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.

Spirits of Japan

Spirits of Japan Small Group Journey

Spirits of Japan

Small Group Journey

Spirits of Japan, Southern Alps & Kyoto

This Spring, discover the hidden treasures of Japanese culture, nature, history, food and sake with wine expert Sam Haislet from Alexis Bailey Vineyards and your guide and founder of TanpopoStudio – Koshiki Yonemura. We’ll explore Tokyo, the scenic mountain towns of Nagano and the historic capital of Kyoto while we eat like locals and taste the amazing flavors of sake, whisky and wine in Japan.

Spirits of Japan Map || Tanpopo Studio


  • Welcome Dinner
  • Tour of the Tsukiji Fish Market and have sushi for lunch
  • Visit Yebisu Brewery
  • Experience Zen Culture at the historic Zenkoji Temple in Nagano
  • Tour Matsumoto Castle, Ishii Miso Brewery and the Museum of Art
  • Visit Shichikan Sake in Yamanashi
  • Suntory Hakushu Whisky Distillery Tour
  • Soba Making Workshop
  • Farm stay in Yamashi
  • Visit Komagadake National Park
  • Tour of the famous Gekkeikan Brewery in Kyoto
  • Kaiseki Dinner and Maiko Performance
  • Kyoto Sightseeing


Day 1 > Arrive in Tokyo

We’ll pick you up at the airport and take you to your hotel in Ginza,. That evening we’ll gather together for a welcome dinner.

Day 2 > Tokyo, Ginza & Tsukiji Fish Market

After breakfast, we’ll get an in-depth tour of the famous Tsukiji Fish market and dive-into the freshest sushi in the world for lunch. That afternoon, we’ll tour the Yebisu Beer Brewery.

Day 3 > Nagano, Zenkoji Temple

A trip to Nagano prefecture on the shinkansen. We’ll stay near Zenkoji Temple, a national treasure, and immerse ourselves in Zen food and culture.

Day 4 > Matsumoto City

Visit the amazing city of Matsumoto. This cultural destination near the scenic Northern Alps is home to one of Japan’s finest feudal era castles.

Day 5 > Yamanashi, Prefecture

Today, we will travel along the valley of mountains to Yamanashi prefecture for soba making class and tour of the Suntory Hakushu Distillery, known locally as the “forest distillery” as it’s surrounded by a wild bird sanctuary.

Day 6 > Yamanashi Prefecture

After a farmhouse breakfast, we’ll tour Japan’s wine country and visit Komagatake National park and Ojiro River Valley for a breathtaking view of the river and mountains.

Day 7 > Kyoto

Welcome to Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, and home to 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. While in Kyoto, we will visit the famous Fushimi Sake District which is composed of 24 independent sake breweries

Day 8 > Kyoto

Today, we will start our journey from Philosopher’s Path which will lead our way to the Silver Pavilion for it’s tranquil Japanese garden. We will also visit Kiyomizu Temple, one of the most celebrated temples in Japan.

Day 9 > Tokyo

We’ll head back to Tokyo on the Shinkansen. If you are staying longer in Japan, please let your guide know to better assist you.

Travel Details

may 10 – 18, 2021

$5300 per person, double occupancy

what’s included:
hotels, local transportation
workshops & demonstrations
17 meals
guide & interpreter
guide from alexis bailly
transportation to/from hotel on the first/last day of tour

what’s not included:
travel or medical insurance
flight to/from Japan
personal spending including:
shopping, alcohol, laundry, some meals

koshiki yonemura, 651-734-3923,

Your Guides

customer testimonial
Koshiki Yonemura

After graduating from University of Minnesota, she and her partner opened a Japanese restaurant in St. Paul, MN. After nearly 18 years in the restaurant business, she co-founded TanpopoStudio, a boutique travel company, offering hands-on travel experiences in Japan. She has curated and lead groups to Japan on food and art tours to Japan as well as working as a interpreter for the General Mill Wheaties Team during the Nagano Olympics. Come travel to Japan and discover the hidden gems of culture, textiles and food!

Alexis Bailly Vineyard

customer testimonial
Sam Haislet

Sam Haislet is a wine and spirits professional working in St. Paul, Minnesota. Married to winemaker Nan Bailly of Alexis Bailly Vineyard, he has been involved in wine production, grape growing, vineyard management and general wine enthusiasm since the late 1980’s. Today he continues his work in the wine and spirits field as a wine consultant for The Wine Shops at Kowalski’s, and holds a lifetime appointment as Chief Tractor Operator, Wine Taster and General Manager of Alexis Bailly Vineyard, Minnesotas oldest and most award winning wine