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One of us comes to Japan on a a regular basis because he enjoys the food so much.

The other one (me) comes to Japan to accompany her husband so he won’t have to eat alone.

Since many Japanese restaurants are quite small, one of us makes reservations at the restaurants he wants to try, long before we arrive, so as not to be disappointed at finding them full.

The other one takes delight in her husband’s foresight.

Both of us take pleasure enjoying Japanese cuisine. All kinds of it;  soba, udon, tofu, sashimi, yakitori, kaiseki, izakaya, and washoku.  For both of us, it doesn’t get better than this.  Glutton heaven.  From morning to night.

The expertise and dedication of the chefs insure that this playing field is not for amateurs, but for highly trained professionals. They wield a mean knife, using it as quickly and deftly  as a hummingbird’s wings. They are experts in knowing how to present a course of food so that the visuals are as appealing as the taste.  Seasonality reigns.  The chefs  can suggest sublime sake choices to accompany their food, which always helps to increase the pleasure quotient.


In other words, the chefs are masters.  We are their awed students, grateful to have a seat at their table.

There are double the amount of people working in the kitchens of restaurants in Japan.  This means that all preparation and presentation is backed by  a well rehearsed division of labor.

It’s always a flawless performance.

Traditional Japanese restaurants serve many small courses, so that a meal is an adventure.


If you sit at a counter, which is likely in the small restaurants, you enjoy jovial banter with your neighbors as well as the staff behind the counter.  This adds another dimension of enjoyment, making the evening a social outing as well.


All said, dining out in Japan makes for a most satisfying experience. The setting might be slick or traditional, but the meal itself is fleeting, as the sakura, and therefore treasured and appreciated.


Dianne Vapnek

In an attempt to slow life's quickening pace, I'm writing to share my personal perspective on the aging process, its dilemmas, the humorous self-deception, the insights and the adventure of it all. I spent the bulk of my time in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA, but manage to get to NYC a few times times a year. I've been a dancer/dance teacher and dance supporter almost all my life. For the past20years, I help create and produce a month-long creative residency in Santa Barbara for contemporary American choreographers and their dancers. It's been incredibly gratifying. This year, I decided it's time to retire! Big change. I also now spend several weeks a year in Kyoto Japan, residing for several weeks in the spring and the fall. I've been magnetically attracted to Japan for many years. Now I live out a dream to live there part-time.

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