More sounds from Sonic Japan

Arashiyama bamboo forest
Arashiyama bamboo forest (2016/10/31)
Genkoan (源光庵)
Established as a temple of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism in 1346, Genko-an Temple was turned into a temple of the Soto sect in 1694. (2016/10/31)
Music Lesson
Sometimes cafes feature communal spaces such as this shop in the suburbs of Kyoto. You can hear inside a teacher is giving a Japanese flute (fue) lesson to patrons. (2016/10/26)
Kobe Chinatown
Sounds of one of the most historically diverse places in Western Japan (2016/10/25)
Kobe Harbor
Kobe is one of Japan's most historic and vibrant ports. It is recently undergoing upgrades to its facilities. Major highways run along the coastline here, so that much of the sound near the water comes from the sound of the motorway. (2016/10/25)
Female Announcer
The private and public train industries are still male dominated ones, so this private train from Osaka to Kobe is a refreshing change of pace. Recording taken in transit on the Hanshin line. (2016/10/25)
Fuzoku (Costume) Museum
Scenes from Japanese classical literature are portrayed to scale in this museum that celebrates the ancient architectural and sartorial history of Kyoto. To set the mood, classical court music is piped throughout the showroom (2016/10/24)
Local Coffee in Kyoto
Located near a touristy spot near Maruyama park, and Chionin and Shorenin temples, this 'showa' style cafe welcomes locals as well as visitors. Friendly conversation, background music and the sound of cups and dishes clinking make for a warming atmosphere. (2016/10/21)
Convenience Store Construction
Convenience stores are centres of commercial activity in all Japanese communities. Even when there is construction around the shop, 7-11 is open for business! (2016/10/21)
Matcha Cake Yobikomi
Staff try to sell their wares to commuters on the their way home from work. (2016/10/20)
Week Day Park
The recording was made during the week of sentient sounds around a public park in Kyoto (2016/10/20)
Sounds of Pachinko on Shijo Dori, Kyoto (2016/10/02)
BGM for the Beatles in Japan 50th anniversary exhibition
The Beatles visited Japan in 1966, playing five shows over three days at the Nippon Budokan. They were the first non Japanese to perform there, and the first musicians to play in the semi sacred space originally built for martial arts. After initial protests, the sold out concerts were a success and the venue became a centre for the performance of popular music. This is a recording of the 'BGM' (background music) at an exhibit of photographs taken by the Beatles official photographerRobert Whittaker was held to commemorate their groundbreaking visit to Japan. (2016/07/01)
Ringo Starr, the most popular Beatle in Japan!
Here is another BGM (background music) recording from an exhibit of photographs taken by the Beatles official photographer Robert Whittaker held to commemorate the 50th anniversary of their groundbreaking visit to Japan. I interviewed a woman who attended one of the concerts at the Budokan in 1966, and she said that at the time, Ringo was the most popular Beatle in Japan. During the concert, fans screamed throughout the performance except for two songs: Yesterday, because it was a quiet ballad, and for Ringo! Certainly this visual exhibit of the tour would not be complete without a sonic element. (2016/07/01)
The Sound of Night in Tokyo
What is the difference between the sound of a busy city street during the day versus at night? (2016/06/30)
'Ear Menu' in Trendy Tokyo
This cafe offers not only drink menus, but a music menu to give the discerning customer more information about the background music (known in Japanese as 'BGM') played in the restaurant. Music is important in creating an aesthetic atmosphere in public places like this fashionable cafe in Tokyo. This renovated building combines old and new style features to create a strong visual sense of contemporary Japanese culture which integrates old and new, indigenous and foreign. Their dishes use high quality organic Japanese ingredients which are clearly marked on their menu. It has a reputation as being very 'classy' (oshare) amongst locals, who say that they would like to go more often but rarely do because it is expensive. It is mostly frequented by both Japanese and foreign tourists in the area, who stay in the related small ryokan next door. (2016/06/30)
Street performers in Kyoto
Not all buskers are playing contemporary music. In keeping with the feeling of the 'old city' in Kyoto,; this duo combines acoustic guitar and shamisen for evening passers by. (2016/06/26)
Hotel Lobby in Kyoto, take 2
This recording was taken in a five star hotel lobby in Kyoto, during a busier time of checking in and checking out. (2016/06/26)
Morning chants at a Kyoto Temple
This is a longish recording of the morning rituals conducted by Buddhist monks in a temple in Kyoto called Chishakuin. Often temples in Kyoto are very crowded with tourists, making it a sonically intense environment. This recording, however, was taken early in the morning. One can hear the sounds of nature, the recorder's footsteps and the chanting of the monks emanating outside the main hall into the temple garden. (2016/06/24)
Kyoto Eki at Night
The sound of a train station at night, rather than during the day, demonstrating a evening soundscape in a public space (2016/06/22)
Candidate Speech
Sound trucks aren't an uncommon occurrence during elections in Japan, but the election for the Japanese House of Councillors on 10 July 2016 was a high stakes one - all candidates hit the streets to press the flesh in person. The LDP took a two third majority on the day. (2016/06/22)
Hotel Lobby in Kyoto, take 1
This is another recording of the rarified quiet / noise of a five star hotel in Kyoto. You can hear the staff pushing carts through the lobby from the elevators to the restaurant, which were used to for room service. (2016/06/22)
Hotel Elevator in Kyoto
This recording was taken in front of the elevators in a five star hotel in Japan. Interestingly when I took the recording, my impression was that the space was really quiet, but you can hear lots of sounds during the playback! (2016/06/22)
The Sound of Relaxation
A soak in in Japanese hot springs is only truly complete after a few minutes in a coin operated massage chair. This is the sound of feeling totally relaxed after a hot bath! You can hear some of the clients chatting in this relaxation room, and the sound of a large television broadcasting a day time talk show. Lazing the day away in such a room is a great way to experience tactile and sonic Japan! (2016/06/21)
Kendo Training in Kobe
Kendo practice combines silence and intense noise. After a few quiet minutes of zazen (seated meditation), training involves paired practice with bamboo training swords (shinai). In this clip, bodies advance and retreat up and down the wooden floor of the hall, the space punctuated by loud yells and shouting noise (kiai) that correspond with the running up to and the implementation of each strike. This particular training hall (dojo) is located at Kobe University. It is a warm April afternoon, at the beginning of the academic year, the sky outside is bright with cherry blossoms (sakura). The recording is taken from the side of the dojo and a new ‘fresher’ (member of the club) sits there and watches the senior students (senpai) with great interest. Later, during a break in the class, he joins in conversation with the seniors. Loud bursts of laughter replace the sounds of training in that space. Recording by M. Maekawa, description by T. Kohn and T. Maekawa (2016/04/15)