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9 Best Wagashi Classes in Japan for Traditional Japanese Sweets

By Ashley Owen
February 25, 2021
Updated: October 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.

Beautiful to look at and delicious to eat, wagashi are traditional Japanese sweets that can be found in teahouses, cafes, and specialty stores all across the country. Typically served alongside a cup of matcha to balance out the bitterness of the tea, they are an intrinsic part of Japanese culture and often closely linked to the seasons or local region. And one of the best ways to find out more about these authentic treats, plus have a go at creating them yourself, is to attend a wagashi class.

Japanese wagashi come in an amazingly diverse range of varieties and are crafted from plant-based ingredients such as sweet bean paste, mochi rice cakes, and sesame. This means the majority of them are suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.

From making colorful higashi sugar candies and stunningly artistic nerikiri crafted into sakura flowers, to plump daifuku mochi stuffed with fresh strawberries and sweet steamed manju buns filled with bean paste, there are all sorts of wagashi class options available. Not only will you learn more about traditional Japanese sweets and food culture from your expert local teacher, but you’ll also take home some impressive new skills!

Intensive Wagashi & Mochi Making Course

Ad for byFood's Intensive Wagashi & Mochi Making Course

Prefer to learn at your own pace, from the comfort of your own home? Enroll in byFood's Intensive Wagashi & Mochi Making Course with wagashi artist, Mai-san. Over the course of 24 tutorial videos, she will teach you how to make a strawberry daifuku mochi, the Japanese raindrop cake, and 4 nerikiri wagashi designs. These miniature works of art are guaranteed to awe your family and friends.

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9 Best Wagashi Classes in Japan

Here we’ve compiled nine of the best wagashi classes in Japan to attend if you want to learn how to make wagashi for yourself.

  1. Online Wagashi Making Class with Certified Instructor
  2. Nerikiri Wagashi Class in Tokyo with Matcha Green Tea
  3. Traditional Japanese Sweets, Wagashi and Mochi Class
  4. Intensive 6 Class Nerikiri Wagashi Course
  5. Amezaiku Candy Sculpting Workshop in Tokyo
  6. Traditional Japanese Wagashi Making Class in Kyoto
  7. Manju Making Class in Gifu
  8. Sweet Higashi Making Class in Miyajima
  9. Nagoya Sweets Making Class with Tea Ceremony

1. Online Wagashi Making Class with Certified Instructor

A tray of three wagashi sweets in the background, with a person's hands making another sweet and a smartphone on a stand filming it

If you don’t have a trip to Japan on the horizon, don’t worry! You can also learn how to make Japanese sweets online in this fun Online Wagashi Making Class with Certified Instructor. You’ll be sent a list of ingredients you need for the wagashi recipe in advance, then your certified instructor will show you how to make, color, and shape your nerikiri dough into gorgeous and delicious motifs.

Book the Online Wagashi Making Class with Certified Instructor >>

2. Nerikiri Wagashi Class in Tokyo with Matcha Green Tea

Close up of someone using a wooden tool to shape a cherry blossom wagashi sweet

For those who want a hands-on experience creating stunningly artistic confections, this Nerikiri Wagashi Class in Tokyo with Matcha Green Tea is perfect. Your expert instructor will show you how to craft authentic sweets from scratch using entirely vegan ingredients, and hand-sculpt them into beautiful designs. After creating your masterpieces, you’ll enjoy them paired perfectly with a cup of foamy, high-quality matcha. 

Book the Nerikiri Wagashi Class in Tokyo with Matcha Green Tea >>

3. Traditional Japanese Sweets, Wagashi and Mochi Class

A tray of wagashi, including colorful dango, a flower-shaped sweet and ichigo daifuku, on a bamboo mat

Can’t make up your mind which type of confection you want to try your hand at? In the Traditional Japanese Sweets, Wagashi, and Mochi Class you’ll learn how to make not one but three different types of confections! From delicate nerikiri wagashi to strawberry-filled daifuku mochi (chewy rice cakes) and colorful dango mochi, you’ll create a beautiful box of tasty treats to take home with you.

Book the Traditional Japanese Sweets, Wagashi and Mochi Class >>

4. Intensive 6 Class Nerikiri Wagashi Course

Three different colorful wagashi sweets on a blue background

For those who want to truly hone their skills, this Intensive 6 Class Nerikiri Wagashi Course is the ideal choice. Starting from the basics, over six two-hour classes your qualified instructor will teach you different techniques to create nerikiri wagashi as well as how to craft them into popular seasonal designs. Upon finishing the course you’ll receive a certificate so you can proudly display your wagashi-making skills!

Book the Intensive 6 Class Nerikiri Wagashi Course >>

5. Amezaiku Candy Sculpting Workshop in Tokyo

This unique cooking class in Tokyo takes place at a specialist candy art studio in Asakusa. You’ll use scissors and tweezers to cut, pull and bend the soft mizuame candy into an adorable rabbit shape, before decorating it with food coloring to bring your creation to life. Whether you want to eat the finished product or keep it as a souvenir, the Amezaiku Candy Sculpting Workshop in Tokyo is definitely a fun challenge!

Book the Amezaiku Candy Sculpting Workshop in Tokyo >>

6. Traditional Japanese Wagashi Making Class in Kyoto

Close up of a strawberry mochi cut in half

Kyoto is famous for its wagashi, making it the perfect place to learn how to make them! In this Traditional Japanese Wagashi Making Class in Kyoto your teacher will show you how to create two different types of sweets: kiku (chrysanthemum) nerikiri wagashi and ichigo (strawberry) daifuku mochi. At the end of the class, you’ll get to enjoy your creations with a cup of tea from the award-winning local tea shop Rishouen.

Book the Traditional Japanese Wagashi Making Class in Kyoto >>

7. Manju Making Class in Gifu

Close up of someone with floury hands halfway through making manju

The wonderful thing about wagashi is that they are very deeply connected to their area, and this Manju Making Class in Gifu is a great example of that. Here you’ll learn how to make a traditional type of sweet steamed manju bun known as gurin, that originated in a local shop in Gifu Prefecture. Made using brown sugar and smooth, sweet red bean paste, you can enjoy them fresh and warm beside the banks of the Kiso River!

Book the Manju Making Class in Gifu >>

8. Sweet Higashi Making Class in Miyajima

A close up image of someone popping green higashi sweets shaped like leaves out of a mold

This wagashi class is slightly different because it teaches you how to make small sugar candies known as higashi. These have a uniquely dry and chalky texture to go with green tea, and are prettily decorated with intricate designs. Located on the gorgeous Miyajima island in Hiroshima, the Sweet Higashi Making Class in Miyajima is the perfect activity to complement a day of sightseeing. Plus to make the experience extra special, you’ll be wearing a beautiful Japanese kimono as you cook!

Book the Sweet Higashi Making Class in Miyajima >>

9. Nagoya Sweets Making Class with Tea Ceremony

A close up shot of three green mochi covered in kinako powder on a white plate

Held in a traditional renovated storehouse that’s over 100 years old, this Nagoya Sweets Making Class with Tea Ceremony enables you to explore the on-site Japanese garden before learning how to make a variety of traditional local sweets. Once you’ve finished, you’ll enjoy tucking into your creations in an authentic and atmospheric Japanese tea ceremony.

Book the Nagoya Sweets Making Class with Tea Ceremony >>

From sculpting an adorable candy rabbit at a cooking class in Tokyo to creating beautiful nerikiri Japanese sweets online, there are so many options available if you want to learn how to make wagashi. Browse the full list and book your favorite wagashi class today to ensure your trip is as delicious as it is fun!

For more insights into the world of wagashi and Japanese food at large, check out the Japan by Food YouTube channel and subscribe for the latest 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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