It’s fun to chow down on all the mouthwatering ramen, sushi and other food that Japan has to offer, but to take the magic home, you’ll need to know how to prepare the dishes yourself. Luckily, Tokyo has a huge range of cooking classes to help you do just that.
If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and dive into the kitchen, take a look at our pick of Tokyo cooking classes below, and start chopping your way to Japanese culinary excellence.
Sushi-making class with sake tasting
This sushi workshop takes place in an actual Tokyo sushi restaurant and is taught by the sushi masters themselves. You’ll make seven pieces of melt-in-your-mouth sushi under their expert guidance, and then of course get to enjoy the fruits of your labor. After the lesson you’ll go on a tour to a local shrine, where you learn about Shintoism from a local guide. Finally, you’ll stop by a sake shop and sample three kinds of local sake. The whole experience takes place in Fuchū, a 24-minute train ride from Shinjuku Station on the Keio Line. From ¥12,000 per person. Book your lesson here.
Kaiseki ryori: Get fancy with traditional Japanese food
If you want to go all out, then this lesson in kaiseki ryori — traditional Japanese fine dining — is the one for you. The chef will show you how to make a multi-course feast that’s designed to tantalize the senses, with a lot of emphasis placed on the combination of colors, textures and flavors. The menu changes with the seasons. The same company offers over 40 other types of cooking classes in Tokyo. From ¥8,500 per person. Book your place at the table.
Ramen and gyoza lesson in Tokyo
In this class offered by YUCa’s Japanese Cooking, you will visit a Japanese supermarket to learn about Japanese ingredients before heading back to the studio and cooking up a storm. On the menu is the classic pairing of ramen and gyoza, all made from scratch — no instant ramen here. Don’t worry if you have dietary requirements, just mention it when you book and accommodations can generally be made. This is a great class for foodies and people living in Tokyo, because you’ll get great insight into the ingredients — and the supermarket tour means you’ll know exactly how to recreate the meal again at home. From ¥13,000 per person. Book your lesson here.
Homestyle Japanese cooking class
The host certainly doesn’t lie when she says her kitchen is on the cosy side, but with classes having a maximum of six people, Mayuko’s Little Kitchen arranges intimately sized cooking classes in the heart of Tokyo’s bustling metropolis. Having had the opportunity to teach Australian high school students how to cook, host Mayuko now makes it her mission to share her knowledge of Japanese cuisine and etiquette to travellers in the comfort of her own home. The menu for this cooking class changes day to day, but rest assured that what ever you make will be authentic, homestyle Japanese cuisine. From ¥17,390 per person. Book a class with Mayuko here.
Learn how to make Japanese sweets
More of a sweet-tooth? Then this class on traditional Japanese sweets is the one for you. It takes place in a private home with a certified Nerikiri Art Instructor, so you know you’re in good hands. And if you’re not sure what nerikiri is, great! That’s exactly the kind of thing you’ll learn in this class. After a quick rundown of the ingredients, you’ll make daifuku mochi (strawberry and red bean paste stuffed rice cake) and three-colour dango (rice cake balls on a skewer). Then you’ll make — ready for it — nerikiri! Nerikiri is a type of traditional Japanese sweet that is colored and molded to reflect the season it’s made in. From ¥9,000 per person. Book your class here.
Go online with airKitchen
airKitchen gives you the opportunity to learn to make delicious Japanese dishes from the comfort of your own home. This is a perfect for those living overseas — or those of us who live in Japan but are too lazy to leave the house sometimes (no judgement here). You can choose from a range of different dishes, including international options, with instructors hailing from as far afield as Italy, Thailand and Poland. Many of the instructors offer to personalize the menus, which is helpful if you have dietary restrictions. Browse the cooking lessons.
Tsukiji Outer Market tour and cooking lesson
Tsukiji Cooking is a prolific company offering classes a stone’s throw away from Tokyo’s most famous old seafood and vegetable market. A Japanese/English translator is on hand for all classes, and every guest leaves with recipe cards so that they can recreate the dishes at home by themselves. They have a range of classes on offer, but we recommend this one that includes a tour of the Tsukiji Outer Market itself. From ¥16,500 per person.
Tokyo cooking classes on Meetup.com
Meetup is home to a large number of cooking enthusiasts willing to share their time and knowledge. It’s also a great way to make new friends and get know other foodies in Tokyo.
While we do our best to make sure it is correct, the information in this post is subject to change. Post first published in January, 2015. Last updated by the editorial team in January, 2023.