Kokoro Tabi (こころ旅)

I have been enjoying Kokoro Tabi on TV Japan lately. (It’s listed as “Journey of the Heart across Japan”) The show is basically about a bicycle rider reading letters from people, and traveling to places in Japan related to the letter. The rider is actor Hino Shohei and he and his small crew (camera man, audio man, etc) plot their course on the map and ride, ride, ride! To me, it’s really interesting. And very Japanese. What I mean by that is that the show is very introspective, slow-paced, and really peaceful. It’s part documentary, part travel show, and part human-interest. I only wish I could understand Japanese better so I could get the details, but I still understand maybe 15%… and the biking and scenery are really cool. I also like Hino Shohei’s clothes and cool glasses! The glasses come apart at the bridge, but are held together magnetically there. And the earpiece wraps fully around the back of his head, so he can wear them around his neck when he doesn’t need the glasses. It’s pretty neat. Anyways, if you have TV Japan, I highly recommend this show!

12 thoughts on “Kokoro Tabi (こころ旅)

  1. I love this show too. I’ve been watching for maybe 6 months now. My mom was watching it, and I noticed this guy riding a bicycle to a dam and then walked across it on foot and continued on riding his bicycle. I didn’t really understand the premise of the show until the next episode, but I’ve been watching ever since.

    The other show I got hooked on TV Japan is Tsurube’s Salute to Families. He has a guest host each week and visits various parts of Japan. It’s sort of impromptu in the sense that they have a general game plan, but the show takes it twists and turns based on interviews of people they meet along the way.

    A couple of weeks ago, I saw a drama on TV Japan, probably the best Japanese drama I’ve seen. It was called Hankyu Densha. This was a movie that was shown in theaters when it first came out. A story about everyday people making chance encounters with fellow riders of this 15-minute stretch of railway line between two stations. And, how these interactions helped shape how they dealt with various troubles in their lives. It reminded me of John Steinbeck’s Tortilla Flats, an adventure of paisanos.

    1. Thanks for the comment. I’ll have to check out Tsurube’s Salute to Families. I’ve seen it in the guide, but never watched it; I’ll add a timer for it. I’ll look for Hanku Densha as well. I think Nakatani Miki is great!

  2. I concur with the comments. These shows are “totemo omoshiroi.” I started watching Ko Ko Ro Tabi with my wife, who passed away, and I still like to watch for several reasons. Among other shows you might find interesting is “Gentle Journeys” with its haunting theme song.

    1. Thank you for the comment. I also enjoy Gentle Journeys. Whenever I hear the theme song, I imagine the orchestra playing it, and the one percussionist who makes that wood clap. He has good timing.

  3. We sure enjoy his show. Enjoy his simplicity, his concern, his love for ramen and his glasses, wish we could have some just like that. We are amazed at his age that he could still enjoy riding his bike, taking us to many areas of Japan. And wouldn’t it be nice to even ride our bikes with him. We probably be breathing deeply, dying for every breath but am sure with his insight we would totally enjoy that. Wonder what toh cha ko means. And also the dolls he carries on the back of his bike was wondering if that was sentimental to him or was it his daughters. Am glad someone also knows little Japanese.

    1. Hello, and thanks for your comment. I am not sure if there is a sentimental reason for the little dolls on the back of his bike, but I always assumed they were teru teru bozu which are meant to bring good weather or hold off the rain. My son likes to put one up in our breakfast area so his baseball games don’t get rained out.

      I am glad they are still showing the program on TV Japan here in the states, as many shows kind of rotate in and out of their line up. I am always happy to see “Journey of the Heart” appear in my list of recorded shows!

  4. I record and watch most of these programs on TVJapan and NHK World Japan. Try Gentle Journeys on TVJapan with its haunting and enchanting theme song. I think you will like it.

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