Hiroshima: Okonomiyaki Experience Facility Brings in 50,000 Visitors; Offers Instruction, Diverse Palate Options

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Visitors make okonomiyaki at Okosta in Hiroshima.

HIROSHIMA — More than 50,000 people have visited Okosta, a facility where guests can get first-hand experience making Hiroshima’s famous okonomiyaki dish.

Okosta opened on Oct. 4, 2018, at a commercial facility inside JR Hiroshima Station. Employees of Otafuku Sauce Co. of Hiroshima, which operates the facility, teach visitors how to make okonomiyaki.

In 2023, Okosta was visited by 14,235 people, including 4,701 foreigners, or about 30% of the total. Visitors from the United States accounted for most of these visitors at 42%, followed by Australia at 19%, the United Kingdom at 9% and Taiwan at 4%.

In addition to offering hands-on classes taught in English, the facility also caters to diverse needs, including a vegetarian version that uses soybean meat instead of pork and a halal version using squid, shrimp and an organic okonomiyaki sauce containing no meat or fish.

Okosta attracted wider attention when British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visited during the Group of Seven summit meeting held in Hiroshima in May last year. The number of visitors increased and reached 50,000 on Jan. 7 of this year.

“More people around the world are learning about the appeal of okonomiyaki. We would like to further promote okonomiyaki both in Japan and overseas,” an Otafuku Sauce official said.