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3 month Cooking Lessons and Culinary Internship in Japan (2024 dates)

3 month Cooking Lessons and Culinary Internship in Japan (2024 dates)

3 month Cooking Lessons and Culinary Internship in Japan (2024 dates)

Cooking course, language lessons and culinary internship in Japan

If you are a fan of Japanese cuisine and want to get to know it first hand and in depth, this program is just right for you!

You will spend the first month in Tokyo, taking part in a cooking course and in Japanese language lessons. You can decide whether you prefer to stay with a Japanese host family or, more affordably and independently, in a sharehouse (self-catering). The basic Japanese language skills that you acquire through the participation in the language course is required for the second part of your stay in Japan – the restaurant internship on rural Sado Island.

You will then spend the second and third month on Sado Island on the west coast of central Japan in Niigata Prefecture. Sado is a picturesque island with a strong local culture and is also particularly known for local seafood specialties (shrimp, crabs, squid, fish, oysters, abaolone and turban shellfish) as well as seaweed such as wakame, mozuku and iwanori, shiitake mushrooms, traditionally grown rice and persimmons. Sado has several producers of sake, igoneri (seaweed jelly), meat products and other local specialties. Many domestic Japanese tourists travel to Sado for culinary experiences.

You will do an internship in a typical Japanese restaurant that specializes in yakitori, ramen, sushi, gyoza or other Japanese or local specialities. There are also two culinary day visits included in the program. You will live in an apartment or in a temple’s guesthouse, depending on the location of your internship restaurant.



2024: January 5, February, 2 March 1, March 29, May 3, May 31, June 28, August 2, August 30, October 4, November 1 and November 29




Day 1 – 3

Arrival in Japan, accompanied pick-up from Narita or Haneda airport by public transport and escort to your accommodation (you can choose between a Japanese host family including breakfast and dinner, accommodation in a single room) or a sharehouse (accommodation in a 4-8-share dorm room together with other foreign interns).

Saturday and Sunday at leisure.

Day 4 – 28

Monday to Friday you will join our intensive language lessons from 9:10 to 12:40 (a total of 20 lessons x 50 minutes/week). You can join the course as a beginner, but also at other levels if you already know some Japanese. You need to do a proficiency test if you want to start the course at a higher level than beginner (available up to upper intermediate).

The cooking classes are held 8 times. The English-speaking cooking teacher is a professional chef.

Class 1: Japanese food basics

  • The 5 taste concepts (sweetness, saltiness, acidity, bitterness, umami).
  • The 5 colours: red, green, yellow, white, black
  • The 5 methods: bake, simmer, fry, steam, raw
  • Chopstick manners and basics of serving meals
  • Cooking: Grilled fish, steamed egg custard, Japanese mustard spinach with sesame sauce, pork miso soup, white rice

Class 2: Easy Japanese dining table setup with rice pot cooking

  • Oyakodon, mizuna and jako salad, instant radish pickles, tofu and shiitake mushroom miso soup.

Class 3: Colorful bento with five colors

  • Fried chicken, boiled hijiki, tamagoyaki, boiled spinach, kinpira burdock root, white rice bento

Class 4: The concept of “Sashisuseso”

  • Nabe-daki rice, mackerel simmered in miso, meat and potatoes, vinegared seaweed, ginger and cucumber, miso soup

Class 5: The role of seasonings in Japanese food and how to make dashi

  • Mixed rice or sekihan, boiled in Chikuzen, horse mackerel pickled in Nanban, clear soup

Class 6: Japanese sweets 1

  • Mizuyokan

Class 7: Japanese Sweets 2

  • Kingyoku and Nerikiri

Class 8: Other Japanese dishes

  • Cutlet curry rice and Japanese potato salad
  • Dumplings and Hiyashi Chuka (Cold Ramen)

Accommodation is with your host family (including breakfast and dinner during weekdays and including 3 meals on Saturday and Sunday) or in a sharehouse (shared, self-catering accommodation). The host families mostly live in Saitama, Chiba, Yokohama or in the west of Tokyo. The sharehouse is located in Koto-Ku near Kiba Station.

Not included in the price: Commuter ticket for local public transport in Tokyo (between your accommodation and the language school and cooking school; approx. 6500-10,000 JPY for the entire duration).

Day 29 & 30

Travel from Tokyo to Sado Island by Shinkansen bullet train and ferry (total travel time approx. 5 hours). You pay for the train and ferry costs yourself, around 14,000 JPY. We will pick you up from the Sado Ferry Terminal (Ryotsu) and drive you to your accommodation on Sado.

Accommodation is chosen depending on the location of the restaurant where you would do your internship. In case of the central Sado and Ryotsu area, you will stay at a self-catering rental apartment, single room. The apartment are two-room apartments where you will share kitchen, toilet and bathroom with another participant of the program. In case of a restaurant in the Ogi area of ​​Sado, you will stay at the guesthouse of Koninji Temple at a single Western bedroom, sharing sanitary installations and kitchen with other participants.

In case your accommodation and restaurant is in the central Sado or Ryotsu area, you can reach your restaurant by walk, bus (communiting costs at your own expense) or bicycle (provided to you free of charge if needed). In case of the Ogi area, you reach your internship restaurant by bicycle (provided free of charge).

Days 31 – 89

You will do your restaurant internship. You will be in the restaurant 4-5 days a week for 4-8 hours each as an assistant to the local chefs. Japanese restaurants typically only prepare one type of food, so the restaurant where you will do your internship will most likely specialize in one certain type of food only such as Yakitori, Ramen, Sushi or Gyozo.

Once a month there is a full day trip (included in the price). The date will be decided depending on the availability of all internship participants.

  • First month: Natural herbs collection in the forest and visit to/workshop in a herbal tea factory
  • Second month: Traditional rice cultivation / harvest (depending on season)

Accommodation at your apartment room or at Koninji Temple.

Day 90

Transfer to the Ryotsu Ferry Port in Sado and return travel to Tokyo (at your own expense) for your outbound flight (visa validity for most nationalities is 90 days, so please make sure to book your return flight accordingly)

You can do this program on a Temporary Visitor Status or Tourist Visa (or other long-term visas for Japan that you might arrange on your own). If you are unsure about possible visa options for your nationality, please consult with WORLD UNITE! before booking the program.



For 1 person: 2980 USD
For 2 persons: 2880 USD for each
Host family accommodation (for 30 days): +769 USD


Do you want to join this Culinary Internship? Contact us now!


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