We definitely would like people to try Hiroshima’s local soul-food, “Hiroshima Okonomiyaki” when they come to visit Hiroshima.
And the best place to experience okonomiyaki is “OKOSTA, okonomiyaki cooking studio. ” Here you can experience cooking and eating Hiroshima Okonomiyaki while using a special griddle which usually used by professional cooks.
Experience okonomiyaki cooking “almost” at the station.
“OKOSTA” is located on the ground floor of the commercial facility “ekie” which is connected to JR Hiroshima Station.
It is only a 2-minute walk from the north entrance of the station.
This studio is run by “OTAFUKU SAUCE,” a maker of products for okonomiyaki such as okonomiyaki sauce.
So, the sauce (of course), the griddles, the spatulas…, all items used for the experience are professional and genuine.
Therefore, foreign tourists and children admire the experience, and say “the experience is so authentic!” and “I feel like I am a professional cook at an Okonomiyaki shop.”
The experience is highly recommended for families with elementary school kids.
Today, a 2nd grade boy from elementary school and his father participated the experience (children in the 1st to 4th grades at elementary school should be accompanied by one guardian for each child).
There are several courses, and he chooses the Standard Hiroshima Okonomiyaki Experience which allows you to choose one topping.
At first, decide your choice of topping.
You can choose from 5 toppings, IKA-TEN (dried squid tempura), green onions, tomato & cheese, spicy noodles, or a seasonally limited topping.
The boy chose tomato & cheese after taking a long time to decide.
His father picked spicy noodles (Hiroshima Okonomiyaki is always cooked with Chinese noodles!).
A skilled okonomiyaki cook explains the procedure step by step.
A skilled okonomiyaki cook supports you as you cook at OKOSTA.
So if this is your first experience making Okonomiyaki, don’t worry!
The first difficult step of Hiroshima Okonomiyaki is applying the thin dough properly!
You have to spread the batter out on the griddle, like making a crepe.
Putting shredded cabbage on the dough!
During this experience, the skilled staff instructs you on not only how to cook,and how long it takes, but also how you can make it sweet and delicious!
It is very worthwhile to learn the knack of making okonomiyaki more delicious.
It’s delicious because you make your own!
After adding tenkasu (tempura scraps), green onions, bean sprouts and meat, now is the time for flipping it over!
You have to turn okonomiyaki over 2 times during the experience, and this is the second difficult step.
However, he was able to flip it over both times. Well done!
He gives the final touch to the okonomiyaki, putting on cheese and tomatoes for its topping!
Let’s eat the Hiroshima Okonomiyaki with a spatula!
It is said that the proper way to eat Hiroshima Okonomiyaki is using a spatula.
There are 2 kinds of spatulas, the left one is a standard one, and the right one is a small size one for women or children.
Do you notice that the small one has rounded corners?
“Itadakimasu!” It is so delicious because you tried so hard while cooking, isn’t it?
You can choose various kinds of sauces for okonomiyaki!
It would be a good idea for you to change each sauce from one bite to another and taste the differences.
Get good Hiroshima souvenirs here!
There is a souvenir corner at the entrance of the studio.
Surprisingly, there are some okonomiyaki sauces and products which even Hiroshima locals don’t know are available here.
The gift shop even allows you to try and taste various kinds of okonomiyaki sauce before you choose.
OKOSTA okonomiyaki cooking studio
Address／1-2, Matsubara-cho, Minami-ku, Hiroshima-shi (inside of ekie)
Closest station／2-minute-walk from north entrance of JR Hiroshima Station
※The reservation should be made between 10:00 and 18:00 (Reservation should be made at least 3 days before of the experience except for the Standard Hiroshima Okonomiyaki Experience).
There are various kinds of experience courses other than Standard Hiroshima Okonomiyaki Experience, such as HIROSHIMA whole experience combo with special souvenirs, and so on. Muslim friendly Okonomiyaki and Okonomiyaki for vegetarians are also available. Please check the website below.
Photographs and text by Akiko Isonaga
Akiko IsonagaI was born and raised in Hiroshima, but my mother's hometown is on Kojima island, Ehime prefecture. When I was little, I used to climb up on the roof of an orange warehouse and gaze at the picturesque islands of Seto. They were really beautiful. Now that I'm a bit older, I’m happy to be able to spend time working as a photo-writer and conveying the beauty and charm of the Seto Inland Sea. As well as writing at home, I live a short walk from the World Heritage site of Miyajima, I also work as a teacher and am currently studying color psychology.
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