Reading Resources for Japanese Beginners: Part 1

kotobites

When starting out with Japanese, it can be really difficult to find appropriate language learning materials. I myself struggled with this – the usual recommendations of books aimed at children, but these are often full of unusual or nonsensical vocabulary.

Fortunately nowadays there are much better (and free!) resources out there for Japanese beginners. Here are a few of my favourites that are appropriate for JLPT level N5-N4 learners.

Watanoc

This is a free web news magazine with short and interesting articles aimed at Japanese beginners up to intermediate level. You can filter by JLPT level, or narrow down articles by topic if you prefer. If you click on certain pieces of vocabulary you can check the kanji reading and English meaning. Translations of each article are available in English, Vietnamese or Chinese. The articles have a lot of pictures , as well as the Japanese audio too which all…

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Podcast Recommendation : News in Slow Japanese

thank for the tip, let me share this one

kotobites

Are you interested in listening to news articles whilst learning Japanese but don’t have time to tackle a full length piece? Then News in Slow Japanese may be the podcast for you.

Every week or so Sakura produces a short podcast of 2-3 minutes long covering something that has been in the news recently. Each episode of the podcast has this news piece read at a slower pace to allow learners to pick up on words and grammar points they may not have caught at native speed. There is also a version of the same article being read at native speed to test your listening skills.

I had been alternating between the slower speed and native speed episodes to see what I could pick up, and then looking up the words I didn’t know to add to my language journal. Little did I know that the website for News In…

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Commuters

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Do I need to comment on these numbers? We do feel this every dau with the famous subway pushing. However, the transport system is mega developed. The next alternatives would come ftom flexi time or home based employees but Japan is very reluctant to those so far.

Japan’s summer holiday exodus gets into full swing

Key airports and railway stations in Japan’s major urban areas became congested with travelers Thursday as the annual rush of Obon summer holidaymakers got into full swing. A number of domestic flights from Haneda airport in Tokyo, notably those bound for the northern main island of Hokkaido and southern islands…

Source : Japan’s summer holiday exodus gets into full swing

In my case, I would live this 100% as I was going on a business trip to Nagoya. So far, I am not able to purchase my tickets online since JR does not provide this functionality in English (to my knowledge). So, each time I travel, I need to pay a first trip to a JR station, queue at the counter and purchase my ticket. Then, on the day, go to the station again for the actual travel. This week, I had been so busy that I did not find the time to go and buy my ticket in advance and found myself queuing to see that all trains were full. On the Tokaido Shinkansen, which is the one that goes to Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, there are many trains, up to one every 10mn, I still had to let 7 of those pass by until I had one with a middle seat available.

Despite that, people remain quiet, peaceful, the platforms are busy but not congestioned, you simply stand in line and all goes fine!! Viva Japan

North Korea

Here what I read in the press and watch at the news. However, on a day to day, I also notice that my colleagues no longer discuss this and are even sometimes reluctant to do so. We dont notice of course anything different in our routine, just that some areas in western Japan have started to think of safety measures, alert drills, exercises,

The Japanese government was on high alert on Wednesday after an overnight news report that North Korea can now arm its missiles with miniaturized nuclear warheads. Threats posed by North Korea ‘have reached the level at which we have to remain vigilant about and properly monitor whether it already possesses…

Source : Japan on alert after report of N Korea’s nuclear-tipped missile threat – Japan Today

10 ice cream and popsicle brands to try when you’re in Japan – Japan Today

With meteorological agencies in Japan declaring the rainy season officially over, it’s time for the sunny days of summer! Of course, the sunny days of summer are also the blisteringly hot days of summer, but they’re alternatively, as those of us who like to look on the bright side would argue, the…

Source : 10 ice cream and popsicle brands to try when you’re in Japan – Japan Today

Phenomenal Sushi at Tokyo’s Umegaoka Sushi-no Midori 梅丘寿司の美登利

If you’re in Tokyo, queuing at 4am for Tsukiji Fish Market’s iconic Sushi Daiwa should definitely be on your bucket list. That being said, if you want to sneak a couple more hours of sleep in, Umegaoka Sushi-no Midori is the delicious alternative you should head to instead. It definitely was one of the freshest and best price-quality sushi I’ve had in Tokyo–and yes, I’ve queued for Sushi Daiwa at wee hours of the morning! With multiple branches in Tokyo, Umegaoka Sushi-no Midori’s Shibuya branch is on the 4th floor of Shibuya Mark City. During peak hours and weekends, queues can go up to 90 minutes so come early on a weekday to grab a bar seat–this way, you’ll see up-close some sushi magic being made!

I ordered the Ultimate Sushi Assortment and my friend the Maguro Assortment (different cuts of tuna)–both of which I highly recommend. But if you don’t like some of the more adventurous ingredients…

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