Want to taste samples of home cooked local cuisine? Try a ‘food home stay’ at Nagomi Visit.

Founder Megumi Kusunoki first got the idea of Nagomi Visit after a visit to Denmark, when she was invited to a local family for dinner. Her experience breaking bread with the locals was so enriching that she decided to start her own organization to spread this custom—so people visiting Japan (or living here) could easily savor the local tastes. Since then, she and Alisa Sanada, the chief operating officer, have amassed a network of 106 hosts around Japan who have welcomed 583 guests from 38 countries so far.

How does it work exactly? Well, just like a home stay, Nagomi Visit has a large database of hosts who are willing to share their customs with you: from small households to families of five—even groups of friends sharing a house. Once you fill out the booking form according to your preferences of location and date, provide a short self-introduction and a pay a small fee, Nagomi Visit will book a host for you. On the day of the visit, you simply meet your host at the nearest train station, and they’ll welcome you into their home.

The experience allows you to chat and eat with your hosts, and to learn more about their customs, not to mention exchange cultural tidbits. It’s an amazing way to see Japanese culture from an insider perspective, and your hosts will cook for you. If you’re really keen on learning techniques to cook Japanese food, Nagomi visit can also arrange a Cooking Visit, in which you learn all the basics with your host. There is even a Japanese Character Lunch Box cooking class, if you wish to learn how to make a flawless and cute bento.

Visit Nagomi Visit’s official website to learn more about how you can ‘eat rice out of the same pot’ and befriend some generous and warm-hearted locals.

Image courtesy of Nagomi Visit