It looks amazing, it looks so so fresh! The world’s smallest beer! No no no no no! I’m so big! The only thing better than driving through the countryside is driving through the countryside with cheap sunglasses and an Ice Coffee and today I have both of those things so I’m in a good mood! For many people when they think of Japan they think Japan equals Tokyo But that’s simply isn’t the case for me the best part about Japan is out here in the countryside On my recent journey producing videos for the Odigo travel website around North Japan my journey took me back to the place that I had called home for the past 3 years The town of Sakata in Yamagata Prefecture The food is so fresh, the people are so friendly and the scenery is absolutely stunning! And I wanna hopefully show you all 3 and drink Ice Coffee! My first stop was to check on my friends Yuki and Yuto who had recently converted an old town house into a stylish travel hostel where I planned to stay during my trip! And you may remember Yuki as he was one of my friends who I had nearly poisoned with marmite the last year Hey Yuto! Long time no see! Welcome to Shonai Base How are you? I’m good I’m good Marmite Guy Chris! Yuki! Good to see you! How are you? I’m good I’m good! How about you Chris? Very good! But very hot!! Okay cool, can you show me around? The first room? How many rooms? Three! Three Like….Hawaii This is Hawaii! I like it! Oh dear.. What?? Toilet? Why?? It’s see through! There’s no door! There’s no door! Open style! Open style? Japanese traditional style I’m lying…I’m lying! Public space Or party room! Party room? How many people can you fit in here? 15 people Yaaay party! Marmite good!! Marmite party! Whatever that would entail Second Room Oooh cool!! I like this! Very modern This is very comfortable sofa! Demonstration! Very good! Sofa is good! You heard it here first And….Star Wars tissues You like Star Wars? Of course! Who’s your favorite character? Obi Wan Kenobi! Obi Wan Kenobi? Why? Very strong Jedi Knight And…. ….I don’t know.. A broom!! This is very important item Is that Harry Potter? Yeaah Harry Potter’s Item I learned British English very well right? Oh yeah Harry Potter Next room Ohhh wow! Wow! This is my favorite room Look at the ceiling It’s like….bamboo….bamboo ceiling Like a Japanese garden, like a garden style Zen yeah zen garden Very nice very nice! This is my favorite room The kitchen! We have Marmite Of course No Marmite The tiny beer! The world’s smallest beer No no no no no no I’m so big! Regular size Regular size! I’m Big Man! Very deep bathtub It is deep isn’t it The deepest bath I’ve ever seen Why? Why? This style for the bath? Big Man Why did you start a hostel? It’s really random I want to come foreign country many people in Sakata Sakata’s hotel are very expensive!! What kind of people do you want coming here? Travelers, students, and business man Everybody! Please come to Shonai Base!! Yeaaah Please come!! Thanks guys! After the most enjoyable tour of a hostel I think I’ve ever had I headed on down to the fish harbour to grab a bite to eat at the fish market The benefit of living next to the sea Some incredibly fresh fish This is fatty tuna on some rice And it looks amazing it looks so so fresh Oh yeah!! That’s fantastic! I lived here 3 years and I never came here for lunch or ate anything I don’t know why It’s probably a good thing I didn’t know about it Otherwise I would’ve been here quite a lot I decided to walk off lunch by taking a stroll around town And drinking more ice-coffee One of the best things about the countryside is you have the temples all to yourself but one of the coolest things is just walking around rural Japan taking in the streets and the architecture You often feel like you’re in some kind of film set Particularly when you’re in Sakata because it actually was one This lovely looking building is actually a little bit famous in Japan It featured prominently in an Oscar winning film from 2008 called Departures I saw the film and loved it back in 2012 before I even knew I was moving to Japan so when I found out that I was just randomly being placed to work as an English teacher in this remote town where the movie was filmed, I was pretty surprised And it’s quite a cool twist of fate to be able to walk up the street and feel like I was on the film set But yeah, highly recommend checking out the film Departures! So right here on the side of this building there used to be a big drawing of a naked woman it always surprised me so much to see it there so I always put it in the videos But unfortunately they’ve covered it up and the reason they’ve covered it up is because next month the Emperor himself is coming right here to Sakata Uh no not that Emperor The actual real life Japanese Emperor He’s coming here and that’s pretty cool! But it’s a real shame they had to do that That was a really good picture Although it makes sense I guess If you’ve got the Emperor coming to your town That’s the last thing you want him to see …I think Yeah, no it is! So this is my favorite shop in Sakata and I’ve never set foot in it once And the reason I love it is because I’ve driven past the Chicken Food Shop about 500 times and I still don’t know whether it’s a chicken food shop that sells Chicken for Chickens or a Chicken Food Shop that sells Chicken for humans But I’m excited by the ambiguity of not knowing what lies within And….I never want to find out So this is my favorite spot in Sakata and it’s a few miles up the coast But basically in the 1800s a Zen buddhist raised some money and then came up here to the coast and carved 16 Buddhas into the rocks And they’re still here today Here’s one of them And I like the way he’s just sort of sat here next to his accumulated pile of wealth It’s just relaxing sitting here looking out across the Sea of Japan and thinking of what might lie beyond the horizon Well….. …North Korea Probably not that good then But….yeah it’s beautiful My favorite spot probably in Japan But I hope you’ve enjoyed the video And I hope you want to come and visit the countryside yourself maybe even Sakata someday And you can sit here next to this Buddha looking out towards North Korea! If you like fresh tuna, temples all to yourself, amazing scenery and tiny beers from Yuki’s fridge Sakata is THE place to visit! To see where I visited on my trip as well as other places that I’ve visited in the area You can find the details on the Odigo travel website in the description box below And to see more of my travels around North Japan with Odigo You can also find the link to the full playlist of videos down below Many thanks for watching guys, I’ll see you next time! Kind man! Kind man! He’s a kind man I’m Marmite man! Brilliant Brilliant!