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Kasugai City, just a couple of minutes by train from Nagoya, is the biggest producer of edible cactus in Japan.
Join a cooking class and learn about the amazing health benefits of cactus as well as its versatile use and unique taste and texture.
Learn the basics of Japanese cooking, preparing different typical Japanese dishes with the option of adding cactus as a twist.
Start twice a day at 11:00 and 17:00 (2.5 hours)
English: Business ★★★☆☆
Japanese: Native ★★★★★
Meet Akiko at Kachigawa Station which is only 15 minutes away from Nagoya. From there she will give you a ride to her home which is only a couple of minutes away.
Start your experience with tea and some snacks, get to know each other, and talk about today’s menu by reading through the recipes. Choose your favorite apron from Akiko’s collection and you are ready to start cooking.
You will start by making your own Dashi stock. Nowadays most Japanese people don’t bother making their own and tend to buy instant stock, but at Akiko’s house, you will get the opportunity to prepare the dried fish and boil your own.
The first dish you will make is Dote Ni, a red Miso stew with meat and vegetables. Akiko will already have prepared the base but she will happily explain to you how it is made. Surprisingly, cactus complements this dish very well as an additional vegetable (together with carrots and burdock).
Deep fry some cactus and other vegetables as well as shrimp to make delicious crispy Tempura. You can eat the Tempura as is or form them into Tenmusu (mini rice balls). Akiko will introduce you to the finer points of rice ball making so your Onigiri or Tenmusu at home will also be light and fluffy from now on.
Tonkatsu is a deep-fried pork cutlet popular all over the country. In the Aichi region around Nagoya, people love serving it with a red Miso sauce. Deep-fry your cutlet battered in Panko to golden crispy perfection and let it soak up the Miso sauce just before serving. This Miso Katsu is especially delicious with a salad made from grated cabbage and raw sliced cactus.
Once all your dishes are prepared it is time to eat. Set the table and enjoy your creations. Akiko will introduce you to Japanese table manners while eating, and tell you how to eat the different dishes you have made. Don’t forget to ask all the questions you have about Japanese food and recommendations for Nagoya!
If you can’t eat up everything that’s fine. Just take home the leftovers, and don’t forget your recipes either. They will be helpful whenever you want to cook your favorite dishes from Nagoya at home.
Meet Akiko at Kachigawa Station and go to her home.
Enjoy tea and a snack while being introduced to today’s recipes.
Make Dashi stock from scratch from two types of dried fish.
Finish up the Dote Ni that Akiko has prepared for you.
Deep-fry different kinds of vegetables (including cactus) to make Tempura and form beautiful fluffy rice balls.
Deep-fry a pork cutlet and drown it in a red Miso sauce. Served with a salad made from cabbage and cactus this dish is simply delicious.
Enjoy eating all the dishes you have prepared today. Get an introduction to Japanese table manners.
Pack up leftovers and don’t forget your recipe books. Akiko will accompany you to Kachigawa Station where you will say goodbye.
Akiko’s love and excitement for cooking began as a child growing up in a suburb of Nagoya. By the time she was in high school, she could prepare her own bento box and she still has fond memories of Takoyaki, the crispy Octopus dumplings that were cooked in her home almost every day! She has been cooking for almost 40 years now and it is the one thing that truly keeps her happy.
Akiko is thrilled about the opportunity to share specialties from Nagoya as a lot of people don’t know how to cook Nagoya-style food. Because of this, many Nagoyans themselves eat their local specialties at restaurants.