The first stop on The Amazing Race 26 is Tokyo, Japan. Blind date contestants Kurt and Bergen get to visit a noodle shop where they get to eat delicious bowlfuls of noodles but must do so in front of a giant fan. They feed each other the noodles, which leads to a scene reminiscent of Lady and the Tramp. Meanwhile, Winter Olympic athletes Aly Dudek (speedskating) and Steven Langton (bobsledding) are faced with an ice-skating challenge in former Olympic town, Nagano. Chances are, they’re going to win another medal.
The challenge with the potentially offensive stereotype is held in a Tokyo sake bar. Blind date couple Jeff and Jackie are greeted by a room full of young men wearing Japanese costumes – samurai head pieces with robes and swords. Jeff and Jackie must memorize a shelf full of sake bottles so when one of the men orders a drink, they can fetch the right bottle and serve them the requested brand. It’s a good challenge that didn’t need the samurai stereotype.