Interview with Akiko Katayama, Host & Producer of Japan Eats!

By Tyneisha Lewis

Have you ever wondered about Japanese culture and cuisine? We'll talk about one of my favorite podcasts, Japan Eats! I really enjoy Japanese culture from anime (Japanese animation), manga (Japanese comic books/graphic novels), to their cuisine (ramen, fried rice, gyoza, and snacks such as pocky).

I was able to contact and interview Ms. Akiko Katayama. She is a journalist for Forbes and the radio host and producer for her weekly radio show/podcast on Heritage Radio Network.

What inspired you to become a food writer?

 Becoming a writer was always my dream since I was very little. When I was working in a highly competitive corporate environment, I started to feel strongly that something important was missing in my life. At the same time, I got to know some great chefs in person.  It was refreshing to find that their life was all about providing happiness to diners.  No office politics, no second guessing. The two ideas clicked each other in my mind.

For those who may not know, what is Japan Eats!? How was the podcast started?

 Japan Eats! is a radio show and podcast which aims to introduce Japanese food culture to a global audience.  We have listeners in 190 countries worldwide. Japanese cuisine is very popular, but it seems a little mysterious, probably because there is not enough information about it in non-Japanese languages.

You can google anything, but bits and pieces would not be sufficient to make sense of the long history and intricate cultural background of Japanese food.  That is why I invite a great guest (or more) who can discuss the topic in context on each show.

Do you have a favorite episode?

I like all of the past episodes.  I think everyone has a life story that is worth a book at least and my guests prove it on each episode.  It is fascinating to see how their lives unfold diversely from the common thread of Japanese cuisine.

For example, New York-born author and cooking instructor Elizabeth Andoh has lived in Japan over 50 years.  She joined me several times to share her deep insight into Japanese food culture.  Other guests' titles include sword maker, sake brewer, sushi chef, ramen chef, Japanese-style bartender, Japan-themed filmmaker ... it is endless.

Would you consider doing an episode on popular Japanese snacks (for example, Pocky)?

I am open to any topics!   (I will look into them.)


Check out the Japan Eats! podcast. You can also check out Ms. Akiko Katayama's other websites as well at and .


Japan Eats! Is a wonderful show/podcast and anyone who likes Japanese culture should check it out!






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