I hate the word foodie, so I label myself food snob. That’s not to say I send food back, I’m high maintenance or food has to be elaborate or innovative to impress me. Japan has been my greatest culinary experience to date. My two favorite things: Kobe and a plain bowl of Ramen noodles. Could you get any further away on the food spectrum, in terms of price and flavor. Is there anything more comforting than a bowl of noodles slurped from wooden chop sticks? Anything more divine than Kobe? Not in this food snobs mind. That’s not to take away from any of the many delicious meals I had at countless, and for me, nameless establishments. From the street stalls to the five stars, everything was delicious. So many great dining experiences from the upscale crab place in Osaka(Dohtonbori) to the small yakatori stalls in back alleys, from Monja street in Tokyo to the Takoyaki stands in the food courts. Okonomiyaki in Kyoto to a sushi breakfast at Tsukiji(the sushi in Japan is now the sushi by which all others will be judged, and they will fall short. It’s the care and preparation of the rice and freshness of fish, even on Mondays. And as all “real” sushi lovers know, I’m not talking California and Spicy Tuna rolls here). Honorable mention to the curry fried rices, the gyoza, the green teas( and accessories such as green tea soda, rice noodles, cookies, cakes and jellos), the grilled unagi, Fugu, bento boxes for the train ride, the whale(felt guilty for eating it, but once in a lifetime thing, and it was mighty tasty) and countless other things that either used to swim, crawl or walk and gave up their lives for my culinary delight. Cheers to all the people that work in the all restaurants and make each dining experience memorable through their level of service, respect and food preparation, if only the people here could catch on. Never walked out of a place without getting goodbyes and smiles from at least half the staff and in small places the entire staff. Can’t wait to return. For those of you living in Japan or going there …I am supremely jealous!