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Learning to cook Japanese food

Post: Tuesday March 18, 2014

Japanese food is generally considered a healthy, flavorful way to eat with a wide variety of types of dishes, ingredients, and flavors to choose from. And, there are lots of restaurants in Tokyo serving traditional Japanese food so you never run out of options if you like eating out. That said, if you like to cook at home but don’t speak Japanese, trying to learn to cook Japanese food, especially using traditional Japanese cooking implements, can be challenging.

You want to cook this:


but only manage to come up with this:


If the above describes your experience, then maybe you should attend a Japanese cooking class! Don’t let this scare you. There are numerous cooking schools around Tokyo that offer classes in English as well as websites that help you connect with people who host meals in their homes where you can experience Japanese home cooking and even learn how to cook!

Japanese Cooking

The schools in Tokyo

If you want to make sushi, or any other kind of Japanese food, any of the below schools will get you started. All classes at these schools are offered in English.

Tsukiji Cooking School

Tsukiji Cooking School
  • 6-22-3 6F, Tsukiji, Chūō-ku, Tokyo
  • Enjoy cooking the most popular Japanese dishes using freshest ingredients straight from Tsukiji Market. The school is located next to the world-famous Tsukiji fish market. Classes are in English. Known as the best cooking class for Foreigners in Japan.

Smith Kitchen

Smith Kitchen logo

Japanese Cooking Class Tokyo with Mari

Japanese Cooking Class Tokyo with Mari
  • 2-13-5, Shintomi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
  • The class prepares beautiful and delicious Japanese Traditional homemade menus using seasonable ingredients. The class teaches you with care so that the students can cook them again in their home countries or at their home in Japan. The teacher has experience in studying and working US so the classes will be taught by a fluent English Speaker.

Japanese Cooking Salon inwei

Japanese Cooking Salon inwei
  • 5 minute walk from Gakugeidaigaku station on Tokyu Toyoko Line
  • Provides Japanese Private cooking class in English. You can learn varieties of Japanese recipes from daily home cooking menus to menus you can use for parties. This cooking class will build up the lesson plan with you.

Buddha Bellies Cooking School Tokyo

Buddha Bellies Cooking School Tokyo


  • 1F., 2-17-13, Nishi-Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo
    • There are many different cooking classes to select from. The concept is to teach the world the beauty of Japanese food and Japanese tea. With English speaking staff, students will have full support in learning Japanese food interacting with people from all over the world.



Sagamiono: 4-2-22, Kamitsuruma-Honcho, Minami-ku, Sagamihara-shi, Kanagawa

Kichijoji: Kawada bldg. 3F, 1-25-10 Koichijoji-Honmachi, Musashino-shi, Tokyo

Shimomaruko: 1-5-17, Shimomaruko, Ota-ku, Tokyo

    • Lessons with Perfect Tips for Japanese Cuisine Cooking! The class designed for foreigners enables you to cook Japanese Home Meals within 20 minutes.
      All seasonal, fresh ingredients and English instructions.

School NameDescription


A lot of cooking classes focus on “Washoku” or traditional Japanese food. You may be thinking sushi and ramen and that’s part of it but there’s much more to Washoku than just that.

You will learn things like the practice of “Ichiju-sansai” (one soup, three dishes), which is one basic format for washoku. Its elements are “ju” (soup), usually a miso soup with kombu (kelp), tofu, and bonito (dried fish flakes ), cooked rice; konomono (picked vegetables) such as radishes, and some other item such as baked fish.

Washoku No.2

One thing to remember is that Washoku is traditionally served with each food item in a separate bowl or plate so that the different foods don’t touch each other, unlike foods from many other countries where all the components are served on one large plate. The idea is that each flavor stands on its own and isn’t mixed in with flavors from other food items that are intended to be eaten separately.

Traditional ingredients in washoku are of course rice, but also fish, a variety of locally grown vegetables, seaweeds, and very spare amounts of poultry and red meat. Spices and seasonings focus on soy sauce, sake and mirin, vinegar, sugar, and salt and occasionally ginger or other spices to mute some of the fishy flavors that occur when seafood is prepared.

The Home Meal Services

EatWithand Nagomi Visitare services that connect people over cooked meals in homes. EatWith provides this connection all over the world including Tokyo and Nagomi Visit is focused on Japan.

The way it works is that you find an upcoming event, register and pay for your meal on the website, and then go have a meal! These meals typically take place in someone’s home and are a great opportunity for you to see what Japanese meals look like at home and also to make some new friends.

Try it yourself

After you’ve learned to cook Japanese –style, it’s time to try it for yourself. You can obviously get ingredients for Japanese food at any grocery store or conbini in Tokyo, but you can definitely also find them at supermarkets catering to English-speakers so don’t let a worry about not being able to understand stop you from using your new-found knowledge. Best of luck and tasty eating!

Article Japanese Food Recipes Article Larning Experience In Tokyo 




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