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  • 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