It’s Finding Japan’s 80th show! I’m joined in celebration with my friend and veteran Japan raconteur Todd Rucynski. Todd’s been in Japan for a long time has done everything from the good ol’ gaijin mainstay of teaching English to owning video stores (wuh?) to appearing on Japanese TV. We sat down at his secret office on a secret university campus to talk about what got him to Japan and some adventures since arriving more than 20 years ago. Note: The conversation was pretty long and Todd and I could’ve kept going, so I’m sure there will be more, whether you all want it or not.
Before Fred and Terrance left Tokyo, we managed a round-table wrap-up of the weekend’s activities. Though the weekend did not go as planned, we still had a great time and summed up the weekend’s adventures along with Fred’s thoughts on Japan after returning after 5 years for a visit.
Recently, Linda, Fred, Terrance and I made the trek up to the base of Mount Fuji to see the Fuji Yoshida Fire Festival. This festival marks the closing of the hiking trails for Fuji-san. The carrying of the mikoshi through town along with the noise is said to try to appease the goddess of Mt. Fuji so that the mountain will not erupt. Fires are lit from the center of the city all the way to Sengen-Jinja in order to impress the goddess.
You can read more about the Fuji Yoshida Fire Festival by reading on other sites. You can see the festival by watching this video. Enjoy!
Well, its that time. Time again for another, and final, Finding Japan episode by yours truly. It took a while but in this episode, I say goodbye to Japan and all of the fun times that we had. At nearly two hours long, this episode highlights some of my favorite parts of Japan by revisiting clips from prior episodes. Come revisit the podcast with me as we tour through the experiences I had, things I learned, and people I have met.
But rather than give a long-winded overview of the episode, just listen in and enjoy. Details about the future are also enclosed.
Thanks again to all of my friends, all of the listeners and contributors to the podcast, everyone who guided me and helped my find my way through the land of the rising sun. This was truly an amazing life experience and I will never forget it.
Finding Japan has been archived at archive.org for posterity. This site will cease to exist at some point in the future though I will do my best to maintain the feed. Check archive.org for all of the episodes, including prologues to the podcast.
I took a jet plane home this past Wednesday (first time on a 747 actually) and am now writing this post from the couch at my parents home in New Hampshire. It’s been nice to finally fly home and I am so tired-out I can barely stand it.
I did manage to take a picture of my last meal in Japan though at the airport. I will send some updates along when I finish up the final episode, just as soon as my jet lag subsides. Talk to you all very soon.
You asked for it, you got it. Straight from my (old) studio to your ears. This episode is 100% sound tour. Put on a pair of nice headphones and sit back to relax to the sounds of the Japan. The following sounds have been recorded during the last year or so and have been collected for your listening enjoyment.
Clip1: 2007-05-31 Riding the Yurakuchou Line
Clip2: 2007-09-19 Ariake TOC Building 7-11 Guy with Music
Clip3: 2007-06-01 Crows at Waseda University
Clip4: 2007-10-08 Watching Aural Expression Class Video
Clip5: 2008-01-18 Singing Lame SMAP Songs in Class
Clip6: 2007-07-07 Watching Tokyo Bousaikan (Disaster Preparedness Center) Smoke Video
Clip7: 2007-07-15 Awesome French Elevator Music at Doutour Coffee
Clip8: 2007-12-16 Chilling at a Club in Kobe Talking about Cats with Awesome Funk Music in the Background (Guest Appearance: Terrance from Kobe Beef)
Clip9: 2007-12-16 Kobe Planetarium Presentation
Clip10: 2008-04-05 Tokyo Giants Game
Clip11: 2007-09-20 Sumo Tournament Match
Clip12: 2007-08-08 Inside the Shinkanesen (Accelerating with Train Announcements)
See, the great thing about only having work now is that I have time to do stuff like this. This video is from the Osaka Aquarium, one of the largest in the world according to their website. In this clip, we get a good view of the main tank for a few moments while I rested amidst the gaggles of children.
I’m back in Japan finally. After a wonderfully great time with my family and friends, I’m back to the grind here in Tokyo. A quick update of my travels and some brief impressions after leaving and then returning to this country. Enjoy!
Its been a while since I posted just some pictures. These are just a few samples of some more pictures that you can check out from my set called August 2007 – Miyajima over on Flickr. There are many more from other areas we went to during this summer’s touring of Japan, including Hiroshima, Nikko, various places around Tokyo, Mount Fuji, and more. Its been taking me forever in order to get everything posted, but I’m working away at it slowly but steadily.