Mayuko Okamoto

Kharkhorin, Ovorkhangai, Mongolia

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  • PhD student/Museum worker/Japan Overseas Cooperation Volu...
  • Taking a break from PhD course in Museum Studies
  • From difficult to tell...I had been moving around when I was a child.
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About Me


Betterment of Mongolian museums


I've been in Kharkhorin, Mongolia for 1.3 year by now to work as a Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer (JOCV) at Kharakhorum Museum for the improvement of preservation and curation. Due to my living with a host family I cannot host very actively, but they like having guests so I'm hoping to host some this year.

I'll also be more than happy to meet you up for a tea or a drink, or show you around on the weekend!

I talk when I feel like talking. I listen when I feel like listening. I enjoy gaiety, as well as silence. I am a total book junkie, and a fatal museum addict. I cook in the dead of the night. I camp. I'm small but it's not so bad.


Don't hurry, don't worry, wait quietly...but make sure to sense the arrival of the right time.

"Be the change you want to see in the world." - Gandhi

"I have the deepest affection for intellectual conversations. The ability to just sit and talk. About love, about life, about anything, about everything. To sit under the moon with all the time in the world, the full-speed train that is our lives slowing to a crawl. Bound by no obligations, barred by no human limitations. To speak without regret or fear of consequence. To talk for hours and about what's really important in life."

Why I’m on Couchsurfing


Hosting & surfing. I also hope to help travelers to Japan enjoy the country by providing with whatever information I can give.


Hosted:Julien&Ilham (France & Morocco), Indie (Israel), Izan (Malaysia), Cédric (Paris), Estelle&Fred (Paris), Awa,Eva&Riki (Spain), Paul&Maud (Ireland & France), Robert (Germany), Jean-Philippe (Bangkok), Nicole&Elizabeth (Virginia,USA), Kate&Michael (NY), Luna&Jose (Spain), Craig&Audrey (San Fransisco), Ian (Malta), Andreas&Vika (Greece & Ukraine), Nikolaus&David (Vienna), Susann (Germany), Marcel (UK), Randy (Houston,USA), Ian (UK), Chris (London), Stefan (Germany), Steven (LA), Shiva (LA), Ted&Molly (Salt Lake City,USA), Amy (Taiwan), Alix&Sina (Germany), Alberto (Italy), Blythe (Chicago), Emmanuel&Camille (Paris), Will&Jono (UK), Sirio&Gerald (Italy&France), Sasha (Israel), Kasia&Piotrek (Poland), Gary (UK), Alejandro (Hong Kong), Adrian (Cambodia), Stu&Mags (San Fransisco), Jakob (Norway), Sam&Simon (NY), Santiago&Constanza (Argentina), Tom (Australia), Hao&Grace (Chicago), David (East Timor) Surfed:Roswitha (Bamberg,Germany), Orhan (Nürnberg,Germany), Susann (Dresden,Germany), Ziemek&Dorota (Wroclaw,Poland), Nick (Krakow,Poland), Stathis (Berlin,Germany), Claus&Clara (Düsseldorf,Germany), Yala&Daniel (Krefeld, Germany), Ukou&Miki (Tokyo, Japan), Balazs,Karin&Benjamin (Malta), Ian (Malta), Bjorn&Judith (Gozo, Malta), Ned (Fukuoka, Japan), Alejandro (Hong Kong), Izza (Bogor, Indonesia), Shita (Yogyakarta, Indonesia), David (Dili, East Timor), Adrian&Debbie (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)Met:Christian (Bamberg,Germany), Mustafa (Nürnberg, Germany), Mirko (Dresden,Germany), Ron from Canada(Wroclaw,Poland), Luk&Wendy from Belgium (Krakow,Poland), Ellle from Germany (Krakow, Poland), Giorgio from Italy (Berlin,Germany), Inda, Ratna, Tryswan, Harpreet, Alex (Bogor, Indonesia), Lisa (Ubud, Indonesia)Met in Tokyo:Dora from Hungary, Marc from...Germany?, Julien from France, Heather from USA, Aya from Tokyo, Hervé from France, Anna&Nico from Cambodia, Barrett from South Korea, Christopher from USA, Kjell from Fujioka, Matthias from Germany, Akiko from Tokyo, Mika from Yokohama, John from USA, Mitsuyoshi from Tsukuba, Ai from Tokyo, Mie from Tokyo, Yuka from Yokohama, Rune&Juri from Denmark, Luis from Chile, Benjamin from Germany, Rohan from England, Juanma from SpainSo far has been just wonderful - Thank you all!


Books + Food + Nature + Art + Music + Travel + People

Detail as below:
nature, hiking, mountaineering, camping...
art, architecture, museums, exhibitions, making up random things...
music, ukulele, piano, orchestra...
meeting people, playing with children, cats&dogs&animals...
traveling, walking around, being random, maps...
and reading, cooking, drinking. And maybe more.

Music, Movies, and Books

Hesse, Milhauser, Thomas Mann, Sebald, Javier Cercas, Rohinton Mistry, Yourcenar, Yukawa Hideki, Terada Torahiko, Nakaya Ukichiro etc...

Primarily classical & world music, for I play the piano and a bit of the ukulele. And without doubt my two-year experience in India led me to this latter genre, naturally...But of course, other genres as well, as much. Last but not the least, Mongolian music ( karaoke, anyone?)

* J.S.Bach, Brahms, Villa-Lobos, Golijov, C.V.Stanford, Ibert, Poulenc etc
* Jake Shimabukuro, Herb Ohta, Rajendra & Ajay Prasanna, Bollywood, Buena Vista Social Club etc
* Belle & Sebastian, Jose Gonzalez, First Aid Kit, Zach Gill, She&Him, Lou Reed,The Shh etc

The Castle in the Sky, Nausicaa, LAGAAN, Dil Se..., Harold and Maude, Cooking Up Dreams, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Mighty Ukulele etc

Jean Jansem, Gustavo Isoe, tromarama, Miranda July, Donald Evans, Akino Fuku, Sengai, Munakata Shikoh, Sawa Hiraki etc

One Amazing Thing I’ve Done

I don't know if I should call it amazing, but this means indescribably so much to me. I have experienced devastating earthquakes three times in my life so far: 1995 Kobe (I was in Osaka, pinned under bookshelves which left me a trauma; most of my relatives in Kobe), 2001 Gujarat, India (I was a high-school student in its neighbouring state Maharashtra, and went there for three weeks in total as a relief member, working at a countryside close to the epicentre, in the climate with the temperature of 50℃) and 2011 Eastern Japan (I did not step out of Tokyo until summer since 311).

I saw the most magnificent moon ever when I was in a mountain on the Himalayas range of Kashmir, India in 2011 summer. It was so unbelievably bright that I at first did not think that it was actually the moon that was shining in the sky. I had to gaze it for a minute to realise that. There was nothing else but nature, the river and the forests and the stars and that moon, and us. It was incredible.

Teach, Learn, Share

I was actually doing a bit of teaching on museum studies at a university in Tokyo, if you are interested. Otherwise I guess I can talk quite extensively about Japan in general, especially on its history, culture, language and art.

Here in Mongolia, I can tell you much about Mongolian history, archaeology, geography, culture and the language. You can also learn Mongolian cooking from my host family.

Countries I’ve Visited

Belgium, China, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mongolia, Netherlands, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor-Leste (East Timor), United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Vatican City State, Viet Nam

Countries I’ve Lived In

Germany, India, Japan, Mongolia

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