Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • So today were racing across the Sea of Japan towards Sado Island, Japan’s 6th biggest

  • island, about 80km off the coast of Niigata.

  • As always I’m joined by my good friend Ryotaro on this trip.

  • Have you been to Sado Island before?

  • Yes when I was 10.

  • What about 60 years ago?

  • No 33 years ago to be accurate.

  • It might be 80km away into the sea of Japan, but Sado Island has played an important role

  • in Japanese history, as both a place of exile and Japan’s primary source of gold.

  • Were off on a two day trip to explore the island, from it’s fresh local cuisine, to

  • it’s stunning temples and beaches.

  • But our first stop is the goldmine that once drove the island’s economy and funded the

  • Japanese government for several centuries.

  • A goldmine which, today, is inhabited by dozens of terrifying robots.

  • From the future

  • In Tokyo you can go to Robot restaurant, but in Sado you can go to a robot mine.

  • Were the only ones down here because it’s off-peak season, so there’s not many people around.

  • But there are hundreds of robots working their way through the mine, hammering away.

  • It’s impressive but it’s also a little bit creepy as theyre made so well, that

  • theyre almost life-like.

  • This guy here, he’s timbering.

  • But he’s missing.

  • He’s not doing a very good job is he.

  • He’s smiling but he’s missing.

  • I’d have him fired.

  • There’s no two ways about it.

  • Look at him.

  • As well as being genuinely terrifying, the robots helps to put the grim reality of life

  • in the mine in perspective.

  • Open from 1601 to 1989, 78 tons of gold and 2,300 tons of silver were successfully mined

  • during it’s 388 years of operation.

  • There’s around 400km of mining tunnels at the Goldmine and the mine has led to one of

  • Sado’s most iconic sights; the mountain above the mine has had the center visibly

  • excavated over the centuries, to look, like Pacman’s mouth.

  • But looking at the terraformed mountain really helps you to appreciate the mining operations

  • sense of scale.

  • After visiting the mine we decided to go panning for some gold of our own.

  • And the power hungry Ryotaro didn’t waste time trying to unearth some new found wealth.

  • Try to make the gold sink to the bottom.

  • Your’e trying really hard.

  • Yes.

  • It only took 25 minutes.

  • How many?

  • Three.

  • Didn’t you hear me.

  • Three.

  • How are you going to spend your new found wealth?

  • Big mac.

  • There wasn’t even any deliberation.

  • You remind me a bit of Gollum when he found the ring, the way youre looking at that gold.

  • After Ryotaro had become rich beyond his wildest dreams, we headed inland, to one of Sado’s

  • oldest and most secluded temples, dating back over 1,200 years.

  • Like a poor man’s Emperor.

  • If you were Emperor what would you be called?

  • Ryohito.

  • Ryohito!

  • Man of the people.

  • What would you call yourself if you were King.

  • Chris the third.

  • Chris the first.

  • So why does this place look so much like Kiyomizudera in Kyoto.

  • There was monk in the year 808 who came over here and met the people who were exiled and

  • the normal local people.

  • He realised it must have been very hard for people to travel to Kyoto, as back then it

  • took weeks.

  • Well they didn’t have buses.

  • Exactly.

  • So they actually built a smaller version of Kiyomizu dera temple.

  • If you can’t join them, beat them.

  • Build your own temple.

  • Exactly.

  • Just build it.

  • It’s a faithful replica though, albeit a lot quieter than Kiyomizu dera temple.

  • The one in Kyoto has millions of tourists, but here I don’t find anyone other than

  • us.

  • Yeah it’s nice to be at a temple and not have the sound of iPhone camera shutters going

  • off every five seconds.

  • Sado is also home to Niigata prefectures only five storey pagoda, which two generations

  • of carpenters 30 years to craft and construct.

  • And once again, weve got the whole place to ourselves.

  • Before heading out to dinner, we check in to our hotel for an hour.

  • It always amazes me how quickly humans go into a nice clean tidy hotel room and do this.

  • Just fill it full of junk.

  • And here’s the main culprit himself.

  • For dinner, were lucky to visit one of Sado islands best restaurants called Seisuke

  • Next door.

  • Looking very smart today.

  • A handsome young man.

  • Well, handsome old man.

  • Unlike you.

  • With your $5 dollar sweatshirts and $20 jeans from Camden market.

  • Camden market?

  • This is what the youth of today wear.

  • It’s cool.

  • Youth of today?

  • I think youve got the wrong definition of the youth of today.

  • The beloved viewers of this channel will back me up that this is great.

  • No theyll backfire you for god’s sake.

  • Theyll backfire me?

  • What does that even mean.

  • Tonight were in good hands.

  • Restaurant Seisuke’s chef, Chef Kuniaki Osaki, is one Sado Island’s best chefs,

  • having trained at a 3 michelin star restaurant in France.

  • He takes great pride in the fresh locally sourced ingredients; even the bottled war

  • is collected by Chef Osaki himself from one of Sado’s many natural springs.

  • Oh my god.

  • Wow

  • It’s on a rock.

  • It’s on wood and rock.

  • Wow.

  • You know the food’s going to be good when it comes out on a rock and a tree.

  • It’s always a good sign.

  • Ok, now food report.

  • Food report.

  • Excellent.

  • I can’t talk.

  • It’s the sparkling wine.

  • It’s an interesting, exciting mix of textures.

  • The crunchiness of the bread, the softness of the cheese, the succulent texture of the

  • cod.

  • Youre getting better!

  • (FINAL SECTION OF VIDEO SCRIPT - below)

  • It smells fantastic, the mushrooms in particular.

  • It’s the mushrooms sauce isn’t it.

  • The fish is very soft but it’s got the bouncy texture to it.

  • The bouncy texture?

  • And you ridicule me for my food criticisms.

  • I’ve never referred to a fish as bouncy.

  • It’s very bouncy, what a muppet.

  • It’s bouncy isn’t it!

  • It’s very good though, the fish is very tender.

  • This is sake kasu sauce.

  • People are going to start thinking that this channel is just based on beef, which I don’t

  • have a problem with.

  • Apart from the fact vegans probably hate me.

  • So come on food critic does it melt in your mouth?

  • Were not using that phrase ever again.

  • Although it does melt in your mouth.

  • This is honestly one of the best cuts of beef I’ve had.

  • This is Sado beef.

  • It’s quite rare you can only get it here.

  • Beef that you can only get on Sado Island.

  • Yeah because of the number of cows.

  • It’s certainly less fatty that Kobe beef, which I can’t eat because it’s too fatty.

  • This is amazing.

  • We might as well rename this channel to the Beef channel.

  • Beef in Japan.

  • Cheese, salmon, butter, citrus fruit, potato salad and ham.

  • It’s a pretty exquisite little breakfast.

  • Now were talking.

  • Eggs and bacon.

  • The only thing were missing now is sausages.

  • Nice big British pork sausages.

  • That would downgrade the whole thing you know.

  • Downgrade it?

  • I mean with German sausages it’d be perfect.

  • Please ask the Germans.

  • German people please write.

  • British sausages are better.

  • There can be no debate.

  • I’m not against German sausages, but British sausages the pork is better quality.

  • Have you lived in the UK?

  • Bloody 4 years.

  • Have you lived in Germany?

  • Bloody two and a half years.

  • So I can seriously compare.

  • And unfortunately I prefer German sausages.

  • Why?

  • Because they taste better.

  • Youre just trying to annoy me.

  • Shut up and eat your luxurious premium breakfast.

  • When you leave a Japanese hotel, a lot of the staff often come out the front like this.

  • It’s great.

  • A bit awkward but very nice.

  • Thank you.

  • Very nice staff.