I think you'd all have a place or two (or more) where you really wish you can visit one day in your lifetime. I too have some. In this holiday, I actually made it to the 3 places of my dreams, I feel so fortunate. Chez Panisse was one of them. I had been dreaming of going there for quite some time, I knew it was somewhere in California but didn't know where exactly it is and when it turned out that most flights going to Mexico from Japan goes via west coast of the US, it came to my mind the possibility of stopping over somewhere in California to go visit my dream restaurant. When I found out that it is in Berkeley, that it is near San Francisco, and that there are available flights that goes via San Francisco, my heart went wild. I.am.going.to.chez.panisse - somewhere that felt so so far away that it seemed like it will never happen but only in my dreams. I can not explain the excitement I felt, but soon we decided to stay in Berkeley within a walking distance from this dream place so that we can fully enjoy being there and that is how we ended up staying in Berkeley and not seeing enough of San Francisco.

Berkeley is only about 20 minutes or so from San Francisco on the subway, which I felt a little nervous at first but soon got used to and found very convenient. We probably could still stay in San Francisco and travel to and from Chez Panisse, but I'm glad we stayed in Berkeley. It's a charming little town, everything seemed to move slowly there which I enjoyed. And the dream restaurant? It.was.marvelous! I just loved the food, wine, the service, atmosphere..., everything. We ended up going there twice while we were in Berkeley (which was only for 3 nights), but still couldn't get enough of it! I would go back to Berkeley just for this place, seriously! It is the kind of place that we would never find in Tokyo, no matter how hard anyone tries to make the similar place. It can only happen there, it is just perfect. So perfect.


  1. Hiki, this is absolutely a beautiful place as well as the restuaurant.
    There are really some places where I wish to go. Hope they will still be here when I get the chance.

  2. I love seeing all the places I frequent through your eyes. Berkeley is such a fun city! I love love all the unique old houses there. & I love the college-town vibe. Plus they have some of the best vegetarian friendly places. I love making day trips there just for the food & the shopping....as you can probably tell, I love Berkeley :)

  3. i love your film photos: the grain, the colors...

  4. I know what you mean about dream places, I have a few on my list that I can only still dream about, maybe someday! These photos are stunning Hiki San, I really like how you compose your shots.

  5. These photos are just gorgeous!

  6. your photos are just lovely hiki! the way you captured the trip feels timeless...

  7. Koey,
    oh this is the best restaurant i have ever been to! it's been there for 40 years so i'm sure it will be when you will get a chance to go ;)

    I'm not surprised to hear you love Berkeley!!

    thank you, you are always so kind! i thought the grain was a little too much on many shots from this trip but i'm glad you like them :)

    yes we all have the dream places don't we! it's also nice to have so many places you can dream of going even though it may never come true :)

    thank you so much ;)

    satsuki san,
    thank you you are so sweet! i can remember how i felt when i took each photos and that is part of what i like about photography :)

  8. How wonderful! What a beautiful place, a dream to visit:)

  9. i adore your photography! do we need to have techniques to take such good photos? x


  10. iine..i went to the edible schoolyard around the corner and was so overwhelmed i walked right past chez panisse.ever since i left san francisco i have wanted to go back.xx


your kind words are always welcome and appreciated! arigato :)