Follow the Crowd: Trending Japan Food Tours and Japanese Cooking Classes

By Ryan Noble
Updated: May 31, 2024

Coming to Japan soon and wondering what all the cool kids are doing when they get here? We’ve got the insider info now that our 20% off sakura campaign has dropped its final petal, wrapping up our biggest discount period ever

So, how did people make memories on their trip to Japan? We’ve gathered the top 10 most popular Japan food tours and Japanese cooking classes.

But before we get into the exclusive information on our trending experiences, there’s one important question to answer…

How do I get a Japanese food tour promo code?

We share our latest discounts, promo codes, and competitions everywhere we can, including in our emails and on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube. Following along on these channels is the best way to get your hands on exclusive offers and news before anyone else.

Top 10 trending Japan food tours and experiences

  1. Sumo Wrestler Challenge and Lunch in Tokyo
  2. Osaka Food Tour (13 delicious dishes at 5 hidden eateries)
  3. Luxury Cruise in Tokyo Bay: View of Skytree, Rainbow Bridge
  4. Small Group, All-Inclusive Kyoto Night Food and Culture Tour
  5. The Ultimate Osaka Night Tour
  6. Tour of Tsukiji Market & Sushi-Making Experience
  7. Mochi Making Class in Tokyo
  8. The Midnight Diners: Tokyo Experience
  9. Private Tokyo Sushi-Making Class at 100-Year-Old Sushi Bar
  10. Sushi & Ramen-Making Class w/ Tea Ceremony in Osaka

1. Sumo Wrestler Challenge and Lunch in Tokyo

Our most popular food experience was this sumo wrestling challenge and lunch at Yokozuna Tonkatsu Dosukoi Tanaka, getting up close and personal with a former sumo wrestler at their unique restaurant centered around a wrestling ring. 

The experience begins with you relaxing and indulging in chanko nabe and tonkatsu while sumo wrestlers fight before your very eyes. Then, once you’re suitably stuffed, you’ll get in your own sumo wrestler suit for pictures and a quick Q&A session with the pros. Can you see why this experience wrestled its way to the top?

Sit ringside for sumo wrestling and a traditional sumo lunch!

2. Osaka Food Tour (13 delicious dishes at 5 hidden eateries)

If getting the most bang for your buck was on the menu, it’s no surprise that travelers couldn’t resist getting this Osaka food tour of 13 dishes and two drinks across five hidden gems!

Split across food stalls, markets, restaurants, and much-loved izakaya bars, you’ll be taken off the beaten path and into the watering holes that only the locals know.

Hit the back-alleys of Osaka in this food tour!

3. Luxury Cruise in Tokyo Bay: View of Skytree, Rainbow Bridge

The interior of our luxury Tokyo Bay cruise, showing bottles of wine and premium dishes in front of the Rainbow Bridge.

Possibly the most extravagant experience on this list is the private Tokyo Bay cruise with kaiseki dinner. Be transported back to the days of Edo, where you’ll float along the waters while enjoying the luxury of a multi-course kaiseki meal, carefully crafted by renowned Tokyo chefs.

From the comfort of your private yakatabune boat, sit back and soak up the sights of Tokyo — Tokyo Bay, Odaiba, Rainbow Bridge, and the shining beacon that Skytree provides on the Tokyo skyline.

Treat yourself to a luxury Tokyo Bay cruise and dinner!

4. Small Group, All-Inclusive Kyoto Night Food and Culture Tour

Follow in the footsteps of Shizuka on this downtown Kyoto food tour, spending an hour exploring the geisha district of Gion and the wooden architecture of Pontocho before getting to some local spots for Kyoto cuisine.

You’ll visit two standing bars for dinner and sip on drinks at different venues, embracing the Kyoto nightlife while your guide regales you with the stories and history of the original capital of Japan.

Join this Kyoto tour to experience cuisine, culture, and nightlife!

5. The Ultimate Osaka Night Tour

Clearly, travelers want to see some of Japan’s most iconic cities by night, lighting up the evening sky with the glow of hidden bars, smoky food stalls, and the ever-glowing Glico man — another of our most popular food tours during this time was our ultimate Osaka night tour, taking you through the backstreets of Osaka to find the spots no one knows about!

Your local guide will introduce you to the best izakaya in the area for drinks and dinner, show you through the heart of Namba, the neon-lit streets of Dotonbori, and end up in the electric party atmosphere of Shinsaibashi and Amemura. 

Book a night you’ll never forget in this Osaka night tour!

6. Tour of Tsukiji Market & Sushi-Making Experience

A woman smiling with the vendor at a seafood-selling stall in Tsukiji Market.

Sushi is a must-try dish and one of Japan’s most well-known seafood markets, Tsukiji Market, is truly the best place to do so. A lot of other travelers agreed, booking this Tsukiji Market tour and sushi-making class!

First, you’ll stroll through Tsukiji Market, taking in the absolute abundance of fresh seafood, including a selection of freshly caught tuna for your upcoming sushi meal. Your expert guide will share the history and culture of the market itself before teaching you how to make three different types of sushi, and you’ll even get to take home an easy-to-use sushi-making kit as a souvenir. 

Make memories on this Tsukiji Market tour and sushi cooking class!

7. Mochi Making Class in Tokyo

A serving tray of assorted Japanese wagashi. A guest is using a tool to shape another sweet.

Become a mochi master in this mochi-making cooking class in Tokyo, where you’ll learn how to make four different types of mochi desserts: strawberry daifuku, dango, warabimochi, and savory isobe mochi. 

Paired with the slight bitterness of matcha green tea, the subtle flavors of Japanese wagashi will shine through. 

Vegetarian and vegan cooking class: Made from plant-based products, this class is appropriate for vegetarians, with vegan options available.

Make Japanese mochi in Tokyo!

8. The Midnight Diners: Tokyo Experience

Drinking, dining, and dashing between back-alleys bars in the biggest city in the world? It’s no wonder our bar-hopping Midnight Diners tour in Tokyo was so popular!

From drinks in the beautiful Inokashira Park to the intimate, smoky vibes of Harmonica Yokocho, experience the full width of Tokyo’s nightlife. Raise glasses of umeshu plum wine and whisky highballs with the locals and indulge in lesser-known izakaya dishes like horse meat shumai.

Dive into Tokyo’s nightlife with an expert guide!

9. Private Tokyo Sushi-Making Class at 100-Year-Old Sushi Bar

An expert sushi chef guides two guests at a sushi-making class in Tokyo.

A private cooking class is exclusive enough, but imagine being taught how to make sushi by a pro in the enviable setting of a 100-year-old sushi restaurant in Shinjuku — that’s exactly what you get in this private sushi-making class in Tokyo.

Get to know the different types of sushi, learn how to make five types for yourself, and enjoy your handmade sushi lunch in the heart of Tokyo, chatting with the master behind Sushi Bar Yachiyo.

Book a private sushi-making class in Tokyo!

10. Sushi & Ramen-Making Class with Tea Ceremony in Osaka


Follow the crowds to this sushi & ramen cooking class in Osaka, taking the final spot on this list! Starting with a gentle Japanese tea ceremony, you’ll experience an age-old tradition before learning how to craft two Japanese classics: sushi and ramen.

Guided by an industry pro with over 37 years of experience, you’ll pick up Japanese cooking skills with ease, and you’ll even leave with a parting gift of calligraphy art.

Learn to make sushi and cook ramen in Osaka!

Suddenly got that Japan travel FOMO? Explore our full list of Japan food tours, Japanese cooking classes, and dining experiences to make unforgettable memories for yourself.


Best-selling types of Japanese food in spring:

  1. Sushi
  2. Traditional Japanese cuisine (e.g., kaiseki, kappo)
  3. Teppanyaki 
  4. Tempura and fried foods
  5. Other Japanese foods (e.g., Japanese home cooking)
  6. Yakiniku
  7. Nabe, sukiyaki, and shabu shabu
  8. Yakitori

Where do I get a byFood promo code? 

You’re most likely to get your hands on a byFood promo code or news of an upcoming discount through our emails, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube

We also have an ongoing discounts and competitions page, where you’ll find any current offers or competitions you need to know about.

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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