Vegan Cooking Class: Temari Sushi with Local Sustainable Vegetables
Smart VEGAN LAB • Tokyo
"Good for your body and the environment, this vegan cooking class uses locally produced vegetables for a healthy and delicious meal."
The historical neighborhood of Asakusa is known for its beautiful temples and shrines, and old-school shitamachi (downtown) vibe. However, this traditional town’s tourist-friendly agenda has led it to embrace new ideas, including accommodations for visitors with dietary restrictions.

Veganism as a concept is slowly becoming more understood in Japan, yet still there are few options for vegan versions of classic dishes like sushi, ramen, or okonomiyaki. To ensure that vegan travelers in Japan can experience the country’s culinary highlights, Wakahara Ayaka created Smart VEGAN LAB, which offers plant-based cooking classes featuring colorful local ingredients. For vegans or anyone with an interest in plant-based cuisine, this temari sushi class allows Japanese cuisine to be enjoyed by all, regardless of dietary restrictions.

Join your host Ayaka in a modern, light-filled restaurant with expansive windows overlooking the Sumida River; an iconic view of landmarks like the beer mug-shaped Asahi building and Tokyo Skytree. Ayaka will greet you and give you an apron.

After greetings and a brief introduction, the cooking lesson will begin. Using locally grown and harvested produce, you’ll prepare a salad with seasonal vegetables like cucumber, tomato, mushrooms, and peppers, along with tofu for protein. Utilizing all-local ingredients, you’ll be supporting nearby farmers and environmental sustainability initiatives.

Then, you’ll learn how to make temari sushi, cute little ball-shaped sushi that are crowned with delicately-cut vegetables. This type of sushi is beginner-friendly, and with guidance from Ayaka it is easy to learn and recreate at home. Finally, you’ll assemble your dishes along with miso soup for a balanced meal.

Enjoy your meal while looking out at the Asakusa-bashi skyline reflected in the water. Even in a metropolis as big and bustling as Tokyo, this cooking class proves that you can still participate in local community projects and support sustainable food production.


  • Enjoy a beautiful view of Asakusa
  • Learn how to make temari sushi
  • Work with local and sustainable ingredients
  • Create a whole Japanese vegan feast


  • Ingredients
  • Apron and cooking tools
  • Step-by-step cooking instructions
maff oishii taste-of-japan