Norma’s Corner

Hi, I am Norma Merrett; a Healthy Tokyo member and now a food-related contributor to Norma’s Corner here at

I came to Tokyo though an interesting and winding trail that originated in Canada and had many fascinating stops along the way.

Growing up on a grain farm in rural Canada I was exposed to a great variety of tasks and life lessons, learning the value of hard work early on. Participating in farm duties “planted the seed” literally of the journey food takes to reach the table.

A large garden provided almost every vegetable and fruit you could imagine and I ate “farm to table” every single day. In addition, all meat and dairy was sourced from neighboring farms so I honestly can say I knew where my food came from, a concept quite foreign to most people.

During that time on the farm I was exposed to another piece of my story – airplanes. My father’s love of flying was passed on and I attained a pilot’s license before graduating high school. Employment in the airline industry led to me to my husband and the trail was forged to living in Alaska, Hawaii, and currently time split between the Pacific Northwest in the USA and Tokyo.

From the fresh caught wild Alaskan salmon and fresh picked papaya from the back yard to the bounty of the Pacific Northwest, healthy eating has become entrenched in my lifestyle as a result. Living in Japan and experiencing the incredible food of the country has heightened my food awareness, but it also has come with challenges being a non-Japanese speaker. Avidly researching and with translation tools I am developing ways to perpetuate eating healthy from farmers markets to organic sources.

Together with my husband and two daughters, I have travled extensively and experiencing the food of different cultures has always been foremost on the travel checklist.

Being in Tokyo, the greatest food city in the world I have embraced Japanese culture and the amazing omotenashi of the country. I am often reflective of the contrasts in my life from growing up in a town of 150 people to living in the largest city in the world and thankful for every moment of it.