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.

February 2018 Update

Tanpopo Studio Sushi Workshop

Happy February,

Our family started the year by visiting my aunt and uncle’s farm in Alexandria, Minnesota.  They bought a farm about 10 years ago to raise cattle, chickens, hay and vegetables.  They cooked us a delicious dinner using ingredients almost entirely harvested at the farm.  It was a clear reminder about the importance of knowing where our food comes from and enjoying food together. Thank you, Carl and Laurie.

Tanpopo Studio Monthly Meetup
Starting in February, we’ll be hosting a monthly meetup at a local coffee shop. It’s an opportunity for you to  learn more about upcoming tours.  Moreover, there will be a monthly discussion topic about Japan, cooking, learning Japanese, travel tips and more.  The kickoff meeting is scheduled on Monday, Feb. 12 from 7-8pm at Quixotic Coffee Shop in Highland Park, Saint Paul. Meet the Tanpopo Studio Team and learn about ramen!  We’ll have ramen chef(s) there to to share tips on making your own ramen. It is free, but space is limited.
Please send us an email (, if you are interested in attending.

April Guided Tour to Japan
We have 4 more seats available for the April Food Tour.  If you haven’t thought about your Spring vacation yet, please consider joining the group. We have a few weeks left before registration closes. Jakfoto Film, photographers and filmmakers, will be there to capture the moment. This is a great chance to travel Japan in good company!

Hands-on Sushi Workshops
In January, we hosted a sushi workshop at Blu Skye Acres in Saint Croix Falls, Wisconsin. On a snowy Sunday afternoon, about ten of us gathered around of a large farm kitchen to learn how to make sushi together.  From the kitchen window, you can see horses in the pasture and the surrounding forest. It felt like a mini-vacation in the woods.

There will be another workshop in February.  If interested, please sign-up

New Team Members at Tanpopo Studio
We are excited to announce new team members – Lucas Erie and Zach Hurdle.They are both passionate about Japan, culture,food, travel and also speak Japanese. Lucas and Zach will be helping us with booking, marketing and communications and will be at our monthly meetup.

If you have any questions, we’d love to hear from you.

Happy Travels,

Koshiki and Benjamin Smith


ニュースレター:2018 年2月号




私たちは新年早々に、ミネソタ州の西に位置する Alexandria にある叔父と叔母の農場にお邪魔しました。叔父と叔母は10年ほど前に牛の飼育を始め、今は鶏の飼育に加え野菜も栽培しています。とても寒いお正月に私たちを迎えてくださり、農場で採れた食材を使って温かい夕食でもてなしてくださりました。私がいつも大切にしている食材のルーツや、家族の大切さを改めて目の当たりにした貴重なひと時でした。











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