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Journeys In Japan

Journeys In Japan

In JOURNEYS IN JAPAN, English-speaking visitors travel the length of Japan exploring the culture, meeting local people, visiting historic sites, and offering travel hints rarely found in guidebooks. The series provides an eye-opening look at the many unique places to visit in Japan.

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Cutting through deep forests, the clear Mukawa River in Hokkaido has brought continuous blessings to the people along its way. In this episode, British actor Dean Newcombe follows the waterway 135 kilometers downstream to the Pacific Ocean. He discovers Hokkaido's stellar nature, the Mukawa River's deep history and its Ainu connections.

During several hundred years of national self-isolation, Nagasaki served as Japan's only window to the world. Many foreign cultures flowed into this port town, nurturing the development of cuisine found nowhere else. Behind each and every dish born in Nagasaki, there's a story. David gets to hear these tales from people who take pride in keeping Nagasaki's unique culinary traditions alive.

During several hundred years of national self-isolation, Nagasaki served as Japan's only window to the world. Many foreign cultures flowed into this port town, nurturing the development of cuisine found nowhere else. Behind each and every dish born in Nagasaki, there's a story. David gets to hear these tales from people who take pride in keeping Nagasaki's unique culinary traditions alive.

Every year from February to March, ice floes from Russia's Amur River float across the Okhotsk Sea to the shores of eastern Hokkaido, packing against the shoreline. On this edition of Journeys in Japan, Roman Markovtsev from Russia explores this frozen coast and experiences the winter wonderland of ice, both above and below the surface. He joins fishermen who fish in the traditional way on a frozen lake. And he meets with local people who have taken up the sport of curling in a big way.

The Agano River flows through northern Niigata Prefecture, about 200 kilometers to the north of Tokyo. It runs from snow-covered mountains down to the sea, and in the old days it formed an important artery for transportation. On this edition of Journeys in Japan, photographer and haiku poet Kit Pancoast Nagamura meets the people living alongside the river and observed how they mark the arrival of spring.

The Akita Kanto Festival attracts more than a million tourists each year. One kanto pole is lit with 46 lanterns and more than 250 poles are raised up together, creating a dreamlike picture of illuminated golden rice ears swaying in the night sky. The festival can also be enjoyed in the daytime, where competitions called "Myogikai" are held and the performers compete in showing their acrobatic skills. The traveler is Malaysian model Deborah Ten. She enjoys the festival and the pastoral scenery of summer in Akita.

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