Have you ever dreamt of cooking like a Japanese chef? When you travel to Japan, you can't help but notice the expert touch of Japanese cooks that can transform the most basic meal into a cocktail of savory tastes. Most of us would love to try preparing traditional dishes, but it can be hard to make sense of the ingredients available in local supermarkets when you can't understand a word of Japanese.
Fortunately, there is a place in Kyoto where all your cooking dreams come true. Located about ten minutes from Shijo Station, southwest of the busy Kawaramachi area, Cooking Sun studio teaches traditional Japanese cooking classes. For three hours, you can immerse yourself in a typical Japanese kitchen and discover how to use local ingredients in a fun and user-friendly way.
For a price ranging from ¥7,200 to ¥7,800 you can choose to attend classes such as bentō classes, sushi classes or even make a typical Japanese dinner. You will be able to prepare dishes such as baked salmon, deep-fried vegetables, sukiyaki, tempura... a delightful selection of mouth-watering meals.
The class was directed by Japanese chef, Akiho-san, one of 7 chefs at Cooking Sun. She is an enthusiastic and energetic lady who welcomes you with a cup of green tea. The kitchen is intimate and the classes kept small, so everyone gets to know each other before even getting into the kitchen. You'll usually be split into teams of two people and you can expect a lot of fun! Most of the class doesn't require any previous cooking skill – I myself am a terrible cook – but you may sometimes face some challenges with your partner, that will make this experience even more enjoyable. Will you manage to roast this salmon without burning it?
Akiho gives us expert tips for cooking in perfect English, and it's a real pleasure to cook with her advice. Many things differ between Japanese and Western cuisine, and she won't hesitate to explain how it affects the preparation of food. For example, did you know that Japanese water was different from European water, which has more minerals, so it makes the rice cook differently?
The ingredients used are of the highest quality and the utensils are also very high quality and easy to use. The kitchen itself has a traditional appearance, but the appliances are very modern and user-friendly. You'll have the opportunity to cook comfortably with the best utensils, and it will of course have a positive impact on the quality of your preparation, which you'll be able to eat at the end of the session! After you're done with each meal, you'll have some time to dress the table and taste the food with a glass of excellent sake.
This class was extremely helpful and fun. Tasting what we have just cooked was an experience, and the class is good value considering the quality of the ingredients. It may not usually be thought as a possible activity during a holiday in Japan, however it's the best opportunity to immerse yourself into Japanese culture for three hours while meeting people, having fun and eating delicious food!