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Learn Japanese with Henry Golding!
Henry makes a comeback through this brand new journey to conquer the Land of the Rising Sun. He kicks off his great adventure in Hokkaido, the second largest and least developed of Japan’s four main islands with a Japanese local. They also explore the popular zoological garden, Asahiyama Zoo, learns of rare moss balls, and goes canoeing at the Shiretoko Lake. From indulging in the beauty of the Biei Hills, to facing staggering cold temperatures at the Ice Pavilion, to experiencing wetlands ecosystems at the Kushiro-shitsugen National Park, he spends his first days in Japan with the unspoiled nature of Hokkaido.
Henry lands in the Tohoku region where he visits the historical Chusonji Temple and its Konjikido, which literally means Golden Hall, one of the most magnificent twelfth century structures that is still well-preserved. He travels from Morioka to Sendai and learns about the art of making kokeshi dolls at the Kokeshi Doll Museum. Since Tohoku is well-known for its countrysides, mountains, and lakes, he travels to Tashiro Island and Iimoro Mountain for their picturesque scenery. As an avid foodie, he also experiences a traditional way of eating soba noodles by using green onions in place of chopsticks at a local village. He finally ends his experience in Tohoku with a stay at Ouichi Inn.
Arriving in Kanto via night train, Henry winds down at the Kusatsu Hot Springs, where he experiences a unique Yumomi dance performed that is used to adjust the water temperatures naturally without using cold water. The next day, he continues his exploration in the town of Minakami through an adrenaline-pumping session of water rafting, bungee jumping and camping. Later, he travels back in time in Edo Period at the Edo Wonderland Nikko, exploring the streets of the village in their traditional clothing. Also watch Henry transform into a colourful Japanese cosplay character at the Jupiter Cosplay Shop. Before travelling to Central Tokyo, he gains new insights to railways in Japan at the Railway Museum. He finally enjoys some alone time at a Solitary Karaoke session and Purikura Shop that have been popular among young people here.
As Henry continues his journey in Tokyo, he starts his morning early at the Tsukiji Fish Market where he learns how to cut Meguro and prepare sushi with a Japanese local. They also experience eating and training with sumo wrestlers at a local Sumo training centre. After an exhausting training session, they explore some of the best of Tokyo which includes the Tokyo Skytree, baseball game at the Tokyo Dome, and batting cage. They also visit Shinjuku’s famed Robot Restaurant that features exploring Japanese rock sounds, crazy dancing girls, and Japanese drum performance, accompanied by intense lighting. Henry’s Tokyo experience closes at the Studio Ghibli animation film studio as well as shopping at Akibahara.
Upon arrival in Chubu, Henry kicks off his exploration by hiking up Mount Fuji with a Japanese local. Later, they explore a theme park near the mountain base, called Fuji-Q Highland, that is known for its fun rides and attractions. After cycling around Hida City and having fun at the Takayama Festival, they head over to Shirakawa-go, the historical village, to experience its unique architecture and attractions. Later, Henry hears of a world of ice that never melts even in the middle of summer and insists on visiting the Narusawa Hyoketsu caves. Finally, their adventure in Chubu tones down at the spring waters of Oshino Hakkai is made out of underground water from Mount Fuji.
Henry travels to Osaka to experience standing on Japan’s tallest building, Abeno Harukasu. He visits Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum right after, the only art museum in the world that exhibits ukiyoe paintings where he also learns how to create ukiyoe paintings. Exploring a different side of himself, Henry learns about being a geisha in the city. He enters the grounds of Nijo Castle and Kyoto’s most popular geisha district in Gion to experience the culture and lifestyle back in the Edo Period. The child in him lights up as he transform into a ninja at the Iga Ryu Ninja Museum dedicated to the history of ninja and ninjutsu. To end his trip in Kansai, he gets a taste of a monk’s lifestyle through an overnight stay at the temple lodging in Mount Koya.
As one of the most well-known historical moments, a Japanese local introduces to Henry the development of Hiroshima since the war at the Atomic Bomb Dome and pays a visit to one of Japan’s most exalted shrines, Itsukushima Shrine. They also explore the hidden pearls of Hiroshima Bay through oyster boat shucking. As their stomach begin to growl, they go ahead to devour the humongous okonomiyaki micky that includes six noodle servings and two cabbages. Riding on the humongous theme, they also check out a giant calligraphy piece produced on an 8m long paper using a large brush with a 30cm long and 15cm wide head. After shopping at Mizuki Shigeru Road and exploring Tottori Beach, they decide to go sea kayaking. They finally end their stay by chartering a boat offshore to watch the ocean-bound aurora where visitors bask in the captivating vision of bluish white waves.
Henry’s adventure in Shikoku begins at Botchan Train. He attempts cormorant fishing during the day and visits the Dogo onsen at night to relax and unwind. The next day, he experiences the Awa-odori folk dance which is usually performed to welcome the souls of ancestors in the Bon season. Then he samples a local Tosa Tataki Dojo and travels out on boat for some spectacular whale watching.
In Kyushu, Henry visits the Kumamoto Castle which offers one of the most complete castle experiences in Japan with a Japanese local. They also discover the history behind one of Japan’s most famous swordsman and ronin, Miyamoto Mushashi. Later, Henry learns more about Yanagawa punting and the antique Japanese Arita porcelain. At the Nagasaki Penguin Aquarium, they experience penguins not just by making eye contact, but by actually interacting with the wonderful creatures. They also attempt a traditional dry beach fishing method from the Edo Period by catching the unique gobble-eyed Gobi. Wrapping up their journey in Kyushu, they experience garden light illumination at a European resort themed on Holland, Haus Ten Bosch.
In his final adventure in Japan, Henry experiences traveling on monorail to Okinawa where he kicks off with a visit to the Churaumi Aquarium with a Japanese local. Since Okinawa is also known for its Tsuboya pottery, they decide to explore the Yomitan Pottery Village. With plans to fulfill Henry’s lack of martial arts training, they challenge themselves to a karate training session at the place where this art was birthed. At the old folk houses of Ryukyu-mura, they experience the simple sounds of the shamisen and the locals’ traditional ways of life. After admiring the limestone caves at Gyokusen Cave, they drop by Shuri Castle to discover more about the Ryukyu Kingdom. And finally, Henry wraps up his entire Japan adventure diving in the near-perfect waters of Zamami and Gahi Island.
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