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7 Days Japanese Language Course and Cooking Holiday in Okazaki, Japan

Language and Cooking Holidays in Japan

Join Yamasa Institute for a week-long Japanese language and cooking course! Anyone interested in Japanese cuisine should definitely not pass up this opportunity to learn and experience Japan’s unique culinary culture. You will be able to master the vocabulary learned by actually using it, not just in the classroom, but also through active learning at restaurants, izakaya, grocery stores, and more as part of the curriculum.


  • Hands-on cooking classes
  • 10 Japanese language classes
  • Visit to historic pottery town of Tokoname
  • Enjoy culinary exhibits at the Mizkan Museum
  • Tour of old Japanese-style shops and city tour
  • Take part in matcha-making experience
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • Daily meals

Skill level

  • Beginner


5 days with instruction in Japanese
Spoken languages: English, Japanese
The maximum participants in the group is 10
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Check-in Time:
Check-out Time:

All students will be given the option of staying with a local Japanese family during their time at Yamasa Institute. Homestay is a great opportunity for you to get to know more about the Japanese lifestyle. In addition to this, a homestay visit is also a chance for you to apply both the linguistic and culinary knowledge that you have picked up in class.

You will get to try home cooked Japanese meals made by your host family and you can also cook a more international meal for your host family. If you wish to stay in a home where English will be understood, please let Yamasa Institute know when you apply. Whilst homestays are offered as a primary component of this course, it is not an essential part of it.

It is also possible for you to stay at a nearby hotel instead of a homestay, Yamasa has a range of accommodation options available. You can be accommodated at AB Hotel Okazaki. It is only five minutes away from your school, near JR Okazaki station.


NICE is a weeklong Japanese culinary experience course of learning Japanese language and cooking. Japanese culinary culture was born from Japan’s long history and natural environment and has unique characteristics and appeal around the world. This NICE course is designed to let students learn about this food culture by participating in a variety of hands-on experiences over the course of one week.

Anyone interested in Japanese cuisine should definitely not pass up this opportunity to learn about and experience Japan’s unique culinary culture. The course will be held in Japan’s two most beautiful seasons, cherry blossom season in spring and the season of colored leaves in autumn. In the Japanese classes, students will learn food-related words and conversations vital to understanding Japanese cuisine.

Students will be able to master the vocabulary learned by actually using it, not just in the classroom but also through active learning at kaiseki-ryōri restaurants, izakaya, grocery stores, and more as part of the curriculum. Furthermore, in this course students will learn how to cook authentic Japanese dishes from an experienced, qualified culinary instructor in cooking classes and go on tours to deepen their understanding of Japanese cuisine.

The course is jam-packed with hands-on experiences of Japanese culinary culture, making the best possible use of your limited time. This course is targeted at beginners of Japanese, and the culinary activities and tours will be conducted with explanations in English and simple Japanese. Let’s experience Japan’s unparalleled food culture in this course!

Cooking-related Japanese language classes

This highly practical Japanese language classes is designed to harness cutting edge technology and student-focused pedagogy to help you get the most out of your travel experience. Students will learn vocabulary and expressions related to Japanese cuisine. Classes will use YAMASA’s original digital teaching materials, know-how, and are designed so that even those who are just beginning will be able to steadily improve according to their own pace.

Japanese cooking classes

Learn how to cook authentic Japanese cuisine from an experienced and qualified cooking instructor in a totally immersive environment. You will be making simple, delicious foods that you will be able to cook for family and friends after returning to your home country. Classes will be held in English and simple Japanese.

Japanese culinary culture tours

Experience the kind of food not available back home by participating in the Japanese culinary and culture tours to various locations, with each one possessing a strong kinship to Japanese gourmet culture. You will be able to enjoy Japanese foods and beverages and visit a variety of places where ingredients are made.


Yamasa Institute’s homestay has selected Japanese families who are align with Yamasa’s ideals. This is a valuable opportunity to observe everyday Japanese eating habits and learn about Japanese culture in a relaxed environment.

Sample itinerary

Day 1 - Monday, November 20, 2017

Participants should arrive in Okazaki by Monday evening. If you are doing a homestay, please arrive at the school by 5 p.m. Your host family will take you home directly. If you are staying at a hotel, please go directly to the hotel and check in. In both cases, it is possible to use Yamasa’s airport pick-up service to get from the airport to school or your hotel on an additional cost.

Day 2 - Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Get ready for Japanese lessons, followed by lunch with your Japanese instructor. You will eat lunch at on-campus café, while enjoying various conversations about Japanese food, life in Japan, and so on. Then, you will have the opportunity to visit one of Japan’s leading production areas for matcha used in tea ceremonies (Nishio). Tea ceremony is one part of traditional Japanese culture. You will see how matcha is produced with the traditional methods and experience high-quality matcha for yourself.

Day 3 - Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Today, you will visit one of Japan’s popular tofu makers and will get to see how tofu is made. You will also have the opportunity to take part in hands-on tofu making process. Additionally, students will get to sample a variety of sweets made of fresh tofu and other ingredients. Later, you will stop by O-tofu-Yuba Ishikawa, where you will be able to enjoy a variety of cuisine made of local vegetables, tofu, dried beancurd, and local seasonings.

Dried beancurd is a filmy substance made from soy milk that is frequently used as an ingredient in clear broth soups, stewed or boiled dishes, and various other foods. This creative cuisine is rich in ideas and will surely be a good reference for your own culinary ideas. Then, you will visit Mizkan, one of the makers of Japan’s traditional seasonings, and see the interactive culinary exhibits at the Mizkan Museum.

While learning about the history of Mizkan, you will be able to enjoy various exhibits and hands-on activities related to Japan’s extensive food culture. In the afternoon, you will visit the historic pottery town of Tokoname. This is your chance to see and purchase a variety of pottery, including traditional and contemporary tableware.

You can walk along the pottery footpath for 1.6 kilometers and enjoy the scenery of the pottery town. There will be a lot of brick chimneys and kilns, old black wooden factory buildings, a hill road made of scrap pieces of pottery, and more.

Day 4 - Thursday, November 23, 2017

You will start your day with Japanese lessons, followed by a tour to the grocery stores and supermarkets in the area with your Japanese instructor. See what kind of ingredients are sold and learn the names of different products. For lunch, you will be able to purchase and eat foods of your interests at the stores. Later, you will visit Okazaki Castle and its accompanying museum.

The castle is the birthplace of Tokugawa Ieyasu, one of Japan’s historical figures and a military commander from the Warring States period. Afterwards, you will tour the old Japanese-style sweet shops and stores selling cookware and tableware in the castle town. In the afternoon, you will have the option to visit AEON Mall Okazaki. It is one of the top eight largest shopping malls in Japan.

It is an enormous shopping complex with over 200 stores that sell everything from traditional to cutting-edge items. This includes food products, tableware, fashion, home appliances, children’s goods, books, as well as a movie theater, restaurants, a game center, and more. You will be able to take a look at what sort of things Japanese people generally eat and use.

Day 5 - Friday, November 24, 2017

Get ready for Japanese lessons, followed by Japanese cooking class. Japanese food frequently uses a unique ingredient called “dashi.” While learning about its fundamentals, you will be making delicious, appealing dishes that you can cook for your family and friends even after returning to your home country. You will make three to five types of food, and afterwards everyone will eat them together.

Day 6 - Saturday, November 25, 2017

Start your day with Japanese lessons. Later, you will have "washoku" for lunch at Adusa restaurant. Washoku traditional Japanese cuisine has been added to UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Experience this authentic Japanese-style cuisine prepared by artisans using traditional techniques. After lunch, you will visit a factory that has been using a traditional recipe to make "miso" for over 300 years. Students will be able to tour the miso-producing area and experience the taste of traditional miso.

There will be one important experience left, after the closing ceremony. Experience "izakaya", or Japanese-style pub, which can be difficult for foreigners to enter and order on their own. If you can go to an izakaya on your own, then you’re truly a master of Japanese cuisine!

Day 7 - Sunday, November 26, 2017

You will leave your homestay or hotel in the morning. If you are staying at a homestay, please have your host family take you to a nearby station or use Yamasa’s send-off service to get to the airport (a separate fee will apply). Participants staying at a hotel will also be able to use Yamasa’s send-off service to the airport.

Included excursions

  • Creative cuisine lunch of healthy tofu and dried beancurd “yuba”
  • Izakaya tour
  • Matcha making fieldtrip
  • See Okazaki Castle and tour of old Japanese-style sweet shops or cookware shops
  • Tofu-making experience
  • Tour of an old Factory of the traditional Japanese seasoning “miso”
  • Visit to Mizkan Museum
  • Walk the Tokoname pottery footpath


The language and culinary holiday takes place in Okazaki, Japan. Located in central Japan, Okazaki is within striking distance of both Osaka and Tokyo. Both are accessible via a two-hour bullet train journey. In addition to these urban metropolises, Okazaki is also only a 50-minute train ride away to Nagoya, the fourth biggest city in Japan.

This allows students to access all of the conveniences of the big city, whilst enjoying the more relaxed pace of life that Okazaki provides. Okazaki itself is rich in history and culture. It is the hometown of the most famous samurai Tokugawa Ieyasu, who unified Japan after a long period of civil war. While this is one of the many charms of Okazaki, the greater Aichi region is home to countless assorted tourist attractions.

Nearby places

  • Higashi Okazaki Station - 60 minutes' walk
  • Nagoya - 50 minutes
  • Okazaki Station- 10 minutes' walk
  • Osaka - 2 hours
  • Tokyo - 2 hours


The price includes five breakfasts, four lunches, and one dinner. You will also have access to try Japanese green tea "matcha", healthy tofu and dried beancurd "yuba", the world cultural heritage "washoku", and enjoy a Japanese-style pub "izakaya".

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

You will have the option to visit AEON Shopping Mall in Okazaki.

What's included

  • 1 dinner
  • 4 lunches
  • 5 breakfasts
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • Cooking classes
  • Excursions
  • Language lessons
  • Pick-up from and to JR Okazaki station

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Transportation from and to the airport (12.000 JPY each)

How to get there

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Chubu Centrair International Airport (NGO). You can use Yamasa's airport pick-up service for 12.000 JPY. It is the safest, most convenient, but also the most expensive option. Yamasa staff member will meet you at the custom wicket.

Arrival by bus

One option from Nagoya Chubu Centrair International Airport (NGO) is to take the airport bus that is bound for Okazaki Train Station for 1.750 JPY. As this is the final stop, please stay on the bus until it reaches its final stop. The second to last stop is Higashi Okazaki Station, which can cause some confusion. If you prefer, a Yamasa staff member will be there to meet you upon your arrival (free pick-up service) or you can walk to Yamasa by yourself, as the school is only 10 minutes away.

Arrival by train

If you take train from the Chubu Centrair International Airport (NGO), please use a limited express (Meitetsu Tokoname Line) bound for Meitetsu Nagoya Station. Get off at Kanayama Station and change train here to the JR Tokaido Line. Get on a rapid express train bound for Okazaki or Toyohashi. After arriving to the Okazaki Station, you can walk to Yamasa (about 10 minutes) or you can use Yamasa's free pick-up service. In this case, the Yamasa staff member will meet you at the wicket.

This whole trip costs 1.430 JPY.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 100% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 40 days before the arrival date.
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