The destiny of an ideal surf city
Food specialist Kurumi Arimoto lived in the coastal region of Shonan, in Kanagawa Prefecture, for a long time before moving to Kochi in 2015. She was traveling western Japan with her surfboards loaded in a camping car, and when she reached Kochi, she felt she had found her destiny.
“The moment I arrived, my intuition told me that I clicked with this place. There was an exotic feel, like India or Africa, and also that good vibe of Japan in the old days. I was still in the car, driving, when I decided to live here.”
A few months later, Kurumi relocated. She rented a unique piece of property—a former beauty salon—and settled in the heart of Kochi City, which was only a 20-minute drive to her surf spot. First and foremost, one of the biggest attractions for her was the abundance and variety of food.
“Kochi offers every kind of food. Vegetables, fruits, rice, herbs, and fish go without saying. There’s also beef, pork, chicken, and even game meat. Citrus fruits are harvested year round. Tomatoes come in multiple varieties. Soy sauce, miso, and natto—fermented soybeans—are made here. And you can go out and source your own spring water. It’s quite normal for everything on the dinner table to be produced in Kochi. That’s amazing when you think about it.”
Kurumi’s travels around the world have inspired her diversity of dishes up to now, and traveling continues to be essential for her today. For her trips now, she loads the car with her original products like ginger syrup, pomelo jam, and a house blend of Moroccan spices called Harissa, plus select Kochi products, and organizes sales and events at her destinations—all while enjoying surfing in the summer and snowboarding in the winter.
“I’m happy to be able to promote Kochi during my travels. I enjoy doing that. And then after being on the road for several weeks, I relax and appreciate Kochi all over again. This is my home.”
Apart from her current place, she has rented a freestanding house by the seaside and is currently doing DIY renovations. Kurumi’s blissful nomad life seems to be ever evolving.
Food specialist Kurumi Arimoto organizes cooking classes and offers catering services inspired by elements of the food cultures she has collected while traveling the world. She moved to Kochi Prefecture in 2015. At present she enjoys a life of surfing while producing and selling various spices, seasonal jams, and an original Moroccan mixed spice called Harissa.