Leg 2 – I’m Gonna Knock Your Block Off!
The 2nd Leg begins as teams must ride the Shinkansen from Kyoto to the city of Takasaki. Once there, they must make their way to the Shorinzan Daruma Temple for their next clue.
That clue reveals the first Duel Duel of the Race!
For this Duel Duel, teams must face off in a round of Daruma Otoshi, a traditional game in which they will take turns knocking blocks out from under the daruma without letting the pieces fall. The losing team in each round must face the next team. And the last team must wait out a 15 minute penalty.
After the Duel Duel, teams must choose a daruma and take it with them to the Gunma Daruma Doll Manufacturers’ Cooperative Union in Takasaki.
If activated from the Trigger Point in the last Leg, teams will encounter the Double Yield board.
After checking in at the Yield, teams will find the Road Block: Who’s looking for good luck?
For this Road Block, teams must take the daruma they’ve brought with them and recreate a larger version of it, down to the smallest detail. If approved, teams will receive their next clue.
Teams must now head to the Arakawa River in Nagatoro.
Here, teams must hop into a wooden boat and travel downriver.
Along the way, they must spot three Japanese characters (川越) which they must remember and spell out at the end of their river cruise. If correct, teams will receive their next clue. If incorrect, teams must take the river cruise again.
Teams can now head to 川越 or Kawagoe and find Toki no Kane, the Bell Tower where they will find the first Detour: Sweet Treat or Sweet Potato.
In Sweet Treat, teams must make their way to Kashiya Yokocho or Candy Alley and make four different designed candies according to an example by this candy maker. They must then sell their creations to receive their next clue.
In Sweet Potato, teams will be blindfolded while trying six different snacks made from Kawagoe’s famous sweet potatoes. The shop owner will tell them the names of each snack. They will remove the blindfolds and must correctly identify the six snacks to receive their next clue.
This Detour also has this Leg’s Trigger Point: If more than seven teams choose either side of the Detour, the U-Turn or Yield will be activated on the next Leg.
Now teams can make their way to Kita-in Temple, the Pit Stop for this Leg of the Race.
The first team to check in here will win P200,000 courtesy of Shell V-Power Nitro+.
The last team to check in here WILL be eliminated.
So if the first Leg was designed around the rickshaw task, this Leg was designed around the daruma dolls. I knew I wanted to have some kind of task(s) involving the daruma. One easy task would be to search amongst hundreds of darumas for one matching a daruma of their choosing.
But let’s look at what we ended up with here. First, while looking up the daruma dolls, I saw and remembered the Daruma Otoshi. So why not supersize the game for a Duel Duel. This is an Elimination Leg, but the Duel Duel takes place right at the start of the Leg. And the rest of the Leg provides opportunities for teams to get ahead or fall behind. (No linear Legs here!)
The Road Block continues with the daruma theme. If the Road Block is the searching for darumas, then it would be staged at the temple, of course. But for this Road Block task instead, I read about the factory, basically, of daruma dolls. Should be a good task there, especially when it’s attention to detail.
The Arakawa River is a good nearby location for a task. It provides us the first opportunity for 4K UHD drone shots! Yay! The easy task is that wooden boat ride down the rapids and to look for something along the way. An actual visit to the location may uncover other possible, better tasks.
Finally, Kawagoe has such 4K UHD-ready locations. So of course we must go there. The Detour is simple and straightforward and gets teams in the middle of a crowded, popular area. For the Trigger Point, it’s also a simple requirement because either teams evenly split 6-6 on the Detour or one Detour gets more than 6 which is more likely.
The Pit Stop at Kita-in Temple is a no-brainer.
Overall, a very solid Leg that has many elements and tasks needed for a competitive Leg.