Cooking, sport, language: these Düsseldorf-based courses will turn you into an all-round expert on Japan!


Cooking, sport, language: these Düsseldorf-based courses will turn you into an all-round expert on Japan!

Become an expert in just a few weeks – whether in sushi making or the art of calligraphy

If you have ever had the luck to visit Japan, we’re sure you will agree with us: hardly any other country is so fascinating. After all, for us Europeans, Japan has so many wonderful and unfamiliar things to discover. The language is a puzzle, many Japanese ingredients are unheard of in European cooking, and even the music sounds exotic somehow. You can get a taste of Japan’s captivating culture in Düsseldorf’s very own Little Tokyo. If you find yourself hooked on the Japanese way of life, and are keen to find out more, the city offers an array of courses just for you. Familiarise yourself with those ingredients and start making your own sushi at home, or learn how to write short letters in Japanese within just a few weeks. Maybe one day your loved ones will receive a postcard from Kyoto, say, written in actual Japanese!


First of all: congratulations! If you decide to learn Japanese, you are taking on quite a challenge. Thanks first and foremost to its characters, or kanji, the language has a reputation of being very hard to learn. That is because some of the characters have several meanings, akin to homonyms in other languages. And then there is the fact that compound characters can make up entirely new words! Unlike in Europe, where many languages share common features, the Japanese have a unique way of expressing themselves (although there are similarities to Korean, and many characters come from Chinese). But if your interest been awoken, perhaps you would like to join approximately 120 million other people in being able to read and write kanji? The following institutions are among those that offer beginners’ and advanced language courses in Düsseldorf: the adult education centres (Volkshochschule), the language school Sprachschule Aktiv (Hüttenstrasse 11), the language school Sprachschule Manabi (Am Wehrhahn 41; has a Japanese director), and the Eko Centre of Japanese Culture (Brüggener Weg 6).  


In case you’re thinking that learning the language all sounds slightly too complicated and you’d rather leave that to someone else, there’s a whole world of Japanese sport out there too! The origins of Ninjutsu, that is the art of ninja warfare, go back at least 800 years. The Japanese martial art Bujinkan comprises nine separate schools based on samurai and ninja warrior tactics. But it’s not about simply attacking an opponent – and that’s what makes it special. Instead, the movements are intended as self-defence or to shield others. So, where can children or adults go in Düsseldorf to learn the basics while also working on their fitness, coordination and concentration? Try Bujinkan Dojo (Münsterstrasse 338) or Sportschule Kaminari (Harffstrasse 53), where instructors teach the same skills under the broad label of jiu jitsu. Previously unimagined powers can also be unleashed at Caveirinha Jiu-Jitsu Family Düsseldorf (Ackerstrasse 82).


Where would we be without sushi, ramen or wagyu? Japanese cuisine offers so many amazingly delicious dishes that it has quite simply become part of everyday life for many of us. Perhaps you are one of the many who have already had a go at making sushi rolls at home? If you could do with a few expert tips to perfect your presentation techniques, many cookery schools in Düsseldorf offer suitable courses. At Blu Tokyo (Luegallee 3), for example, you can also learn how to make Atsuyaki Tamago egg rolls, miso soup and Japanese-style roast beef. Culina Japan (Marienstrasse 39) also offers an introduction to food in Japan and how to serve and eat it, as well as a course focused on the secret of umami as the key to Japanese cuisine. The cookery school, which lies in the heart of Little Tokyo, will also show you how to make dashi stock and soy sauce. Would you prefer to know how to magic up perfect soba noodles with teriyaki beef and stir fried vegetables? Then get yourself down to Kochschule Düsseldorf (Corneliusstrasse 58)!

Art & culture

Expressive faces, slender bodies, unparalleled attention to detail: illustrations drawn by manga artists are simply amazing. If you too dream of having such artistic talent, you can try your hand at creating your very own manga characters at the Eko Centre in Niederkassel (Brüggener Weg 6) or in online courses at The city’s adult education centres (Volkshochschule) also run various courses that are open to adults and children (12 and up). At Mappenkurs Düsseldorf (Reisholzer Werftstrasse 73), you can even opt for one-on-one lessons in how to create characters for anime, a style of Japanese cartoon. For those looking to express themselves creatively in words rather than pictures, why not give calligraphy a go? It is held in similar esteem to painting in Japan, don’t you know. You can learn how to work with a brush and ink at the calligraphy school Rie Wada (Oberbilker Allee 168) or at the Eko Centre, which is a major hub for Japanese culture in Düsseldorf.

This article is supported by REACT-EU.

Images: Düsseldorf Tourism

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