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3 month Cooking Lessons and Culinary Internship in Japan

3 month Cooking Lessons and Culinary Internship in Japan

3 month Cooking Lessons and Culinary Internship in Japan

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.


31st of March, 30th of June and 29th of September 2023!



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 intensive language lessons at a well-established language school in central Tokyo from 9:20 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 always held twice a week for 2 hours on Wednesday and Friday afternoons. The English-speaking cooking teacher is a professional chef trained in Kaiseki Style Cuisine and is also certified as a Sushi Instructor by the Japan Sushi Instructor Association and registered by SSI International as a professional sake sommelier.

Lesson 1: Sushi Lesson

  • Learn the history of sushi
  • Ingredients and tools for making sushi
  • Make sushi bowls and scrolls

Lesson 2: Japanese Soup Stock

  • Using soup stock
  • Soup stock egg, make miso soup

Lesson 3: Japanese Food Tour and Udon Striking Lesson

  • Learn about Japanese food ingredients through a supermarket tour
  • Strike udon

Lesson 4: Japanese Confectionery Lesson

  • Learn about the culture of the four seasons in Japan
  • Make Japanese seasonal sweets

Lesson 5: Japanese Lunch Box (Obento) Lesson

  • Learn about the culture of Japanese lunch boxes
  • Make Japanese lunch boxes

Lesson 6: Japanese Food: Side dish Lesson

  • Learn about Japanese dining tables
  • Choose a healthy side dish

Lesson 7: Decorative Rolled Sushi Lesson

  • Make decorative rolled sushi like craftwork

Lesson 8: Showcase of what you have learned and achieved in the course

  • Awarding of certificates

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: 4590 USD
For 2 persons: 4490 USD for each
Host family accommodation: +650 USD


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


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