155 episodes

Looking beneath the surface of Japan.

We hear from Japan Times journalists and guests about current events and trends in Japan.

Hosted by Shaun McKenna and Jason Jenkins. ポッド疲れ様.

Deep Dive from The Japan Times The Japan Times

    • News
    • 4.7 • 103 Ratings

Looking beneath the surface of Japan.

We hear from Japan Times journalists and guests about current events and trends in Japan.

Hosted by Shaun McKenna and Jason Jenkins. ポッド疲れ様.

    Japan on a plate: Our food critic reveals his favorite spots

    Japan on a plate: Our food critic reveals his favorite spots

    From noodle stands to Michelin-starred restaurants, Japan has some of the most amazing food in the world. Food writer Robbie Swinnerton has been covering Tokyo’s culinary scene for decades, so for this week’s episode we asked him to pick out a few standout meals from last year. 

    Hosted by Jason Jenkins and produced by Dave Cortez.

    On this episode:
    Robbie Swinnerton: Articles | Twitter | Instagram

    Read more/Watch more: 
    Tokyo Food File (Robbie Swinnerton, The Japan Times)
    The Japan Times Destination Restaurant Series (Robbie Swinnerton, The Japan Times)
    When Rene Redzepi brought Noma to Japan (Robbie Swinnerton, The Japan Times)

    Get in touch: Send us feedback at deepdive@japantimes.co.jp. Support the show by rating, reviewing and sharing the episode with a friend if you’ve enjoyed it. For a transcript of the show, head to japantimes.co.jp. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter!  

    • 27 min
    Clutter, trash and hoarding disorder in Japan

    Clutter, trash and hoarding disorder in Japan

    With Marie Kondo and those tidy soccer fans representing Japan overseas, you’d be forgiven for thinking that everything is spick and span at home. This week, Alex K.T. Martin looks at what form compulsive hoarding disorder takes in Japan and how it manifests when combined with other aspects of life here. 

    Hosted by Shaun McKenna and produced by Dave Cortez. 

    On this episode: 
    Alex K.T. Martin: Articles | Twitter

    Read more/Watch more: 
    Deal with clutter while the choice to toss is still yours (Louise George Kittaka, The Japan Times)
    In graying Japan, pet hoarding proving to be a pesky problem (Kyodo)
    RiskBenefit

    Get in touch: Send us feedback at deepdive@japantimes.co.jp. Support the show by rating, reviewing and sharing the episode with a friend if you’ve enjoyed it. For a transcript of the show, head to japantimes.co.jp. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter!  

    • 19 min
    Culture in 2022: Good books, outdoor art and ‘Tokyo Vice’

    Culture in 2022: Good books, outdoor art and ‘Tokyo Vice’

    For the final Deep Dive of the year, culture editor Alyssa I. Smith talks to culture critic Thu-Huong Ha about the books they read, the festivals they went to and how Japanese stories are currently capturing Hollywood’s attention. 

    Hosted by Alyssa I. Smith and produced by Dave Cortez. 

    On this episode: 
    Thu-Huong Ha: Articles | Twitter

    Read more/Watch more: 
    Art came alive in the great outdoors in 2022 (Thu-Huong Ha, The Japan Times)
    Junko Takase’s Akutagawa Prize-winning novel is a feminist’s nightmare (Thu-Huong Ha, The Japan Times)
    Is the new Ghibli Park worth all the hype? (Thu-Huong Ha, The Japan Times)
    Do you have what it takes to become a novelist? Let Haruki Murakami decide. (Thu-Huong Ha, The Japan Times)

    Get in touch: 
    Send us feedback at deepdive@japantimes.co.jp. Support the show by rating, reviewing and sharing the episode with a friend if you’ve enjoyed it. For a transcript of the show, head to japantimes.co.jp. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter!  

    Photo: 
    Looking for some books to read during the year-end holidays? The Japan Times culture section has you covered. | GETTY IMAGES

    • 27 min
    Is it too late to save the Japanese giant salamander?

    Is it too late to save the Japanese giant salamander?

    With the United Nations Biodiversity Conference taking place in Montreal this week, we thought it would be a good opportunity to look at how Japan is handling issues involving biodiversity here. Environmental journalist Mara Budgen comes on the show to talk about the Japanese giant salamander, which has been designated a "special natural monument" under Japanese law but is still vulnerable to extinction. 
    If you have pitches for our new section Our Planet, feel free to email us at environment@japantimes.co.jp. 

    Hosted by Shaun McKenna and produced by Dave Cortez. 

    On this episode: 
    Mara Budgen: Articles | Twitter

    Read more/Watch more: 



    Battle to stop Kagoshima seawall highlights divide over coastal engineering (Mara Budgen, The Japan Times)

    Save the Japanese giant salamander campaign (The Japan Channel, YouTube)
    Sustainable Daisen



    Get in touch: 
    Send us feedback at deepdive@japantimes.co.jp. Support the show by rating, reviewing and sharing the episode with a friend if you’ve enjoyed it. For a transcript of the show, head to japantimes.co.jp. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter! 

    Photo: 
    The Japanese giant salamander’s biology has changed little over the past 23 million years, so when you see one it’s like looking at a dinosaur. | TOPOUTIMAGES/ YUKIHIRO FUKUDA

    • 29 min
    25 years on from the protocol’s signing, did we ever 'Kyoto'?

    25 years on from the protocol’s signing, did we ever 'Kyoto'?

    Dec. 11 marked the 25th anniversary of the Kyoto Protocol, a landmark treaty that put the idea of global effort to save the planet on many national radars. To mark the event, The Japan Times has launched a new section, Our Planet, that will look at the climate crisis, Earth science and disaster management from a Japanese perspective. Two of the section’s editors, Joel Tansey and Chris Russell, join me on the show to discuss how the Kyoto Protocol is viewed now and how the city it’s named for has taken to its green mantle. 
    If you have pitches for Our Planet, feel free to email us at environment@japantimes.co.jp. 

    Hosted by Shaun McKenna and produced by Dave Cortez. 

    On this episode: 
    Chris Russell: Articles | Twitter
    Joel Tansey: Articles | Twitter

    Read more/Watch more: 
    From Kyoto Protocol to ‘fossil’ awards: Japan’s climate image stained by inaction (Joel Tansey, Dan Traylor and Tomoko Otake, The Japan Times)
    25 years after Kyoto Protocol, U.N. climate process stumbles on (Chris Russell, The Japan Times)
    “Do You Kyoto?” (City of Kyoto, YouTube)
    Should I stay or should I go, now? (Linda Gould, The Japan Times)

    Get in touch: 
    Send us feedback at deepdive@japantimes.co.jp. Support the show by rating, reviewing and sharing the episode with a friend if you’ve enjoyed it. For a transcript of the show, head to japantimes.co.jp, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter! 

    Photo: 
    Fridays for Future leader Takuro Kajiwara heads a march through Tokyo's Omotesando neighborhood. | OSCAR BOYD

    • 20 min
    The Church, the State and Kishida's headache

    The Church, the State and Kishida's headache

    When former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot earlier this year, the incident shone a spotlight on the links his fellow Liberal Democratic Party members had with the controversial Unification Church. Kanako Takahara joins this week’s Deep Dive to discuss what’s behind a new bill regulating faith-driven donations, investigations into the church and whether these actions will be enough to save Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s job. 

    Hosted by Shaun McKenna and produced by Dave Cortez. 

    On this episode: 
    Kanako Takahara: Articles | Twitter

    Read more/Watch more: 
    In Japan, ties between politics and religion run deep (Will Fee, The Japan Times)
    Faith or manipulation? Debate grows over regulating Unification Church tactics (Tomoko Otake, The Japan Times)
    Escaping the clutches of a cult (The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan)

    Get in touch: 
    Send us feedback at deepdive@japantimes.co.jp. Support the show by rating, reviewing and sharing the episode with a friend if you’ve enjoyed it. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter! For a transcript of the show, head to japantimes.co.jp.

    Photo: 
    A former follower of the Unification Church who goes by the pseudonym Sayuri Ogawa speaks to reporters at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan. | TOMOKO OTAKE

    • 24 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
103 Ratings

103 Ratings

Asdfasdfasdf1234 ,

We’ll miss you, Oscar

This was a great podcast, always looked forward to it. I’m sad the “hiatus” has turned from temporary to permanent with Oscar’s departure and the Tokyo Times seeming uninterested in keeping it going with guest hosts or a new, permanent one.

HumanWaste ,

Japan’s version of “The Daily”

Great reporting. Great format. I’m not aware of alternative podcasts in this niche, so I’m pretty bummed it’s on hiatus.

etherdog ,

This podcast is not uncritical of government policy

Oscar Boyd and his guests discuss important topics regarding Japan with clear-eyed analysis.

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