With lockdowns still in effect in some parts of the world and social distancing measures being taken, your plans to travel to Japan may currently be on hold. However, with the click of a button, we can bring Japan to you! If you’re missing Japan and craving Japanese cuisine, take your pick from this list of online cooking classes and virtual food experiences to learn about Japanese cooking, food culture, or gain a new skill.
From vegan ramen and beautifully crafted wagashi to cute bento sets, you’ll be cooking up a Japanese feast in your own kitchen in no time! Join these cooking instructors and tour guides who have had many years in the food and beverage industry in Japan; they’ll not only guide you through the courses and experiences, but also let you in on some travel tips and food tours that you can look forward to on next trip to Japan!
Here are some of the best online Japanese cooking classes and food experiences to try at home!
Break a sweat as you dance your way to delicious noodles during this active online ramen making class! Led by Manami-sensei, you’ll learn how to make a smooth and supple ramen noodle dough without using your hands.
Dancing on the dough (placed in a sturdy plastic bag), you’ll bust a move to J-pop and anime theme songs. Before you know it, your dough will be ready, without all the tiring work. Your friends and family will marvel that your noodles are so delicious, with no actual kneading! It’s quite a feet–ahem, feat.
Manami-sensei’s original chicken broth recipe is simple and soothing, but she also has vegetarian and vegan versions so anyone can enjoy this online ramen class! Or, for those who prefer a thicker, porkier broth, book Manami-sensei’s online tonkotsu ramen class.
Check out Manami-sensei's cooking chops in our Osechi Ryori (Japanese New Year food) episode of Challenge Shizuka!
Manami-sensei is back with another online cooking class that will get your heart rate up! With her dancing on the dough method, you’ll find yourself with perfect gyoza wrappers in no time during this online gyoza cooking class.
After getting your groove on and creating the softest gyoza dough imaginable, you’ll make tasty gyoza filling using Manami-sensei’s own recipe. Vegetarians and vegans versions can also be accommodated with easy substitutions. Then, Manami-sensei will give you an up-close look as she shows you how to wrap and pleat your dumplings. Kids will love this step as well!
After pan-frying your tasty parcels, you’ll be treated to the crispiest, juiciest gyoza–and without even shelling out cash for the airfare to Japan!
If you’re craving sweet Japanese treats, join this delightful Online Wagashi Making Class to learn how to make traditional Japanese sugary delights from scratch!
Wagashi are traditional Japanese sweet treats made from plant-based ingredients (primarily bean paste, so they're suitable for vegans), and are considered an edible art form in Japan, because of their deliciousness and pleasing aesthetics.
Learn to color, shape, and decorate tasty nerikiri wagashi, to give you and your family a sweet taste of Japan, served right out of your kitchen!
Ever wondered how to make ramen at home? There is no better time than now to learn how to make ramen from the comfort of your own home kitchen! The Vegan Ramen and Gyoza Making Class will have you whipping up a hearty bowl of vegan ramen and gyoza that's incredibly delicious and totally free of animal products!
If you’re interested in hearing about the vegan lifestyle in Japan and would like to get some delicious vegan restaurant recommendations for your next trip to Japan, your friendly guide is more than happy to share these with you.
As far as Japanese cooking classes go, this Character Bento Making Class might be the most kawaii virtual cooking class to date!
After learning how to design cartoon characters using colorful ingredients and putting together your healthy Japanese bento, you’ll be proudly showing off your Instagrammable edible masterpieces! You’ll also receive the recipes to recreate your own bento at home, so you can make these delicious Japanese lunch boxes anytime you want!
This is one online cooking class that udon wanna miss! These traditional Japanese noodles are thick, chewy, and oh-so-comforting, usually served in a traditional dashi and soy sauce-based broth. During this online curry udon class, Manami-sensei combines her homemade udon noodles with a spicy, warming curry (a recipe which can be adapted for vegans and vegetarians) for an even cozier meal.
But again, she’ll make you work for it first. Yes, you’ll need to bring your best dance moves as you work the udon noodle dough, hands-free! Connect with family and friends as you laugh and dance together over Zoom, listening to your favorite J-pop and anime theme songs.
While you may not be able to make the trip to Hiroshima, you can still get a taste of the city’s pride and joy during this Hiroshima Style Okonomiyaki Cooking Class!
This style of okonomiyaki used to be a simple, one-coin snack in Hiroshima but evolved into the impressive layered construction of batter, cabbage, egg, meat (or seafood), and noodles that we now know as Hiroshima okonomiyaki, or Hiroshimayaki.
For a taste of the truly authentic Hiroshimayaki, come to the experts at Otafuku Sauce Company, Japan’s iconic okonomiyaki sauce producer. They’ve been operating since the 1920s and helped Hiroshimayaki expand and make its mark on Japan’s culinary scene!
If you can’t visit the Okosta Okonomiyaki Cooking Class at their cooking studio by Hiroshima Station, this online Hiroshima okonomiyaki class is the next best thing! With a friendly English-speaking guide, you’ll learn how to maneuver your okonomiyaki around the griddle. Book it now and see how your skills stack up against your family and friends!
Okonomiyaki is a delicious Japanese street food that's often called “Japanese pizza.” Literally translating to “cooked as you like it,” okonomiyaki is a Japanese savory pancake that can include any ingredient of your choice but often uses cabbage, egg, and meat or seafood.
During this online cooking class, you will learn how to make this classic Japanese food right in your own kitchen, as the basic ingredients for okonomiyaki are widely accessible. You can decorate it with various toppings, as well! Soon, you'll be able to whip up Osaka-style okonomiyaki for future at-home parties!
Bill Murray said it best: “For relaxing times, make it Suntory time.” During this online Mysteries of Japanese Whisky Private Experience, you’ll find out just why Japanese whiskies have been recognized among the best in the world by the World Whiskies Awards.
This experience takes place over Zoom and is hosted by an expert with inside knowledge from the Yamazaki Distillery. The guide will teach you about the basics of whisky and how it is produced, give insights into unique aspects of Japanese whisky in particular, and help you to better appreciate your whisky, starting with the correct method of nosing. You’ll also learn how to make the classic Japanese whisky highball, a simple cocktail that combines whisky and soda.
It’s BYOB and while it would be great if you could enjoy Japanese whisky during the experience, whatever whisky you have on hand is fine and the host is curious to hear about the whiskies available in your country.
Summit the peak of Mt. Fuji–virtually, that is–during this Mt. Fuji Virtual Tour guided by a local tourism expert. You’ll learn all about the majestic, symbolic mountain of Japan and the surrounding region’s history and cuisine. If you’ve ever wanted to climb Mt. Fuji, your guide also has tips for you!
During this one hour virtual tour, you’ll hear stories about the region, find out about local B-gourmet specialties, learn about things to do in the area, and do fun trivia to test your knowledge! This intimate online experience is kept to small groups, so you’ll have the chance to ask questions about tourism in Japan and in the Mt. Fuji area in particular.
It’s always happy hour somewhere in the world! All you need are glasses, an optional shaker, your choice of alcohol, and an internet connection to join this virtual Mixology Mixer from anywhere in the world!
Lauren, the mixology guide, will teach you how to create your own Japanese cocktails and mixed drinks from the comfort of your own home, using common ingredients that can be easily found in supermarkets or convenience stores. Stay home and sip some delicious Japanese drinks!
Stuck at home wishing you were out exploring the streets of Tokyo instead? Fret no more, as you can now embark on an adventure across Shibuya and Shinjuku during this Virtual Tokyo Tour! During this online experience, your host will regale you with stories and histories of local Tokyo neighborhoods and provide you with tips, tricks, and off-the-beaten-path places to help you on your next trip to Tokyo!
As we hurry through our daily lives, we rarely take the time to slow down and appreciate what’s in front of us, including what we eat during mealtimes. This mindful eating virtual class will introduce you to the philosophy of mindfulness which originated from Buddhism, and lead you through the steps to practice this habit in your daily life.
As you make the conscious decision to slow down the pace of your harried life, take time to eat slowly, calmly, and more mindfully, to savor the joys of everyday life.
Take a break and join this Virtual Teatime with Japanese Green Tea Expert to learn all about the magical world of green tea and its significance in Japanese culture.
This online class will introduce you to the health benefits of antioxidant-rich green tea and demonstrate the perfect tea brewing method for you to try. You’ll learn about the secret connection between green tea and nori seaweed and also hear a recipe for a tasty green tea cocktail!
Nagoya usually wakes up with a slice of Ogura toast, a toast with a thick slather of red bean paste that complements white Japanese bread wonderfully. Join Lena, your host, as she introduces you to the origins of Ogura toast and teaches you the best way to make and enjoy it!
Lena will also give you tips on how to differentiate different types of red bean pastes, a major ingredient in traditional Japanese sweets. You can even chat with her about Nagoya and its rich historical culture to learn more about the city before you head there!
Are you missing delicious Japanese food? You can now partake in a virtual Japanese food tour online with a local tour guide, learning about five of the most popular Japanese foods.
This virtual food tour showcases iconic Japanese foods and ingredients that commonly feature in traditional Japanese cuisine. You’ll learn how to eat like a local, pick up essential Japanese dining etiquette and have a chance to chat with your host and ask questions about anything related to Japan. After this virtual Japan tour, you’ll be all set for your next Japan trip!
With the convenience of virtual cooking classes and other online Japan experiences, even if travel to Japan is currently not possible, you can still spend time learning about Japanese culture, have fun experimenting with Japanese cuisine, and discover the secrets to mindful eating. Come join a virtual class to explore and experience Japan from the comfort of your own home!