All About Japan

4 Americans on a Mission of Tohoku Discovery

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The New York office of the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has produced a series of four videos to promote the northeastern Tohoku (東北) region of Japan. In autumn 2017, the JNTO sent four Americans up to Japan's north: two from New York, one from Boston and one from Los Angeles. Find out why they call Tohoku "Really a special place"!

The dynamic videography seems to reference the rocket-zooms and musical beats of JNTO Europe's highly successful 2016 video, Japan—Where tradition meets the future. The first video in the Tohoku features visits to two classic Tohoku autumn leaves spots: Oirase Mountain Stream (奥入瀬渓流・Oirase Keiryu) and Lake Towada (十和田湖・Towada-ko).

Episode 2 starts at Appi Kogen Ski Resort (安比高原スキー場・Appi Kogen Ski-jo), then moves on to the introduction of a key item of Tohoku cuisine: wanko soba, noodles eaten from a series of small bowls called wanko. There's also a stop at the charming Tono Furusato Village (遠野ふるさと村・Tono Furusato-mura), a recreated historical village with thatched-roof houses and a pristine stream with a water wheel.

The sumptuous Episode 3 brings the quartet to a deeper level of Tohoku: Geibikei Gorge (猊鼻渓) and Chuson-ji Temple (中尊寺), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You might recognize the opening video style and music from Osamu Hasegawa's brilliant Kyoto Japan—Hyper Motion, released in 2015.

The story ends in Matsushima (松島), not just to take in one of the Three Great Views of Japan, but also to try some very fresh shellfish!

It's quite the tour! As Herb Galang of New York observes, "Everywhere you look, there really is something breathtaking. There's something magical about it all." All four travelers agree: It's time to "Go Tohoku!"