Japan is home to all kinds of traditional snacks and sweets, and among them is the ever-popular “manju.” This is typically known as a small steamed bun with different types of fillings. This class will teach you all the steps of how to make small steamed manju buns known as “gurin” buns. The recipe of these traditional sweet buns originated from an old traditional shop in the local Sakashita area called Ginza. The buns are typically kneaded with sweet brown sugar, and their fillings of “koshian” are made from sweet, smooth red bean paste.
During this handmade manju experience, you have the option to make gurin buns (which use brown sugar), soba manju (steamed buns using buckwheat flour) or sake steamed buns! Using traditional tools, your instructor will take you through each of the different steps for making your delicious buns. Starting with the bean paste, you will shape them into balls, ready to be wrapped in the bun dough. You will prepare the dough from scratch before cutting and shaping them around your bean paste balls. With a spritz of water, you will then steam them to perfection and then they will be warm and ready to eat! They make a great souvenir (“omiyage” in Japanese) if you want to take them away with you.
This cooking class is held at a local “michi no eki” or roadside service station in Gifu’s Nakatsugawa region. These kinds of rest stops are great to learn about local culture and community, as well as regional products. Located beside the waters of Kiso River, you can enjoy your manju while basking in some beautiful nature! It is also a great chance to meet other travelers passing through this beautiful region, while learning about the local community and traditions. This is a great experience recommended for families and groups of friends.
English-speaking cooking instructor
Tools and ingredients to make manju
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 Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Please bring your own apron, hand towel and cooking gloves if necessary.