If you’re traveling to Kyoto and looking for something a little out of the ordinary to do then I can’t recommend Cooking Sun highly enough. In April I left Takamatsu to meet my family for 2 weeks of traveling around Japan. After seeing Yabusame in Tokyo, visiting Ritsurin Gardens in Takamatsu, exploring the island of Miyajima and more there is one place that they talk about more than any other – Cooking Sun, Kyoto.
This Japanese cooking school offers up the chance to learn how to make traditional Japanese dishes with an easy to understand and hands on approach. Me and my family were 4 people in a total group of 8, which means the numbers were small enough that the sessions felt personal and it was almost impossible to make too many mistakes. We took the “Bento Class” which means we learnt how to make Gomaae Sesame Salad（ごま和え）, Teriyaki Chicken（照り焼きチキン）, Egg Roll（だし巻たまご）, Tempura（天ぷら）, Sushi Roll（巻き寿司） and Miso Soup（みそ汁）.
However what really impressed me was that we didn’t just learn how to make these dishes, we also learnt about the ingredients, why these ingredients are used and also the importance of these ingredients and methods in Japanese cooking. We came away with a stack of knowledge and information – which is thankfully all written out for you in case your memory is as bad as mine – and a greater appreciation for the lunches we had been eating.
The teachers were incredibly friendly and welcoming and made us feel at home as soon as we arrived.
It takes a bit of time so you’ll want to give yourself at least 3 – 4 hours, however you’ll be full of food when you leave and ready to carry on exploring the city when you eventually step out of the kitchen and back into the streets.