap CC) and her group which had a participant from Japan, the Philippines, and Malaysia.
I did not provide homestay, but I provided transport and drove them around in my car. And I remember one afternoon we went to the Merlion and then spent the rest of the day in Orchard Road visiting the shopping malls and the places around there, and taking photos. And I enjoyed speaking Japanese with Hama, and he enjoyed speaking English with us.
Then we local participants had a day when we were invited to visit the ship and for a tea reception. And on board I was shown around by the participants, and I remember Hama took me to the swimming pool on the upper deck. And all that was interesting. Then I was brought into a tea room and then we came to this green tea preparation demonstration (see photo above) where I was given a bowl of hot unsweetened green tea and a sweet biscuit to go with it. And with that, I proceeded to the function hall to enjoy and chatted with the participants there. And I had an enjoyable reception on board Nippon Maru. Domo arigato gozaimashita!