Leg 19.11 – “Recognizing fake people is easier than recognizing fake pearls.”
This is it! The Penultimate Leg! The final four All-Stars fight for a spot in the finale. And the road to the Finish Line will go through Japan!
Teams must fly from Rovaniemi via Helsinki to Chubu Centrair International Airport in Tokoname City. Upon arrival, teams must hop on a train to Ise Jingu in Mie Prefecture.
Ise Jingu is one of the holiest Shinto shrines. Teams will be given a set of directions to follow in order to respectfully visit the shrine complex. Teams will bow at the tori gate before cleansing their mouth and hands and finally arriving at Goshougu where they will express their gratitude in the proper way. But not make a wish. Once they return to the main entrance to the shrine, they will be given the next clue.
Teams must now make their way to Oharai-Machi in Ise.
Here, teams will learn how to and successfully make a batch of akafuku mochi, a rice cake covered in sweet red bean paste. When approved, they will receive the next clue.
That clue points teams to this harbor in Toba, Mie Prefecture where they will meet with an ama to receive their next clue.
Japan’s legendary ama divers continue the 2,000 year old free-diving tradition. For this task, teams will join an ama as they dive for some of the local underwater treasures including abalone, sea cucumber and seaweed.
Once they are able to collect a specific amount of each, they will receive the next clue.
Teams must now make their way to Mikimoto Pearl Island where they will find the Road Block: Who can keep their eyes open to the real thing?
For this Road Block, teams must distinguish between cultured and artificial pearls. Once they have correctly sorted through their pearls, they will receive the next clue. Also! The team who can sort their pearls in the shortest amount of time will win their own pair of genuine Mikimoto pearl necklaces!
Teams will now head to the Ise Katagami Museum in Suzuka where they will encounter the Detour: Color Shines Through or Colors Weave In.
In Color Shines Through, teams will learn how to make paper stencils for dyeing textiles known as katagami. Once they have correctly made an intricate stencil, they will then make a print of it to receive the next clue.
In Colors Weave In, teams will learn how to do an Iga braid or kumihimo. When teams are able to complete a cord, they will receive the next clue.
That clue points teams to the Ninja Museum of Igaryu where they will find ANOTHER! Road Block: Who thinks they are stealthy? As this is the 12th Road Block of the Race, the team member with five Road Blocks MUST perform this one.
For this Road Block, teams will dress in a ninja uniform and learn several ninjutsu techniques, including using several ninja weapons such as shurikens. Once they have successfully gone through training, teams will receive the next clue.
And that clue directs teams to make their way on foot to the Pit Stop somewhere on the grounds of the Iga Ueno Castle.
The first team to check-in here will win P200,000 courtesy of Shell V-Power Nitro+. The first three teams secure their spot in the Final Leg.
And the last team to check-in here WILL be eliminated.
I think this could be a very exciting and dramatic Penultimate Leg! I really like the tasks on this Leg and I think each one builds on the previous to really lead up to what could be an exciting finish. A Leg that features the wonderful culture and sights of this area of Japan.
I always want to find new places in Japan to visit for TARPHDME that haven’t been visited on any TAR before. And I think we’ve been able to come up with something here.
A visit to Ise Jingu should be a must. Looks like such a stunning place. I’m not too sure what we would be able to do here as I don’t want it to just be a simple Route Marker. Getting teams to experience the location and giving the audience a full look at the profound location is very important.
After the visit, it’s game on. The akafuku mochi is a good task to start the competition part of the Leg with. It’s a local specialty, so that’s good.
The next task with the ama should be a definite highlight. If you haven’t heard of the ama before, definitely Google and read up on them. Such a fascinating tradition and you’ll be left in awe by the amazing women who do this. I hope we could be able to come up with a task that truly represents how amazing these ama are.
The Road Block with the pearls is certainly not new, but it’s definitely a fitting task at this location. Mikimoto is known around the world, so this is the perfect place for this task.
Both Detour tasks definitely up the tension as both really will be very tedious and nerve-wracking. Especially as this is the Penultimate Leg, teams could just break under pressure with these tasks. And we definitely want to see that drama!
Finally, we have the surprise 12th Road Block on this Penultimate Leg. It’s a very specific task and I remember a similar task done on TAR China. But it’s a perfect task here in Iga. And also on this Leg. One team member (unless they had a Fast Forward) will be forced to do what will be a physical and detailed task. So this could make or break a team’s chances to make the Final Leg.
The perfect ending to this Leg would be to have teams so close to each other as they leave the final Road Block and make their way on foot to the Mat. They are not told where on the grounds the Mat will be, so they will be running around all over the place. We hope to have teams lost and frantic as they fight for that spot in the Final Leg. And then a big final footrace to the Mat. Very dramatic!
Overall, I really like this Penultimate Leg. No psuedo-memory task on this one like many other TARPHDMEs. But I think still a worthy Leg for the all-important Leg 11.