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  • Ramen, Sashimi and Cabbage Man: Food Adventure

  • I’m about to embark on an amazing adventure

  • to the far reaches of Tohoku.

  • It’s a quest for foodand for fun

  • and to get there, I’ll be leaving Tokyo on this

  • The Shinkansen

  • The Shinkansen is one of the fastest trains in the world

  • with speeds up to 320 km/hour.

  • It’s a food field trip!

  • Coming to Japan to eat is one of the best reasons to visit

  • and I’m expecting to do a lot of that up there

  • Up therebeing IWATE PREFECTURE

  • and if you don’t know where that is

  • don’t worry! I got you covered.

  • Iwate is Japan’s second biggest prefecture

  • after Hokkaido, over 15,000 sq km big!

  • The capitol is Morioka and a major stop on the Tohoku Shinkansen.

  • I'll try some making some ramen here later.

  • I start off here, Iwate Machi for food,

  • sake and a festival,

  • but I'll also be traveling to the pacific coast

  • to catch some fresh fish

  • at Tanohatamura.

  • FIELD TRIP!

  • Let's goit's over 550 km

  • from Tokyo to Iwatenuma-kunai Station.

  • The view on the way changes from city to beautiful countryside.

  • It's about a 2.5 hour trip from Tokyo.

  • Iwate prefecture is one of the most natural places in Japan

  • As a result, they also have some of the best vegetables.

  • Were going to be asking

  • WELCOME to this place!

  • Lettuce Man

  • CABBAGE MAN!

  • CABBAGE MAN!

  • Wow.

  • Cabbage. Yes!

  • Cabbageman is a local mascot or yuruchara

  • a chubby masked cabbage maniac with a t-shirt a few sizes to small.

  • But that doesn't impact his superpowers at all.

  • Hello, Cabbage Man!![00:02:03.13

  • He's beloved by all in the town.

  • How much does Cabbage Man love cabbage?

  • I thought I'd race him and his buddy

  • for a trophy cabbage 50 meters away.

  • Iwate Machi's cabbage is so good that it deserves our best effort,

  • winner take all!

  • To the Victorgoes the cabbage.

  • In town, he's famous!

  • Cabbage Ice cream anyone?

  • Want some?

  • I can’t eat THAT!

  • My mouth’s too small!

  • Cabbage is in a lot of local dishes here

  • and Cabbage Man and his side kick

  • took me to a place for some HORUMON NABE.

  • Fresh cabbage with meat, tofu and soup.

  • Nothing powers you up quite like it.

  • After a few minutes, the ingredients and flavors all come together.

  • It's more than good. It's awesome.

  • But there's another side to cabbage cuisine in Iwate.

  • Refined and sophisticated.

  • It's Iwate Machi Cabbage Shioyaki Udon

  • All local ingredients stir fried to perfection.

  • Enjoy it with some sparkling cabbage flavored cider.

  • Pour it like a fine champagne.

  • One of the finer things in life.

  • Iwate Machi Cabbage Shioyaki Udon should be served on a plate

  • any will do.

  • Civilized. Feel privileged.

  • This is Iwate's best cabbage, and it's divine.

  • In Iwate, cabbage is taken to the highest level.

  • A hundred kilometres away from Iwate Machi

  • is Tanohatamura.

  • A new fishing experience starting at the crack of dawn

  • + 2 hours (after breakfast)

  • offers the ultimate local food adventure.

  • The captain navigates the rugged coastline

  • with unique rock formations and tunnels.

  • There's even a cave with a special attraction

  • from in here, you can see the true color

  • of the pristine water

  • as the light pushes through the darkness.

  • As the wave push into the cave,

  • so does the light revealing a stunning emerald color.

  • There's nothing like the feeling of being on the open sea

  • on a clear cool day like today.

  • But we've got some fish to catch.

  • The traps were set the day before.

  • From the start, we had quite a catch!

  • We're here for this!

  • DONKO!

  • Not really a fish, more like an eel.

  • It's a local favorite.

  • We also caught other fish like this -- Soi

  • I was told that I had to prepare my own lunch!

  • Cut here?

  • Yes, there.

  • Wait! It’s still alive?

  • Yes, it’s alive.

  • IT’S ALIVE?! IT’S ALIVE?!

  • ISN'T IT PAINFUL?

  • IT”S PROBABLY PAINFUL!?

  • It won’t hurt him at all.

  • No, the opposite way.

  • That meant gutting and cutting the Donko.

  • I'd never done this before,

  • it's nice to have these wonderful ladies as guides.

  • It's not easy when you have to do it yourself.

  • "Donko, I’m so sorry about this.”

  • The ladies showed me how to prepare donko with miso and onions.

  • The results looked good.

  • Donko sashimi

  • a little wasabi and soy sauce and ...

  • Delicious.

  • And the Donko Miso?

  • Another winner.

  • What an experience.

  • RAMEN!

  • You knew it was coming.

  • IWATE RAMEN NOODLE CLASS

  • This is a Morioka Ramen Noodle making class!

  • It's located in the city where ramen chefs are here

  • to teach you all that you need to know

  • about Morioka Ramen

  • Everything was prepped for me by Onodera-san

  • leader of the Morioka Ramen Club

  • FLOUR

  • BAKING SODA

  • SCALE AND MIXING BOWL

  • SALT WATER

  • AND SALT

  • You can mix it old school by hand

  • it's really hard to do.

  • Or you can just add all the ingredients

  • to a noodle making machine.

  • That's more fun!

  • Fresh ramen noodles ready

  • to be turned into a bowl of deliciousness.

  • We have thin hosomen

  • and thick futomen.

  • In the kitchen, It's a crash course with the shop owner.

  • I started with the vegetables and meat.

  • Need to stir fry it up for this miso ramen.

  • Add some broth to build up the flavor.

  • While that's cooking,

  • I had to get on to the noodles.

  • There's no stopping!

  • They need to be boiled for a couple of minutes.

  • Stay focused!

  • Don't forget the meat and vegetables

  • skim the fat, lower the heat

  • and back to the noodles

  • they need another 30 seconds.

  • Stir the vegetables

  • add the broth to the miso in the bowl

  • THE NOODLES!

  • It's not easy to get them all in the strainer.

  • Scoop and shake the water out.

  • Quickly get all those noodles into the bowl.

  • Don't forget any of them.

  • Add the vegetable toppings to the miso broth

  • and DONE.

  • The results?

  • Beautiful.

  • Awesome experience.

  • THANK YOU!

  • Delicious time.

  • Iwate ramen!

  • What a lovely day!

  • Now it's time to change into something more traditional

  • for my next adventure.

  • A kimono.

  • Putting one on goes a lot faster with some help.

  • 3 minutesand out the door.

  • I’m dressed in a beautiful Japanese kimono.

  • Now I’m going to try some Japanese sake

  • and I’m dressed for the part!

  • There's a place in Iwate Machi

  • where you can try Japanese sake brewed locally.

  • It's got quite a selection.

  • Tohoku is famous for it's high quality nihonshu

  • and Iwate makes some of the best.

  • It's hard to know which you'll like best

  • so I picked two to try and went upstairs.

  • All right!

  • So I’ve got 2 bottles of Japanese sake

  • Nihonshu, here!

  • I’ve never heard of these brands

  • Theyre all locally made

  • Maybe I can ask somebody to help me.

  • Fugane-san!

  • This requires the help of Fugane-san.

  • He’s a local businessman who

  • also knows a lot about the area sake

  • so we started with this one.

  • YUKI NO TSUTSUMI

  • With nihonshu, the drink of Japan

  • you must remember protocol

  • don't fill your own glass.

  • Oooh-tooh-tooh-tooh

  • Enough

  • Always drink sake like a man,

  • unless your a woman, then drink it tough like this.

  • It's a way to show your respect

  • to the mighty rice and national drink of Japan.

  • Smooth. Delicate.

  • The taste bites a little then melts

  • and leave a pleasant after taste.

  • Mellow, isn't it?

  • Next, we try this

  • WASHINO-O

  • Pour for your drinking buddy

  • then sip.

  • Nice. A little sharper, robust flavor

  • but Fugane-san knows that sake is also best enjoyed

  • with a snack.

  • He's brought some of his shops locally made Iwate raw ham!

  • Cut thin, loaded with flavor.

  • Eaten with a cup of sake

  • it's the perfect compliment to Iwate's local brands.

  • Iwate sake with Iwate raised meat ...

  • Iwate ham, Iwate sake

  • Iwate guy

  • Sake is always enjoyed best with friends.

  • Delicious. The best.

  • Iwate Machi’s Autumn Festival

  • During the day I noticed these really tall floats

  • pulled by a lot of people with ropes.

  • Taiko drums, cymbals and flutes.

  • The floats had actual pine trees in them,

  • the whole structure seemingly made of wood.

  • This is Iwate Machi's Autumn Festival.

  • I asked the shrine's priest and a local artist

  • to tell me more about the festival that dates back centuries.

  • How many people pull these floats

  • that can weigh several tonnes?

  • About 100 people.

  • Sometimes 200 to 300.

  • We have cherry blossoms and pine trees.

  • And what else? We also have outer space.

  • And the ground, ocean and people.

  • And the four seasons.

  • Anyway, there are a lot of elements.

  • This explains what we got from god.

  • The floats have a deep religious meaning,

  • made to show appreciation to god.

  • At night, they really stand out.

  • This year, there were 6 floats made by each local group.

  • I joined the Shinmachigumi procession.

  • Each design is different and made anew every year.

  • Festivals are also a great place to make friends with locals.

  • The floats start moving slowly at the start

  • with the Taiko drums setting the beat.

  • I love these kinds of events because

  • all of us right here are working as a team

  • to pull this parade float which weighs

  • a couple tonnes, at least!

  • And that gives it extra meaning because

  • the parade floats is a sacrifice to god.

  • and

  • it give all of this extra exertion

  • this extra power that we need to pull it so much more meaning.

  • This festival is not all floats. Dancers and musicians join in.