Host: Keiko

Kyoto, Japan

USD
$20-$38 per person

Obanzai dining experience in North Kyoto

Host offerings
  • House
  • Home cook
  • Pets
  • Vegetarian
  • Alcohol
  • Transportation
  • Cooking experience
  • Market visit

Meet Keiko

Keiko-san is a fun and friendly retired English teacher who is passionate about food, pottery and music. Living in the north of Kyoto with her elderly parents, Keiko’s home is modern, but maintains Japanese tradition with tatami rooms. Growing up, Keiko learned to cook from her mother and grandmother, and as an adult, she continued to hone her skills by watching cooking shows. She specializes in Obanzai cooking, a method distinct to Kyoto that relies heavily on vegetables, seafood and other ingredients that are seasonal and local to the Kyoto region. Keiko is excited to share this distinctive cuisine with guests from other parts of the world, and to showcase a part of Japanese culinary culture that is unique to the Kyoto region.

"I always have a good time cooking because I can forget about everything else. Cooking makes me happy, and cooking for someone and talking to and sharing my meal with them is even better."

Curious to know more? Read guest blogs about their experiences with Keiko:
Guest blog 1
Guest blog 2
Guest blog 3

What to expect

In-home meal: (1-6 guests) Keiko will welcome you into her home in typical Kyoto style: with a drink and a sweet. Sitting on cushions on the floor, gather around the low, Japanese-style dining table to share a traditional Obanzai meal prepared by Keiko. Her father may join you for food and conversation, if he’s home. Your menu might include Japanese home-cooked dishes such as nikujaga (a Japanese dish of meat and potatoes stewed in soy sauce), kinpira gobo (a sweet and savory sauté of burdock root and carrots), saikyo-zuke (Kyoto-style miso-marinated fish) and dessert. After this cultural experience and wonderful meal, Keiko will drop you off at the train station.

Cooking experience: (1-6 guests) Join Keiko in her small but welcoming kitchen to learn to cook a traditional Obanzai meal. During the hour long cooking lesson, Keiko will demonstrate how she artfully presents her delicate dishes. Once the dishes are complete, you will join Keiko at the low, Japanese-style dining table and feast on your creations!

Notes: Keiko's parents are a little hard of hearing but enjoy conversing with guests. Please be sure to speak up so they can hear you. Keiko’s friend Mayumi might also join you, and share in a mini tea ceremony.

Traveler reviews

Keiko is THE perfect cook and host! She arranged everything meticulously in advance. During our market trip she explained so much about Kyoto's food culture that I started to feel home. ;-) And, by the way, the food was excellent and plenty. She prepared six different, very tasty dishes! I feel privileged given the opportunity being her guest. Try to do the same if you are in Kyoto! - Nora

We had a fabulous time during our Traveling Spoon experience! The food, our host, the cultural experience-- all perfect! Traveling Spoon offers a unique experience to interact with a local and learn about the culture of where you're visiting. What better way to learn about a country than through food and conversation! I absolutely loved my experience with Keiko in Kyoto, Japan. All was great! Keiko was a gracious host who welcomed us into her home and spoiled us with delicious food and great company. - Kaitlin

Our lunch at Keiko's place was brilliant. Totally met all of our expectations. We enjoyed every single minute. Our host Keiko is a wonderful person, she picked us up from the station, taught us a lot about Japanese culture and cuisine. Together we prepared a delicious meal. There was so much to eat that after lunch we didn't eat anything else for the whole day. It was our first experience with Traveling Spoon but it was so good that we would like to repeat it in future. Our special thanks once again to Keiko to be such a lovely host! - Natalia

Keiko is friendly! Her home is cozy and the food is delicious. We tried different drinks such as sake and tea. Mayumi also demonstrated the tea ceremony after meal. Interesting experience! - Su

Keiko is a delightful woman, who made my experience easy. I was early to the train station, wanting to be sure I was not late for her 6:15 pickup -- and she was early too, knowing guests typically did what I did! The food was mostly ready, so served quickly and efficiently, with explanations of what each dish was. Keiko has lived in the US, so has a sense of cultural differences, which we were able to talk about during the meal. Her English is excellent, and she is a genuinely nice person. She also gave me several good suggestions for gardens to visit the next day. - Linda

Keiko was welcoming, generous, and kind. It was truly the highlight of our trip to Japan!! - Tom

Keiko was an exceptional and thoughtful host! We learned about Kyoto's regional cuisine in addition to different types of preparation for some of the most well known Japanese dishes, like miso soup. We had a really hands-on experience learning how to prepare some of the dishes in Keiko's cozy kitchen. Her English was excellent and we had lovely conversation about her passion for food and cooking and some of her great recommendations for touring around Kyoto. This was our first Traveling Spoon experience and they knocked it out of the park - can't wait to try it again! - Margueritte

Wonderful hosts and fantastic cooking experience and meal. Great conversation about culture and etiquette. Thanks to Keiko and Mayumi for such a wonderful day. We have memories to keep forever. - Sesame Jane

We literally could not have asked for a better experience! Keiko was extremely warm in inviting us into her home. She was formerly a teacher and it showed in learning how to cook the things she was showing us. The food was all delicious, fresh, and authentic. Her conversations with us were also extremely memorable. When we got lost taking the train to her, she insisted on picking us up in her car. She also drove us to the right bus station for where we needed to go after our meal. - Louis J

Keiko provided us with such a special and unique travel experience. As amazing as all the restaurants in Kyoto were, it was such a breath of fresh air to get outside of downtown and have a truly authentic in-home culinary experience. It provided such wonderful to context to all the delicious foods we had already been eating (and inspiration for my next excursion to Japantown back home in San Francisco!). It was a true highlight and Keiko went out of her way to make us feel comfortable and welcome. Keiko was a fantastic teacher and provided great context regarding the go-to ingredients for cooking in the Kansai region of Japan. The recipes were delicious and accessible - I can't wait to make dashi on my own now! - Nikki

Keiko was warm and wonderful. She was an excellent host, with delicious food and wonderful conversation. As a bonus, she introduced us to all different types of tea! We learned a lot about Japanese food and we really enjoyed cooking and eating with her. Thank you, Keiko! - Dorna

Keiko was such a fantastic teacher, cook and host! As a former English teacher, she was very easy to talk to, and it was great to sit around the table and chat about food and our different cultures. My favorite dish was the fried lotus root with chicken – I could have eaten the whole plate by myself. Keiko was also very knowledgeable about different teas, and served us a selection so that we could taste and understand the differences. After our lunch together she even drove us down to her favorite tea shop, Ippudo. That tea shop and the surrounding area became our favorite spots in Kyoto. We wouldn’t have discovered it without her! Thank you, Keiko for a wonderful (and delicious) afternoon! - Nick and Emily

I have taken many cooking classes around the world and this was my favorite! Communication from the beginning with my host Keiko was very good. Her home is lovely and she provided a warm welcome when I arrived. The dishes we prepared together were simple and I learnt alot about Japenese cooking from Keiko. We enjoyed a great lunch together and I felt I could have stayed the whole day talking. Keiko is such a lovely and kind person. I highly recommend this experience. - Deborah

I can honestly say Keiko made my trip to Japan, the experience with her was the highlight of my trip! She is a warm, friendly and gracious host and I really enjoyed learning about traditional Japanese cooking and their customs and traditions. Was so lovely to cook such a beautiful meal with such great company. If ever in Kyoto you'll be missing out if you don't visit Keiko, she is an angel and I would highly recommend an experience with her! - Indianna

Keiko was amazing. This part of our trip was the most memorable by far. Our dinner with Keiko really helped bring us closer to Japanese culture. We could ask questions and get a much better understanding of the ways of life in Kyoto. Keiko is an amazing host. Her English was excellent so communication was perfect. She was able to teach us more in a single lunch then we were able to learn from from any exhibit. She made our trip everything we wanted it to be. I loved trying all the types of tea she had along with the history behind them. We loved every minute with Keiko! - Stephen

Keiko was an incredible host who spoke excellent English and was a great conversationalist. It felt like we were able to learn a lot about the culture and have meaningful personal conversation with a new friend. I would do this again more to hang out and talk with Keiko than for the food - although the food was very good. Unforgettable cultural experience! - Jared

Keiko was an incredible host. We loved being able to learn about the food, how to cook, and her life in Japan. Her kindness and hospitality made us feel at home, and we can't wait to experience the Traveling Spoon in other places around the world! - Bobby T.

My friends and I enjoyed our Japanese Traveling Spoon experience very much. Keiko was an excellent host and very attentive to our needs. - Greg

Keiko is a great host, the food was very good (we opted for cooking with her which was very fun and we highly recommend it) and she is a lovely person and an interesting conversant. We took a peek of the Japanese day-to-day and Keiko was very patient to explain a lot of thing to us about Japanese living. Everything was really good but we particularly enjoyed the stew and the egg roll (definitely will be doing this one at home). I also enjoyed trying the smoked tea. - Belén

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Keiko

$20-$38 USD

per person
Same day+ Next day Booking!
  • 100% Satisfaction guarantee or your money back
  • Free cancellation up to 48 hours in advance
  • Exact pricing depends on experience and will be shown before booking

Meet Keiko

Keiko-san is a fun and friendly retired English teacher who is passionate about food, pottery and music. Living in the north of Kyoto with her elderly parents, Keiko’s home is modern, but maintains Japanese tradition with tatami rooms. Growing up, Keiko learned to cook from her mother and grandmother, and as an adult, she continued to hone her skills by watching cooking shows. She specializes in Obanzai cooking, a method distinct to Kyoto that relies heavily on vegetables, seafood and other ingredients that are seasonal and local to the Kyoto region. Keiko is excited to share this distinctive cuisine with guests from other parts of the world, and to showcase a part of Japanese culinary culture that is unique to the Kyoto region.

"I always have a good time cooking because I can forget about everything else. Cooking makes me happy, and cooking for someone and talking to and sharing my meal with them is even better."

Curious to know more? Read guest blogs about their experiences with Keiko:
Guest blog 1
Guest blog 2
Guest blog 3

What to expect

In-home meal: (1-6 guests) Keiko will welcome you into her home in typical Kyoto style: with a drink and a sweet. Sitting on cushions on the floor, gather around the low, Japanese-style dining table to share a traditional Obanzai meal prepared by Keiko. Her father may join you for food and conversation, if he’s home. Your menu might include Japanese home-cooked dishes such as nikujaga (a Japanese dish of meat and potatoes stewed in soy sauce), kinpira gobo (a sweet and savory sauté of burdock root and carrots), saikyo-zuke (Kyoto-style miso-marinated fish) and dessert. After this cultural experience and wonderful meal, Keiko will drop you off at the train station.

Cooking experience: (1-6 guests) Join Keiko in her small but welcoming kitchen to learn to cook a traditional Obanzai meal. During the hour long cooking lesson, Keiko will demonstrate how she artfully presents her delicate dishes. Once the dishes are complete, you will join Keiko at the low, Japanese-style dining table and feast on your creations!

Notes: Keiko's parents are a little hard of hearing but enjoy conversing with guests. Please be sure to speak up so they can hear you. Keiko’s friend Mayumi might also join you, and share in a mini tea ceremony.

Traveler reviews

Keiko is THE perfect cook and host! She arranged everything meticulously in advance. During our market trip she explained so much about Kyoto's food culture that I started to feel home. ;-) And, by the way, the food was excellent and plenty. She prepared six different, very tasty dishes! I feel privileged given the opportunity being her guest. Try to do the same if you are in Kyoto! - Nora

We had a fabulous time during our Traveling Spoon experience! The food, our host, the cultural experience-- all perfect! Traveling Spoon offers a unique experience to interact with a local and learn about the culture of where you're visiting. What better way to learn about a country than through food and conversation! I absolutely loved my experience with Keiko in Kyoto, Japan. All was great! Keiko was a gracious host who welcomed us into her home and spoiled us with delicious food and great company. - Kaitlin

Our lunch at Keiko's place was brilliant. Totally met all of our expectations. We enjoyed every single minute. Our host Keiko is a wonderful person, she picked us up from the station, taught us a lot about Japanese culture and cuisine. Together we prepared a delicious meal. There was so much to eat that after lunch we didn't eat anything else for the whole day. It was our first experience with Traveling Spoon but it was so good that we would like to repeat it in future. Our special thanks once again to Keiko to be such a lovely host! - Natalia

Keiko is friendly! Her home is cozy and the food is delicious. We tried different drinks such as sake and tea. Mayumi also demonstrated the tea ceremony after meal. Interesting experience! - Su

Keiko is a delightful woman, who made my experience easy. I was early to the train station, wanting to be sure I was not late for her 6:15 pickup -- and she was early too, knowing guests typically did what I did! The food was mostly ready, so served quickly and efficiently, with explanations of what each dish was. Keiko has lived in the US, so has a sense of cultural differences, which we were able to talk about during the meal. Her English is excellent, and she is a genuinely nice person. She also gave me several good suggestions for gardens to visit the next day. - Linda

Keiko was welcoming, generous, and kind. It was truly the highlight of our trip to Japan!! - Tom

Keiko was an exceptional and thoughtful host! We learned about Kyoto's regional cuisine in addition to different types of preparation for some of the most well known Japanese dishes, like miso soup. We had a really hands-on experience learning how to prepare some of the dishes in Keiko's cozy kitchen. Her English was excellent and we had lovely conversation about her passion for food and cooking and some of her great recommendations for touring around Kyoto. This was our first Traveling Spoon experience and they knocked it out of the park - can't wait to try it again! - Margueritte

Wonderful hosts and fantastic cooking experience and meal. Great conversation about culture and etiquette. Thanks to Keiko and Mayumi for such a wonderful day. We have memories to keep forever. - Sesame Jane

We literally could not have asked for a better experience! Keiko was extremely warm in inviting us into her home. She was formerly a teacher and it showed in learning how to cook the things she was showing us. The food was all delicious, fresh, and authentic. Her conversations with us were also extremely memorable. When we got lost taking the train to her, she insisted on picking us up in her car. She also drove us to the right bus station for where we needed to go after our meal. - Louis J

Keiko provided us with such a special and unique travel experience. As amazing as all the restaurants in Kyoto were, it was such a breath of fresh air to get outside of downtown and have a truly authentic in-home culinary experience. It provided such wonderful to context to all the delicious foods we had already been eating (and inspiration for my next excursion to Japantown back home in San Francisco!). It was a true highlight and Keiko went out of her way to make us feel comfortable and welcome. Keiko was a fantastic teacher and provided great context regarding the go-to ingredients for cooking in the Kansai region of Japan. The recipes were delicious and accessible - I can't wait to make dashi on my own now! - Nikki

Keiko was warm and wonderful. She was an excellent host, with delicious food and wonderful conversation. As a bonus, she introduced us to all different types of tea! We learned a lot about Japanese food and we really enjoyed cooking and eating with her. Thank you, Keiko! - Dorna

Keiko was such a fantastic teacher, cook and host! As a former English teacher, she was very easy to talk to, and it was great to sit around the table and chat about food and our different cultures. My favorite dish was the fried lotus root with chicken – I could have eaten the whole plate by myself. Keiko was also very knowledgeable about different teas, and served us a selection so that we could taste and understand the differences. After our lunch together she even drove us down to her favorite tea shop, Ippudo. That tea shop and the surrounding area became our favorite spots in Kyoto. We wouldn’t have discovered it without her! Thank you, Keiko for a wonderful (and delicious) afternoon! - Nick and Emily

I have taken many cooking classes around the world and this was my favorite! Communication from the beginning with my host Keiko was very good. Her home is lovely and she provided a warm welcome when I arrived. The dishes we prepared together were simple and I learnt alot about Japenese cooking from Keiko. We enjoyed a great lunch together and I felt I could have stayed the whole day talking. Keiko is such a lovely and kind person. I highly recommend this experience. - Deborah

I can honestly say Keiko made my trip to Japan, the experience with her was the highlight of my trip! She is a warm, friendly and gracious host and I really enjoyed learning about traditional Japanese cooking and their customs and traditions. Was so lovely to cook such a beautiful meal with such great company. If ever in Kyoto you'll be missing out if you don't visit Keiko, she is an angel and I would highly recommend an experience with her! - Indianna

Keiko was amazing. This part of our trip was the most memorable by far. Our dinner with Keiko really helped bring us closer to Japanese culture. We could ask questions and get a much better understanding of the ways of life in Kyoto. Keiko is an amazing host. Her English was excellent so communication was perfect. She was able to teach us more in a single lunch then we were able to learn from from any exhibit. She made our trip everything we wanted it to be. I loved trying all the types of tea she had along with the history behind them. We loved every minute with Keiko! - Stephen

Keiko was an incredible host who spoke excellent English and was a great conversationalist. It felt like we were able to learn a lot about the culture and have meaningful personal conversation with a new friend. I would do this again more to hang out and talk with Keiko than for the food - although the food was very good. Unforgettable cultural experience! - Jared

Keiko was an incredible host. We loved being able to learn about the food, how to cook, and her life in Japan. Her kindness and hospitality made us feel at home, and we can't wait to experience the Traveling Spoon in other places around the world! - Bobby T.

My friends and I enjoyed our Japanese Traveling Spoon experience very much. Keiko was an excellent host and very attentive to our needs. - Greg

Keiko is a great host, the food was very good (we opted for cooking with her which was very fun and we highly recommend it) and she is a lovely person and an interesting conversant. We took a peek of the Japanese day-to-day and Keiko was very patient to explain a lot of thing to us about Japanese living. Everything was really good but we particularly enjoyed the stew and the egg roll (definitely will be doing this one at home). I also enjoyed trying the smoked tea. - Belén

Pricing
1 person 2-4 people 5+ people
In-Home Meal
$26 $22 $20
Cooking Experience + Meal
$38 $34 $26
Experience Timings
Lunch Dinner
In-Home Meal
12:00pm-2:00pm
Cooking Experience+ Meal
11:00am-2:00pm
Host Contact
  • You can message your host directly once you've made your booking
  • Address and phone number will be provided upon booking confirmation