Much of the Sushi Experience is Non-Verbal..making it perfect for International Guests
When expressing himself, Shimizu-San talks with his entire body – with his hands and fingers, even with his eyes. That’s why booking a Sushi class with Tama Sushi close to Tsukiji Fish Market will make you understand a lot about the history and art of sushi, even if your Japanese language skills are rather poor – like mine – and even though the course is entirely conducted in Japanese.
Because language fades into the background: it’s now all about developing skill, feeling and tact to be able to produce the perfectly shaped rice portion (shari) – and believe me: this is indeed an art in itself.
Being instructed by an Itamae (sushi master) with 45 years of experience can be considered an unforgettable memory – I have attended various cooking classes in this country, but I have never had the honor to put on a sushi chef uniform and slip behind the counter in a famous sushi restaurant for a true hands-on lesson.
Every single step was demonstrated thoroughly
Despite the fact that everything was in Japanese, I was totally able to follow the instructions, mainly because our Sushi-Sensei demonstrated every single step thouroughly (and did not get tired to show it over and over again with admirable tranquility and patience). As we were only three students (the classes are limited to four people maximum), our Sensei had sufficient time to keep his trained eyes over our shoulders and comment on our progress with a stern gaze, but always with a twinkle in his eyes. Also: Shimiten-Sensei wasn’t spare on praise. After rolling ten rice balls my debutant fingers started to get used to the unfamiliar movement, I got rewarded with a huge smile and a big thumbs up: my shari were now pretty enough to top them up with thin slices of yummy fish.
And be assured: the pleasure of enjoying sushi, made by your own hands, doesn’t compare to any other gourmet experience – especially after I learned that you are totally allowed to eat sushi with your fingers.
My friends who are visiting from Europe always ask me where to book a cooking class – I will totally encourage them to try out Tama Sushi. For the price of 8000 Yen you can get instructed by a real super skilled Sushi Master in a very authentic pleasant atmosphere – and participants even get a certificate, which I will definitely put up on my kitchen wall to impress guests.
Just in case you worry about the language barrier: At Deep Japan we are happy to help with finding a good interpreter for your experience!
Here is where you can sign up for the class via Gurunavi: http://r.gnavi.co.jp/jge/en/entry/post-000814.html
Check out Tama Sushi’s English Website here:
*Original article by Katharina published on Deep Japan
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