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6 Best Osaka Cooking Classes in the "Nation's Kitchen"

By Callum Howe
May 16, 2020
Updated: April 5, 2022

It's hard to imagine a more exciting culinary playground than Osaka. The city is home to traditional kappo counter dining, excellent street food like takoyaki octopus batter balls and okonomiyaki, and is far and away the biggest consumer of Japan's "deadly" delicacy — fugu pufferfish. It's easy enough to try any of these local delicacies, but to really connect with Osaka food and the local dining culture, you need to get up close and personal! Instead of wondering what to eat in Osaka, you should instead be thinking about what to cook in Osaka!

Joining an Osaka cooking class is the best way to connect with a local cooking teacher who will help you understand delicious Japanese dishes in every aspect, from the history to the steps and techniques involved in preparing them. And while a lesson lasts a few hours max, the skills you'll gain during these cooking classes will last a lifetime. When your family and friends ask if your brought them any presents from your Japan trip, you can go one better and wow them with a delicious traditional Japanese meal made with your own two hands!

The 6 Best Osaka Cooking Classes

Here are 6 of our best cooking classes in Osaka, perfect for delving into Japanese food culture!

  1. Osaka Bento Making Class
  2. Osaka Sushi Making Class
  3. Japanese Home Cooking Class in Osaka
  4. Tea Ceremony and Sweets Making Class
  5. Kuromon Market Tour and Sushi Making Class
  6. Wagashi Making Class in Osaka

1. Osaka Bento Making Class

A nicely patterned bento box sits on a table wit its lid off, showing a range of colorful foods stuffed inside.

Editor's Note (July 14, 2021): This class was recently relocated to Hyogo and is no longer available in Osaka.

Bento boxes are one of the most creative and fun parts of Japanese home cooking. A good cook can turn a simple lunchbox meal into a colorful, delicious work of art. If you want to learn to do so yourself, then the Traditional Osaka Bento Making Class is the place to start.

Over the course of two and a half hours, you’ll learn he ins and out of 9 Japanese dishes, and arrange them beautifully in a healthy and hearty bento box. The dishes include classics like ginger beef, shrimp tempura, and tamagoyaki rolled omelet. 

With a load of recipes like these in your arsenal, you’ll basically be a qualified home cook of classic Japanese food (and your lunchbox will be the envy of the office!). 

Book the Traditional Osaka Bento Making Class >>

2. Osaka Sushi Making Class

Three people in aprons learn how to make sushi during a sushi cooking class

Editor's Note (July 14, 2021): This class was recently relocated to Hyogo and is no longer available in Osaka.

Japanese sushi is a deceptively complex craft. You might think that cutting fish and putting it on rice can’t be that hard, but to do it with the best you need a range of very specialized kitchen skills, a deep knowledge of seafood, and a fantastic sense for the best combinations and preparation methods to match each piece.

The top Michelin-starred sushi chefs train for decades to acquire these skills, but we're guessing you don’t have quite that much time dedicated to the craft. In that case, get yourself on this sushi crash course: the Osaka Sushi Cooking Class.

During this cooking class in Osaka, you’ll learn to make properly seasoned sushi rice, test your dexterity to get the perfect cut of fish, and put the two together to form over 12 pieces of sushi (alongside some other classic Japanese dishes). Not only that, but your expert Japanese cooking teacher will fill you in on the history and traditions of the craft.

Book the Osaka Sushi Cooking Class >>

3. Japanese Home Cooking Class in Osaka

Bowl or rice, sesame tofu, soup, and various other umami Japanese dishes spread on a table

Japan has one of the most diverse food cultures, and you presumably have limited time to get to grips with it all! Don’t be overwhelmed, there are a few clever shortcuts you can take to maximize your experience of Japanese cuisine

This Umami Cooking Class in Namba, Osaka is one of them. Here you’ll get a chance to have a hands-on experience with a broad cross-section of the cuisine. For the sheer number of recipes you’ll get to take home, it’s hard to beat.

These include sushi, tofu skin, Japanese salad dressing, dashi stock, a fish dish, a tofu dish, takoyaki, Japanese pickles, and others! 

It all takes place in a bright and wide studio, with expert chefs leading you through all of the steps. Even the most inexperienced chef will be able to follow along with this Osaka cooking class, and even the most experienced will leave having learned something new.

Book the Umami Cooking Class in Namba, Osaka >>

4. Tea Ceremony and Sweets Making Class

A woman wearing a yukata whisks a bowl of green tea with a bamboo whisk.

Get your Zen on by learning about Japan’s historic, philosophical tea culture. The traditional tea ceremonies which have flourished since the Edo period have a very specific set of rules and customs dictating the proper methodology of good hospitality.

Top practitioners train for years to learn all of the procedures and etiquette, but you can get a primer in the art within just 90 minutes at the Japanese Tea Ceremony and Sweet Treats Making Session. The setting of this experience is a nice, bright cafe in central Osaka, so it is easily accessible.

At the start of this Japanese cooking class, you’ll craft some of the traditional wagashi sweets which usually accompany the tea, molding rice flour dough and white bean paste into beautiful floral shapes. After that, you’ll observe the proper procedure for brewing Japanese matcha tea, then try your hand at it yourself. 

It’s not just a teabag and electric kettle job — you’ll be learning to do it the old-fashioned way, with a bamboo whisk and other traditional utensils. If you’re feeling inspired, you can treat yourself to some traditional pottery and tea to take home too!

Book the Japanese Tea Ceremony and Sweet Treats Making Session >>

5. Kuromon Market Tour and Sushi Making Class

A smiling sushi cooking instructor watches over two students who are molding their nigiri sushi into shape.

If you really want to get to know the culinary culture of a city, you have to get right to the heart of it. Kuromon Market has been the beating heart of Osaka’s food scene for over a century, so it’s the place to go for insights into the delicious dishes and ingredients the city is famous for. That is, if you can speak fluent Japanese with the confidence to chat with all of the various traders…

For the rest of us, however, the Kuromon Market Food Tour in Osaka with Sushi Making comes to the rescue. This 4-hour experience is split 50-50 between a market tour and a sushi masterclass.

In the first half, you’ll be led around some of the fantastic street food stalls and market shops in the area. After getting the lowdown on all of the fantastic fresh seafood and vegetables in the market, you’ll get hands-on to make your own sushi with a professional sushi-chef.

Book the Kuromon Market Food Tour in Osaka with Sushi Making >>

6. Wagashi Making Class in Osaka

A man and a woman hold up their finished wagashi, Japanese sweets, during a wagashi making class in Osaka

Editor's Note (July 14, 2021): This class was recently relocated to Hyogo and is no longer available in Osaka.

In case you’re not already aware, the Japanese are crazy about sweets! You’ll find dozens of homegrown chocolate companies here, alongside hundreds of types of unique candy on the supermarket shelves. If you want to go the traditional route though, then you have to try wagashi.

These gluten-free and vegan-friendly sweets date back millennia to when they were just simple rice flour and nut treats. As production methods got more complex and ingredients became abundant during the peaceful Edo era, they transformed into ornate, decorated works of edible art.

During this Osaka Wagashi Making Class, you’ll get all of the tools and skills to make your very own wagashi sweets. While it is traditional to mold and cut them in the shape of seasonal flowers, it’s no problem if you want to go freestyle instead. Maybe you’ll discover you hidden talents as an avant-garde confectioner!

Whatever design you want to make, your expert instructor will guide you along the way. You’ll also get taught how to prepare matcha green tea the traditional way, so you can enjoy a cup alongside your handmade sweet treats.

Book the Osaka Wagashi Making Class >>

The options really are amazing when it comes to cooking classes in Osaka; whether you're an aspiring sushi master, lover of great tea, history buff with a sweet tooth, or all of the above! These wonderful cooking lessons will give you the chance to understand Japanese cuisine on a deeper level. And who knows, you might even discover a new signature dish that you'll be cooking for decades!

Looking for more things to do in Osaka? Read about our best food tours in Osaka or browse more food experiences! Every booking helps children in need through the Food for Happiness project.

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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Callum Howe
Originally from Fife, Scotland, Callum is a literature graduate, freelance writer, and English teacher living in Tokyo. An interest in Zen drew him to Japan, so you can often find him visiting temples around Tokyo and beyond. He loves getting involved with the local music, sports, and arts scenes.
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