A truck driver stops at a small family-run noodle shop and decides to help its fledgling business. The story is intertwined with various vignettes about the relationship of love and food.



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Complete credited cast:
Tsutomu Yamazaki ...
Nobuko Miyamoto ...
Man in White Suit
Rikiya Yasuoka ...
Kinzô Sakura ...
Yoshi Katô ...
Noodle-making master
Hideji Ôtaki ...
Rich Old Man
Fukumi Kuroda ...
Man in White Suit's mistress
Setsuko Shinoi ...
Old Man's mistress
Yoriko Dôguchi ...
Pearl diver (Oyster girl)
Masahiko Tsugawa ...
Supermarket manager
Yoshihiro Katô ...
Man in White Suit's henchman
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mario Abe ...
Restaurant's boss
Sen Hara ...
Old woman in supermarket


In this humorous paean to the joys of food, the main story is about trucker Goro, who rides into town like a modern Shane to help Tampopo set up the perfect noodle soup restaurant. Woven into this main story are a number of smaller stories about the importance of food, ranging from a gangster who mixes hot sex with food, to an old woman who terrorizes a shopkeeper by compulsively squeezing his wares. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The first Japanese noodle western!




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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

September 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tanpopo  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Music played throughout the film includes Les Preludes by Franz Liszt. This was one of the theme songs of The Lone Ranger radio series (along with the William Tell overture and others). See more »


Man in White Suit: I'll kill you if you make that noise once the movie starts! Understand? And... I also don't like watch alarms going off.
See more »


Spoofed in Dead Sushi (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

Itami's style fits nicely
29 July 2003 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

The way each scene in Tampopo seems to lead into the next really jarred me when I first started to watch it. Movies with multiple plot lines will often create glaring differences between the scenes, but Itami did the opposite. Ending the bicycle workout scene (with Goro and Tampopo) with the business party walking into the restaurant where the "How to eat Italian food" lesson took place, which, upon conclusion found the camera following a waiter BACK to the business party all occurred seamlessly and left a grin on my face no one else in the room understood. In fact, the pace of the film is very conducive to the second and third viewings. Well, that's my excuse for why none of my friends found it quite as entertaining.

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