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.

Japan Art & Culture Tour Exploratory Meetup

Wet Paint Art Tour Meetup

Wet Paint is collaborating with TanpopoStudio to create a
Tour to Japan in 2019

East meets Wet Paint in this original tour of Japanese art, history, architecture and culture. We’ll not only explore Japanese arts and crafts, but also the food, scenic mountain towns, premier castle, traditional inn and optional hot spring visit. This 7 day tour will begin where traditional meets contemporary arts at the Nezu Museum in Tokyo. That afternoon, you’ll have an option to visit the Japanese Folk Art Museum or the d47 Museum. The following day, we’ll take a bullet train to the mountain town of Nagano for a unique experience of zen culture, temples and the refined vegetarian cuisine of Japan called shojin ryori. In the city of Matsumoto, we’ll tour one of Japan’s finest castles, visit museums and take hands-on art classes. Take a day trip to the meticulously preserved post town of Naraijyuku along the Nakasendo trail to shop and experience Edo era architecture and lacquerware. We’ll then head back to Tokyo to visit Asakusa, the “low town”, for shopping, sightseeing and entertainment near the popular Sensoji Temple before heading back home. (OR join our extended tour to Kyoto)


Date: May, 11
Time: 6:30 – 7:30 PM
Place: Wet Part Art

April 2018 Newsletter

Tanpopo Studio April 2018 Newsletter

Despite being greeted by one of the worst Spring snowstorms in Minnesota upon our arrival, we and the whole group made it safely back from Japan on our tour this April.

Warm Spring weather and stunning sakura blossoms accompanied us as we toured through Tokyo, Nagano and Yamanashi on our 6 day culinary tour of Japan. What a sweet success!! Although it was too early for Spring vegetables, we enjoyed pickled sakura flower tea, tempura of Spring tree buds, young bamboo shoots, and of course fresh seafood at Tsukiji Fish Market. Did I forget to mention the Japanese wagyu?

We found the sushi class and soba workshop to be very rewarding as it brought all of us closer together as a group. On the last night, at a 200-year-old farm house, we had a memorable 8-course meal in their traditional dining room where we all felt like family (including the inn owner). Who knew unfiltered local white wine from Yamanashi can be so full of flavor, fresh and delicious.

One of the goals of the tour was to learn about where our food comes from and how things are made. One of our travelers was surprised to see that the “Farm to Table” movement is such a big part of everyday eating scenes of Nagano and Yamanashi. Throughout the tour, we were able to experience how Japanese food is grown, harvested and prepared. We talked about the value of food and and people’s passion for preparing and serving food. We learned to bow, say some Japanese phrases, and show appreciation to the chef for the good food. We had such a wonderful group of people with willingness to explore new cultures and experiences. Thank you Angie, Lane, Carolyn, Avery, Kiera and Josh (also for Susan and Josh for joining us in Tsukiji) for wonderful time together in Japan.

This fall, we are taking another group on our culinary inspired tour to Japan. It’s the beginning of harvest season and this is a remarkable time to travel as the temperature cools a bit and the style of food starts to change. Join us for another small group, hands-on food tour this fall.

Here is what is happening with TanpopoStudio this month.

Art & Culture Tour Exploratory Meeting at Wet Paint

We have an Art Tour Exploratory Meet up with Wet Paint scheduled this month. We will talk about our collaboration with Wet Paint in St. Paul on a 2019 Art and Culture Tour to Japan. Join us to discuss the proposed 7 day Art and Culture Tour which will take place in the picturesque town of Matsumoto. If are interested, we would love to get your input on this exciting trip!

Date: May 11, from 6:30-7:30 pm
Place: Wet Paint 1684 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN 55105

TanpopoStudio Monthly Meetup

This month’s meetup is scheduled for Monday May 21 from 7-8pm at Quixotic Coffee Shop in Highland Park, Saint Paul. If you missed us during Art Tour Exploratory Meet up with Wet Paint, here is a chance to catch up. The topic this month is ”Art and Culture in Japan”, and the planned 7 day Art and Culture Tour for Spring of 2019. Are you thinking about checking out art and cultural scenes of Japan along with some hands-on learning experiences with a great group of people? Come join us to learn what this new tour is all about.

It is free, but space is limited. Please send us an email if you are interested in attending.

Upcoming Tours to Japan

Culinary Tour of Japan
October marks the beginning of harvest season and this is a great time to visit Japan. Enjoy a fall walk in Kiso Valley, relax in hot spring and savor a regional Kaiseki dinner.
September – October 2018

We have added more tours for 2019!

Classes and Workshops

Artist in the Kitchen!
Until May 19th

Japanese Vegetarian Cooking
May 24th at 6 pm at Cooks of Crocus Hills, St. Paul

Happy Travels,
Koshiki and Benjamin Smith

ニュースレター:2018 年5月号

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