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Kyoto Cooking classes

Our most recommended Kyoto Cooking classes

Kyoto: 45-Minute Tea Ceremony Experience

1. Kyoto: 45-Minute Tea Ceremony Experience

You will take you place on the tatami, the traditional Japanese floor mat and be met by your English-speaking host, who is a licensed tea master from Urasenke, the biggest school of tea ceremony in Japan. Watch as the host carries out the ceremonial preparation of matcha, powdered green tea. Then, you will have the chance to make tea yourself, while the host informs you about the history and spiritual role of the tea ceremony and the effects each tea-making method has on its flavor. Afterwards, savor some traditional Japanese sweets Once the ceremony has come to a close, you will have the chance to take photos and see examples of kimonos and beautiful woven textiles made in the Nishijin district of Kyoto. If you'd like to wear a kimono during the experience, you can select it as an add-on during booking and take photos to remember the experience.

Kyoto: Afternoon Japanese Izakaya Cooking Class

2. Kyoto: Afternoon Japanese Izakaya Cooking Class

Join an afternoon Izakaya cooking class to enjoy a great way to immerse yourself in Japanese dining culture as well as learn authentic Japanese foods that are eaten at home and in local restaurants. The cooking course consists of two parts. First, you will cook 2 or 3 dishes together with your chef and enjoy them. Then you will return to the kitchen and learn 2 or 3 more dishes before eating once more. As in many Izakaya (over the counter) restaurants, be ready to talk with your chef while cooking and eating at the same time. 

Kyoto: Morning Japanese Bento Cooking Class

3. Kyoto: Morning Japanese Bento Cooking Class

Experience an authentic Japanese food tradition and prepare your own bento box at a morning bento cooking class in Kyoto. Learn about typical Japanese dishes, such as sushi, tempura and miso soup, and hear about the cultural background of the well-known Japanese "bento" takeaway meal. Traced back to the late Kamakura Period (1185 to 1333), the bento box has now become a staple of Japanese cuisine. Arrive for your 2.5 to 3-hour class and collect your ingredients, apron and utensils. Then, watch and follow your chef as they demonstrate the art of bento and explain the tricks to making beautiful Japanese dishes often found in a bento box. Once you have finished cooking your dishes, enjoy the fruits of your labor and tuck into your bento lunch.

Nishiki Market Food Tour with Cooking Class

4. Nishiki Market Food Tour with Cooking Class

Explore Nishiki Market with your local Japanese guide, followed by a cooking class. It only takes 15 minutes to walk through this historical food market if you do not have anyone to explain about its history, custom and foods, but if you have someone who is knowledgeable about the market, you can easily spend hours. You can ask question about the foods you may not have seen before to your guides, and even to some shop staff to who your guide will help translate.  What is more unique about this private tour is that you can cook your own donburi (bowl) meal by the ingredients you just bought in the tour. Ingredients cost is included in the tour. You can choose from three options; Kaisen-don (seafood), Ten-don (tempura) or Oyako-don (chicken & egg).  The tour starts from the Nishiki Market Western entrance. You will be briefed about the tour then you will start the tour. Typically you should spend about 1 hour in the Nishiki Market and later you cook and eat your own donburi in 1 hour.  Tour tour is private so you can ask as many questions as you may have, and the tour moves at your pace.

Kyoto: Authentic Japanese Art Sushi Roll Lesson

5. Kyoto: Authentic Japanese Art Sushi Roll Lesson

Make sushi rolls that look like a beautiful flower during this fun and crafty lesson with local experts. Made using rice vinegar, sugar, sesame, ginger, vegetables, and nori (seaweed), you will learn about the essential history and trivia of sushi rolls. Wear a beautiful komono and enjoy fresh Japanese tea and water during the class. Japanese sushi rolls were first created between 1750 and 1776 during the Edo period (1603-1868) when the popular culture blossomed. At that time, sushi made using sake and vinegar spread and a wide variety of foods became popular. In the early 1800s, sushi that could be made quickly using vinegar became mainstream. In the Showa period, sushi rolls began to made in a more complicated pattern. Using special recipes and ingredients, you will acquire the skills to continue making beautiful sushi rolls at home.

Kyoto: Private Tea Ceremony with Japanese Tea & Sweets

6. Kyoto: Private Tea Ceremony with Japanese Tea & Sweets

This activity includes two kinds of powdered green tea (thick tea and light tea), fresh sweets and dried traditional sweets. All are made by shops of long standing in Kyoto. Especially, Japanese fresh sweets are really artistic. Hear the beautiful name of the sweets which reflects seasons in Japan. Thick tea is typical in tea ceremony, rare to see in Japanese cafes. The way of tea is a little different from the light one. It’s more elegant and rare to see also. But if you would like a host to make light tea instead of thick tea, it's possible. Also, learn about the history of Japanese flower arrangement and the difference between western arranging. You can take photos for free. It is recommended to keep tranquil atmosphere during the way of tea, but if you would like to take photos, it’s up to you because it’s private session. Also in the next waiting room, you can take photos with kimono or Nishijin textiles before or after the tea ceremony experience. All explanation is given in fluent English by a lecturer of Urasenke, one of the biggest tea schools in Japan. You can make good light tea of good quality at home after taking this class. If you have problem with your legs or hard to sit on tatami, please use little chairs suit to tatami room for free. Do you want to wear a Kimono? Wear a kimono (traditional cloth in Japan) during the tea ceremony and take photos to remember the experience. 

Kyoto: Local Home Visit Semi-Private Tea Ceremony

7. Kyoto: Local Home Visit Semi-Private Tea Ceremony

Take part in a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony. Meet at in nearby Nijo Castle, Nakagyo Ward of Kyoto. Tea culture has brought from China by Buddhist monk. Nowadays Japanese tea ceremony places are very popular even among Japanese young people. Japanese tea ceremony has established by Mr Sen No Rikyu. Tea ceremony, is a ritual which explores the Zen Buddhist principles of hospitality, simplicity, and harmony in the imperfect. But it’s only a part of long events is called as (Chaji). It’s too hard to sit on the tatami mat in traditional tea room even for Japanese people. We prepare Japanese style cushions (zabuton) for you , and you can come with casual wear. You can feel the peace and it heals you when you taste the tea and watching tea ritual. Let’s try and begin your ceremony by admiring a hanging scroll. You can watch rare hanging scroll even wrote or drown in Edo era(about 400 years ago.) We show you our culture and history as you want to know. As you enter the very Japanese style local home, your tea teacher from Kyoto of Omotesenke Ryu will guide you through the steps of the ceremony. Admire the gentleness and grace of the Omotesenke as the hot water is slowly poured into the green tea powder. Slowly sip your green tea. Taste adorable small Japanese sweets representing the 4 seasons. Appreciate the traditional flower arrangements. Learn about the significance of each step from your Omotsenke as you take part in a meaningful ritual.

Frequently asked questions about Kyoto

What top attractions are a must-see in Kyoto?

The must-see attractions in Kyoto are:

What are the best day trips and excursions from Kyoto?

The best day trips and excursions from Kyoto are:

Arashiyama

Other Sightseeing Options in Kyoto

Want to discover all there is to do in Kyoto? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Kyoto

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 268 reviews

This was an amazing experience! Our host was so kind and patient. Even though the ceremony should be quiet, she made sure to answer all of our questions. The ceremony itself is very beautiful, like a dance. There are moves and steps that must be taken and each one is significant. You get to practice a bit of the ceremony before starting, participate in the actual ceremony, blend your own matcha tea, and enjoy snacks and conversation with the host. The location is very close to the Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji) so you should visit that site before or after the ceremony. If you go in the winter you can use the in-ground water heater for the tea ceremony! This was a really special and unique part of our trip where we could learn a lot about Japanese culture that originated in Kyoto. If you are thinking of doing a tea ceremony, you should do this one!

Since it is not high season (December 12th), we were only two participants. That was really perfect! It was a wonderful experience and a lot of fun. I highly recommend this course. You prepare miso soup and a bento box with a spinach salad, salmon or chicken teriyaki, sushi (filled with Japanese omelette, cucumber, mushrooms and imitation shrimp) and tempura (shrimp and vegetables). It was really delicious!

We were very happy with the tea ceremony activity. The instructor was very friendly, knowledgeable, and professional. The session was the perfect length to experience the intricacies of the ceremony and trying mixing matcha ourselves. I’m very glad we made this tea ceremony part of our visit to Kyoto.

My friend and I learnt a lot about Japanese tea culture; we also wore kimono. It was a nice experience overall and we met people from different parts of the world too!

Very nice experience. The instructor explained nicely. We got to learn a lot about matcha and tea ceremony.