In 2013, traditional Japanese cuisine, or Washoku, was registered as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO. In the MICHELIN Guide, with its world-famous restaurant rankings, Tokyo was named the gourmet capital of the world and Japanese food is attracting worldwide attention. Because Japanese restaurants are expanding into overseas markets, chefs skilled in authentic Washoku and Sushi are currently in demand. Cooking techniques, which start from careful preparation to making the most of the characteristics of the ingredients, beautifully displaying the culinary blessings from nature and from the four seasons, and meticulous service; chefs with such authentic Omotenashi (Japanese hospitality) skills, are in need in and outside of Japan.
Sushi and Washoku Course(2 years)
- Students learn the five tastes (sweet, pungent, salty, bitter and sour), five colors (red, blue, yellow, white and black) and five methods (grilling, boiling, steaming, frying and raw food) in line with seasonal Kaiseki ryori (traditional Japanese cuisine course). They also learn the basic Sushi techniques required to prepare different types of Sushi, mainly the traditional Edo-style Nigiri-zushi as well as Maki-zushi and Chirashi-zushi (scattered sushi). Students also study the cultural background knowledge vital to understanding the formation of Washoku, including utensils, tableware and tea.
Sushi and Washoku Advanced Course (3 years)
- Students learn what is important for a restaurant, in addition to knowledge and techniques that are more advanced than those learned in their first and second years. How can a chef be sure that people will love their dishes? How do those renowned restaurants please their guests? Students explore secrets to making guests smile through experiences as professional chefs, which cannot be learned in the classroom.
Introduction of the Faculty
Washoku curriculum coordinator
He trained for about 10 years to become a Japanese cuisine chef at a Japanese-style restaurant. Thereafter, he opened Ginza Kojyu in Ginza, Tokyo in 2003. This restaurant has been given three stars, the highest rank, for seven years running, starting with the first edition of the MICHELIN Guide Tokyo. Okuda, a restaurant opened in Paris in 2013, was immediately given a star in the MICHELIN Guide France. Now he is one of the representative Washoku chef of Japan.He has also authored many books.
Introduction of subjects unique to our program
- To make authentic Sushi you need to learn how to cook appropriate rice, which is called Shari in Japanese, and Sushi Dane, which are ingredients that are put on top of the rice, such as fish. Skills and creativity are required for both of these to make good Sushi. Lessons given include how to select rice, what temperature to cook it at and how to prepare vinegar for Shari. Students will also learn how to prepare Sushi Dane, starting with the preparation basics, including how to slice, boil, and mature the ingredients (the time it takes for Sushi Dane to mature improves its flavor). Finally, students learn to combine these two to make Sushi.
Dashi (Japanese soup stock)
- Japanese cooking uses Dashi, or soup stock, made from dried and smoked seafoods that are used specially for the making of the soup stock, such as kelp and bonito. This food culture is unique to Japan and not seen in any other nation. Another feature of Dashi is that its ingredients are boiled for a relatively short time. The exquisitely delicate flavor of Dashi plays an important role in adding flavor to Japanese dishes.
- Japan is unique in that it has four distinctive seasons, with events, festivals and a landscape that change along with the seasons. It’s the same in the world of Washoku. Our students learn about dishes, decoration techniques and serving dishes that are related to and suitable for each season and traditional event.
Experties in Japanese Food Culture
- Washoku is a food culture that evolved independently in the same way that Sushi has, with many different types of Japanese food that are highly thought of. This class provides know-how about and practical lessons in Tempura and Soba (buckwheat noodle) making, as well as processes for making fermented food and beverages such as Sake, Miso, Soy sauce and Natto (fermented soy beans), that are the results of a process of trial-and-error that began hundreds of years ago. These foods are highly thought of worldwide. This is a class that can be offered by only our school that specializes in Japanese cuisines.
The school offers unique training programs that cannot be found anywhere else for deeper approaches to Washoku and Sushi. Amazing experiences that you cannot have in regular courses await you in these programs, including a study tour, experiencing Kaiseki ryori and attending a boxed lunch sales event.
School festivalThe school holds its annual school festival every October, during which the school building turns into a two-day restaurant serving Kaiseki ryori, Sushi and Japanese sweets, brilliantly received and packed out. Second-year students from each course offered a Seasonal Kaiseki Course and an Omakase Nigiri Course, respectively, this year. The students demonstrated what they had learned so far by carefully selecting seasonal ingredients and serving dishes that they prepared by making the most of their knowledge and skills.
Study TourThe school’s study tour takes place during the summer vacation. Students went to Kyoto and visited a vegetarian restaurant(Shojin-Ryori) with a history of over 500 years, where they acquired invaluable knowledge about the special cooking methods used by the restaurant and were introduced to traditional practices. Besides this, they also experienced a tea ceremony and visited a potter’s workshop. The trip to Kyoto, which is known for its traditional food culture, has offered these students a precious opportunity to experience not only the food culture but also the history and traditions behind it.
Chang SHU YU [Taiwan]
Japanese cuisine is hugely popular in Taiwan! Nevertheless, Japanese food there is often not very fresh or authentic. This is why I thought I would stand a good chance of being successful if I learned real Japanese cuisine and decided to enter this school. Although I had never cooked before, cooking actually is even more interesting than I imagined. When I returned to Taiwan during my summer vacation, I cooked Japanese meals for my family. They were all pleased and said, "Delicious!" I was very happy to hear that!
Athalika CHRISTABELL [Indonesia]
As my grandfather is Japanese, Washoku has always been something familiar to me since I was a child. Despite that, I had never really cooked before joining this school and could not even cut ingredients into strips well. Thanks to the kind instruction from my teachers, however, my cooking skills have steadily improved. I also practice katsuramuki (Japanese radish peeling) and other techniques at home on my days off. Another good thing is a nice circle of friends. We often gather at an izakaya (Japanese pub) under the pretext of "learning the names of dishes." I really enjoy my life here!
Duo CHAO [China]
Back in Inner Mongolia I worked as a bartender. It was my love of Japanese culture such as manga and anime that first brought me to Japan. As I was also a big fan of cooking, I decided to enter this school to learn Japanese cooking. Now I learn something new every day, which is exciting. Since we do not have much fish in Inner Mongolia, it is difficult for me to memorize the names of fish. Even when I translate them into Inner Mongolian, I do not know the words in the first place. "What is this fish like after all?" I am now looking forward to starting to learn sado and kado next year. I want to enjoy Japanese culture to my heart's content.
LIEW CHIEN REN JUSTIN [Malaysia]
In Malaysia, I studied hotel management and was already working. I was introduced to Washoku at a restaurant there and I wanted to learn more about it. After studying it at this school, I can see the depth in Washoku. Take cutting ingredients, for example. We learn many different ways. There are many students from overseas and because the teachers are very kind, the lessons are easy for us to understand.
Support for students from outside JapanLiving in a country away from home can be the source of anxiety. Mizuno Gakuen offers all-around support to its international students, including assisting them with immigration procedures and giving them tips on living in Japan. We have a careers support for students once they complete their studies, helping them to find their goals that matches the aptitude and wishes of each student.
Graduates working in Japan
Juwon SHON [Korea]
▶︎UNHANGGOL (in Korea)
I have devoted myself to a sushi restaurant managed by my father since I returned to South Korea. Every day I cut up fish—including flounder, salmon and tuna—and make sushi with the freshly sliced fish. At school, I learned how to make sushi, cut up fish, follow the process, etc., each of which is truly useful for my current work.
Wang HAO [China]
▶︎Work at IKINA SUSHI DOKORO ABE
The staff members were all very kind and helpful, the restaurant was in a good location, and a dorm was available to staff members. This is why I wanted to work for this restaurant. As I have just joined it, I am now working mainly front of the restaurant, but I am going to begin working in the kitchen in the next month or so.
Yueh Chiao [Taiwan]
▶︎Work at La BOMBANCE
One of the happiest moments in my working life here is when I cooked Kung Pao Chicken for my colleagues. I was pleased with how well the dish was received, having earned rave reviews from the whole kitchen staff. It is one of my favorite recipes that I cooked as a student as well. Japanese cuisine is very delicate and deep in taste. My goal is to learn as many techniques as possible from chefs and open my own restaurant someday.