23 Best Cooking Classes in Kyoto

By Ryan Noble
Updated: March 19, 2024

Japan’s ancient capital city is nothing if not rich in tradition, and what’s more traditional than local cuisine? Some of Kyoto’s most famous local dishes and cuisines include shojin ryori and the Japanese tea ceremony, making it the perfect place to discover traditional Japanese cuisine. And what better way to learn than by joining a Kyoto cooking class, hosted by local experts?

A Japanese cooking class not only gives you lifelong Japanese cooking skills, but also gives you the opportunity to connect with locals and like-minded travelers. At the end of your trip, you’ll take home new recipes and skills as a souvenir, and be able to impress your family and friends back home with your newfound cooking skills. 

If you’re looking for things to do in Kyoto, why not join a Japanese cooking class in Kyoto and pick up a few tips from an expert? Here’s our list of the best cooking classes in Kyoto to level up your Japanese cuisine skills.

Bento cooking classes in Kyoto

Ever heard of a Japanese bento box? It’s a classic packed meal that’s specially made for those who are on the go, with small portions of dishes packed into a lunchbox to take to school or work. Bento can also be bought in most konbini (convenience stores).

1. Bento-making class in Kyoto

A group of people at a bento-making class, smiling at the camera.

Learn how to make your very own Japanese bento during a bento-making cooking class in Kyoto! Learn the basics of six popular Japanese dishes including deep-fried tempura and omurice, using staple ingredients like soy sauce, sake, and dashi

Put together your bento masterpiece and reap the benefits of your hard work afterward, by dining together with your Japanese cooking teacher and new friends!

Izakaya cooking classes in Kyoto

The Japanese izakaya, which literally translates to a “stay-drink-place,” is a must-go establishment when you visit Japan. Capturing the local atmosphere of Japan like no other, izakaya are a type of Japanese bar where you can catch up with friends over various dishes and alcoholic drinks.

2. Izakaya food cooking class in Kyoto

Three woman in an izakaya food cooking class in Kyoto.

Want to try the authentic Japanese restaurant experience? An izakaya is as Japanese as it gets, helping locals unwind with a glass of sake or a bottle of beer, accompanied by a few snacks and izakaya food

To learn how to make classic Japanese pub food, take our izakaya food cooking class in Kyoto! Not only will you experience many traditional Japanese foods, but you’ll also pick up Japanese cooking skills while making classic izakaya dishes. After making six different types of izakaya foods, devour your delicious creations alongside a couple of drinks.

Japanese noodle cooking classes in Kyoto

You can’t come to Japan without trying all the different noodles on offer, from iconic ramen to traditional soba and chewy udon. Japan has noodle dishes for all tastes, occasions, and seasons… but have you ever tried cooking Japanese noodles for yourself?

Ramen cooking classes in Kyoto

Ramen. Just the word conjures up an irresistible image of flavorful broth, fresh noodles, and a variety of delicious toppings. There’s no shortage of ramen varieties in Japan, with each region having their own specialty — care to try making your own ramen in Kyoto?

3. Private ramen cooking class in Kyoto

A close-up shot of fresh ramen noodles, twisted together.

Who doesn’t love a good bowl of ramen? Especially if it’s one you make from scratch yourself, like this private ramen cooking class in Kyoto. Over the course of an hour, you’ll learn the basics of creating the ultimate bowl of ramen — including the chance to taste and compare ramen noodles of 3 different thicknesses! 

Vegetarian and no meat or fish options are also available for this experience, if you’ve been craving vegetarian ramen.

4. Ramen and gyoza cooking class in Kyoto

Close-up of fresh gyoza, a side dish, sauce, and chopsticks.

There aren’t many pairings as perfect as ramen and gyoza, and that’s exactly what you’ll be making in this ramen and gyoza cooking class in Kyoto! Located in a cozy Kyoto home, you’ll feel like one of the locals as you make ramen, gyoza, and a side dish from scratch — all leading up to the final moments, where you get to sit down and enjoy the flavors of your own creation.

Udon cooking classes in Kyoto

Udon is ramen’s thicker, chewier cousin and is loved across Japan, especially when made and served fresh. You’ll understand the appeal once you’ve made udon of your own in these udon cooking classes!

5. Udon and tempura cooking class in Kyoto

Four people smiling, rolling udon at a cooking class in Kyoto.

Mix, knead, and roll your way to udon noodles from scratch before mastering the art of tempura batter in our udon and tempura cooking class in Kyoto. Combined, udon noodles and tempura create a satisfying, warming combo that will make you feel like the authentic Japanese noodle chef you’ll become! 

6. Family-friendly udon cooking class in Kyoto countryside

Two adults and one child in a traditional Japanese building, rolling out fresh udon.

Nestled into the tea fields of Wazuka, in the peaceful Kyoto countryside, is our family-friendly udon cooking class. Not only will you learn Kyoto udon, a homely noodle dish that’ll be topped with fried tofu and Kujo green onion, but this experience also serves as a perfect palate cleanser if you feel like getting away from the crowds of Gion. 

Soba cooking classes in Kyoto

Soba — Japan’s famous buckwheat noodle — is perhaps the most flexible noodle in Japan, served hot, cold, by itself, as part of a set meal, and so much more. So, it’s time to see how your soba is served, don’t you think?

7. Cha soba cooking class in Kyoto countryside

A close-up shot of cha soba on a traditional bamboo serving plate.

Join our cha soba cooking class in Kyoto and experience a historic Japanese noodle dish in the serene surroundings of Wazuka’s rolling tea fields. Cha soba is a type of soba noodle made with sencha (green tea) — one of the many different types of Japanese tea — and is often served with savory dipping sauces. Usually served for special occasions, you’ll be getting a glimpse into an important part of Japan’s long and glorious culture of cuisine. 

Sushi cooking classes in Kyoto

There aren’t many people who don’t immediately think of sushi when they think of Japan, so it only feels right that you try one of our sushi cooking classes in Kyoto. There’s something for everyone, truly!

8. Gluten-free sushi cooking class in Kyoto

Two men holding their handmade sushi towards the camera, smiling.

In this nigiri, gunkan, and maki sushi cooking class in Kyoto, learn how to make three common types of sushi with expert hosts. Then embrace your traditional Japanese setting as you enjoy your hand-made sushi and get to know your Japanese hosts and other classmates. Think your sushi deserves only the finest of fish? You may want to upgrade your experience with our premium seafood add-on.

If you don’t know your nigiri from your gunkan, brush up on the different types of sushi and impress the hosts!

Gluten-free sushi: When booking this experience, you can also choose the gluten-free option for a gluten-free sushi cooking class experience!

Vegan sushi cooking classes in Kyoto

Who said vegans don’t get to have any fun? Not us! Vegan sushi cooking classes in Kyoto are growing in popularity, meaning you can enjoy all the fun and culture of Japanese sushi making without worrying about any unwanted fish or animal byproducts joining the party.

9. Private vegan sushi cooking class in Kyoto

Four smiling people at a private vegan sushi cooking class in Kyoto.

In this private vegan sushi cooking class in Kyoto, you’ll enjoy mastering the art of Japanese sushi while swapping out non-vegan ingredients for plant-based alternatives (like soy meat and tapioca ikura). Giving the age-old Japanese cuisine a more modern, accessible twist, this is one sushi-making class that everyone can enjoy.

Upgrade your experience: If you’ve had your eye on Kyoto’s famous Nishiki Market — a lively, covered shopping street with all kinds of shops, stalls, and fresh ingredients — add our Nishiki Market walk to your experience and wander around with the host for an hour before making sushi.

10. Decorative vegan sushi cooking class

Two ladies in kimono are rolling sushi while a Japanese experts stands, teaching them.

Roll up your sleeves and get hands-on in our decorative sushi Kyoto cooking class, dedicated to introducing the magnificent art of kazarimaki sushi (decorative sushi). You’ll learn how to make not one, but two styles of kazarimaki sushi! Also, as this sushi class uses all-natural, plant-based ingredients, it’s completely vegetarian and vegan sushi.

Fun fact: Kazarimaki sushi is a specific type of sushi where the seaweed encircles a beautiful design in the center of the rice, made of different types of colorful ingredients. 

11. Authentic Japanese sushi cooking class in Kyoto

A lady explains the art of authentic sushi to a table of tourists.

Master the craft of sushi and brush up on your cultural knowledge during this authentic Japanese sushi cooking class in Kyoto! From making your own sushi to learning about the history of Japanese cuisine and Japanese table manners, you’ll come out of this cooking class a Japanese food expert. And with all this information absorbed, you’ll be able to properly execute the sushi-making process effortlessly in your own home kitchen.

Private sushi cooking classes in Kyoto

For those times when you want to create an intimate memory with only your nearest and dearest, book one of our private sushi cooking classes in Kyoto.

12. Private sushi cooking class in Kyoto

Three people smiling at a private sushi cooking class in Kyoto. One is doing a peace sign.

Using only the freshest seafood from Kyoto Central Wholesale Market, this 2-hour private sushi cooking class in Kyoto will have you mastering the process of making nigiri, gunkan, and hosomaki sushi. First, you’ll learn the importance of making sushi rice, followed by learning the step-by-step process behind creating six types of nigiri and two types of maki sushi rolls. Who’s hungry for sushi?

Japanese onigiri cooking classes in Kyoto

Onigiri (rice balls) are a grab-and-go staple in Japan, packed into bento boxes and grabbed from local konbini for a quick snack across the country. They’re as delicious as they are convenient, and it’s time you tried making your own in these onigiri cooking classes in Kyoto.

13. Miso and onigiri cooking class in Kyoto

A hand reaches into a bowl of rice, preparing to make kome miso.

In this miso and onigiri cooking class in Kyoto, you’ll truly get under the skin of two of the most prevalent aspects of Japanese cuisine: miso and rice balls. You’ll learn how to make “kome miso” from koji rice, salt, and boiled or steamed soybeans, which you’ll then use to whip up a traditional miso soup and accompanying onigiri. You’ll fill these classic rice balls with things like grilled salmon, simmered kombu, bonito flakes, umeboshi (sour plum), and whatever you fancy!

Pro tip: This miso-making class is only offered from November to March, as the cooler temperatures offer optimum conditions for the initial stages of fermentation - it’s the perfect excuse to try a Japanese winter cooking class in Kyoto!

Japanese home cooking classes in Kyoto

For that authentic, local Japanese cooking experience, there’s nothing quite as cozy and welcoming as our Japanese home cooking classes in Kyoto, helping you bring a little taste of Japan home with you.

14. Seasonal Japanese home cooking class in Kyoto

A family take a Japanese home cooking class in Kyoto.

For a Japanese home cooking class in Kyoto that changes with the seasons, look no further. Working alongside an instructor who has honed their skills at an organic restaurant and in the catering industry, you’ll learn to make a delicious lunch over a 3-hour session. For the freshest ingredients, the menu changes monthly, giving you extra insight into the seasonal flavors and produce of Japan.

Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free: Private cooking classes of four or more people can also customize the menu to suit your dietary needs, creating a vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free Japanese cooking class.

15. Gyoza, tamagoyaki & miso soup home cooking class in Kyoto

A table is covered in gyoza, rolled omelet, miso soup and beer.

For a cooking class in Kyoto that captures the true essence of home cooking — with simple, yet cozy Japanese dishes — join this gyoza, tamagoyaki, and miso soup home cooking class. Located near Heian-jingu Shrine, Kyoto City Zoo, Okazaki Park, and Kyoto’s National Museum of Modern Art, you can enjoy a classic Japanese lunch before seeing a few more of Kyoto’s must-see attractions. Psst, Kyoto craft beer, sake, or homemade plum wine are also included in the price — kanpai (cheers)!

16. Family-friendly Japanese home cooking class in Kyoto

A family listens intently to their Japanese instructor, teaching them how to make Japanese home cooking.

This family-friendly Japanese home cooking class in Kyoto will help you create precious memories with the whole family as you’re guided through making Japanese dashi, tempura, rolled omelet, miso soup, sushi, a seasonal side dish, and mochi ice cream to finish. And that’s not all! Once you’ve eaten your handmade delights, your host will escort you to a local Japanese supermarket, walking you through all the ingredients you’ve just cooked with. Little ones must be aged 6+ to join this experience.

Japanese curry cooking classes in Kyoto

Japanese curry is another fan-favorite dish, loved by locals and tourists alike. With a variety of different spices, flavors, and ingredients, Japanese curry is a dish you can keep coming back to over and over again. Now, let’s learn how to make it!

17. Katsu curry cooking class in Kyoto

A table is covered in katsu curry, miso soup, rolled omelet, and sake.

When it comes to Japanese curry, katsu curry has to be one of the most popular, both in Japan and around the world. Learn to make this delicious staple with the help of an expert host in this Japanese curry cooking class in Kyoto, showing you the path to a perfectly crispy, cozy Japanese curry, alongside three side dishes: miso soup, tamagoyaki egg rolled omelet, and lotus root chips. Paired with local craft beer, sake, or homemade plum wine, you’ll leave feeling satisfied and craving more Japanese curry. 

Fun fact: Katsu curry is often eaten in Japan before exams or competitions to bring luck, as “katsu” means “to win.”

Japanese tea ceremony classes in Kyoto

Japanese tea ceremonies are a cultural must-see if you’re traveling Japan, and especially if you visit the matcha capital of Kyoto. Embrace this historic tradition with a tea ceremony master and learn the ways of matcha and traditional Japanese sweets.

18. Japanese tea ceremony in a traditional Kyoto townhouse

A cup of matcha and a Japanese sweet on a purple plate.

It may not quite count as “cooking,” but the art of Japanese tea ceremony is steeped in history and especially important to Japan’s matcha capital, Kyoto. In this Japanese tea ceremony class in Kyoto, you’ll join a tea master in his traditional Kyoto machiya (townhouse) and learn how to make Kyoto-grown matcha — perfectly paired with the subtle flavors of locally made, traditional Japanese sweets. Oh, and don’t forget to smile for the group photo at the end!

Japanese desserts and sweets cooking classes in Kyoto

Japanese desserts and sweets are every bit as important as the savory specialties Japan is celebrated for, offering a variety of delicate flavors and all-out indulgence, depending on the dessert. Fancy giving our Japanese dessert-making classes a go?

Vegan sweets cooking classes in Kyoto

As wagashi are often made using seasonal, plant-based ingredients, many wagashi and traditional Japanese sweets-making classes in Kyoto are vegan-friendly, like the ones below!

19. Traditional Japanese wagashi-making class in Kyoto

A daifuku cut in half, revealing a fresh strawberry inside a mochi exterior.

In the world of Japanese sweets, there’s nothing more traditional than wagashi. These small, delicate treats are often served with Japanese tea, used to offset its natural bitterness with their gentle sweetness. 

Among wagashi, nerikiri (decorative sweets) are some of the most eye-catching, sculpted into different seasonal shapes, and it’s these wagashi that you’ll be learning to make in this traditional Japanese wagashi-making class in Kyoto. Then, you’ll taste them with an award-winning cup of Kyoto tea from Rishouen, and even get to take home recipes and any extra sweets.

20. Japanese sweets and matcha-making class in Kyoto

A selection of nerikiri, shaped into seasonal flowers, petals, and leaves.

Nerikiri are some of the most beautiful Japanese sweets and learning how to make them is sure to impress everyone back home. In this family-friendly nerikiri and matcha-making class in Kyoto, you’ll master five distinctive nerikiri and understand the process behind making traditional Japanese green tea. Plus, since these sweets consist of sweet bean paste and plant-based coloring, they’re also vegan!

Note: Unfortunately, children under the age of six cannot join this experience.

Mochi cooking classes in Kyoto

Mochi — that squishy, chewy Japanese dessert that everyone has to try at least once when they come to Japan. Think you could make it for yourself? You can if you join one of these mochi-making cooking classes in Kyoto.

21. Mochi ice cream, dango, and taiyaki cooking class in Kyoto

A red tray with a selection of Japanese sweets, including mochi, taiyaki, and dango.

Near the must-see destination that is Fushimi Inari Shrine, there’s a mochi ice cream, dango, and taiyaki cooking class that we think you’ll love. In this interactive Japanese cooking class, you’ll become an expert in making mochi ice cream, hanami dango, taiyaki (fish-shaped cake with red bean filling), and traditional matcha tea.

22. Washi paper making and mochi cooking class in Kyoto’s countryside

Two Japanese ladies show a guest how to make mochi.

An hour from the center of Kyoto is Kurotani, a charming countryside village where washi (traditional Japanese paper) has been crafted for 800 years. Not only that, but the locals are also experts in making Japanese mochi, which means after taking this washi paper making and mochi cooking class, you will be too! You’ll make eight washi postcards, enjoy mochi, and have a chance to chat with the locals.

Japanese sample food cooking class in Kyoto

If you’ve been to Japan before, you’ve seen the plastic sample food that adorns so many of Japan’s restaurants and cafes, giving you a sneak peek into what dishes will look like when they arrive at your table. Go on, try making it for yourself!

23. Miniature Japanese sample food-making class in Kyoto

Loads of Japanese sample food models are spread out, including ramen, takoyaki, dango, donuts, and more.

Plastic sample food in Japan is undeniably cute and convenient, but it’s also an art form in its own right. In this Japanese sample food-making class in Kyoto, you’ll learn just what it takes to make realistic sample food, starting with beginner and family-friendly shapes like takoyaki (battered octopus balls), udon noodles, a melon soda float, and okonomiyaki (Japanese savory pancake).

Check out our best food tours in Kyoto or read our guide of what to eat in Kyoto to discover even more local specialties in Japan's ancient capital.

Cooking classes in Kyoto: FAQs

Are there any cooking classes in Kyoto?

There are likely hundreds, if not thousands, of cooking classes in Kyoto, ranging from ramen, soba, and udon to Japanese curry, traditional sweets, and sushi. As the times change and Japan’s cuisine becomes more accessible for all types of dietary restrictions, you’ll also discover even more gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan cooking classes in Japan. 

What kind of Kyoto cooking classes are there?

From our list of Kyoto cooking classes alone, you’ll see that there are Japanese cooking classes for everything, including:

  • Ramen cooking classes
  • Soba cooking classes
  • Udon cooking classes
  • Izakaya food cooking classes
  • Japanese katsu curry cooking classes
  • Sushi cooking classes (including gluten-free sushi and vegan sushi!)
  • Onigiri rice ball cooking classes
  • Japanese mochi cooking classes
  • Japanese sweets cooking classes

Are Japanese cooking classes in English?

All of our Kyoto cooking classes are taught by an English-speaking instructor, so even if you can’t speak Japanese, you’ll still be able to enjoy the culture and cuisines of Japan.

Are there any cooking classes for 4-year-olds in Kyoto?

There are all kinds of family-friendly cooking classes in Kyoto, many of which you’ll find on our platform. Although some cooking classes for 4-year-olds in Japan do exist, it’s best to double-check before booking as some experiences are only available for children above a certain age. 

For example, children need to be 6+ for our authentic Japanese home cooking class and over 10 for our udon and tempura cooking class in Kyoto

Where are the best cooking classes in Japan?

The best cooking classes in Japan are wherever you are, of course! That’s why we’ve collected the best cooking classes in Kyoto, the best cooking classes in Tokyo, the best cooking classes in Osaka, and beyond!

We strive to be as accurate as possible and keep up with the changing landscape of Japan's food and travel industries. If you spot any inaccuracies, please send a report.
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Ryan Noble
Ryan’s love for Japan may have begun with Naruto — something he refuses to hide — but it only grew once he truly understood the beauty of this country’s language, culture, and people. He hopes to use that passion to bridge the gap between Japan and the rest of the world, shining the spotlight on its hidden gems and supporting the revitalization of rural regions.
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