How to explain this corner of comedy to those who haven't watched british automotive programme's before? Well you are missing out but bottom line, it's great. Utter class. And this follows somewhat in that same vein but is a great first introduction to national treasure James May as he takes a filming crew from the northern to southern ends of Japan as he really takes in the culture and hilarity ensues. It's two of my favorite countries blending together, and is produced expertly though I suspect the crew was minimal. The special is split into 6 episodes each about an hour long, so really each third of the series takes place in a third of Japan, from the frozen north of Hokkaido, to the megalopolis of Osaka and Tokyo, to the southern island Shikoku with lots inbetween. It's a difficult show to describe but an incredibly easy one to experience and enjoy. It's not outright comedy but because the host is such a hilarious and brilliant man you will be laughing frequently. I was almost in tears at one point, and it was very difficult to breathe. So besides the 2 years of my life stolen by loss of oxygen, there's more to compliment. The footage is beautiful, I don't think I need to really say that, it's Japan, the day I stop calling it beautiful is the day this show ends. I love the variety of things shown and done in this series, so much it's hard to list it all, but it goes beyond just going to Tokyo and lolligagging about. They take snow dogs out for a run, perform archery, paint, write haiku, try lots of different cuisine, go to a comedy show, do a bit of not gambling, they even somehow bust out not one but two mech suits to play about with. It really does take in the full breadth of that country and shows a lot more than you would think. Wink wink, nudge nudge. And on that bombshell....it's an immensely humorous, fun adventure, with a unashamedly candid point of view at this strange wonderful country that I think you'll very much enjoy. 4 stars, I dare give it a 10/10, though I wanted so so many more episodes. Just give the trailer a watch to see if it strikes your fancy, and I will see you and Mr. May next time on a cooking show.
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