Don’t just eat, cook it! Japanese cooking lessons for foreigners


photo by Helena Volkova Follow

Until recently, traveling in Japan was almost about just visiting major cities such as Tokyo and Osaka and eating local specialty dishes. But just seeing and eating is all over, everyone. More travellers now enjoying experiencing Japan, for example, some people enjoy strolling or cycling around in Japanese townships with touring guides to know genuine Japanese life. Japanese cooking lessons are one of those most popular activities for those who want to experience genuine Japanese culture. After lesson, you will be able to cook your own Japanese dinner that is just like one you had in your favourite Japanese restaurant.


About Japanese cooking class for foreigners

Classes are conducted in English for foreign tourists who want to learn Japanese cooking, and mostly held at the teacher’s home or studio kitchen. All gears such as cooking utensils, aprons, plates and cutleries are provided. Most classed are held with a small group of 2 to 8 people and an application can be made by one person or a small group. Early booking is recommended as availability of each class is limited and a certain period of time is required for preparation of ingredients. Bookings can be made via website, and you can contact the instructor by email if you have any inquiries about the class. If you have any special request such as allergy-free or vegetarian menu, contact the organiser in advance. 

Japanese cooking classes

Buddha Bellies Cooking School Tokyo(Tokyo)
YUCa’s Japanese Cooking(Tokyo)
Beautiful Washoku Cooking(Tokyo)
Eat Osaka(Osaka)
Cooking Sun(Kyoto/Tokyo)


Menu examples

As you know, the Japanese don’t sushi and tempura every day. In fact, there is a great range in Japanese cuisine from fancy Kaiseki dinner at fine dining to casual lunch plate at a diner in the neighbourhood. In Japanese cooking classes, students learn popular home-styles dishes generally including one main dish and a few sides, so that students will be able to present the full Japanese meal such as the followings.

  • Wagyu beef steak, Agedashi Tofu, two vegetable dishes and Miso soup
  • Okonomiyaki and dumplings
  • Seasonal sushi dishes
  • Udon noodles and Teriyaki chicken
  • Home-style Ramen noodle and dumplings


Attending cooking class

Once your booking is made, you only have to go and attend the class on the day you booked. Generally, one lesson lasts 2 to 3 hours, depending on each organiser, and includes following parts.

  1. Introduction to the basics of Japanese cuisine, menu and ingredients, recipes and process
  2. Cooking practice with an instructor
  3. Tidying up and table setting
  4. Tasting

*Some organiser provide special activity such as a tour in local super market grocer after lesson.



In most classes, you don’t need to bring any tools or ingredients with you on lesson day as all you need at the class will be provided. However, it is important to read through a confirmation email after you make a booking.
All students learn the same menu in each lesson. If you wish to learn special menu such as vegetarian dishes, inquire if they have a lesson that suits your request.
Bookings are required to attend Japanese cooking class. If you have to cancel your booking for any reason, contact the organiser immediately. Cancellation policy differs depending on class organisers. Some offers free cancellation up to one week before the booked date. No refund is provided for absent without notice and cancellation within 24 hours, most of the time.


Bon Appétit!

From everyone’s favourite sushi and tempura to tonkatsu, fried chicken and okonomiyaki that is everyday casual meals, Japanese cooking class in English is becoming a big trend among tourists. Most classes are run for less than 3 hours, therefore great option to fill the gap in your schedule when you visit Tokyo or other cities. It is such a great idea that you can quickly learn Japanese cuisine during your stay in Japan, not just eating it. Why don’t you have a lesson when you came to Japan next time? Of course, you don’t have to be a tourists to attend a class. These cooking classes are available for everyone.





あきらことほ Kotoho Akira

Living outside Japan for a good many years, I often rediscover nice little things about this country every time I return here. I would be more than happy if this column may help you find your "nice little things about Japan"!

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