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.

Culinary Guide to Japan

Chef Guided Food Tour from Tokyo to Nagano

Come travel to Japan with a chef and former restaurant owner for a personally guided tour through the culinary scenes of Tokyo, Nagano and Yamanashi.  In this intimate group tour, discover the culinary side of Japan by visiting old temples for century old vegetarian cuisine, make sushi at the Tsukiji fish market, and learn to make soba noodles from scratch. You will also sample whiskey, visit a wasabi farm in the Japanese Alps, and harvest vegetables from a farmhouse garden. This tour will give guests the ultimate, hands on, one of a kind experience.  You will see Tokyo as well as the countryside, a Japanese farmhouse, mountains, ride bullet trains and more.  We would love to see you there!


  • Learn to make sushi at the famous Tsukiji Fish Market.
  • Take a bullet train to Nagano for stunning vegetarian cuisine and zen experience.
  • Visit the largest Wasabi Farm in Japan.
  • Walk and shop in the historic preservation area of Kiso.
  • Relax at a traditional Hot Spring Hotel.
  • Enjoy a multicourse kaiseki dinner.
  • Tour the Suntory Distillery and learn about Japanese Whisky.
  • Take a Soba Making class in the mountain town of Yamanashi.

Dates and Prices

  • April 19 – 24, 2020
  • April 11 – 16, 2021
  • $2950 Per Person, Double Occupancy
  • $3450 Single Reservation


Koshiki, 651-734-3923 or email

Day 1 > Arrive in Tokyo

Welcome to Japan. You will be meeting your guide at the hotel in Tokyo. We will be staying in Ginza - Tokyo’s most famous upmarket shopping, dining and entertainment district. Arrive early and experience the nightlife of Tokyo. Your guide will be available to answer any questions about transportation and nearby shopping and restaurants.

Day 2 > Tsukiji Market Tour and Sushi Workshop

After breakfast, a hands on learning opportunity awaits you at Tsukiji Fish Market, the world’s largest fish market.  Located between the Sumida River and the Ginza district, Tsukiji carries over 400 different kinds of seafoods and handles more than 700,000 tons of fish every year. Today we will learn about fish at the market and then how to make sushi at a restaurant.  Tsukiji is also known for shops selling knives and kitchen equipment for professional chefs.  Take this opportunity to shop like professional chefs at the market. The afternoon will be available for you to explore Tokyo on your own. Visit museums, Japanese gardens, the Imperial Palace, shopping and more.

Day 3 > Vegetarian Cuisine & Tour of Zen Temple in Nagano

We are taking the Shinkansen today, one of the fastest bullet train in the world, to Nagano Prefecture for Japanese culture and a zen experience.  This landlocked area is located in Chubu region and is known for its clean water, buckwheat, wasabi, miso & more. After lunch, we will visit Zenkoji, the largest buddhist temple in the prefecture.  Tonight we are checking in at a monastery that once housed buddhist monks paying visits to the temple for zen training.  Enjoy delicious, eye opening vegetarian meals of the region.

Day 4 > Wasabi Farm, Scenic Kiso & Japanese Ryokan

We will visit a destination wasabi farm nestled in the Japanese Alps, and then visit the historical architecture of Kiso, known for traditional dishware. In the evening, we will check in at traditional Ryokan and enjoy the “virgin landscape of Japan”.  The afternoon is open to relax, shop and hike.

Day 5 > Tour of Suntory Distillery & Afternoon Soba Class

Today we will travel to Yamanashi prefecture and attend a soba making class at a dojo.  Afterwards, we will tour the famous Suntory Whiskey Distillary which is known for for its exceptional quality and using the best mountain water for spirit making. Tonight, we are checking in at a private Japanese farmhouse that has been converted into a country inn.  Take a walk around the garden and harvest vegetables for dinner.  Relax in their Goemonburo, a bath heated with fire from beneath, while the viewing the beautiful surrounding nature. We will have diner as a group prepared by the farmhouse chef using local and seasonal ingredients.

Day 6 > Back to Tokyo

The tour will end back in Tokyo. Feel free to stay longer in the city if you'd like. We can provide information on activities and shopping.

Tour Length

6 Days

Small Group Tour

4 -10 people

What's Included

Hotels, Local Transportation, Bullet Train, English and Japanese Speaking Tour Guide, Eight Meals

What's Not Included

Flight to/from Japan, Personal Spending, Transportation To and From Airport, Some Meals

There are many ways to approach visiting Japan, but if you are into food, this is the way to go. As with any travel, figuring out what is actually authentic and local can be a challenge, but with Tanpopo Studio, this is taken care of. Every planned meal on the trip is about as authentic as one can get, and is delicious. The low key, fun and chill vibe throughout the trip, aided in part by and excellent translator, makes exploring Japan effortless and fulfilling. I cannot recommend this tour enough, it is a sure way to gain perspective on how food is sourced, presented, and enjoyed.

Avery, Colorado