Tanimura set up the musical group Alice together with Takao Horiuchi in 1971 and released his first extended play musical album in the following year. Alice produced its first album two years later. During this time, Tanimura also composed several musical pieces for other singers, such as Momoe Yamaguchi. In 1981, he held concerts in places such as Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Beijing. He also made recordings on the Japanese division of the Casablanca Records label.
In 1980, after having left Alice, Tanimura composed the song "Subaru" (昴), stating that his inspiration came from his visits to Heilongjiang in China. “Subaru” was also recorded and released in Japanese by Italian-American artist Romina Arena in 2001. Since then, Tanimura has been actively involved in organising performances to promote Sino-Japanese relations, including accepting an invitation from the Japanese and Chinese governments to organise and perform at the 30th anniversary celebrations of Sino-Japanese relations. In 2003, he held a "'Help China get rid of SARS' music concert" and donated 15.34 million yen he earned from the concert to China's Red Cross Society to aid them in their efforts in fighting SARS. In 2004, he became a professor at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. In September 2007, he planned and attended a friendship concert between Japan and China in Shanghai. The concert was the 35th anniversary for the normalisation of relations between Japan and China. On 30 April 2010, he sang "Subaru" on the World Expo Opening Ceremony in Shanghai.