Video: Kanda Matsuri

Wow. Second podcast out in 24 hours.

I really like this episode, even if I do say so myself. It’s the traditional Japanese music that does it for me, recorded live at the Kanda Matsuri, a huge street festival that takes place once every two years.

We hadn’t actually planned to record the podshow there, it just sort of occurred to us as we sought out conveyor-belt car-parks that it might be more interesting if we did do it ‘live’. The audio was all recorded on my iPhone – I thought it did pretty well.

It was such fun though. We were also lucky to get the two interviews with local people – the first one with the older lady was a real surprise – just goes to show you shouldn’t judge a persons’ English speaking ability by their face! The second interview was with a very amusing salarman on a bicycle, straight out of the 1970s. I loved the way he talked about traditional Japanese culture. I bet he reads Reischauer…!

I’m also delighted that the podcast has given me the excuse to talk to people like Brett (re. Edufire) and Ben (pachinko). Really enriches my life.

Editing these is getting easier as I get more used to the software, but it still takes an awful lot of time. On top of the audio, there’s the images, all the text and tags, various stages of conversion to normalise them and get the files down to an acceptable size. I’m not complaining – I love it, but I do just want to make a note of the fact that it completely takes over my life. 3 hours sleep last night – but  I just thought of it as practice for when we have children, and smiled. This is why we made the decision to just do a series of 12. Who knows what might happen next? I want to go full time with this sort of thing.

Anyway, I’ll just re-post the post from the Japan Podshow site below. If you do have any feedback on the show, we’d love to hear it, good or bad.

Japan Podshow Episode 4 - Kanda MatsuriIn episode 4 of Japan Podshow we take you to Akihabara, scene of the Kanda Matsuri (festival), a fantastic spectacle in which thousands of people crowd the streets carrying impossibly heavy mobile shrines.

Listen to the podcast now here or download it here.

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Join Joseph and George as they make their way up the street behind the Omikoshi (shrines), meeting people along the way who insist that we enjoy traditional Japanese Culture (and we did).

The podcast also features a very enthusiastic policeman with a whistle.

Tokyotopia – how to get into Tokyo from Narita International Airport

Honor Dargen is back! Having told us (in episode one) what happens when you arrive at the airport, Honor Dargen of Tokyotopia now tells us how to get into Tokyo.

For more information on the options honor mentions visit

Hiragana Times Competition Winner!

In this episode we also announce the winner of the Hiragana Times competition! The winner receives a 12-month subscription to the electronic version of the Hiragana Times, a fantastic bilingual magazine that brings you up to date news and views from Japan – with all articles having direct translations and furigana, it’s suitable for any level. You can also listen to some of the sections online – and there’s even native support for users of the learning platform

This week’s competition – 5 lucky listeners can win vouchers to use for free 1-on-1 lessons on Edufire, the only learning tool with live video

Brett Fyfield, an Australian teaching Japanese on the Edufire platform, introduces this week’s competition, in which you can win free tickets for lessons in ALMOST ANYTHING! Want to learn Japanese? Spanish? PHP? Photoshop? Or perhaps you’re a teacher yourself – give Edufire a go. It’s incredibly easy to use and gives you access to a huge pool of students and teachers worldwide.


Listen to the podcast to hear how you can enter the competition.

Brett Fyfield (also known as Rainbowhill) can be found in the following places: on Edufire on Blogger and on Twitter

Brett also mentions Smart.FM and Anki.

There’s listener feedback too! Thanks to News from the Other side; Kobe Kevin; supreme_nothing (Brian); Nick Ramsay; Tokyo Dan; Doug of Planet Japan; AnoBaka; Ongakuhenjin… and thanks to all our listeners for listening!

As always your feedback is welcomed.

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Thanks for listening!

5 Responses

  1. Great post- those small, local festivals are the best…just stay out of the way of the omikoshi!

    I’m on my way to your homeland (UK) tonight for a vacation, visiting Northern England, the Lake District, and Scotland (my first time to all those places)- do you ever get homesick?

    You said in your tweet “As gaijin in japan are we supposed to hang up our values / principles at the door and conform? We can’t change the world anyway, right?” Please elaborate!

    1. Hope you have a wonderful time in the North!

      It’s funny you should mention homesickness – I felt it for the first time in a long time this morning, induced by the sound of rain on the leaves outside our flat. So I made myself a cup of earl grey!

      Will elaborate on gaijin gripe when circumstances allow!

      1. We drove from London to Edinburgh (!!!), and also got to Inverness, John o’Groats, then back down through the Lake District and finally to Wales, with many stops along the way. Really cool landscapes and beautiful countryside. The weather here has been glorious as well. Amazing to me how much I am reminded of Japan here- I’ve realized that the Japanese have adopted so much more from UK than from the USA! (Driving on the left side, telephone “boxes”, etc.) We saw many Japanese tourists at the Bronte Parsonage in Haworth…they are never far away 🙂

        1. Wow, that’s incredible that you drove so far. Incredible (and a bit crazy?!)

          Sounds like you had a good time though! Do you have a flickr account at all? I’d love to see any photos if you have any!