Metro under the microscope
Now running more than 300 episodes, Tokyo Eye represents the seminal travel broadcast on NHK World TV. Available in approximately 150 countries and regions around the world, the weekly 28-minute program aims to provide visitors with tips to fun in Japan’s greatest metropolis—from the latest trends and events to hidden attractions.
“It’s a very cosmopolitan city,” program host Chris Peppler tells Metropolis. “And just like New York—any major city—it’s very international. I think that’s what Tokyo is about.”
While officially aimed at tourists, Tokyo Eye still digs up secrets that can turn the heads of hardened Yamanote veterans. “This show has told me more about Tokyo than I would ever find out on my own,” says Peppler, who’s spent all but his four college years in the city. “I was born and raised in Tokyo—my dad’s American and my mom’s Japanese—so I pride myself on being a Tokyoite. People ask me, ‘Are you American or Japanese?’ I go, ‘No. Basically, I’m a Tokyo person.’”
Peppler’s unmistakable growl-in-a-well baritone has underscored every episode of Tokyo Eye since its inception in 2006. “I was saying in the second year, ‘We’re going to run out of things to say,’” he observes. “But we never have. We might approach it again—like Asakusa, we’ve done it several times—but it’s always from a different angle, so it’s never really the same.”
One episode will zoom in on a specific area of the city, while the next might investigate a particular theme, such as top spots for lunch or exploring the city by bus—or a feature on foreign-language publications, including your very own Metropolis, as was the case on July 2.
“It’s never static,” Peppler says of the city. “There’s new places popping up almost every day. And if you’ve lived in Tokyo over a decade, you’ll realize that if you haven’t gone to a certain neighborhood in ten years, you’re not going to recognize it because there’s going to be new buildings. It’s always changing.”
To find out what’s new in Tokyo, tune into NHK World TV for Tokyo Eye every Wed at 9:30am, 3:30pm & 9:30pm; Thu at 3:30am; repeats Fri starting at 1:30pm. Watch NHK World TV online at www.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld, or download the free app for iPhone, Android or Kindle.