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Voices in Japan

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Discover what Japan is REALLY like. Every week, join Burke and Ben, as they share their personal experiences and opinions about living in Japan, covering all topics such as working, studying Japanese, customs, holidays, traditions and much much more. Whatever you want to know about Japan, you can find it here.

Discover what Japan is REALLY like. Every week, join Burke and Ben, as they share their personal experiences and opinions about living in Japan, covering all topics such as working, studying Japanese, customs, holidays, traditions and much much more. Whatever you want to know about Japan, you can find it here.
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Discover what Japan is REALLY like. Every week, join Burke and Ben, as they share their personal experiences and opinions about living in Japan, covering all topics such as working, studying Japanese, customs, holidays, traditions and much much more. Whatever you want to know about Japan, you can find it here.




Living Abroad as a Japanese Female

How does the purpose for a Japanese person going abroad affect their lifestyle while overseas? Do all Japanese people struggle with readjusting to their culture after returning to Japan? On this episode, our podcasters explore these topics with their good friend Yuki, who has lived in Canada, USA, and The Netherlands. Also, Ben and Burke have each just returned to Japan after visiting their home countries of England and USA, respectively, and discuss some of the cultural differences they...


Rugby World Cup in Japan Part 2

We conclude our conversation with Jamie Coventry about all things rugby in Japan. Among other things, we talk about the quality of Japanese rugby and how it has improved significantly over the years. We also get into an interesting chat about head trauma in rugby and other sports such as American football and MMA. Jamie tells us about tackling rules and techniques. He also gives us an insight into his main job as an agent for rugby players and coaches, and his day to day tasks involved in...


Rugby World Cup in Japan Part 1

Excitement continues to build in Japan for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, which kicks off on September 20! Games will be held at 12 locations across the country, with the final match taking place on November 2 in Yokohama. Jamie Coventry from New Zealand joins the podcast in this two-part episode to give his insights on rugby in Japan. He is a former player and coach, and also the current manager of the Hokkaido Barbarians rugby club - three time winners of the All Japan Championship and the...


Japanese Ladies Describe Their Ideal Man

Jordan, a former resident of Sapporo and friend of the podcasters from California, joins this episode to interview four groups of young Japanese women at the Sapporo Odori Beer Garden – Japan’s largest outdoor beer garden taking place for one month during the summer with seats for 13,000 people! Listen now to find out the characteristics of the ideal partner for Japanese women in this episode! Support the podcast by making a donation. Website: http://podcast.voicesinjapan.com Follow us...


Inside a Japanese Professional Football Club Part 2

On today’s show we conclude the conversation we had with Harry Bissell about his life working as an interpreter for Japanese professional football club, Consadole Sapporo. We also go off on a bit of tangent and get into Harry’s experience in preparing for and fighting in amateur mixed martial arts and boxing in Japan. Enjoy the show! Support the podcast by making a donation. Website: http://podcast.voicesinjapan.com Follow us and check out our other...


Inside a Japanese Professional Football Club Part 1

Harry is an interpreter for the J1 league football club Consadole Sapporo in Hokkaido. He gives us his insights on what life is like being part of a Japanese professional football team. Among the many things that we discuss, Harry shares with us the differences of football in the Japanese league compared to European leagues, how he got his job, the daily routines of the players, how the Japanese media treats the players, and much much more. Enjoy the show! You may hear a bit of background...


Are Japanese People Headed to Extinction?

Japan is facing critical population-related problems. Most notably, it has an aging population due to a declining birth rate. As a result, people in the country are growing increasingly concerned about the future of Japan, the stability of its social insurance programs and, believe it or not, whether or not the Japanese race itself will be around in a couple hundred years. Despite those concerns, there is some pushback against the immigration programs that the government is introducing in an...


How Affordable is Japanese Healthcare?

Japan ranked 7th in the Bloomberg Health Care Efficiency Index in 2018. This index sought to rank countries that provided the most cost efficient medical care. Ben’s home country, the U.K., ranked 35th, whereas Burke’s, the U.S., was in 50th place. (Fees in Japan are controlled and set every two years based on negotiations between the Ministry of Health and JMA - the organization representing physicians.) This episode provides lots of information that most of you will find useful. Enjoy the...


Working with the Yakuza

Over the years, there have been many TV dramas and movies about Yakuza (organized crime syndicates originating in Japan) that often times romanticize membership in the organizations. While Yakuza have a negative reputation in general, it is not uncommon to come to know a current or former member of one of the clans if you live in Japan, simply because Yakuza are involved in many businesses or other parts of everyday society, and for the most part, they tend to come across as good people. A...


Japan’s Dual Nationality Problem

Dual nationality has been in the news lately. The professional tennis player, Naomi Osaka is about to reach her 22nd birthday, when she will have to decide (by Japanese law) which citizenship to have, Japanese or American. We have a very interesting, albeit sensitive, conversation about mixed race issues, citizenship, and national identity. Enjoy! Conversation highlights: Naomi Osaka has to decide between US and Japanese citizenship by her 22nd birthdayborn and raised in Japan has been...


Japan’s Love For Old Technology

Japan is undoubtedly a leader when it comes to technology development, from high quality electronic devices to robots and machines that are widely used in manufacturing plants around the world. However, in everyday life in Japan, it is not uncommon to see certain technologies that one may remember from the 1990's or early 2000's in other countries. It can be quite confusing for a foreigner who arrives in the country after binge watching their favorite Japanese anime with a robot or...


The Fake Plastic Bonsai of Hospitality

Japan’s hospitality has the reputation of being second to none, but is this really true? Can Japanese service staff go that extra mile for consumers? What are some of the things that people find disturbing about Japanese hospitality? Listen now for a balanced deconstruction of Japan’s world renowned hospitality! With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics just around the corner, Japan’s hospitality has come into question. Their slogan, “Omotenashi” which means great hospitality, has been criticised in the...


Hired as a Teacher, Living like a Rockstar!

Japan imports a variety of essentials for modern living, including native English speakers to teach them the language. Some actually arrive into Narita or Haneda Airport with the proper credentials for the job, while others may only be searching for a unique adventure in a foreign land for one or two years. What are the realities that they all end up facing on the job, and what drew Jon and our podcast hosts into staying in Japan, specifically Sapporo, for much longer than they originally...


Is Japan REALLY That Safe?

Jon is a long-time resident of Japan, part time musician and snowboarding enthusiast. He shares his thoughts about safety in Japan and, “Is Japan REALLY as safe as everyone thinks it is?” The guys compare the different public perceptions of the police between Japan and their home countries (the U.S. and the U.K.), and discuss the respective policing practices. Support the podcast by making a donation. Conversation highlights: Jon and our podcasters all agree that Japan is the safest...


The Weird World of Apartment Hunting and Buying in Japan

If you are coming to Japan, are you already set up with a nice living space? Or are you already living in Japan, and have you ever searched for an apartment on your own? What kinds of challenges did you face? Were you treated differently because you were a foreigner? Our podcasters have lived in multiple apartments over their combined 28 years of being in Japan - convenient spots arranged through their companies, apartments haunted by fatalities in the past (a.k.a. jiko bukken), and Burke...


Quirky Japan: Face Masks, Monster Crows, and Ghosts

There are many quirky things about Japan. On this episode we talk about three such things. You will see people wearing face masks everywhere in Japan. There are a number reasons such as preventing colds, keeping their faces warm, and women sometimes wear them when they cannot be bothered to wear makeup. Even Burke has worn a mask to hide his stubble at work! Monster crows are everywhere in Japan. They are huge and quite frightening. They are very intelligent, so do not ever attack one...


Matt Holloway: Lights, Camera, Action! Breaking into the Japanese Entertainment Industry

If you were living in Japan, would you be interested in being a model or appearing on Japanese television? Do you meet the requirements to make the cut? Entertainment is one industry that foreigners in Japan can explore simply for the novelty of . . . being a foreigner! Listen to Matt explain his experience with fashion shoots, commercials, variety television shows, and being on the other side of the lens as a photographer himself (http://www.instagram.com/mattink919). Also, are you...


The Importance of Blood Type in Japan

Do you know your blood type? Well, if you are visiting or living in Japan, you should. Knowing one’s blood type is common in Japan and the Japanese are very curious to know yours. There are four main types that most people fall into. The most common blood type in Japan is type A and is the most desired type to be. Why is that? Similar to star signs from the Chinese Zodiac, the different blood types represent particular character and personality traits. There are also, supposedly, certain...


Do I or Don’t I get married in Japan?

Are there wedding bells in your future? Marriage is one of life’s most important decisions. While Japanese people celebrate the big day with their own unique traditions, some wedding ceremonies and receptions blend in a few fashionable aspects from western custom. Listen to find out how the bride and groom in Japan survive the grueling process that leads up to their finally becoming newlyweds! Conversation highlights: · What are the popular venues for weddings in Japan? · What types of...


Hokkaido Life: Ending the Heisei Era with a 10 day Golden Week Holiday

Special guest Yumi joins the guys again to talk about the special 10 day Golden Week holiday. Does she like Golden Week? The Heisei era ends on May 1st and a new emperor will be crowned, beginning the new Reiwa era. Listen to some interesting Golden Week stories in Hokkaido and opinions about the long holiday. Conversation Highlights: In Hokkaido, Golden Week is a bit different than the rest of Japan because the winter has just ended, meaning that it’s still a bit cold. However, this does...