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5 English-friendly Cooking Classes in Japan

Looking for recipes to spruce up that home kitchen? Here are 5 cooking classes around Japan, perfect for the aspiring cook of all levels.

By 4 min read

What better way to experience Japanese cooking than to learn it yourself in the comfort of a Japanese home or studio? With cooking classes ranging from sushi to making bentos to vegan ramen and gyoza, there are numerous options around Japan for the home cook of all levels.

Whether you’re looking to learn Japanese cuisine as a hobby, pursue it as a career or make your favorite dishes from the supermarket okazu (small dishes) selection at home, here are five classes you can do around Japan.

1. Home Cooking You Can Replicate? Try Yuka’s Cooking School

Learn to cook your favorite Japanese dishes in a relaxed, cozy kitchen.

Are you looking to learn Japanese cuisine in a cozy environment and bring home some mad new skills? Cooking School Yuka Mazda is for you.

A chef that has been featured in books, magazines and on television, Yuka’s cooking classes are for those who are interested in learning Japanese cooking in a Japanese home. There are classes ranging from sushi-making, where she will go through the basics of making sushi rice and ensuring the fish is prepared just right to have that perfect nigiri (hand-pressed sushi). For fans of gyudon (beef bowls) from Yoshinoya and Matsuya, there are also gyudon and gyoza (potsticker) classes, and you can also learn how to whip up your own ramen (soup noodles) from scratch starting from the broth.

All classes are in English and will run for around four hours, including digging into the meal together. You can reserve online through the website or reach out via email.

Recommended for: Newbies who want to learn home-cooked style dishes
Price: From ¥11,800
Duration: Four hours
1-5-5 Ebisu-minami, Shibuya, Tokyo - Map

2. Recreate Crowd Favorites at Cooking Sun

A great way to brighten someone’s day.

Ever had a bento and think I would love to recreate that, but not knowing where to start? Cooking Sun’s most popular class is about making that perfect bento you see in anime and dramas. The great thing about learning how to make a bento are the various dishes you can make at once, as each bento usually has a few side dishes. Each of their classes takes on a common concept, taking favorites and recreating these popular dishes in a home environment to make it easier for the home cook.

With cooking studios in Kyoto, Tokyo and Osaka, it’s a convenient place to drop by, and vegetarian cooks are also highly welcomed with a separate vegetarian menu for those who require it.

If you aren’t based in Japan but want a fun group activity, opt for their online classes. Classes vary depending on which studio you are at, so book according to the theme you are interested in, or perhaps take them up on a Kyoto food tour before cooking what you pick up in the market for the full experience.

Recommended for: Learning easy recipes for crowd favorites
Price: From ¥5,500
Time: Three hours
Studios in Kyoto, Tokyo, Osaka

3. For Vegans and Vegetarians: BentoYa Cooking

Learn all types of vegan and vegetarian cooking hacks to make Japanese food you love.

It can be difficult for anyone with dietary restrictions to navigate Japan at times. BentoYa Cooking is a cooking studio focused on reimagining traditional Japanese dishes to make them plant-based to ensure they will be vegan and vegetarian friendly. With options such as vegan ramen and gyoza, seasonal omakase and plant-based rice dishes, it’s a thoughtful menu built on market availability and seasonality that will not be too difficult for people to bring back into their homes. There are also in-depth one-day classes to learn more about the basics of Japanese cuisine.

Request private lessons if you want one-on-one time with the instructor or join in-person or online classes.

Recommended for: Vegans and vegetarians
Prices vary
Class duration varies
Located in Tokyo, Kyoto, Yokohama, Gunma and Kobe

4. Got a sweet tooth? Try Wagashi-making classes

Learn the traditional way to make these sweet treats.

Simply Oishii Wagashi School teaches the art of wagashi-making (Japanese traditional sweets) from a cozy residential home in Meguro. This includes one-day workshops where you can learn nerikiri wagashi, traditional sweets that are made to reflect the seasons, mochi (rice cake), jelly, and even classes for kids and private sessions for parties.

Wagashi making is a precise art because of its aesthetic nature.

Learning to shape the flowers before having them with the perfect pairing (a bowl of green tea) is a treat. If you’re a wagashi fan, it’s definitely worth the time to pop down for a wagashi class to try to replicate this at home too.

Recommended for: Those with a sweet tooth
Price: From ¥9,000
Time: Two and a half hours
3-Nishi Gotanda, Shinagawa, Tokyo

5. For Those Who Want To Be A Sushi Chef

From beginner to pro sushi chef in no time.

Want to make sushi, but want to go that one extra step and become a sushi chef? Tokyo Sushi Academy has a course where you can become a sushi chef in 5 weeks. Ranging from professional courses to private lessons customized to your level and needs, to video lectures to increase your basic knowledge of sushi, there are a ton of ways for you to ramp up your way to becoming a, dare we say it, semi-professional sushi chef.

From handling the knife to safe preparation for sushi and sashimi, you’ll be able to learn it all.

Recommended for: Those who seriously want to get into sushi-making
Prices vary per course.
Time: Varies per course.
Branches in Shinjuku and Tsukiji
Have you taken cooking lessons in Japan? How was it? Let us know in the comments below!

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