Alex K.T. Martin


Alex K.T. Martin
Alex K.T. Martin is a Tokyo-based journalist and senior writer at The Japan Times, primarily focusing on feature stories. Previously he was a Tokyo correspondent for The Wall Street Journal.
For Alex K.T. Martin's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Tokyo Healthcare University professor Takayuki Mifune explains how he is trying to re-create bonito broth from 1,300 years ago.
JAPAN / Science & Health / Longform
Dec 4, 2023
The quest to re-create what the Japanese ate 1,300 years ago
Professor Takayuki Mifune and his team are hoping to understand, in minute detail, the culinary habits of our Japanese ancestors.
Bears doing yoga? If you’re in the city, why not?
PODCAST / deep dive
Nov 16, 2023
Bear goes the neighborhood? Japanese wildlife is on the move.
This week, Alex K.T. Martin joins us to discuss why people are encountering bears, boars and other wildlife in the most unlikely of places.
If you spot a wild animal in the city, it's likely lost. Still, alert authorities immediately to prevent any unpleasantness.
ENVIRONMENT / Wildlife / Longform
Nov 13, 2023
The concrete forest: Bears, boars and more head to the cities
Warmer winters, less food and an aging society all play a part in why wild animals are increasingly venturing into human-populated areas.
There are a lot of reasons for why the Pacific saury is becoming scarcer, including overfishing in international waters and changing ocean conditions.
LIFE / Food & Drink / Longform
Oct 23, 2023
A saury state: How the price of 'autumn's fish' skyrocketed
A fish so cheap and abundant that even the cats would ignore it, the Pacific saury is becoming a sought-after dish as stocks dwindle.
A woman takes her meal alone in Tokyo's Yanaka neighborhood. As the country ages, Japan's average caloric intake has been shrinking.
PODCAST / deep dive
Oct 20, 2023
Table for one? What depopulation in Japan means for dinner.
As Japan’s population ages and more people find themselves isolated, solving their dietary needs is shaping the way the country feeds itself.
A woman takes her meal alone in Tokyo's Yanaka neighborhood. As the country ages, Japan's average caloric intake has been shrinking.
JAPAN / Society / Longform
Oct 9, 2023
Downsizing dinner: Aging Japan is eating less
As older citizens' shrinking appetites lead to less on the plate, businesses are having to adjust to a new market.
Katsuura in Chiba Prefecture — around 90 minutes by express train from Tokyo — has never seen the mercury climb above 35 degrees Celsius, a benchmark the meteorological agency uses to describe “extremely hot” weather, since records began in the city in 1906.
Sep 24, 2023
Japan’s endless summer pushes some toward cooler places
Amid a summerlong heat wave, more people are showing interest in moving to places like Katsuura that are known for their milder temperatures.
A child stands in front of the Hibiya Music Hall, which collapsed during the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake.
PODCAST / deep dive
Aug 31, 2023
The earthquake that turned Tokyo to ash
This week we commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the Great Kanto Earthquake.
Items from the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake are on display at the memorial museum in Yokoamicho Park in Tokyo. Here, a warped clock is frozen minutes after the quake struck at 11:58 a.m. on Sept. 1, 1923.
JAPAN / History / Longform
Aug 31, 2023
The Great Kanto Earthquake: A wall of fire, a picture of hell
On Sept. 1, 1923, a massive earthquake struck off the coast of Kanagawa Prefecture. It came to be defined by fire and vigilantism.
The color of a red torii gate in Bushidaira, Saitama Prefecture, still stands out against a vibrant green backdrop.
JAPAN / Society / Longform
Aug 18, 2023
Exploring the eerie beauty of Japan's abandoned villages
Depopulation and an aging society have turned parts of the countryside into tourist attractions for those eager to explore a forgotten era.
A man stands atop a float holding a portable shrine at this year’s Sanja Festival in Tokyo.
PODCAST / deep dive
Jul 20, 2023
Why 2023 will be a deciding year for Japan’s iconic summer festivals
As the population gets older do we risk losing the summer festivals that make Japan unique?
Japan Times
JAPAN / Longform
Jul 10, 2023
In Japan, plenty of inheritances, but no one to claim them
With deaths outpacing births by 2-to-1, dealing with the assets of the deceased is both a growing business and an administrative nightmare.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society / Longform
Jun 26, 2023
Inside Japan’s oldest village
With a median age of 68.4, Nanmoku is at the forefront of the nation’s battle against the gray wave.
Japan Times
LIFE / Longform
Jun 12, 2023
Hunting for marriage: Inside Japan’s matchmaking crusade
As fewer people are tying the knot and the birthrate continues to fall, a range of initiatives are being made available to those who haven’t given up on love.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art / Longform
Jun 4, 2023
'Stakeout Diary': A killer on the run, two postwar gumshoes — noir at its finest
When a photographer was given rare permission to follow two detectives through Tokyo on a murder case, who’d have known he’d gather a legion of fans decades later.
Japan Times
PODCAST / deep dive
May 17, 2023
Yes, crime is on the rise in Japan. No, you don’t have to panic.
The year so far has been marked with several high-profile crime stories and, according to the numbers, crime is on the rise. However, the types of crime we’re seeing are different from before.
Japan Times
JAPAN / History / Longform
May 15, 2023
Rebuilding a community: Hiroshima after the bomb
In the decades since World War II ended, the city has undergone significant material and demographic changes — yet some still remember the old streets.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Longform
May 1, 2023
A new journey: Reviving Japan’s hospitality industry
In the wake of the pandemic, businesses are looking for ways to engage workers once more and welcome new waves of travelers.
Japan Times
PODCAST / deep dive
Apr 20, 2023
[Rebroadcast] How making alcohol from trees could give rural Japan a buzz
Check out this podcast from November that explores how some Japanese companies are trying to make alcohol from old trees.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Crime & Legal / Longform
Apr 10, 2023
Are rising crime rates in Japan cause for alarm?
After tumbling for two decades, the number of criminal offenses in the nation jumped last year. Should we be worried?


Tokyo Healthcare University professor Takayuki Mifune explains how he is trying to re-create bonito broth from 1,300 years ago.
The quest to re-create what the Japanese ate 1,300 years ago