Sushi experience to entertain foreigners! Where can I experience sushi and what should I be aware of?

寿司体験で外国人をおもてなし!寿司体験ができる場所や注意点って?
Motenas Representative
Motenas Representative

Sushi is a popular Japanese food among foreigners. Why not treat your important guests and friends visiting Japan to a “sushi making experience”? In fact, the popularity of sushi making has been increasing among foreigners visiting Japan recently, and the number of places where you can experience sushi making in English has been increasing. However, there are many people who wonder, “What kind of places are there where foreigners can experience sushi making? Are there any precautions that should be taken when entertaining guests? What are some things to keep in mind when entertaining guests?
In this article, we will introduce examples of places where foreigners can experience sushi making, points to keep in mind when entertaining guests, and basic knowledge about sushi that will be useful when conversing with foreigners.

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Why is the sushi experience so popular with foreigners?

Why is the sushi experience so popular with foreigners?

First, it is important to know why sushi experiences are so popular among foreigners.

Why is the popularity of the “sushi-making experience” growing beyond the usual “eating sushi”?

By knowing what aspects of the sushi experience foreigners are attracted to, you can entertain them with confidence.

Many foreigners are interested in traditional Japanese culture.

Many foreigners visiting Japan are interested in traditional Japanese culture.

This is because I am attracted to the “philosophy” and “aesthetics” of traditional Japanese culture.

For example, karate is another traditional Japanese culture that is popular among foreigners. One of the reasons for its popularity is its emphasis on “civility,” and many foreigners find the philosophy of delving into the moral and spiritual aspects of the people they fight fresh and attractive.

Sushi also has traditional techniques that have been handed down since the Edo period, and the delicacy and philosophy of its craftsmanship is attractive to foreigners.

To give a concrete example, sushi rice is prepared in such a way that it loosens the moment you put it in your mouth.

This is truly the result of the sushi chef’s skill in adjusting even the amount of air.

Many Japanese people are familiar with this kind of craftsmanship, but in fact, many foreigners think that “any Japanese person can make sushi,” so they will find it fascinating that there is a traditional culture of “craftsmanship” in sushi rice.

In the sushi-making experience, you can casually ask a professional sushi chef not only how to make rice, but also about some of the traditions, such as how to handle fish and how to choose sushi ingredients.

Because I can enjoy conversation with Japanese people through the sushi experience.

Another reason why the sushi experience is so popular among foreigners is that they can enjoy conversation with Japanese sushi chefs.

Even Japanese people do not have many opportunities to talk with sushi chefs, but foreigners tend to feel a language barrier in Japan and are often reluctant to talk with Japanese people themselves.

Many people want to converse with sushi chefs but are hesitant to communicate with them because of the language.

The sushi experience is also a fun way to interact with the sushi chefs, as they teach you how to make sushi, and you can relax and enjoy the experience.

After the sushi-making experience, there is time to actually eat the sushi you made, and the best part of the sushi experience is that you can enjoy conversation with the Japanese sushi chefs and staff while eating.

Because it’s fun to be creative.

Many foreigners enjoy making sushi as if it were an art form.

For example, have we Japanese ever had the experience of discussing what kind of fish we should put in our Temakizushi, or how much amount of sushi rice we should put in our Temakizushi?

For foreigners, both the selection of ingredients and the rice nigiri are new experiences, so the process of figuring out which ingredients to choose and how much rice to nigiri can be a fun experience that stimulates creativity.

The artistic experience of creating your own sushi while comparing it to the perfect sushi made by a sushi chef is an impressive time.

Sushi is a popular Japanese food among foreigners.

As you all know, sushi is a popular Japanese food even in foreign countries.

Therefore, many foreigners are interested in trying authentic sushi.

Especially in foreign countries, sashimi, the main ingredient of sushi, is often not distributed, and “maki no sushi” containing salmon or avocado is the mainstream, so many foreigners come to Japan looking forward to eating authentic nigiri-zushi, which is made of sashimi.

In the sushi-making experience, you can eat both the sushi you made and the sushi made by the artisan, so you can enjoy authentic sushi.

Where can foreigners experience sushi?

Where can foreigners experience sushi?

Now, let me introduce some places where foreigners can experience sushi.

Sushi-making experiences are offered at the following locations.

  1. sushi restaurant
  2. Sushi chef training school
  3. Events to experience Japanese culture

The atmosphere of the sushi experience changes at each location, so we recommend that you choose one depending on the relationship you have with your foreign guests and friends.

sushi restaurant

Making sushi at a sushi restaurant is recommended for entertaining wealthy foreigners and VIPs.

Some sushi restaurants have been in business for more than 100 years, and the opportunity to learn sushi making directly from the artisans who have carried on the tradition is a valuable experience for foreign residents.

In addition, not only will you be able to make sushi with fish selected by top chefs, but you will also be able to experience a higher grade of sushi making since the ingredients, such as wasabi and ginger, have been carefully selected.

In many cases, you will be lent the white coat and Japanese hat uniforms actually worn by sushi chefs, making the experience of making sushi in uniquely Japanese attire a one-of-a-kind experience for foreigners.

Matsuno Sushi, established in 1910, offers a sushi-making experience for wealthy foreigners.

The sushi chef who will be teaching us is a sushi chef who has experience making sushi for the G20 and the British Royal Family.

The sushi-making experience is conducted in English, so foreign guests who cannot speak Japanese can feel at ease.

Official website: https://matsunozushi.com/yoshi/for-inbound/experience/

Sushi chef training school

Did you know that there are schools that train sushi chefs, although they are few in number?

These training schools also offer hands-on sushi-making events.

Many of the participants in the training school’s events are Japanese, so it is recommended for foreigners who want to make sushi while interacting with Japanese people.

The advantage of being a “school” is that it is skilled at teaching beginner cooks, and even those who are not used to holding a knife can learn how to make sushi in an easy-to-understand way.

However, the school may not have an English interpreter, so please be careful if you are bringing a foreigner who does not speak Japanese.

Also, many schools hold hands-on events on an irregular basis, so be sure to check if there is an event during the desired period of time.

Tsukiji Kiyomura Juku, run by the popular sushi restaurant Sushizanmai, offers an irregular sushi-making experience called the “Sushi Culture Lecture.

English is not supported, so a separate interpreter must be arranged, but the sushi-making course is popular for the talk skills of the sushi chefs who teach it.

Official website: https://www.kiyomura.co.jp/school

Events to experience Japanese culture

Some organizations offer hands-on sushi-making events for foreigners.

These hands-on events are a great way to experience sushi making in a casual atmosphere and are recommended to attend with foreign friends.

Since this is an event for foreigners, there is no need to worry about the language aspect, as there are English-speaking staff and many of the instructors themselves speak English.

The event may have a limited number of participants, so there is a possibility that you will be making sushi with other participants, but the casual atmosphere makes it easy for non-Japanese to enjoy making sushi without feeling nervous.

In many cases, the experience takes place in restaurants or private homes, and in most cases, the participants are not provided with uniforms such as white coats or Japanese hats, but instead make sushi in their own clothes.

At Tokyo Sushi-Making Tour, which offers sushi-making classes for foreigners in Adachi-ku, Tokyo, English-speaking instructors teach sushi-making, etiquette, history, and more.

The small class size is limited to 8 students, so you can enjoy making sushi in a homelike environment without any tension.

Official website: https://www.tokyo-sushi-making-tour.com/

Basic Knowledge about Sushi

Basic Knowledge about Sushi

When entertaining foreigners by making sushi, knowing some basic knowledge about sushi will make the conversation more lively.

Surprisingly, many Japanese people do not even know the history of sushi.

Sushi is a true “traditional culture” filled with the long history of Japanese food culture, so please take this opportunity to learn about it.

Japanese sushi has a history of more than 1,200 years.

Sushi in Japan is said to have a history of over 1,200 years.

There are various theories as to its origin, but the most common theory is that it is “fermented sushi,” in which fish is fermented to preserve it, and this originated not in Japan but in Southeast Asia.

At that time, rice was not eaten, but only preserved in a container with fish as an ingredient for fermentation.

The prototype of this sushi was introduced to Japan from China, and during the Nara and Heian periods, it was delivered as a tribute to the Imperial Court.

This began to change during the Muromachi period (1336-1573), when the fermentation period was shortened and the rice was eaten together with the style.

Sushi was not yet something the common people could eat at this time, but little by little, the existence of “sushi” began to spread.

Nigiri-zushi was born in the Edo period

The nigirizushi commonly eaten today was born in the Edo period (1603-1868).

Nigiri-zushi was a popular menu item at yatai stalls in Edo.

By this time, sushi rice mixed with rice vinegar and ingredients made from fish and shellfish caught in the Edo period and pre-processed.

However, the size at that time was different from today’s nigirizushi, which is about the size of an omusubi.

It is said that sushi was cut into pieces and eaten separately, and from this remnant, sushi is still served in the style of two pieces per plate.

The current sushi style was created in the Meiji Era.

In the Meiji period (1868-1912), raw sashimi began to be used for ingredients, creating the style of sushi we know today.

This is due to the fact that raw fish, the stuff, can now be stored on ice.

Furthermore, the style of applying boiled-down soy sauce to the neta, as eaten today, was also born around this time.

It is also said that the Great Kanto Earthquake scattered sushi chefs across the country, spreading the Edo-mae style of sushi as we know it today.

You can see that the history of sushi is filled with Japanese people’s exploration of food.

When making sushi with foreigners, it is fun to talk about this kind of history with them.

Sushi Experience for Foreigners

Sushi Experience for Foreigners

Finally, here are two things to keep in mind when entertaining foreigners at a sushi experience.

  • Ask for desired stories.
  • Identify in advance what foods you cannot eat.

The main point to note is about ingredients.

Many foreigners have different eating styles from Japanese, so be sure to check with them beforehand.

Ask for desired stories.

Some foreigners want to eat salmon sushi, which they are familiar with, or are not comfortable with sashimi, so it is safe to ask them what they would like to eat.

Especially since few countries eat raw fish, many foreigners are resistant to it.

Many foreigners are also uncomfortable with ingredients such as “salmon roe” and “sea urchin,” so it is safe to check in advance.

You may be tempted to think, “It must be difficult to make sushi if you can’t eat raw food…,” but for those who can, I recommend suggesting ingredients that are familiar to foreigners, such as eggs, salmon, and shrimp.

Once you know what kind of sushi the foreigner would like to try, make a request when applying for the sushi experience.

Confirm in advance what foods you cannot eat.

Some foreigners may not be able to eat certain foods due to religious or allergy reasons, so check in advance.

Particular attention should be paid to the following foods

  • Seafood without scales, such as octopus and squid
  • Raw fish and shellfish
  • Eggs and shrimp
  • dupe

For example, octopus and squid are not eaten because some Islamic sects do not eat fish without scales.

In addition, raw fish and shellfish tend to be avoided by vegetarians and vegans, and eggs and shrimp must always be checked because some people are allergic to them.

Also, if miso soup or soup stock is served with sushi, please pay attention to the “dashi” ingredients.

Animal broths such as bonito dashi are not available for vegetarians and vegans.

However, vegetarian and halal sushi experiences are increasing, so please consult with us in advance so that you can enjoy the sushi-making experience with peace of mind.

Summary

Summary

Even among Japanese people, few have experience in “sushi making experience,” so you may wonder how you should coordinate the experience.

Sushi is a familiar Japanese food for foreigners, so learning how to make sushi directly from a sushi chef is a valuable experience.

Care must be taken in selecting ingredients due to differences in food culture, but by consulting with us in advance, we can proceed with the sushi experience with peace of mind.

Motenas Japan can plan a tailor-made sushi-making experience for foreigners.

If you would like to entertain guests with a special sushi experience, please feel free to contact us at Motenas Japan.

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We strive day and night to spread Japan's unique hospitality culture to people around the world. Please feel free to contact us for consultations on hosting and hospitality for foreign guests.

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