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7 Best Cooking Classes in Shinjuku to Level Up Your Culinary Skills

By Ashley Owen
February 28, 2021
Updated: March 5, 2021
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.

Tokyo’s Shinjuku district is a bustling, neon-lit wonderland that’s home to lively nightlife spots, endless shopping opportunities, and the busiest train station in the world. Shinjuku district and the greater Shinjuku ward also boast a vibrant food scene, with an amazing variety of restaurants, cafes, and other eateries serving up all kinds of gastronomic delights. So it’s no surprise that if you’re looking to learn how to cook Japanese food, joining a cooking class in Shinjuku is a great option.

From sushi classes and Japanese home cooking workshops to lessons on making authentic kaiseki cuisine, there are so many options to choose from. Not only are these classes a great way to pick up new culinary skills to impress your friends back home, but they also provide a fantastic opportunity to find out more about Japanese food culture and connect with local people during your trip. So, let’s dig into the list!

7 Best Cooking Classes Shinjuku Has to Offer

Here are our top recommendations if you’re trying to find the best cooking classes in Shinjuku. Whatever your skill level and tastes, there’s something to suit everyone.

  1. Tokyo Kaiseki Cuisine Cooking Class
  2. Homemade Sushi Making Class in Tokyo
  3. UNESCO Recognized Washoku Cooking Class
  4. Kyaraben Cartoon Character Bento Making Class
  5. Okonomiyaki Cooking Class in Tokyo
  6. Japanese Homestyle Cooking Class in Tokyo with Sake Pairing
  7. Sushi Art Cooking Class: Wonders of Japanese Fermented Foods

1. Tokyo Kaiseki Cuisine Cooking Class

Overhead shot of a kaiseki meal with six different dishes

Kaiseki ryori is a refined and elegant style of cuisine that consists of multiple different small courses created from high-quality local and seasonal ingredients. The resulting dishes are so beautiful that they look like works of art, combining all sorts of textures, colors, and flavors. This Tokyo Kaiseki Cuisine Cooking Class will teach you all about the history and cooking methods of this traditional style of meal, with a delicious menu that changes according to the seasons. Plus once you’ve made everything, you get to sit down and enjoy all the dishes for yourself!

Book the Tokyo Kaiseki Cuisine Cooking Class >>

2. Homemade Sushi Making Class in Tokyo

A close up shot of a plate full of different types of sushi

This Japanese cooking class is a must for all fans of sushi! Your English-speaking instructor will show you how to make a wide variety of sushi styles in this Homemade Sushi Making Class in Tokyo, such as nigiri (hand-pressed), inari (tofu pockets), hosomaki (thin roll), and even a California roll. Besides the California roll, which was invented by a Japanese chef in L.A., you might find some of it a little different to the sushi you’ve had before! You’ll also learn more about the history of sushi and the local ingredients used to make it, before enjoying your creations with a bowl of miso soup.

Book the Homemade Sushi Making Class in Tokyo >>

3. UNESCO Recognized Washoku Cooking Class

A bowl of miso soup, a plate of traditional Japanese food, a cup of tea and a set of chopsticks

Washoku refers to traditional Japanese cuisine and was awarded UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity status in 2013. So for a truly special experience, try this Tokyo cooking class where you will learn how to create four authentic dishes using UNESCO-recognized recipes that are simple, healthy, and delicious.

The UNESCO Recognized Washoku Cooking Class will teach you how to make dashi soup stock from scratch, as well as an appetizer, side dish, and dessert. Plus of course, you’ll learn plenty about traditional Japanese food culture along the way!

Book the UNESCO Recognized Washoku Cooking Class >>

4. Kyaraben Cartoon Character Bento Making Class

Overhead shot of three character bentos with bearlike characters made from rice, vegetables and other ingredients

This might just be the cutest cooking class in Shinjuku! Kyaraben is short for "character bento" – bento meaning a boxed lunch – and the Kyaraben Cartoon Character Bento Making Class shows you how to make the most adorable ones out there! Using a range of tools and ingredients, you’ll learn how to turn anime characters into edible artwork, as well as more about bento box culture in Japan. It’s sure to be a great way to impress your colleagues back home during your lunch break!

Book the Kyaraben Cartoon Character Bento Making Class >>

5. Okonomiyaki Cooking Class in Tokyo

Okonomiyaki in a frying pan in the front of the shot, with several other side dishes in the background including miso soup, a rice ball and salad

Okonomiyaki is a classic type of Japanese street food that’s popular in Osaka and Hiroshima. Literally translating to "grilled as you like it," it’s a very versatile dish that's a bit like a savory pancake and cooked on a teppanyaki hot plate. In this Okonomiyaki Cooking Class in Tokyo, you’ll spend the evening learning to cook this hearty and soul-warming treat in the Osaka style, where all the ingredients are mixed together before being grilled. Plus you’ll whip up five other classic side dishes such as pickles and lotus root salad to enjoy with it.

Book the Okonomiyaki Cooking Class in Tokyo >>

6. Japanese Homestyle Cooking Class in Tokyo with Sake Pairing

A meal, drinks and sake bottles on a table

Japanese home cooking is both distinctive and diverse, packed with traditional flavors and ingredients such as miso, dashi, and soy sauce. In this fun and fascinating three-hour Japanese Homestyle Cooking Class in Tokyo with Sake Pairing, you’ll learn all about Japanese seasonings, sake, and fermented foods, then get to try your hand at seven different family recipes.

Your host is both a trained chef and a sake sommelier, so after the cooking part of the experience, you’ll enjoy each dish with the perfect nihonshu accompaniment!

Book the Japanese Homestyle Cooking Class in Tokyo with Sake Pairing >>

7. Sushi Art Cooking Class: Wonders of Japanese Fermented Foods

A close up shot of sushi rolls with a mosaic design on a black board

If you want a really unique sushi-making experience, this might just be the best cooking class Tokyo has to offer! The Sushi Art Cooking Class: Wonders of Japanese Fermented Foods begins with a traditional kamishibai (paper drama) storytelling performance to introduce you to fermented foods and their key ingredient – koji. You’ll then learn how to create and roll beautiful mosaic-patterned sushi, as well as make three different authentic side dishes, miso soup, and a delicious matcha dessert.

Book the Sushi Art Cooking Class: Wonders of Japanese Fermented Foods >>

From classic kaiseki cuisine to cute kyaraben boxes and colorful sushi, if you want to attend a cooking class in Shinjuku, there are definitely has plenty of fantastic ones to choose from. Alternatively, if you’re visiting another part of the city you can browse the full list of cooking classes in Tokyo. Book your spot today, and get ready to make some wonderful memories on your Japan trip!

For more fun in the kitchen, check out the episode of Challenge Shizuka where Shizuka Anderson cooks up an osechi ryori (Japanese New Year food) feast and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more of the latest Japanese food videos!

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Ashley Owen
Ashley is a freelance travel writer from the UK who spent the last two years living in Japan, and is about to embark on her next adventure to New Zealand. She's always on the lookout for exciting new vegan treats wherever she goes!
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