Broadcast on October 1, 2019
Available until March 31, 2021
Rausu lies on the coast of the Shiretoko Peninsula, in eastern Hokkaido Prefecture. Most of the peninsula is designated as a national park, to preserve its rich natural environment. Tours by boat offer visitors the opportunity to see orcas and whales, as well as brown bears on the seashore. The fertile waters off Rausu also provide abundant catches of many kinds of fish. One of the main specialties of this area is kombu (kelp seaweed), an essential ingredient that adds flavor and umami to the dashi stocks that underpin Japanese cuisine. Rausu kombu is considered some of the finest in Japan and is in strong demand from high-end Japanese restaurants around the country. The harvest takes place from late July through the end of August. On this episode of Journeys in Japan, British photographer Alfie Goodrich visits Rausu and meets the kombu harvesters. He also goes to observe the wildlife that proliferates on the peninsula.