Naoyuki Honda, President & CEO,Leverage Consulting Inc.
- Leverage Consulting Inc.’s President & CEO Naoyuki Honda spends five months a year in Hawaii, three months a year in Tokyo, two months in regional areas of Japan and for the remaining two he travels in other places like Asia but mainly Europe. While in Hawaii he gets his work done via smart phone, enjoying his surfing hobby in between. An acknowledged foodie, he never loses sight of new food and drink openings whether at home or abroad. His connoisseur credentials are backed up by having published books on gourmet food.
- Over the last few years Honda, who has travelled in roughly 60 countries, has been particularly interested in Fukuoka.
- “Fukuoka is very similar to Hawaii. It’s easy to access from Japan and overseas, and it has a rich natural environment. And because it’s a compact city it’s quick and easy for people to make connections. Another thing the two places have in common is that although they’re easygoing and casual, they both have a lot of high-quality places to eat and drink. And because prices are lower in Fukuoka than in Tokyo, privately-run places are able to express their individuality.”
- These factors create a synergy that fosters a unique local appeal and culture, he says.
- “Since Soichiro Takashima became Mayor of Fukuoka City, my impression is that a succession of innovative and receptive people have moved their base to Fukuoka. I’m guessing the way the city doesn’t try to be another Tokyo is attractive to outsiders. Looking at Japan, I’d say it’s unusual to find a region with this much depth to it.”
- A strong connection between Honda and Fukuoka at present is the gourmet event ‘DREAM DUSK.’ This event, which has been held annually since 2016 at The Luigans Spa & Resort in the east of the city, is a gathering of five chefs from hard-to-book happening restaurants. As well as offering a full course meal showcasing the chefs’ individual areas of culinary expertise, the event features al fresco lunches by ten of Fukuoka’s most popular eateries. Committed to piloting this foodie festival, Honda is responsible for everything from planning to overall production of the event.
- “We don’t give a thought to making a profit for this event. We won’t be able to satisfy our customers if we prioritize profit. The staff and chefs have passion and so they give it their all. Only in Fukuoka could a challenging project like this come to fruition.”
- The event’s fourth outing ‘DREAM DUSK vol.4’ had held in June this year. It was getting more and more difficult by the year to get reservations, Honda notes. There is no doubt that this event will enhance the “depths” of Fukuoka even more.