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  • - [Micaela] Hey guys, good morning.

  • - [Tatsu] Good morning.

  • - Today we are in Saga Airport and Tatsu's

  • just setting up his camera.

  • We are gonna be spending the next few days

  • in Saga Prefecture shooting a promotion video

  • It's a pretty big deal, and uh, yeah, we're excited.

  • Have you ever done anything like this before?

  • - Uh the promotion videos?

  • - Yeah, I mean, yeah, I have worked with

  • a lot of city halls last year but this time,

  • I'm kinda like nervous because cause it's

  • happening in Kyushu,

  • - Yeah.

  • - The place where we lived.

  • Um, so many memories here, so,

  • I'm very excited to work with the people

  • that live in Saga and very glad

  • that I can work with them.

  • - And work with me too, right?

  • - Uh oh, I'm very nervous though,

  • cause like, we have worked together before but,

  • not officially, kinda like not official.

  • - Yeah.

  • - Not like this right?

  • - This is our first actual,

  • - And I'm gonna be a director and then

  • she has to obey whatever I say.

  • - Yeah.

  • - And,

  • - We may kill each other, we may not kill each other.

  • - We may break up.

  • (laughs)

  • - Yeah.

  • Watch to the end of this video

  • to find out if we stay together.

  • - Or not.

  • - [Micaela] For our first job of this year,

  • Tatsu and I were hired to make a promotional

  • video for Saga Prefectureʼs

  • multilingual travel app, "Dogan Shita To".

  • Saga Prefecture has a reputation

  • for often being overlooked.

  • Situated between Fukuoka Prefecture

  • and Nagasaki Prefecture many people

  • will pass through Saga Prefecture

  • on an express train,

  • and very few travelers will stop to explore it.

  • But Saga, in all its' modesty,

  • has a lot of natural untouched beauty, delicious food,

  • and celebrates a lot of Japanese tradition.

  • During our two weeks of shooting

  • we went from corner to corner, and so,

  • to help give you an idea of what Saga is like,

  • here are my top four picks of things

  • to do in Saga Prefecture.

  • One of the most picturesque shrines in all of Kyushu,

  • Yutoku Inari Shrine is definitely a sight to behold.

  • Built into a steep hillside of a valley,

  • thereʼs lots to explore here,

  • but if youʼve brought your camera

  • and youʼre looking to make some memories,

  • I definitely recommend renting a Kimono

  • at Saruku, located near the shrine entrance.

  • Um, I just did this last month in Tokyo

  • and it was really fun,

  • so I was excited to do it again here in Kyushu.

  • I get to choose my own Kimono

  • and we're going to walk around Yutoku Shrine

  • which is absolutely beautiful, majestic.

  • Majestic shrine.

  • So this time, I've chosen a bright red and black Obi,

  • and then a striped white, red, and purple Kimono.

  • It should look pretty cool when it's on.

  • This is the final look.

  • Looks a lot different than the one I did last month,

  • and I really like it, I love the stripes,

  • I love the bold patterns.

  • I don't know if you guys can tell

  • but it's actually snowing right now,

  • and the sun is out,

  • and it's so beautiful up here in the mountains.

  • If you are traveling with friends, or a partner,

  • this is a cool way to get some

  • really beautiful photographs.

  • but even if you donʼt feel like dressing up,

  • this shrine is a breathtaking place to visit,

  • and a popular place to pray to the gods of life,

  • for rich harvests and business prosperity.

  • Located on the Northern tip of Saga Prefecture,

  • facing the ocean, the Karatsu Yobuko area

  • feels like it operates in a completely different era.

  • Far away from the hustle and bustle

  • of modern day, and free of designer brands

  • and materialistic desires,

  • this is a fun little area to drive out to

  • where youʼre very unlikely to ever see another foreigner.

  • So now we're in Yobuko in Karatsu in Saga.

  • Karatsu's actually so far away from Saga City

  • that I've heard that Karatsu people

  • don't consider themselves part of Saga,

  • so it's really interesting to come all the way out here

  • and see how they love kind of separated from the city.

  • Here in Yobuko they have a morning market

  • every day until about 12 noon,

  • where they sell all types of fish

  • that they've taken from the Genkai Sea.

  • So let's take a walk down the street

  • and see what we can find.

  • So along this street we found an old

  • candy shop Dagashi-yasan

  • Candy that was sold during the Showa Era,

  • like things that are not so popular anymore,

  • could be found in stores like this,

  • and it's pretty cool to look around,

  • so let's see what they've got inside.

  • Ahh, these are so cool.

  • There's a bunch of old games here in the corner.

  • This one's 10 Yen.

  • There's another one for 10 Yen.

  • This one's 50 Yen, one piece.

  • I guess it can't be that old if it's one piece.

  • From the port in Yobuko,

  • you can hop on a ferry tour to a nearby island,

  • or take a tour to visit the seven naturally

  • formed sea caves on a coast nearby.

  • So now we're on a boat.

  • We're gonna go to a cave.

  • - Yeah, have you ever been there?

  • - Yes, twice.

  • - I've never seen or been there.

  • - I've been there twice,

  • this is my third time going but,

  • - Third time?

  • - Yep.

  • - Oh well that's a lot.

  • - Yeah.

  • - Pretend that, you know.

  • - I'm gonna pretend it's the first time,

  • I'm gonna be amazed.

  • [Micaela] The water here's incredibly clear.

  • This looks amazing, this is fresh sashimi,

  • many different kinds.

  • We've got some Shu Mai right over here,

  • which is like a squid steamed dumpling.

  • We've got Chawanmushi which is steamed egg,

  • and some soup.

  • Tatsu's got an Ika rice bowl

  • which he's already digging into.

  • [Micaela] How is it?

  • - So good.

  • - [Micaela] Fresh squid.

  • If you come to Yobuko, you have to have the squid.

  • The fish is what it's famous for.

  • So beautiful.

  • Pottery and Ceramics are a huge part of Sagaʼs Identity,

  • so much so that they even have a porcelain theme park.

  • If youʼre looking for some truly unique souvenirs

  • to take back home, you can get your hands dirty and

  • make your own pottery, or you can look through

  • literally thousands of hand painted designs

  • by local artists and find a style

  • that fits your unique sense.

  • I am absolutely in love with this cup,

  • I wish I could buy it, but it's 300 dollars.

  • Between the towns of Imari and Arita,

  • youʼll find that the streets, and even in the shrines,

  • are decorated in carefully handcrafted porcelain.

  • These vibrant pieces of artwork stand out against older,

  • traditional neighborhoods, streets, and buildings.

  • ve lived in Japan for 13 years now,

  • andve never seen anything like this before.

  • - Pretty good, isn't it?

  • - [Micaela] Porcelain torii is really cool.

  • - Yeah, this is like really cool.

  • - [Micaela] Where you goin?

  • - Tryin to head to a little small bridge.

  • - [Micaela] Ahh.

  • - Whoa.

  • - [Tatsu] Yeah it's pretty, isn't it?

  • - [Micaela] Oh that's cute.

  • So we're in this beautiful river,

  • and the tiles along the river, are Imari-yaki pottery.

  • And they're quite clean.

  • They must be well maintained.

  • Very cool.

  • After falling in love with the pottery,

  • in both Imari and Arita,

  • Visitors can enroll in one-day pottery classes,

  • and make a personal souvenir to take home as well.

  • I'm excited cause I get to make whatever I want.

  • I get to choose out of all of these designs,

  • and I think I'm going to make something

  • I can drink tea in.

  • Okay, so I tried to make this one,

  • and this is what I ended up with.

  • As you can see there's quite a size difference,

  • but when they put it in the kiln,

  • it's gonna shrink to 80% of this size.

  • I still think it's gonna end up

  • being a little bit bigger than this.

  • It looks kinda like a bowl right now,

  • I don't know if I could use it for tea,

  • but I don't know, I guess we're just

  • gonna have to see how it turns out.

  • So we've arrived at a gallery and cafe called Ota,

  • and their famous for their Arita Yaki Curry,

  • which is Japanese Curry served in a

  • porcelain Arita Yaki bowl that you can take home

  • after you've eaten it.

  • This Yaki Curry is so popular,

  • they even sell it online.

  • Fans of Arita Pottery can choose

  • the type of dish it is served in,

  • some designs costing more than others.

  • We got presents, we got cute Doraemon Arita Yaki bowls

  • and inside is another serving of Arita Yaki curry.

  • It's pretty heavy and the box is still warm,

  • so I think we have to eat this today

  • or tomorrow at the latest but

  • I'm so excited we got two of them.

  • Japanʼs Southern Island of Kyushu

  • has many natural hot springs,

  • but some are more popular with tourists than others.

  • While many tourists are rushing

  • to different prefectures for hot springs,

  • you can skip the crowds by coming to Saga instead.

  • Wandering around Ureshino City,

  • you run into a few public foot baths as well.

  • So this is a foot sauna,

  • you open it up and steam comes out.

  • You can shut this box overtop

  • to keep your knees warm and steam away.

  • Normally it can be kind of intimidating

  • to travel to places that aren't very

  • touristy or English friendly,

  • but the people we met in Ureshino

  • were very happy to chat with us.

  • If you're studying Japanese and you want

  • to test your own fluency,

  • here's a really great place for you to start.

  • So I've been in here for about,

  • what, not even 10 minutes.

  • my legs are turning red it's so hot.

  • So when it comes to Onsen there's different water qualities

  • and some water can be carbonated,

  • some can be drying but Ureshino's hot spring water

  • is very heavy, it's very silky.

  • It feels like I have lotion on my skin,

  • but I actually didn't use any today.

  • Okay, I think that's all the information

  • I can give you right now.

  • To see what else we got up to

  • when we were in Saga Prefecture,

  • youʼre gonna have to watch Tatsu's video.