The show was revealed by Georgia Brown, Director of Prime Original Series in Europe, at a Deadline-moderated panel session at Israeli TV conference INTV.
The series will be directed by Tom Whitter and will be exec produced by Will Daws. Filming started this week and the show will launch on Amazon Prime Video in over 200 countries and territories worldwide.
May, who first visited Japan as a baffled tourist fifteen years, embarks on a quest to understand the country. He will explore the principles of Wabi, Sabi and Yugen as well as Godzilla, Hello Kitty, Cosplay and some of the strangest obsessions on the planet. He will travel on a journey across all of Japan.
The commission comes three months after Amazon struck a deal with The Grand Tour hosts May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond to develop new shows with them individually. The car format launched its third season in January and season four will go into production later this year.
“Japan is the most amazing place I’ve ever visited,” he said. “Everything about it is a surprise: a boiled sweet, a bullet train, an unexpected ancient temple, and the challenge of eating a single edamame bean with chopsticks. It’s a class A stimulant for all the senses, and an etiquette minefield for the unwary. I intend to immerse myself in it completely, in the pursuit of enlightenment and life balance. And I bet the noodles will be fantastic.”
“We’re incredibly excited to announce this new project with James, which will see him take on an epic thousand mile journey across ancient Japanese islands, mega cities, and all points in between,” added Brown. “The Grand Tour fans around the world will be delighted to hear that they will have even more James May on their screens. We can’t wait to see what James and his talented team produce from this ambitious adventure.”