Have you ever heard of “mochi”? Mochi is a Japanese pounded rice cake. It is a popular and versatile food in Japan, with all kinds of sweet and savory variations as well as regional specialties. In the Gifu region of central Japan, a local style called “gohei mochi” is the local mochi snack! Gohei mochi features savory rice cake balls on skewers, served with soy sauce and miso. If you want to learn about local culture during a trip to Gifu, learn how to make them from scratch during this exciting cooking class!
Gohei mochi originated as something that people working in the mountains would eat as they were easy to carry around. Come lunch time, mochi balls on skewers could be easily grilled and served with miso (and not to forget, add some sake to wash it down). Now a traditional food from Gifu Prefecture, it is the perfect combination where miso meets rice! It is a fun activity to do when gathered with family friends. They are also made as an offering to thank deities after the fall harvest.
Making gohei mochi is a simple yet a fun hands-on experience that is enjoyable for the whole family. During this class, you will learn how to pound the steamed rice until it is sticky and stretchy. Your cooking instructor will help you to prepare the rice balls by hand and skewer them onto sticks for the perfect bite-sized snack. Grill them to perfection and add a touch of that special miso flavor before eating your very own gohei mochi! (Or you can take it away to the next destination of your travels.)
Located alongside the Kiso River in Gifu’s beautiful Nakatsugawa region, this hands-on and family-friendly experience is held at a roadside station known as a “michi no eki.” These kinds of service stations are not only places for travelers to stop and take a break, but also where they can learn about the local area and engage with the community. You will get a great taste of local Japanese culture by joining this experience, plus with the chance to meet other visitors.
Tools and ingredients to make gohei mochi
Transportation to and from the venue
Meeting Point and Meeting Time
This experience is held at the Kirira Sakashita Roadside Station, which is a service station and a rest stop. Michi-no-Eki Kirira Sakashita is accessible via car or it is a 10-minute walk from Sakashita Station on the JR Chuo Line.
This experience is unavailable on regular Japanese holidays and from December to March it is not available on both Wednesdays and Thursdays
Please bring your own apron, hand towel and cooking gloves if necessary