Hi there! Welcome to the website and blog of CokoGuri, adventurers, explorers, food lovers, and storytellers living in Sendai, Japan. We are a creative, unconventional, and fearless couple and moved here from Seattle, USA, in December of 2018. Now we are having way too much fun exploring our new home, seeing new places, and making new friends. We know many of our friends in North America and Europe both miss us and want to know what we are up to. This website and blog is our way to let you follow along with and share the adventures of CokoGuri.
Our primary mission is to have as much fun as possible. Seriously, what better purpose is there in life? We love to eat and are always in search of Saba Ramen. Or Yakitori. We are up for anything, from partying with the locals at one of our many matsuris (festivals) to a quick trip to Tokyo, Yokohama, or Taipei (to eat dumplings.) As we continue our journey, we hope to meet as many new people and have as many new adventures as possible!
We are also available to help you have a great experience in Japan. From trip planning to personalized guided tours of places, even locals may not be aware of, and food tours to local restaurants and street food vendors we have you covered. What do you want to see or eat? We love visitors, and the opportunity to help you "Discover Sendai" as well. So feel free to reach out and ask questions, get some tips on where to get the best Ramen, or say konnichi-wa! We would love to hear from you, and see you soon!
a few words
The fact that the two of you are still together after so many years is at the same time remarkable, wonderful, and frightening.
One fall evening a German photographer and a Japanese photographer end up in the same British pub in Seattle, WA. (No, this is not the start of a joke!) But it marked the beginning of a remarkable partnership and journey. And the world was never quite the same again. We probably could not tell you exactly what attracted us to each other. But we both instinctively knew we had found the ideal partner to travel the road of life together. Ready or not, CokoGuri was born!
This was not part of the original plan, and the first time I proposed to Coco she shot me down, in front of an entire restaurant. It took some persistence, and a little trickery from our moms, but one fine summer day we tied all kinds of knots. Actually, we just wanted to party naked in a hot tub! Seriously, we wanted to affirm our committment to each other as life partners. And our relationship has grown stronger every day since then.
After many years of working for other studios and creative agencies we decided to try this on our own. With words of encouragement (“Are you out of your fucking mind?”) and emboldened by our first big client we took the leap, and never looked back. Sure, the beginning was not easy, but we persisted, and soon our little design studio reached a global audience. And this gave us the incentive to possibly explore other parts of the world together.
It all started with a beach. One day I was chatting on WhatsApp with my niece, who was heading home from the beach in Italy to cook dinner. When I recounted this to a friend of mine he asked my why I was not on that beach. And that got us thinking about changing it up a bit, and moving, not only to a new home or city, but to a new continent (for one of us) and a completely different way of life.
After considerable planning and purging about 95% of our possessions we took the jump, and started a new life as adventurers, explorers, creatives and storytellers in Japan. As you can imagine this was one of the most intense and stressful periods of our life. But we were determined to succeed, and we did! At the very end of December, after a 24 hour trip by car, plane, and Shinkansen, on a freezing winter night we stepped out of Sendai Station and into our new life.
After 7 months of more government forms and office visits we have established a brand new life for us in the northern Japanese city of Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture. We love it here! From shopping at the famous Asaichi Morning Market, also known as Sendai’s Kitchen, to exploring this fascinating bustling city of over one million people, to enjoying the peace and tranquility of famous shrines and beautiful gardens, this is the perfect place for CokoGuri. And we fully intend to become the most famous couple in Sendai! (You know us, not exactly shy wallflowers!)
Over the coming months and years we plan to learn as much about all that Sendai, and the entire Tohoku region, has to offer. From neighborhood izakayas to local businesses, and from fish markets to onsen, we intend to discover them all. Not many people, even locals, realize all the fun places and things to do in Sendai. This gave us the idea to start “Discover Sendai” and spread the word. We are off to see new plac es, have new adventures, and make new friends. Come along for the trip!
We are multilingual
Explorers and Creatives
Yes, one of the reasons we are maintaining this blog is so that you can stay in touch with the adventures of your favorite food lovers and adventuring explorers! You may drool on your keyboard at your own risk. And if that is all that you want to do, awesome! Thanks so much for your interest, and let us know if there is anything, in particular, you would like to see next (or whenever ...) We would love to hear from you, or see you soon!
But we can provide you with more actionable help and resources as well. Say you want some tips regarding your own travels (perhaps to come and visit CokoGuri?). We can help you plan your trip, decide on an itinerary, or even accompany you on a guided tour. Want to learn more about Sendai or the Tohoku area in general? We are launching our new "Discover Sendai" brand soon! For now, you can learn more about our area on our blog. And if you are looking for a multilingual online presence we can help you as well. We are creatives at heart, you know!
Don't see what you are looking for? Feel free to reach out! We are always up for discussing new ideas.
Want to go somewhere? Let your favorite travelers and explorers help you plan your next big or small trip, or come along with you!
Consulting and design services ranging from web design and e-commerce solutions to foreign language instruction, translation, editing, and native check.
Information and tips about local neighborhoods, attractions, festivals, shops and restaurants in Sendai-shi and the surrounding areas of Miyagi Prefecture.