A long train ride from Kagoshima took us to Kobe late yesterday afternoon.  Clean, quiet, fast, the bullet train wound through towns and cities, valleys and tunnels, below an active volcano, and along the sea.

We stopped briefly in Hiroshima to let passengers on and off.  To be in a place of such historical importance made me feel breathless and speechless.

Once in Kobe, we reached a hotel that reveres France: Culture and food.  A long, delicious dinner, preceded by an interview with a knowledgeable and passionate chef.  Takami kobe beef was the item I was most curious about, and it was beyond delicious, and other choices were equally palate-thrilling: Black truffled tofu with foie gras; a tomato-celery “soup”; Spanish mackerel with home-cured caviar (lower in salt so more of a roe taste); fresh vegetables with a touch of yuzu; foie gras with keiko emo; cod and fried cod roe.  Two desserts followed savories: Kyushu ichigo and then a chocolate mix.

Today we leave for Osaka.

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