Since we started this Japanese cooking class in April 2014, we were fortunate to have more than 1,000 customers to date. I am in the cooking studio about 95% of the time, so I meet and greet almost every guest. I won’t lie and say I remember every single person, but there are so many that I remember fondly.

Patrick is one of the customers I do remember well. That is because he attended three classes; morning bento class, afternoon kappo class, and sushi class. He is the only customer who has taken three classes with us and will actually be the last because we have stopped teaching our sushi class.

He came to Japan for a week from San Francisco. The idea of coming to Japan popped into his mind randomly and the airfare happened to not be so expensive (January-February is the off season for tourism in Japan and particularly in Kyoto. That is probably why.) He flew to Japan and visited Kyoto for half of his trip.

First, he took our morning class. It just so happened that he was the only customer on that day, so he and Aiko san (one of our staff) walked through all the dishes at his own pace. We had plenty of time to talk about food, his dog, and many other things. I remember we talked about the unfairness of the property tax in California.

Next, he took our afternoon class with two other people also from the United States. Maya san was our teacher that day, and again, Patrick had a great time. And lastly, after the weekend, he came back to us on Monday morning for a sushi class with Aiko san. He told us about what he did over the weekend. One thing he did was visit Gear, a modern theater performance. It’s one of the most popular entertainment activities in Kyoto. According to him, it was a great time and is definitely worth seeing. (Patrick, I visited them recently, too. You’re right, it’s an incredible performance.)

When he finished all of his classes, he gave us a big hug and a smile. Later, he sent us a kind testimonial and even made a video for us! Cooking Sun is not just a cooking class where we teach how to cook Japanese foods, but it’s a place where customers can feel more connected to Japan through interacting with locals as they cook Japanese food together. His testimonial and video were very meaningful to me and reminded of the day we started Cooking Sun. Thank you, Patrick.