Series in which food writer and presenter Stefan Gates immerses himself in some of the most extraordinary feasts and festivals on earth. By joining ordinary people in these strange and wonderful distillations of their culture and beliefs, he hopes to gain a revelatory insight into how the world thinks and feels.
Stefan attempts to get under the skin of the traditional Japanese reserve by joining in some amazing feasts and festivals, a journey which culminates with Stefan and 10,000 Japanese men wearing nothing but loin cloths in a drunken rampage at a sacred Shinto temple.
He starts his trip by helping a Shinto priestess carry a six-foot wooden penis around a suburb of Tokyo, as she bemoans how kids today seem to have lost their traditional Japanese reserve, before joining the Baby Sumo festival where parents compete to get their children to cry first, to give them good luck for the rest of their lives.
Finally, he embarks on the most extraordinary event of his life - the Naked Man festival. He meets up with Mr Kosaki, a man from the classic Japanese mould who has never told his wife he loves her, who has forsaken his love of music to become a salaryman, and whose work consumes his life. He is as different from Stefan as anyone could hope to be, until his friends arrive and everything changes.
They get wildly drunk, practically naked, and stuff themselves with sushi. Then those still standing head off on a terrifying, barrier-wrecking festival that finally allows the Japanese man to reveal himself as passionate, expressive and loving as anyone. It is all rooted in centuries of Shinto food-related tradition, but is really a huge primal scream from men who spend their days unable to express themselves.