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Japanese Radio Stations; Good/Bad/Boring


17 Jan 2004
How good are Japanese radio stations in Japan ?

In American, 20-30 years ago, radio stations were a dynamic,
free-for-all of ideas and formats.

Today, radio stations in United States are this monolithic boring,
standardized format.

Their are a few exception, but overall radio in America has
as much appeal as eating "Wonder White Bread".
I can't stand Japanese radio stations. Aside from the musical wasteland they reflect, most of the time people talk - often over the music they are trying to push. Say it is a Morning Musume song. If they are going to have a concert in the listening area, the last two minutes or so of the song will be covered over by the DJ giving out this info. It is very, very annoying (the talking, not just morning musume). Songs are few and far between if they ever are played. I also cannot stand most DJs' voices (regardless of nationality) and they love to hear themselves talk. I think what took the cake was a 40 minute reading of current prices for grains and produce - in monotone.

If you live outside of a big city, radio selection drops amazingly. Poor coverage.

I'm not saying Japanese radio is worse than radio in the US. JackIn Box covered problems with US radio.

I think the final straw for me was when a DJ decided to talk over the last third of Honkey Tonk Woman by the Stones. Any station that can't respect the Stones... and they call us barbarians :)
Huh, why are there are two threads about this?

Anyway, what Mandylion says is pretty much on the money. Whenever I turn on the radio and they're playing something I like it seems like it always gets cut off right in the middle for a commercial or station ID or the DJ just starts talking while the music is still going.

I really miss public/college radio stations from America and even CBC where they had a good format of jazz/classical interspersed with news during the day, and indie/electronic music late at night. I haven't found anything like that in Japan.
I haven't listened to radio in Japan, but the Japanese radio station they run here is pretty boring. It's all like monotone talking. Reminds me of sumo on the radio... which I think is really boring.
I'm not sure about America in general, but there are some interesting radio stations in Hawaii, or at least one. They play interesting games and tell hilarious jokes, talking about interesting things, insult people in offensive but not so offensive ways since Hawaii is kind of relaxed in this kind of subject. And it's usually during rush hour. Maybe it won't appeal to older people, but it's interesting while I'm still young.
JackInBox said:
Whats "otaku" ?


It's slang for people who really like anime/manga. It's also the equivilent to "geek" or "nerd". in reality, it means "residence". that threw me off when i was in japanese class. 😄

Radio is bad pretty much wherever you go. BUT! internet radio can be good. like japanaradio.com. or, they're is kexp.org, a listener supported radio station out of Seattle. They do good stuff, except on friday and saturday nights they play country...blech...
otaku - my native japanese japanese language instructor translated it as "crazed fan".
she remarked that she was one herself (looked like it too), but she hated them. because they smelled, or stole things in the store (she worked in a shop that sold items that catered to such brethren), or were perverted, in her own words.

i like shibuya fm, but that's because i like the music they play
i dislike american stations because they don't
looks like the reverse has happened with others here...
Hmm. From listening to Japanese stations through Windows Media Player, I'd have to concur with Mandylion. Japanese DJ's don't know when to shut up, one was playing a great western tune and started talking half way through. It's like Sarah Cox at eleven on the annoyance scale (Radio 1 UK)
Japanese radio otaku ?

So what kind of station is "radio otaku" ?

Is this just a crazy station, always talking over the music.

Is this something else ?
radio otaku would be a person who likes radio... to the extreme. I think otaku doesnt refer to anime/manga but in foreign countries its been warped into that meaning (mean in general, so tv, radio, music, maybe a certain person or band)

We have alright radio in australia. In the morning you have people talking about stuff (normally funny and a bit naughty) and at night some real funny (and after 9ish rather naughty) stuff happening. Recent fav morning topic being 'appropriate use of the f-word' and wether 'feck' is an allowable subject, then liberal use of feck in the place of the other word 😉
Ewok85 said:
radio otaku would be a person who likes radio... to the extreme. I think otaku doesnt refer to anime/manga but in foreign countries its been warped into that meaning (mean in general, so tv, radio, music, maybe a certain person or band)
That is correct.

In Japan midnight talk programs on AM monaural stations are much more popular than music oriented programs on FM stations. They are usually done by comics, teen idols, pop musicians, seiyu (anime voiceover actors), etc. Listeners of those programs couldn't care less about what songs they play on since the majority of songs are aired for promotional purpose only (unless the radio personality happens to be really into some sort of music or a singer him/herself). They are as different from the American counter part as Japanese anime is from Disney. Their popularity is for the large part due to the peculiar Japanese education system where young students have to study hard for exams very late at night.
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