tv The Travel Show BBC News November 1, 2022 3:30am-4:00am GMT
this is bbc news. the headlines: russia has again targeted ukraine's energy infrastructure in a wave of missile strikes across the country — including the capital kyiv. the mayor says four out of five people have been without running water. ukraine says russia fired at least 50 missiles but it was able to shoot most of them down. lorry drivers in brazil who support the outgoing president, jair bolsonaro, have escalated their protests against his election defeat to luiz inacio lula da silva. they're blocking roads throughout the country and there are concerns the roadblocks could disrupt food exports and cause economic chaos. police in india have arrested nine people in connection with the collapse of a bridge in gujarat, which resulted in the deaths of at least 140 people. they said those arrested included employees of a private
company involved in the maintenance and management of the bridge. now on bbc news, the travel show. mind blowing. look at this. i have been to japan several times but never to explore the remote rural and volcanic south where you can expect the unexpected. the extroverts. risktakers. and the unpredictable. i want to see an aspect of japan where they enjoy the wilder side of life.
japan. a country of 6000 islands, dominated by honshu, the home of their country's capital. but 500 kilometres south of tokyo is the kansai region they call the heart of japan. and a city with a very different history and personality. 0saka. this was japan's real first gateway to the rest of asia. korea and china, especially. it's a real trading hub, export, import, commerce and it was run and still is by businessmen and merchants.
and it is those generations of wealthy traders who have shaped the city, creating its own unique culture. it has become a centre for food and developed as a home for popular entertainment. it is frantic behind there. in particular, humour became 0saka's speciality. flourishing into a multimillion—dollar business. it is about nine o'clock in the morning and look at this. this is the hottest ticket in town. 0saka is japan's mecca of comedy. these guys are really famous here. this theatre claims to be the busiest and most popular comedy venue in all ofjapan. the demand is phenomenal, it is open 365 days a year to full houses of up to four shows a day. that is around one million people a year. thanks to constant tv exposure,
comics are huge celebrities. fans travel from all over the country to see the stars live on stage. why are you here? the show includes many types of comedy but one of the most common and popular is manzai. a double act with a straight man and a funny guy trading jokes and it is this style that emerged in osaka. this is now the third act that we have seen and each one is going down a storm. laughter.
i wanted to find out more about the roots of comedy in this city. hello! kaishi—san! nice to meet you! katsura kaishi practices the traditional form of comic story telling, rakugo, and he says 0saka's love of entertainment and culture evolved from its trading history. speaks japanese. so there is a very special sense of humour here in 0saka. 0k. kaishi has learned to perform in english as well as japanese in order to share his art with the world.
i'll go to your show tomorrow, we'll see, we'll find out. rakugo comedy was invented by buddhist monks to make their teachings more entertaining. speaking english: there was a car accident, - and the family — father, mother, and their children were all hospitalised. but their pet, a monkey, was the only one left with the police. it's a storytelling tradition that obviously resembles stand—up comedy, but this is some 200 years older. what was the father doing? he was drinking, maybe
he was drinking and driving. what were you doing, monkey? after the show, i wanted to get some tips from the expert. hold the pen? "monkey, what was the father doing?" "hang on a minute, what were you doing, monkey?" and that's it? they laugh. you should maybe move to japan and should be a professional rakugo performer. really? laughter. time now to leave osaka and head 30km south
to a satellite city, kishiwada, home to japan's most famous and dangerous festival. i am about to witness something really quite special, one of japan's wildest annual festivals. and it is rehearsal time for a jamboree that has been going on for 300 years. it began when local craftsmen would show off their wares to the lord of the castle. today, the tradition continues with teams, still all—male, from individual neighbourhoods, competing in a procession around the city. this year marks the debut of a brand—new float, or danjiri, and p0 is the proud master craftsman.
are you excited? maybe i could help, could i help with your rehearsal? maybe. before anything can happen, there is an official blessing where they pray for safety. they are making an offering to the god for a wish for a happy and safe festival. i am now a member of a very special group. even though this is a dress rehearsal it is deadly serious. deadly serious.
it may not technically be a race but pride dictates the four—ton float hurtles around at full throttle. every year, there are accidents and even deaths. but the tradition continues. wow! 35 floats in total tackle this course at the same time. so when you get down these very narrow streets in particular this will be really dangerous because that is a four—ton load on top and when they turn the corner, they can bash into the corner of buildings. it is crazy.
it is like bull running in spain. after three hours of rehearsal, the teams take a breather. were there any dangerous moments, any times when you were a bit worried? do you have the energy to do two more days, long days? so ijoined the hundreds of thousands of spectators for the real thing. the biggest event of the year. right now we have the perfect vantage point and they are about to do what is called yaremasu the really
and you are surrounded by dense forests of cedar trees. the views from up here are simply stunning. we're now in the mountains on the western side of the island. the iya valley — in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, these remote highlands were a perfect hideaway — literally. right, i'm now going to relive a bit of ancient japanese history. we're really inland and remote here up in the mountains, and this is where disgraced or defeated warriors would escape to. so this is the legendary
kazurabashi bridge, apparently about a thousand years old, made of vine and wisteria — here we go, it's supposed to be really dodgy to cross. but hey, if warriors did it before, so can i. the plan would be you'd get across this bridge and then cut the vines so that the enemy couldn't catch you. mind you, getting across the bridge in the first place is hard enough. the gap between these planks of wood here is, i'd say, large enough to have your foot go through. look at that, they are sprinting across here. you're doing very well.
so these guys are using the side railings which is very sensible, but i think the real samurai way is to walk across through the middle, so i'm going to do that. 15 metres up, 150 feet across, this bridge is today reinforced with steel girders and rebuilt every two or three years. yes! what a samurai can do, ican do. so further inland we go, and the stranger things become. so i'm now walking into a village, nagoro, which on the face of it, it's like many other rural villages injapan, it's peaceful, serene and quiet — almost too quiet.
nagoro is going through the same process as thousands of other villages here — a low birthrate and an exodus from the countryside to the big city, leaving an alarming number of new ghost towns. but one lady who returned to her home village to look after her elderly father was dismayed by this trend, and vowed to try and repopulate the village...after a fashion. konnichiwa! ayu na—san? speaks japanese. rajan — nice to meet you, and yourfriends.
now it's become a cottage industry, using old newspapers and clothes donated by fellow villagers and well—wishers, ayano has created her own scarecrow community. we will call it hiro! it takes two days to prepare and make each scarecrow, and now, there are 350 of these mannequins — way outnumbering the ten villagers left here. some people may find this scene rather spooky, but for ayano, it's brought unexpected celebrity. tourists arrive in regular numbers from all over the world, and there's an annual scarecrow festival. now it's time to take the new boy i think i'm more attached to these scarecrows than ayano—san is, frankly. wow. this is amazing! astonishing.
from a community on the verge of extinction to one forever on the edge of danger. my next destination takes me 600 kilometres south to japan's third—largest island and the city of kagoshima, in the shadow of the country's most volatile mountain, sakurajima. japan is home to 108 active volcanoes, more than almost any other country. beneath us, three peaks of the volcano and two craters. there are three eruptions a day on average from sakurajima, and today, it's happily gurgling sulphuric gases, making the air pungent. 100 years ago there was a massive eruption from this volcano,
which basicallyjoined it to the main island. it used to be a separate island. in fact, all the time, new islands are being created acrossjapan because of volcanic activity. 5,000 people live in this area, their daily lives constantly affected basically by what this volcano does. so, what is it like actually living down there? only a couple of months before our visit, 77 people here were evacuated. akira 0hmura is a local tour guide who has lived here for six years, and he says he loves the energy of the place. first stop, an unusual beach where the sand isn't really sand, but lava ash.
tourists who he meets are always surprised that the volcano erupts so frequently, and that people actually live here — but that's because they are so well—prepared. the monitoring equipment here is some of the best in the world, and locals take the danger in their stride. mayumi 0hyama was recently forced to evacuate from her beloved hometown.
but in spite of the constant threat of upheaval, she wouldn't live anywhere else. and there are some fringe benefits from living in a volcanic zone. south of kagoshima lies ibusuki, a unique hot spring resort. basically i am about to be slow baked in a sand oven of 50 celsius. for therapeutic reasons, i am assured. it's hot, i'm sweating underneath here. and it is a very strange experience, but i think the thing is to just relax into it,
i guess. so at the end of my all—too—brief time injapan, i am struck by the sheer diversity of the country in terms of culture, landscape and people. yeah, you are smart! you're good! laughs as soon as i got off the regular tourist trail, i encountered quirky, humorous, adaptable individuals who love to live life to the max. and, ultimately, i am left with a deep sense of serenity and tradition that is, i would venture to say, uniquelyjapanese. that was. ..unlike anything.
hello. well, 0ctober has finished on the same note that much of the month has continued on, a very mild one. but things will change through the rest of this week. notice how the warmer orange colours start to disappear on our temperature chart. the whites, and then the blues indicate temperatures at, if not below average, the first time we have seen that in a while, as we go towards the end of the week. so, that gradual trend turns to things turning cooler, but with it still some further spells of rain and also much windier at times. a windy night will take us into the first day of november across the english channel coasts, that is on the southern edge of that area of low pressure, which is easing away, with it the heavy overnight rain to start the day. still a bit wet across parts of scotland, north eastern england, a few showers in the south and west, and it will be a case
of morning changing skies across england and wales as some brighter moments are punctuated by occasional showers. and then the showers become more frequent, heavy and thundery across southernmost counties and into the midlands and wales later on. brightening up across much of scotland through the day, southern scotland, northern england and actually northern ireland after some morning rain, nota bad afternoon, plenty of sunshine around. the winds easing here, but strong to gale force winds continue across the south, making it a cooler day than we have seen, but still with temperatures a degree or two above where we should be for the first stage in november. then into tuesday night, showers quite widely to begin with, easing temporarily in the west, only ahead of this approaching area of more persistent rain into northern ireland by dawn. because we will see those clearing skies, light winds for a time, but it will be a cooler start on wednesday morning, a bright start for many, but this developing area of low pressure could bring a bit of travel disruption through the day across some northern and western areas. the day starts off fine for much of scotland, england, eastern wales, but cloud, outbreaks of rain will gradually push their way eastwards, heavy at times, some squally winds with it, maybe some parts of eastern
england will stay dry for longest, but in the west, even if it does brighten up, we could see some potentially disruptive winds, as winds widely gale force could hit 60, 70 miles an hour, those strong winds transferring across scotland through wednesday night and into thursday morning. winds ease a little bit on thursday but after a spell of rain for most, they could linger through much of the day towards east anglia and the south—east. sunshine and showers elsewhere, temperatures by this stage back to where we would probably normally expect for this stage in november. they will hold at those levels, around ten to 1a degrees, through friday and the weekend. friday looking bright and more rain returns on saturday.
welcome to bbc news. i'm lucy grey. our top stories: ukrainian rockets attack russian positions as moscow targets more of the country's infrastructure. we have a special report from the frontline. look at it, desolation. this is what months of attritional warfare does to a town. still no concession. jair bolsonaro keeps a low profile after his defeat in brazil's presidential election. police in india arrest nine people in connection with the collapse of a bridge in gujarat — in which at least 140 people died. and mass public trials are held in iran as the authorities once again try to end the protests that have now raged for seven weeks.