Cool People in Japan – Episode 13: Alex Fraioli

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Bar owner and podcast dynamo, Alex Fraioli was a hard prize to bag, twice our interview fell through but I refused to take the (not so) subtle hints that he had better things to do with his time and persevered; this particular episode was recorded at about 3am on a Tuesday night (or Wednesday morning), with patrons still enjoying a rigorous game of Mario Tennis at Alex’s bar. It’s a little noisy, but sums up Alex’s hectic life perfectly, he’s an awesome dude, with very little free time and I’m glad he chose to spend some of that with me…and you by proxy. Be sure to check out Critical Hit if you are in the Nagoya area (www.criticalhitbar.com) as well as No More Whoopers, an awesome podcast Alex co-hosts (www.nomorewhoppers.tumblr.com).

Ca’del Muro

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It’s always a risk finding a nice new independent restaurant; either it will be terrible and you’ll waste your night and appetite, or you’ll fall in love, and have a constant stone of anxiety lodged in your gut weighing you down, as you fret about whether or not it will weather the competitive gourmet market in Japan and stay open! Thankfully Ca’del Muro falls into the latter category…and hopefully it’s not going anywhere! Continue reading

Cool People in Japan – Episode 12: Dean Webber

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The podcast’s first non-Nagoya based cool person, Dean Webber is a man in love with Kyoto, and before we sat down for this interview we enjoyed the iconic Daimonji Festival from the comfort of his balcony. Thanks for a great night mate and an even better interview.

Eel Cola

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The Kimura Drinks company are famous for their eccentric beverages, and I have such a soft spot for this scrappy little family business that one of the best bits about road-trips is dropping by service stations and trying their wares. I’m already a big fan of their Shizuoka Cola, a green concoction that is laced with green tea, and whilst their Wasabi and Curry Lamune (like lemonade I guess), weren’t the best drinks in the world, I was pleasantly surprised with their Eel Cola. Continue reading

Cool People in Japan – Episode 11: Mark Guthrie

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We are back on the interviews with a real doozy this week, Mark Guthrie, local writer and beer aficionado. We spoke about Mark’s upcoming projects, what he does in his free time and exploring this weird alien emotion called happiness…wasn’t really sure what he was talking about, but I nodded and smiled!

You can pick up a digital version of Mark’s debut novel on Amazon, simply click anywhere on this line of text…except here!

Crazy Duck Burgers

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It seems there has been a burger explosion in Aichi since I first landed here 9 years ago, back then I used to holiday in Tokyo just to enjoy the exotic and elusive Burger King, but now we have two of those in Nagoya, plus a plethora of independent chains, from gourmet to classic diners, Hawaiian to biker bars, so whilst I had to travel miles to get a whooper, now I can barely cross the street without being pelted in the face with a greasy patty (I literally use hyperbole better than anyone else in the world!). Continue reading

Cool People in Japan – Episode 9: Evan Gach

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This week I spoke with Evan Gach, a musician, DJ, PHD Student, environmental warrior and pub-crawl veteran. We spoke about Dad Jokes, American politics, the environment and how Evan became a student here in Japan and is actually planning his future…what a crazy idea! I might have pronounced his surname wrong, so to apologise, here’s some props for his awesome music: