Voices in Japan

Aug 04 2020 42 mins 288

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!














































































































































Hokkaido Life: Ending the Heisei Era with a 10 day Golden Week Holiday
May 01 2019 42 mins  
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: * Why is Golden Week a 10 day holiday this year? * What do Japanese people think of the Emperor? * Japanese people stressing out about the long holiday. * Ben shares his most memorable Golden Week holiday. * The new Reiwa era and what the name means. * People getting confused with the Japanese eras and calendar. * The most popular Cherry blossom viewing spots in Hokkaido. * Barbecuing during Golden Week. * Barbecuing on the beach during the summer time is a Hokkaido “thing”. * Making the most out of sunny days. * Japanese words that became popular during the Heisei era. * Golden week plans. * Ben shares a memorable Golden week story about Burke. * Yumi shares her worst Golden week holiday. * The negatives of Golden Week. * Yumi’s ideal Golden week would be to go to Okinawa. 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 not stop the locals from barbecuing down by the river and in the most popular spot, Maruyama Park. In fact, the purported reason for barbecuing in Maruyama park is for cherry blossom viewing, but because of the cold weather the cherry blossoms are not in full bloom, usually there are only a few trees with some level of bloomage. But Hokkaido people love to barbecue and come rain or shine, during Golden Week, it is guaranteed to be a party atmosphere in Maruyama Park. And to be honest, they don’t really care about the cherry blossoms! If you have a chance to visit Hokkaido during Golden Week, going to this park is a must! It is the first time for the Golden Week holiday to be 10 days long. And, many people are actually complaining that the holiday is too long. Especially, families with young children become stressed and “over-worked” entertaining their kids for 10 days. Some people would actually rather go to work because they can at least relax for a few hours a day! Furthermore, Golden Week is a time when everyone in Japan is on holiday, therefore there are so many people traveling in, out, and around Japan and the prices for travel and accommodation double and sometimes triple! So, it can be a bit of a nightmare travelling during this time, with many many people, including Yumi and the Voices in Japan Podcast hosts preferring to stay home to avoid the crowds during this hectic time. Intro: Hi everyone, welcome to the voices in japan podcast. On today’s episode, Yumi, joins us again to chat about the special 10 day Golden Week Holiday and the end of the Heisei era. Today, we mainly focus on Hokkaido (where we all live), sharing our Golden Week experiences, such as hanami and barbecueing. And we also talk about Japanese words that became popular during the Heisei era. We had a really fun time chatting with Yumi and we hope you enjoy the episode as much as we did, recording it. On with the show! Website: http://podcast.voicesinjapan.com Follow us and check out our other content: https://twitter.com/voicesinjapan https://www.facebook.com/voicesinjapan/ https://www.instagram.com/voicesinjapan/ Get in touch: [email protected]




Beer, Sake, Shochu, Sleep......Repeat!
Apr 17 2019 45 mins  
Drinking is such a big part of Japanese life. People drink to build relationships with colleagues and business clients, and of course to relieve stress or relax. Many people, especially businessmen, take full advantage of these drinking opportunities often ending the evening with a pavement pizza, and passing out on the streets. We see it all the time! Conversation highlights: What our podcasters like to drink during a night out on the town. the growing popularity of craft beer in Japan. Do people drink Sake/nihonshuu at the beginning of a night out? Work parties in Japan being a big part of business culture. “nomunication” - drink and communicate. What are some unique customs when drinking with colleagues and friends? Why drinking with co-workers and clients is important in Japan. The infamous Nomihodai (All-you-can-drink) plans and why they work in Japan. Are Japanese people strong drinkers? Drunken businessmen getting wasted and passing out on the streets and subways. Comparing alcohol related violences between Japan, the US and the UK. Alcohol making Japanese people more friendly and open. The best time of the year for our podcasters - The Sapporo Beer Garden in the summer. Jingiskan - A very popular dish of barbecued lamb originating from Hokkaido. Types of Shochu, which is a strong potato based spirit. Cocktails unique to Japan and the growing popularity of Highballs. Japan is so safe that businessmen feel comfortable passing out in the streets, and women walk alone through parks. The most unique drinking custom is the Nomihodai (all-you-can-drink plan), which sounds pretty crazy and would never work in countries such as the UK and the US, but the Japanese don’t take advantage of this. When our podcasters first arrived in Japan, hearing about this drinking plan brought shock and excitement, resulting in many an early night of debauchery and blackouts. Throughout the years, the Nomihodai is still a firm favourite on nights out, but the drink-as-much-as-you-can mentality has slowly worn off. Nowadays, as the guys have aged, so have their drinking habits, having a preference for sipping good quality Sake or a couple of glasses of tasty craft beer over dribbling into empty shot glasses in the dingy nightclubs of Sapporo at 4am. Getting old and boring is real! Follow us and check out our other content: https://twitter.com/voicesinjapan https://www.facebook.com/voicesinjapan/ https://www.instagram.com/voicesinjapan/ Get in touch: [email protected]




Japanese Men's Makeup and Grooming
Apr 02 2019 36 mins  
In uber fashion-conscious Japan, the styles of men and women continue to converge. Did you know that even men are wearing makeup and spending their yen on skincare products? What is driving these trends, and have our podcasters tested their masculinity by taking part? Conversation points: · Getting your forehead shaved at the hair salon or barbers. · Men trimming their eyebrows. · Men using skin creams, lotions, and moisture masks. · Burke wearing makeup on his wedding day. · What types of men do Japanese women find attractive? · The beautiful men in the entertainment and J-pop industry. · Why are the most popular J-pop groups so bad? · Men using women style handbags. · J-pop artist Gakt and how his androgynous style has influenced Japanese society. · The podcasters share their personal experiences with using skin lotions. · Subway operators suing their bosses for being penalized at work for having facial hair. · The rules of facial hair in the Japanese work environment and how the podcasters have been affected by them. The world is constantly changing at a rapid pace that things such as men’s makeup are becoming more common place. Is it a good thing? For the younger generation, trimming your eyebrows and using skin products and lotions to improve your appearance can only be a positive. But, can it go too far? Are men losing their masculinity by using women’s handbags? There may come a day when both sexes look and dress completely the same, and who’s to say that it’s a bad thing. In any case, androgynous Japan is leading the way in the ever-evolving fashion world. Follow Us: https://twitter.com/voicesinjapan https://www.facebook.com/voicesinjapan/ https://www.instagram.com/voicesinjapan/ Get in Touch: [email protected]



















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