The image many of us have of Japan is congested and kinetic. But Japan has a wild side. In winter, beyond its crowded cities, the country delivers quiet, unexpected natural beauty. In the second season opener, Art Wolfe ventures north to the remote region of Hokkaido to view iconic red-crested cranes; south to the mountains to take a dip in Nagano's hot springs with mischievous macaque snow monkeys; and journeys on to the sacred temples of Mt. Fuji and Koyosan on a photographic pilgrimage.
Australia's Northern Territory is an immense, untamed wilderness as brutal as it is beautiful. For the Aboriginal people, it's the place of the "Dreamtime", where land and story meet. In episode two, Art Wolfe captures images of rock art intricately painted over thousands of years ago; discovers canyons carved by wind and water; and witnesses an ancient aboriginal dance as he chronicles the connection between the region's first people and the natural world.
It is a fabled land of sand, salt and nomads. But Mali is more than the Sahara; it is a place where the Niger River flows past some of Africa's most unique tribal and architectural wonders. In episode three, Art Wolfe follows the river road to the camouflaged villages of the cliff-dwelling Dogon people; floats downriver to Djenne's fantastic mud mosque; heads into the desert with nomadic Tuaregs; and finally travels on to Timbuktu where he meets up with a camel caravan.
It is spring on the Antarctic Peninsula and the frozen wilderness is a veritable nursery for penguins, shore birds and seal pups. In episode four Art Wolfe crosses the infamous Drake Passage the treacherous body of water south of Cape Horn to explore the Falkland Islands and the Antarctic coast in search of wildlife and landscapes inherent to this pristine and unforgiving land.
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