Uzuki. Japanese Homestyle Cooking Classes in Kyoto

If you have found yourself here there’s a fairly good chance you like to  travel,  eat and cook? And if possible combine the three? If so you may be interested in doing something a little off the regular tourist route when you are in Kyoto town.

The charming Emi Hirayama holds seasonal savoury and wagashi (traditional confectionary) classes in her home and I was lucky to score a spot one of her Spring cuisine classes a few years ago. Since then I’ve recommended many people to Emi’s classes and they have all loved it – and her!

Including Emi-san there were just four of us in her kitchen, an older American couple and myself and we shared a lovely couple of hours cooking together, learning about seasonal cuisine and the wonders of Kyoto before enjoying a meal around the kitchen table sampling our wares.

Our simple menu consisted of :

Rice with peas and salted sakura (cherry blossom flowers)

Nanohana ( canola greens) with scallops, mustard dressing and sansho

Sauteed Rolled beef and mushrooms with freshly grated wasabi

Marinated grilled fish

Prawn and vegetable kakiage

Seared Nama fu ( wheat gluten) with sweet saikyo miso and fresh kinome (sansho leaves)

It was a lovely experience – not just for the learning and the food but for the chance to step inside someone’s Kyoto home.  Opportunities are rare for foreign visitors to spend time in a Japanese house  – which is a shame as it can really make one feel more connected to the country’s culture. I highly recommend Emi san’s classes for general foodies and people interested in getting a little deeper with their travel experience. She usually takes 4 people maximum and she will do a private class for one if you ask her nicely – the fee is a little higher than what you would pay as a group member of course.

Here’s the link to the cooking school 

If you make it to Emi’s place please give her my regards !


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