I’m a native Japanese food enthusiast and world traveller. I started cooking to make something I wanted to eat that didn’t show up on our table growing up.

I love eating because good food makes me happy even when everything else seems to be going bad, and brings people together. I love cooking because not only do I get to participate in the creative aspect of it, but I also get to eat it! OK, it sounds like I’m an emotional eater, but I’m not (or maybe I’m not willing to admit it?) I love every kind of food, both eating and cooking, so I eat very healthy (I think.)

Once my friends asked me, “If there’s only one kind of food in the world, what would that be for you?” I simply couldn’t answer. I need variety. If you come to our house for dinner (or second best option would be to visit this blog : )), you’ll be surprised how many different dishes from different parts of the world show up on our table. (Yes, I trained my husband well. The once meat and potato boy from Wisconsin has grown to be a gourmet.)

I’ve basically taught myself how to cook, with the help of many TV show hosts both Japanese and non-Japanese I’ve watched since I was little girl.  It all started with the translated version of The Galopping Gourmet, Graham Kerr all the way to Lidia Bastianich. I really believe if you love eating good food, you can become a great cook, and you can pretty much re-create anything you want (well, close enough to satisfy your taste-buds and your loved ones.) 

The travel part. Yes, I love travelling. And I especially love travelling to places known with great food. I’m known to remember the exact details of what we ate and how it tasted, but I often forget other important things from our visits.  I’m also known to miss the food I ate during my travels, and try to create something similar after I come home. For the last several years, I came up with a great way to use up the last local currency! Buy a cook book, so that I can easily cook the dishes I liked.

My pet peeve: Trying to follow recipes word for word, and being too much of a perfectionist.  Cooking is not a law – or a chore. There is the subject of food science, but food is mostly art in my opinion. If you don’t have something at home, or your dietary requirement doesn’t allow you to use some ingredients, improvise!  I’d rather you try something and let me know how it turned out than not try at all. If you like it, that’s all it matters.

Another point I’d like to make.  Please try to see cooking as fun activity. I know many people are busy and find cooking (especially Moms) a chore, or necessary evil. But in reality, it can be lots of fun, and a time for you and your family to come together. Then when you are busy, don’t worry about cooking, just eat out!! But sometime, even if only once a week, find the time to cook something you or your loved ones like to eat… whether my recipes or someone else’s. When you start cooking things you’d like to eat, and you find it satisfying, you’ll start loving cooking – it’s the most rewarding thing!

Happy Cooking and Eating!



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  1. Oh my God Mari……..I love your blog!!!!! I feel so much the way you do about food…I wanted to go to Japan this past Christmas/New Year just so I could eat great Japanese food! I dont hesitate at all to say it…it’s my favorite!!!!!!

    We don’t have japanese restaurants in Dublin…well…one or two who think they are Japanese…but they put mayo on everything and there is absolutely NO freshness to it!!! So, I avoid it (often it’s ALL salmon…as salmon is cheap in Ireland…and not much different than what I make at home).

    I have been looking for a good recipe for salad dressings…DO YOU HAVE ONE?? I have tried everything! I also kissed up to the Japanese Ambassador’s wife (something I DO NOT DO!!!) hoping she would teach me something, or invite me over for lunch, but no luck! She simply volunteered to hold a cooking demonstration for the International Women’s Club (of which we are both members) but it never materialized. Sometimes I travel to NY or Chicago just so I can eat sushi 2x a day!!!!!!!!! Love good Thai food too! Love to travel…Anyway…if you have one good salad dressing recipe, it would satisfy me for now! Keep up the good work! Hugs, g.

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