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"Learn something interesting about the town you are in from a local."
Local: Ahh, hi!
Chris: Good morning!
Local: Good morning!
Chris: How are you?
[Fog horn blares in distance]
My favourite thing in Japan ever.
Grilled meat on a skewer.
[Groovy intro music]
Good morning guys, and welcome back to Journey Across Japan: Never Ending Cycle of Despair
Look at this bridge!
Oh my God. This.
I cycled over this yesterday.
4,050 metres of glory.
Yesterday was one hell of a day, I cycled the Shimanami Kaido straight across the Inland Sea of Japan.
It was probably my favourite day of the trip so far,
just because of the scenic views along the way.
I highly recommend you go back and check it out, if you wanna see the most beautiful place in all of Japan.
So today, we're cycling to Mastuyama City.
A city famous for having the best known onsen in all of Japan,
as well as a castle majestically placed on a mountain
in the centre of the city, and thus it must be very good.
Okay, it's time for today's daily challenge.
These are challenges sent in by you guys, and stuffed in to Anpanman's head.
Today's challenge is...
ripped in to pieces!
Learn something interesting about the town you are in from a local.
Cool, that's an easy one I think.
Just gotta try and track down a local when we get in to Matsuyama
Arrrrgh, God.
My legs are so stiff from yesterday's incredibly long cycle.
When I got out of bed this morning, I sort of stood up, and just fell over on my face.
I really don't wanna go. Do y'know when you have a view before you
that looks well, looks as good as this.
You just wanna stand there all day.
I've already been here 30-40 minutes,
and I just don't wanna move.
But we've gotta go, this is Journey Across Japan, there's no time for such luxuries as standing around.
We've got a cycle to finish. [Bike bell rings]
To Matsuyama!
Having arrived in Shikoku, Japan's fourth largest island,
my time here is somewhat short lived.
I'm here for just one day.
To explore the island's largest city of Mastuyama.
Before my journey by ferry this evening takes me back over the Inland Sea, and in to the city of Hiroshima.
But first thing's first. I need to find a local willing to drag a dishevelled British guy around Matsuyama for the rest of the day.
Oh wow. Look at that.
So I've got an entire beach to myself, there's not a single person on it.
Ahh, except for two people and a dog... over there...
It feels like I'm in Okinawa again.
I haven't been to Okinawa in 2 or 3 years, but this is kinda what it looked like.
So guys, I've gotta try and find someone to show me around Matsuyama city.
Uhh, a local... that's gonna be difficult.
In Japan, things don't happen spontaneously. They always require some kind of element of forward planning.
But what I do know, it my good Japanese friend Ryotaro.
He was recently in Matsuyama, and I know for a fact that he knows lots of people 'round it.
So I'm gonna give him a call and see if he knows a colleague, or a friend, or anybody around there who might be willing to show my around for the day.
Uhhhh, okay here we go.
Good morning, Ryotaro! How are you?
Yeah... yeah, I am still alive.
I'll cut to the chase. I'm looking for somebody to show me around Matsuyama city today, it came up as one of the daily challenges.
Do you know anybody in Matsuyama who might be interested to show around a great and respected YouTuber?
Y-yeah, I am the great and respected YouTuber, yes.
When do I want them to show me around?
Uhhhh...
Today.
No, I'm not joking.
Yeah.
Alright.
Okay.
Mastuyama meaning Pine Mountain, is home to half a million people.
But compared to Japan's ridiculous never ending mega-cities, it's got a far more laid back atmosphere.
Epitomised by the street cars calmly snaking their way through the streets.
It's the back drop of the traditional architecture.
As I roll in to town, I not only find the city has a festival going on,
with the streets bustling with vendors selling regional dishes,
but also to my amazement, Ryotaro get's back to me
having arranged for someone to meet me in Matsuyama and show me around for the day.
It's an incredible and admittedly rare stroke of good luck
and I arranged to meet my contact at Matsuyama Castle, on the summit of Mount Katsuyama, in the heart of the city.
Welcome back ladies and gentlemen to Abroad on A Chairlift.
Uhh, we're currently going up to Matsuyama Castle in the traditional way they would have done 500 - 600 years ago.
Of course, this was the only way to ascend mountains back in the Edo era.
So we're meeting Ryotaro's ex-school friend, Kazu, at the top of the mountain.
She's gonna give us a tour for the rest of the day,
around Matsuyama Castle, Dōgo Onsen the famous onsen, and somewhere for lunch.
So, it's all very much in her hands.
There we have it, Matsuyama Castle.
132 m above the city.
Feel like I'm in a spy film.
The only way we know how to meet, is that she's eating oranges, 'cause it's the local dish of Matsuyama.
What's the code word? Oranges.
Chris: Kazu? Kazu: Ah! Hi!
Chris: Good morning! Kazu: Good morning!
Chris: How are you?
Kazu: I-I'm okay?! Hi!
Chris: Enjoying some oranges?
Kazu: Yeah, do you want some?
Chris: I'd love an orange.
Chris: Nice to meet you though. Kazu: Yeah, nice meeting you.
Both: Hajimete mashite! Yoroshiku onegai shimasu! (Nice to meet you for the first time!)
Chris: This is Kazu, she's a friend of Ryotaro! They went to school together.
What do you think of Ryotaro?
Kazu: He's a nice senpai.
Chris: He's a nice senpai. When was the last time you saw Ryotaro?
Kazu: Maybe 3 years ago?
Chris: 3 years ago. I saw him 5 days ago. Ahh, it was fun that was.
Anyway, thanks for meeting us today, thanks for giving us a little tour of Matsuyama before we head to Hiroshima. We don't have much time.
How often do you come up here to Matsuyama Castle?
Kazu: I actually come here once in a week, for exercise.
Chris: Once a week?!
Kazu: Yeah, once a week! Why not?
Chris: You come all the way up here?
Kazu: Yeah, it's only a little walk, walk up the hill.
Chris: 132 metres of walk.
Chris: Right, I had trouble getting up the chairlift. I was tired sitting on the lift let alone walking up 132 metre mountain to a castle really.
Kazu: How is it? Chris: It's really good. Very juicy.
It's always been my dream to sit out front of Matsuyama Castle eating an orange,
and now that dream has come true
Now I'll be the first to admit, I'm not really in to castles, or Japanese history in general.
Yet I always make an effort to visit them due to the fact that castles
are often placed in stunning parts of natural environments.
For 400 years, Matsuyama Castle stood on Mount Katsuyama.
Although like all good Japanese castles,
Although like all good Japanese castles, it got burned down.
Being the highest point in the city may have kept the impregnable fortress safe from enemy troops,
but it also made it an easy target for lightening. Which struck on New Year's Day 1784.
Fortunately though, they rebuilt in the 1800's.
Today, it commands one of the most breathtaking views of any castle in all of Japan.
Kazu: View is nice! Chris: View is nice!
Kazu: The ocean view.
Chris: Yeah you've got the 360° view. You can see the city and thee mountains that side,
and the sea, the Inland Sea, in that direction.
So, gives you a real sense of scale of the city.
Kazu: Entry is strictly prohibited.
Chris: Yeah, you're not allowed to go past that point.
Kazu: Yeah...
Chris: If you do go past that point...
it wouldn't end well that's for sure.
Kazu: So - so comfortable. So peaceful here.
Chris:Relaxing in the castle walls. Kazu:Yeah relaxing, feeling zen.
Chris: Zen. [Both laugh]
Yeeahhh, while the view from the top may be zen.
Falling down the vertical wooden ladders on your way down, certainly isn't.
Oh my God, these are so scary.
I don't know what's more ridiculous. These stairs, or the fact I'm attempting to film it.
If you come to the castle guys, bear in mind you will have to go up and down basically a ladder.
"How did Chris die?" On the stairs of Mastuyama Castle whilst filming it... idiot.
The region around Matsuyama is one of the largest exporters of oranges in the country.
With the fruit becoming something of a local obsession,
and the tap out the front of the castle would suggest that is not an exaggeration.
'Mandarin orange juice from a faucet!"
So it's an orange juice tap.
In Matsuyama it's not water that comes out of the taps, it's orange juice.
So Kazu, I'm known you 'bout 40 minutes. Kazu: Mhmm?
Chris: I get the impression you really like oranges. Kazu: Yeah, I love oranges.
Chris: Because I met you and you were eating oranges, and now we've got orange juice, so... Both: Kampai! (Cheers!)
Chris:What's the story of... why - why... why orange juice?
Kazu: From the tap? Chris: Yeah.
Kazu: So, people believe here people drink orange juice more than water.
Kazu: So, people believe here people drink orange juice more than water. Chris: Wow
Chris: Do you drink more orange juice than water? Kazu: Yeah... Chris: Really?!
Chris: I actually stopped drinking orange juice a long time ago, 'cause I was worried about my teeth being destroyed.
'cause it's so like... acidic...
But, I'll make an exception today. Kazu: Mhmm?
Chris: So we're gonna finish this delicious orange juice then maybe get some lunch. Kazu: Yup!
Chris: So what do you recommend? Kazu: There's a main festival going on, so we can have some street food...
and get orange juice again! Chris: And more - get orange juice again!' cause this isn't enough!!
Having passed through the festival earlier, and seen what was on offer,
there's only one dish I've had on my mind all morning.
Chris: It's so busy isn't it? Kazu: Yeah, it is!
Chris: How often do you eat yakitori?
Kazu: Not as much as I go to Matsuyama Castle.
Chris: And not as much as I do! Which is every week at least.
The key to yakitori's brilliance is the simplicity of the dish.
Cuts of juicy chicken grilled slowly and elegantly over a charcoal grill
with the scent of the sizzling meat drifting across the street to entice you over.
There's only one decision you need to make.
If you want it seasoned with salt, or marinated with sweet tare sauce.
My own preference being salt,
as I'm already sweet enough.
Can't put that in.
Ahh, fuck it, I'll put it in.
Chris: Alright, yakitori. In we go! Kazu:Yaayyy, yakitori!
Chris: My favourite thing in Japan ever.
It's basically the simplest of things. Grilled meat on a skewer flavoured with salt.
Kazu: Itadakimasu! (Thank you for the meal!)
Chris: So juicy. We only got 6. I fear it's not enough.
Kazu: It's enough.
Chris: Hah, for you maybe.
Kazu: You east so fast! Chris: I eat so fast? I'm hungry. I haven't eaten much today.
Chris: It's been a long morning... Cycling, climbed up a castle, I need my chicken.
Ahh, it's so good!
My only advice when eating yakitori is to get the hell away from the stand once you've eaten your skewers.
Otherwise, it won't be long before you're back for more, throwing you precious diet out the window.
Kazu: Ta-da! Dōgo Onsen!
Spirited Away!
Chris: So Dōgo Onsen is actually one of the oldest hot springs in all of Japan.
It's 3,000 years old. Although the building itself was built in 1893.
Infamously immortalised in the film Spirited Away, by Hayao Miyazaki.
There's a scene where the girl's soaking in a hot spring. It's this place, inspired by here.
That's kind of why it's so popular.
That and the incredible architecture, I mean, look at it.
It's not hard to see why Dōgo Onsen has inspired artists such as Hayao Miyazaki
when you step inside and get lost in the labyrinth of corridors, alongside fellow bathers.
For just ¥410 visitors can soak for up to an hour in the famous Kaminoyu Bathhouse.
The tranquil sound of the continuously flowing alkaline spring.
Against the backdrop of the stylish traditional stonework.
Afterwards, bathers can slip in to one of the spa's many rooms, to relax with a cup of matcha green tea.
Kazu and I find ourselves in one such room,
where one of Japan's most famous 20th century authors used to regularly visit in search of inspiration.
So this room we're in now, a famous Japanese writer used to come here,
and write a book called Botchan, which all Japanese people know. His name is Natsumi Sōseki.
Kazu: Natsume Sōseki
Chris: Natsume Sōseki. A bit of a tongue twister that name, isn't it.
Can you say Natsume Sōseki three times quickly?
Kuza: Natsume Sōseki. Natsume Sōseki. Natsume Sōseki.
Chris: Subarashii.(Excellent.)
When you come to this room, that's what you've gotta do. When you stand upon this point guys,
if you come here, Dōgo Onsen, do the tongue twister and then go and get a drink.
Should have known before the day was over, we'd have one more orange based drink.
Chris: What's this? Kazu: Iyokan Highball.
Chris: Iyokan Highball, it's orange juice flavoured whiskey, yayy. It will either work, or not work. Kazu: Kampai!
Chris: It's pretty good! It's pretty good, but very strong. Kazu: Mhmm.
Chris: Heh, there's a cat slowly walking towards us. Here he comes.
He's got no tail! Look at this!
That's not a tail!
Anyway,
yeah maybe he smelled this. Jako-Katsu.
Imagine a crab stick that's been deep fried, and that's essentially what this is.
But better quality than crab sticks.
'cause when you think crab sticks you think crap quality fish.
I must admit I've never been a fan of fish cake, fish sticks, but deep fried it works!
The miracle of food, deep fry anything it tastes 20
How's it felt being on a YouTube video today, Kazu?
Kazu: It was... tough and fun, at the same time.
Chris: Tough and fun!
Chris: Which bit was tough?
Kazu: You have to like, kind of think about what to talk about, and stuff.
Chris: That's why this channel's good. 'Cause I think about what I'm gonna say before I say it.
And that's why you should definitely subscribe if you haven't already.
Have you subscribed to my channel?
Kazu: Yeeah, of course...
Chris: What's your favourite video on my channel?
Kazu: Hmm... that's a tough question...
Chris: Yeah.
[Crickets chirping]
Cris: You definitely haven't watched any videos! You haven't watched any videos.
Kazu: No - I - I watched it... I'll tell you later!
Chris: I thought you watched my videos! Kazu: I watched it, I watched it!!
Chris: Anyway, thanks for showing us around today though. It's been a lot of fun. Kazu: Thanks for coming to Ehime.
Chris:Yeah, it's been really good! I wish we could have more time.
Kazu actually lived in the UK, so you can just about hear her British accent.
Where have you lived? America -
Kazu: I lived in London, and Switzerland.
Chris: London and Switzerland, glamorous! Very glamorous!
Kazu: No!
Chris: Which was better? London or Switzerland?
Kazu: Both! I like both. Chris: That's a great answer.
Normally when I say good bye to someone on these videos,
I shout out their social media. Their instagram, their YouTube...
But you're a real person!
With no social media!
Kazu: Yeah, I'm a real one... Chris: Real boy... real girl.
Chris: But yeah, cheers! Kazu: Yaaay, cheers!
Chris: Gonna finish this up, and then we've got a ferry to catch!
Well guys, we are heading across the Inland Sea of Japan to Hiroshima.
It takes about 3-4 hours on the ferry.
I feel like this is a really good place to end the day.
The sunset is absolutely stunning.
Unfortunately there was no other way back to Honshu other than ferry or
by cycling all the way back over the Shimanami Kaido, but I've already done that so didn't really wanna do it again.
And it was really awesome just having Kazu show us around
and give us every orange based product there is known to man.
Tomorrow, we are in Hiroshima city, so lot's of cool things to do there.
But for now guys, thanks for joining us on a trip around Matsuyama and Shikoku today,
and we'll see you right back here tomorrow.
To do it all over again.
Have a good one.
To come to Hiroshima and miss this place out would be a crime.
6 years I've travelled Japan far and wide and it's all been building up to this moment...
pizza vending machine.
I've always wanted to do this.
You know where this is going.
This is harder work than the bloody cycle!
It better be worth it when it's done.
I did it!
That was hard work.
Apparently most of my viewers aren't actually subscribers. They're people who just come and look for my videos every single time.
They just sort of look for it on YouTube in the search box Abroad in Japan.
I'm the sort of person who doesn't push viewers to like, or subscribe, or share their videos because I just find it
quite annoying. As I'm sure you do when YouTubers always do that.
But today, I've made an effort, I've made an exception.
If this doesn't get you subscribed to the channel, nothing will.
SUBSCRIBE!
Yeah!
Look how fucking big it is! It's ridiculously massive!
I don't know why I'm spent so much time on this!
Oh my god, so tired.
Still gotta cycle 20km
Arrrrgghh....
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I Made Friends with a Stranger at Japan's Oldest Hot Spring

35 Folder Collection
Courtney Shih published on November 13, 2019
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