Best Japanese Cookery Schools in Japan – Learn to Cook Japanese Food

by | Last updated Mar 14, 2024 | Cooking and Travelling, Japan Live Work and Play, Live Work Play Travel

Japanese food is one of the most popular foods worldwide. They are not only tasty and healthy, but many Japanese dishes are actually quite easy to make. So if you are going to Japan on holiday why not include learning how to make your favourite Japanese dish while travelling in Japan. Then you can make your favourite dishes from home or anywhere. In this post I list some of the best Japanese cookery schools in Japan so you can learn to cook Japanese food. Learning to cook Japanese cuisine is a perfect way to spend a few hours or even a day in Japan to immerse yourself in Japanese culture. 


Popular Japanese Dishes


Japan has many foods to try with some popular dishes being Sushi, Ramen and Tempura. Taking a Japanese cooking class while in Japan is a very unique Japanese cultural experience. It will also give you skills you can utilise to make Japanese food wherever you are. Many of the Japanese foods are vegetarian and vegan friendly, so no matter what your taste buds like, you should be able to find a Japanese dish to meet your dietary requirements. You won’t find many spicy Japanese foods, this is because a secret of Japanese cuisine is the art of enhancing and harmonizing the flavour of the food. So why add spice so you can taste a spicy fish when you can bring out the flavour of the fish, and enjoy the fish! Are you ready to tempt your taste buds Japanese style? 


Japanese Eating Etiquette Tips


  • Saying Itadakimasu before a meal is a significant part of Japanese eating etiquette. It is a polite phrase meaning ‘I receive this food’. It’s the Japanese way to say Bon Appetit and to say thank you to whoever prepared the food.
  • Slurping is a sign of appreciation that you are enjoying your meal.
  • It’s also good manners when eating Japanese food from small bowls to pick the bowl up with your hand and eat from it close to your mouth. 
  • The Japanese consider it rude to leave food on your plate. This is related to a Japanese cultural concept of mottainai – the feeling of regret of having wasted something – so try not to waste your food.



Which Japanese City is best to learn to Cook Japanese Food?


Some say, Tokyo is known as one of best food destinations in the world but really, any of the major Japanese cities have great food. Some Japanese cities are known for their local Japanese cuisine. So learning to make, and then eat, local dishes in specific cities in Japan is such a great experience. Most of the cooking classes in Japan only take a few hours, so even if you are only in a city for a day or two, you can fit a Japanese cookery class into your itinerary. But if you are living and working in Japan on a working holiday visa or come to teach English in Japan, ensure to make time to discover Japanese cookery. The skills you acquire could help you in the future too! Yep, for instance, you could become a sushi maker! In this post you will find many Japanese cookery schools in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto.


Best Japanese Cookery Schools in Japan

Sushi Making in Tokyo


Sushi is the most popular Japanese dish for Japanese people and the most famous dish outside of Japan. International visitors to Japan just love to try the locally made sushi. Traditionally made with medium grain white rice and served in different ways, but most wrapped in seaweed. Inside ingredients can vary greatly. From seafood to thinly chopped vegetable slices, and even cooked chicken strips. Learn to make this favourite dish while in Tokyo in a sushi making experience. Tokyo is one of the best Japanese cities to learn to make sushi.



or, master Sushi making in Osaka.



Since doing a sushi making course in Tokyo, I often now travel with my own sushi making kit that I bought from Amazon. It has a sushi bazooka (the roundish thing that shapes the rice into a circle), a bamboo rolling mat and has extras such as an avocado slicer, rice paddle and chopsticks. It is small and light to carry so doesn’t take up too much room in my luggage. And as I love sushi, it helps me make it whenever I want it whether I am at home or traveling. You can purchase one from Amazon here.


Make Your own Bento Box in Kyoto


A bento is a single-portion boxed meal. Think lunch box has a variety of things in it. A bento box is often comprised of a carb (usually rice or noodles) with a protein (usually meat or fish). Add an assortment of pickled or cooked vegetables and you have a nutritious bento box. In this bento box cooking class learn about the different food items that go into a bento box, then make your own for lunch!




Ramen and Gyozo Making in Osaka


Ramen is a noodle dish where noodles are served in a broth. The broth usually has a topping such as a slice of pork. It has become a world-famous Japanese dish alongside sushi and is often served with Gyoza. Gyoza is a savoury dumpling. If you are wondering what is inside gyoza well, typical gyoza filling consists of ground pork, nira chives, green onion, cabbage, ginger, garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil. These ingredients, once mixed, are wrapped in a thinly rolled piece of dough, which is then sealed by pressing the edges together. With its popularity with Western palettes, creative gyoza shops are introducing a range of gyoza with other fillings. In this Japanese cooking class in Osaka learn how to make both ramen and gyoza before sitting down to enjoy your creation. 




Make Authentic Miso Soup in Osaka


Miso soup is a traditional Japanese soup. It begins with a dashi stock that is flavoured with miso paste. Miso paste is made from soybeans, salt and koji rice which you get to mix together to form the paste. Added to the brothy soup are ingredients such as tofu and green onion. This traditional soup is very rich in nutrients that supports the bones and nervous system and has been a favourite dish of many Japanese for centuries. You will feel very healthy with this soup regularly included in your diet! Good news if you are traveling long-term in Japan say, on a working holiday or keeping you warm while working and skiing in the Japanese ski resorts.




Have a Sweet Tooth? – Learn to Make Wagashi (Japanese sweets)


Who doesn’t have a sweet tooth? Wagashi is a traditional Japanese confection that is made from plant-based ingredients. It is usually served with green tea. So enjoy making these sweet treats and sit down to enjoy them with a cup of tea – how Japanese is that!




Are You Ready to Learn to Make traditional Japanese Dishes?


One of the best things I did while holidaying in Japan was to learn to make sushi. Have you undertaken a Japanese cooking class in Japan? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.


Bento Box and Sushi are Japanese dishes. Learn to make them in a Japanese cooking class.

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  1. Terri

    I love taking cooking classes when aI travel. You get to meet the locals and feed yourself – a 2-for-1 deal! I would love to take one of these classes.

  2. Sara Essop

    I enjoy eating Japanese food, especially sushi, and I would love to learn how to make my own!

  3. Denise

    I love taking cooking classes inner places! Always fun and informative!

  4. Meeka

    these classes look sooooo good!

  5. Taryn S

    On one of my now-husband and I’s first dates, we took a cooking class – it’s become one of my favorite travel activities. You are absolutely right, it’s a wonderful way to immerse in a new place/culture AND it’s fun to learn something new and get out of your comfort zone. Would LOVE to learn to make some authentic Japanese food!

  6. Millette

    I try to take cooking classes in every destination I visit so thank you for compiling all the best cooking schools around Japan! Also I always wondered what the direct translation of Itadakimasu was, so classically Japanese, I love it!

  7. Maryanne

    Forty years ago I lived in Japan and absolutely loved it. Now I am feeling the urge to go back. Your suggestions of cooking classes are great and hopefully I will get to try one soon.

  8. Tania

    Cooking classes are definitely the best way to experience a place, will be adding some of these to my Japan itinerary!

  9. Jolayne

    I haven’t done cooking classes anywhere in the world yet, but it seems like such an awesome way to learn more about a culture and have a little fun along the way.

  10. Sonia

    Cooking classes are a great way to learn more about the culture. I’d like to try the sushi making class.

  11. Amanda

    Taking cooking classes on trips isn’t something I’ve done before but something I’d love to do! Such a great idea!

  12. Hannah

    I went to Japan with my husband a few months ago: we did a food tour but not a cooking class. Next time I want to do a ramen or sushi making class!


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