- Sukiya: Beef Bowl Heaven
March 22nd, 2012
One of the most popular dishes in Japan is beef bowl or gyūdon (牛丼). While there are many places that serve the dish, the two largest chains are – Yoshinoya (吉野家) and Sukiya (すき家).
- Japan Signs: Watch Out For Bag Snatchers
March 13th, 2012
While Japan is known for its low level of crime, it is still common to see warning signs placed in high traffic areas such as train stations. I found this particular sign located at the top of the stairs leading up to Futako-tamagawa station (二子玉川駅) in Tokyo. Don’t you love those happy little “bag snatch warning” characters! ^^
- Do you have a J-CLUE?
July 12th, 2011
The Hiragana Times and J-Clue has teamed up to launch a new test aimed at assessing Japanese language and cultural understanding. J-Clue doesn’t replace the JLPT, it is simply testing a different subset of your language skills. Do you know what konkatsu means? Could you name the traditional Japanese art in which a person sits on a stage and tells a funny story? What does the phrase, “Shiranu ga hotoke,” mean?
- Book Review: Jimi’s Book Of Japanese
June 4th, 2011
Jimi’s Book Of Japanese is not for everyone. Some may find it waaaay too basic or dismiss it because it looks childish and un-textbook-like (is that even a word?!). I am mentioning here as I think it is a superb beginner’s book for anyone starting to get their head around Japanese and the concepts of hiragana for the first time.
- Japan Vocab: Like and Dislike
March 2nd, 2011
While the words “like” and “dislike” don’t rate up there with yes and no as the first words you’ll learn in a new language, they’re obviously important to have in your beginner’s vocabulary.
- Japan Images: Macbook With Kana
February 27th, 2011
Notice the space bar is smaller and has been partially replaced by a kana (かな) and English (ASCII) (英数) switch on either side. I almost bought an external keyboard that had a similar layout just so I could have a Japanese keyboard for back home in Australia. Yes mac and Japanese nerd!
- Learn Japanese: Know Your Age
November 17th, 2010
In Japan, like the rest of the world, it’s not okay to run around asking every one about their age, however given the Japanese predilection for being respectful to their elders, you’ll find that they may ask your age so they can address you properly. I’ve collected a few sentences below that you can use in these situations plus a table of example ages.
- Book Review: Japanese Graded Readers
July 20th, 2010
The Japanese Graded Readers Series is aimed at providing a fun and informative way to practice basic Japanese vocabulary and reading/listening comprehension. With it’s colourful illustrations and easy to read text, the Japanese Graded Readers Series sure beats the heck out of wading through boring lists of vocabulary and grammar.
- Japanese Terms Explained for Beginners
July 12th, 2010
So you just started learning Japanese and you’re wondering what all these crazy new terms are that you’ve never heard of before? To get you started I’ll kick you off with a quick explanation of some of the more popular terms.
- Learning Japanese: Do It Your Own Way
June 10th, 2010
Everyone learns a different way. It’s an obvious statement but one that bears thinking about when you’re attempting to learn a language. For example, if you’re studying at school I guarantee that no-one bothered to ask you about how you wanted to learn Japanese?