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Bucket list item unlocked: I learned to make sushi in Japan!

I love sushi. You probably do too. But it can be way too intimidating to try to make yourself. The ingredients are unusual I guess (raw fish, seaweed, wasabi…) and can also be kinda expensive…it just feels really easy to mess it up, right?

Well this past two-week trip to Japan, I had the glorious and very satisfying opportunity to not only EAT sushi in Japan (an item from my bucket list!) but to learn to MAKE sushi, in Japan. Christie and I embarked on one of Tokyo’s top-rated sushi-making classes run by the wonderful, brilliant, and super fun Morris of Tokyo Sushi-Making Tours.

Here’s my full review of our Tokyo sushi-making class:

A well organized and intimate Tokyo sushi making tour

From our first points of contact with Morris, it was clear he was extremely organized and excited to be our sushi instructor for the day.

He emailed us ahead of time to confirm any dietary restrictions. He also provided detailed and very easy-to-follow directions of how to find the meeting point outside the Kita-Senju metro station.

Tokyo sushi making tour review: all the participants in our class
Sushi making class friends

Christie and I were both surprised to find the sushi-making tour would be held in Morris’ home but this actually made the experience even more special. We were joined by three other participants: a mother and daughter duo from Wales and a Japanese woman who has been living abroad and wants to perfect her sushi-making skills.

One of my favorite things about the tour was how comfortable Morris made us all feel. We introduced ourselves and he asked everyone questions about their home countries and engaged us in conversation and banter all the way through the class. I loved the team-effort feeling of it all.

Learning sushi-making knowledge and skills

Morris began by telling us the agenda for the day. He had a slideshow at the front of the classroom that accompanied the lesson. This was super helpful, especially when we were practicing the many steps of putting the fish (“neta”) onto the rice (“shali”) when making nigiri using a fake nigiri model.

Morris from Tokyo sushi-making tour teaching about how to make nigiri
Morris showing us the steps of making nigiri

We made our own vinegar rice and I feel like this is going to be a gamechanger when it comes to making my own sushi at home.

Morris also instructed us on sushi etiquette (like how the soy sauce should be put onto the fish instead of the rice part of the nigiri) and we played a little interactive quiz game. It was lots of fun and we hadn’t even made any sushi yet!

One of my favorite parts of the class was learning about the history of sushi. Morris said sushi actually started in Southeast Asia as a way to preserve fish. They didn’t actually eat the rice in the beginning, but instead just used it to ferment the fish. Later on, sushi was as big as tennis balls and they would regularly cut it in half to eat it; this is why nigiri is served in pairs nowadays.

Making — and eating! — our creations

Morris taught us how to make four types of sushi: nigiri, maki, a beautiful flower monster roll, and a battleship roll. This part took up the bulk of the class and was super hands-on and fun. Morris walked us through every step, providing personalized attention and making sure we got all the details of the sushi-making process.

Woman laughing while learning to make sushi in Tokyo
Having a ball learning to make sushi

Then we got to eat our creations. Morris provided green tea for us to drink alongside the sushi and we had lunch together after taking some photos of our plates of course. I enjoyed having the opportunity to try different types of rolls I wouldn’t normally order, like the battleship roll with crab and the monster flower roll with fish sausage (even though I didn’t really like the fish sausage, I’m still glad I got to try it).

Tokyo best sushi making class review: the sushi we made
Behold our creations

Tokyo sushi-making tour review conclusions

I’m not surprised Tokyo Sushi-Making Tour is one of the best-rated sushi-making classes in Tokyo. Our Tokyo sushi-making tour was one of the highlights of our two weeks in Japan. We loved getting to know Morris and the other tour participants. Morris kept the vibe fun and funny – we were laughing the whole time. AND we picked up some sushi-making skills we can take back home and impress people with 😉

You can check out the details and sign up for a class on the Tokyo Sushi-Making Tour website here. Check out the rest of our two-week Japan itinerary here (coming soon!).

A massive thank you and shout out to Morris for his generosity! Photo credit to Christie Jones, who is the best.

Try a sushi making class while traveling in Japan! We did one in Tokyo that was super intimate and loads of fun.
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