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Voices in Japan

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Discover what everyday life in Japan is REALLY like! Weekly podcast episodes with half-Japanese/half-American Burke (18 years in Japan) and Ben from England (13 years in Japan), based in Hokkaido, and their guests sharing experiences on dating, marriage, working at Japanese companies, teaching at all education levels, traditions, martial arts, the struggles of life here, and the reasons why Japan is truly an amazing place to be living!

Discover what everyday life in Japan is REALLY like! Weekly podcast episodes with half-Japanese/half-American Burke (18 years in Japan) and Ben from England (13 years in Japan), based in Hokkaido, and their guests sharing experiences on dating, marriage, working at Japanese companies, teaching at all education levels, traditions, martial arts, the struggles of life here, and the reasons why Japan is truly an amazing place to be living!

Location:

Japan

Description:

Discover what everyday life in Japan is REALLY like! Weekly podcast episodes with half-Japanese/half-American Burke (18 years in Japan) and Ben from England (13 years in Japan), based in Hokkaido, and their guests sharing experiences on dating, marriage, working at Japanese companies, teaching at all education levels, traditions, martial arts, the struggles of life here, and the reasons why Japan is truly an amazing place to be living!

Language:

English


Episodes

Building a Japanese-Friendly International Pub

10/20/2020
How do you convince timid Japanese customers to become regulars at an international pub? Mike, the manager of Bearfoot Bar in Sapporo, joins Ben and Burke to share the trials and successes he and the staff at the bar have had in attracting the domestic Japanese crowd, which is basically the only customer base available in the midst of the coronavirus travel restrictions. According to Mike, the bar might now have a 80% Japanese customer base! What are the expectations of Japanese customers?...

Duration:00:56:53

Benefits of Being a Foreigner in Japan

10/13/2020
What are some of the benefits of being foreign when living or visiting Japan? Ben and Burke talk about some of the things that foreigners can get away with, such as not working overtime, being able to shirk Japanese social responsibilities, making rude and stupid remarks to Japanese people, having much younger or older partners, and much much more. During the show, we talked about some things that can be found in previous episodes, so if you want to find out more about Matsusaka beef, the...

Duration:00:50:03

Surprising Things You See in Japan

10/6/2020
On this episode, Ben and Burke look back at things that surprised them when they arrived in Japan, as well as things that are still surprising to them today. Some of those are fashion trends, such as high school girls getting frost burn on their legs from wearing short skirts in the dead of winter and only wannabe movie stars wearing sunglasses. They also cover quite a bit on love hotels and "bosozoku" biker gangs, beauty features in Japan like having a small face or "tall" nose, out-of-date...

Duration:01:02:14

All About Martial Arts in Japan

9/29/2020
Lawrie from Scotland, a Karate practioner, joins Ben and Burke on the podcast to talk about martial arts. We talk about Karate, wrestling, Judo, Brazilian Jujitsu, Japanese Jujitsu, Kendo, what got the guys into martial arts, Lawrie doing Karate as a kid in Scotland, Burke wrestling in the US, Burke meeting Royce Gracie as a college freshman, Lawrie getting back into karate in Japan, what the guys think of the belt system in martial arts, what are some differences between doing martial arts...

Duration:01:05:27

The Best English (and Japanese) Manga Available!

9/22/2020
Author Michael Howard joins Voices in Japan again following the release of the hysterically funny manga version of The Salaryman available at thesalarymanbook.com. The digital comic book is a collaboration between Mike and Reina (a Japanese illustrator) that highlights Mike's experiences living in Japan and working as a businessman in the Japanese corporate world. Needless to say, there is plenty of laugh-out-loud humor when cultures collide, and The Salaryman gives both foreign and Japanese...

Duration:00:50:27

Living the Life Building Furniture in Niseko

9/15/2020
Damian "Hippy" Keyte joins Ben and Burke on the podcast. Originally trained as a Manufacturing Jeweller and designer, Damian (or Hippy, as he is known to his friends), has spent the past two and-a-half decades continuously retraining himself in a wide variety of creative trades. From an underwater film maker, to a carpenter and plasterer in both Japan and Australia, to having spent the last seven years at sea as a Merchant Sailor in the oil and gas industry, before finally settling down in...

Duration:01:05:58

Life in Kobe and the Scotland-Japan Whiskey Connection

9/8/2020
On this episode of Voices in Japan we are joined by Jenifer, owner of Reza Wood Designs, a company that takes recycled whiskey barrels from Scotland’s great distilleries and transforms them into gifts and furniture. Get 15% off any product available in Reza Wood Designs online shop, using the promo code: VOICESINJAPAN valid for 1 month from the broadcast date of this episode. We have a really interesting conversation with Jenifer about living and teaching English in Kobe, Japan, why Kobe...

Duration:00:54:05

Sex Establishments in Japan (with Japanese Comedian Meshida)

9/1/2020
On this episode, Japanese Comedian Meshida gives Ben and Burke a lesson on the different levels of sex establishments in Japan. Meshida quit his job at an Internet company several years ago to start honing is comedic skills in the United Kingdom, and he is now back in Japan doing stand-up comedy and producing a very funny and informative YouTube channel in English with many videos covering the whole gamut of sex-related topics in Japan. In addition to learning about Meshida's background, the...

Duration:00:46:54

Car Auctions, Racetracks, and the Car Export Business in Japan

8/25/2020
Ben and Burke are joined by Sapporo local Aaron, who owns and runs a car dealership called Ace Auto Japan based in Ebetsu, Hokkaido. We talk about many things, including how he got into the car dealing business and starting his own company, Ben’s short experience of working in the Japanese car export business, Japanese car auctions, some of the awesome cars Aaron has driven, some interesting stories meeting foreign clients, such as going to Russia to generate business, car management for...

Duration:00:52:36

Zoos, Aquariums, and Pet Life in Japan

8/18/2020
Ben and Burke take on the controversial topic of zoos, aquariums, and pet life in Japan. Yes, neither one of these clowns is an expert on the subject by any measure, and their home countries (especially the US) definitely cannot serve as models that Japan should follow. However, in general, there seems to be a difference in mindset between westerners and Japanese people regarding whether animals deserve to be treated better, particularly in zoos and aquariums. That said, the boys do explore...

Duration:00:53:39

Obon: Dancing with the Dead

8/11/2020
On this episode, Ben and Burke discuss the Obon holiday in Japan and all things related to this special occasion. They start off by chatting about Ben’s stay at Furukawa Onsen in Jozankei using the GoTo Travel campaign, and also Burke’s visit to Takino Suzuran park. Then they move on to talk about traditional Obon customs, the meaning of Obon, two important vegetables related to this celebration (it's not pumpkin!), Bon Odori (the big Obon dance), the different stages and activities that...

Duration:00:43:54

Road Rage and Essential Tips for Driving in Japan

8/4/2020
Ben and Burke are joined again by Matt, who first made an appearance on the very early episode "Lights, Camera, Action!" about breaking into the entertainment industry in Japan. The discussions on this episode cover road rage, accidents, annoying behaviors on the road, getting your motorcycle license in Japan, and much much more! Support the show Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to start your podcast today! Website: https://www.voicesinjapan.com/ Follow us and check out our other...

Duration:00:56:03

Should You "Go To Travel" Around Japan?

7/28/2020
On today's show, Ben and Burke discuss the GoTo Travel campaign that the government has introduced to encourage domestic travel and help boost local businesses due to the Corona virus pandemic. The Japanese government will provide subsidies of up to 50 percent on costs for hotels, transportations, restaurants, shopping, and tourist attractions within Japan. The guys also talk about butchered English slogans, just like “GoTo Travel”, Burke taking advantage of the campaign during the long...

Duration:00:42:10

Ido Gabay: Owner of Hokkaido Nature Tours

7/21/2020
On this episode of Voices in Japan, Ben and Burke are joined by Ido Gabay, who is the founder of Hokkaido Nature Tours. They are a Sapporo-based award winning company that specializes in private tours in Japan's largest prefecture, Hokkaido. Our conversation with Ido provides an intimate look at his background starting from the time his family left Israel when he was young, then growing up in the United States, the factors that fueled his desire to start traveling as a backpacker through...

Duration:00:59:09

Michael Howard, Author of the Highly Entertaining Novel, “The Salaryman”

7/14/2020
On today’s show we are joined by the author of The Salaryman, Michael Howard. It’s a very humoruous and entertaining book about Michael’s experiences and observations of working at a number of Japanese companies over 9 years. We talk about some of the things from the book such as, the interview process, interesting colleagues, fooling around with company expenses, trapping foreign clients when negotiating business deals, various drinks that the Japanese consume to help them deal with...

Duration:00:54:04

Japan's #1 Headhunter, Law Professor, Family Guy, and Tokyo Insider

7/7/2020
On this episode of Voices in Japan, Bryan from Tokyo joins Ben and Burke to talk about his experience of living in Japan for over 20 years, with the majority of his time spent in Tokyo. Bryan first came to Japan as a missionary for his church, then as a college student in Fukui on the former Monbusho scholarship, also as a visiting law student at Temple University in Tokyo, and finally as a consultant with Deloitte. He eventually left Deloitte and has done remarkably well with his own...

Duration:00:56:01

A Japanese Woman’s Choice of America, Tokyo, or Sapporo

6/30/2020
Today, we are joined by Yuka, who shares her experiences of living in America, Tokyo, and Sapporo. We talk about the things she likes and dislikes about each place, strangers talking to her in supermarkets in America, working in a bakery in Michigan, seeing and approaching celebrities in Japan, being able to visit restaurants in Tokyo recommended on Japanese TV, the clean air in Sapporo, events for children and families, and much much more. If you enjoy listening to the podcast and want to...

Duration:00:39:04

Hacking Tokyo: The Ultimate Guide to Life in Tokyo and Japan!

6/23/2020
Merrick from Los Angeles joins Ben and Burke to discuss the ebook that he has created, Hacking Tokyo - the definitive "Quick Start Guide" to Tokyo and Japan in English, no language classes required! Merrick details what brought him to Tokyo, the advantages he enjoyed working in a unique tech company, and the reasons why his ebook is perfect for expats or students, aspiring travelers to Tokyo, and all ramen or anime lovers worldwide. The guys also discuss Merrick enjoying some gigs as a DJ in...

Duration:00:35:02

Lifestyle Changes in Sapporo that will Remain After Coronavirus

6/16/2020
Ben and Burke are joined again by Gareth, who owns a few businesses in Hokkaido, to discuss new habits and lifestyle changes in Sapporo that will remain as Japan starts to ease the restrictions that were introduced due to coronavirus. What new hygiene and daily habits have the boys picked up? What is Ben's new phobia? What does everyone think of elderly people who seem to be choosing a carefree life over fear and the possible threat of the coronavirus? Listen to find out now! Support the...

Duration:00:43:03

A lawyer’s whirlwind ride from America to Sapporo.

6/10/2020
Today, we are joined by Matt from America. He shares his story of coming to Japan and living in Sapporo, which he did for a few years, before heading back to the US for graduate school to study law, and then returning to Japan, Tokyo to work as a lawyer, after which he moved back to Sapporo 6 years later, where he currently calls his home, working remotely and dividing his time between Tokyo and Sapporo. We also talk about the two cities, comparing them as places to live, work, and...

Duration:00:38:08