Japanese food is renowned for being healthy and is increasing in popularity worldwide. Tokyo is known as one of the world’s best food destinations and is a great place to take a Japanese cooking class in Japan. We firmly believe that you truly experience a country by immersing yourself in its cultural traditions. One of the best ways to experience Japanese culture is to understand the food and how signature Japanese dishes are made. This is an awesome way to get to know Japanese cuisine and also engage with Japanese locals at the same time.
Taking a Japanese cookery class while in Japan gives you a unique Japanese cultural experience while giving you a skill that you can share and continue to grow when you return home. Read on to find out how you can learn to cook traditional, authentic dishes from local experts – in many cases in the home of your Japanese host.
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What can you learn to cook in a Japanese Cooking class?
Japanese cooking classes are available for many different dishes, traditional and avant-garde, the choice is yours. Cooking classes in Japan are available for (but not limited to)
- Sushi cooking class > check options and availability here
- Ramen cooking class > check options and availability here
- Udon cooking class > check options and availability here
- Okonomiyaki cooking class > check options and availability here
- Tempura cooking class > check options and availability here
- Gyoza cooking class > check options and availability here
- Vegetarian Japanese cooking class > check options and availability here
You can also learn about regional specialities! Check out some of the best cooking classes and other things to do in the northernmost region – Hokkaido and the port city of Otaru.
The Best Cooking Classes in Japan
The best way to pick a cooking class to take in Japan is to pick your favourite Japanese food – or – be daring and try something new! There are a huge variety of classes available and the beauty of an AirKitchen class is that you’ll learn your new cooking skill alongside your host in their own home.
Check out AirKitchen here! As well as preparing the food, you’ll sit down and eat with your host and their family too. A Japanese cooking class with AirKitchen’s hosts is a superb way to interact with locals while enjoying amazing Japanese food.
Top 5 Make-Your-Own Sushi Cooking Classes
If you’ve always dreamed of being able to make your own sushi, then this is for you. An authentic sushi-making class in Tokyo. These sushi-making lessons are both in professional restaurants and private homes. Whether you choose to take a cooking class at the Nobu restaurant or in a more informal environment at a home cooking class in Japan the choice is yours. Here are some of our top picks for the best sushi classes in Japan.
1. Tokyo Sushi Making Class at Nobu Restaurant
Join sushi chefs and learn the concepts as well as get involved and make your own sushi in this sushi-making class. You’ll make vinegared rice, rolled sushi and nigiri sushi. In this class where you’ll learn how to use a Japanese knife, you’ll prepare sashimi and then make it into nigari. See more about what you’ll learn in this top sushi making class here.
You’ll also make your own wasabi paste and prepare makimoto rolls. As if that’s not enough while you eat your creations, professional sushi chefs will prepare special sushi for you to enjoy. A real treat!
Location of sushi-making class: Nobu Restaurant, Tokyo (closest station Nakameguro Station)
Check availability and book your professional sushi-making course now!
2. Traditional Sushi Making class at Home in Tokyo
Learn to make sushi the traditional way in the home of Minori and Toshi in Tokyo. This class will teach you to make 3 different types of sushi – Nigiri sushi, Gunkan sushi and Maki sushi. You’ll also make sushi rice from scratch and sushi vinegar. This is a great opportunity to work with a home chef in Tokyo and learn the basics of making delicious sushi.
Location of home cooking sushi class: Tokyo (nearest station Asakusabashi Station)
Check availability and book your private home sushi-making course now!
3. Learn How to Make Temaki Sushi and Nigiri Sushi in Kyoto
Located just 15 minutes walk from Kyoto’s Fushimi Inari Shrine, this sushi-making class will walk you through the steps of making sushi. You’ll start with your English-speaking tutors by preparing slightly vinegared rice and then go on to make several types of sushi. Read more about this Japanese cooking course here.
Amaze your friends with your California roll sushi-making skills and also learn about the history of Japanese cuisine.
- Location of home cooking sushi class: Kyoto (nearest station Toba Kaido station)
Check availability and book your Kyoto sushi-making course now!
4. Make Kawaii Sushi in Osaka – Artistic and Fun Sushi
This 3-hour lesson will teach you to make artistic Sushi – you’ll choose between making sushi animals – including Octopus, Pandas and Penguins, Flowers and Anime Sushi – so you can eat your favourite minion! This sushi course in Japan is perfect for families, and you can check availability and dates here.
As well as making this delightful and fun sushi you’ll also get miso soup, an egg roll and dessert during your sushi-making class in Osaka. Take home recipes and design cards and a whole new skill set!
- Location of home cooking sushi class: Osaka (nearest station Nakazakicyo Station, Tenjinbasisuji6cyome Station)
Check availability and book your artistic sushi course in Osaka now!
5. Sushi Chef Experience in Osaka
Focusing on Nigiri Sushi, this sushi-making class in Osaka is located very close to the fabulous Kuromon Market, which is where all your ingredients will come from. You’ll get to change into professional sushi chef clothing and start to prep all the ingredients and then you’ll learn how to make sushi. Nigiri sushi is one of the more popular types of Japanese sushi and combines specially prepped vinegared rice with a variety of ingredients including fish, seafood, vegetables and sometimes tropical fruits. Take home recipe cards after you’ve enjoyed your creations with your chefs!
- Location of home cooking sushi class: Osaka (nearest station Nipponbashi Station )
- Check availability and book your Nigiri sushi course in Osaka now!
Top 3 Japanese Noodle-Based Cooking Classes
Noodles are one of the staples of Japanese food and ramen is the most famous of Japanese noodles. Where better to learn how to make Japanese noodle dishes than Japan! Here are some of our top picks for the best Japanese noodle cooking classes in Japan.
1. Handmade Udon, Dashi and Vegetable Tempura Course
Udon is a white wheat noodle and in this cooking course, you’ll make Udon from scratch – using particular tools and learning how to knead and cut the dough.
In this, the most popular cookery class in Japan you’ll learn to make three dishes that complement each other. You’ll start by making handmade Udon – a traditional Japanese noodle dish. You’ll also make dashi – a Japanese soup stock that Japanese chefs must master as one of their primary Japanese cooking skills. You’ll complete your masterpiece by making fresh seasonal vegetable tempura. And then, you get to eat it. Nom Nom. Book this seriously popular course here.
You’ll complete your masterpiece by making fresh seasonal vegetable tempura. And then, you get to eat it. Nom Nom.
- This course is based in Tokyo, and you can read more about it here
- Location of handmade Udon cooking class: Tokyo (nearest station Hikifune Station)
- Check availability and book your course on how to make Udon now!
2. Make Ramen Noodles from Scratch + learn to make Gyoza too!
In this Tokyo-based cooking class, you’ll learn to make Chicken Ramen noodles from scratch – starting with the noodle dough.
You’ll also make 2 different types of gyoza and a delicious avocado or white chocolate dessert called yo-kan.
Location of Ramen noodle cooking class: Tokyo (nearest station Kunitachi Station )
Check availability and book your course on how to make ramen and gyoza now!
3. Make Soba buckwheat noodles cooking class in Osaka
In this Osaka cooking class, you’ll learn to make a Japanese favourite – soba noodles. As well as learning to mix the dough and shape it, you’ll cut the soba noodles and make soba soup to eat with the noodles.
Tokyo Soba Noodle courses are also available. Click here for more info
Location of soba noodle cooking class: Osaka (nearest station Tenjinbashisuji６chome)
Check availability and book your course on how to make soba noodles now!
Top 3 Speciality Japanese Cooking Classes
Japanese cooking comes in many flavours. Here are just some of our favourite Japanese dishes and where you can learn to make them in Japan.
1. Learn how to make Japanese Tonkatsu in Japan
Katsu curry sauce is eaten with rice on top of a crispy fried pork cutlet and it’s one of the most popular dishes in Japan.
In this cooking class in Tokyo, you’ll learn how to ensure the cutlet is juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside and how to make creamy Japanese curry.
Location of Tonkatsu cooking class: Yokohama
Check availability and book your course on how to make Tonkatsu now!
2. Learn to Make Okonomiyaki in Japan
Okonomiyaki is a seriously popular dish in Japan. It’s often (wrongly in my opinion) called Japanese pizza, but in reality, it’s a savoury pancake with noodles. It’s made with eggs, flour, shredded cabbage and then whatever toppings you want from vegetables to meat.
The name, okonomi actually means “to one’s liking”. Okonomiyaki is popular in Hiroshima and Osaka – which produce different styles of Okonomiyaki.
Location of the best Okonomiyaki cooking class: Osaka (nearest station Minamimorimachi Station )
Check availability and book your course on how to make Osaka Okonomiyaki now!
3. Learn to Make Japanese Gyoza from Scratch
In this awesome course on how to make amazing Japanese dumplings from scratch, you will be picked up from Shin-Osaka station and taken to your host’s house, where you’ll learn to make Japanese fried dumplings – Gyoza as well as Japanese omelette. This is a seriously yummy thing to learn to make.
Your host, Naomi will also make miso soup for your lunch.
- Location of gyoza cooking class: Osaka (nearest station Shin-Osaka)
- Check availability and book your course on how to make Japanese Gyoza now!
Read our guide to the best Japanese Snacks you can buy in Japan at home.
Top Vegetarian Cooking Classes in Japan
Many of the cooking classes you can take in Japan can be taught as vegetarian or vegan classes, you just need to ask when you book. However, here are some that are vegetarian from the beginning – and we think, are the best vegetarian Japanese cooking classes in Japan.
Traditional Buddhist Cuisine – Vegetarian Japanese Cooking Class
Originating from Buddhist monasteries, Shojin Ryori is a type of traditional Japanese cooking. No animal products are contained in this type of cuisine, so this class is also a vegan Japanese cooking class. There’s more on learning to cook vegetarian Japanese food here.
In this vegan cooking class, you’ll learn how to make seasoned vegetable tempura, sesame tofu and miso soup.
Location of vegetarian cooking class: Kanazawa (nearest station Kajigaya Station)
Check availability and book your course on how to make vegetarian Japanese dishes now!
Why Take a Japanese Cooking Class in Japan
Learning to cook dishes from different cultures helps you to expand your understanding of those cultures. Japanese food is primarily extremely healthy and pretty easy to cook – once you’ve learned the techniques.
We think that there’s no better way to try and embrace the culture of Japan than to take a Japanese home cooking class in Japan and then bring your skills back home!
Another awesome cultural thing to do in Japan is to stay in a ryokan- you can learn all about ryokan etiquette here
The 3 Best Online Japanese Cooking Classes
If you can’t make it to Japan, or you want to try making Japanese food with a local guide, then these online courses are an amazing way to learn.
1. Learn to Make Gyoza Online with this fabulous TWO Hour private online course
Learn to make Gyoza dumplings online with this private online Japanese cooking course. Learning to make Gyoza in lockdown is an excellent choice, as the ingredients are readily available in virtually all supermarkets! Private online cooking classes to make Gyoza are available in multiple time zones and our chefs will communicate through WhatsApp, Skype or Zoom! Your chef, Junko, lives in Tokyo with her husband and son and is looking forward to meeting you virtually! > Check out your options for this cooking class here.
In this learn to make Gyoza remotely, you’ll learn
- How to make gyoza dough
- How to create the fillings to make them tasty
- How to put the gyoza together
- how best to cook the gyoza for optimum taste!
Make seriously tasty Gyoza here!
2. Online Class -Learn Crab and Tuna Inside-Out Sushi Rolls, and Mini Sushi Balls
Mai lives in Tokyo and will be connecting with you directly from her kitchen. This is a fabulous course where you can learn to make sushi together. She’s put together the menu based on ingredients that are easy to find regardless of where you are. Mai runs her online sushi-making class through Zoom, so you’ll need to create an account for this course (don’t worry Zoom is free for you for this). You’ll also be able to see what ingredients you’ll need to make the sushi BEFORE you sign up, and Mai will also confirm them via email. You’ll also see a list of equipment that you’ll need (and it’s minimal!) Check it out now!
The class will teach you to make inside-out sushi rolls and mini sushi balls. Mai will, of course, answer ALL your questions during the course as well!
Make some extra special Japanese food with this online cooking class connecting your home directly to Tokyo, Japan! Book your class now and have a fabulous time!
3. Can’t get to Japan? Learn to Make Ramen online with this AWESOMELY rated cook!
Nahoko normally runs her ramen-making class from her home close to Shinjuku, Tokyo, but she’s now making this available online, via a Zoom conference. She’s got more than 70 AWESOME reviews for her in-person class, so you’ll want to take advantage of this online class and connect it directly to Japan and learn now!
Nahoko will teach you how to make delicious ramen soup without using MSG, and then she’ll explain the differences between ramen noodles and other noodles and exactly how you’re going to make these noodles! Nahoko also offers a vegetarian version of the recipe. Her recipes are posted online so that you can the EASY ingredients and book your class when you’re ready.
FAQs about Learning to Cook in Japan
Got any questions about taking a Japanese cooking class? Here are just a few frequently asked questions. If you have more, or we haven’t answered your burning questions about how to learn to cook in Japan, then ask in the comments and we’ll update this post!
What languages are Japanese cookery classes taught in?
It’s easy to take a cooking class in Japan, classes are taught in Japanese and English. If you have other language requirements, then please ask!
Can I take a vegetarian cooking class in Japan?
Yes absolutely. You can take vegetarian cooking classes in Japan, you can also take Japanese vegan cooking classes, halal Japanese cooking classes and kosher Japanese cooking classes. If you see a class you like and have specific dietary requirements just ask!
Where can I take a Japanese cooking class?
Classes to learn to cook Japanese food are available in all major cities. You can find a Tokyo cooking class, a cooking class in Osaka, and lessons in cooking in Kyoto – just use the search here to find where you’d like to take a class. If you want to take a class to make a specific regional dish note that you might need to travel to that area. For instance, okonomiyaki cooking classes are most likely to be found in Hiroshima and Osaka.
Travel Tips for Exploring Japan
- Considering travel insurance for your trip? World Nomads offers coverage for more than 150 adventure activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation and more.
- Download and install a VPN BEFORE you travel to Japan > discount coupon here
- Buy your Japan Rail Pass before you arrive in Japan
- You can buy JR Passes from Klook > check details here
- Or buy JR Passes from JRailPass here. (delivery in 24-48 hours including to your hotel in Japan)
- Book the best tours and guides in Japan on Civitatis, GetYourGuideand Klook
- Learn to cook Japanese food in Chef’s kitchens in Japan
- Save money in Japan with a Wise debit card
- Find the right accommodation for you via Booking.com
- Book an incredible ryokan experience in Japan
Final Words on Learning to Cook Japanese in Japan
As I write this I’m salivating at the thought of all this food. We’re off to Japan again in less than 48 hours and I am so excited about the food, these courses, and the chance to meet up with locals who will teach you how to cook and prepare Japanese food are amazing. All that remains is to ask – what are you going to learn to cook in Japan?
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