Finally back out of the mountains and onto the coast, where they would try and reach Aichi Prefecture. Their journey would take them along the east coast of Japan, which is famous for its seafood delicacies. No more fascinating dish could be found than that of octopus sashimi which is served still squirming! Tentacles are cut from the living octopus and served so fresh, they cling to your mouth as you try and eat them! The team slowly but surly make their way to their final destination in Aichi Prefecture, using everything from a Swan Boat to a Row Boat to reach their goal at the beautiful Nagoya Castle!
Dean Newcombe, Duncan Buckley, Megan Page and Natali Jacobsen
Shizuoka and Aichi Prefectures
Points of Interest
Omaezaki, Gakkou-ni-ikou, Nakatajima Sand Dunes, Lake Sanaruko, Hamanako Lake, Gamagori, Okazaki, Chita Bay, Minami Chita, Morozaki, Nagoya Castle and Nagoya Ferris Wheel
Cycling by the Sea
To finish their journey in Shizuoka, it was time for the team to eat their way through more of the famous foods. They would soon reach the most famous town for ‘Unagi’ (eel) in all Japan, so why not begin the day with eel flavored ice cream! Todays goal was ‘Nakatajima sand-dunes’ which lay on the coast over 70km from here. First stop on their route would be ‘Omaezaki’, where you can find a beautiful lighthouse and local stores. The team checked out the souvenirs made from shells, while knocking back local cola and cider drinks, but lunch was to be somewhere far more unique! Further along the coast was a restaurant called ‘Gakko-ni-ikou’ – that means, ‘let’s go to school!’ Inside, the team find a school themed restaurant where you can enjoy lunches that would otherwise be only seen inside your average Japanese school. Our foreigners enjoy the atmosphere and chat with the owner before heading off to another local shop which this time specializes in goods for Japanese festivals (Matsuri) (Only in Japan shows what to expect from Matsuri). Leaving with a giant banner, from here it’s a long cycle for Dean to arrive in ‘Nakatajima’ before the sun sets. He pushes as hard as he can and just about makes it. He reunites with the team as the sun drops and they enjoy the wild surf of the coastline at dusk.
The team are happy to return to the dunes in the morning. They spend some time playing in the sand and walking along the beach, but this is ‘runAway’, and they can’t take it easy for too long. Dean decides to run 10km to ‘Lake Sanaru’ where he might be able to swim to the other side. Megan is quick to join him and they make fast progress passing through ‘Kami Park’ on the way. At ‘Sanaru Lake’ they find a temple on the shore but they learn the lake is not clean enough to be swam in! Luckily they quickly find a boat shop and manage to hire rowing boats. The lake is a popular spot to catch ‘Unagi’ (eel), and Dean gets the chance to try and hold one of these slippery creatures. Dean rows for Megan, and takes her comfortably to the other side. He then hops back on his bike and rides for another lake, this time called Hamanako. This is the perfect place to try ‘Unagi’ as a dish. They explore the shopping street and climb up to the mountain shrine for the sunset, and to see the big Buddha, before finally returning to choose a restaurant. Duncan, Megan, and Dean eat sushi and Unagi while Natali mysteriously disappears. When she returns she does so with school children and the team are invited back to the school where they finish the day unexpectly as guest teachers!
The Taste of Miso
The team are back at ‘Lake Hamana’ in the morning, and there are yet more water sports in store for the them. Megan and Natali race Dean and Duncan in what is one of the slowest races in history, by Swan Boat! Megan makes it all worthwhile by jumping into the lake like for a swim. Heading west from here, Dean rides on by bike, around Lake Hamana and over the border of Shizuoka and into Aichi Prefecture. He bikes 50km to reach the town of ‘Gamagori’ and then detours to ‘Okazaki’ where the famous Miso taste Japanese Udon noodles await them. There is even ‘Miso’ flavored ice cream for dessert. The team then make their way around Chita Bay to reach ‘Minamichita Camp Ground’, a perfect location to finish the day, eating snacks around the campsite and making confessions to the camera in a brutally honest video diary.
Minamichita is a great place to be for the campsites and nature, but the reason the team came here was for the seafood they heard to be famous around these parts. At ‘Sakana Hiroba’ the team enjoy a morning fish market, tasting sweetened fish dishes, sea flavored rice crackers, and fish so fresh it’s sliced as you watch. Further along the coast they come to ‘Morozaki’. It is here they can try octopus like they have never done so before. The chef cuts the tentacles from the living octopus, and serves the pieces like Sashimi, still moving on your plate. Dean and Duncan are both brave enough to try the tentacles which literally cling to your face as you try to consume them. Shocked from the experience they continue on to their final destination, back to the city life in ‘Nagoya’. For Dean it means riding in the rain from ‘Gamagori’ for 54km, to reach ‘Nagoya Castle’. Duncan, Natali and Megan explore the castle, which is famous for it’s Golden Tiger-head Carp, called ‘Kinshachi’. From the top they enjoy the city view, and inside, the castles museum. When Dean finally arrives at the castle, they briefly explore the souvenir shops, but Dean is hungry! His prayers for plenty of food are answered, but perhaps he got more than he expected. At ‘Yoshokutei-Torayasu’, the owner serves up the biggest ‘Tonkatsu’ (breaded pork steak) in Japan. The whole team eat until they can barely move just to consume their way through the ‘normal’ portion sizes! The place to finish this episode, though, was in Nagoya central, and they returned to the city to ride the ‘Nagoya Ferris Wheel’ and to toast the city with a bottle of champagne (cheap sparking wine). They had made it to Aichi!