Japanese newscaster Norio Fukutome introduces his home prefecture of Kochi in this travelogue. Join us as we explore the four corners of Kochi Prefecture, and discover little known cuisine, magnificent views and hot springs while meeting the friendly local people.
This travel touches on the “heart of Tosa" and the gently flowing “time of Kochi." Walking east along Route 55 from Harimaya Bridge to Cape Muroto, the show introduces Tosa's kitchen, the Sunday Market, and Chikurin-ji temple which is one of the Shikoku 88 temple pilgrimage spots, as well as Inakazushi, a sushi that uses yuzu, in Umaji village.
This episode features a journey along Sakamoto Ryoma's route of exit of the Tosa domain. People who we encountered, such as the local guide dressed as Ryoma at a Ryoma-related sake brewery and the landlady of an inn popular with Ryoma fans, had inherited the tough and determined spirit of Ryoma.
This episode introduces the Tosa style of enjoying spring while traveling west on Sukumo Road from Kochi Station. It features Mt. Sonda's Yukiwari cherry blossoms that bloom in February, the first bonitos of the season that bring spring to Tosa, a healing inn along a tributary of Shimanto River and many other things for the enjoyment of spring.
This episode introduces towns in Kochi that you would love to visit. At Akaoka-cho, Kochi's most energetic town, the residents have preserved a kabuki play associated with the Ekin, an ukiyo-e painter from the end of the Edo era. An old man who loves kite-birds and dances in the sky is encountered in Usa-cho, and at Kahoku-cho, the hometown of Fukutome, the river where at which he played as a child is revisited.
Kochi's two major capes, Cape Muroto and Cape Ashizuri, are visited in this episode. At Cape Muroto the show features whale watching with a former whaler and introduces a spot where visitors can play with dolphins. There is also a popular hotel with a beauty treatment that uses deep sea water and, at Cape Ashizuri, there are Shimizu mackerel, which is one of Tosa's brands.
Okinoshima is an island 25 kilometers from the west coast of Kochi. Bamboo decks are on houses built on slopes from which the vast expanse of the ocean can be viewed, perhaps during a sunset while sipping a drink. “Relax and don't be greedy." What the islanders taught us was the importance of nature, something we tend to forget, and a moment of pure bliss.
This episode shows towns that stay warm in the winter and enjoy the spring in Kochi. At Akaoka-cho in February, the fuyu no natsu matsuri (Summer Festival in Winter) is held where people set up kotatsu (a covered table with heating) on the street and drink sake. A guide dressed as Sakamoto Ryoma is encountered at a Ryoma-related town. Also, Kochi's flower viewing spot which has the earliest blossoming of sakura in Japan is introduced.
Yasuda River is known for having a stream that is even clearer than Shimanto River. The most delicious Japanese trout in Japan can be caught in this river. In the town of Yasuda where there are many sake breweries, we tasted legendary sake. This exploration finds spots that arouse feelings of nostalgia such as a street lined with cellars more than 100 years old and a movie theater that has existed since the Showa period.
Kochi Prefecture is 85% forest. The area where summer can be most enjoyed is the mountain region of “Reihoku". Visitors can experience rafting at Yoshino River and enjoy the stars at night. There are even young people who have moved to Reihoku in admiration of its nature. This episode introduces the Tosa style of enjoying the summer from the perspective of those living in Reihoku.
This episode features a journey up to the headwaters of the clear Shimanto River which is 196 kilometers in length, encountering on the way fishermen that cherish the riverside nature. At roadside stations, villagers are met who provide popular local cuisine while savoring the surrounding areas inhabited by people who have inherited traditional kagura (Shinto music and dance) which are more than 1,000 years old.
In the program we encountered about 400 residents of Tosa (Kochi), these people have fervor that is similar to Latin countries. They are bright, friendly and somehow reminiscent of Sakamoto Ryoma. This final episode is a recap, compressing the nature, foods and activities of Kochi that the people of Tosa are so proud of.