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  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$16,410 (USA) (21 October 2016)


$16,410 (USA) (21 October 2016)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The exhausted woman who is married to the running man is suffering from "karoshi", which means, "worked to death". Many people suffer from overwork in Japan, and many more die from it. 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 »

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User Reviews

21 March 2007 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Tampopo is an extremely clever and a very original movie. Like so many other Japanese films before it, Tampopo may not entirely appeal to the western public, but it is by far the most accessible movie I've seen in years.

It is hard to define this film as anything but a story of life through culinary perspective. Major aspects of our every day experience are looked at by introducing food into them, sometimes resulting in a very comical effect. From the first scene, to the last few moments, you will probably be amazed by sheer originality of this movie. Simply coming up with ideas they came up with takes a unique and incredibly approach. Something that has never been done before.

In a sense, I can only compare Tampopo's approach at making us 'taste' what we see with a 2006 film Perfume which managed to describe olfactory experiences with as much success. But unlike Perfume, Tampopo also juggles around few other interesting movie genres just for the fun of it. If you watch carefully, you will begin to see western elements, gangster movie and even a police crime, all in one movie. They might not seem connected at first, but they will make sense in due time.

Overall however the side stories are only there to keep us interested in the main event.

If you thought that tasting things in cinema is impossible, wait till you see Tampopo.

10/10 for great cast, humour, story and acting.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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