HARU Cooking Class - Kyoto

  • Other Other
    ( 7 reviews )

Shimogamo, Miyazaki-cho (at Kawaramachi-Imadegawa), Kyoto, Japan, 606-0802

HARU offers vegetarian and vegan cooking lessons, and you eat what you've prepared. Prepare your own lunch or dinner in a tatami room, on a chabudai-table. Learn to make 100% vegetarian gyoza (Japanese style dumplings) and more. Not all veg.

7 Reviews

First Review by FeeStar

No longer does vegan classes? - Edit

I contacted Haru to try to organize vegan cooking classes but was advised that he doesn't offer vegan ones anymore.

Cons: Apparently no vegan option anymore

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Highlight of an already amazing trip - Edit

Myself and 2 friends took the vegetarian cooking class with Taro San in October 2012 and it was simply amazing. I'm the only veggie of our group and while not vegan I don't eat eggs while one friend has food allergies and the other is diabetic so we were a motley crew going for our cooking class! He was super helpful before we even arrived fitting us in for a class when we had limited time in Kyoto. We took the class with two other people who were having the beef class but at no point was there any issue with any meat getting mixed with the veggie food, everything was clearly labeled and we used different cooking utensils. I had forgot to mention one of our party is allergic to mushrooms before the class and our main dish was meant to have mushrooms but Taro San was able to adjust the meal with no issues. Before starting cooking we had an introduction to food and cooking in Japan and a history of Kobe beef which while not something I'm ever going to eat it was interesting from the historical aspect of the farming in Japan. We all got to take part in the cooking which was great as I've taken cooking classes before were you just really watched then ate the food at the end. Here we got to slice, dice, smash and taste all the way along and at the end we sat down to a wonderful meal. We made miso soup, three side dishes and a main dish. The main dish was tofu which none of the three of us had ever been massive fans of but we all loved it and cleaned all our plates. We had an awesome few weeks traveling around Asia but this was one of the best experiences by far and highly rec for folks heading to Kyoto.

Pros: Super friendly, english speaking, able to tailor meals

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Perhaps not suitable for Everyone - Edit

I recently did this cooking class. I have spent over two years living in Japan, cooked Japanese food from recipes and had visited Japanese homes before. So I was really hoping to get a real cooking experience. In fact the host and his wife did a lot of the prep and cooking and we watched and took turns helping. I guess I was hoping it would be more hands on. I.e. We would cook everything from scratch ourselves. The host and his wife were very friendly and nice and I did learn a few dishes and get useful tips. I notice many reviewers here stress the family aspect and I think if you haven't spent much time in Japan this is a nice way to meet a family and see how they live. But I wouldn't recommend it for more hardcore cooks who already have experience with Japanese food. Also the host kept saying that adding fish flakes to the broth deepened the flavour (i.e. made it better) which I didn't find very vegetarian friendly. But the food was delicious.

Pros: Friendly Hosts, Delicious Food, Useful Tips

Cons: Not so Hands on, Not so vege-friendly

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Wonderful Experience! - Edit

This was one of the highlights to my last trip to Japan in November 2011. Taro was very friendly, helpful and his lesson was one of the most useful things I did in Japan. As a strict vegetarian that doesn't eat egg, I chose the vegan class and shared the class with a vegetarian couple. When abroad, I always eat in vegan restaurants, knowing that everything is 'safe' to eat, so I order lunch and dinner setsand sometimes have no idea what I'm eating! In this class we made things that I had eaten in Japan and not recognised. I came away confident and a lot more curious about the things I was eating.

Being in a Japanese home was also a joy, and to meet Taro's family and share time with them. It was very easy to find and I now have a cooking teacher for life in Taro!

One recommendation - eat before you go, as everything is so yummy whilst preparing and you'll be starving by the time you eat!

Next time I want to do the tour of Nishiki Market and learn how to shop vegan in Japanese markets.

Pros: Once in a lifetime opportunity to learn , Perfect english spoken, Amazing food!

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Great experience. Must do in Kyoto! - Edit

We had a great time learning to cook a variety of Japanese dishes. Our hosts were gracious and knowledgeable. Very willing to take the time to answer random questions or tailor the session to our interests. Everything was well organized, so we got quite a bit of cooking done during the session. We were given a written sheet with a number of recipes (both dishes that we made and some we didn't).

On a side note, we also had a cell phone picture of an item a friend wanted us to bring back from Japan. We hadn't been able to locate this item at this stage in the trip, but our gracious hosts took the time and trouble to figure out what the item in the picture was, and gave us a short note to show to local grocers to help us find the item quickly and easily.

This really was one of our favorite activities in Japan. If you have any interest in cooking or good traditional food, I can't recommend this highly enough.

Pros: Patient, knowledgable hosts, Great food, outstanding value, FUN!

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Hello, I am Taro, the owner of Haru Cooking Class - Edit

If you are interested in learning to cook Japanese food, please come join!

If you you are not an everyday cook, please do not hesitate to come join! The lessons are not difficult.

At Haru Cooking Class Kyoto, you will see everything that you will eat. You will cook your own food and taste them, so you can repeatedly cook your favorite dish.

Updated from previous review on Sunday February 06, 2011

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Vegan cooking class in Kyoto household - Edit

My husband and I went to Haru Cooking Class on 21 April 11, during a short holiday to Kyoto (from Australia). It was one of the most fun and worthwhile activities we did in Kyoto.

We are vegan, and Taro (who runs the classes with assistance from his wife Yoshiko) was very accommodating, creating a suitable menu (miso soup, agedashi tofu, various types of sushi, sake and rice dumplings with red bean and kinako for dessert).

The classes are run from Taro and Yoshiko's home. As foreign tourists, it was really nice to be invited into a Japanese household and get a glimpse of regular family life.

The class was fun and informal, and Taro (who, incidentally, is widely travelled and speaks perfect English) was very friendly and put us at ease.

Among the highlights for us were tasting a Japanese herb called shiso for the first time, learning the secret to the crispy, stretchy exterior of agedashi tofu, and discovering kinako, a golden powder of roasted soybeans used in desserts.

We would highly recommend this class for other foreign visitors, to learn some easy Kyoto-style dishes and to get to spend some time with a Japanese family. (vegetarian and meat-based classes are also offered).

Pros: In Japanese household, Great value, Vegan-friendly

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