Japan’s ancient capital city is nothing if not rich in tradition, and what’s more traditional than local cuisine? Not only does Kyoto have its own regional cuisine known as Kyo ryori but it is also the birthplace of the Japanese kaiseki cuisine, which is a banquet-style multi-course meal made with seasonal Japanese ingredients (this cuisine and more is covered in our guide, What to Eat in Kyoto).
There’s nothing quite like the food culture of Kyoto — some of the most famous local dishes and cuisines originated here including 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 gifts you with lifelong Japanese cooking skills, but also gives you opportunity to connect with locals and like-minded travelers who share an appreciation for Japanese cuisine. At the end of your Japan 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 learn to cook your own Kyoto cuisine, with tips from an expert?
Here’s our list of the best cooking classes in Kyoto to level up your Japanese cuisine skills.
Ever heard of a bento? It’s a classic Japanese packed meal that’s specially made for those who are on the go. A bento consists of small portions of dishes usually packed in a lunchbox to take to school or work, but because it’s such a huge hit with the local Japanese, Japanese bento easily be bought in convenience stores or konbini.
Learn how to make your very own Japanese bento during a Bento Making Class in Kyoto! Our #1 bestselling Kyoto cooking class is highly rated because it is a great introduction to Japanese cuisine. Learn the basics of 6 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!
Want to try the authentic Japanese restaurant experience? An izakaya is as Japanese as it gets, a local pub where the 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, book a spot at the Izakaya Food Cooking Class in Kyoto! Not only will you experience genuine Japanese food culture, but you’ll also pick up Japanese cooking skills while making classic izakaya dishes. After making a total of 6 different types of izakaya foods, devour your delicious creations alongside a couple of drinks.
Who doesn’t like a good bowl of ramen, especially if it’s one you make from scratch yourself! During this cooking class in Kyoto, the Customizable Ramen Class with Noodles Made From Scratch, you’ll learn the basics and fundamentals of creating the ultimate bowl of ramen — all in under 90 minutes! From kneading your own noodles to making the perfect broth, the skilled Japanese ramen expert teacher will guide you every step of the way. What’s great about this specific Kyoto cooking class is that it is customizable — any sort of dietary requirements including halal and vegetarian can be accommodated!
Nothing gives you a more in-depth and immersive Japanese culture experience than a tour with a local guide. So, why not complete your Kyoto adventure with a tour and a cooking class in one? During this Kyoto Nishiki Market Tour and Cooking Class, the local tour guide will bring you around Kyoto’s famous Nishiki Market, full of local products, handmade utensils, and more. Educate yourself on Japanese cuisine, including seasonal produce and essential cooking tools, in a Japanese kitchen. Then, put your newly-learned knowledge to good use as you cook up four Japanese dishes that will make up the contents of your own beautiful bento!
Roll up your sleeves during the Kyoto Decorative Sushi Cooking Class, a cooking workshop in Kyoto dedicated to introducing the magnificent art of kazarimaki sushi, which is also known as "decorative sushi." Kazarimaki sushi is a specific type of sushi where the seaweed paper encircles a beautiful design in the center of the rice, made of different types of colorful ingredients. During this cooking class in Kyoto, you’ll learn how to make not one, but two styles of kazarimaki sushi! Come to class a little bit earlier to put on some Japanese traditional clothing like a kimono or yukata and enjoy the full experience Kyoto has to offer!
Combine a trip to the famous Nishiki Market with an authentic bowl of ramen during the Nishiki Market Tour with Ramen Cooking Class! Not only will you get a special tour of the famous "Kitchen of Kyoto" led by a well-informed local tour guide, but you’ll also be able to learn the edible craft of ramen. Pick out your own fresh, quality ingredients from Nishiki Market to include in your very own bowl of ramen, made from scratch. Best of all, the class can suit many types of dietary requirements, from halal to vegan. You can even make gluten-free noodles!
Master the craft of sushi and brush up on your Japanese culture knowledge during this Kyoto food experience, the 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.
Ever heard of a savory pancake? Japan has a classic street food called okonomiyaki, a delicious dish that's also served at teppanyaki restaurants! The Kyoto Okonomiyaki Cooking Class introduces this comforting Japanese food — from its origins to ingredients and tips on how to create the ultimate okonomiyaki. Get creative by adding various ingredients like meat and vegetables, then master the flipping technique of this savory pancake. This Kyoto cooking class is a perfect hands-on group activity! And if you have time to spare before the class, come a little early and put on traditional Japanese clothing like a yukata or kimono to fully immerse yourself in the Kyoto experience!
A molten-hot ball of batter with octopus pieces stuffed in the middle might sound a little strange, but rest assured that takoyaki is one of the most delicious Japanese foods! Try making this classic street food for yourself during the Kyoto Takoyaki Cooking Class, where you’ll learn the ABCs of making these fried octopus balls. This Kyoto cooking class is more of a “takoyaki party” than it is a cooking class — enjoy freshly-made takoyaki with newly-made friends! During this experience, you can even try traditional Japanese clothing, like a kimono or yukata, to top off the whole experience!
A 2-in-1 experience, join the Nishiki Market and Kyoto Supermarket Tour with Donburi Cooking Class to experience two local markets with with a knowledgable guide, then get hands-on in the kitchen! Make your choice on donburi (Japanese rice bowl dish), choosing between two classics: (1) gyudon or "beef bowl" or (2) oyakodon "parent-and-child" chicken and egg bowl. There's also a third option for vegans and vegetarians to make a tofu donburi.
Learn all about Japanese ingredients with a local host as you peruse the shops in Kyoto's historic 400-year-old Nishiki Market, which is also known as "Kyoto's pantry." She'll also guide you through a neighborhood supermarket, helping you choose the freshest ingredients for your donburi.
Discovering the ancient capital city Kyoto doesn’t just involve visiting attractions and historical places but also indulging in the local cuisine — and what better way to do so than by preparing them first-hand at Kyoto cooking classes hosted by talented local cooks and guides? With everything from the classic ramen and sushi to the savory street foods like okonomiyaki and takoyaki, Kyoto has a huge variety of cooking classes to choose from!