Japan Visitor: What's happening in Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Shimane Japan

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Sunday, May 14, 2006

JapanVisitor podcast

ジャパン・ビジター の ポッドキャスト
Chindonya: Japanese entertainment troupe
There's nothing like sound for conveying an atmosphere with impact and immediacy.

JapanVisitor's podcast captures 15- to 30-second bytes of a variety of sounds that are typical of daily life in Japan.

Japanese commerce is particularly dependent on the 'human touch', meaning face-to-face sales and advertising techniques such as direct marketing of particular products in the supermarket, streetflyering, mobile vending, and even the use of traditional entertainment troupes.
Pachinko parlor, Tokyo.
The human touch is emulated even when the real thing is not possible, the politeness of a Japanese ATM machine being probably without equal. Such voices are invariably female and high pitched and even greet you when you get home and press Play on your answerphone.

As cutting edge as Japan is in terms of technology, the typical Tokyo neighborhood often seems little changed from fifty years ago. The streets are full of the sounds of hucksters and range from oversize garbage collectors to the Chinese dumpling, or gyoza, vendor.

Around election time the prohibition on door-to-door campaigning means everything is done through loudspeakers, whether from trucks and vans, or even politics from a bullhorn on a bicycle.

Subway systems and overland railway lines are crucial to the life of the city and the nation, and it is virtually impossible to spend a day without hearing a train announcement. And as if going to work isn't noisy enough, the ultimate in thunderosity is reserved for leisure: the pachinko parlor.
Japanese garden.
All is not urban, though. Japan's countryside is full of serene natural beauty, whether natural or cultivated in Buddhist temples, ringing with the songs of birds in Japan.

Check our podcast page often for updates.

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