In October 2013, Los Angeles-based Foodstory founder, Yoko Isassi, offered her first 5-day culinary tour which featured a trip to the Knife Festival in Seki City, her hometown. As an architect, Japanese home cooking instructor and self-proclaimed Japanese food anthropologist, Yoko is passionate about traveling to small towns and villages. Seeing well-preserved old towns and their architecture, exploring the ways that communities celebrate indigenous festivals, and tasting unique regional foods are the things that she truly appreciates.
Yoko is committed to creating a Japanese regional tour that will entice and educate those who share similar interests in food, culture, and history. Before offering each tour, she revisits the tour course several times: she researches the places to eat, discovers what activities and special events not to miss, and determines which fascinating people to meet. Through the generous support from locals who are very eager to show the best parts of their hometowns, Yoko constantly learns new information and remains highly impressed. With a confident smile, Yoko explains, "If the scenery, food and people are not enticing, it would be hard to motivate me to create these tours. And then I wouldn't be comfortable inviting others!"
On every Foodstory tour, you can expect to meet the best local people and learn about the rich Japanese food culture that you would otherwise miss. We strive to explore various aspects of the culture; from table manners to seasonal delicacies to techniques for cooking certain dishes. We don't just give you a lesson or serve you the best foods, but we also share the ideas, history, and anecdotes behind the food so that you will remain captivated for a long time.