Journeys in Japan

Season 2, Episode 50 of 52

Cape Soya lies at the northernmost tip of Hokkaido Island. Located at latitude of 45⁰ north, the landscape in this area is very different from the rest of Japan - and it is sometimes known as the "Ireland of Japan." Year-round, it is swept by strong winds and has an average annual temperature of about 7 degrees Celsius. This makes it a suitable habitat for plants that can only be seen at an altitude of around 2,000 meters in central Japan. The Okhotsk Sea is one of Japan's most fertile fishing grounds. Sarufutsu Village is known for its scallops, and more of the shellfish are landed here than anywhere else in Japan. The local fishermen release baby scallops in the sea water and leave them to grow for five years until maturity. These shellfish are prized for their meaty texture and rich flavor. This area also has a distinctive inland ecosystem, with some fascinating wildlife. One of the most remarkable is the itou (Japanese Huchen), the largest freshwater fish in the country, which is now critically endangered. In this edition of Journeys in Japan, John Moore explores the wild nature of Japan's northernmost tip. He sees for himself the bounty of the ocean, even in this harsh climate. And he tries his hand at fly fishing, in the hopes that he may come face to face with the mysterious itou fish.

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