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9月17日(月)放送 Nagasaki 長崎

江戸時代のキリスト教弾圧のなかで信仰を続けた希少な宗教文化が評価され、2018年に新たに世界文化遺産に登録された「長崎と天草地方の潜伏キリシタン関連遺産」。そのひとつである大浦天主堂を訪ねます。

Ben ◆Wow. That church we just saw was impressive, too.
Akito ◆That’s the Oura Church. It has an interesting history.
Ben ◆I want to hear about it.
Akito ◆Okay. You see, before the sakoku period, some leaders in Japan decided to stop Christianity.
Ben ◆Really?
Akito ◆Uh-huh. But some Christians wouldn’t give up Christianity so 26 European and Japanese Christians were put on crosses. They died.
Ben ◆Unbelievable!
Akito ◆Yeah. And many more Christians were injured or killed later. Some people say that about 40 thousand people died in total.
Ben ◆That’s such a sad story.
Akito ◆After more than 200 years, the sakoku period ended, and in 1873, the Meiji Government allowed Christianity again. The Oura Church was built to remember the 26 people who died on the crosses.
Ben ◆I see. So, it’s a really important church.

*全文は9月号のテキストに掲載


9月10日(月)放送 Arita Pottery 有田焼

佐賀県有田町とその周辺で作られている有田焼。日本で初めて磁器が焼かれた地として、今もその伝統が守られています。有田焼の工房を訪ね、有田焼の特徴を学びます。

Instructor ◆Did you know there are two types of pottery?
Akito ◆I didn’t know that. What’s the difference between the two?
Instructor ◆Well, one is heated in an oven at a temperature of 1,000 to 1,300 degrees Celsius. The other is heated at a temperature of more than 1,300 degrees.
Ben ◆How does the temperature make them different?
Instructor ◆They look different. Also, they make different sounds when you tap them.
Akito ◆Sounds?
Instructor ◆The first one sounds like this.
Ben ◆It’s a low-pitched sound.
Instructor ◆That’s right. Now listen to the other one.
Akito ◆Ah, it’s a high-pitched sound! It sounds like you’re hitting a metal cup.
Instructor ◆In Arita, we make the second type of pottery.

*全文は9月号のテキストに掲載


9月3日(月)放送 Beppu Hot Springs 別府温泉

日本を代表する温泉の町、大分県別府市。日本一の温泉湧出量を誇り、「地獄めぐり」は人気の観光コースです。ユニークな名前がついた温泉の数々にベンも興味津々のようです。

Ben ◆The water is bright blue!
Akito ◆This is called Umi Jigoku, or Sea Hell.
Ben ◆It’s so beautiful. Why is the word “hell” in the name?
Akito ◆From over 1,000 years ago, gas and hot water came out of the hot springs in Beppu. People couldn’t go near them, so no one liked them. That’s why they named the hot springs with the word “hell.” The water in Umi Jigoku is around 98 degrees Celsius.
Ben ◆Wow!
Akito ◆Today we are “Going around hell”!
Ben ◆What did you say?
Akito ◆We call visiting all the different onsen here, “Going around hell”.
Ben ◆Ohhh,exciting!

*全文は9月号のテキストに掲載


8月27日(月)放送 Hiroshima 広島

広島にやってきたアキトとベン。アキトにはどうしてもベンを連れていきたいところがありました。それは原爆とアキトの家族に関係する場所でした。

Narration
 (Ben) ◆Akito looks serious. He starts walking, and I follow him. Soon, we come to a place with a small stone monument.
Ben ◆What’s this?
Akito ◆This monument is for the people killed or injured by the atomic bomb.
Ben ◆I thought the memorial monument was that arch in the middle of Heiwa Park.
Akito ◆Well there are many other monuments throughout Hiroshima City. This one is for the girls’ school that my grandma went to.
Ben ◆Your grandmother?
Akito ◆Oh, didn’t I tell you? I’m from Hiroshima.
Ben ◆Really? I didn’t know that!
Akito ◆When I was a child, I came here with my grandma every year on August 6th. It is said that nearly 700 people from her school died. That was more than any other school.
Ben ◆That’s so sad...
Narration
 (Ben) ◆There are pictures of three girls carved into the stone monument.
Ben ◆The girl in the middle is holding a box with E=MC2 written on it. Why?
Akito ◆E=MC2 is the formula for nuclear energy. The formula is taken from Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. Every year, my grandma prayed in front of this monument. She cried every time.

*全文は8月号のテキストに掲載


8月20日(月)放送 Akiyoshido Cave 秋芳洞

日本最大のカルスト台地、山口県・秋吉台。その地下100mには日本屈指の大鍾乳洞、秋芳洞があります。約1kmにわたって観光コースが整備され、雨水によって侵食された鍾乳洞が生み出す不思議な世界を堪能できます。

Narration
 (Akito) ◆Ben and I go further into the cave. We are both amazed by the beauty of nature.
Ben ◆Whoa! What’s this?
Akito ◆Ben! Don’t talk so loudly. There are other tourists here, too.
Ben ◆Sorry. It’s just so beautiful...
Akito ◆This is called Kogane-bashira, or “Golden Pillar.” It’s the symbol of Akiyoshido Cave. It’s 15 meters high, and four meters wide.
Ben ◆How was it made?
Akito ◆Water came out of the ceiling of the cave and went down the walls. When that happened, the limestone in the water stayed here and built up.
Ben ◆I wonder how long it took to become this big.
Akito ◆I’m sure it took a really long time! Oh, look. The next limestone shape is called “Jellyfish Climbing a Waterfall.”
Ben ◆Wow! They do look like jellyfish! I really like these names. They’re funny.

*全文は8月号のテキストに掲載


8月6日(月)・13日(月)放送
The Tottori Sand Dunes 鳥取砂丘

鳥取県を代表する観光名所、鳥取砂丘。東西16km、南北2.4kmに広がり、その中心部は海岸砂丘として国内で唯一天然記念物に指定されています。鳥取砂丘の楽しみ方をご紹介します。

Ben ◆Huh? What was that?
Akito ◆It’s a camel. You can ride a camel on the dunes.
Ben ◆I’ve been to sand dunes before, but I have never ridden a camel. Let’s try it!
Akito ◆Whoa! It’s shaky.
Ben ◆Yeah, and camels are really tall. I can see so far from here.
Guide ◆Over there, you can see a famous sand dune called “the Horse’s Back.” It’s 47 meters high.
Akito ◆Wow! Climbing it must be a lot of work.
Ben ◆Yeah, I can see people resting on the sand.
Akito ◆Hey, people over there are sliding down the sand hill.
Ben ◆And over there, people are flying kites.
Guide ◆Some people just like to sit on the sand and enjoy the view.
Ben ◆So each person has their own way of enjoying the sand dunes.

*全文は8月号のテキストに掲載


7月30日(月)放送 Niyodo River 仁淀川

日本一の清流ともいわれる高知県の仁淀川。その水系には多くの渓谷や滝があり、「仁淀ブルー」と呼ばれる美しい風景を楽しむことができます。

Narration
 (Akito) ◆I’ m Akito. Today, Ben and I are by the Niyodo River in Kochi Prefecture.
It’s our day off. We were going to bike around the area, but Ben suddenly said he wanted to see a famous waterfall pool.
Ben ◆Listen. You can hear the sound of water.
Akito ◆Hey, I think I can see the waterfall.
Ben ◆Wow! Akito, look at the color of the water! That blue-green color is so beautiful!
Akito ◆Yeah, and the water is so clear. It looks amazing!
Ben ◆I think that blue-green color is called “Niyodo Blue.”
Akito ◆Yes. In Kochi, the Shimanto River is famous, but the quality of water in the Niyodo River was chosen as the best of the main rivers in Japan.
Ben ◆Ah, it feels so good just sitting here.
Akito ◆If you look at the water, you forget how tired you are.

*全文は8月号のテキストに掲載


7月23日(月)放送 Himeji Castle 姫路城

兵庫県にある国宝・姫路城は、災害や戦争で破壊されることなく、数百年にわたりその姿を保ってきました。ふたりが見学中に出会ったガイドさんは、城を守る様々な知恵を教えてくれます。

Guide ◆Hello. I’m a tour guide. Welcome to Himeji Castle.
Ben ◆Hello! I’m Ben,and this is Akito. Can you tell us about this castle?
Guide ◆Sure. It was built about 700 years ago. Every time the owner changed, the castle was repaired, and new parts were added.
Akito ◆What were the new parts for?
Guide ◆They were added to win a battle.
Ben ◆It doesn’t look like there were battles here.
Guide ◆You’d be surprised. Look over there. Do you see those small holes in the walls?
Akito ◆Yes. The holes have different shapes. It’s a nice design.
Ben ◆Are the holes there to let the sunlight in?
Guide ◆No. They’re used to protect the castle. When an enemy came to the castle, the people inside shot arrows or fired guns from those holes.
Akito ◆Really?
Guide ◆Yes. Also, some parts of the castle are built like a maze, so the enemy would get lost. It looks beautiful on the outside, but this castle was created to be difficult to attack.
Ben ◆I see. It reminds me of a famous saying, “Every rose has its thorn.”
Akito ◆I heard that Himeji Castle wasn’t damaged by the bombing during World War II.
Guide ◆That’s right. Many things have happened since it was built. But the castle still stands here. It might be because this castle has a secret.
Ben ◆A secret?
Guide ◆Yes.The last time this castle was repaired, we found out that the family symbol on the roof was upside down.
Ben ◆Maybe someone made a mistake.
Guide ◆Well, there’s a saying in Japan, “When something is complete, it starts to break down.” Maybe the workers who built this castle put the symbol upside down so that the castle would not break down.
Ben ◆Wow! That’s interesting!

*全文は7月号のテキストに掲載


7月16日(月)放送 Koyasan 高野山

寺社めぐりが大好きなベンがアキトを連れてきたのは、真言宗の総本山として名高い和歌山県の高野山。アキトは、空海が高野山を開いた由来や、ここならではの寺院の配置についてベンに教えます。

Ben ◆This is Koyasan Station. We’re taking a bus from here.
Akito ◆We’re in Koyasan?! Ben, people don’t come here just for an hour! They stay for days.
Ben ◆But we had to come here. It’s a popular Kansai tourist spot.
Narration
 (Akito) ◆Ben really likes temples and shrines. I guess that’s why he wanted to come to Koyasan.
Ben ◆I wonder why Kukai, the famous monk, built a temple on a mountain so far from the major cities.
Akito ◆It’s a famous story. Kukai studied in China for two years. When it was time to return to Japan, Kukai didn’t know where to build his temple. So before leaving China, he threw a Buddhist tool called sanko across the sea toward Japan. The tool fell on a pine tree on Koyasan. That’s why he decided to build his temple here.
Ben ◆Really? I can’t believe he threw something all the way from China! And how did he find it again?
Akito ◆Well, it’s just an old story… Anyway, where are we taking the bus to?
Ben ◆The temple, of course!
Akito ◆Uh…Actually,this is part of the temple.
Ben ◆ Huh? What do you mean?
Akito ◆This whole mountain is like a large temple, so we’re already there.
Ben ◆Are you sure? I can see many different temples on my map.
Akito ◆Those temples were built by Kukai’s students. There are 117 of them.
Ben ◆I see. So where should we go?
Akito ◆Well, the main building on this mountain is called the Kondo.And the Konpon Daito next to the Kondo is the symbol of Koyasan.
Ben ◆Sounds great! Let’s go there.

*全文は7月号のテキストに掲載


7月9日(月)放送 Iga Ueno 伊賀上野

舞台は三重県の伊賀市。忍者が大好きだというアキトは、“忍者の里”として知られる伊賀上野を訪れて大興奮。地元の博物館で、忍者ショーの見物や手裏剣投げを楽しみます。

Akito ◆Ben, come over here. We can try shuriken throwing.
Ben ◆Ninja stars?
Akito ◆Yeah. Throw this at that target.
Ben ◆Okay! (Throws shuriken) What? Oh no!
Akito ◆You didn’t throw it the right way. You are good at juggling, but your shuriken throwing needs more practice!
Ben ◆Hey! That’s not nice. Let me try it again.
Akito ◆We can come back later. In Iga Ueno, you can rent ninja costumes and walk around town in them.
Narration
 (Ben) ◆Akito tries on five ninja costumes. Finally, he finds one he likes.
Akito ◆Hey, Ben. How do I look?
Ben ◆You look… okay.
Akito ◆Just okay? Do you mean I don’t look good in this costume?
Ben ◆No, no. That’s not what I meant. I can only see your eyes, so I don’t know if it’s you in that costume.
Akito ◆That’s why being a ninja is great. No one knows who you are. So, can you take a picture of me?

*全文は7月号のテキストに掲載


7月2日(月)放送 Lake Biwa 琵琶湖

滋賀県にある日本最大の湖・琵琶湖を訪ねたふたりは、日帰りの島めぐりツアーに参加。船員さんに、琵琶湖の地理や湖に浮かぶ竹生(ちくぶ)島について教えてもらいます。

Worker ◆Hello! Is this your first time visiting Lake Biwa?
Akito ◆Yes.
Worker ◆Well then, let me give you a quiz. How big is Lake Biwa?
Akito ◆Hmm. Is it about half the size of Shiga Prefecture?
Ben ◆I think it’s bigger. It must cover about 70 percent of Shiga.
Worker ◆No! Lake Biwa covers only about 16 percent of Shiga Prefecture.
Akito ◆Really?! I thought it was bigger!
Worker ◆Well, it is the biggest lake in Japan. Most of the water used in the Kansai area is taken from Lake Biwa. If people say bad things about Shiga, we say, “We’re going to stop Lake Biwa’s water.”
Ben ◆You can stop the water?!
Worker ◆No, no. It’s just a joke.
Ben ◆Oh, okay! Anyway, can you tell us about the next island, Chikubujima?
Worker ◆Sure. I think most people from Shiga have been to it. Since a long time ago, people have said the gods live there.
Akito ◆Wow!
Narration
 (Akito) ◆We arrive at Chikubujima. After walking around for a while, we stop at a place with a nice view.
Ben ◆Hey, what’s that? People are throwing things.
Akito ◆That’s kawarake throwing.
Ben ◆Kawarake? What’s that?
Akito ◆Kawarake is a small white plate made of clay. You write your wish on it and throw it toward that torii gate down there. If it goes through the torii, your wish will come true.
Ben ◆Let me try it!

*全文は7月号のテキストに掲載


6月25日(月)放送 Nebuta ねぶた

ねぶた祭りの勇壮な山車(だし)をひと目見ようと、青森県を訪れたアキトとベン。修行中の職人さんに出会い、ねぶたの作り方や“ねぶた”の語源を教えてもらいます。

Man ◆Hey! What are you doing? You can’t come into the tents.
Narration
 (Ben) ◆I turn around and see a man. He looks about the same age as us.
Akito ◆We’re sorry. We just wanted to see the nebuta floats.
Man ◆Well, if you want to see them, you need to come to the festival.
Ben ◆So are you a nebuta craftsman?
Man ◆Yeah, but I’m still learning.To become a professional craftsman, it takes many years of training. Even after you become a pro, it takes time to make enough money to live.
Akito ◆I see. So how many nebuta craftsmen are there?
Man ◆About 15. The companies and groups who want to take part in the festival send us orders for floats, and we make them.
Ben ◆What are nebuta floats made from?
Man ◆Well, the frame is made from wood, wires and string. When the frame is finished, we stick on washi paper and paint it with a special ink.
Ben ◆That’s it?
Man ◆Basically, yeah.
Akito ◆Nebuta floats are so colorful! I think they are really cool!
Man ◆Don’t look! No one is allowed in this tent!
Ben ◆Sorry... Anyway, why are they called nebuta ?”
Man ◆Well, a long time ago, we called lanterns nebuta here in Aomori.
Akito ◆Ah, that makes sense. You light up the nebuta floats like a lantern.
Ben ◆That must be beautiful.
Man ◆Why don’t you come back in August? You can be part of the festival.
Akito ◆Can tourists do that?
Man ◆Yeah. If you wear a haneto costume, you can sing and dance in the festival.
Ben ◆Akito, did you hear that? That’s perfect for us! Now we have to stay here until the Nebuta Festival!

*全文は6月号のテキストに掲載


6月18日(月)放送 Matsushima 松島

京都の天橋立、広島の宮島とならび、日本三景のひとつに数えられる宮城県の松島。松尾芭蕉との関わりや、“出会いのパワースポット”として人気の橋をご紹介します。

Ben ◆The view of the ocean and the pine trees is fantastic! I can see why it’s called one of the three best scenic places in Japan. I’m so glad we took the time to come.
Akito ◆You know, there are about 260 islands in this bay. It is said that Matsuo Basho, the haiku poet, thought the scenery was so beautiful that he had trouble thinking of a good haiku.
Ben ◆I can understand why. (Stomach makes a noise)
Oh, excuse me. The view is great, but it won’t fill up my stomach.
Let’s go eat the famous anago-don.
Ben ◆Ah, the scenery is great and the food is just wonderful. What more can I ask for?
Akito ◆We should thank Date Masamune.
Ben ◆Date Masamune?
Akito ◆He is the famous samurai that used to control this area. He actually created the city of Sendai.
Narration
 (Akito) ◆After lunch, we walk across a red bridge and go to Fukuura Island.
Akito ◆The local people say the bridge has magical powers and can help you meet people.
Ben ◆So if you walk across this bridge, you might find a boyfriend or a girlfriend?
Akito ◆Uh-huh.
Ben ◆Too bad I’m with you today!
Akito ◆I feel the same way, too!

*全文は6月号のテキストに掲載


6月11日(月)放送 Goshiki-numa  五色沼

およそ300の湖や沼からなる五色沼は、福島県を代表する絶景スポットのひとつ。青や赤、緑などの色を楽しめる沼はどのようにできたのか、磐梯山と深く結びついた成り立ちをご紹介します。

Akito ◆Look, Ben! This view looks like a Monet painting.
Ben ◆Monet?
Akito ◆The French painter. This milky-blue color is amazing. I can see why it’s called Aonuma, or Blue Pond.
Narration
 (Ben) ◆I’m Ben. Akito and I are in a place called Goshiki-numa in Fukushima Prefecture. It is in the Ura-Bandai area.
Old Woman ◆Excuse me. Could you speak more quietly?
Narration
 (Ben) ◆I look behind me and see an Old Woman standing there. She is smiling.The Old Woman tells us that she used to work as a nature guide here.
Old Woman ◆In 1888, there was a volcanic explosion on Mount-Aizu-Bandai and Goshiki-numa appeared. The rivers stopped and became lakes and ponds. Goshiki means “five colors,” and as you can see, the ponds here have different colors. Most are blue, but there are also red ones and green ones.
Ben ◆Wow! I can’t wait to see them!
Old Woman ◆The biggest is called Lake Bishamon, and you can rent a rowboat there. In the Bandai area, there are over 300 lakes and ponds.
Akito ◆Three hundred?
Old Woman ◆Yes. When the rivers stopped flowing, some villages disappeared because of all the water.
Ben ◆Really?
Old Woman ◆Yes. And nearly 500 people died.
Akito ◆Oh,no! I didn’t know something so sad happened here.

*全文は6月号のテキストに掲載


6月4日(月)放送 Yama-dera 山寺

“山寺”の通称で親しまれ、山形県を代表する寺院のひとつ・立石寺(りっしゃくじ)。松尾芭蕉が「閑(しず)かさや 岩にしみ入る せみの声」の一句を詠んだことでも広く知られています。山寺の歴史や芭蕉ゆかりの“せみ塚”、800段以上ある階段にまつわる言い伝えなどをご紹介します。

Ben ◆So this is sanmon gate. It’s really old.
Akito ◆Yama-dera was created in 860. But there were many fires, so most of the buildings had to be rebuilt. sanmon gate is from Kamakura period.
Hey, Ben? You’re not listening again. What’s wrong with you today?
Ben ◆I’ll tell you later. You know, I heard that you need to climb more than 800 steps to get to the temple building at the top.
Akito ◆Okay...
Ben ◆It is said that with each step you will forget a little more about things on earth and become closer to heaven. I’ll tell you what I’m thinking after I climb these steps and become a new man.
Narration
 (Akito) ◆Yama-dera means “Mountain Temple.” Its official name is Hoju-san Risshakuji. In one of the buildings, there is a holy fire that has been burning for over 1,000 years. It came from Enryakuji Temple near Kyoto. Enryakuji burned down in the sixteenth century, and when they rebuilt it, the fire from this temple was taken to Enryakuji.
Ben ◆Akito, what’s this?
Akito ◆It’s a stone monument called Semizuka. A piece of paper with Matsuo Basho’s haiku is buried here... Hey, Ben! Where are you going? I’m still talking!
Narration
 (Akito) ◆Ben is like this all the way to the top. He asks questions but doesn’t listen to my answers.
Ben ◆Phew. Finally, the last step! We did it!
Akito ◆Wow. Check out this view! Let’s take a picture.

*全文は6月号のテキストに掲載


5月28日(月)放送 Sado Kinzan 佐渡金山

およそ400年にわたって金の採掘が続いた新潟県・佐渡が舞台。金のロマンに魅せられ、採掘跡や博物館を歩き回ったアキトとベンが、最後に手にした“お宝”は…?

Akito ◆That’s Doyu-no-Wareto rock. It’s the symbol of Sado Kinzan.
Ben ◆It looks like someone cut out the middle.
Akito ◆Yeah. It became like that because they took too much gold from the top part.
Ben ◆Ah, I see. Akito, it says there are two mining tunnels.
Akito ◆You’re right. One was made by hand during the Edo period.
Ben ◆What about the other tunnel?
Akito ◆It was made during the Meiji period. Inside, you can see the actual machines that people used to dig for gold.
Narration
 (Ben) ◆We go into the Edo period tunnel. It is cold. There are dolls placed inside, so we can see how people worked. In the Meiji period tunnel, we can see how the gold was carried out of the mountain.
Ben ◆I heard that this gold mine was used for 388 years. Seventy-eight tons of gold was found.
Akito ◆Uh-huh. At one time, around one hundred thousand people from around the country lived here.
Ben ◆It was a Japanese gold rush!
Akito ◆That’s right. This mine was used until 1989. That’s only about 30 years ago.
Narration
 (Ben) ◆Next,we go to a nearby museum. I was a little sad about the piece of gold, but...
Akito ◆Hey, Ben. Look!
Narration
 (Ben) ◆I look over and see a large bar of gold. It is inside a clear case with a hole in the middle.
Akito ◆You can try to take it out through that hole.
Ben ◆Leave it to me!
Narration
 (Ben) ◆I try and try, but the bar of gold is very heavy, and the hole is too small for my large hand. I can pick it up, but I can’t bring it through the hole.
Ben ◆I give up! This is too difficult!
Akito ◆Ben, this is just for fun. Let’s go get some ice cream instead. It’s very special.
Narration
 (Ben) ◆We leave the bar of gold and go to the museum store to buy ice cream.
Ben ◆This ice cream has gold flakes on it!
Akito ◆Ben,I’m glad you finally got your gold!

*全文は5月号のテキストに掲載


5月21日(月)放送 Kurobe Dam 黒部ダム

世界でも屈指の規模を誇る富山県の黒部ダムは、立山黒部アルペンルートを代表する観光スポット。トロリーバスや放水の場面で使われている英語表現は、ダムの案内にもうってつけです。

Akito ◆This is called a trolley bus? It’s comfortable.
Ben ◆Yeah. It’s called a bus, and it looks like one, too. But it runs on electricity. In Japan, you can ride on a trolley bus only in this place.
Akito ◆Really? We’re lucky, then. So, how long will it take until we arrive?
Ben ◆Well, this ride is ten minutes. Then,we take a ropeway for seven minutes, and then a cable car for five minutes.
Akito ◆Okay... So Ben, where exactly are we going?
Ben ◆To Kurobe Dam, of course.
Ben ◆I think we can walk to the dam from here.
Akito ◆Okay. I wonder why they made a dam so far up in the mountains.
Ben ◆Mountains are good for dams. You see, dams create more electricity when large amounts of water fall from a high place to a low place.
Akito ◆Ah, I see. So how much electricity can this dam create?
Ben ◆Well, it says here that Kurobe Dam can create electricity for more than 300 thousand families.
Akito ◆Wow! This dam is really hardworking. Hey, Ben, it says that the dam can release ten tons of water each second! That’s a lot of water.
Ben ◆It really is! Speaking of water, I think I can hear the sound of it. Let’s go.
Narration
 (Akito) ◆We walk a little further, and we can see the dam. It is really big! And there’s lots and lots of water coming out of it.
Ben ◆Ah, it’s almost like Niagara Falls!
Akito ◆It is! And it’s so high.
Ben ◆Yeah. It’s 186 meters high.
Akito ◆And look at all those people.
Ben ◆Didn’t I tell you? Many tourists come here. Okay. Let’s do it.
Akito ◆Do what?! Hey, Ben, what are you doing?
Narration
 (Akito) ◆Ben takes out his juggling balls from his bag and starts to juggle.
Ben ◆Hello, everyone! I’m Ben, and this is Akito. Together, we are “A&B.” You can enjoy some fine entertainment and the amazing view!

*全文は5月号のテキストに掲載


5月14日(月)放送 Shirakawa-go 白川郷

名古屋に行くはずだったアキトとベンが予定を変更し訪れたのが、世界遺産の合掌造り集落で知られる岐阜県・白川郷です。さて突然ですが、合掌造りの“合掌”は英語でどう言うでしょう?答えは、文中にあります。

Narration
 (Ben) ◆I’m Ben. Right now, Akito and I are in Shirakawa-go. Akito is angry because we didn’t go to Nagoya, but I really wanted to come here. We are now eating a local hot pot.
Akito ◆So, what are we going to do after we eat?
Ben ◆We’re going to the village with the gassho-style houses.
Akito ◆Do you even know what gassho means?
Ben ◆Umm, no. Can you tell me?
Akito ◆Well, when Japanese people pray, they put their hands together. This gesture is called gassho.
Ben ◆Really?
Akito ◆A gassho-style house has a roof that looks like two hands put together.
Ben ◆I see. But why did they make the roofs so steep?
Akito ◆Because in winter, there’s lots of heavy snow here. The gassho shape keeps the snow off the roofs.
Ben ◆Wow. You know a lot.
Narration
 (Ben) ◆After eating, Akito and I go to another restaurant. From here, we can see the whole village.
Akito ◆What a great view!
Ben ◆Your guidebook says a man from Germany first told the world about Shirakawa-go.
Akito ◆I know. I read that already. His name was Bruno Taut, and he was an architect.
Ben ◆Mr. Taut said this area doesn’t look like Japan at all. I agree with him.
Akito ◆What do you mean? I think Shirakawa-go is very Japanese.
Ben ◆Well, it doesn’t look like the other Japanese villages I’ve seen before.
Akito ◆Hmm. You may be right.

*全文は5月号のテキストに掲載


5月7日(月)放送 Kisoji Tsumago-juku 木曽路妻籠宿

かつて中山道の宿場町だった長野県の“妻籠宿(つまごじゅく)”。江戸時代のたたずまいを色濃く残し、最近外国人観光客に人気です。妻籠宿の歴史や、古い町並みを守る秘訣をご紹介します。

Ben ◆We made it! Akito, this is Tsumago-juku.
Akito ◆Tsumago-juku? I’ve never heard of it.
Ben ◆Are you really Japanese? This is a very famous place.
Akito ◆Really? Why is it so famous?
Ben ◆Well, look at this street.
Narration
 (Akito) ◆I look at the street. It looks like a movie set from an old samurai movie.
Ben ◆It almost feels like we will see a samurai here, doesn’t it?
Akito ◆You’re right!
Ben ◆I read that this place used to be a busy post station.
Akito ◆Post station? Ah, you mean a rest area on an old walking route.
Ben ◆Walking route?
Akito ◆During the Edo period, there were several walking routes that connected Edo and Kyoto. The route here is called Nakasendo. Along the routes, post stations were made so that people could rest. The post stations aren’t used anymore because cars and trains are faster than walking.
Ben ◆Then, why is Tsumago-juku still here?
Akito ◆Good question. Let me ask.
Narration
 (Akito) ◆I talk to a person walking by. She tells me…
Woman ◆We wanted to protect our town. When you’re in Tsumago-juku, it still feels like you’re in the Edo period, right? We wanted to keep it that way, so we made three rules.
Akito ◆Could you tell us the rules?
Woman ◆Don’t sell. Don’t rent. Don’t destroy.
Akito ◆Ah, I see. Those are simple but great rules.
 
Narration
 (Akito) ◆Soon it is nighttime.
Many traditional lanterns are lit, and the town looks amazing.

*全文は5月号のテキストに掲載


4月23日(月)・30日(月)放送 Mount Tsukuba 筑波山

旅の舞台は、古くから「西の富士、東の筑波」と称され、茨城県のシンボルともなっている筑波山です。山頂を目指していたアキトとベンは、名物・“ガマの油”の売り口上に思わず引き込まれます。

Ben ◆Where’s Mount Tsukuba?
Akito ◆It’s that mountain right in front of us. Mount Tsukuba has always been famous as a spiritual mountain. Some people even say, “In the west there’s Mount Fuji. In the east, there’s Mount Tsukuba.”
Ben ◆Really?
Akito ◆At sunrise and sunset, the mountain looks purple, so sometimes it’s called the Purple Mountain. Also, there’s a shrine halfway up the mountain. This shrine is said to be about 3,000 years old.
Ben ◆That sounds really cool. So, is it difficult to climb?
Akito ◆Well…there’s a cable car that can take us to the top of the mountain.
Ben ◆Then, let’s go.
Ben ◆What are they doing?
Akito ◆They’re selling a special oil called gama oil.
Ben ◆gama oil? What’s that?
Akito ◆It’s oil from a toad.
Ben ◆A toad? You mean, like a frog?
Akito ◆Yeah. A long time ago, a man named Nagai Heisuke caught a toad that had magic powers. Nagai took the oil on the toad’s skin and made a special lotion. Then he sold it in Asakusa. It is said that the lotion could fix almost any problem.
Ben ◆That sounds really useful! Hey! She’s going to cut herself with that katana sword! Oh no. She’s bleeding. Akito, call an ambulance.
Akito ◆Ben, it’s okay. Look.
Ben ◆She’s putting the lotion on the cut? She stopped bleeding!
Akito ◆Uh-huh. The lotion works like magic.
Ben ◆Okay. Let me buy some. We always get cuts when we perform.
Akito ◆Actually, it won’t fix the cuts.
Ben ◆What do you mean?
Akito ◆That was a storytelling performance. gama oil sellers are street performers, just like us. They surprise the crowd by cutting themselves with the sword and then stopping the blood with the lotion.
Ben ◆That was a show? It was fantastic! I want to learn from her!
Akito ◆Aren’t we going to climb Mount Tsukuba?
Ben ◆We can do that later. Let’s go and talk with the gama oil seller!
Akito ◆Ben! Wait!

*全文は4月号のテキストに掲載



4月16日(月)放送 Koedo-Kawagoe 小江戸川越

江戸時代にタイムスリップした感覚を味わえる埼玉県・川越市の“小江戸”。町のシンボル・“時の鐘”や名物のさまざまなお菓子などを、英語でどう言うのかにご注目ください!

Narration
 (Akito) ◆Ben is always making all the decisions. I wanted to go to Ikebukuro today, but Ben suddenly wanted to come to Kawagoe...
 
Ben ◆Hey, Akito. They’re selling sweet potato snacks.
Akito ◆Sweet potatoes are a specialty of Kawagoe.
Ben ◆They have sweet potato dorayaki, taiyaki, and even cream puffs!
Akito ◆You bought all of them?! What about Candy Shop Lane?
Ben ◆I can fit a lot in this stomach!
Akito ◆Along the Kurazukuri Zone, or the Old Storehouse Zone on the main street, there are many old buildings. Some are from the Edo and Meiji periods. Others are from the Taisho and Showa periods.
Ben ◆Wow. It feels like we’ve traveled back in time.
Akito ◆How do you know what old Japan was like?
Ben ◆I saw a samurai movie once. Hey, what’s that?
Akito ◆It’s candy.
Ben ◆Candy? It looks like a stick.
Akito ◆Watch. That craftsman is going to cut it into small pieces.
Ben ◆That’s amazing! It’s so much better than your juggling.
Akito ◆What?!
Ben ◆Hey, is that candy, too?
Akito ◆No. That’s called fugashi. It’s a soft breadstick with a brown sugar coating. It’s a famous Kawagoe snack.
Ben ◆Let me buy some.
Akito ◆You know, we’re lucky we can enjoy this town. There was a fire here in 2015, and five shops burned down.
Ben ◆Really? It’s only been a few years, but everything looks normal.
Akito ◆The people here worked hard together to rebuild the shops.
Ben ◆That’s great. Maybe we can learn from that.

*全文は4月号のテキストに掲載


4月9日(月)放送 Yokohama Chinatown 横浜中華街

神戸、長崎とともに“日本三大中華街”のひとつに数えられ、チャイナタウンとしては世界最大級の規模を誇る神奈川県の横浜中華街。その成り立ちや名物を英語でご紹介します。

Ben ◆Is that a gate? It’s really colorful. What does it say on it?
Akito ◆It says, “Choyomon.”
Ben ◆Choyomon?
Akito ◆It means,“Gate of the Morning Sun.”
Ben ◆That sounds nice.
Akito ◆There are ten gates in Yokohama Chinatown. Choyomon is the largest one.
Ben ◆Mmm! Something smells great. Is that smoke over there?
Akito ◆No. That’s steam. They’re selling steamed meat buns and sweet azuki buns.
Ben ◆I want to try them. Do you think we can get a table?
Akito ◆We can eat while we walk. That’s what people do here.
Ben ◆Ah, I see.
Akito ◆Let’s walk toward Kanteibyo.
Ben ◆Kanteibyo? What’s that?
Akito ◆It’s a shrine made for the Chinese god of business.
Ben ◆Look at that building!
Akito ◆Yokohama Chinatown was originally called Nanking Town. Many Chinese traders moved here after Japan became open to foreigners in 1859. Then, in the 1950s, Yokohama City took a hint from San Francisco and made Chinatown into a place for tourists. It is said that many Kakyo people gave money to help this big project.
Ben ◆Kakyo?
Akito ◆Kakyo is the word for Chinese people who have moved to different countries to start a new life.
Ben ◆I see.
Akito ◆Chinatown has more than 500 restaurants and shops. During the Chinese New Year, people celebrate by lighting firecrackers and playing drums.
Ben ◆That sounds like fun! We should come back for the Chinese New Year.

*全文は4月号のテキストに掲載


4月2日(月)放送 Naritasan Shinshoji Temple 成田山新勝寺

「ニッポンぶらり旅」のスタートは千葉県。成田空港に近く、多くの外国人が訪れる成田山新勝寺の前で、主人公のふたりが再会します。アメリカ人のベンは、仏教に興味津々です。

Narration
 (Akito) ◆I’m Akito. Ben and I are a street performance duo called A&B. We met at a school for circus performers in France. We are in Japan to do as many shows as possible and become better performers. The plan was to meet at Narita Airport three days ago, but...
 
Akito ◆Ben, I went to the airport at three, just like you said.
Ben ◆I know, but my flight arrived early.
Akito ◆Then, why didn’t you wait until I came?
Ben ◆Oh, Akito, you know me. I’m a curious person. I just had to go to Naritasan Shinshoji Temple!
Akito ◆You disappeared for a really long time!
Ben ◆I didn’t know the danjiki fasting program was going to be for several days. We couldn’t use our cellphones or computers during the program.
Akito ◆Then why didn’t you call me before it started?!
Ben ◆I didn’t have time. Anyway, the program was great! We took part in the Goma Prayer each morning. Then, we read books about Buddhism and meditated. It was very interesting.
Akito ◆Oh well, you’re here now. After we eat, we should leave for Tokyo. We need to find a place to stay.
Ben ◆Uh, no.
Akito ◆What?!
Ben ◆I’m going to join a Buddhist scripture copying session this afternoon.
Akito ◆You mean shakyo?
Ben ◆Uh-huh. It says that Japanese people can finish copying it in about an hour. But it might take me more time. That’s why I made a reservation for us at a guest house nearby.
Akito ◆So, we’re staying in Narita tonight?
Ben ◆Yeah. The Narita Drum Festival will take place in a few days. Around 1,500 drummers will be there.

*全文は4月号のテキストに掲載

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