Home Podcasts Japan Station Japan Station 29: Koichi of Tofugu.com

Japan Station 29: Koichi of Tofugu.com

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On This Episode of Japan Station

On this episode of the Japan Station podcast we’re talking about learning Japanese, running a business, and a whole lot more with the creator of Tofugu, Koichi.

About Koichi

For more than a decade Koichi has been helping people learn about Japan, Japanese culture, and the Japanese language via the blog Tofugu and all of its related products and services. Koichi got his start in the public eye when he began uploading Japanese-language videos to his YouTube channel Koichiben during the early days of YouTube. Not long after that, Koichi made the transition to English-language content when he launched the Tofugu blog and YouTube channel. Since then, Koichi has been able to build the Tofugu brand into a  successful company that has become known as a source of great Japan-related content that is both fun and educational.

Topics Discussed

  • Why Koichi started making YouTube videos
  • The transition from Koichiben to Tofugu
  • Koichi’s connection to Hawaii
  • The difficulties of starting and running a business
  • What motivated Koichi to create the Japanese language textbook TextFugu
  • The kanji learning app WaniKani
  • How pretending to be a cult can be an effective marketing strategy
  • Koichi’s appreciation of off-the-beaten path sightseeing spots
  • “Robot Sex Museums”
  • The Retro Space Saka Kaikan (レトロスペース 坂会館) museum in Sapporo
  • The Fushigi Hakubutsukan (ふしぎ博物館) museum in Fukuoka
  • The Sanatorium cafe in Fukuoka
  • What Koichi enjoys about running his own business
  • The hunt for the elusive Bob Sapp
  • Trying to get in touch with prime minister Shinzo Abe
  • And much more!

Listen to Japan Station on

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Links, Videos, Etc.

You can visit Tofugu.com via the button below.


You can check out the kanji-learning app WaniKani via the button below.


Check out The Tofugu Podcast via the button below.

The Tofugu Podcast

The full version of “Abenomics Paradise” can be enjoyed via the video below.

The video below, titled “What Does Japan Think of Foreigners?,”” is part of the “Tofugu Interviews Japan” series of videos that was mentioned during the interview.

The video below documents Koichi’s visit to a “Robot Sex Museum.”

To watch more Tofugu YouTube videos, visit the Tofugu YouTube channel via the button below.

Tofugu on YouTube

The Sanatorium is the medical-themed cafe in Fukuoka that was mentioned curing this episode. It is owned by the same individual who owns the Fushigi Hakubutsukan museum that was also mentioned during this episode. To find out more about the Sanatorium, check out the article below.

A Visit to the Sanatorium

And just in case you haven’t listened to the trailer for Ichimon Japan, check it out via the button below.

​Ichimon Japan Trailer

Special Thanks

Opening/Closing song: Oedo Controller (大江戸コントローラー) by Yunomi featuring Toriena (Used with permission from Yunomi)
To listen to more of Yunomi’s music, check out his Soundcloud page or YouTube channel.

Japan Station cover art: Provided by Erik R.

Images: Courtesy of Koichi

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