Over the years, Anthony Bourdain has developed a bit of an obsession with Japan. Since the premiere of No Reservations in 2005, viewers have watched the chef travel to the country nearly a dozen times, and Bourdain has often stated that he hopes his last meal includes 23 courses of sushi at Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo.
This Sunday, however, Bourdain will once again travel to Japan for the current season of CNN’s Parts Unknown, marking the third excursion in the show’s history. But if an epigraph featured the episode’s new trailer is any indication, Tony plans to see the country through fresh eyes. “We should not forget our beginner’s spirit,” the Japanese characters read.
With that principle in mind, Anthony heads back to the Land of the Rising Sun with the legendary, three Michelin-starred sushi chef Masa Takayama. While heavy imbibing can be expected—as per usual—on the trip, Bourdain makes a stop at an outdoor food market in Kanazawa and dines on some massive scallops from the island of Hokkaido.
Still, taking a page out of Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Bourdain ducks into Tokyo’s world-famous Ginza Sushi-ko to chart the difficult journey of some of the country’s most skilled chefs.
“The place where it all began, not just for Masa Takayama, but generations of young, predominantly male sushi apprentices, or deshis, who went on to open their own places all over the world,” Bourdain says.
After the third year of cleaning the kitchen and gutting fish at Ginza Sushi-ko, apprentices are finally allowed to make the rice. Then, after a few years of that, an aspiring chef might be allowed to just stand next to a sushi master while he perfects his craft.
Hey, maybe your job isn’t so tough, after all.