Culinary Tour Testimonials

Culinary Tours with Hiroko Shimbo“Thanks again so much for organizing this splendid tour! It’s honestly the best trip that I’ve ever been on, and I both enjoyed myself and learned a lot while in Japan! The highest point was the Tsukiji fish market and the associated tuna auction. This event was an incredible way to kick off the tour of Japan, and I feel it was a once in a life time experience. Every event introduced me to the history, culture, and food of Japan. The only low points for me were when I was sitting in the hotel working on my school work. The best meal was at Ken’ninji Gion Maruyama – the amazing and spectacular meal! That being said, all of the meals were really delicious and introduced me to a different facet of Japanese cuisine! One of the many best experiences was Shunkoin temple – their philosophy regarding living in the present really spoke to me, and the strong connection Murakami-san had to both meditation and science really spoke to me. I hope you put together another tour that travels to other parts of Japan so I can see see even more of its magnificent culture. Thanks again so much for all of the effort you put into arranging this trip – it was truly stupendous!”


“The culinary tour of Japan was fantastic. The planning and execution was as good as it could possibly be. Our time was well apportioned among the many activities and learning experiences. A great balance of touring, visiting markets and a cultural immersion and of course eating. Every meal (other than breakfasts on our own) had a learning component and built on what we had learned before. I feel I now have a much greater appreciation for Japanese cuisine and preparation.

There were so many highpoints that it is not possible to single out one. The live tuna auction and market, the sushi immediately following, the cooking class, the visit to the Buddhist temple with a little meditation and wonderful lunch, the visits to all the different markets, the various Japanese gardens…the sake distillery, the sake….so many memories, so many experiences and a terrific collection of wonderful people! Thank you”


“Thank you for a wonderful tour! I enjoyed it tremendously. It was a pleasure traveling with you and as I’ve said before, I’d do it again! Highest point – Tsukiji, definitely! The auction, the tuna cutting demo, and tasting, the sushi breakfast afterward, it was the most fun and memorable morning! Lowest point — When I couldn’t sightsee in Kanazawa because I was too hung-over, but that’s obviously my own problem.

Gion Maruyama BambooBest meal — that is a tough one, there were so many great meals…I really enjoyed the meals at Ken’ninji and Kura. Ken’ninji for both the food and the setting, and Kura for the farmhouse setting although the food was quite good also! Shun no Aji Ichi was also really good although I think I would have enjoyed it more had it not been such a long day and that everybody was so tired by the end of the meal. The sushi dinner was of course wonderful but I was still a little bit hungry afterward…I think I could have easily had 5 more pieces. Overall, it was a marvelous trip and I would recommend it to anyone. If anything it could have been longer — visiting the same cities/towns, but just with more downtime. It would have been nice to sleep in for a couple of mornings and also have some free time to explore on our own, especially Tokyo and Kyoto. There’s so much variety in Tokyo; maybe different people would want to do different things, so it would be nice to have options. I’m also really glad you included the mountainous regions in your tour. Takayama was absolutely charming — the tofu class and walking through the morning market sampling different foods was wonderful. I think the pacing of this portion of trip (Takayama, Gokayama, and Kanazawa) was just right.

I also wanted to mention how much I enjoyed the simpler foods — the different noodle lunches, the anago (or unagi? can’t remember), the okonomiyaki etc, I really liked eating the “everyday” kind of Japanese food, and would have loved a few more meals like that…even for dinner.”