Important Covid-19 Update. Our client’s safety is important to us, and travel will resume when the travel ban (including the 14-day quarantine) is lifted both in Japan and the United States. Next Spring, we will offer two “off the beaten track” tours to escape the large cities and to enjoy the rural parts of Japan. First, is Textiles of Kyushu, a unique opportunity to experience Japanese culture and textile in the southern island of Japan. Second is Edible Japan, which will be a modified version of the original Culinary Tour with an extra day in the Shinshu region with sake brewery tour, miso making and knife shop visits. Stay well and be safe.


Dear friends and family

Happy November!

We hope this letter finds all of you well and we apologize for not reaching out to many of you in recent months. We were fortunate to have this summer off to see many friends and family that we have not seen for a long time.

It has been 4 months since my husband and I departed from Tanpopo Restaurant and many of you might be wondering what we are cooking up for our next life. Today, please allow me to send this email to share some of my thoughts with you.

Over 17 years ago, Ben and I opened Tanpopo Noodle Shop to serve healthy, casual and affordable Japanese food to people in Minnesota. As you all know, I grew up in Japan and it was always in my best interest to be a bridge, sort of speak, between the two countries.

Seventeen years passed very quickly and during that time, there were many things we could not do because we were running the restaurant and raising small children. However, while at Tanpopo, we got the idea to do culinary tours to Japan and started making plans and now with our children older, we decided to take this opportunity to make it happen.

Ben and I just finalized our first five trip itineraries and wanted to share them with you. Our upcoming trips are posted on and online registration for the public opens November 15th for our trips starting this spring.

We are also keeping all food related post on Instagram and occasional blog post on our website. You can see some of pictures of Koshiki Island on our trip back to my home town last summer on our blog. Please check them out and signed up for our newsletter for all upcoming exciting events.

Happy Travels!

Koshiki & Ben Smith

TanpopoStuio LLC

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