The five-match Test series begins on July 10 at Trent Bridge, with the Three Lions looking to secure their third series victory over Australia in a row.
Cook told the Daily Mail: "To be sitting here, with a week to go before the Ashes, it's a very exciting time for English cricket.
"There are a lot of nerves flying around on both sides. It's where you want to play. The atmosphere and the first days of Test matches against Australia are incredible.
"It was just something your parents talked about, or your parents' friends, and you start talking about it with your friends. It's something that is bred into Englishmen and Australians."
Cook scored 766 runs in the last Ashes series in Australia in 2010-11.