The Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift for the Traveling Couple: Home Cooking Experience in Japan

The Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift for the Traveling Couple: Home Cooking Experience in Japan

Shopping for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your special someone can be difficult, especially for those who love to travel and for which material gifts are often a burden. Experience gifts are a great option to give your travel bug partner, especially one that you can share together. The memories made through a shared experience last longer and are more special than any purse or box of chocolates.

With food and romance being so closely linked, a couple’s cooking class makes the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. But what about a cooking class that goes beyond just culinary training, but is also an intimate cultural exchange experience?

That’s where airKitchen comes in, a new Japanese kitchen sharing service that gives travelers access to locals’ home kitchens in the nation’s major cities. The service was created to provide travelers the opportunity to visit ordinary Japanese family homes to prepare and eat home-cooked meals together with local hosts. AirKitchen cooking classes allow couples to share a more authentic and intimate experience of Japanese culture that goes beyond simply hopping from one sightseeing spot to another.


If you and your sweetheart are planning a trip soon, or find yourself in Japan this Valentine’s Day, the gift of an airKitchen cooking class is sure to make your partner swoon! It’s the perfect romantic date, and one where you’ll gain cooking skills to bring home with you. You can recreate the recipes together and revisit the special memories of your shared experience for years to come.

How airKitchen Works

AirKitchen is an online platform matching service that connects visitors to Japan who wish to experience cultural exchange at a Japanese family dining table with Japanese hosts who wish to entertain foreign guests with their home cooking.

Using airKitchen, couples can visit local family homes during their travels, and prepare and enjoy home-cooked Japanese meals together with a Japanese host. No Japanese language ability is required, as all hosts can speak English.

Booking is easy: all you need to do is find a host on the airKitchen website, send a reservation request, and communicate with the host to confirm a date, time, and meeting place. You can book in advance if you want to surprise your Valentine with the gift of an airKitchen cooking experience!


The service started in May 2018, and now there are over 1,500 cooking experiences offered by local hosts all over Japan. Every month, hundreds of travelers from approximately 80 countries learn about Japan’s famous food culture through an airKitchen cooking class.

Users of the service report great satisfaction with their experience, with an average rating of 4.99 out of 5 stars across all cooking classes. Laine and Erwann, a couple from the United States, wrote the following review for their airKitchen experience while honeymooning:

We had an amazing time making sushi!! It was a very cool experience for us. Mikako’s class is perfect for beginners. Her kitchen was immaculately clean, her class was very well organized, and she was a delightful teacher. We really enjoyed learning something new, and having a meal with Mikako. It is a great memory from our honeymoon 🙂 We were so glad she had the instructions printed out to take with us, because when we got home to the US we made some more sushi using her recipe! We highly recommend her class!


Sushi and ramen making classes are incredibly popular, though classes for other classic Japanese dishes like soba, tempura, okonomiyaki, and more are also available. With the large number of cooking experiences available through airKitchen, couples can choose the class that best overlaps with their interests, tastes, and dietary preferences. There are many airKitchen cooking experiences for vegans and vegetarians.

The airKitchen sharing service extends to many areas throughout Japan including Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hokkaido, and Okinawa.

▼airKitchen’s recommended cooking classes for couples: