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Aired: November 26, 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.


African Swine Fever (ASF) is a severe viral disease which affects pigs currently spreading around the world. At present, there is no vaccine for this highly fatal disease, causing massive losses in production and the economy. Pharmaceutical company neopharma Japan Co., Ltd. succeeded in the mass production of 5-Aminolevulinic Acid (5-ALA), an amino acid that can improve the functioning of antibodies. This segment introduces the first initiative in the world to prevent the spread of a contagious disease by enhancing auto-immune functions.

Tanaka Tohru, Chief Scientist at neopharma Japan Co., Ltd.
5-Aminolevulinic Acid (5-ALA)


Akkeshi, a town in eastern Hokkaido of about 9000 people, is home to an internationally renowned whisky. This segment features the challenges of a distillery creating its original whisky using local ingredients and materials and local townspeople supporting their efforts.

Akkeshi Whisky
Toita Keiichi, President of Hokkaido Akkeshi Distillery


In this segment, we join Dean and his stepson Keiji as they hike the 2,530m Mt. Tateshina in Nagano Prefecture. Japan has over 16,000 mountains, but only 100 are listed in the famous ‘Hyakumeizan’ book, which was created in 1964 and has become the most important list of mountains to summit in Japan. Mt. Tateshina can be hiked in a day, but can Keiji make it all the way to the top at just 7 years old?

Dean and Keiji on Mt. Tateshina’s summit
View from the top of Mt. Tateshina


Japan has 34 national parks throughout the country. This segment features the Akan area of Akan-Mashu National Park located in Japan’s northern region Hokkaido. Our reporter, along with park rangers and nature guides, explore the secret behind Lake Mashu’s clear water and blue hue, known also as “Mashu Blue,” and the history of Mt. Iwosan, which continues to emit sulfurous gases today.

Program reporter Janni Olsson enjoying a hot footbath in Akan-Mashu National Park
Lake Mashu in winter


Maxwell Powers

Voice Actor/MC/Bilingual Pro
From Oakland, California

Maxwell Powers

Our Series

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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