Japan By River Cruise

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Long time editor of "Fukuoka Now" Nick Szasz brings his inbound expertise to bear on the proliferation of virtual tourism in Japan, a trend in which regional tourist destinations all over Japan try to learn how to use the internet.

Show Notes

Long time editor of "Fukuoka Now" Nick Szasz brings his inbound expertise to bear on the proliferation of virtual tourism in Japan, a trend in which regional tourist destinations all over Japan try to learn how to use the internet.

Ollie recommends a cruise that's currently booking for next year, which is still gonna be too early.

Bobby has a new river cruise segment which will probably not be as popular as its namesake.

Topics discussed on this episode range from:
  • What you can do to help make the Tokyo Olympics feel a little less like home
  • The ways in which Nick, Ollie, and Bobby's career paths have intertwined over the years, and why this whole thing might actually be Nick's fault
  • Nick's experience helming an English based monthly publication in Japan for over 20 years
  • How Bobby rose to fame as the most prominently featured background extra in a fake hair commercial
  • What happened with Nick's paper media publication during Covid, and the numerous ways that the magazine pivoted to reflect the way Fukuoka itself was changing
  • How Cruises (YEAH, BABY, CRUISES) changed everything for Fukuoka
  • JBRC Press Club reporting on the decision to hold the Olympics without foreign spectators by @GvaOto, @stonecoldkilzer, @pixelmaven and @shinpansalter
  • How the loss of the Olympics took away what was supposed to be a boom year for, not all only the three of us personally, but many many industries in Japan, especially tourism and those in adjacent fields
  • Why tourism magazines and informational free papers were already seeing a decline pre-covid
  • Nick's pivot to video content in the form of Kyushuu Live
  • The wide variety of quality in terms of the virtual tours that have become available, and how Nick's project is a bit different from a simple "tourism initiative"
  • The merits of LIVE streaming
  • How does virtual tourism become a substitute for a tourism economy? How do you monetize it?
  • Nick's thoughts on how to turn a fanbase for free content into financial support for local areas
  • Does the future of travel involve building a relationship with a destination before you get there?
  • How remote travel content with a more targeted, deeper look at a local place can equate to a more engaged viewership
  • If you want to watch online Japan video content, why would you pick remote tourism over just... a travel show, or The Last Samurai?
  • How this raises the question of what the goals of tourists actually are.
  • Is virtual tourism necessarily tainted by its function as advertising/sales platform, or is there a way in which that can be leveraged to create more interaction between travelers and local economies?
  • The elephant in the room with virtual tourism, namely that it's a poor substitute for the real thing
  • How will Japan tourism rebound when the borders open?
  • Hopes that this will be an opportunity for a reset of local tourism rules, but how it might be likely that the need to make up for lost money could see an even worse resumption of old, bad tourism habits
  • The possibilities offered up by Adventure Tourism
On this week's extras, Ollie tried harder than ever before to get a guest to walk during the first topic, and it's even more impressive that he got so close to succeeding because Nick is actually friends with both of us. Hear how we did this, with a story about a kitten no less, and get access to the extras by supporting the podcast for less than $1 an episode by becoming a member at http://buymeacoffee.com. It's something to behold.

Topics discussed on the extras include:
  • Ollie's kitten and how little he knows about its sex drive
  • Where horniness comes from
  • Ollie period-shaming his cat
  • Ollie's penchant for talking about borderline inappropriate, off-book topics without being aware of guests level of comfort
  • Nick busts out his own off-color cat story
  • Why Ollie's favorite grandma was the one with the balls
  • How a buddhist jaunt through Asia ended up with Nick living in Japan
  • How every generation goes through a Buddhist phase, and how zen or mindfulness as a trend expresses itself differently in different generations
  • How getting "travel information" worked back in the day.
  • How zazen mindfulness practices actually work and how hard they are
  • How great Fukuoka is
  • What good quality of life/cost of living actually means
  • How Fukuoka is literally sunnier
  • The image of Fukuoka held by Tokyoites
  • The long and storied history of Nick's publication Fukuoka Now
  • All our stories about our brushes with musical fame
  • Japan during the bubble
  • The various reasons and ways in which Nick's business model and Fukuoka Now shifted over the years
  • How "Japan content" is cyclical
Have something you'd like to say? Send us a fax at japanbyrivercruise.com - it works now.

or Tweet to us at @jbrcpod

Content Links:
Kyushuu Live

Social Media Links:

Nick Szasz:   Twitter(Fukuoka Now)

Ollie Horn: Twitter | Instagram

Bobby Judo: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

Other things to click on

Some are affiliate links because we're sell-outs

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What is Japan By River Cruise?

Stand-up comedians Bobby Judo and Ollie Horn purport to report on the Japanese river cruise industry each week.