I don’t have much time this week to post, so here’s just a quick heads up for those of you in the UK or with access to UK TV. This week a new three-part series about Japan started, featuring Absolutely Fabulous star Joanna Lumley. I haven’t watched it yet, but the images I’ve seen from it look beautiful and I’ve heard good things from those who have watched it. Hopefully this will be a great opportunity for people with an interest in Japan to get their fix, or to get a glimpse at some of the places they could visit if they travelled there. I’m hoping it will be of interest not only to Japan fans, but also to people generally interested in travelling, and that it might bring Japan to the top of the holiday destination list for a whole new batch of people (as it should be!).
The official ITV press release says:
Featuring the much loved Joanna Lumley, the series will follow her as she travels to the far reaches of Japan, from the icy Siberian seas of the north to the subtropical islands of the south. With her natural curiosity and engaging storytelling, Joanna will take viewers on an adventure exploring some of the most uncharted corners of Japan’s 6,800 mystical islands.
In this 3 x 60 minute series made by Burning Bright Productions, Joanna will journey over 2000 miles travelling across Japan by boat, train, plane and foot. From rustic mountains to sprawling metropolitan super cities, Joanna will embark on an epic journey across this beautiful, yet often perplexing, country of extremes and give audiences a unique insight into the people who make up these enchanting islands and their rich culture.
Starting in the north, in Hokkaido – Japan’s ‘wild north’, Joanna will make her away across Hokkaido by train and car. Known for its rugged terrain, it is home to some of Japan’s most beautiful and endangered wild animals. Next, she will go to Honshu, the largest and most populated of Japan’s islands. Winding her way south, she will begin in Tohoku, before boarding the bullet train, which will plunge her into the metropolitan sprawl of Tokyo, before taking her to the ancient capital, Kyoto. Finally, Joanna will journey through Japan’s forgotten island, Shikoku, on foot, before crossing over to the volcanic Kyushu island. Joanna’s epic journey comes to its end on the idyllic beaches of Kohama, one of Japan’s smallest and most remote pacific islands.
Joanna Lumley said: “Isn’t it odd, we feel we are so familiar with Japan, with sushi and Toshiba, kimonos and Hello Kitty, tsunamis and sake… and yet when we travelled around that spectacular country I couldn’t even guess at the unknown wonders that were in store for us. Every moment was thrilling, fascinating and often very moving. With my hand on my heart I can say: please come with me… to Japan!”
Watch episode one here now, and tune in next week for the next part!