Aired: January 30, 2020 (UTC)

Series Information

Explore a colorful variety of modern Japan’s most popular topics, including food, technology, ecology and regional promotions, with a focus on the innovative ideas and passionate effort from the people behind it all.


As the Tokyo 2020 Olympics approach, Tokyo has been undergoing redevelopment with numerous high-rises being built all over the city. In a corner of bustling Shibuya, is a place that retains traces of Japan’s post-war reconstruction era. “Nonbei Yokocho,” where 30 or so cozy eating joints and waterholes line the streets, is located a one-minute walk from the famous Shibuya crossing. This segment features snapshots of Tokyo’s bygone era that photographer Masahiro Yamaguchi has captured through the years.

Nonbei Yokocho alley in Shibuya, Tokyo
Book designer and photographer Masahiro Yamaguchi


Ibaraki Prefecture is about 2 hours away from Narita Airport by express bus. A booklet compiling photographs of the prefecture’s beautiful sceneries, adorned with enticing descriptions in English, was published to showcase its appeal to more overseas tourists. Changing seasons, breathtaking nature, profound spirituality nurtured by its history, and more… In this segment, we rediscover Ibaraki Prefecture’s charms through the eyes of the booklet’s editor.

The Oarai Isosaki Shrine Torii Gate by the beach in Ibaraki Pref.
Toko Suzuki, Editor-in-Chief of Kateigaho International Japan Edition magazine


Established by the Asahi Glass Foundation, the Blue Planet Prize is presented to individuals or organizations in recognition of their contributions to solving global environment issues. One of the winners in 2019 is biogeographer Prof. Jared Diamond, who has put forward new perspectives regarding the environment and civilization to the world. What inspired him can be traced back to his field work in Papua New Guinea. This segment introduces a brief look at Prof. Diamond’s research and his proposition for the future.

Prof. Jared Diamond, 2019 Blue Planet Prize Winner
During the award ceremony


The Washoku World Challenge is a culinary competition for non-Japanese chefs of Washoku, or Japanese cuisine. One of the competition’s qualifying tournaments was held in San Sebastian in the Basque region of Spain, known as one of the world’s greatest gourmet regions. The contestants, culinary students of a local gastronomic sciences university, take on the challenge of preparing Japanese cuisine for the first time. This segment features the competition and what the students discovered about Washoku.
Washoku World Challenge Official Website:

Participants and judges during the Washoku World Challenge Preliminary Round held in Spain
San Sebastian, Basque region of Spain


After a harrowing 200km cycle ride from Kyoto to Tottori Prefecture, Dean and the team reach one of Japan’s biggest sand dunes – The Tottori Sand Dunes. They spend an entire day on the dunes, experiencing sand-boarding, pear orchards, camel rides, and learn why the dunes are Tottori’s most popular tourist destination.
For more runAway adventures, check out:

runAway team members Dean and Natali taking a camel ride tour at Tottori Sand Dunes
Dean at a pear orchard in Tottori Pref.


Maxwell Powers

Voice Actor/MC/Bilingual Pro
From Oakland, California

Maxwell Powers

Our Series

Trailblazers We follow Japan’s trailblazers breaking new ground in various fields and discover the purpose that keeps them moving forward.
Catch Japan Explore a colorful variety of modern Japan’s most popular topics, including food, technology, ecology and regional promotions, with a focus on the innovative ideas and passionate effort from the people behind it all.
The Heart of Fukui This series explores the allure of traditional culture thriving in Fukui, a region rich in nature facing the Sea of Japan.
SPIRIT OF JAPAN The program introduces the history and wisdom behind Japan’s technological strength and specialties, which are helping to revitalize regional areas of the country.
Explore Japan This series will feature how various culture in modern Japan and overseas blend together and influence each other.
Exploring the Lands of the Ainu In this series, we visit areas in Hokkaido with deep connections to the Ainu living there and showcase their prayers, dances, and traditional ceremonies passed down through generations.
J-Entertainment Infotainment show featuring young artists full of talent with their unique sense of “Japan.”
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