Japan Hour: Road Trip On Chichibu Railway (Part 1)

Japan Hour: Road Trip On Chichibu Railway (Part 1)

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Local lines. Trains travelling through beautiful places of Japan make us feel nostalgic. Season by season, we enquire locals to find breathtaking scenery, delicious cuisine, and wonderful accommodations. It's a journey to uncover gems only the locals know about. All aboard to find the home in our hearts. (Home in our hearts) (Chichibu Railway) This time, the journey takes place in the northern part of Saitama Prefecture on the Chichibu Railway.

Clear streams of the Arakawa River are seen from the train windows. This feels nice! Enjoy a river cruise in Nagatoro for an incredible view. This is impressive.

Our travellers are moved by a precious statue displayed only once a year. In addition to that... It's fluffy. They enjoy a variety of Chichibu's unique gastronomy, and even soak in a wonderful open-air hot spring.

Nice. This feels so nice. However... -Well... -Oh, watch out!

It looks dangerous. Mother! She's calling for her mother. A number of exciting and fascinating experiences await our travellers! It's an unpredictable, two-day journey. Wait for me! Wait! So let's get started, all aboard our journey of enquiry and discovery! The journey begins in Hanyu City, Saitama Prefecture.

Our travellers will start from Hanyu Station on the Chichibu Railway. (Hanyu Station) Who are our travellers today? Nice to meet you. Nice to meet you too. Really, Mr Murakami? Well, we've never met before, right? -So nice to meet you. -Yes. -Yes. -Is this really the first time we've met?

-I think so. At least we've never talked. -That's right. -Right. -And now, -we're travelling together. -Yes. -I feel a bit nervous. -Me too.

(Reiko Kato) Joining the show for the third time, a former bikini model and an actress, this is Reiko Kato. Joining the show for the first time, this is Kenji Murakami from the comedy duo, Fruit Punch. (Saitama Prefecture) The Chichibu Railway runs in the northern part of Saitama Prefecture. They depart from Hanyu Station, and will advance toward Mitsumineguchi Station. There are 37 stations in total, and they will travel a total distance of 71.7 kilometres. Their goal is to get recommendations from locals and create an original travel guide with 10 entries.

I wonder how this trip will turn out. I wonder. I don't know what to expect at all. -Here. -The Chichibu Railway. I've never used it before. From Hanyu...

-I see Hanyu. -The last station is... Mitsumineguchi. What should we do? The first station to get off? That's important. I've decided. Let's go to Bushu-Araki Station. That sounds like Bush. -The fare goes up there too. -That's true.

First, they'll head to Bushu-Araki Station simply because they liked the station name. They buy tickets and go to the platform. -Thank you. -Here you go. Thank you. All right.

Here we go. The train itself looks quite old-fashioned. Look. -It's rare to see a train with a fan. -Yes. I remember how trains used to have fans. Back in the day. (9:34 am) Our two-day journey of enquiry and discovery begins now! The Chichibu Railway was established in 1901 as the Jobu Railway.

Later, in 1916, their name was changed to the current one. In recent years, their limited-edition SL train has been popular among families and train fans. (Bushu-Araki Station) After eight minutes, the train arrives at Bushu-Araki Station, the first station of the journey. (9:42 am) -What? -Wait. -What to do? -Where should we go? -Are we left alone here? What? -It can't be. -Do we go that way? -Maybe.

You go down here. You have to cross a crossing. I see. That's how you leave the station. The station has a retro look and it looks nice. Yes, great atmosphere.

-It's nice. -Very nice station. See? -Here you go. -Here you go. It's our first time here. -Bushu-Araki. -Go ahead. -Shall we take the one at 10:57am? -Sure. Yes.

-I'll write it down. -Thank you. (1 hour 12 minutes until the 10:57 am train) -We need to first find some people. -That's right. I don't see anyone. Where are they? If there was a store, -Yes. -we could go and talk to people.

This looks like a film set. -That's true. -Right? -I don't see anybody. -Really. There's no sign of anyone around.

I see someone there. An elderly man. He's sitting and doing something. Oh, yeah.

-He's doing something. Let's ask. -Yes, let's talk to him. We're filming a show about enquiring the locals and discovering things. -Hi. -Right now, -we just got off at the station here. -Yes.

To eat food? What are you looking for? -It can be food. -Well, food... -Or around this area... -Is there anything we should see? -We'd like your recommendations. -Maybe Tenshuji Temple? -Tenshuji Temple? -Sure. -Is it nearby? -Yes, it's close.

Three minutes. What should we see there? They have a national treasure there. It's a wooden statue of Prince Shotoku.

Really? -Great. -It's him as a 16-year-old. A statue of Prince Shotoku at age 16? -Is that so? -I'm not sure if you can see it. -Really? -Only once a year, -they put it on display. -Is that so? I'm sure you can see it. I'll talk to them.

-Really? We'll be counting on you. -Really? -Thank you. Goodbye. -We'll be back. -This is great. -Yes. -Yes. -Well... I feel lucky right off the bat.

We already found something great. It's a three-minute walk from the station. -This looks impressive. -Yes, it does. -It looks pretty. -It does. -This is it. -Nice. -It looks impressive. -Yes.

-Seriously. -Yes. Look at their garden. It's well taken care of. -Everywhere. -That's true. -I'm impressed. -Something is written there.

-Nice. -We're here. -It says "Tenshuji Temple". -Tenshuji. It says so here. -It says here. -The wooden statue of Prince Shotoku. They explain it here.

A designated important cultural property. -That's impressive. -It is. This is seriously impressive. -Let's get permission to film. -Let's go.

This is great. -Oh, yeah! -Yes. Now that we're here... -We need to ask first. -Yes. They could say no, right? We shouldn't get too excited yet.

This is the first time they ask for permission to film. Will things go smoothly? (Tenshuji Temple) (51 minutes until the 10:57 am train) -They said okay. -They said okay. -This is such a relief. -It really is. -It's a place with a long history, so... -It's a bit complicated. This is the Shotokuzan Tenshuji Temple that has been around for over 400 years.

-The person who recommended this to us -Yes. -called the temple. -He notified them for us. Usually, the statue of Prince Shotoku can only be seen once a year. They only display it on February 22. But we might be able to see it.

-We might. -We're not sure. -Let's first visit the temple. -He's asking them. -Let's look around. -Beautiful garden. -Yes, it's beautiful. -Right? -It's the perfect season to visit. -That's true.

You can only see this during this time of the year. Since it's the first stop of our trip... Yes. let's visit the temple and pray.

-That would be good. -Yes. Here's an offering. This is for two people. Thank you. Hello.

Maybe we can talk to him. Yes? No problem. I have to contact the president, and get his permission.

I see. -I'm the executive director. -Okay. So I could open it, but I prefer to get permission from the president first. I understand. -We need his permission. -Understood.

For our duo to see the statue of Prince Shotoku, which is only shown once a year, people in the town are having a discussion. What will they say? -You can come inside. -Sorry? -They said it's okay? -Yes. We can see the statue? -Great, they said okay. -Awesome. -Isn't it open? -Is it? -It's messy inside. -It's fine.

No problem. Your feet might get dirty. We're coming in. There was a fire at this temple, so we put most of our things in a vault. That's where it is.

Only certain people can open the vault. -This is impressive. -Impressive. Thank you very much. Back when I was born, they only showed it once every 33 years.

-I only saw it once or twice -I see. as a child. -It's open. -Please come closer. -Please come this way. -Thank you.

-Thank you. -Thank you. This is impressive. -I feel the history behind it. -Yes. It's a standing statue of Prince Shotoku. The eyes are called jade eyes because they have crystals in them.

The statue has very distinctive eyes. -I'm so grateful. -Me too. Thank you very much. It's a wooden standing statue of Prince Shotoku which was made during the Kamakura era.

(Statue made in 1247) When Prince Shotoku was 16 years old, his father fell ill. This statue depicts him praying to Buddha for the recovery of his father. It is designated as a national important cultural property. But how this statue of Prince Shotoku ended up in this town is still a mystery.

Currently, it is only shown to the public during their annual festival held on February 22. (Open to public only during annual festival) The first entry in the guidebook is Tenshuji Temple, where the statue of 16-year-old Prince Shotoku is stored. -Thank you very much. -We appreciate it a lot. -Thank you. -Thank you. -Good luck. -Thank you. -Thank you. -Thank you.

-Thank you very much. -Thank you very much. -What a wonderful temple. -Really. -Shall we head to the station? -Sure.

-It's a good time. -Yes, that's right. (17 minutes until the 10:57 am train) (Kumagaya Station) They arrive at Kumagaya Station in 15 minutes. Kumagaya is famous for being one of the hottest cities in Japan. (11:12 am) Thank you for using our service. This is Kumagaya Station.

Please switch trains if you are... (Hanyu, Kumagaya, Mitsumineguchi) Everywhere I look, I see Rugby World Cup. Here you go.

-Let's check the timetable. -Yes. If we just want to find one entry... We should find two entries. -So the 1:49 pm train would be good. -Yes. You're right. -Around 1:00. -We'll eat something

-and see something. -Around 1:00. -Either 1:19 pm or 1:48 pm. -Sure. (2 hours 2 minutes until the 1:19 pm train) (2 hours 31 minutes until the 1:48 pm train) -It's not that hot. -It's not. I thought it'd be hot. -I'm glad. -It's not hot in Kumagaya. Let's ask around. I see someone who looks like a rugby player.

He might be a rugby player. May we talk to you? Excuse me. -May we talk to you? -Just for a while? Are you local? Kind of. -I go to the university here. -I see.

Are you a rugby player? -Yes, I am. -I thought so. You're in great shape. All right. So you play rugby? I play rugby at Rissho University. I'm the captain of the team. You're the captain? -Captain. -Impressive.

You're very well-built. -Don't you think so? -You stood out a lot. Did I? What position? Scrum-half. -Scrum-half. -Do you know rugby? I actually only know number eight.

Number eight and wings. -That's as far as I know. -Okay. We just got off at Kumagaya Station. We were wondering if there are any cool places to visit or food to try. -In Kumagaya, right? -Yes. -Where? -Do you not eat a lot? You eat a lot, right? -Any place that inspires you? -Yes.

Or a place to see. Or it can be lunch. There's nothing here. Thank you.

It was still great to meet him. I wasn't expecting this. -I thought it'd be a good stop. -It's tricky. -I thought it'd be easy here. -Maybe it's too much of a city. -Let's ask the three ladies. -Sure. -Excuse me. -Excuse me.

-May we talk to you? -Just for a second? -It's for BS TV. -We'd like recommendations. We'd like to know about Kumagaya. Sweets from Gokabo. -Gokabo. -Is that right? Their sweets.

-They sell sweets? -I see. -Gokabo. -"Go" as in the number five. It's there, right? -It's quite famous. -It's famous? Okay.

Yes, Gokabo is famous in Kumagaya. -Understood. -Gokabo. -Thank you. -Let's check it out. -They said it's this way. -Yes, it's that way. Shall we ask more people? -Sure. -Let's ask where Gokabo is.

-Excuse me. -Excuse me. -May we talk to you? -May we ask for directions? Do you know Gokabo? -It's a confectionery shop. -They sell sweets. -Yes. -The main store? -We heard that it's nearby. -It's near here. -They said that? -Yes.

Their main store is on the other side of the big street over there. Okay. How long will it take to walk there? -About 10 minutes. -About 10 minutes? Or 15 minutes. -Sorry, I don't know well. -It's fine. -Thank you. -Thank you.

-You can walk fast because you're young. -Not really. -Thank you. -Thank you. Bye. Is this it? -Here it is. -We're here. -This is the store. -This is the store.

I believe this is the store. -It says that it's a Kumagaya speciality. -Yes. (Kumagaya speciality, Hanazutsumi Gokabo) -We need to go ask first. -That's right. We'll be back. -Hello. -Hello.

We're coming in. Could we quickly film your confectionery? Ms Kato and Mr Murakami get off the train at Kumagaya Station. They ask for permission to film at a recommended confectionery shop. -What will they say? -Thank you.

It's okay. Thank you. -They're okay with it. -It's fine. -Thank you. -Thank you. -Let's take a look around. -Sure. Sorry, which one is your famous product? Here is our main product.

This is the most popular. So this is Gokabo. -That's right. -What is Gokabo, by the way? -It's glutinous rice. -Really? When you grill a piece of rice cake, and when it gets puffed up, something like this is produced. It's 100% sticky rice.

So this is Gokabo? -It's the ingredient. -I see. So Gokabo isn't a store name? It's the name of the confectionery. Is that so? What's the store name, then? It's Hanazutsumi.

-Hanazutsumi makes Gokabo. -Hanazutsumi. (Kumagaya speciality, Hanazutsumi Gokabo) Hanazutsumi Honpo is a long-established confectionery store that opened 115 years ago. Their speciality is confectionery created during the Edo era called Gokabo. They add starch syrup to soybean flour and mix it together well.

They then use a rolling pin to spread it out thinly. This will be the dough part. Then, they add starch syrup to roasted and puffed glutinous rice. They toss it well to even out the sweetness.

It is then wrapped in the dough that was made earlier. Then they roll it back and forth with a rolling board. Skilled craftsmen stretch it into long, thin strips. It is stretched to more than two metres long. They're then cut with a knife.

That's how Gokabo is made. It's very light. -Yes, it is. -Ours has a very crunchy texture. Great. Thank you for it.

It melts in your mouth. How is it? How can I describe this? It's unique. -I thought it'd be like Kaminari Okoshi. -Me too. Because of its look. But it's more like this... Can you describe it properly? -It's light and airy. -Describe how it is.

It's light and airy, but a bit... -It's also a bit sticky. -I see. -It's moist. -Is it hard? It looks soft.

-No, it's very soft. -Is this one hard? No, this is fine. It's not hard at all. Oh, it's softer than I expected. -I know what you mean. -You do? It melts in my mouth.

When you look at it, you'd think -it'd be light like rice crackers. -Yes. -But that's not it. -No. -It's similar to rice cake. -Yes, exactly. It's similar to rice cake when it's puffed up. Then it gets thinner. This is great.

It's very good, it's like rice cake. The second entry in the guidebook is Hanazutsumi Honpo, a confectionery shop that sells "Gokabo," a Kumagaya speciality. We should ask her to recommend us a place to eat.

Yes. Which one should we buy? -No. -What? I meant a restaurant. Sorry, I'm only thinking about myself.

-Of course, we'll buy something. -Okay. -But before that... -A restaurant? -Yes. -Is there a place you like around here in Kumagaya? -Near here. -Yes, we'll go back to the station now. -Across from us. -Across from you?

-What kind of place is it? -That one? -It's an udon shop. -An udon shop. Do you go there often? Yes, I do. I eat there a lot. What would you recommend from there? They don't have a variety.

They're a specialised shop. The udon that most people have there is the one that comes with a dipping sauce. You also get boneless pork meat. Meat broth udon. -Meat broth udon? -Yes. -That sounds great. -Meat broth udon.

-Thank you. -Sure. They buy souvenirs and head to the udon shop across the street. -Hanazutsumi recommended this place. -Let's go. Let's ask for permission.

-Excuse me. -Sorry to bother you. -Sorry. -Right now, we're filming a TV show for BS TV Tokyo. -Okay? -We won't film people. It'd be great to find another entry here.

What will they say about filming? Sure. They said it's okay. Yes! Yes! -Yes! -We did it. -Meat broth udon. -Meat broth udon. Sorry for the trouble.

We apologise for the commotion. -Is this okay? -Over here. Thank you. Thank you.

-Meat dipping... -Meat broth udon. -Meat broth. That's it. -Meat broth. Meat broth udon. That is your speciality, right? I see that I can get an egg too? You should get that. I'll get one with an egg, then. Tenguya has been around the local community for over 50 years.

In fact, Kumagaya City is known as one of the leading wheat producers in Japan. Using such flour, they make udon noodles every day. Their homemade noodles are chewy and have a great texture. The udon is served with dipping sauce with a condensed flavour of pork belly.

But the details of how they make it are kept a secret. Here's meat broth with egg. -It looks great. -The noodles look great too. It's a large portion. -It looks like a lot. -This is regular.

Thank you. -It looks great. -It seriously looks amazing. -Thank you for it. -Isn't this great? Thank you for it. -The noodles look unique too. -They do.

They're not like Sanuki udon noodles and are a bit thinner and flatter. It looks amazing. Thank you for it.

-It's good. -Is it? The noodles are chewy. -So good. -Right? The noodles are chewy as you say.

It has a great flavour of the flour. The dipping sauce too. -It has a strong flavour. -That's right.

So good. -Very good. -This is a big hit. Here's a large piece of meat. -600 yen. -Okay.

It's a large piece. Very good. The meat tastes sweet. Even the grease is good. Sorry, I didn't give a proper review of the food. It's okay.

-We got lucky with this place. -Yes. The third entry in the guidebook is Tenguya, an udon shop that serves incredible meat broth udon. -It was very good. -I loved it. -Thank you. -Thank you.

-Bye. -Thank you. -That was incredible. -It really was. -Seriously. -Right? -Let's go back to the station. -To the station. Everything is going very smoothly.

That makes me happy. (3:18 pm) (Hanyu, Nagatoro, Mitsumineguchi) It's this kind of station again. Yes.

Hi there. Here you go. -Thank you. -Thank you. All right. This looks nice.

It says "Nagatoro rice cracker". Soft serve ice cream too. Soft serve ice cream. That sounds good.

Hello. Sorry to bother you while working. -May we talk to you now? -Just a while? -May we film you while we ask? -We have a camera. Do you know of any great place to stay here in Nagatoro? -A place to stay? -Yes. -There is a place called Choseikan. -Choseikan? -It means "a long life". -I see.

They have a wonderful view. His Majesty, the Emperor has also stayed there before. -Really? That's amazing. -Yes.

It must be a great place. There's another place called Yokotei. -Yokotei? -Yes. Do you have their contact information? -It's 0494... -You know it by heart?

0494... Now that they have the contact information, they will first try calling Choseikan, the first place that was mentioned. Excuse me, this is for today.

Do you happen to have two rooms available? Okay. Okay. I understand. Thank you. Thank you very much. -Are they full? -Yes.

-They're full today. -Really? No way. I thought this was going to work. Next, they call Yokotei. What will they say this time? I understand it's sudden, but do you have rooms for two people today? Would it be possible for us to stay? Sorry. Actually, we're here to film a TV show.

That's why we're visiting this city. Would it be fine if we have a camera filming us and your hotel? Will they accept our sudden request to film the hotel? Are you sure? They said that they'll prepare BBQ for us. Really? Are you sure? That would be wonderful. We'd love that. We are terribly sorry for the sudden request.

Would it be possible for you to pick us up? They secured a place to stay tonight. On top of that, the hotel can come pick them up. Thank you very much. -Thank you very much. -Thank you. The hotel is coming to pick us up. -We'll wait here if that's okay with you. -Over here.

This makes me very happy. -I'm so happy we have a place to stay. -Me too. I can relax now. All right, then. -Let's look around Nagatoro. -Yes, let's do that.

-Let's ask people. Thank you. -Thank you. That looks nice. -You're eating a melon. -That looks good. Hello, madam. Do you work here? -May we come in? -Are you sure? It's half a melon. You're eating the whole thing.

-That's a luxurious way of eating it. -Yes. -Well... -Could you recommend us a place? What places do you recommend in Nagatoro? The main attraction here is the cruise. -Many people come here for that. -The cruise. They couldn't really do that during Golden Week this year. When people find out that they can't do the cruise, they go to other places.

You should definitely try the cruise. Where can we take the cruise? The nearest one is right over there. -Should we go there and ask? -Sure. -Thank you. -See you later. -That's great. -I see. It's right over there.

-There's a place to buy tickets. -You can get information here too. I see some young guys. -What's this? -Excuse me. -The reception's here. -I see it.

It's downstairs. -Downstairs? -Okay. Excuse me. -Excuse me. -Excuse me. -Hello. -Is it okay that we are filming? You'll have to talk to the tourist division at our Kumagaya headquarters.

Otherwise, we can't accept to be filmed. -Please wait. -Sorry for the trouble. Though they manage to get permission to film... Is it over now? We close around 4 pm. -You close at 4 pm? -Yes. -I see. -We can't do it either way, then.

-Oh, no. -When do you open? -We open at 9 am. -I see. I wanted to go on the cruise. -We didn't get there in time. -The last cruise of the day -left about 10 minutes ago. -Okay. -Yes, so... -We still have some time.

Shall we ask for other places? -Yes, let's do that. -There are many other places -in this city. -Yes. -Excuse me. -Excuse me.

May we ask you a few questions? Is there any place or food nearby that you recommend? -I'm not sure. -Anything? -Maybe shaved ice? -Shaved ice? Is shaved ice famous here? Yes, it is. -Really? -Is there a specific store? -Any famous place? -Here... If you walk for about 100 metres to the right, there's Asami Reizo. -Asami Reizo. -Asami Reizo.

-Is this place very famous? -They produce ice. They produce their own ice. Really? Have you eaten there? -Yes, strawberry and mango. -Strawberry? -Mango too? -Different flavours. Wow.

-They make their own syrups too. -Really? -Thank you. -Thank you. -Sorry to bother you at work. -Bye. It's on this street, right? Yes, in about 100 metres.

-So it's nearby. -If it's 100 metres, yes. I see something that says "ice". -It must be there. -That place? It says "ice". -Well... -It looks fancy.

-Yes. -Can we film here? I wonder. -It might be difficult. -Let's go ask. Look at this. See? -Let's go ask. -They might say no.

Will they be able to try their speciality shaved ice? (Open) Yes. -They said okay. -Okay. -They said okay. -They are very kind. I thought it'd be impossible.

-Sorry for the trouble. -Let's go to the back. Sorry for the trouble. Thank you for having us. Sorry. This side? -Over here? -Here? -May we sit here? -Here? -Are you the manager? -Sorry for the trouble. What is happening here? -Sorry? -How should I ask it? We use locally produced natural ice.

During the cold weather in winter, we produce ice in the mountains. We cut it in pieces during the winter. So we basically produce ice. -We're a manufacturer of ice. -I see. What do you recommend? Well, the most recommended one -is this one with our secret syrup. -It's this one here, right? -We'll take this. -This, and...

-Strawberry. -Melon, please. -Okay. -Thank you. (Asami Reizo) Asami Reizo was established in 1890.

They still sell natural ice at their store. Their speciality natural ice is produced in a man-made pond for making ice. Taking advantage of the severe cold of the Chichibu region, they let the ice freeze slowly for about two months, and then cut them into pieces. They keep a year's supply in their ice chamber. Their shaved ice made with such ice is now a speciality of the store.

In the summer, there are sometimes lines of people waiting to get in. -Look at that. -Here's the one with our secret syrup. -Thank you, wow. -Amazing. This is incredible.

-Is this... -Is this the special syrup? -The special syrup. -Here are strawberry and melon. It looks great.

-Is this melon? -Melon. It's not green. Will you show us how to eat it? Pour the syrup little by little on the top of shaved ice.

I see. I want a photo. -Yes, let's take some photos. -This is definitely photo-worthy. Definitely. I can see your reflection in the glass table top. (I can see your reflection in the glass table top) -I thought so. -Sorry.

-What to do? -On the table. An old man is reflected in the table top. -I want to show it to people. -Me too. This looks nice. Can I pour it like this? It's fluffy.

-It is different? -Completely. -It's good. -Thank you for it. -Very good. -It has a gentle flavour. -Very good. -It's like... -This syrup is incredible. -Isn't it? I'll try it without the syrup.

It tastes good without the syrup. It's great. -Very nice. -It's not like the ice itself has flavour.

-I'll try the strawberry one. -Go ahead. -It has a nice colour. -Yes. The strawberry syrup smells great. That looks great.

So good. -This is incredible. -Is it? -This syrup is also incredible. -Is that so?

It's different from the strawberry syrup you get at festivals. I want to try it too. -You're right. -Right? It's flavourful. It has a sophisticated taste. -We can only eat this in Chichibu? -That's right.

Yes. They only have two stores. The fourth entry in the guidebook is Asami Reizo that serves fluffy shaved ice made with their natural ice.

-Thank you. -Sorry for the trouble. -Bye. -Thank you. -Nice. -Thank you.

-It was great, thank you. -It was great. They are satisfied with the incredible shaved ice. Now, they go back to the station and take the hotel's shuttle they requested.

-Is this Yokotei? -Yes, it is. -I'm Kato. Thank you for having us. -Thank you for staying with us. Sorry for the trouble.

-I'll go ahead. Thank you. -Thank you. -So this place, Yokotei, -Yes? how long has it been since it was established? The hotel was established in 1922. -1922? -That's the year it was established.

-Wait, so... -This year -will be our 98th anniversary. -90... It was decided this year that Eiichi Shibusawa will be on the new 10,000 bills. -He is the one who named the hotel. -Really? I had no idea.

-How auspicious. -Wonderful. It was named by Eiichi Shibusawa. -It looks nice. -Nice.

Five minutes after leaving the station, they arrive at the hotel. -Thank you. -Here we go. Thank you. It's this place? -It looks very nice. -It is.

-Here it is. -Here it is. -An open-air bath. -An open-air bath. -That's great. -It looks impressive. (5:35 pm) Hello. Which way? -Thank you for having us. -Thank you. We have a horizontal structure facing the river.

I see. -Interesting. -It's facing a river. Let's first go to the room where Mr Murakami will stay. -It looks nice. -I like it. It looks traditional. This is it.

We did a great job. It has a view of the forest. I'm glad we got the rooms.

I see. Looking at this at night would be nice. Yokotei was established in 1922. Eiichi Shibusawa, who is now going to be on the new 10,000 yen bills, named this long-established hotel. All the rooms are facing the river, where the guests have a view of the rich nature of Nagatoro.

Now, let's take a bath to freshen up after a long day of traveling. (Wagtail Bath) Nice. This feels so nice. We walked a lot today.

Taking a bath like this gives me energy to work hard tomorrow. I love taking baths. It's very nice. The air here is so fresh.

It's time for the dinner that they've been waiting for. (7:00 pm) -I'm getting hungry. -It's time to eat. -Hello. -The dinner will be on the terrace. Thank you.

-On the terrace. -Great. Wow, amazing! This looks great. Usually, the hotel offers Kaiseki cuisine using the food from Chichibu.

But this time, they will have BBQ in the grand nature of Nagatoro. By the way, the hotel is also open for guests visiting only during the day. -Nice work. Let's do our best tomorrow. -Let's do our best.

Let's drink. It's amazing. It's awesome. We're extremely lucky. On this trip, -I wasn't expecting to do BBQ. -Me either. It looks good.

Thank you for it. -Very good. -Is it? Thank you for it.

Isn't it good? -Very good. -Meat tastes better like this. -This is the best. -Right? Here's some sweetfish. -What is it? -Did you catch them in Nagatoro? Yes, we bought them from the fishermen's union in Chichibu. Great. It's local fish. -I'll put them there. -Okay.

These are burned. I guess it's okay. When I look at you, Mr Murakami, you don't strike me as someone who enjoys outdoor activities. Do you like outdoor activities? No, not at all.

Just as I imagined. Exactly. Look at this. That has got to be good.

This looks amazing. Is it salty enough? I could use just a bit more salt. It's great. The fish itself has a great aroma. It does? -It's grilled perfectly. -Really?

It's hot. -It's good and has a great aroma. -Right? Even the bones are tender. Seriously, I don't mean to brag, but... It's so good.

This is the best sweetfish I've ever cooked on my own while filming. Yes, you did a great job. -Right? -Yes.

The fifth entry in the guidebook is Yokotei, a hotel facing a river where guests can enjoy BBQ. -So, Mr Murakami? -Yes? What's our plan for tomorrow? For tomorrow, first of all, they will serve breakfast here at 8:30 am. Today, we couldn't do the river cruise because we didn't make it in time. So we can try it again tomorrow.

Right, it's our first time trying it. They open at 9 am, and they have cruises around 10 am. -We should try that. -Okay. -Thank you in advance for tomorrow. -You too.

-I look forward to tomorrow. -Me too. (Saitama Prefecture) So far on the Chichibu Railway journey, they found five entries on the first day. Let's hope that they'll keep up their pace tomorrow.

(Saitama Prefecture) (The second day) (8:30 am) It's proper breakfast. Great. -It looks great. -It looks proper. -I like that we have Japanese breakfast. -Me too. I'm glad we have a nice weather.

Yes, it's very nice out today. -It might be nicer than yesterday. -Yes. It was windy yesterday.

(Time limit 5:00 pm) Their time limit is at 5 pm. Let's do our best today to accomplish the goal. (9:20 am) -Thank you. -Thank you for everything. -Thank you. -Despite the sudden request, you helped us a lot. -Yes. -Thank you.

Thank you. Here we go. The hotel's shuttle takes them to Nagatoro's river cruise where they already got permission to film yesterday. -Here we go. -Here we go. Thank you. Thank you very much.

Thank you very much. Let's ask them. Excuse me.

-What time does it start? -When do you have the cruises? We'll go as soon as we have enough people. -I see. -Please wait in our waiting room. -It'll be about 15 to 20 minutes. -Okay. -Understood. -Thank you. It's a nice ticket.

-It is. -I like the drawing. (Nagatoro Line Cruise) Very nice colours. There are rough waves. I think we can expect waves like this today. That high? I thought it'd be calmer. Our stomach is full from breakfast.

I thought it was going to be like a houseboat. -No. -It's quite... Yes, there will be a lot of waves today. I'm sure you'll enjoy it. I'll take your 4,000 yen. -Here you go. -Thank you.

-Pass it to our staff. -Okay. Thank you. We'll have a nice view from the boat, right? They might have exaggerated it. Is it here? -The waiting room? -Let's go in. -Let's go. -Here we go. -Nobody's here yet. -Nobody's here yet.

All right. There are old photos. What? Look at that. "Nostalgic photos of Nagatoro's scenery."

They look cool. People in the old times always wore a suit. They look classy. They're fashionable. -Their suit and kimono... -Exactly.

Very fashionable. Will you please sign? -Sure. -Sure. I'm a huge fan, Ms Kato. I knew it.

Should I address this to the river cruise? This isn't for the cruise, but it's personally for me. I understand. This brings back memories.

-What? -Look at that. -Really? -Can I sign this? -Are you sure? -Yes, please. He's a superfan. It's a photo from a long time ago.

-They're rare now. -It's a telephone card. That's great. -Sorry for the trouble. Thank you. -Thank you. For those of you with tickets, please get on the bus in front of us. -Please go ahead. -We'll take a bus.

Will we go on the cruise with them? I think so. -Hello. -Hello. -We'll be on the cruise together. -Yes, we'll go together. -Nice to meet you. -Nice to meet you. Are you all...

-friends? -Yes. Friends from where? From our kids' little league baseball. -We're here to check out the site. -I see.

-Is that so? -Really? We'll bring the kids here. You then decided to do the river cruise since you're here? -We're checking it out. -Yes. In the itinerary of the trip, -we want to include the river cruise. -I see.

Will this be like a field trip? -It's a camp. -I see. -It's a camp. -I had no idea that mums planned those trips. -I didn't know either. -Interesting. So do you all live in Saitama? -Yes, we do. -I see. Subtitles: SDI Media Group

2021-04-10 22:21

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