1. Bento Cooking Classes in Kyoto at Cooking Sun

Bento Cooking Classes in Kyoto at Cooking Sun

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Yuko Kuriyama

Being a native Kyotoite is not easy; can't get anywhere without weaving through the World Heritage sites, expected to talk like a maiko, and too many old and new restaurants to choose from...and I am loving it! Happy to show you the city I live and love.

Fun, Educational Activities in Kyoto


Kyoto has become one of the best cities in the world for international travelers in the past few years. People from all over the world come to this ancient capital city where emperors lived before the capital relocated to Tokyo more than 1,200 years ago. There are so much to see in this city such as temples and shrines, cherry blossoms in the spring and fall foliage aflame with autumn colors… all of these are absolutely spectacular to see, and there also are so many great restaurants and local treats to please any taste buds. 

But, how about fun activities? Have you found any good ones? 

How would you like to spend some time cooking authentic Japanese dishes during your stay in Kyoto? A cooking school called Cooking Sun, which is located in a convenient area of Shijo Karasuma, central area of Kyoto, is a perfect place to learn how to cook everyday, popular Japanese dishes as well as learning Kyoto’s culture. At Cooking Sun, you will experience hands-on cooking classes with step-by-step instructions from super-friendly English speaking instructors who are very knowledgeable about food.



The classes are conducted in a Machiya, a traditional Kyoto style old wood house renovated for the cooking school without diminishing its unique characteristics of traditional Kyoto feel and it has a wonderful spacious modern kitchen with a large wood counter on which the participants will learn how to fix a gorgeous Bento Box.


 A nice, friendly family of three from New York is taking the class and they are having fun!


Your cooking experience starts with a warm welcome by the staffs followed by comforting green tea and you will wear a Samue as an apron.






Hands-on classes

In this 3.5 hour class, each participant will make his or her own meal with an elaborate, step-by-step explanation by the instructor on how to prepare the ingredients into sushi rolls, teriyaki chickens, and tempura etc. along with great cooking tips and useful food safety information to take home.


Sushi rolls in the making


Sushi filling. Some ingredients are pre-cut for convenience





■ Atmosphere

The 80-year-old Machiya house provides an authentic Kyoto ambience both inside and out. You will be asked to take off your shoes as you enter the house and step into a tatami mat flooring room. Even domestic travelers adore Machiyas for their distinctive cultural beauty and Machiya restaurants are timeless trend here in Kyoto for both international travelers and Japanese.


Entrance hall


 Narrow, steep stairs are unique to machiya


Rooms on the second floor




■ Participants

People from around the world have been partaking in the classes. Lone travelers, couples, families or with friends, even small children (with parent’s supervision) can enjoy the cooking experience. Meeting new people and work together with them even adds more fun to this activity. 

Cooking Sun offers vegetarian and halal options. Feel free to make requests upon reservation.




■ Instructors

Super-friendly, informative, and fluent in English. German and French speaking instructors are also available and you can ask for them upon reservation. Other than these two languages, the classes are explained in English. Participants can freely ask questions anytime during the class.





■ Final product

A gorgeous and delicious Bento Box meal!  You almost won’t believe you have made this yourself because it’s so perfectly done! Presentation is crucial as well as deliciousness, as you can see here. Go ahead and enjoy the beautiful creation you have just made (to say “itadakimasu ”  before you begin to eat is a sort of ritual Japanese are taught as a child. It’s not a prayer, but we say it to express appreciation for the food on the table) …and that’s the end of class!


You can actually make this!


Cooking Sun offers two types of classes: Bento classes (9:30-13:00) and Izakaya classes (14:00-17:30).

(Izakaya, which means a casual dining where they mainly serve alcoholic beverages and dishes that accompany these drinks). As for Cooking Sun’s Izakaya classes though, the menus are more like family-oriented, such as gyoza dumplings and beef bowls. You will learn basic Japanese everyday food in Izakaya classes. Since Kyoto is renowned for its cherry blossoms, April is crazy-crowded high season pretty much everywhere especially in the city area and popular temples/shrines. October is the second crowded time of year because of mesmerizing colorful fall foliage people just love. Kyoto gets especially packed both with domestic and international tourists during these seasons, so please make sure to book early for the classes.







■ Information

Cooking Sun acommodates up to a maximum of 12 persons per class. 

For more details and reservation, please visit Cooking Sun website: http://www.cooking-sun.com/