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For a day I'll try to teach you as much Japanese vocabulary as you can.
- Oh God!
- That's Pocari Sweat. - Is that not water?
- That's obviously not water.
It's sweat in a bottle.
(cheerful music)
Good morning guys and welcome back to Journey Across Japan.
Never-ending cycle of despair.
Today, it's pretty big day.
We're leaving Honshu Island, mainland Japan.
Today we cross over into Kyushu, the last island of our journey,
and the last leg of our tour.
So I feel kind of weirded out.
I feel like this is a pretty big deal today.
We're in Yamaguchi Prefecture.
Yamaguchi is at the southern tip of Honshu, and I'm right by
the Tenmangu Shrine, one of the most glamorous shrines in the entire prefecture.
The Tenmangu Shrine is dedicated to the God of study.
So you actually see students coming up here to pray
for good fortune in the coming exams.
And I think that's quite nice.
Given that in the UK, instead of praying for good fortune in exams,
we're basically just down a can of Redbull and hope for the best.
Good morning Ellen.
So for those who don't know, Ellen is my university friend.
She's travelling around Japan for a week or two,
and I'm her tour guide for the next four or five days.
- Yes. Thank you
- "Yes, thank you". How formal.
And she's fromCambridge, which means she's really smart.
Oh, wait, you didn't go to Cambridge University.
- No I didn't.
I went to the same uni as you did. -Oh yeah.
Maybe not that smart after all.
What's this? - Um, this is amazake.
- Woah, what is amazake? - I'm not entirely sure.
- Amazake is basically a sweetened sake drink.
It's kind of the leftovers from...
It sounds bad.
It's like the leftover rice from making sake.
There's no alcohol in it.
Which is good because you can't drink alcohol and cycle in Japan, unfortunately.
Probably for the best.
Anyway, what's today's challenge?
So, these are challenges you guys have sent in.
And today's challenge is...
That's good. - Wow.
- Just how much Japanese do you know?
- Umm, about three words. - What are they?
- "Konnichiwa". - Hello.
- "Arigatou gozaimasu". - Thank you.
- "Sayounara". - Goodbye.
Perfect. - And that is it.
- What more could you possibly need?
Throughout the day, I'll teach you like 10, 20, 30 words.
I love it when it gradually up, and then 30. - Yeah.
And then at the end of the day, we'll test you and see what you can remember.
- Okay. - And you can try it at home
- Challenge accepted.
- What about shrine?
Since we're at a shrine right now, might as well teach the word for shrine.
- Yeah ok, go. - The word for shrine is 'jinja'.
- Jinja.
- How are you gonna remember that?
Well it, I thought this tasted like ginger. - Right.
- I was at the shrine. So, jinja.
- So, that's the first word of the day.
- Jinja, got it.
- Now, let's go on a bicycle. But what's bicycle in Japanese?
- Bicycle-ah.
- Tschh. (bursting in laughter)
- We got some work to do.
On our journey today, we'll come face to face with the most
flammable looking bridge you'll ever see, tunnel our way into Kyushu on foot,
and see if wasabi ice cream is actually edible.
We'll also be introducing Japanese words throughout the day.
So be sure to pay attention to see if you can pass the test
at the end of the video.
And who knows maybe you'll win the grand prize, which is nothing.
Take two - teaching Ellen how to say bike.
The word for bike in Japanese is 'jitensha'.
- 'Jitensha'. - Jitensha.
- How do you say let's go?
- Let's go? Um, 'ikimashou'.
- 'Ikimashou'. - Em, you gotta do, with the excitement,
with power.
(clapping hands) - Ikimashou!
- That'll do. - Nailed it!
(rock music)
- The word for dangerous is... - Go on.
- 'Abunai'.
- A-bu-nai. - Abunai.
- Good, you've nailed it.
- You wanna know the words for left and right?
- Yes, please.
- Left is 'hidari'. - 'Hidari'.
- Hidari. Right is 'migi'.
- Hold on. - 'Migi'.
With that in mind, do you want to take the next hidari?
- Got it.
Oh, God it's so beautiful.
How do you say 'beautiful' in Japanese?
- For this, it's 'kirei'. - Kirei.
- Kirei, kinda means pretty, or beautiful.
- Kirei!
- The word for great is 'subarashii'.
- Subarashii.
- Subarashii Yamaguchi
- Yeah, you're good. - Haha.
- You learning so fast. God, took me three years to learn that.
(gleeful music)
You know what, when I saw this bridge on Wikipedia this morning,
I thought it had been photoshopped or something in the photo.
And yet, it hasn't been photoshopped.
It genuinely is that ridiculous.
Look at it.
The first time you gaze upon the Kintai Bridge, you can't help
but think somebody got a little bit carried away with their credit card.
I mean, It's not the most practical looking bridge.
But its unique design is less to do with aesthetics,
and more to do with combating the unforgiving forces of nature.
There's about 150 people on this bridge right now.
And I can only see about four or five, because of the first archway
blocking the view of the rest bridge.
So if you're wondering why the Kintaikyo Bridge has this
very elaborate design, there is a pretty good logical reason.
Up until 1673, this region have a lot of bridges.
But they kept getting washed away by the strong currents
of the Nishiki River that runs beneath it.
So in 1673, the locals in Iwakuni built this bridge for the extremely
top-heavy design that could not be washed away.
And it worked up until 1950, when unfortunately a typhoon
did get the better of it.
But the locals in Iwakuni loved the bridge so much they rebuilt it,
and it's remained here ever since.
So in one way or another, the Kintaikyo Bridge has been here for 350 years.
- Um, right, help me with the flavors.
- I don't thing there is enough flavors to choose from.
What does your heart tell you?
- This one.
- What was it? - I don't know.
- Oh. Yeah, get that one.
- What is it? Is it something terrible?
- You can't read the characters, can you? - Is it like sea..sea... Or something.
- You've gotta get it though. What made you go for that one?
- I don't know, I just... - Does it look like it mint or something?
- I don't know. I kind of thought..
I thought pistachio maybe, and it looks kind of nice.
I was going for this one, but the broken top put me off.
- I think you've gotta get out.
If you get it and eat it, I'll tell you what it is after.
- Oh god, help me. Okay.
I can't believe I went for the wasabi one.
- It probably tastes quite good.
- Yeah, probably.
You think that's bad.
You were pretty lucky.
There was one right next to it for garlic flavor.
- Oh, okay,
- This thing probably actually work.
Japanese flavors, Japanese weird flavors tend to usually be okay.
But I hope it tastes awful, because it'd be much more entertaining.
- No flavor.
Okay, it's not terrible. But it's not great either.
- One to ten?
- Four.
- Four? - Only a four.
I'm trying it's not, it's not good.
It's very similar to mustard actually.
Which just so, just so happens to be a flavor that I hate.
So, uh, they you go.
I can't do it. (chuckles)
Having contaminated her taste buds with wasabi ice cream,
Ella needs to wash her mouth out.
And I'm bloody hungry.
So we make our way to the nearest 7-11 to grab some lunch.
- Um, what about that one?
- This? - Yeah, what does that mean?
- It says, 'onigiri'. - Onigiri?
- Onigiri. - What does it have in it?
- It's got sauce, yakimeshi.
It's kind of like a sweet soy sauce.
I guess it's like okonomiyaki, to some extent.
- I wanted it then. - The pancake we had in um,
Hiroshima the other day.
That was so good. I'll take it.
So I should probably get something to wash it down with.
Emm, what about this one?
- That's cow piss. - What?
- Calpis. - Okay nope, not that.
- Down there somewhere, is that why you're here.
- This one? - That's Pocari Sweat.
- Is that not water?
That's obviously not water. It's sweat in a bottle.
- (speaking in gibberish) - Yes.
But do you know waters in Japanese?
- No.
- 'Mizu'.
- Mizu. - Yeah.
- Finally, its... - Think 'me' and 'zoo'.
- Mizu.
- Mizu, use it. - Mizu!
- But do you know what iced coffee is?
- Iced coffee?
- Iced coffee.
-No. - 'Ice ko-hi-'.
- No, what is it? - Is it all that I was saying.
Hot coffee is 'hotto ko-hi'.
Koo- Hii-. - Ko-hi.
- 'Aised ko-hi-. - This is quite a hard word to say I reckon.
Ko- Hi-.
Is that Crunky?
- It is Crunky.
(singing) Is that Crunky? - So, that's in English?
Err, Crunky?
- It's a combination of cookie and crunchy.
it's not quite cookie. It's not quite crunchy.
It's Crunky.
I've been making fun of you all day for your guesses at Japanese word.
They're actually pretty good guesses.
Because in Japan they have a lot of 'gairaigo'.
Literally - foreign borrowed words.
Easy example: orange.
- Mhm. - In Japanese, 'orenji'.
- Orenji.
My favorite is a DVD player.
- (chuckles)
- When I first learned that word, it made my day.
It sounds so much cooler than British English.
- Yeah, DVD player.
- There's no V sound in Japanese.
You kind of go Bi, Wi, Vi.
So these are words that Japan didn't really have.
Things that are introduced to Japanese culture.
Because Japan was shut off for a long time
When foreigners brought up, they brought lots of
culture and things with them.
And so they brought language with them as well.
And that's why Japanese has lots of foreign borrowed words.
So odds are, you can look at most things and, um, find a foreign borrowed words.
What about this?
What are these in American English?
- Potato chips.
Something like that. - Good.
- Really?
- In Japanese, poteto chipsu.
So, yeah, you can guess a lot of things.
- So I'm trying to learn 30 words today.
- Right.
- How long would it take to learn Japanese?
- So I made a video a few years ago called "Speaking Japanese In Six Months".
A lot of people would write scrutinised before it.
Cuz it's a pretty bold claim.
I theorized if somebody put a gun to your head and you had to do it.
And you had to learn Japanese, and you locked yourself in a room,
you could basically start having good conversation with just 1500 words.
The 1500 most common words in Japanese.
So, if you learned at a rate of 30 words a day,
you could do it in 50 days.
Although you need to be met like, you need to memorize them
and affluent with them.
- Mhm.
- Yeah with 1500 words you could start having good conversations with anyone.
Yeah, it won't be an in-depth conversation about the geopolitical situation in Syria.
But you can still get by.
You can order a phone contract.
You can go to the bank
You can talk to anyone, yeah.
- But more importantly you get some Crunky yourself.
That's all it's all about
It's gonna get, that was, that was getting really serious
and you had to throw in Crunky, didn't you?
(uplifting music)
At its narrowest point, Japan's main island of Honshu
is separated from Kyushu by just half a kilometer of sea,
known as the Kanmon Strait.
And for just 20 yen, you can pass underneath it
using the 800 meter pedestrian tunnel, which we're going to have to use
to reach our final destination.
You know bridges in Japanese?
- No.
- 'Hashi'
- Hashi?
-Yeah. - That's easy to remember.
- Subarashi hashi.
Subarashi hashi.
- Here we go.
Are you excited?
- Nope.
- No? - I'm a bit nervous.
- You really are nervous of tunnels?
- Yeah.
- Why? - Well, I'm also nervous of lift.
(Ellen laughs)
- Oh, this isn't your day, is it?
Honestly, I was really looking forward to this tunnel a few minutes ago
when I thought we could cycle through it.
And then the woman came over was like, "No! No cycling! No fun!".
And so I've been walking through the tunnel.
We're actually going at a slower pace than most people,
given that we have to carry the bikes too.
Um yeah, it's very long, isn't it?
- Yeah, we must have been walking for 20 minutes.
- I can, I can see neither this, the beginning nor the end now.
That's how long this tunnel is.
There is no light at the end of the tunnel.
- Don't say that.
Okay Ellen, it's time for your next word.
- Okay.
- The word for long.
Give it how bloody longest tunnel is, never-ending tunnel.
The word for long is 'nagai'.
- Is what?
- Nagai.
- Malai?
- No, no.
N. A. G. A. I.
- Nagai?
- Yo, nagai desuyo ne, kono tonneru.
Also the word for tunnel.
It's another foreign borrowed word, another gairaigo.
- Tonneru.
- Ton-neru.
Yeah, it's got tunnel, toneru.
So, nagai tonneru.
So, how are you can remember the word for long, nagai?
- Nagai.
You're a guy.
-Yeah. - Sometimes like to nagging, so 'nag-guy'.
- Nagai.
- And then tunnel, tonneru is kind of the same as tunnel.
So, easy.
- Yeah, job done.
The actual light at the end of the tunnel.
- Hahaha, finally.
- Let's get out of this godforsaken place.
And with that guys we're now in Kyushu.
We've traveled the length of Honshu, and we're here at a
completely different place, complete different culture.
I know nothing about Kyushu.
I don't know what they eat.
I don't know what they drink.
I don't know what they believe in.
- So, when he said he was the best tour guide, maybe not.
- Ungrateful, unbelievable.
It's one f these moment when I feel like I should be moved or something.
But I'm so tired and exhausted that I just don't give a shit.
Kind of like I'm kind of happy, but I do have the energy
to emotionally show it.
All I care about right now is;
A: getting some food,
and B: testing Ellen on her Japanese vocabulary skills.
- Hahaha, u'oh.
Alright guys, so I'm at the Kita-Kyushu Waterfront
and this is the moment we've all been waiting for.
We're gonna see how many words Ellen has memorized.
We've got 18 words throughout the day.
Obviously have no idea how well Ellen's gonna do.
- Neither do I. - What do you do?
I'm going to say they word in English, you will say in Japanese.
- Okay.
- And if you've got a mnemonic that you've used to memorize it,
I want to know.
I'm curious. - Okay. Go on.
- All right, here we go.
And if you get 14 out of 18 right or more, I'll buy you dinner tomorrow.
- Oh, okay. Deal!
- On the downside, if you get less than 14 you buy me dinner.
- Oh, okay.
- First word, shrine.
- Jinja.
- Sweet sake.
- Uh, amazake.
- Bicycle.
- Uh, shitensha.
- Good. - Yes!
Because I was gonna tense after the cycle.
- (chuckles) - Tenser, kinda.
- Let's go.
- Ikimashou.
- Good, how do you remember that?
- Because it sound cool.
- Right.
- Danger.
- I just, I just la....(laughing)
God damnit, I did the wrong way around.
But that's still kind of work. - I got it.
- Alright, left.
- Uh, hidari.
- How do you remember that?
Because you said it enough times, I repeat it.
- Right.
- Migi!
- Pretty.
- Kirei. - Ah, f....
- Great.
- Su.. Ba.. Rashi!
- Good!
- Ugh, it's something with 'zu' in.
Mi, mizu? Mazu?
Mazu. - Mizu.
- Can I have that?
- Yes, alright.
You can have it.
Er, riceball?
-Oh shi...
That's the first one I don't know.
- Onigiri.
Ice cream?
- Aisukurimu.
- DVD player?
- Oww, dividiu pleya?
- That is, I'm not gonna give you that.
That's just ridiculous.
- Uh, bridge...
That was a good one as well.
I know it, hashi.
- Well done.
- Yes!
- Coffee?
- Ko hi.
- Ko-hi-.
- Ko-hi.
- Alright, well done.
- Tanureru?
- I don't, I don't know.
- Tune-ru.
- No, no...
That won't work.
You said it so much pellet.
I wouldn't know what you want about.
It just think you're mental.
Tonneru. - Tonneru.
As in that the, that the tunnel was, long?
- Um, nope.
- Nagai.
- Nagai, tonneru.
- You know, nagging guy? - Yes, now I do.
- It only a couple of hours ago. - Yeah.
- And the last one...
- feel like this is a trick one.
But I don't want to say it wrong,
and insult Japanese language. - Say it wrong. Say it wrong!
Try, try and fail.
You don't shoot, you don't score.
- O ren ju.
- No, but close.
- Orenji.
Remember gairaigo - foreign borrowed words.
Well done.
You got 13 right.
So you just, just missed it - Nooo...
You are gonna have to buy me dinner.
But I'm still quite impressed.
I wouldn't be able to memorize all that.
I'm, my memory is crap.
It takes me like, way more.
- I will never hear the end of this.
What so impressive is, Ellen didn't write that down anywhere.
It's just genuinely in her head repeating over and using mnemonics.
So you got 13 out of 18.
It's a pretty good start.
But for now guys, no matter where you
might be watching out there in the big wide world,
thanks for joining us today and being a part of
Journey Across Japan.
And if you have any tips for learning Japanese
for Ellen or anybody watching this who wants to learn Japanese,
go ahead and let us know in the comments below.
I'm sure you want to know more secrets, more tips.
- Yeah, tell me your secret.
- For now guys, we'll see you tomorrow.
All the best, have a good one.
Be careful!
- What?
- Be careful of a billow.
(suspense music)
- Billow?
- I don't know what billow is.
Is it a billow of wind?
- Must be, yeah.
The wind is billowing, yeah.
- Be careful of a billow. - (Ellen laughs)