What is KitchHike?
KitchHike is a web-based platform that connects COOKs (people who are interested in using their cooking skills to meet & entertain new people) and HIKERs (travelers who want to “eat local” in real people’s homes) in kitchens all over the world.
In short, it is a service that lets you meet real people and eat real food. KitchHike is getting popular among cool tourists coming to Japan. KitchHike is based in Tokyo, Japan, though you don’t have to be in Tokyo to try it.
COOKs can list their home dishes on KitchHike.com. HIKERs can browse throgh the list of menus on the site. And when the HIKER finds a COOK they’d like to visit, they can make a reservation and arrange the meet-up using the service. HIKERs can make home dishes with COOKs. You can learn how to make Japanese home dishes and get a taste of Japanese homemade dishes.
It’s not just Japanese food, either. There are COOKs in Japan who want to share their non-Japanese homemade dishes and culture, and you can find menus advertising Malaysian and Indian meals, among others.
Where can you do KitchHike in Japan?
Popular in Tokyo, Kanagawa (Kamakura), Osaka and Kyoto.
Not sure if this is all just made-up hype or if people actually, truly enjoy KitchHike? Many foreigners have used KitchHike already. There are many reviews that serve as a useful reference.
How much does it cost?
Prices range from $10~50. You can choose the menu you want in the budget that suits you, and all you need is a credit card or a PayPal account.
The menus range from the simple everyday to the truly gourmet, and many include high-class sake or shochu tastings in addition to the meal. Because KitchHike is located throughout Japan, you can also get a taste of regional dishes and ingredients that you definitely won’t be able to find anywhere else in the world.
Is it just cooking?
It’s not just eating together. Some COOKs will teach you the recipe and you’ll go out and buy the groceries together while also learning about the tourist spots of their neighborhood. If you feel like trying “real” Japanese food — washoku (和食) — then use KitchHike to visit a local’s home and enjoy their Japanese homemade meals!
If you’re worried about safety, then don’t worry – you can chat with the COOK before you meet up and familiarize yourself with each other.
Traveling is a different kind of experience nowadays than how it was back in the day. Instead of simply just going around to sightseeing spots and hoping you can interact with the locals, there are now several kinds of services like KitchHike which will put you in direct contact with someone from that country who will immerse you in the culture they grew up in. If you want to not only travel, but learn, make sure you try out KitchHike!
Image Source: KitchHike.com