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In 2016, Noriko Tominaga established a cooking school in Japan specifically for foreigners. The school operates in Tokyo’s studio and introduces Japanese home-cooked meals that locals typically enjoy. Tominaga is also involved in training instructors, and there are currently 150 instructors worldwide operating as franchisees under WashoCook, conducting classes.

Apart from organising events and conducting workshops in the United States, Taiwan, the Philippines, and various locations in Japan, Tominaga is actively engaged in “Global Development of Japanese Professionals Abroad.” In recent years, she has been learning from Mari Fujii, a leading expert in Shojin Ryori (Japanese vegetarian cuisine), and advocating for gentle and wholesome Japanese home-cooked meals that incorporate Shojin principles for both physical and mental well-being.

Tominaga’s journey to New Zealand began 14 years ago when she had the opportunity to taste authentic home-cooked meals at a local’s house during her travels. She was deeply impressed by the deliciousness of the food and how family values and a sense of place were conveyed through these home-cooked meals. This experience inspired her to think, “How wonderful Japanese home-cooked meals are for foreigners!” and planted the dream of eventually opening a school in the birthplace of her journey, New Zealand. To pursue this dream, she first established the business in Japan. Now, in 2023, the first step towards realising her dream of setting up in Browns Bay is fulfilled.

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