John Ashburne, our Chief Editor, is one of the premier writers about Japan and its food culture living in the country today. He writes for the Wall Street Journal, the Japan Times, Kyoto Journal and a whole host of international publications that have included DestinAsian, Vogue Traveler (Entertaining and Leisure), Gourmet Traveller, and in-flight magazines for Singapore Airlines, Delta Air Ways and Qantas.
As guest editor of Kyoto Journal #83, FOOD! John presided over an issue of the award-winning magazine that delves comprehensively into Japan and Asia’s food life, and interviewed luminaries such as Rene Redzepi, Yoshihiro Murata and Yoshihiro Narisawa, the creator of soil soup who was voted ‘Best Chef in Asia’.
A native of the UK, John studied at Durham and Cambridge Universities, specializing in English Language and Literature, and Education, before moving to Japan in the late 1980s. Journalism and writing have always been a passion. He has authored or co-authored many books, including titles for Lonely Planet, most notably here, ‘World Food, Japan’ (2002), Charles Tuttle and Periplus.
An avid forager of mushrooms, a ramen and soba addict, John is also a photographer, twice the winner of a worldwide photo contest. He is also the founder of an NPO, ‘Vietnamix’, dedicated to helping orphans and children in need in Vietnam. He lives in Kyoto with his wife, a Japanese chef, and two cats.