Tokyo Go-Kart The Travel Show


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Tokyo Go-Kart

Carmen Roberts reports from Japan on the game-inspired go-kart tours of the city that have got everyone talking. Plus the latest advice on how to travel without using plastic.


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Now on BBC News - The Travel Show.

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Coming up on this week 's Travel

Show. I dress up and hit the road

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here in Japan. We are going through

the most fashionable part of Tokyo

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and I am dressed as a Thomas. --

plumber. Lucy gets the lowdown on

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travelling without too much plastic.

And we meet a woman who was all

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alone in America's smallest town.

Everybody else has either passed

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away all moved away and this is

where I chose to stay. -- or.

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We are starting this week in Japan,

the home of video gaming. It is hard

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to believe that it's a full 40 years

since the space invaders game was

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invented here and recently, Tokyo's

sobriquet that anniversary of a

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special exhibition and giant video

wall, where today's generation of

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gamers can test their retro skills.

But space invaders isn't the only

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iconic and to have been created here

in Japan. -- videogame. Tucked away

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in the backstreets of sugar year,

just five minutes from the famous

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crossing, I have come to find a

guided tour with a different. --

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difference. I guess the best way to

describe what I am about to

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experience is a self drive videogame

simulation with some sightseeing

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thrown in.

Welcome to Mario Kart,

nice to meet you!

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This brings back memories from my

childhood. Yoshi, Luigi and Mario.

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It has got to be Mario. How do I

look? I feel like Michelle and

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Mario. -- Michelin.

We have the key

that starts the engine.

These

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go-kart tours have been run, taking

in the many tourist attractions for

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several years now and to take part

you firstly to show your ID and

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drivers licence from your home

country. Then there is a compulsory

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safety briefing.

When driving,

always one straight line OK? If the

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tour guide does one, it means it you

just stop in one straight line. OK?

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If the tour guide does two. Recently

come up behind, same lane, always

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the same lane, side by side. See the

two go-karts behind me there are?

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They are side-by-side and nice and

close, that is the stopping

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formation we want to see when the

tour guide does two.

Two, four, six.

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Is it possible to stall it?

It is

impossible. It is automatic. At the

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beginning the engine can be a bit

cold so before we depart it might

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cut out, you just start it began.

--

began. There is lots to think about,

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like how to drive the car for a

start and I feel exposed being so

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alone -- lo, then I have to think

about formations? Oh my gosh. I am

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not the best driver, you know, right

now this costume is the least of my

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worries. I have got my foot on the

brake. Where is the key? John, where

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is the key? LAUGHTER

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brake. Where is the key? John, where

is the key? LAUGHTER. This is

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ridiculous! Oh my god. Even though

it is a Sunday morning and the

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traffic is light, it takes a while

to get used to driving a vehicle

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that feels so low and exposed.

Slightly vulnerable, but I think I

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am getting the hang of driving this

car now. Oh my god. Do you see how

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close I came to a taxi? We are going

through the most fashionable part of

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Tokyo and I am dressed as a fact,

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through the most fashionable part of

Tokyo and I am dressed as a fact,.

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-- fact Thomas. Little chance of

anybody wanting to copy my outfit

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but Nintendo are reportedly unhappy

with their trademarks being used by

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the twos. There has been talk of

legal action but the subtle name

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change from Mar Sue Maricar and the

inclusion of other characters seems

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to be keeping the lawyers at bay. We

are coming up to the crossing. Oh my

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goodness. Oh my gosh, I can't

believe we are going through the

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crossing! Although some of Tokyo's

taxidrivers say that they can be

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disruptive and dangerous. Johnny

tells me that he has supervised over

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2002 is without any serious

accidents. But several cab drivers

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we met still had concerns.

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Last year, a record number of almost

29 million people came to Japan and

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as Tokyo gears up to host the

would-be games in two years time,

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the authorities are keen to see the

Maricar tours continue, but they are

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looking into how safe they are.

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New regulations now mean that

modifications will have to be made

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to the go-kart and it is hoped that

repositioning taillights and better

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back and head protection and

mudguards will provide safety for

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other road users and pedestrians.

Tokyo is such a hotbed of trends and

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innovation and as the birthplace of

idiot games, it would be ashamed to

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see an end to these tours are. Hope

the new safety regulations will help

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keep them on the road here. That was

so much fun! I really had a good

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time. Once I started to relax and

got used to driving this car it was

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crazy, I can't believe they let you

drive this on the streets of Tokyo.

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I really felt like I was in a video

game that most of the time. It was

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crazy and I was so close to cars, so

low down. That it was really fun and

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I felt like a celebrity, everyone

was waiting at you, it was a great

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way to see the city. -- waving.

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And if you're thinking of heading to

Tokyo any time soon. Here is the

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travel show guide and other things

you can see or do. Public transport

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here in Tokyo is clean, efficient

and easy to use, with signs in

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Japanese and English on all trains,

stations and us as. But if you find

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a language barrier and issue, there

are now plenty of reliable

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translation at speed can download to

your smartphone. If you are flying

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to all from Narita, one tip worth

remembering is not to take a cab

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because the cost can be I watering,

so jump on board one of the regular

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trains that run between the airport

and the city centre in stead. The

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end of March and the start of April

at peak times for travel in Japan as

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locals and terrorist two flock to

see the start of spring and the

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burst of colour brought in by the

annual cherry blossom season. --

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tourists. In Tokyo, one of the best

places to take it in is a national

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garden which is a short walk away

from Shinjuku Station. One piece of

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good news for travellers is that

nobody here in Japan expects you to

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leave a tip, providing good service

in Japan is all part of the code of

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hospitality. So there is no need to

give your waiter, taxi driver or

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porter anything other than what it

says on the bill. If you do there is

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every chance they might run after

you to return the tip. And if you

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are looking for something a little

different when it comes to taking

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travel pics, once you have visited

all the usual tourist sites in

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Tokyo, why not head to nearby

Yokohama or Kawaski, could jump upon

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a night cruise. Picking atmospheric

photos of plants, which translates

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to factory passion, is growing study

join in and you'll go home some

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striking pictures that are a world

away from the usual cherry blossom

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and kimonos that. -- snaps.

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Stay tuned to the travel show

because coming up after the break:

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Lucy is here with some tips on how

to travel the planet without using

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too much plastic. And we met the

woman in America who has a town all

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to herself.

I am the May at and I am

the town board basically, but then I

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do worry about elections because

there is not much competition.

So

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they go away. -- don't go away.

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We have been hearing a lot in the

news lately about sustainability and

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coffee cup recycling schemes, but

being green when you travel can be

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tricky. Disposable water bottles

like this are easy to feel at home

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without a second thought, but what

if you are in a new and unfamiliar

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city? Weed you go to get clean and

free water? Some places around the

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world I try to tackle the issue by

providing more drinking water with

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the hope of cutting down on single

use bottles thrown away. Travelling

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internationally it is worth firing

up the Wetap app. I really like the

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fact that it is community-based, so

if you stubble across a drinking

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fountain that isn't identified, you

simply tap this button here and add

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it to the platform. In London, a

network of tricking points is being

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rolled out in summer. Here in

Borough Market, new fountains are

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already up and running and rather

than a civil use disposable bottle,

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I have got this to try out the. This

what bottle connects to a app on

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your phone via Bluetooth. Once you

are connected, a sensor is able to

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detect how much water you are

drinking. You can set daily goals

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based on information and it will

glow to give you a gentle reminder

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when it is time to hydrate. However,

in order for it to keep tabs on how

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much you are drinking it needs to be

placed on a flat surface every time

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you take a swig. Great if you are at

their desk, not so much if you are

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at the gym or on the move. I like

that you can tell it where you are

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in the world, if you are in a hot

country it will increase in our

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times he tells you to ring. It is

not just cutting down on plastic

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bottles that will reduce your carbon

footprint. I popped in to see Andrew

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to talk about some friendly apps for

my next trip.

One I would recommend

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is going on Green Globe, it has

results, and attractions that are

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eco- friendly. Is a pretty extensive

list, P on Jamaica. To be in Jamaica

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right now! You can see there is a

list of all of the different ones

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here. Quite a lot of resorts.

Different resorts, you tap on the

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ones you are interested in and you

tap on it and also what it does to

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help the environment. The next one

is Olio.

I have heard a lot.

It is

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supercool, it is great if you are

travelling or not. It is all about

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reducing food waste. And so it means

that you can give away through that

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you don't need, but also get through

that people are giving away. If you

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are planning a trip and you look in

your fridge and you are like a have

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got a carton of milk and a fruit

role of fruit and it will go to

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waste. Put it on the app and

somebody will let it. The other way

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round is that if you are in a city

and you don't really want to pay for

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a meal or whatever, you look under

the act and see who is giving away

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food. The last one I would recommend

is Spinlister, think of it as a B&B

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but for bikes in your local area

that you can hire. I have searched

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Los Angeles and you search your

local area and find what is

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available and so there are road

bikes, mountain bikes, they do surf

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gear, ski gear, all sorts of stuff.

It usually works out less than

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around $20 a day and it is much

cheaper than getting taxis

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everywhere and you are eco- friendly

because you are riding a bike.

And

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finally, if you can't start the day

without a caffeine fix even away on

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holiday, then the pakito cup could

help. Reusable copycats are nothing

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new and some offer a discount if you

bring your own. That it can be

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annoying carrying those around. What

is great about the pakito is it

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swishes down and extends to three

different sizes. It is a little

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fiddly to pull out, but once fully

extended about a full-sized cup.

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Regular Americano, please.

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To finish this week, we're off to

the vast and rolling prairies of

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midwest to meet a woman in Nebraska

who pays taxes to herself, runs the

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only business in town and wins every

local election for mayor hands down

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because she is the only person still

living there. That has made her

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something of a tourist attraction in

her own right. I live here in Monowi

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Nebraska.

Everyone else has either

moved away or passed away. This is

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where I chose to stay. My parents

moved to a farm about a quarter of a

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mile out of town he when I was just

over a-year-old. For 14 years now I

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have been here by myself. We get to

this corner and an over that way...

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It looks like a rusty building

sitting in those trees. That was the

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town jail at one time. These were

just family pictures we had taken.

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My array of them here at is

immediate family. As a wedding

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picture. This is my German

grandparents. And then this was a

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family picture we had. That is me.

Basically all of us lived here in

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Monowi at one time. I have a

daughter and a son. They have both

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lived away ever since they got out

of school. People ask if they worry

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about me and I say they do but they

also respect the fact that this is

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what I want to do. The Post Office

and the little grocery store closed

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at about the same time we bought

this in 71. So that put us into the

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business. I open the Bharat Nayan.

Trucks come and salesmen come and

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customers come and some people come

to visit and have a cup of coffee.

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They leave messages for one another.

Their call to see if someone is

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here. It is a harbour and I think

everyone feels welcome to come.

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Everyone needs a place like that, I

guess, including myself. I needed

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this type of vehicle to haul things

for work and what have you. I am the

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only one who lives in town I thought

it would be great to show it off, I

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guess. Monowi. I don't go anywhere

where people don't recognise me,

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that's for certain. It was an active

church until the middle of the

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1960s. I used to go to church on

Sunday school there. My father 's

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funeral was the last funeral there

in March of 1960. This was broad

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Street. In front of my bar. It was

laid out, there were houses all

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around here. This is a new flag. It

has not been up for that long. It is

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beautiful. Being as I am the only

one here in town there are other

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responsibilities besides the bar. I

am the mayor. I am the town board,

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basically. But I don't worry about

elections because there is not a lot

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of competition. I kid about it but

if you're not within the city limits

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you cannot vote. And here is the

library. He had accumulated looks.

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He got put in here. He couldn't do

that they were put in for him. A

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wall over their is a clerk that his

son made. I think it is a great

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memorial to him because he was such

a book person. He would be so proud

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of anybody who comes to borrow some.

The town of Monowi and I, to a

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certain extent, we have become a

household word. I think people find

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it interesting or fascinating or

something. I have people who have

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been here from 47 of the states and

I have had from 41 or two foreign

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countries. When you get to be 84

years old there is a comfort in

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knowing everybody and around here

somebody is always checking on me

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and looking after me. You know,

doing things for me. So I am kind of

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spoiled because they keep track of

me and look after me. I don't have

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any desire to live anywhere else. I

am perfectly happy right where I am

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at right now.

That is it for the

travel show this week. Coming up

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next week... We look back at our

travels so far this year including

0:21:470:21:55

the time Henry headed to Australia.

And when Mike got this gentle

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introduction to life.

There

gunshots, there are sirens. There

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are people crawling on the ground. I

don't know what is going on.

I hope

0:22:140:22:18

you can join us for that. Don't

forget, if you want your followers

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on the road in real time you can to

on social media. Until next time,

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from all of us here in Tokyo, it is

goodbye.

0:22:270:22:52

Carmen Roberts reports from Japan on the video game-inspired go-kart tours of the city that have got everyone talking. Plus the latest advice on how to travel without using plastic, and the woman who lives alone in America's smallest town.