Now Joanna’s trav­els take her to Ja­pan

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Television -

From the icy Siberian seas of the north to the sub­trop­i­cal is­lands of the south, Ja­pan’s 6,800 mys­ti­cal is­lands are places full of end­less dis­cov­ery.

Fol­low­ing on from the suc­cess of her last travel- based se­ries, Joanna Lum­ley’s Trans-Siberian Ad­ven­tures, in which the ac­tress, model and ac­tivist jour­neyed from her child­hood home city of Hong Kong all the way to Moscow, here is an­other prob­ing, in­sight­ful and beau­ti­ful travel doc­u­men­tary (Joanna Lum­ley’s Ja­pan, Fri­day, ITV, 9pm).

The three-part se­ries will fol­low Joanna as she trav­els to the far reaches of Ja­pan, tak­ing view­ers on an ad­ven­ture ex­plor­ing some of the most un­charted cor­ners of the coun­try.

Joanna will jour­ney over 2000 miles trav­el­ling across Ja­pan by boat, train, plane and foot.

From rus­tic moun­tains to sprawl­ing metropoli­tan su­per cities, she dis­cov­ers a beau­ti­ful, yet of­ten­per­plex- ing, coun­try of ex­tremes and gives view­ers a unique in­sight into the peo­ple who make up th­ese en­chant­ing is­lands and their rich cul­ture.

And the whole ad­ven­ture was an eye-open­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for Lum­ley.

She says: “Isn’t it odd, we feel we are so fa­mil­iar with Ja­pan, with sushi and Toshiba, ki­monos and Hello Kitty, tsunamis and sake... and yet when we trav­elled around that spec­tac­u­lar coun­try I couldn’t even guess at the un­known won­ders that were in store for us.

“Ev­ery mo­ment was thrilling, fas­ci­nat­ing and of­ten very mov­ing. With my hand on my heart I can say: please come with me to Ja­pan!”

The Ab­so­lutely Fab­u­lous star starts tonight in Ja­pan’s ‘wild north’, in Hokkaido - one of the four main is­lands, where she meets one of the most im­por­tant an­i­mals in Ja­panese cul­ture, the red-crowned cranes.

Leav­ing the coun­try­side be­hind her, she heads to Sap­poro her first Ja­panese city.

She ar­rives dur­ing the mid­dle of the an­nual Snow Fes­ti­val, and meets mem­bers of the lo­cal in­dige­nous com­mu­nity, the Ainu.

Trav­el­ling south, Joanna vis­its a brew­ery that has been mak­ing sake since 1689 and walks to see one of the old­est Pago­das in Ja­pan, dat­ing back to the 10th cen­tury and con­structed en­tirely out of wood with no nails.

Next she trav­els into the Fukushima ex­clu­sion zone, where a huge tsunami dev­as­tated the nu­clear power plant in 2011, and vis­its Jigoku­dani Ons en which is not full of peo­ple, but Ja­panese Macaques or snow mon­keys.

Over 150 of them come down from the frozen moun­tains ev­ery morn­ing and spend most of the day en­joy­ing the steam­ing hot waters.

Like many tourists, Joanna takes a Shinkansen (bull et train) from Nagano to Tokyo, the cap­i­tal of Ja­pan and world’s largest me­trop­o­lis; where it’s time to em­brace Ja­pan’s post war eco­nomic boom.

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