Japan Hour: Road Trip On Yodo Line (Part 1)

Japan Hour: Road Trip On Yodo Line (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. This time, the journey takes place on the JR Yodo Line that connects Ehime Prefecture to Kochi Prefecture. (JR Yodo Line) Outside the window runs the Shimanto River, the last clear stream in Japan. The train runs along the waterfront and has a great atmosphere.

(Shimanto River, clear stream) This is exquisite! Incredible. Our travellers enjoy specialities of the region and other delicious food. (Enjoying exquisite food) It looks great. Here comes the train.

That looks good. Say cheese! Breathtaking scenery was found by enquiring people. This is great. What is it? The travellers are fascinated by the magnificent universe. There are many Japanese lates. They also encounter the legendary fish of the Shimanto River.

You want to walk? (Unique encounters on the trip) They also meet cute local kids. However... Wait, is the train here? Is the train here? They face a series of unexpected events. Here I come, Ms Nakajima.

Look at the signboard. It's closed? Oh, no! Whether they're awake or asleep, it's a two-day journey where anything could happen. So let's get started, all aboard our journey of enquiry and discovery! (Journey of enquiry and discovery) (Narrator: Fumitoshi Sano) The journey begins in Uwajima City of Ehime Prefecture, a city known as the "Land of Mandarin Oranges". On our JR Yodo Line journey, we'll take our first train at Kita-Uwajima Station.

Who will be travelling in this rain? It's raining heavily. -When I travel, I always feel that -Yes? -adversity makes us wise. -Okay. I see. When you're in a pinch, you meet great people. You end up having a wonderful time. Is that so? Adversity actually makes a trip better.

That's right. -Thank you for coming on the trip with me. -I look forward to it. -Me too, Mr Watanabe. -Nice to meet you. -Nice to meet you. -Great. Joining the journey for the second time, this is Ms Fumie Nakajima, an actress from the group Shape Up Girls. We also have Mr Yoichi Watanabe, a war photographer.

This is his fifth time on the show. (46 years old, born in Shizuoka) The JR Yodo Line connects the south part of Ehime Prefecture and the southwest part of Kochi Prefecture. On this trip, they will depart from Kita-Uwajima Station in Ehime Prefecture and head towards Wakai Station in Kochi Prefecture. There are 20 stations altogether and 76.3 kilometres in total distance. Their goal is to get recommendations from locals and create an original travel guide with 10 entries.

(Kita-Uwajima Station) This time, based on the timetable and the station names, Mr Watanabe has already decided on which stations to get off. -From Kita-Uwajima... -Yes? I thought this station was read "Nimei," but it's actually "Futana." -I'd like to first go to this station. -Okay.

-These station names are hard to read. -Yes. I picked ones that are especially hard to read. I see. -Maybe there are reasons for it. -That's true. The first destination is Futana Station. It's three stations away.

-Trains come from different directions. -Really? -Double trains? -One's coming from that side. -There's one coming from that side too. -On both sides. -They overlap. -Great. -Great. -That's perfect. I see people aboard.

-This is it. -Here it comes. -Shall we go? -Sure. Excuse me. We get tickets here. It's like a bus.

-Please take a numbered ticket. -Numbered tickets. -Thank you. -Thank you. (8:13 am) Here we are. It's Futana Station.

We're in Futana. (Kita-Uwajima to Futana, Destination Wakai) -Let's check the timetable. -Okay. -There aren't trains at every hour. -That's right. We took this train that arrived at 8:14 am.

No trains during the 9:00 hour. It skips the 9:00 hour. -There's one at 10:02 am. -Yes. So we have about an hour and 45 minutes. There seems to be no stores around the station. It appears so.

But it says that there's a temple. -It's written there. -That's true. But we need to enquire the locals about it. That's right. -I see someone there. -Oh, yes. There he is.

-Good morning. -I'm glad there's someone. May I ask you a few questions? -We've just got off at this station. -Okay. We wanted to ask locals where to take good photos, -or what to eat or what to see. -I see. -Any good food? -I can call our factory, -if you want. -Can you?

-What kind of place is it? -It's a tempura shop. Tempura? -It's a kind called jakoten. -That's famous. Is it famous? They might not pick up. They might be busy making tempura. -You can go there and ask them. -Where is it?

Turn right on that street. -It says "Yasuoka Kamaboko." -Yasuoka Kamaboko. My name is Inoue, and I'm an employee there.

According to our rules, -it can't be self-recommended. -No? We apologise for that. But then... Maybe you should go visit Mimamen Farmer's. They grow vegetables. I'm not sure if they do now, though. We're in Nima Town. -Mimamen? -Yes.

Because they're men from Mima. They're young guys. They grow rice and other things. -They've been farming. -I see. -They're all close to their 40s. -Young farmers.

Okay, Mimamen Farmer's, then. -Shall we go? -Let's go. Mima Town. All right. -Mimamen Farmer's. -Mimamen.

A farm owned by good-looking men from Mima. -I'm intrigued by this. -Me too. -I think it's over there. -Over there?

-I hope they're open. -Me too. Is that the one? "Mimamen Farmer's." This is a nice signboard. Isn't it? I see the mountain and the sun. -Great motif. -It represents home.

-Hello, could it be... -Yes? Are you a Mimamen member? Yes, I'm a Mimamen farmer. -Great. -Sorry.

-Nice to meet you. -You too. Is this place Mimamen Farmer's? That's right. Is it possible for us to go in? Sure. It's a bit messy, though. -Can we? -Sure. -Thank you. We're coming in. -Go ahead. Let's go into the famous Mimamen Farmer's place.

Wow, great. -It looks a bit like a log house. -True. What do Mimamen Farmer's specialise in? -Well... -What do you do? We're a group of four farmers. -Are you one of them? -Yes, I'm the head.

That's wonderful. Four farmers who are building the future of agriculture in Nima Town founded Mimamen Farmer's five years ago. To promote locally grown vegetables, they renovated a vacant house and opened a farmer's market. They sell vegetables in varying sizes and shapes that are still tasty at a very cheap price. In the shopping strips of Uwajima City, they've also held markets to sell vegetables directly from the farm.

So it's the young generation that is taking action. Right. Our community is ageing. We have many farms that are now vacant. We need to stop that. We feel like it's the younger generation that needs to take action.

So that's what we've been doing. We used to hold markets. -But last July, -Okay. there was heavy rain, and we've stopped it since.

-Is that so? -That's right. We don't have any vegetables due to the damage from the rain. Unfortunately, they don't hold markets at the moment. It means that this place can't be an entry, so...

As a Mimamen, is there anything you'd like to recommend? -Any great food or a nice place. -Food? Yasuoka Kamaboko. -That famous Yasuoka Kamaboko? -That's right. When I was young, I used to live in Hyogo Prefecture.

There, I would give my friends jakoten. They thought it was very good. It's a great product. Yasuoka Kamaboko.

-Do you recommend it? -Yes, I do. -Mr Mimamen Ato. -Yes? -Thank you very much. -Thank you very much. Now, they head to the shop that they couldn't go to earlier since it was a self-recommendation. -Have you had jakoten? -Yes. I like jakoten.

-I see. -When I visited before. -Let's go to their factory, then. -Yes. Yasuoka Kamaboko. It's a big building. It really is. On the journey of enquiry and discovery on the JR Yodo Line, our travellers get off the train at Futana Station and head to a recommended kamaboko shop.

I'm glad that we will get to eat. Yasuoka Kamaboko. It's a big building.

It really is. It suddenly appeared in the middle of the rice fields. You're right.

-I can smell their food. -Oh, yeah. It smells great. -It smells like they're deep-frying. -Yes. -We first need to ask for permission. -That's right.

Excuse me. This is their first time asking for permission to film on this journey. What will they say? I'm Yoichi Watanabe. Earlier, Mr Inoue recommended this place to us.

We were wondering if we could look at your tempura factory. Could you ask Mr Yasuoka, the factory manager? -I understand. -Okay. -I'll call him, so please wait. -Thank you. -Sorry to bother you at work. -No problem. -This is Ms Nakajima, an actress. -I'm Fumie Nakajima. We're on a journey on a local train line.

We were hoping that we could take a look at your factory. Would you give us permission to film? -Sure. -Are you sure? This is a famous kamaboko store that was established in 1952. Using fresh fish and other ingredients from Uwajima, they produce kamaboko and jakoten.

Let's take a tour of their factory. My head is cold. -My head feels cold with this. -It breathes well.

They're cutting fish. May we come in? They're cutting fish. Impressive. Look at this cutting board. -This is jakoten, right? -That's right.

This is the speciality of Uwajima. -The most popular? -Yes, the most popular fish paste. The ingredients for Uwajima's famous jakoten are small, white-fleshed fish of the sea bass family called Hotarujako. (Hotarujako) One by one, they carefully remove the head. Then they're put into a fish paste machine with the bones and skin on. After that, the paste is thoroughly kneaded in a stone mortar.

This way, the paste will be even finer. It looks pretty. You're very focused. You do it very skilfully. Very cool. We call this a hand-pushed tempura. Hand-pushed? This is hand-pushed jakoten.

I'm sure the ones at the store are great, but the freshly fried ones, -they're the ultimate luxury. -That's right. They're the best. It's like a miracle because you can only eat it right here. They're floating up and look crispy. -That's right. -Impressive.

They're done. I've never seen anything like this before. -Nice sounds. -These sounds. They're finished. We get to eat the freshly fried ones. This is a miracle! (Handmade jakoten, 172 yen) It's burning hot! I'll eat it like this.

Go ahead. Look at him. -This is the true jakoten. -Yes. It's so hot! It's fluffy and bouncy. What do you think of the freshly fried jakoten? It's exquisite. -Let's eat. -This jakoten is like a miracle.

Thank you very much. Very good. I love the aroma. It's very good because it's freshly fried. It's a bit crispy on the outside, and light and juicy on the inside. This is a main dish.

You're right. How could this be so tasty? It's because we use fresh fish. -Fresh fish. -I see. -Fresh fish that we can even eat raw. -They're young fish. -Would you like to try this? -May we? I recommend it. This is jakoten paste with vegetables added and deep-fried called jakokatsu.

It has a great colour. It's freshly fried. (Jakokatsu, 270 yen) The breading looks so fresh. -They're freshly fried. -Just what are they? Amazing. -Jakokatsu. -Just bite into it.

I'll bite into it. -Eat it while it's hot. -Go ahead. -No, you can eat it first. -Okay. -I'll eat it. -Be careful.

-I'll eat it first. -Go ahead. Wow, look at the steam rising. The steam. Thank you. Thank you for it. Wow, nice.

Incredible. It's more than one centimetre thick. There's a lot of steam rising. -It has a lot of vegetables. -Carrots, onions, burdock roots.

The vegetables in it are also very good. This is the best jakokatsu ever. It's incredible. I've never had anything so fresh.

Mr Yasuoka, may I take a photo of you with that wonderful expression? Great! -Thank you, Mr Yasuoka. -Thank you. Bye. That was amazing! The first entry of the guidebook is the long-established Yasuoka Kamaboko of Ehime and their jakoten.

What a great start. The two go back to the station. Then... -In their home... -Wait. Has the train already arrived? On the journey of enquiry and discovery on the JR Yodo Line, the travellers are heading back to the station. -In their home... -Wait.

A train is arriving. -Yes. -It's the other way. -We're still good. -It scared me for a moment. I'm glad we got back. We still have five minutes.

-That's good. -Yeah. For the next station... You might call it Deme, but it's actually Izume. Izume? Really? Izume is an intriguing name.

I see. -Let's go there. -Okay. Now, they head to Izume, four stations away. They continue to get off at stations with difficult-to-read names. (Ehime Prefecture, Kochi Prefecture, Kita-Uwajima, Futana, Izume, Wakai) This store has a great atmosphere. Didn't they say that they'd recommend their roll cake? -Hello. -Hello.

Hello. -Hello. -I'm Yoichi Watanabe. Do you work at Enishi? -Yes. -I heard this place has great cakes. -May we come in? -Sure! Thank you very much.

-Thank you. -I'm Yoichi Watanabe. -We wanted to visit Enishi. -Great. Someone named Higashi told us that you have great cakes. -Thank you. -Can we go in? Thank you for having us. -You're very tall. -Do you think so?

(Cake Shop Enishi) This cake shop opened in 2010 in a renovated old house. They make their popular cakes using carefully selected ingredients such as locally produced fruits and eggs. (Hours 10 am to 7 pm Closed on Wednesdays) Are you two... Yes, she is the manager, and I am the owner of the store.

They look great. -They do. -Amazing. Their roll cake was recommended. It's quite large and looks fluffy. Is it possible to eat the cakes here? -No, you can only take it to go. -I see.

Actually, we've been walking -for a very long time. -Okay. We're starving. That's not good. Can we eat right there, for example? -Sure, no problem. -May we sit there? It's no problem to buy cakes and eat them here.

-Really? That's okay? -No problem. -I'm not sure which one to get. -Me neither. -Our black sesame cream puffs are popular. -Black sesame? -They're made with a lot of black sesame. -That sounds great.

It's very good. This one is made with Japanese chestnut paste. -We use chestnuts from Ehime for that. -At the bottom? -I'll have the fresh cream roll cake. -Thank you. -Also, the black sesame cream puff. -Thank you.

I'll get the chestnut cake. -Chestnut cake? -Thank you. Thank you very much.

It's a full course meal from Enishi. It looks great. I'll take this. Thank you very much. Here it comes. This is their famous roll cake.

I'll eat it with care. -Thank you very much. -I'm excited. -We finally made it. -Yes.

-Here I go. -That looks great. -Thank you for it. -Go ahead. How is it? It's the best.

-It's fluffy. -Thank you very much. -It's incredible. -Great, thank you. The cake is fluffy, while the cream is moist. What a great balance. Many customers tell us that they end up eating the whole thing at once. I can't stop eating.

-I'll try the black sesame one. -Sure. Since you offered it. I'll eat it now. Sesame! It has a lot of sesame cream inside! -It's mostly all made of sesame. -Sesame! I love this taste. I'll try the chestnut cake.

It looks wonderful. Very good. The chestnuts have a rich flavour. Your pastry chef did a great job.

Thank you. This store is called Enishi. What's the story behind the name? It means "connections," and we chose it in hopes to establish a good connection with the locals. We want our cakes to make people happy. That's why we named our store Enishi.

-It's all about connections. -That's right. The second entry in the guidebook is Enishi cake shop, a shop that offers exquisite cakes. (Enishi cake shop) -We're back to the station. -Yes. Next, we'll get off at the neighbouring station, Matsumaru. -Okay. -When I heard the name Matsumaru,

I thought maybe it's associated with a castle or something. -Let's go find out. -Yes. -Are we looking for food again? -Sure.

-I hope there will be a hot spring. -Yes. It's a different colour now. -It's different each time. -Yes.

-"Shiman Torocco"? -"Shiman Torocco." -Oh, but... -The seats look nice. (Ehime Prefecture, Kochi Prefecture) Hoping to find a castle, lunch, and a hot spring, the two head to Matsumaru Station. (Ehime Prefecture, Kochi Prefecture, Kita-Uwajima, Izume, Matsumaru, Wakai) The train that arrived is a popular tourist train called Shiman Torocco.

(Shiman Torocco) Normally, the trolley is connected to the train, but they operate the train without the trolley as well. From the window, we see the Hiromi River, which is the largest tributary of the Shimanto River. In six minutes, the train arrives at Matsumaru Station. (Matsumaru Station) -Thank you. -Excuse me. -Bye. -Thank you.

-Here you go. -Thank you. (12:24 pm) The rain has stopped. -It feels nice. -It does feel nice. This is quite a large town. You're right.

The train runs along the Hiromi River and the Shimanto River. What do you think of when you hear the Shimanto River? -Japanese lates. -Japanese lates? -Yes, because I love fishing. -Okay. I like looking at fish, going fishing, and eating fish. In the Shimanto River, there is a legendary fish called Japanese lates. Is that so? Large ones can be more than one metre long.

-But you can't find them in other regions. -You can't? -Something must be in the water. -That's right. -Let's go. -Wait, Matsumaru.

It has a different name. "Morinokuni Poppo Onsen." So there is a hot spring here? This is great. We wanted to go to a hot spring. -That's what you said. -Hot spring. Great job, Mr Watanabe.

Let's ask people for recommendation of a hot spring. Yes, let's do that. -We're here in Matsumaru right now. -Yes. Let's look at the time now. -We got off at 12:26 pm. -That's right.

The next one is... at 4:23 pm. -So about... -Four hours. We can't miss that train. -Next, we'll go to Ekawasaki. -Okay.

-I was planning to find a hotel there. -Okay. -Yes. -4:23 pm would be a good time. We have about four hours. -That's a long time. -We can spend 1.5 hours at a hot spring. -Let's look for a good hot spring. -Yes! -Wait. -What?

There's a foot bath. We found one. I'm so happy. -It's a foot bath. -I'd love to try this. -Let's put our feet in it. -Sure. Here I go.

Here I go. It's so warm. It feels amazing. It slowly warms us up. My cold body is warming up now.

I'm feeling warmer now. This is great. Hi there. Sorry to bother you. It's so warm and nice. Is it free to use?

Yes, it is. Do you know any good hot springs around here? -This place. -What? Is this a hot spring? -Yes, it is. -Really? It's connected to a station? That's why it's called Poppo Onsen. You didn't know?

No, I had no idea. This is a station with a hot spring. -Really? -Second floor of the station.

Second floor of the station? Are you leaving now? Yes. How was the bath? -It's very good. -Do you recommend it? -Yes, I do. -Great!

-A hot spring attached to a station? -Yes. -You came without knowing that? -Yes. We just got off the train. -No way. -It's true. -You should try it. -Let's do that.

Thank you very much. Your skin looks great. I just took a bath. Did you enjoy the hot spring? -Yes. -Great.

-Thank you. -Thank you. It's connected to the station. -That's a miracle. -I'm happy. This is incredible.

Shall we go in? Sure, now that I'm warm. -My feet are now warm. -Great. -Now, I'm warm. -Me too. -Foot baths are great. -They really are. Here's Poppo Onsen.

Let's get permission to film. Hello. -Hello. -May I come in? -Let's go in. I'll go ask... -Let's go in. I'll ask for permission to film. On the journey of enquiry and discovery on the JR Yodo Line, the two get off the train at Matsumaru Station and go to a hot spring located inside the station building. Here's Poppo Onsen.

Let's get permission to film. Hello. -Hello. -May I come in? -Let's go in. I'll go ask... -Let's go in. -I'll ask for permission to film. -We'll be back. May we film this place? We're filming today.

What did they say? How did it go? They gave us permission to film the recommended hot spring. We'll go take a bath. Ms Nakajima, please take your time. Please relax in the women's bath.

-Thank you very much. -It'll warm you up. Having a natural hot spring inside of a station building is quite rare. They have a rock bath with a waterfall, as well as an open-air bath with a great view.

Travellers can come here to relax and freshen up. The water is very clear. The transparency is quite high. It feels like face lotion soaking into my skin.

Even though I'm an old man, my skin will be nice and smooth after I take a bath at Poppo Onsen. The third entry in the guidebook is Morinokuni Poppo Onsen! They were lucky to find a hot spring inside of a station. -That was amazing. -How did you like it? My body is very warm now. You're glowing.

Finally, my hands are back to being warm. Even though I'm an old man, my skin is now very smooth. You look even younger now. Let's keep going. -I feel so warm now. -Great. -The sun is out now. -It's incredible.

The rain has stopped. We still have a bit of time here, right? That's right. -Shall we walk around, then? -Sure.

-Hello. -Hello. May we ask you a few questions? We just went to the hot spring, and we're on a trip on the local line. What were you just doing? Picking flowers.

They're beautiful. By picking them, the flowers become -even prettier. -That's right. -I do it because I'm bored. -I see. -The two of us are on a trip right now. -Okay. -Do you have any recommendations? -Well... -Sorry to bother you. I'm Yoichi Watanabe. -Sorry.

We're on a trip on the local line. We haven't had lunch yet. -Oh, no. -Go to Tommy's. -Sorry? Tommy? -Tommy. It's at that corner.

-At the crossroad there? -That's right. I wonder if it's open. -Tommy? -What kind of a store is it? -It's a cafe. -It's a local cafe. Is it open? What food do you recommend from there? -Different things. -What do you like to get? -We usually get set meals. -Set meals.

Spaghetti, for example. -Spaghetti? -Like Napolitan? They're particular about their food. It's not open? -You're going to call them? Thank you. -Sorry. -I appreciate it. -They're my relatives. -Your relatives? -Really? It's Mr Watanabe, the photographer.

-War photographer. -They're filming a show here. They're looking for a place to eat. Are you sure? I'll tell them to come to you then.

Great. Thank you. -They said okay? -Yes. -It's over there. -There? -Tommy, at the corner? -Yes, over there.

-Right there. -What do you usually get there? Okonomiyaki. -Okonomiyaki? -I often get that. What else? We're quite hungry. What would you recommend from their menu?

Their okonomiyaki is quite filling. -Great. -Spaghetti too. That sounds good too. -They're particular about their food. -I can't eat it all. I see. -Do people here love the place? -Yes, we do.

Tommy is close from here. That's great information. Tommy, here we come. Trips are fun. -Yes. -There's Tommy.

That was very quick. This is it! It says "a store with original pasta." -That's true. -Great. They do have okonomiyaki. -Yes. -Tommy.

Hello. Hello. -Welcome. -Sorry to bother you.

We called earlier. They highly recommended this place. May we come in? -Hello. This looks great. -Excuse me. Great place. You spoke with my husband's cousin. Is that so? Sorry to come so suddenly.

-Come on in. -Sorry. This is a cafe that has been popular with the locals since 1972. (Cafe Tommy) The owner fell sick and is currently in hospital. So his wife and son are managing the cafe at the moment. There are many things on the menu.

-I see their okonomiyaki. -It's the famous okonomiyaki. Where's the pasta? -They're over here. -There are many kinds. It's a pasta shop. -Yes, proper pasta. -Awesome.

This one with green perilla and garlic looks good. For me... -Okonomiyaki? -I'll go for it.

-It was recommended earlier. -I'll get the pasta then. I want either the old-fashioned Napolitan -or Pepperoncino. -Okay. Napolitan or Pepperoncino. -Which one? -Napolitan.

-Napolitan, after all? -Old-fashioned Napolitan. I like it. It has a western taste. -That's right. -Over there. The previous owner of the store made this. It's my grandpa who passed away. Here it is. What is it?

-It's for me. -Ms Nakajima. It looks great. It has a lot of different things inside.

The salad looks great too. -So this is your famous Napolitan. -That's right. -Tommy's Napolitan. -It looks great. -They're bouncy and shiny. -Thank you for it.

It's good. This is it! Something is coming out. -It's the egg. -At the bottom. It's a bit like omelette. They put a thinly-cooked egg under the pasta. The pasta tastes great with the egg mixed in.

The colourful vegetables and an iron plate, -it really is old-fashioned Napolitan. -Yes. Another dish that's popular at the cafe is okonomiyaki served on an iron plate. They are cut into bite-size pieces so it's easy to eat. Here it is! -Look at that. -Here you go. Amazing. It looks great.

It's almost coming out of the pan. -I already cut it so it's easy to eat. -Okay. It looks great. Thank you for it. Here it goes. Tommy's okonomiyaki that's still hot. -I'll take a big bite. -Sure.

How is it? How is it? It's very good. It looks amazing. I like the sauce. It's also fluffy. It looks fluffy. The outside is crispy.

-Then it gets fluffy. -Nice. It looks great. I'll take a bite too.

-Very good. -This is great. Why is it so fluffy? -It's incredible. -Because it's served on an iron plate, I feel like I'm in an okonomiyaki shop. -That's the feeling. -I see.

The fourth entry in the guidebook is Cafe Tommy and their original speciality dishes. The food was great. The coffee is very good too. -It tastes great. -Thank you very much. Actually, we're planning to go to Ekawasaki today.

That's where we will finish for the day. -Do you know any place to stay? -Place to stay? Place to stay... Oh! There is a hotel named Seira Shimanto. Seira Shimanto. -Yes. -Have you been there? I've visited the place, but I haven't stayed there.

-Is that so? -Yes. Do you have their phone number? Phone number? -Sure. -You do? What is the hotel like? -What do you recommend? -The staff there. -They have great hospitality. -That's right.

Do you recommend this hotel? Yes, I do. We need to check it out. -Thank you. -Thank you. It's time to negotiate for rooms. We'd like to have two single rooms for two adults. Would you have rooms available? Today, we only have rooms that are more spacious.

That sounds wonderful. Understood. In that case... They also accepted to be filmed.

But they can't prepare dinner for them as it was a last-minute booking. So they will have dinner somewhere else, and the hotel will come pick them up. - Bye. -Bye. Wonderful. We've booked rooms.

Thank you very much. I actually love fishing. -Shimanto is known for Japanese lates. -Okay.

Is there any place where I could see or touch fish? Yes, there's a place called Osakana-kan in the roadside station in Matsuno Town. They have Japanese lates. -They have them. -That's great. -Live Japanese lates? -That's right. -I'd love to see that. -But the time...

How long will it take to walk? It's a short walk. -Within five minutes. -We can go then. We can still make it to the 4:23 pm train. Yeah, yeah. -We'll just go check it out quickly. -We'll have to be quick. Thank you.

Thank you. Bye. -Thank you. -Thank you. -Sakana-kan. Osakana-kan. -Great. We don't have time.

-We have about 23 minutes left. -Yes, 23 minutes. -It's a five-minute walk. -Yes. We can quickly go look at it and come back.

-If I could see the lates, I'd be happy. -Okay. -So nice. I can't believe it was raining. -That's true. The river looks pretty. -I see the Osakana-kan. -Yeah! -It's cute. -Will we be able to go in?

It's an aquarium. (Nijinomori Park Osakana-kan) -Hello. -Hello. We want to see live Japanese lates.

-We'll have to film it quickly. -Okay. -I'll wait. -I'll be back. Since we don't have time, only Mr Watanabe is going to see the fish. I'll go look at the fish and come running back.

After getting permission to film, the cameraman goes to find Mr Watanabe. There are so many of them. There are many Japanese lates. This is the legendary fish.

There are so many live Japanese lates here. The legendary fish. When light is cast on them in the darkness, their eyes glow red, which is why they are called "red eyes" in Japan. In recent years, the number of them has decreased a lot, which is why it is often called a legendary fish. The area around the mouth of the Shimanto River is one of their habitats that are now rare in Japan.

-We don't have time, so let's go. -Let's go. -Here they are. So quick. -Great. -They were quick. -I've never seen that many.

-It was full of Japanese lates. -That's great! -I've never seen that many. -Perfect. -Okay, let's go. -Let's go. -I'm very happy. -Great, but we don't have time.

Will we make it? We'll make it. It's around 4:11 pm right now. I'm glad we made it back in time. -I'm glad. -Great. The next station is Ekawasaki Station, which will be our last station of the day. We've secured a place to stay.

If we could find a place that locals recommend where we could have some drinks, and if we could make that an entry, -that would be great. -Okay, let's go. Let's go. (Ehime Prefecture, Kochi Prefecture) Ekawasaki Station is four stations away. Before heading to the hotel, they will look for a good place to eat. (Ehime Prefecture, Kochi Prefecture, Kita-Uwajima, Matsumaru, Ekawasaki, Wakai) -What is that shape? -What? Is it that unique? The shape looks familiar. What is it? Is that shaped like a bullet train? -What? -It's the shape of a bullet train.

I've never seen anything like this. Interesting. A playful tourist train. The shape was inspired by the first bullet train of the Zero series which was launched in 1964. (4:23 pm) Hello.

Excuse me. May we sit next to you? Great. Thank you. The train has been in operation for five years in hopes to have their own bullet train, which currently doesn't exist in Shikoku.

The train has just entered Kochi Prefecture. The train really runs along the river. -It's now very sunny. -Yes. (Ekawasaki Station) In 24 minutes, they'll arrive at Ekawasaki Station in Kochi Prefecture. -Thank you. -Thank you.

(4:47 pm) Thank you. -Nice. -Oh? (Kita-Uwajima to Ekawasaki, Destination Wakai) It feels nice.

It really looks like a bullet train of the Zero series. For the bullet train generation, this is perfect. The train is not leaving right away. (5:00 pm) Actually, -there are not many stores around. -No. You're right.

Let's walk around. We might find a scenic view point. We haven't decided -where to get dinner. -That's right. -We can also make that an entry. -Yes, let's do that.

-I want to get some information. -Yes, that would be good. -Hello, sorry to bother you. -Hello. -Sorry for the suddenness. -Sure.

We're on a local train journey and we took trains from Uwajima. We're going to spend the night in Ekawasaki. -But we'd like local food before that. -I see. Keep walking straight.

There's a Japanese pub called Minya. -A pub sounds great. -It's over there. -You should try that place. -Do you go there often?

-Yes, I do. -What do you recommend there? -At Minya. -You should go there. Seafood and river fish... -From the river too? -Yes. -Do they have some local sake too? -Yes, they do. -So it's a pub that you recommend? -That's right.

-Great. -Check it out. What is it called again? -Minya. -Minya. How long will it take to walk? After the bridge, it'll be quick. There's a roadside station. -After that, it's right there. -Are they already open? -Yes, they are. -Minya sounds great.

A local pub with river fish. That sounds great. Thank you very much. -Thank you. -We'll walk there. -He looked cool. -He was nice. Let's go to Minya.

The river looks pretty. -Could you? -Sure. I'm not sure if my phone works. -I'd like to take a selfie with you. -That's a great phone. -What's on it? -It's Swarovski. -Swarovski on your phone? -That's right.

Can I take a selfie with you? Something like this. Here we go. Which way should the direction of light be? -That looks good. -Ready?

-Say cheese. Please look here. -Over here? Say cheese. So this is called a selfie? Yes, a selfie. -What did you think? -It's interesting. This is the Shimanto River, right? -Is it already? Earlier, it was Hiromi. -Yes.

I see the roadside station. Do you? -It looks spacious. -It looks fashionable. -What? -What? -Hello. -Hello.

-Actually, -Yes? we're on a journey on the local line. We want to eat at a local restaurant. Earlier, we heard about... Minya. -Minya. -Minya, yeah. It's behind this building.

They have grilled sweetfish. -Grilled sweetfish. -That sounds good. Great.

They can probably also make you some sea lettuce tempura. Do you recommend Minya? -Yes, I do. -Great. We'll go there. Sorry we bothered you at work.

-No problem. -Bye. Thank you. -There's a nice store. -Yes, I see it. -It says "Minya." -Oh, yeah. -It looks very nice. -Minya.

It really does. I can see why everyone recommended it. -Me too. -It looks wonderful. -Let's ask for permission to film. -Let's do that. The middle-aged man who mentioned the store to the two had actually called the store to let them know that they were coming. So...

-Thank you very much. -Thank you. They said okay. It's a wonderful place. -I can see why everyone recommended it. -Yes.

-We're coming in. -Let's go in. Excuse me. Minya opened 10 years ago.

The store name was chosen in hopes of making this place a home for everyone. The two requested the hotel to pick them up at 7 pm. Until then, they will enjoy the Shimanto dishes. -May we order? We'll get drinks first. -Okay.

-Some hot sake would be nice. -Let's get the hot local sake. Okay. For the food, -we'll get the sea lettuce tempura. -Yes. -We'll also have grilled sweetfish, and... -Sure.

Do you have jakoten too? It's an Uwajima speciality, and we're near the prefectural border of Ehime. We buy jakoten from that area. -We'll have one jakoten, please. -Okay. -Would you like some shrimp? -That sounds good.

Any shrimp? We serve Yamato shrimp here. -Yamato shrimp? -Yamato shrimp? I've never tried that. -You should try it. -Sure, we'll get some of that.

Which prefecture are we in now? It's Kochi Prefecture. -We've crossed the borders. -I see. So they have good sake. Now, we see more and more words associated with Kochi.

Here's the hot sake. Great! -Here you go. -Thank you very much. -That's a great sake bottle. -Thank you very much. It smells great. -Thank you very much for today. -Thank you. I hope tomorrow will be nice too.

I hope so too. Thank you for it. Very nice.

It has depth and flavour. I'm glad to be Japanese. The first dish served is the jakoten, which they enjoyed freshly-fried earlier at the factory. The burnt parts give a nice aroma. The fish meat is tight.

The fish flavour is enhanced with this one. The next one is grilled sweetfish from the Shimanto River. It's an all-natural fish that the owner's father caught with a cast net. It's huge. -It looks like it's swimming. -Yes.

Great. Go for it. It looks good. How is it? This is exquisite! There's a good amount of salt, and the skin has a great aroma. (Shimanto River sea lettuce tempura 1,250 yen) They also try fresh sea lettuce tempura harvested from the Shimanto River. I can hear the crunch.

Very good. I love the smell. The smell wafted out. I smelled it before I ate it. It's very good. Deep-fried Yamato shrimps, which can only be found in clear streams.

A luxury dish! They're a perfect size, like shrimp snacks. It's shrimp, no matter how you look at it. They're crispy and have a rich flavour. It smells like sakura shrimp. It has a delicate flavour. -Like sweet shrimp and lobster combined. -Exactly.

-That kind of flavour. -Yes. -Thank you. -It's all gone now. The rich and great food of Shimanto fill their hearts too. The fifth entry in the guidebook is the local pub Minya, where they serve various kinds of Shimanto specialities.

Subtitles: SDI Media Group

2021-03-09 13:06

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