ZAZA Inc has launched an online sharing service airKitchen which provides foreign visitors to Japan a chance to visit ordinary family homes to cook and eat home-cooked meals together with local hosts.
airKitchen is a matching platform service which uses the internet to connect visitors to Japan who wish to have cultural exchange at a Japanese family dinner table with Japanese hosts who wish to entertain foreign guests with their home cooking. Using airKitchen, foreign visitors to Japan can visit local Japanese family homes during their travels and make Japanese home-cooked meals together with a Japanese cooking host. This allows travelers to have a deeper and more true to life experience of Japanese culture than they would be able to on a normal trip simply traveling from one sightseeing spot to another.
Registration for hosts in Japan began in August 2017, and the service currently has over 250 registered Japanese cooking hosts centered in the Tokyo area. A pre-release of the service for visitors to Japan was performed in February of this year, and foreign travelers from approximately 30 countries have already enjoyed Japanese home-cooking experiences over the past three months.
Users of the service have foubd themselves quite satisfied with it, including a visitor to Japan from Hong Kong, named Caroline who had a cooking experience in Tokyo and left the following comment: “My chance to have cultural exchange with a Japanese host by making Japanese food together in their home was the most memorable part of my trip. I want to make the recipes I learned there again once I get back to Hong Kong!”
The airKitchen cooking experience provides a wide variety of menu items to choose from. From more orthodox items, such as sushi and tempura, to the regular home cooking enjoyed on a regular basis by Japanese families, traditional local dishes, character bento boxes inspired by anime, and more, users can choose the style that fits what they’re looking for from a wide variety of cooking experiences.
The goal of the service is to reach 8,000 registered Japanese cooking hosts and 140,000 matches with visitors to Japan by the end of this year. The company is also planning to advance into overseas markets mainly centered in Asia beginning 2019, and the service’s goal is to create a world where travelers can make and enjoy home cooking in local homes no matter where they find themselves on the map.© Japan Today