What are some of the most interesting radio programs in Japan?

By cinnamonellie, grape Japan

In the Japanese radio world, there is a lot of variety and in this article, I’ve picked up a few of the most interesting radio programs to introduce you.

Whether you are a fan of talk shows or just prefer listening to some music or simply want to improve your talking skills, with this guide you will get more interesting picks and plenty of choices to suit your preferences.

Barakan Beat on InterFM 89.7

Screen Shot 2020-06-28 at 10.40.02.png

I am starting with one of my favorite programs, Barakan Beat. You can listen to Mr Barakan on InterFM every Sunday from 18:00 to 20:00. The radio program began broadcasting in 1996 and is hosted by Peter Barakan, who is an English DJ and broadcaster that also hosted the cultural TV series "Begin Japanology" on NHK from 2007 to 2008.

If you are looking for a soothing program, good music, interesting talks, Barakan Beat has everything you seek (even more than that)! It is a bilingual program that always promises good quality and will undoubtedly make your Sunday evening much more relaxing and tranquil.



Official Website

Towazugatari no Kanda Hakuzan

Screen Shot 2020-06-28 at 10.42.14.png

A literal translation of the TBS radio program hosted by Kanda Hakuzan would be “Kanda Hakuzan Talk regardless “.

The program has a very happy vibe and Kanda Hakuzan transmits so much energy that it makes you want to listen to him again and again and again.

You can listen to his talks every Friday from 21:30 to 22:00.

Official Website


Takeda Tetsuya “Kesa- no- San-Mai-Oroshi”(Cultural Broadcast)

The cultural radio broadcasting hosted by Tetsuya Takeda, a singer, actor, and Japanese commentator covers topics from everyday life to history and even social issues.

The name of the broadcasting is quite interesting and Sanmai oroshi usually refers to three pieces (of fillet) while the word Kesa means “this morning”, so a translation would be “This morning’s three pieces”.

The program ends in only ten minutes and you will know when that happens because Mr. Takeda always finishes the show by hitting a chopping board with a knife.

You can listen to it from Monday to Friday from 7:40 a.m to 7:50 a.m.

Official Website

Fumio Takada no Radio Beverley Hiruzu on Nippon Broadcasting

The program is hosted by Takada Fumio who is also well-known for being the assistant host of Beat Takeshi’s All-Night Nippon. You will have the chance to hear our daily regulars’ personal opinions on topics and news.

For those looking on developing their communicative skills and also are in for a tad of humor and recent topics, this is the show for you.

Days and Hours of the Broadcast:

From Monday to Friday 11:30-13:00

Official Website

Audrey’s All-Night Nippon

Screen Shot 2020-06-28 at 10.44.21.png

Hosted by Masayasu Wakabayashi and Toshiaki Kasuga, the Japanese comedy duo known as Audrey (Odori/オードリー) the program is a free talk with many stories, humor and a newsletter corner at the end of the program.

Days and hours of the broadcast:

Every Saturday from 25:00 27:00

Official Website


The Dave Fromm Show on InterFM 89.7

Screen Shot 2020-06-28 at 10.45.22.png

The rock variety show, hosted by Dave Fromm has carefully selected music, occult stories, funny and interesting talks along the three hours of broadcasting.

Many popular artists such as Spitz, for example, are also among Dave’s broadcasting fans and a lot of popular Japanese artists have been regular guests on his show.

Days and hours of the broadcast:

Every Monday-Friday 16:00-19:00

Official Website


“All Good Friday” starring Lilico and Tomo Inaba on J-Wave

Screen Shot 2020-06-28 at 10.46.23.png

“All Good Friday” is a four-and-a-half-hour show that will bring a lot of joy to your Friday afternoon. A show with beautiful songs and life advice given by the film critic and TV personality, Lilico and the popular actor, Tomo Inaba.

Days and hours of the broadcast:

Every Friday from 11:30 to 16:00

Official Website


These are seven of our recommendations and would love hearing your opinions on the Japanese radio broadcasts and also know which are some of your personal favorites.

Read more stories from grape Japan.

-- “Nodame Cantabile” cast reunite for online party in spin-off on Tomoko Ninomiya’s Twitter account

-- World record holders who hail from Japan

-- Sugar and spice and everything nice: Japanese illustrator ERIMO’s delectably fashionable girls

© grape Japan

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

None. They're all cr@p, with too many ads, sponsored content and dj talk-time over a smattering of musical content. The Leno of quality Japanese music, compared to foreign content, is another factor.

Most people simply use Spotify, Y-Music/YouTube, streaming radio apps or other music streaming apps. Heck, can even podcasts are better quality than Japanese radio.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

What are some of the most interesting radio programs in Japan?

Said no one ever :D

8 ( +9 / -1 )

“Japanese comedy duo” isn’t the description I’d use for any ‘free talking’ pair of talento.

Peter Barakan is only on Sunday evenings in Tokyo. I’ve heard his show as early as 6:00 or 7:00 AM in that unknown part of Japan known as ‘inaka’ ie Not Tokyo. He’s also the only radio program I went out of my way to listen to. Unfortunately, he’s not on at a decent hour where live.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I actually do enjoy the White noise between stations. Less annoying than an actual station.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

With the exception of some of the shows on InterFM, and Peter Barakan, Japanese radio is utterly worthless. Perhaps, just perhaps, introducing DAB radio might give a boost to quality and some new stations, but there are no plans to do so. It's as if Radio in Japan is happy to be boring, irrelevant, and stuck in the past.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I’ve been listening to Barakan Beat for about 20 years, a great show with great music. Sometimes I catch parts of Dave Fromm show in my car, they also play some nice music (learned about Larkin Poe from them). George also has a nice show, he used to have a crazy morning show that woke me up with a smile and a shower of energy

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I wouldn't go out of my way to listen, but Peter Barakan is an interesting guy and plays good music. Ideally he would come on just as I get in my car.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The best radio station I listen to in the car is "BBC Radio1", via the "TuneIn Radio" App, a phono cable or radio transmitter dongle and/or a charging cable via the cigarette lighter port.

Then, it's like being back home.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

It seems like from all your postings that Japanese radio is Radio Gaga, Radio GooGoo, Radio NaNa.

Just like American radio has become - corporate radio. And it plays the same tired trash all the time.

'....I tried to sing along (Sing along!)

Damn that radio song! Hey hey hey!.... What are you saying, what are you playing, who are you obeying? Baby baby baby baby BABY! That stuff is driving me crazy! DJs communicate to the masses, sex and violent classes Our children grow up prisoners, all their lives RADIO LISTENERS! ' ** REM (W/ KRS-ONE) **
-1 ( +0 / -1 )

'Do You Remember Rock'n'Roll Radio?' - RAMONES

0 ( +1 / -1 )

By radio program, did you mean podcast?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The Guy Perryman show is the best. Love when he says Arigato Gozaimashita!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I really do not rate Japanese radio, faaaar too controlled and censored by HQ. It is boring, formulaic, and has no grit, dirt or fever about it. Clinical and clean. AKA CAC.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

once started to listen some broadcast and when heard same advertisement every 5 mins just gave up.

jp radio is same crap as jp tv.

difference is that you must pay for nhk even you never watch them.

spotify is the solution.no crap,no ads,just music you want to hear.at reasonable cost.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The best radio station I listen to in the car is "BBC Radio1", via the "TuneIn Radio" App, a phono cable or radio transmitter dongle and/or a charging cable via the cigarette lighter port.


Listen to BBC Radio 6.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Armed forces radio on the a. m. Channel 810

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I'll give Peter Barakan a go. Usually, just FM Osaka and FM Cocoro, if any. Otherwise, I just listen to radio.net and AccuRadio.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I prefer podcasts and YouTubes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Notice how hardly any are professional Djs? Rather, they are actors, manzai, film critics. Japanese radio is amateur hour, which is why it's so unpopular.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Whatever floats your boat, just as long as it isn't shïtty Japanese radio.

Listening to a bit of Radio 6 at the moment - some classic Kraftwerk on. The entire song from start to finish. Never get that in Japan.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Radio is a great language learning instrument. I've been since long listening to various programmes in English as well as other foreign languages. News programs and discussions help you catch up time and build vocabulary. Radio dramas get you familiarized with various types of speeches, colloquial expressions. With those programmes I feel my proficiency curve sharpened. And not to mention, it's almost free of charge!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My favorite Japanese radio program is Minare Koda's Wave, Listen to Me!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Radio is garbage unless it is online "radio" (podcasts or broadcasts) through apps like Spotify, Apple Music, TuneIn, etc., especially Japanese radio, with all it's stupid commercials.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ah_soJuly 1  08:14 pm JST

Whatever floats your boat, just as long as it isn't shïtty Japanese radio.

Listening to a bit of Radio 6 at the moment - some classic Kraftwerk on. The entire song from start to finish. Never get that in Japan.

You don't get that in US radio either, except in California. Americans grow up as prisoners, radio listeners lke my previous post mentions. That classic 'Autobahn' gets used in radio ads but other than that most people don't know who Kraftwerk is because they rely on ther stupid Radio Gaga DJs to TELL them what they like.

And I was set to see Kraftwerk live in my hometown this month, but the CoVid-19 postponed it all until next year, maybe. I really wanted to see them.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

i used to listen to InterFM in the mornings around 8am but it has changed drastically.

They started introducing this "radio shopping" segment for 5 minutes & have cut back (fired?) many of their top DJs and things went downhill from there.

I guess its a sign of the times and they are desperate for money.

Sad really. I wouldn't be surprised to see them close down soon.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites