NHKJune 10, 2016 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C
Being on TV in Japan. Who could have dreamed that? Luckily i didn't lose any sleep over it but as soon as i woke up i got a little bit restless. I mean i am used to being looked at here, especially in the smaller towns. But this is a whole different level of attention. This is a cameraman following your every move and getting aired on (albeit local) TV. I planned to do some local sightseeing anyway today and just try to treat it that way. I got up a litlle earlier than usual since i am not a morning person and need some time to really wake up. I took a nice long shower and double checked if i had al my stuff with me in the backpack. As i came down Mayu and Genki were already at the hostel getting some shots of the building. Mayu was the director/interviewer and Genki the cameraman. We shook hands and said goodmorning and after a short talk we set off into Okayama. I felt myself getting really nervous especially when Genki was pointing the camera straight at me. But i was confident that it would be just a matter of time before this would subside and it more or less did after a while. Basically i tried not to think to much about it and just did my own thing. Meanwhile Mayu asked me things about myself like age, family etc. I think partly to get some information for the article but also make me feel a little bit more comfortable. It helped. :-)
We got to the station and i got a little bit lost searching for the tram which was a bit hidden from sight. I thought i was smart and asked Mayu but she told me that i had to figure it out myself. She was obviously right. Even things like finding your way in Okayama can be interesting for the article. (maybe even more so when it's me with my legendary navigational skills ;-))
Eventually i found my way to the tram and Mayu and Genki followed me inside. First stop was Okayama park, a beautiful landscaped park. Genki filmed me having breakfast and i was still nervous enough to make a mess of my riceball, which can be difficult enough to eat anyway. We walked through the park and headed for the castle where i mistakenly took the lady from the ticket booth for a monk who could draw a sealn in my goshuin. :-D You can see it back in the article when i say "doko?" meaning "where?". :-D Remember i didn't get help from Mayu or Genki so i had to find out for myself. Luckily the lady had an English map of Okayama and she pointed out the Okayama shrine to me which was only a 10 minute walk away from the castle. We got to the shrine and Mayu managed to get Genki inside the building so he could film the monk drawing the seal in my book. It was slowly getting time for lunch and I went through a small shopping arcade to find a nice restaurant. But not without going through some shops first. Everytime i entered a shop Mayu would come in right after me, showing her NHK badge and asking for permission to film in the shop. Meanwhile Genki kept filming and pushing memory card after memory card in the camera. One card could hold about 40 minutes of raw material and i saw him change cards at least three times. Eventually we stumbled upon a restaurant with the entire menu and no pictures (which is pretty uncommon). We got inside and after asking for permission to film i tried to ask the shop owner what the specialty of this restaurant was. With some verbal and a lot of non-verbal communication (aka pointing) he managed to explain to me that this was a yakiniku restaurant, which literally means grill meat. It was a BBQ restaurant which basically means meat! I found this a good choice for lunch and with a little help from the owner we ordered spare ribs, beef tongue and some vegetables. Now the idea of yakiniku is that you get the meat raw on the table and you cook it yourself on a miniature BBQ that is integrated in the table. Seriously folks, where can i do this in my home country?! There's not much to it in terms of complexity but the end result is so tasty! I wanted to pay for the lunch but Mayu and Genki insisted on paying since they could join me on this day. For which i thank them a lot!
We had about an hour left of filming time since the raw footage had to be edited for the evening news and so after a short stroll throught downtown Okayama we went back to the hostel where i treated them to stroopwafels with tea. They did the final interview there before they set of to the NHK studio for editing. I thanked them again for this awesome day and after waving goodbye i treated myself to a shower and a cold beer to cool down a bit. Mayu had said that the item would air somewhere between 6 and 7pm and since the hostel didn't have television i went to the local Okonomiyaki place for some nice hearty food and my TV debut. Marisan from the hostel was so nice to explain the people the situation and if i could see the show, which wasn't a problem. It took about half an hour and and a lot of nervous moments but finally my item was on! It was so awesome! They took the best parts of the day and made a really nice article from it. I recorded the whole item which lasted about 5 minutes so you can see for yourself on Facebook. :-) Back to the hostel i celebrated with a couple of beers with Yiyan from Korea before heading off to bed. I was knackered from all the excitement so i fell asleep right away. Truly a day to remember! Thank you Mayusan and Genkisan!Read more