The NHK Taiga Drama sometimes shows a short travelogue at the end of each episode (if the local Los Angeles cable station opts to broadcast it - aaarrrghh!)
The narrator provides interesting details concerning the historic locations presented in the drama and how to find the sites. This is good for tourism, of course, and I am not immune to these intriguing travel pieces.
The Taiga dramas, specifically "Aoi Tokugawa," are what first attracted me to Japan. This year the program tells the story of Kuroda Kanbei, samurai and military tactician. And my daughter and I are planning a trip to Fukuoka!
If you enjoy Japanese history, the Taiga Drama is a good jumping off place. When "Gou" was broadcast in 2011 my daughter and I traveled to Shiga Prefecture to learn about this youngest Azai sister and her life as the wife of the second shogun, Hidetada.
Three special pavilions had been created in honor of the drama, and a bus was assigned to take visitors between locations. We had a lot of fun watching renactments, seeing costumes from the show, having our picture taken, and checking out the related merchandise. We also took a guided tour of the Odani Castle Ruins - I was wearing only sandals - but a concerned employee gave me a pair of shoes to wear while hiking the mountain!
Visiting the area where a Taiga drama has been filmed has been very interesting. There is always some kind of special exhibition. Sometimes if you visit a historic attraction all that remains of a years ago Taiga drama is a signed photo of the lead actor.
You may see the picture of Ogata Naoto as Oda Nobunaga (1992's "King of Zipangu") in Gifu, and in Gifu Castle the kimono worn by Kikuchi Momoko as No-hime can be admired.
The city of Kochi decided to hold on to the sets from 2010's "Ryomaden," the story of their native son Sakamoto Ryoma. This is a very entertaining place to visit at the Kochi Tourist Information Center.
The guides were extremely welcoming to my daughter and me, and they provided detailed explanations of all that we saw - albeit in Japanese - my daughter had to translate. They also assisted us in dressing up as Sakamoto Ryoma and his wife Oryo. I looked, of course, like a tourist in costume, but check out Amanda: pretty good, huh?
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