"This trip was one of the best tours I've ever been on. It's a foodie's dream, particularly if you want to sample some of the best Japan has to offer. We went to a variety of restaurants and food locales -- from a very nice kaiseki meal to chicken sashimi to sampling high-grade beef at a local market to udon -- as well as having some really delicious home cooked meals by Yoko herself (and she will answer all your questions on preparation and let you help out!). We experienced events that I think would be hard-pressed to find if we were to go ourselves: a lantern festival in the evening, a knife festival, a sake festival. The excursion out to the different towns were really fun, and the UNESCO site Shirakawa-go is AMAZING. Seriously gorgeous. And let's not forget the shopping! Unlike some other places I've been to, where you buy souvenirs and they become kitschy pieces at home, everywhere you go in Japan, you are surrounded by high-quality goods that you can't resist bringing home. So leave room and bring cash. Due to the small number of people on the tour, it inherently had an intimate feeling, with Yoko being really accommodating of our interests and questions, and all of us becoming really comfortable with each other. The house we stayed in -- Yoko's own family house! -- is really comfortable and nice. Honestly, this was one of the best trips in memory I've been on. There's so much crammed into just a few days, but you really get a sense of the region, and of course, a great experience with food. I really felt I got exposed to a side of Japan that I could not easily have found gotten elsewhere. I really fell in love with Japan by the tour's end, and was really sad to leave. If you're looking for a way to experience Japan far from the usual tourist accommodations, this trip is the way to do it. And Yoko is the best." Karissa
"Thanks so much for making everything work out so smoothly for us and for making our 5 day culinary tour & knife festival a total pleasure. We really enjoyed meeting & visiting with everyone in the group too." Maureen & Dan
"Michael and I just want to thank you so much for giving us an unbelievable week in Gifu. After living in the concrete jungle, Hong Kong, for a few months now, the beautiful country side, the smell of trees and fresh air were just what we needed. Thanks so much for your kind hospitality. I definitely want to go back! I have bought so much wonderful things and food items!! I had a cup of shirakawa tea this morning and it's just amazing. But sadly, the misono knife I got for myself were also made of carbon steel!! I used it last night and it cuts beautifully but I saw some rust when I was cleaning up...... Tears....... I definitely need another knife now..." Karen
"Thank you for a terrific tour!! As I said, it totally lived up to its billing of a culinary trip. Every meal was an experience in itself - even the street food that we came across at the festivals and the market. I also appreciated the tips you gave on various aspects of Japanese food preparation. The morning farm market was great fun, allowing us to learn about different ingredients. I came home ambitious to make different dishes, even including my own miso. Unfortunately, even though I bought the rice culture, I realized I didn't have the small soybeans. I was quite sad. I know you worked really hard to make this trip a success and it absolutely was! There were so many high points filled with great memories that I have a hard time picking my favorite. I would definitely wish to join you whenever you decide to do a spring tour. Thank you so much for a truly memorable experience!"