Kotoyo was born in Odawara city which is known as the gate to the Hakone area. It was in her sixth grade when she watched the film “East of Eden'' that led her to wish to speak English. From 1986 to 1990, Kotoyo studied Communication Art at a university in Tacoma, Washington. Then, her career started at a radio station in Seattle, which specialized in programs for Japanese people residing in the US. Kotoyo returned to Japan, married, and became a homemaker. However, in 2010 her father renovated/refurbished the traditional tea house situated along the Old Tokaido Way. He then handed it down to his son and wife, the 13th generation of the family business. Kotoyo joined her brother and started working in the 400-year-old tea house with its historic setting, as her intention of reconnecting to society.