Obviously, one doesn’t go all the way to Japan and forego having sushi at some point. It just isn’t possible. But if you’ve already experienced the conveyor belt sushi and you want to take things just a nudge further, perhaps a sushi class is the way to go; I was lucky enough to test Yayo’s class for my client Viator during my trip in Japan last year, which I am still reminiscing.
Welcome to Yayo’s Osaka home.
Sushi Class In Osaka With Yayo
Yayo met me at Nishikujo station at 3:30PM sharp (this is Japan, after all; people are notoriously punctual, unlike me) and led the way to her apartment just a few blocks away, explaining that she lived with her sister and adorable terrier, and taught Japanese cooking classes for a living.
I was intrigued to be a guest in her home, to put it mildly. I was terrified I would do or say something brutally offensive, knowing that Japanese customs are all about protocol and rules. But I really shouldn’t have bothered; Yayo’s sunny and welcoming disposition made it very easy to be around her and even ask questions about her fascinating culture. Take your shoes off when you come in, talk quietly, enunciate clearly, and you won’t have any trouble fitting in Yayo’s beautiful apartment.
The culinary adventure started out in her own washitsu (tatami room), where she served me matcha tea and a few sweets.
In this 2.5 hours course, I learned how to roll sushi like a pro, from nigiri to temaki hand rolls. And I gotta say, it’s actually a lot more complicated than it looks. The rice is sticky (hence the gloves) and, again, this being Japan, the way in which you have to hold your fingers in order to shape the rice balls is a downright science. I’m immensely proud of how mine turned out, considering I laughed the whole time I was poorly attempting to replicate what Yayo was doing!
I also learned how to make miso soup and how to cook the iconic Japanese omelettes, which were both very tasty!
To end this culinary odyssey on a high note, Yayo offered to treat me to a sake tasting. I was embarrassed to admit I wasn’t a fan of rice liquor but she assured me that whatever I assumed was sake back home tasted heaps and bounds better here in Japan; I happily obliged, knowing I was in knowledgeable and capable hands. Obviously, I wasn’t disappointed. It was such a privileged experience to drink sake with someone who knows how to identify flavours and understands which sake should be served warm and which should be served cold.
It was a learning experience, and although I still find sake to be a little astringent for my taste, I was immensely grateful for Yayo’s insights.
Sushi Class In Osaka – Good To Know
- Yayo’s apartment is located near Nishikujo train station
- You can upgrade this sushi class in two ways: either by opting to wear a yakuta (casual kimono) or by adding a proper sake/Japanese beer tasting
- The lesson is limited to just eight participants, guaranteeing a one-on-one experience with Yayo
- The lesson actually counts as a meal, as you get to eat your creations at the end of the class. Don’t plan on going out for dinner afterwards!
- Classes start at $130 per person and can be booked on Viator