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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: https://www.youtube.com/runawayjapan

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


Maxwell Powers

Voice Actor/MC/Bilingual Pro
From Oakland, California

Maxwell Powers

Our Series

At One with Nature – National Parks of Japan In this series, we’ll visit national parks in Japan to meet the people that call them home, enjoy seasonal views that have inspired artists and writers for centuries, and explore their landmarks.
ASEAN Now and the Future II – Discover New Buena Vista This series involved a new set of partners. It was produced by TV broadcasters in Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, with advice from visiting program production experts from NHK International in Japan.
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.
Washoku World Challenge The series will follow the regional qualifying tournaments and the final tournament of the sixth “Washoku World Challenge,” a cooking contest in which non-Japanese Washoku chefs from throughout Europe, North America, Asia and Japan will pit their skills against one another, as they strive in earnest to inherit, pass on and cultivate their Washoku cooking skills.
SPIRIT OF JAPAN A documentary series that features remarkable industries in 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.
The Next 100 Years Iconic Japanese company Panasonic is celebrating 100 years in business.What is this leading Japanese enterprise doing to ensure the company thrives for the next 100 years? One key strategy is to take a fresh look at the potential of the people who form the backbone of the company and another key challenge is to create new value.
Future Highway Express As globalization rapidly accelerates, truck logistics routes that connect various countries are playing a key role in supporting each national economy. These are the Future Highways that are creating the path into the future. Seen through the eyes of the truck drivers, this two-part series program depicts the landscapes and places of interest in each region.
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