Being a fan of taking cooking classes in other countries, it was no surprise to find myself in Japan learning how to make sushi. What was a surprise was that Peter and I would be doing it in the private home of Tomomi, a Tokyo native. So far, she had been our travel guide for two of the top things to do in Tokyoseeing wrestlers practice at a sumo stable and touring the famous Tsujiki Fish Market. Now she had invited us into her home, far away from Tokyo’s bustling business section, to learn the art of making sushi.

This was a truly personalized sushi lesson with only two students. 

We had already purchased fresh ahi tuna while perusing the stalls at the fish market, along with wasabi for grating, but we also needed some other ingredients. So, on the way to her home we stopped by Tokyu supermarket to purchase more fish (salmon, octopus, yellow tail, prawns), seaweed, avocados and a cucumber. This was already quite a unique food experience.
Sushi Shopping List

We arrived at Tomomi’s home, in a residential section of town which she claimed to be a standard single family-home: three bedrooms, a small kitchen, living area and about a thousand square feet.

It is the size of my current home, yet used much more efficiently. 

Every nook and cranny was organized and purposeful, from the compact oven to the pull out knife holder.
Door to Tokyo Home  Sushi Rice

We started the lesson learning how to make tamago, a Japanese egg omelet and one of my favorite things to order back at home. Tamago is made by using a special rectangle pan, getting that pan hot, then cooling just a little before adding a thin layer of egg mixture. Each layer takes patience and must be systematically rolled at just the right time. With a lot of help from Tomomi, ours almost looked professional.

Making Sushi Tomago in Tokyo, Japan

Then it was sushi making time.

We started by making the rice in a cooker and then mixing it with vinegar. Next we were instructed on how to cut the fish which  had to be done in one long slicing motion. Lastly we prepped all the vegetables. Fish for Sushi Making Class

We would be making three varieties of sushi today: rolled, nigiri and gunken/ship shape roll. It started by using the traditional technique of using our hands to shape the rice and rolling sushi in bamboo, then it moved on to modern gadgets. Tomomi showed us an easier technique using a non-traditional plastic mold, which she allowed me to take home.

She may not have been confident in my traditional sushi making skills. Me either.

Slicing Avocado for Sushi  Making Sushi in Tokyo

After making some simple sushi rolls my creative side kicked in and I began blending different ingredients on the table.

The best was the one using one of every element available, which I gifted to Tomomi’s shy daughter. IMG_2306 (800x533) Finished Sushi in Tokyo

At the end of the lesson, Tomomi made us miso soup to go with our plate of whimsical sushi and we sat down to share a delicious, handmade lunch. For dessert, there was a fresh bowl of Japanese grapes. They had a very thick skin and addictively popped in your mouth. The perfect end to a perfect meal. Japanese Grapes

Have you ever made sushi before?

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through my links, I earn a commission that helps to keep this blog running—at no extra cost to you. You can read my full disclosure here.

More Tokyo Articles

Tokyo Bucket List: 44 Top Things To Do in Japan’s Coolest City
4 of the Best Day Trips from Tokyo
Japanese Culture, Traditions and Customs: 15 Lifestyle Facts to Know
Tokyo Food: 13 Themed (& Slightly Weird) Cafe & Restaurant Experiences
Watch Wrestling Practice at a Sumo Stable in Japan
Japan’s Hottest Show: Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku
Visit Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market
Shinjuku Nightlife: A Guide to Tokyo’s Best Golden Gai Bars
Best Quirky Café in Japan? Tokyo’s Calico Cat Café in Shinjuku
Eat at a Themed Restaurant in Tokyo

DETAILS: Tokyo Tours with Tomomi offers a variety of options to choose from and you can easily design your own itinerary for a half or full day tour. We initially booked a half day, but quickly turned it into a full day when we realized how informative Tomomi was about Japanese culture.