Lunch ON! offers insights into working people of all kinds, by looking at their lunch. Discover what they eat as they strive to reach new heights!
Tokachi, in Japan's northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, is the number one producer of wheat in all of Japan. Every year in July, the wheat that had been planted in the fall of the previous year must be harvested at once, since rain during harvest season could cause the wheat to germinate and become ruined. To harvest quickly, giant combine harvesters owned by the community are put to work non-stop around the clock, and the combine operators take turns working 24-hour shifts. Find out what keeps the men going all day long! In another segment, we meet an 83-year-old lumberman who has long dreamt of appearing on NHK. Tune in to learn about the amazing work he does and the heart-warming bento lunch his wife has made for him for 59 long years
We visit the staff cafeteria of a publishing company in Tokyo, where every day, lunch is prepared for 280 employees. Although the cafeteria only offers the very inexpensive daily special, it comes with a variety of all-you-can-eat side dishes. The hungry employees can't help themselves from piling on huge portions on their plates, and many testify that the cafeteria has made them gain weight! In another segment, we visit a plant near Tokyo that produces traditional Japanese socks called tabi. An 18-year-old rookie is now training to master the most difficult part of the sewing process, as the plant feels the urgent need to pass the skill down to the youngest generation. The rookie lady makes her own bento, and so does her coach, who is 40 years older than her.
Onisasa is a popular meal on Okinawa Prefecture's Ishigaki Island in southern Japan. Since onisasa consists of a rice ball, onigiri, and some chicken tenderloin, sasami, pressed together inside a bag, it is the perfect quick meal for people on the go. We go to the island and spot a man who is just about to have onisasa for lunch, and follow him back to his workplace, a cattle ranch, to check out his first task of the afternoon. In another segment, we visit a company in Yamanashi Prefecture, west of Tokyo that makes lining for jackets and coats. Twice a year, the workers here have to take on the daunting task to do inventory, but their efforts are rewarded with a delicious lunch and another bonus lunch at 3:00 p.m. as well!
In Kawasaki City, just south of Tokyo, Japan, an 18-year-old girl fresh out of high school has just joined a local tombstone shop. She had always thought that the tombstones on display at the shop were pretty when she used to walk by them on her way to middle school, and for that reason only, she decided to join. Her seniors and bosses think highly of her enthusiasm, energy and good work ethic, and she's getting on at the company really well. Although the workers usually have lunch from convenience stores, we visit on their once-a-month potluck lunch day! In another segment, we visit an old fishing town in Kyoto to meet a 17-year-old boy who has moved out to the town to pursue a fishing career. The impressive young man works hard and cooks for himself every day, but never forgets to play video games at his house, where he lives all alone.