Season 1, Episode 2
The second of three programmes in which Joanna Lumley explores the country and culture of Japan. Joanna starts her journey this time round by flying over the city of Tokyo in a helicopter. The city was bombed extensively during the Second World War, so almost all of Tokyo has been rebuilt over the last 70 years – a symbol of Japan’s post-war economic boom that saw it become the world’s second largest economy. Later, Joanna meets fashion designer and internationally-known artist Minori, who wears Shinori make up, meaning her face is white and reminiscent of the traditional geisha look.
Joanna’s 2,000 mile journey through Japan as she explores some of the most uncharted corners of the country’s 6,800 mystical islands. In Hokkaido, Joanna traverses the island’s areas of outstanding natural beauty, meeting some of the country’s most endangered wild animals en route, before heading south towards Tokyo and the ancient capital of temple-filled Kyoto. On foot she takes in the forgotten island of Shikoku – one of Japan’s four main islands – home to the Iya Valley and the yuzu fruit flavours now becoming popular in UK supermarkets. Finally, after exploring the geologically active region of Kyushu with its volcanic landscape and abundance of hot springs, Joanna finishes her journey in Kohama, one of Japan’s smallest and most remote pacific islands, luxuriating on its idyllic beaches.