They are funny and informative! Definitely useful for someone who is new to Japanese and looking to gain some information from real life people on culture and language.
... It’s okay, but it’s been better.
Initially I rated this podcast five stars. I loved the funny and eccentric personalities of the hosts, and good combination of Japanese learning and off topic stuff. However, the past few episodes haven’t had my favorite cast: Michael and Koichi. It’s definite not just them, however. It just feels like something is missing.
Sometimes fun, sometimes educational, sometimes both
The podcast is a mix of all things Japan. I find it entertaining and some good facts come up here and there. I wish there was more on the Japanese language, it seems that the female host (Kristen) tries to keep the podcast educational and on track while the two males (Koichi and Michael) ramble all kinds of nonsense that is sometime entertaining and other times very annoying and a waste of ear usage. If ear usage was limited, I would most likely avoid this podcast but since it’s not I’ll continue to listen.
Terrible. Two dudebros yukking it up while a native Japanese speaker goes “Anyway... [attempts to explain grammar but can’t really because she’s not a teacher, just a native speaker].” The first podcast to ever make me feel uncomfortable. The guys on it are just gross as hell.
One of my favorite podcasts
Every episode is a treat, the hosts are amazing and have interesting content. I know they have breaks now and then and must be generally pretty busy, I just wish they would make more than a few episodes per year. Aside from that thanks for all the laughs and free content over the years :)
A Cozy Topic Dive; Love It!
Such a comfortable and engaging deep dives into Japanese language, culture, and fun topics.
I would love to have another episode like the “A day in Tokyo!” one but with another city.
Educational and entertaining
The newer episodes, especially, have been great at giving deeper dives into some of the more nuanced topics a Japanese language learner might have questions about that don't have extremely straightforward answers.
The team does a great job of keeping the podcasts from feeling dry by injecting their unique humor along the learning journey. To those folks critical of the sometimes off topic banter and humor I ask this: would you want to sit through an hour of dry lecture content? That content exists on the web but it's not engaging and it becomes forgettable. Purely analytical lecture style content is generally not the best way to learn and certainly isn't going to hold the attention of most folks listening to podcasts on their way to work.
All that is to say, I appreciate what you all are doing. Thank you!
(One critique recently raised on the show that I would echo but a bit more specifically: the Japanese speech is sometimes too fast and generally hard to understand, but not when spoken by the hosts. For me, it's the computerized examples being read by the speech synthesizer that are really hard to understand)
Never smile or laugh or love
His jokes are godly
Not enough patience
Jim "Japan" James
Plenty to learn if you’re willing to endure the founder’s derailing bad jokes/podcast version of grabass. Good luck.
The Japanese language podcast you’re looking for
Mostly writing this review to massage the egos of the hosts, but also because it’s a good show! Tofugu podcast is a great complement to WaniKani, with deeper discussion on a variety of aspects, including seemingly mundane elements of the Japanese language. The recent (at the time of this review) first person pronoun series was great at filling in the usage and history of words that are just sometimes absorbed through osmosis and not given much thought.
So please keep up the good work and don’t be sad about podcast reviews!
Needs moar people just living their lives
Four and a half stars, rounded up.
I love this podcast so much <3
-TLDR: I get personal so r.i.p. but this podcast is amazing-
My name is Spencer, 19 year old community-college student from Northern California. I've been interested in Japan and the Japanese language since high school and I was fortunate to attend a high school which had a sister school in Fujinomiya (Shizuoka), and thus visit Japan in April 2017. I want to become a teacher as a career, and am interested in applying to JET after university. Unfortunatley, there are no big opportunities in my area (Humboldt county) for learning Japanese at a college level or otherwise. I have began self teaching myself and embarrasingly admit that I'm a SUPER begginer (still learning the hiragana and katakana) and although I enjoy it, it can be hard to balance time for that when simultaniously working and college-ing.
With that said, this podcast (on top of being hilarious) is both an important motivator to me and a great resource for Japanese learning tools, methods of study, and reminding me to stick with that delicous WaniKani. Not gonna lie, I got really nervous when you guys went on a break this year and I feared the podcast was over (haven't yet listened to every single one) but I love it dearly and will contunue to listen to it as I go forward with my Japanese-learning saga.
P.S. I highly reccomend "the pillows" which are an alternative rock band from Hokkaido, best known for their music in the FLCL anime.
Fun, informative podcast
Kanae is doing a fantastic job running the podcast! It's cool to go deep on very specific topics in Japanese language, and I think the shorter episode length (15-35 minutes) will appeal to a lot of listeners. I'm really excited to see how the show evolves over time! Keep up the great work!
Highly recommended show
One of the most entertaining and informative podcasts about all things Japan. I love visiting Japan and your show is da best! Koichi and Michael provide such great value and tips for first time and experienced travelers.
Tooo Fuuuu Guuuuu PODDcassst
My Favorite Podcast!
I’m planning a trip to Japan and found your podcast to learn more about the country and the language. Not only is your podcast educational but entertaining! I love your humor, it seriously makes my day! I have an office job and I’ve been binging your podcast at work and I’m nearly done. Please keep making more. Love you all!
Listened to you guys before going to Japan for the first time in my life and it’s been a blast listening to all of your past podcasts! Wish you guys would upload more frequently :(
Your podcasts are so delicious to digest, like that delicious yakitori I had the other day in Hiroshima from that nice, totally not creepy, old man! He offered me free sake
I was wondering when you guys would come back and you guys have made my dreams come true.I have been learning Japanese for 3 1/2 years out and I found it hard to express myself In Japanese. You make it so easy to understand certain formal and non-form sentences. At last my drive to learn Japanese about half a year again but you’re very funny humor and Banter Has really put that drive back in. Please don’t leave again. お願いしますー. うざいますー Michael 😁
Taylor John Bjorn
So glad you all are back! Buying WaniKani tonight !
All this « rant too much » talk makes no sense. It usually means « I don’t read too much ».It’s enjoyable to listen to and very relevant to this who are learning. Tofugu has plenty of Japanese learning material that aligns with the topics and wanikani is great!
Make more guys :)!
Not only is this podcast entertaining to listen to, but I also learn quite a bit from it too. I’m an intermediate Japanese language learner, but I even learn new things from episodes that you would think would be basic like “genki desu ka?”.
Am I a 5 star daddy yet?
Love this podcast! It’s always so entertaining and the information is so interesting! I honestly really love how the
hosts weave in the tangents, because it keeps everything new! and exciting! Would definitely recommend this podcast to anyone even remotely interested in the Japanese language and culture.
very helpful + funny
It’s preeeeeetttttttyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy good.
Like hanging out with friends
このポッドカストが大好き。since it’s not released regularly, they don’t just churn out episodes - this means that they are always worth a listen! My only complaint is that Charlie Sheen and Ms Chou haven’t been interviewed on the show yet.
Please come back bae ily ❤️
Love the podcast. Please make more! Can’t you see I’m burnin’, I’m burnin’, I’m burnin’ kanji for you? 🔥 🐢🦀🐊
My Comfort Zone
I love you guys. All of you; that includes you too, Michael. Your real, awkward banter makes me feel so at home, and I learn so much and have so much fun listening to every episode. I hope you guys keep making these for a very long time to come. Also, Koichi, keep being ridiculously absurd. Forget the haters. Life your life the way only you can.
This is my favorite flavor of podcast. Light, crunchy, spicy but not too spicy. I love washing it down with an ice cold Wanikani... refreshing. Thank you for these delicious ear snacks.
Always a fun time
I work at a pretty mundane factory job and this podcast gets me through the day. Very informative, fun, and a tangent is always good every so often (despite what others say).
My only issue with this show is that people at my job think I’m crazy because I’m constantly laughing to myself!
P.S. - Kristen is my spirit animal.
Fun and informative
Sometimes silly, sometimes really deep, sometimes both. Lots of really detailed information on various topics revolving around Japanese linguistics and how they inform life.
Hi my name is Jacob Saldarriaga and I’m from Columbus Ohio. I’ve been listening to you podcasts for a while now and i have to say that this is one of my favorite podcasts I ever listen to. It’s so funny and not boring😊👍👍
Good if You Want to Go Insane
The Tofugu Podcast can be described as two coworkers, Koichi and Michael, driving their colleagues and guests into a state of psychological freefall with their constant, sadomasochistic torpedoing of each episode. Check it out.
Weirdly Fun and Contenty
I love this podcast. Mix Japanese learning with the weirdness of Portland and Tofugu is born. On any day I find their jokes, puns, and humor fantastically executed; you can really tell all of the hosts enjoy each other’s company and they just have fun. It really makes my commute here in Phoenix so very enjoyable. I studied Japanese and East Asian Studies at Western Washington Univ. almost 20 years ago, and really wish we had the resources Tofugu brings then. Keep up the amazing work. Oh, if you can, check out their YouTube channel, especially the travel vids in Japan.
Keep it up.
Big fan of the podcast. I started listestening 5 months ago and have just completed listening to all the episodes. The topics and content are super interesting and I like the fact that the hosts are being true to themselves and keeping the overall atmosphere casual and fun. You'll definitely learn some useful things that you wont normally learn in a beginner Japanese language course.
Interesting content but...
Interesting content but in my opinion, horrible execution. The audio is all over the place, the guests are unprepared to teach and communicate and the general dialogue is pretty awful. It’s 90% filler, and not 面白い filler at that. Oh and if you’re trying to teach, it would be nice if the Japanese wasn’t spoken so fast, or was at least slowed down afterwards.
Your website is awesome though so.. I’m hoping these podcasts get better too :) best of luck.
Just wanted to see if you guys were going to weigh in on the pop singer’s tattoo on her palm.
Japanese learning for (the goofy) adults!
I just want to say that I absolutely love all the tangents you guys go off on! I just moved to Okinawa for the next couple of years and am trying to learn Japanese. While at home or in the car I listen to these podcasts to help me understand the unexplained details I hear in day-to-day Japanese. I also use Wanikani every morning with my coffee and night on the couch. So many turtles, so much kanji, and tangents galore!
Casual Yet Informative
There’s a surprisingly low number of Japanese-language podcasts that are regularly being updated with new episodes and the ones that are updated are usually very bookish and formulaic in nature, but not with Tofugu.
I was drawn in by Tofugu’s charming podcast artwork of a fugu blowfish wearing headphones and speaking into a microphone, but when I listened to my first episode on various Japanese counters, I was instantly hooked.
The presenters all have great personalities and each have something unique to bring to the table. Michael with his goofy and great sense of humor; Kanae with her sweet and insightful Japanese perspective; Koichi with his knowledgeable and cool demeanor; and Kristen with her kind and hilarious role as the show’s tsukkomi.
Listening to Tofugu is a nice escape from hours of studying grammar and flipping through virtual flash cards while at the same time continuing to learn Japanese in a casual environment. You get to learn how Japanese people normally speak while also learning the reasoning behind strange rules and irregularities for certain Japanese contexts. Often times the presenters would ask each other questions that I would like to ask native Japanese, giving me the impression that there are, “no dumb questions.”
Overall I’m a happy listener and look forward to future episodes of Tofugu!
A Great Resource for Japanese Learners
For those of us trying to squeeze Japanese learning into wherever they can in the day, this podcast is gold! They go deep into grammar points and they’ll inevitably impart new colloquial phrases and vocabulary to listeners.
It would be great if they upped the frequency of these as I love listening in the car AND it the sounds of Koichi, Michael, Kirsten and Mami south my little one in the car seat!! Love that these podcasters don’t filter!! Actually I don’t really have any to compare to as this is the first time on Apple iTunes (for the purpose of Tofugu).
Don’t cave into the hate, the tangents keep it fresh! Content that’s purely educational is very abundant and intrinsically dry, whereas with Tofugu, I enjoy listening to it, thus I happily consume more content. A great orchestra of learning and laughing!
I really enjoy listening to the Tofugu Podcast! I’ve learned so much more about Japanese culture and the language than I did while I took Japanese in high school. Highly recommend! Everyone on the podcast is funny and brings a different personality which makes listening enjoyable.
I appreciate the content for the most part. Sometimes it’s a little slow moving and/or goes off-track, and the humor is hit-or-miss, but I think that’s the fault of a certain couple of hosts. I don’t want to call anybody out by name, but for me they are a distraction at best, and at worst send me into “ok I can’t take any more” territory where I start mashing the skip-ahead button.
So fun to listen to
This podcast is incredibly fun to listen to! I listen to it all day at work and it is the best part of my day. Kristen and Kanae are definitely my favorites.
Only downside is that new episodes aren’t released more often.
Love you guys
This podcast is so 大した !!! 😁 I enjoy listening to you (especially Kristin) on my morning commute. Although I’m up to date now, so you need to make more podcasts or I will be forced to cheat on you with another podcast. DONT LET THAT HAPPEN. Please make more, and send me stickers to Australia 😉
I wanted to like this podcast because the content on the website is high, however, the hosts’ (except the Japanese girl) childish comments and jokes are too distracting and make it a pain to listen to.
Tangential but awesome
I recently discovered this podcast and while all the tangents make me crazy (I say that in a loving way) I have to say I'm picking up a ton of sweet tips. From the rendaku episode, which answered burning questions I've had for years, to why it's creepy to take photos of people from far away (OK I knew that, but I did it once and the person saw, and your episode opened up a wave of shame) - well, anyway, it's great and I learn something new every day.
Last night I listened to the episode about taking a group of friends to Japan, and So my question is, can you tell me more about places you love for group dinners in Tokyo, as well as cool places to visit? I'm taking a group of 8 friends there next spring, and I'd love to know if you have any suggestions for great izakayas (we're staying in Asakusa and have a couple of veg-heads in the group). If not, I'll just try Taelog - great idea, thanks to you! - and also, any cool obscure sights or museums you'd suggest? Mori Digital Art Museum is freaking amazing so that's on my list, but I'd love to hear where Koichi likes to take friends when it comes to sightseeing. Lastly, thanks for the sweet idea of making pins on a map and sharing the map with the group! Can't wait to try that.
Big In Japan!
Your interview with David Elliot Jones was riveting. Of course I had to go buy it and watch it. Totally worth it. A fascinating perspective on a subculture within the Japanese entertainment industry. I hope the documentary becoomes successful enough to force Mr. Jonesu out of retirement? Once again the Tofugu team delivered, keep up the great work.
Less puns, more Kristen.
Delightful podcast — informative ~and~ entertaining. But when it goes way off the rails, Kristen can get it back on track by cracking the whip. Keep up the great work, everyone! Especially Kristen.