Before COVID I used to walk to JR Totsuka station here in Yokohama, every day for my commute to Tokyo. It was a good opportunity to listen to a podcast, and I have several favorites from Mozilla, NPR, PRX, WYNC, CIR and others that I’ll share here. #trypod

Although there’s English news in Japan (I’ve paid so much in newspaper subscription fees for the last 34 years I’m practically an investor), I like radio, and Podcasts are a great radio-like way to keep up with what is going on outside our little archipelago. I can’t stand queuing, but we do a lot of it while waiting for trains, so, podcasts come in handy to fill in that void. Also they are great for the train ride itself, too.

You can subscribe to these podcasts from Apple iTunes, apps like Overcast or Castro on iPhone (I don’t have an Android but there are a bunch of apps you can use like “BeyondPod”, “Stitcher Radio” and others), or on apps from the podcast producers, like NPR’s “NPR One” app.

My Favorite Podcasts

In no particular order:

From Moz://a

Mozilla does important work “to ensure the Internet is a global public resource, open and accessible to all.” The Mozilla Manifesto is worth studying, and it’s great that there is an organization fighting for us, the “Joe and Jane Users” of the Internet. I like the Mozilla IRL podcast, which makes the point that our online lives are real life.

From NPR

Here’s NPR’s directory, and among those, I love:

  • Invisibilia
  • Planet Money
  • TED Radio Hour
  • How I Built This

From PRX

PRX sponsors a curated group of podcasts called “RadioTopia”, which keeps me deep into listening material from gems like:

  • 99% Invisible
  • ZigZag
  • What Trump can teach us about Con Law
  • The Memory Palace
  • The Allusionist
  • Criminal
  • This is Love
  • Song Exploder
  • Mortified

From CIR and PRX

PRX and the Center of Investigative Reporting co-sponsor a great one:

From WNYC Studios

WNYC produces many beloved podcasts. Read more at their site, but here’s the ones in my heavy rotation:

  • RadioLab
  • More Perfect
  • Freakonomics Radio
  • More Perfect
  • Here’s the Thing

From WBEZ Chicago

Can’t forget Ira Glass team’s “stories in three acts”. I love these Podcasts from WBEZ:

  • This American Life
  • Serial
  • S Town

… and you can learn more at the WBEZ website.


No less important, but here are a handful of other great ones:

  • From Glenn Ostlund: MytholoGuy is a fantastic new family-friendly podcast that showcases stories from around the world. I wish I had had it when my kids were growing up.
  • From Stitcher: Stephen Dubner’s Tell Me Something I Don’t Know). Fake news antidote.
  • From Defacto Sound: 20000 Hertz. Want to know all about “that sound”? 2K Hertz has you covered.
  • From Panoply: Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History. Revise away; it’s so entertaining.
  • Kevin Allison’s Risk! podcast. It’s kind of an adult version of “Mortified”.

And that’s a wrap. If you’re not yet into Podcasts, the ones above are a good starting point. You’re sure to branch out and find other ones you love, among the great content that’s being produced these days. Enjoy!

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