Joanna Lumley's Japan

Watch Joanna Lumley's Japan

  • 2016
  • 1 Season
  • 8.3  (490)

Joanna Lumley's Japan is a travelogue television show starring Joanna Lumley as she embarks on a journey across Japan to explore the country's unique culture, traditions, and landscapes. The ITV series premiered in 2016 and consists of three hour-long episodes. The show is both informative and entertaining and features Lumley as a charismatic and knowledgeable guide. Lumley takes the audience on a fascinating trip where she experiences the country's traditional customs and visits some of the most beautiful and less-explored places of Japan.

Throughout the series, Lumley encounters Japan's various contrasts and meets people of all walks of life. From interviewing a sumo wrestler to exploring the famous Akihabara neighborhood in Tokyo, Lumley immerses herself completely in the Japanese culture, trying out different cuisines, partaking in various activities and discovering the history and mythology that influences modern-day Japan.

One of the most intriguing parts of the series is when Lumley travels to the remote regions of the country to learn more about the ancient practices and customs of Japan. She visits various remote temples and shrines, where she learns from the resident monks and nuns, who share with her the secrets of their faith and practice.

Lumley does not shy away from trying out things that might not be conventional for a Westerner, such as performing the ritualistic tea ceremony, taking part in a traditional Japanese folk dance, or even trying out sword fighting. With a sheer sense of adventure, she absorbs all that Japan has to offer, illuminating the country's unique and fascinating culture.

In the first episode of the series, Lumley visits Tokyo, the buzzing metropolis of neon lights and manga. She tries out some of the local delicacies such as fugu, the poisonous blowfish, and visits the Akihabara Electric Town, where she experiences the vibrant pop culture of anime and manga. She even attends a robot show and meets some of the engineers behind these futuristic machines that have become an integral part of contemporary Japanese culture.

The second episode takes Lumley to the wild north of the country, where she ventures onto the remote island of Hokkaido. The vast terrain that stretches as far as the eye can see is home to some of the country's most iconic wildlife, including the snow monkeys, Hokkaido brown bears, and the tancho cranes. She also explores the region's rich indigenous Ainu culture, discovering their unique heritage.

The third and final episode of Joanna Lumley's Japan takes her on a journey through the western region of Honshu, where she starts by visiting the Kobe beef farms where the legendary wagyu beef comes from. She learns about the meticulous process of raising these cattle before trying out the meat, which is widely regarded as one of the most premium-quality meats in the world.

Throughout the episode, Lumley explores the wonders of Honshu, including the historic city of Kyoto, the home of the ancient samurai warriors. She also pays a visit to Hiroshima, where she pays her respects at the peace memorial park, a powerful testimony to the devastating effects of the atomic bomb.

Overall, Joanna Lumley's Japan is an engaging and informative travel series that not only showcases Japan's unique customs, traditions, and landscapes but also highlights the country's sociopolitical and economic changes, illuminating Japan's place in the modern world. It is a must-watch for anyone interested in Japan's culture and society or anyone who wants to experience the country's beautiful and breathtaking landscapes.

Joanna Lumley's Japan is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (3 episodes). The series first aired on September 9, 2016.

Joanna Lumley's Japan
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Episode 3
3. Episode 3
September 23, 2016
Joanna undertakes a pilgrimage of sorts to the island of Shikoku, visiting temples to elevate her understanding of Japanese Buddhism. She travels south to Nagasaki, where the second atomic bomb was dropped on Japan in 1945. Here, Joanna meets Matsuyoshi Ikeda - who was at school in the city on the day the bomb dropped. He shares his miraculous story of survival.
Episode 2
2. Episode 2
September 16, 2016
Joanna takes in Tokyo, a city spanning over 5,000 square miles, by helicopter. It was bombed extensively by the US Army Air Forces in World War II; astonishingly, almost all of it has been built in the last 70 years. It's now a symbol of Japan's postwar boom and is the world's second-largest economy. Back on her feet, Joanna heads out to see Kamem Joshi - a girl band with a largely male audience.
Episode 1
1. Episode 1
September 9, 2016
Joanna's trip begins in Hokkaidō, one of Japan's four main islands, to find the majestic red-crowned crane - an important symbol in Japanese culture. Next she heads to Sapporo for its magical Snow Festival, and meets some of its indigenous Ainu community. Heading south, she visits an ancient brewery that's been making sake since 1689 and one of the oldest, most breathtaking pagodas in the country.
Where to Watch Joanna Lumley's Japan
Joanna Lumley's Japan is available for streaming on the ITV website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Joanna Lumley's Japan on demand at Apple TV Channels and Amazon Prime.
  • Premiere Date
    September 9, 2016
  • IMDB Rating
    8.3  (490)