Tokyobling's Blog

ABC Cooking Studio

Posted in Places, Shops by tokyobling on January 13, 2012

Here’s an idea for the entrepreneurs among you! In the late 80’s a newspaper company started up a small chain of cooking schools called “ABC Cooking Studio”. It is basically a a place where you take short classes in cooking in small groups of students. The school doesn’t train you to be professional, just to enable you to learn new dishes or kitchen skills in a comfortable, fashionable, clean and well lit environment. Three quarters of the students are females between 20-34 and most schools are for female only but a +m sign after the name shows that this school is also open for couples and men. In Tokyo millions of young men and women from all over the country come to find jobs and start their careers and with the famously long hours of Japanese corporations and the fact that there are few large, airy and well lit kitchens in affordable apartments in Tokyo mean that people can have a chance to enjoy cooking for the first time since they left home. Personally I think it is a great idea and many department stores and shopping malls have these cooking studios here in Tokyo. In Tokyo jobs are easy to find but time and space is at a premium, which opens the market for clever companies like this. The one studio I snapped a picture of is in Nihonbashi’s Coredo building.

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  1. infinity10 (@infinity10) said, on January 13, 2012 at 4:15 am

    I walked past one of these in the skyscraper Shinjuku area some years back. Seemed like a number of people were attending classes in that downtown corporate district. It was a basement venue, and not quite in a shopping mall area.

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    • tokyobling said, on January 13, 2012 at 4:45 am

      Hi Infinity! I have never seen this chain in the Shinjuku business district, but I guess it makes sense, with all the young office workers in the area. Thanks for the update! Oh, I saw your tweet about the doll show, too bad I can’t go!

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  2. Timi said, on January 15, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    I would love to visit a studio one day, definitely a nice idea!

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    • tokyobling said, on January 15, 2012 at 4:32 pm

      Me too actually. If I really want to learn to make the simple Japanese dishes… (^-^;)

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  3. D... said, on January 17, 2012 at 6:54 am

    Here’s a dumb question, is that the age bracket that most people learn to cook? I am sort of dumb about it, I spent a lot of my childhood in a kitchen, so I don’t know when exactly I learned to cook or if I ever really did. More likely I’m still learning, every day. Probably till the day I stop cooking…which is unlikely.

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    • D... said, on January 17, 2012 at 6:55 am

      And do they have advanced courses?

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    • tokyobling said, on January 19, 2012 at 1:08 am

      I guess it is different for different families. A lot of schools teach home economics which includes a few practical classes in the kitchen. But to be honest Japanese children have very little free time. Their days are usually full of after school activities, cram schools, homework and sports. Also the kitchen situation is very different between the smaller cities and Tokyo. Few young people in Tokyo can afford a proper kitchen, most of us have to make do with one hot plate and a tiny sink, maybe a tiny grill or micro wave oven, so there’s few chances to develop a real skill in cooking. Also, eating out is so cheap and tasty here that it doesn’t make much of an economical difference to cook at home.

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      • D... said, on January 19, 2012 at 5:43 am

        My friend who lived in Japan said that the groceries were pretty high and that it was cheaper to eat out. So that makes sense. I think I’d eat out a lot too then, unfortunately when I’m busy I tend to eat out too. But I’ve been trying to make time to cook at home. I think I would try and work magic with a hot plate and one of those tiny ovens. My magic may go poof though. (>o<)

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        • tokyobling said, on January 19, 2012 at 6:08 am

          Haha… you tend to have to change your cooking style when you prepare an entire meal in 40x40cm space! (^-^;)

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