The Podcast Thread - Podcasts listed by genre

UPDATE : see the updated Japanese Podcast and Streaming Audio Thread

I think we've been needing an actual list of podcasts for awhile, so I put this "guide" together (currently there are a little over 70 on the list).  Just about every podcast on this list has a review, and I admit they are hardly objective, but hopefully they're better than not having a review, and I hope they help give you an idea of what to choose, and which ones you think you want to ignore. About a little over half of them have a rating from 1 to 10.  Most of the links are blogs where you'll get MP3s right off the site, but for some of the podcasts, I could only find the iTunes website where you can only download from iTunes (the episode list will often be limited for these).

For those interested in helping making this an even larger list, submit your own reviews for podcasts you like that aren't already here.  Send me a private message with your review and I'll add it under whatever category it belongs in. Also, if you feel my review isn't accurate for any of the podcasts, submit your own and I'll add it. Also, if you just want to add a title of a podcast or link to one without the review, that's fine too.  It will either go on the bottom of each genre's post without a review, or maybe I'll add my own review.

Please post comments and suggestions too!

7/19/2011 - Philosophy Zoo (has transcripts) added under Social Issues, Hot Cast added under Personal Journal.

7/19/11 UPDATE: You can now know which sites are broken links (as of this date) - every site with a broken link has its title in red. The reason I have not removed the reviews is because you can very possibly find episodes somewhere else if you do a little searching. You can also get some episodes of certain podcasts from me, so leave a message and I'll be happy to share what I have, if I have it Smile
Edited: 2016-12-29, 12:42 pm by ファブリス


- Nanalife
Rating: 8
Ease: Great for all levels, inviting material for beginners.
Review: This is a podcast aimed for women with a calm feel to it, but there's nothing wrong with men listening as well. It's very relaxing and most of the topics are related to health, beauty, aroma therapy, horoscopes, aging, etc. Good for if you have a playlist designated for sleeping/relaxing.

- Taken down A Piece of Laughing
Rating: 9
Ease: Good for beginners but may lean more towards intermediate and advanced.
Review: As far as I can tell, this seems to be very worthy of listening to. It’s a woman who talks reflectively kind of how the guy in Life is Comedy talks. However, most of what I’ve heard when listening to her show is letter-reading...
Edit: After listening more, I've really grown attached to how she talks and it's always a happy event when one of her episodes starts starts playing on my ipod. She's full of personality and it's just fun listening to her Smile

- "Tokyo Local" If you want to hear what I consider Tokyo Local at its best, go HERE for the older episodes that still had Manabe and Kakki. Here are my upped trimmed/split files from Tokyo Local:
Rating: 10
Ease: Probably better for more advanced listeners, but don't fear it, beginners. It's worth the lost feeling you may have at first. This helped bridge me from beginner to advanced in listening.
Review: By listening at first it may sound like unorganized, random chatting, but there are topics decided for each podcast, which enable the people to really take off and engage in conversation, which really turns out to be interesting. Here are some topics that have given me the biggest impressions:
-「浮気されたらあなたは?」 - The chatters talking about what they think of cheating and what makes cheating “cheating.”
-「血液型で性格の違いは出ると思いますか?」- One of the most memorable parts is when someone tries to guess another’s blood type, and also, the general conclusions they come to with each individual blood type.
In almost every podcast session there is also a phone call from someone who used proactiv and the conversations between Manabe (or Ogura, she’s the new host) and the callers have become an interesting part of my playlist.
This podcast has been a great help in allowing me to understand the conversations of younger crowds.

- ラジオ「女子だけ体育館に集合!!」- “Just Girls Gather in the Gym!!”
Rating: None
Ease: Probably leans more toward intermediate/advanced...
My "review": Girly talking between loud females is the only impression I have so far... (not that I’m putting this podcast down or anything...)

- 「ラジカントロプス2.0 _ AM1422kHz ラジオ日本」 - “Radio Cantaloupes (?)”
Ease: Intermediate to advanced. Perhaps a good way to boost your comprehension level to advanced.
Review: A variety of guests are invited on this show to both talk about and share their talents, as well as have general conversation with the host. The episodes have interesting segments too. For example, there was a guest who’s an emcee who also works on a farm, and the host quizzed her about her own blog. For example, “What time did you board the train on [this day] to go to [certain event]?” And there was another segment on that show where the emcee listed her top 3 movies and top 3 foreign dramas. Among other guests on the show are a golfer, an underground musician who performs (pretty humorously), and a fashion designer. There’s something about the flow of conversation that is very easy to follow on this show... and they always seem to be talking about something very interesting.

- 「それぞれの就活~明日を担う女性たち」- “The Women Who Carry Tomorrow On Their Shoulders”
Rating: 7
Ease: Intermed. to Advanced
Review: As this is a good source for interviews, it has been worthwhile for me. Young girls in college are being interviewed about their studies, previous work experience and search for a career. It’s meant to be a motivational podcast for women who are looking for work.

- Love Nature Episode (links no longer up, but available on iTunes)
Rating: 9
Ease: I can picture this being great for beginners. I would've loved to start with this. Advanced and intermed. can enjoy too.
Upon looking at the title, I expected this to be sappy and pretentious, but that’s only because I live in America. Nature-lovers in Japan are different. The host talks of many accounts throughout her life that involve nature. For example, when her pet turtle got lost and she discovered that a small shop around the corner was keeping it as a pet. Another example: how when her grandmother died, many flowers suddenly bloomed in her family’s garden within the next few days, and they regarded it as their grandfather showing his happiness of having reunited with his wife in heaven. Short and sweet, adds good variety to my Japanese immersion.

- 「寝 るまでまって・・・」- “Wait Until Bedtime...”
Rating: 7.5
Ease: Intermed. to advanced. Unless you're a beginner with a specialty for these things (which could very well be true for many of you)...
Review: A male host and female host talk about many adult topics. Most of this stuff is what no one wants to listen to with their family in the room (but if they can't understand Japanese, that's a different story). Needless to say, the topics easily grab the listener's attention. For the same reason, many of us RTK members prefer perverted kanji stories. Wink

- 岩本初恵のハッピートーク」 - “Iwamoto Hatsue’s Happy Talk”
Ease: Intermed. to advanced
Rating: None yet
The host, radio personality and author Iwamoto Hatsue, invites guests on her show and has... a Happy Talk. The title sums it up well. Sorry, I’d describe more but I’m a little new to this podcast.

- 「ベビカムサテライト」- “Baby Come Satellite”
Rating: 9.5
Ease: I think beginners can get something a lot out of this, as can intermed. and advanced.
Review: It may be partly because my job is to take care of infants and toddlers, but I really like this podcast. There are guests who talk about specific topics such as bathing for infants, photo organization, birthing methods, etc. Another major part of the show is when the host reads forum questions and answers off the ベビカム website. I would have given this a 10, but there’s so much filler music between each topic, and they switch topics pretty quickly. So in each episode, there’s like 3 minutes of music with no talking. And even while the host may be talking about something like a baby drooling excessively, there will be surf-rock playing in the background. I never fail to notice the awkwardness of these two combining together whenever I hear this episode...

- “Planet Green Podcast”
Rating: 8.5
Ease: Intermed. to advanced.
Review: Themes such as outdoors, traveling and ecology make up this podcast. This is kind of like listening to a walking-encyclopedia professor. You can see that his knowledge is rooted in many areas. Each episode has its own topic and there are also guests on the show.

- Cosmo Earth Conscious Act - ずっと地球で暮らそう
Rating: 9
Ease: Intermed to advanced.
Review: For each episode, the hosts have a guest-caller, who is a professional, reporting information from regions all other Japan. They report about various things, such as how the sakura are blooming, the weather in certain areas, how recycling is being done in those areas (example: recycling bicycles, eco-friendly bags), economical electricity supplying methods, etc. Since each guest caller is a different person from a different area with interesting things to share, this podcast is very worthwhile. One of the most interesting things I've heard in this so far is how a caller talked about a Kappa legend in the area. They are also fairly short in length.

- “Mother Dictionary”
Rating: 9 (high rating due to personal interest - easy for me to get wrapped up in this child-rearing sort of thing. Interest aside, maybe an 8)
Ease: All levels but definitely leans more toward intermediate and advanced learners.
Review: This is a podcast dedicated to "mothers around the world" and includes information on parenting and experiences that the host/guests reflect on. Easy-to-listen-to flow of conversation. These are usually the kinds of topics I go for (life-style, child-raising), mainly because they’re so easy to follow -- no 専門用語 to focus on. Just plain grammar immersion and lots of core 6000 exposure.

- “Marimoeo”
Rating: None yet
Ease: Probably more for intermediate and advanced learners.
Review: This seems to be a very good simulation of what you’d hear if you went to high school in Japan. Loud, cheerful high school girls just talking. I think after awhile it would get old, listening to this stuff all the time. But allowing these trivial conversations to show up in your playlist every now and then is not such a bad idea.

- 「人生をのせるリズムの法則」 “Get Your Life on Track with the Law of Rhythm”
Rating: 8.5
Ease: All levels. He speaks slowly, so this is great for beginners.
Review: The host calmly talks while the listener is expected to do breathing exercises, yoga and things like that. Good for an iPod or playlist designated for sleeping.

- 「菊池翔のナダラカ向上心」 - Kikuchi Shouma’s Gently Sloping Improvement
Rating: 8.5
Ease: All levels.
Review: The host is so easy to understand! That’s what I noticed right off. There’s just something about the flow of his speech that easily engages even a foreign listener. He picks topics that he knows people are interested in... right now I’m listening to the one about 痴漢問題。

- 「コーヒーと牛乳」- ”Coffee and Milk”
Rating: None yet
Ease: Better for intermediate and advanced learners.
Review: Good exposure to conversation that doesn’t seem to particularly have an outline. Lot’s of 雑談、 joking and fooling around, pretty much. A good way to get to know what humor is like in Japan.

- 「あなたに目覚ましコール ~モーニングシャワー~【試聴版】」 “A Call to Wake You Up - Morning Shower”
Rating: 7
Ease: All levels -- she speaks slowly and simply.
Review: The podcast begins with the host being woke up by someone calling her, and then you hear her side of the conversation. Then she talks about important things to do when you first wake up -- changing into the clothes right away, the importance of certain sounds when waking, the importance of drinking water and doing stretches and breathing exercises, etc. This is a free version, so there are only a few episodes, but I think they’re very good for adding variety to one’s playlist.

- “Suntory Saturday Waiting Bar Avanti”
Rating: None yet
Ease: Advanced, intermediate.
Review: So, a simulation of what you might hear in a bar in Japan between two old guys. Great for immersing yourself everyday conversation. But is one of them either just really good at English pronunciation (when saying the title in the beginning) or is he really a native English-speaker with great Japanese?

- “Smile Life Podcast”
Rating: 8.5
Ease: intermediate and advanced.
Review: I really enjoy listening to this one -- the host invites “experts” of various things to come on and share their secrets/advice. Experts include: eco-expert, checkbook-keeping expert, investing expert, cellphone expert, credit card expert, etc. There’s also weekly 雑談 aside from just the selected topic. Great for 専門用語 learning, but I think it has something to offer for those closer to a beginner-level.

- “J-Wave Tokyo Morning Radio - Power Your Morning”
Rating: None yet
Ease: intermediate and advanced.
Review: Radio show with health-related topics and guests invited to each session. The subheading is “Power Your Morning” but it sounds a bit slow-paced and dull, not upbeat and motivational like one may expect. I think it might not have that appealing factor, which I think is important for some non-native listeners. Advanced listeners may gain more from this.

- 「情熱大陸」 - "Passion Continent"
Rating: 8
Ease: Overall, it's better for advanced and intermed learners, but beginners can find some potential in this, I think. Example: beginners with more of a foundation in reading than listening. You can use the transcripts to up your listening comprehension. However, you may run into 専門用語 and not-so-common 四字熟語.
Review: This automatically got a high rating due to the transcripts. But it would've gotten a 7 if not for that, because it really lacks in variety. If this is on your playlist, it's going to feel like a lot of the same-sounding stuff is coming up a lot, because each episode is read by someone with that typical announcer-style voice. On the plus side, this podcast is an excellent source for those wanting to add to their vocab. Those who learned the core 6000 can probably breeze right through it, but will encounter that non-core 6000 word here and there. I think that combination of "fast-paced reading" and "unknown words here and there" is just perfect, and this podcast seems to be able to provide that.

- 天使のMorning Call - Angel's Morning Call
Rating: 9.5
Ease: This is more slower paced and it's meant to be calming and easy to comprehend, so I think beginners may get something out of it.
Review: I'm really happy I found this one for all its interesting topics, which are delivered in a very calm, easy to follow format (which is also great for listening to while relaxing and sleeping). Topics include: what is the afterlife like?, how to let your individuality shine, why committing suicide is wrong, how to keep from committing suicide, what creates illness and how to heal illness, how to scold employees, how to have a happy love life, bullying in schools, "why continue studying?", how to keep from getting stressed, how to keep from being tired, and many many others. There are over 200 episodes. There are also sometimes guests on the show.


- 「平良とみの沖縄 タイム~なんくるないさ~」- “Taira Tomi’s Okinawa Time”
Rating: 7
Ease: Good for beginners but may lean more towards intermediate and advanced.
Review: You may have to get through lots of intro music or ads and things like that to get to the talking, but this is a very interesting podcast done by a older lady in Okinawa. She talks about many things related to Okinawan culture -- food, health, lifestyle. She sounds so sweet and kind~ it's always nice listening to this lady.

- “Tokyo Midtown Presents The Lifestyle Museum”
Rating: 7
Ease: Probably not recommended for beginners because you might taint your pronunciation with whatever flaws the non-Japanese host uses while speaking.
Review: Wow... at first I thought the male host was a Japanese guy with a very slight speech impediment but it turns out he’s not even Japanese. With that aside, this show has a good flow of conversation and interesting guests. There’s a guest who does work as a narrator and she is given samples of text (芥川龍之介の蜘蛛の糸) to narrate on the show and she talks about her experiences in narration. Of course, the fact that the host isn’t Japanese will turn people away and I would’ve given it an 8 if not for the “danger factor” of listening to a non-native’s Japanese... but he actually makes up for the non-native factor pretty well.

- 「桃花源/四川料理の神髄」- ”Toukagen/The Essence of Sichuan Cooking”
Rating: 7.5
Ease: Intermediate and advanced.
Review: The basic setting is two people eating in a restaurant and talking about what they’re eating. Just that in itself may be pretty valuable to listen to. What you say when reacting to what you’re eating is pretty important -- especially if you’re living somewhere that has such a huge food culture as Japan. By the way, the episode on 杏仁豆腐 is especially memorable. The title says it’s just Sichuan cooking but perhaps it includes cooking from other regions as well?

- ビールの話 -talking drunk-
Rating: None yet
Ease: My impression is intermediate and advanced.
Review: So far, I can’t really tell if they’re actually talking while drunk. It seems to be mostly a show about beer. Comparing beer, tasting different beers of the world, and talking about it.

- "TBS Life"
Rating: None yet
Ease: My impression is that it's for intermediate and advanced learners, but perhaps it holds some potential for beginners. Might be a good way to get yourself to the intermediate level.
Eikyu's review: It's a great show, they talk about various social/life issues with a couple of commentators who are often smart academic types. They tend to talk very fast and it's usually hard to understand. It's a good test of your abilities though.

- "KODO Weblog KERS148.1 Podcasts"
Rating: None yet
Ease: Better for advanced and intermed, but I found it to be easier to understand than many other podcasts that I've categorized as for "advanced and intermediate."
Review: Just upon first listen, I find this man really easy to understand. He's a member of a drumming group on the island of Sado. He talks about drumming techniques, talks about the culture involving 和太鼓, reads letters and receives calls from listeners, etc. The calls from listeners really make this worthwhile, I think.

- 「大和カルバリーチャペル 祈祷会・聖会メッセージ」 "Yamato Calvary Chapel - Prayer Meeting - Worship Meeting Message"
Rating: None Yet
Ease: Advanced and Intermed.
Review: The minister of this Japanese-Christian church publicizes his messages through podcast.

Personal journal/Trivia:

- Hot Cast
Rating: 9
Ease: All levels can getting something out of this
pudding cat Wrote:I've started listening to HOTCAST. There's a new podcast every Thursday and each is about 25 minutes long. They don't speak too fast and their voices are very clear.
wccrawford Wrote:Holy cow. That has got to be the easiest podcast that has real speech that I've found yet! Thanks!
...after reading the above quote, I had to go and see for myself. And yes! You may just be pleasantly surprised. This is the first time in awhile that I was able to listen to the first few minutes of a podcast without missing a beat. Also, I noticed that one of the conversation-ers is the guy from the sex-themed podcast ”寝るまで待って”. Well, it was canceled, after all. He must have needed some way to regain his regular weekly serving of intimidate conversations with younger women, that lecher Wink *kidding, kidding*

- 「ねえ, ねえ聞いて!」 - “Nee, nee, Listen!”
Rating: 10
Ease: Great for all levels, inviting material for beginners.
Review: A young girl who talks about a ton of different topics, from healing through laughter, to the Chinese zodiac, from nostalgic school supplies to kanji/word origins/trivia. It's also very, very easy to understand -- if you know even just half of the core 6000 on SmartFM it shouldn’t be very difficult to grasp the meaning of what she’s saying. She's so fun to listen to, and she doesn't sound annoying/doesn't particularly have a high, screechy voice. I'm so glad I found this podcast -- it has so much potential for immersing the listener in every-day-use Japanese.

- "Shinri's Little Bit"
Rating: 7.5
Ease: Seems to be aimed for intermed./advanced more than beginners.
Review: I don’t have much information because I’ve barely listened but 1. it’s a personal journal with some trivia thrown in 2. for some of the time in each podcast there’s really fast paced music playing in the background, so his voice isn’t very easy to hear. Good for advanced listeners, however. I would've given this an 8 if not for the loud techno background music competing with his voice.

- 「谷村新司・まぁるい日曜日ポッドキャスト」 - "Tanimura Shinji: Round Sunday Podcast"
Rating: 8.5
Ease: If you're just using his soothing voice to sleep to, level probably doesn't matter much. That aside, this is for intermediate and advanced levels.
Review by mattimus: Shinji Tanimura's podcast is the all-time #1 podcast to listen to for sleeping. He has the most soothing Japanese male voice I've ever heard. He's like your own personal Japanese grandpa. He just shoots the breeze about music, food, and reads fan letters (he was/is a singer/songwriter). Do yourself a favor and subscribe to this one.

- 「今日の猫ちゃん」- “Today’s Nekochan”
Rating: 7
Ease: Perfect for beginners, since there's text to go with it. It is an audio version of a diary, after all Smile Great for all levels.
Review: The creator is a man who turns the diary he wrote about his cats into miniature little dramas. If it’s a doctor visit, he turns it into an action drama, with the help of music that sets the tone and change of pace in reading. If it’s about something as simple as one cat being jealous of another cat, it becomes sort of a melodrama.

- "Life Is Comedy" 
Rating: None yet
Ease: I'm going to say all levels, because it's pretty much a guy's diary that beginners shouldn't have a great deal of trouble following. It's not like he's busting out with 専門用語 or anything like that.
Review: No rating since I've only listened to one episode. It's good for quiet listening and the reflective way he talks is nice. However, I often find myself tuning him out, as he just rambles and rambles in a way that’s not too interesting. But this is just my opinion, and as I said, I’ve only listened to one episode.

- 「大人の雑学講座」 - “Adult Trivia Lesson”
Rating: 8
Ease: All levels, but aimed especially toward intermed. and advanced.
Review: There are only four episodes, but get the most out of those four episodes because they’re very interesting. There’s one about how chocolate melts gum when you chew them together, another about how people in Nagoya have a 喫茶店 fetish or something... and one about “the day when Japanese people disappear.”


- 「JUNK 爆笑問題 カーボーイ」
Rating: 8
Ease: Probably intermediate and advanced.
Review: This podcast seems to be very good in helping one become accustomed to what is considered funny in Japanese. I can see how having this on one’s playlist would really liven things up. Also, for those looking for natural, informal conversation to listen to, this is absolutely perfect.
Captal's review: I've listened to about 10 episodes of this- I think it's pretty funny and if my (japanese) girlfriend is in the room she laughs a lot. It's two guys that chat and make jokes, but the highlight is a section (which is most the podcast) called "みょうにへんだな。。。” where people write in about things that they found strange, and usually end up making a fool of themselves. Highly recommended.

- いーふろん亭 ぽっど寄席 - "Iifuron Pavilion Podcast Entertainment Hall"
Rating: 7
Ease: There are slight variations with each comedian, but overall, intermed. and advanced learners can enjoy more. However, for beginners interested in 落語, don't hesitate to listen.
Review: 落語 is a lot more easy to understand than I expected. This seems to be something great to get into, for both increasing listening comprehension, learning what 落語 is like and becoming more familiar with what's humorous in Japan. Each episode seems to have a different comedian, some who I found to be easier to understand than others.
Edited: 2011-07-29, 11:55 am


- "Japanese Classical Literature at Bedtime"
Rating: 7.5
Ease: All levels.
Review: Amateur story-reading podcast (she makes mistakes and has to repeat herself sometimes, medium quality of audio), but great for sleeping. If you are interested in listening to the specific stories she reads (銀河鉄道の夜、羅生門), there are better recordings by other readers, but it’s great for just the calm voice and lack-of-dramatic story-telling that allows people doing JPN immersion to go to sleep to Japanese each night Smile Every night I listen to Rashoumon to sleep.
astrangerhere's review: "This is a lady who reads classic literature in a very soft and pleasant voice. She sells the audiobook readings in Japan, but they are free here in the US. They are all classics. There are bits of Genji, The Pillow Book and alot of other smaller short stories. If you add her RSS to a podcaster, you'll only get about half her archive. I spent an hour one day downloading her entire run from her blog. Lovely listening."
Note: go here for astrangerhere's uploaded zipped files of many stories off the podcast's blog.

- 童話・昔話の朗読」【ちょびひげ文庫】 - “Japanese Stories for Children”
Rating: 7
Ease: All levels
Review: Only 6 episodes. The narrator for these is so funny. Her dramatic acting in「キャラメルと飴玉」and 「二つの鞄」are especially hilarious. These stories are short and sweet and are a good way to add variety to your listening.

- 「日本みじかい昔話・珍獣の館ポッドキャスティング」 - “Short Japanese Stories”
Rating: 7.5
Ease: Leans toward intermediate and advanced learners more.
Review: Another good way to add variety to your playlist. The stories are also short and there’s the big bonus of the narrator talking about each story when she’s done reading them. I consider this to be the most valuable part.

- “Fanta Jikan”
Rating: 8
Ease: All levels, but like with all audio, intermediate and advanced can enjoy more.
Review: Excellent story-telling in high-quality with fitting background music that’s different with each story. If you are a 宮沢賢治 fan, you’ll find many of his works being read. There are also translations of Western fairytales being read.

- ヨミキク文庫 - フジテレビのポッドキャスティング『フジポッド』 - “Listen and Read Library”
Rating: 7.5
Ease: All levels, but like with all audio, intermediate and advanced can enjoy more.
Review: This is right in the same league as Fanta Jikan. Excellent! Edit: I took half a point off for lack of variation in storytelling/music/narrators. Fanta Jikan is better when it comes to that, so I realized I needed to sacrifice the half point.

- 日本童話名作選-新美南吉、鈴 木三重吉他 - “Japanese Children’s Tales by Famous Authors - Niimi Nankichi, Suzuki Miekichi, and Others”
Rating: None
Ease: All levels can enjoy, I think.
Review: I got a ton of these and used them for listening to while sleeping and relaxing. These are really good for listening in those phases when you’re awake enough to know what’s going on, of course including before sleeping and upon waking. You never know what interesting passage you’re going to be hearing. This is, however, only a sample of all the 朗読 you’ll find. Go here for a directory of 朗読。

- 「ゆめよみ おはなし ひなたぼっこ」 - "Dream Reading Stories - Basking in the Sun"
Rating: 7
Ease: For all learners.
Review: Amateur storytelling with a little boy and a woman (maybe mom and son?) There's something memorable about the way they tell the stories. Examples of stories: The first kotatsu (it was a horigotatsu and the mayor thought you were supposed to get in naked as you would before bathing...), the three little pigs, the beginning of the world, momotarou, and many others. Some also have Youtube videos with pictures that go with their reading. If there's any way for you to trim the intro off so you can just hear the story for each episode, I'd suggest it. (I use MP3 Trimmer for Mac. Hearing the narrators with their high pitched voices saying that same intro over and over gets pretty annoying.

- 朗読の森 - "Storytelling Forest"
Rating: 7.5
Ease: All learners
Very skillful storytelling with different background music for each reading. Stories & authors include The Gift of the Magi (as listed in the audio book thread), one story from the Brothers Grimm, Akutagawa Ryuunosuke, Miyazawa Kenji, Natsume Soseki, Dazai Osamu, and many other famous Japanese authors. There are also a few readings of 昔話. Look for the category section on the left side of the page about halfway through scrolling down.

Poetry & Letter-reading:

- 「盲導犬ユーザーの詩」 - “Poems by Seeing-eye-dog Owners”
Rating: 6
Ease: All levels. You should be able to get some enjoyment out of it without having to know the whole Core2000.
Review: Blind people who own seeing-eye dogs submit their poems about their lifestyle with their dogs and a 朗読家 reads them. The reader's voice is very calming and there is also calming music before and after each reading. If there was more variation in the way these are individually podcasted, I would have given it a higher rating. I do think this is a very good idea -- the owners of seeing eye dogs have a lot of insightful things to say.

- 「拝啓お父さん」 - “Dear Father”
Rating: 5
Ease: Definitely good for all levels. The letters are especially simple, just not the haiku.
Review: I like how these are letters from a little girl to her father (not sure if they’re real letters), but I feel like most of what I’m listening to is just her reading her haiku poems over and over. Her voice also gets a little annoying after awhile.But it’s kind of nice to have on my playlist Smile

- 「神戸市心かよわす市民運動」- “Koubeshi People’s Movement[?]”
Rating: 7
Ease: This probably leans toward intermediate and advanced, but beginners can get something out of it, I think.
Review: This podcast is of people reading letters from children. There's one about a kid talking about his autistic brother, another one with a kid talking about his grandpa who uses a wheelchair and another one about kids who are teased. Very easy to understand. I just wish the guy they use to read them didn't sound so newscaster-like and impersonal. There's a woman who reads some of them and it sounds better.


- ドラマ配信 「きんぎょの耳」- “Drama: A Goldfish’s Ears”
Rating: 6.5
Ease: All levels, including beginners, since you can get a lot from the context in the drama.
Review: This is a podcast in story form about a female goldfish and her friends in the tank she lives in. The interesting thing is that they sound just like humans -- the actors don’t add much of a “fishy” quality to them, but of course it’s obvious they are fish and are dealing with living in a fish tank. I didn't give this a higher rating because the abrupt transitions between narration and actual events taking place in the production tends to get a little old. And the voice of the goldfish is pretty whiny and annoying.

- Replica Blue The old website was taken down along with the old files, but Sebastian has shared them HERE. There is a new site, but you have to pay to listen to them.
User Blahah's recommendation.
Rating: None yet
Ease: Since it's a drama, I'd recommend it for all levels, but this may lean more towards advanced and intermediate learners.
My comment on it: This is a sci-fi radio drama with excellent production and very good actors. Almost too good for a podcast radio show...?

- タマホームプレゼンツ マイドリーム 大作戦! - "Tama Home Presents: Big plans for my dream"
Rating: 7.5
Ease: All levels
Review: Each episode is about 5 minutes, a little over half of which is a drama about a recently married couple (who just bicker most of the time). The husband is a bit of a worry wort and his wife seems to have a case of OCD. Situations include: picking out furniture for their new home, the wife's pregnancy, throwing a "no-more-rent" party, family trip, etc. Needless to say, you'll hear lots of valuable every-day conversation. There's also a narrator (w/ typical announcer-style voice) who throws in his explanations before and after each drama segment. The drama is what makes this very suitable for beginners, even though there may be many words the typical beginner doesn't know. However, the context becomes more obvious in dramas such as these.
Edited: 2011-07-29, 8:37 pm
Media and Technology

- 「新刊ラジオ」- “New Publications Radio”
Rating: 8
Ease: Intermediate and advanced.
Review: This podcast is all about book reviews. You will even get what seems to be a portion of the audio-book thrown into the podcast. There are lots of interesting books to choose from and hear about through the podcasts. Also a good opportunity to find out about Japanese books, of course.

- 「キノキャスト」 ”Kino Cast”
Rating: None yet
Ease: Intermediate and advanced.
Review: I’m so glad I found this one. It’s a podcast done by Kinokuniya on recommended books. The host reviews each book very thoroughly. She gives a description, lists the table of contents, talks about what about the book left the biggest impression on her, etc. Aside from the fact that this is great immersion, if you’re reading in Japanese, this is great for helping decide what your next book is.

- 木下工務店 presents FM CINEMA」 - “Kinoshita Engineering Shop presents FM CINEMA”
Rating: 6
Ease: Intermediate and advanced.
Review: These are short interviews with actors and directors. Some sound like they are just very short segments of whole interviews, however. Aside from the loud sound effects between sections of the podcast, it’s a very calm, relaxed show. Possibly a good way to learn movie/camera related terminology.

- “MinCinema Lounge”
Rating: 8
Ease: Suggested for intermediate and advanced, but don't be afraid to give it a try, beginners.
Review: I really like how this podcast includes very in-depth descriptions and impressions of newly released movies (in Japan and other countries). It’s especially interesting if she’s talking about a movie that I’m familiar with (which is not surprising, I suppose).

- 「スターウオッチングエクスプレス」 - “Star-Watching Express”
Rating: 7
Ease: Intermediate and advanced.
Review: Astronomy podcast. Great program with nice music in the background. You can tell he's so enthusiastic about looking at and studying stars and planets, so it's fun listening to~ I’m pretty glad I found this one.

- 「狭くて浅いやつら」 - “Narrow and Shallow Guys”
Ease: Intermediate and advanced.
Rating: None yet
Review: Anime/videogame/manga podcast. I’ve found the detailed conversations about mangaka to be pretty interesting so far.

- 「iPhoneと携帯」 - “iPhone and Cellphone”
Rating: 7
Ease: Intermediate and advanced.
No link - look for on iTunes.
Review: The topics talked about in this podcast all revolve around cellphone features (and analysis of them and their effectiveness), tips/tricks, etc. This is a very good way to pick up computer technology language. And don’t let the lack-of-link discourage you from downloading this podcast. It’s worth the search on iTunes, I think.

- "Photoshoot"
Rating: None yet
Ease: Intermediate and advanced.
Review: I haven’t listened to this much, but so far it seems to be a good source of technological terms, combined with lively conversation. Well at least one of the guys is pretty lively, however, the other one is a lot more monotone.

- ビースウォーカー入手計画カズヒラ ミラー の「カズラジ」
Rating: None yet
Video game-related podcast.

- 「週刊 Net Report」 - “Weekly Net Report”
Rating: None yet
Ease: Intermediate and advanced.
Review: Great source for Internet/Computer-related talk. They talk about all the latest on Apple products, Skype, Twitter, Mixi, Google, etc. Lot’s of 雑談。
Also: Look for the blue table of links on the left hand side below the embedded mp3. That’s a list of the other radio programs on this website. They seem to be offering some very interesting stuff.

- "My Cup of Tea"
Rating: 7
Ease: Intermediate and advanced.
Review: A personal journal podcast about mostly Apple products, and sometimes things like Twitter. Every once in awhile he'll also talk about his kids and things happening in his life such as what he did for Golden Week.

- 「もえラジ分家 もえラジプラス」 - ”Moe Radio Bunke - Moe Radio Plus”
Ease: Probably better for intermediate and advanced.
Rating: None yet
Anime-related random talks between amateur podcasters.

- - ELISAのひとりでデきるモン!- “Elisa's 'I can do it myself!'”
Rating: None yet
Ease: Learners of all levels can probably enjoy this.
Review: Not much info on this one... The category is gaming and 趣味 and just by taking a quick listen I can see that it has good potential. There’s also conversation, so it’s not entirely a personal journal.
astrangerhere's input: This is actually the podcast of a moderately popular Jpop artist. She recorded singles for the animes Ef: A Tale of Memories and Ef: A Tale of Melodies. This is her official site:
Edited: 2012-01-09, 11:51 pm

Learning Japanese (in Japanese):

- 「日本語塾」 - Japanese Cram School
Rating: 9.5
Ease: I have read that this podcast is aimed for advanced learners but it sounds beginner-friendly to me.
Review: This is just excellent, and if only there were more episodes. Each episode is 1-3 mins long and covers an important aspect of speaking Japanese. For example, how the word 「あなた」 is used, how to accept compliments in Japanese, ら行, 擬音語、the ambiguity of the Japanese language, etc. I especially like how each podcast is very short and concise.

- 「今すぐ使える新潟弁byポッドキャスト」 - “Use Niigata Dialect Immediately with Podcast”
Rating: None
Ease: Intermediate and advanced.
Review: If you’re using it for the purpose of learning 新潟弁 and not for simply Japanese exposure, I think this podcast will serve your needs. But aside from learning the dialect, the radio show doesn’t seem especially appealing. Maybe I’m biased and just annoyed with the girls yelling loudly and the host’s voice...
But anyway, no rating because it would be low and that wouldn’t be fair because it does have potential for those learning 新潟弁。

- “Japanese Listening Advanced” TRANSCRIPTS included
Rating: 8
Level: Even though the title says advanced, I think this has potential for beginners, especially if your reading comprehension is better than listening comprehension, because it comes with transcriptions of the dialogue for most clips.
Review: It’s not only clips of informal Japanese conversation between two guys -- there are also scripts. So this could be very valuable for those who wish to increase their listening comprehension, or for those who want to shadow or use sentences for a deck. Topics include: Love hotels, eating in cars (unusual in Japan apparently), fishing, sake, etc.

- “Nippon Voice Blog” (files on the site are down, but buonaparte has uploaded them and they are linked to HERE. - TRANSCRIPTS included on website
Rating: 9
Level: All levels. This also has the advantage of text to go with audio.
Review: This blog is just excellent. Entries on various aspects of the Japanese culture with audio readings. You can shadow, improve listening comprehension, pick up sentences for your deck and learn about Japanese culture at the same time. The only downside -- lack in variation in readers/reading style and background music. However, if you go further back you will find interviews with experts in different areas of Japanese culture.


- 「江戸東京人セミナー2.0」- ”Edo period seminar”
Rating: 9
Ease: I think this is perfect for all learners. It's good for beginners because you can actually hear other things going on than just conversation, so as you're experiencing the podcast (instead of simply listening for what you can understand), you can understand through context.
Review: This podcast introduces different aspects of the edo jidai. There were a few episodes on celebrations carried out during the edo jidai, which included audio recorded from when the host went to an edo-styled festival while talking about it. There’s another episode about music with samples of shamisen playing. In another episode, the host is visiting a temple and listens in on the monks chanting and later her audio explanation is added in. She also interviews people at the temple. There are also guests who come on the show. It’s one of the most unique podcasts I’ve listened too. You don’t usually get to hear someone going around to different places like this in a podcast.

- 「石川晶康の日本史史料Podcast」 - “Ishikawa Akiyasu’s Japanese History Historical Documents”
Rating: None
Ease: Definitely intermediate and advanced. But if you're a beginner just looking for some Japanese that'll put you to sleep, this podcast may help.
Review: This is on my iPod that I use for sleeping. Can you guess why? He drones on and on about Japanese history Smile More difficult vocabulary is being used -- just the titles of each podcast may be difficult to read. So for some users this may be considered a good challenge, or for more advanced users, it could be a very good way to expose themselves to more higher level words. I can’t easily rate this one because, well... I sleep to it more than actively listening to it.

Science, Psychology and Social Science:

- 「 Science Xitalk - サイエンス・サイトーク」 Science Xitalk
Rating: 9
Ease: Intermediate and advanced.
Review: Experts come on to this show to talk about various science-related topics. Examples are: blood types (including how they are viewed in other countries), human dissection, predicting earthquakes, gender change, “the nonexistance of the swine flu?,” studies of the brain, etc. There are also more social issues being discussed, such as separation of waste articles, the debate on whether psychological tests really work, how Japanese people view crime in other countries, solving the mystery of “the traffic jam,” etc. So obviously, these people really know how to gather interesting topics. Really advanced words are being used here, seeing as there’s lots of 専門用語.

- 「セクシー 心理学」- Sexy Psychology  
Rating: 8
Ease: Intermediate and advanced listeners and get more out of this, just like any other podcast, but I don't see why a beginner can't listen to this. The show has personality so I think it'd be appealing, even to a beginner.
Review: Judging by the title, I at first expected this to have more mature topics, but I’ve listened to most of the podcast sessions and they’re actually very innocent. Topics include: “Are you good at pretending to listen?” “Are you trying to avoid success?” “Which of the following is not okay to ask your partner in the first stages of dating?” etc. As you can see, some questions aren’t even related to sex or love. Most of the sessions include a one-question quiz, and the answer will determine something about you psychologically. The conversations between Matsushita and Yuuki-sensei are very entertaining and insightful.

- 「男女の心理 学知りたい!相手の気持ち」 - ”I want to know the opposite sex’s mentality! Partner’s feelings” Download 35 older episodes here:
Rating: 10
Ease: I'm pretty sure learners of all levels can get something from this.
Review: This is a gem. It’s so easy for their personalities and way of talking to grow on me, and the episodes never seem to get old, no matter how many times I listen to them. The podcast also has a “resident psychologist” who comes on and talks about what makes men and women attractive. I would feel guilty listening to a shallow radio show such as this, if I was listening in English... but since I’m learning Japanese in the process, can’t say I feel bad about it.

- 「森田ゆりのポッドキャスト」 - “Morita Yuri’s Podcast”
Rating: None yet
Ease: This is probably better for intermediate and advanced learners, but don't hesitate to try it, beginners. She speaks more on the slower slide, but with somewhat difficult topics.
Review: Morita Yuri is a humanitarian who writes and podcasts on topics such as domestic violence, sexual abuse against children, the border between discipline and abuse, etc. She has a soothing way of speaking, so this podcast is recommended for sleeping. I use it for sleeping, so my perception of it is warped due to being drowsy and half out of it while listening, so no rating.


- 「こどもの音感教育」 - “Auditory Training for Children”
Ease: All levels. There may be a lot that beginners can't grasp, but it's easy on the ears and not so fast-paced, so why not?
Review: Interesting topic, good opportunity to learn some different vocabulary. Unfortunately, there don’t seem to be many episodes (since I could only find the iTunes link, and not a blog that would show more episodes). But what’s included are some interesting topics, such as “What should your children learn - Piano or violin?” and “Classroom or individual lessons?” It’s also very calming -- another good podcast for relaxing to.
Edited: 2011-10-19, 5:16 pm
News/Politics/Business/Social Issues

- 「荒川強啓 デイ・キャッチ!」 - “Arakawa Kyoukei - Day Catch!”
Rating: 9
Ease: Better for intermediate and advanced users, but I don't see why beginners can't get in on it.
Review: The goal of the news show is to deliver the news in a speedy way while being easy to understand. There’s also information on sports and entertainment and performing arts. And it’s not just a delivery of the news -- there’s a great deal of discussion as well. For a news show, this is very unique, great find.

- 「読売ニュース」 - "Yomiuri News"
Rating: 6
Ease: Advanced and intermed. but I can't think of a reason why beginners shouldn't get used to the news early.
Review: I don't think many people want to hear the American announcer man in the beginning so that's why I gave this a six. Aside from that, all I can say is, this is your typical news program. If you want just straight news, this may be good, if you don't mind the English mixed in the episodes.

- FM79.7「難民ナウ!」ポッドキャスト版 - “Refugee - Now!”
Rating: 8.5
Ease: Intermediate and advanced. This program has some major 早口 going on at times.
This podcast is about the lives of people living in poverty in third world countries and the things they do to recover and move forward. It also keeps up to date with current events, such as the Haiti earthquake. If you are looking for more of a sense of reality in a podcast, this is a good one.

- 「菅下清廣のIRサプリ」- “Sugashita Kiyohiro’s IR Supplement”
Rating: None
Ease: Definitely for intermediate and advanced.
Review: Business podcast. No rating, because it’s a bit hard to become engaged in -- for the most part, it just goes over my head. I’m going to give myself a little more time before I can properly assess this one. Test out your knowledge of business 用語 with it, though Smile

- 藤 田一枝のポッドキャスト2 - “Fujita Kazue’s Podcast 2”
Rating: 7
Ease: For intermediate and advanced learners, but if you're a beginner who really wants early exposure to political topics, this may be an ideal way of accomplishing that.
Review: Female member of the House of Representatives, Fujita Kazue, talks about what’s going on lately in politics and what her feelings are. Possibly good for keeping in touch with Japanese politics in a way that’s short and easy to digest. However, since she’s a busy politician and all, she doesn't particularly update very often.

- マーケティング成功事例 - Examples of Successful Marketing
Ease: Intermediate and advanced.
Rating: None yet
He makes marketing actually sound interesting to me...
Excellent way to learn some 専門用語。

- Philosophy Zoo TRANSCRIPTS included
Ease: Intermediate and advanced, but take advantage of those transcripts if you have even the slightest bit of confidence with reading difficult topics.
Rating: 8.5
Difficult subjects, but there are transcripts! So if you're looking to increase your understanding of difficult, abstract topics, the transcripts will really help. As for interest level - I tend to zone out whenever this is playing because the speakers are, more often than not, very very monotone. However, there's no loud music playing and no advertisements and stuff that you get in a lot of other podcasts - it's just pure interview/conversation/reflection.

Other podcasts for these genres that look interesting:

Politics Genre: ほっとけないラジオ - “‘Can’t leave it alone’ Radio”
Social Issues Genre: 中山秀征のJAPAN RHYTHM~ジャパリズム~ Podcast 楽屋編
Edited: 2011-07-20, 10:04 pm
I don't know what to say. It's just great Big Grin Thank you very much!
Wow, fantastic resource Nuriko. Thanks for taking the time to do it, I'll refer to this whenever I'm hungry for new audio.

You could add ReplicaBlue ( It's available on the iTunes store. It's a sci-fi radio drama, really nicely voice acted.
This is something that should be stickied.
Stickied and wiki'd. This is fantastic.
I'm a coporate lawyer. I run my mouth for a living. And yet, there simply are not words to describe the awesomeness of this post. My Ziepod and iPod might actually take flight. Thank you so much!
Thanks Blahah for your addition to the list.

If anyone else has a podcast they'd like to add, please contribute as well Smile
I've added this on another thread here, but I definitely think it is good enoug to go on this list. - Japanese Classic Literature at Bedtime (audio and transcripts)

This is a lady who reads classic literature in a very soft and pleasant voice. She sells the audiobook readings in Japan, but they are free here in the US. They are all classics. There are bits of Genji, The Pillow Book and alot of other smaller short stories. If you add her RSS to a podcaster, you'll only get about half her archive. I spent an hour one day downloading her entire run from her blog. Lovely listening.

@ Blahah - where did you stumble on Replica Blue? It made for great listening and the quality is excellent. Do you know of anything else like this?
I came across ReplicaBlue in another post on this forum here. Credit goes to Sebastian for introducing us to ReplicaBlue.

@astrangerhere is there any chance you could zip up all the JCLAB files you downloaded and put them on mediafire or something similar to save us all the trawling?
Edited: 2010-05-07, 6:29 am
@astrangerhere - lol Nuriko already posted that link in this thread too! First me, then Nuriko. You fancy big city lawyers think you can just repost our links all you like.

Also, everyone: I'm the one who paid for the big salad.
nest0r Wrote:You fancy big city lawyers think you can just repost our links all you like.
Aww, shucks, you caught me. Though it occurs to me that my evil lawlerly ways aren't making me any cash here, so I'll endeavor to do better, er not inadvertantly steal. I did actually look for the link this time, but when i got to my office at 6am everything was still a little fuzzy for me.

@ Blahah - I have a paid account with Megaupload, so I'll try to get them up there. I might just do one volume at a time though. I'll clean the tags up and get all her Tale of Genji readings up first, as there are a ton of those. I'll get on it whenever i manage to escape the office today.
Thanks for your input -- my comment didn't quite sum up the best of Japanese Classic Literature at Bedtime, so I added your comment/review with mine under the storytelling section. Smile
Nuriko Wrote:- ELISAのひとりでデきるモン!- “What Elisa Can Do Herself! (?)”
Rating: None yet
Not much info on this one... The category is gaming and 趣味 and just by taking a quick listen I can see that it has good potential. There’s also conversation, so it’s not entirely a personal journal.
This is actually the podcast of a moderately popular Jpop artist. She recorded singles for the animes Ef: A Tale of Memories and Ef: A Tale of Melodies. This is her official site:
Wow, great resources, thanks.

You're missing TBS LIFE

It's a great show, they talk about various social/life issues with a couple of commentators who are often smart academic types. They tend to talk very fast and it's usually hard to understand Sad It's a good test of your abilities though.

Also found this thread about the same topic:
Thanks so much for taking the time to review all these podcasts Nuriko. Smile
Great list. Anyone want to give these a difficulty rating as well? That'd be useful for us beginners. Big Grin
Edited: 2010-05-09, 5:44 am
brandon7s Wrote:Great list. Anyone want to give these a difficulty rating as well? That'd be useful for us beginners. Big Grin
He already rated many of them.
This is a great list, thanks! Is there any place we can get the text or transcript for Replica Blue?
Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you

ちなみに、are there any good methods for downloading these things en masse? I always feel like there should be a quicker way than doing all these clicks for each file.

oh... anyone up for collaborating on putting packs of these on mediafire/whatever download site you like and posting it in the google wave? I know it's been dormant for a looong time but it seems perfect for this purpose. I'll get started on that tomorrow.

Edit: I'll just drop this in here so I don't forget it and because I will be reviewing it later... a talk show about various topics

I've also decided to use Google Docs for sharing because I found out only today that I had like 1 gig of fast and sharable storage without any download limits. Still noone answering me over at Google Wave though Sad *wink wink nudge nudge prod prod*
Edited: 2010-05-14, 5:55 am