Deeply ingrained in Japanese culture is the ancient custom of leisurely enjoying sweets with aromatic green tea. Coined ‘wagashi’, Japanese sweets are not your typical candy or baked cakes. Rather, they come in a variety of shapes and consistencies, using a range of diverse seasonal ingredients.
These days, wagashi is most often enjoyed in relaxed cafe settings, restaurants, temples, gardens, and tea houses. Many shops around Japan specialize in making wagashi as well, with a huge number of the most popular ones located in ancient cities such as Kyoto.
Most people visiting Japan would love the opportunity to try some wagashi. The craft and handiwork that goes into producing Japanese sweets are unlike anything you’ve seen before. Sweet-makers are often referred to as artisans because of their high levels of skill and intricate detailing when creating wagashi.
If you’d like to try your hand at making these sweets, there are plenty of classes for you to do so! Sprinkled across Tokyo are wonderfully crafted wagashi-making classes, taught by some of the most experienced and well-versed wagashi experts.
Making wagashi is a skill that you’ll likely keep honing when you return home, and it’s one that you can show off to your family and friends.
Spruce up your itinerary by booking a wagashi-making class! We’ve listed the 8 best wagashi making classes in Tokyo below.
1. Traditional Japanese Sweets, Wagashi and Mochi Class
Crafting the perfect wagashi takes time, patience, skill, and craftsmanship – and what better way to learn this than from the experienced and patient wagashi expert, Miyuki!
You will be welcomed into her private residence, where you will get the chance to learn how to make three different traditional wagashi, including nerikiri wagashi (a type of mochi with white bean paste), daifuku mochi, and dango mochi.
Learn how to create the sweets from scratch by mixing your dough, and experience using traditional hand tools to craft the wagashi into form.
Once you’re done, you can relax in an intimate setting whilst enjoying a complimentary bowl of matcha green tea. Whatever you don’t eat, you can pack away to eat as a snack later!
- Learn how to make three different types of traditional wagashi
- Experience using traditional Japanese cooking tools and equipment
- All ingredients are gluten-free and vegan so anyone can join
- Enjoy a complimentary bowl of matcha green tea afterward
2. Wagashi Making Class in Tokyo
In this special wagashi-making class in Tokyo, you will be learning how to create your own wagashi using traditional ingredients.
You will be making nerikiri wagashi, which consists of shiro-an, a white bean paste, and glutinous rice flour. It is one of the most popular forms of wagashi, and during different seasons, additional ingredients can be added to complement the time of the year.
Learn from an expert how to mold your mochi dough from scratch, and form your very own wagashi sweets using typical Japanese techniques and tools. You will also learn how to carefully craft motif designs for aesthetics, which is an important part of making wagashi!
Afterward, admire your handiwork and give it a taste with a complimentary bowl of matcha green tea.
- Prepare 4 different types of nerikiri wagashi
- Learn how to use traditional Japanese tools and techniques from an expert
- Enjoy a complimentary bowl of matcha green tea afterward
3. From Scratch Fruit Daifuku Mochi Class
Are you an Instagram friend? Because this self-confessed Instagram-friendly class is perfect for those looking for an aesthetic experience they can capture to show off to their friends, whilst still having fun and learning a new skill!
Daifuku is a popular type of Japanese wagashi which consists of a small round mochi with filling. For this particular class, you will be learning how to make daifuku with fresh fruit filling!
It’s as fun as it sounds, with the friendly Masa and Junko teaching you how to precisely cut and prepare the fruit for the perfect daifuku wrap. Of course, the hard bit will come later, as you learn how to wrap the sticky and stretchy mochi around the fruit itself!
A cooking class wouldn’t be complete without the teachers imparting a bit of knowledge, and so you’ll also be learning about just how rice grains are prepared to become the sticky paste that is mochi!
This super fun and interactive class is open to anyone, so grab your friends and make a booking now!
- Use only natural and healthy ingredients in this class
- The seasonal fresh fruit will not disappoint, and neither will the delicious matcha green tea afterward!
- Learn about Japanese food and culture as you go
4. Friendly Wagashi Making and Tea Ceremony in Central Tokyo
This hands-on wagashi-making with a Japanese tea ceremony is a wonderful way to knock two birds with one stone – learn how to craft a beautiful traditional Japanese food and finish off the experience with another beautiful Japanese tradition!
Keiko hosts a fantastic way to deep-dive into Japanese culture by creating a class that’s fun, interactive, and a great learning experience even for cooking amateurs. You will learn how to make colorful wagashi using traditional Japanese tools.
After you finish making your wagashi, sit back in awe as the tea master performs a traditional tea ceremony. You will also get the opportunity to perform the ceremony yourself once you’ve seen the demonstration.
- Learn how to create colorful and delicious wagashi sweets
- Enjoy a first-hand experience of a traditional Japanese tea ceremony
- Enjoy a deliciously fresh bowl of matcha after the class
- Get the chance to perform the tea ceremony yourself
5. Traditional Sweets Making Workshop
In this wagashi sweets workshop, you will learn how to make nerikiri, one of the most popular types of wagashi.
Nerikiri is a type of sweet that is typically made with white bean paste and rice flour. It is the perfect balance of sweetness with a chewy, addictive texture.
Part of the reason why nerikiri wagashi is so popular is because of its often-unique designs that wagashi artisans take pride in delicately crafting. This ‘edible art’ usually reflects the four seasons and represents stunning seasonal beauty.
The wagashi instructor is nationally licensed and provides all the necessary fresh and quality ingredients and traditional tools to make your first-ever wagashi sweet.
- Learn how to make wagashi sweet from a nationally recognized wagashi instructor
- Learn about the interesting history and culture behind Japanese confectionery
6. Making Cute and Innovative Japanese Sweets with an Expert
When it comes to the intricacies of crafting the perfect wagashi sweet, there’s no one as qualified and passionate as Ms. Torii Macie.
Ms. Torii Macie is a well-respected expert in innovative wagashi sweets, with numerous students who have flourished under her tutelage and with an endless supply of enthusiasm to impart her knowledge and experience to the next eager bunch of learners.
Her easy-to-learn teaching style will have you comfortably trying your hand at making the most instagrammable wagashi you’ll ever lay your eyes on. You can rely on her tricks of the trade and traditional tools to assist you in the process.
You can opt to experience this class in a beautiful Japanese garden or a traditional Japanese restaurant; both venues offer superb conditions to be immersing yourself in Japanese culture.
- Learn from the highly qualified Torii Macie
- Choose whether you want to learn in a Zen Japanese garden or a traditional Japanese restaurant
- Learn to make the cutest wagashi sweets ever!
7. Wagashi Sweets Making Class with Owner of 400-Year-Old Shop
It is very unlikely that you’ll come across a traditional wagashi shop as well-known as Mannendo. Originally from Kyoto, it is one of Japan’s most famous wagashi sweet producers. It’s also one of the oldest, having been within the family for a whopping 4 centuries! Its reputation spans the entire population, with rumors that they even supplied sweets to the Emperor!
Whilst Kyoto is still known for its high-quality wagashi craftsmanship and ingredients, you won’t need to travel there to experience an authentic wagashi-making class. Today, Mannendo still maintains its impressive reputation and has now got a store in Ginza.
Higuchi is the 14th-generation confectioner from the family’s shop. He is professional, passionate, and completely experienced in crafting wagashi.
Higushi will demonstrate a huge range of techniques used in making traditional wagashi using premium Japanese ingredients. You will then get to sit down and enjoy your completed wagashi with a steaming fresh cup of tea and take home with you whatever sweets you don’t finish.
- Learn how to make wagashi sweets from a 14th-generation confectioner who owns a 400-year-old wagashi shop
- Try different techniques and styles of wagashi-crafting
- Explore the surrounding gardens before and after the class
- Enjoy a cup of freshly brewed tea afterward
8. Making Japanese Sweets Together: Team Building Experience
Team-building experiences are a great way to facilitate and foster better relationships in the workplace, ultimately resulting in productivity and a positive workplace environment.
Learning how to make wagashi sweets is a fantastic team-building experience. From learning about the history and culture of wagashi to learning about the basics of crafting wagashi, it is one where everyone starts on the same page and learns together.
It’s a great opportunity for team members to express their creativity and fun side whilst also learning something new at the same time!
The many great things about this class include the instructor speaking English, it divulging the intricacies of wagashi which is a great way to learn more about Japanese culture, and it’s ultimately a collaborative activity in nature.
Once each group has completed their wagashi activity, they will come together and enjoy matcha green tea as well as their wonderfully crafted wagashi sweets.
- Participants can enjoy relationship building and networking in a relaxed and fun environment
- Everyone gets to learn a new skill – wagashi making
- Learn about the history of wagashi and thus Japanese culture
- Groups will have to work together to craft their sweets, and then present them to the class
- Enjoy some freshly brewed Japanese matcha green tea together afterward
In the enchanting country of Japan, where tradition intersects with modernity, there is no better way to experience the culture than through the universal language of food.
Deep dive into one of the oldest forms of Japanese customs with experienced culinary teachers and gain an experience you’ll never forget.
Are you ready to show off your cooking skills? Book a wagashi cooking class now!
If you are looking for a similar experience, check out our list of the best cooking classes in Tokyo!