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How To Post In Perfect Japanese on Social Media

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You’re learning to speak Japanese, and it’s going well. Your confidence is growing! So much so that you feel ready to share your experiences on social media—in Japanese.

At Learn Japanese, we make this easy for you to get it right the first time. Post like a boss with these phrases and guidelines, and get to practice your Japanese in the process.

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1. Talking about Your Restaurant Visit in Japanese

Eating out is fun, and often an experience you’d like to share. Take a pic, and start a conversation on social media in Japanese. Your friend will be amazed by your language skills…and perhaps your taste in restaurants!

Mamoru eats at a restaurant with his friends, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

POST

Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

友だちと、しゃぶしゃぶ食べ放題なう。 (Tomodachi to, shabushabu tabehōdai nau.)
“At all-you-can-eat shabushabu with my friends now.”

1- 友だちと (Tomodachi to)

First is an expression meaning: “With my friends.”
It’s common to include information about who you’re spending time with in a social media post. However, eating or drinking alone is also common in Japan, and a lot of restaurants accommodate single customers.

2- しゃぶしゃぶ食べ放題なう (Shabushabu tabehōdai nau.)

Then comes the phrase - “At all-you-can-eat shabushabu now..”
All-you-can-eat cuisine is very popular in Japan. When you go to Japanese style bars, you’ll often see a menu that says all-you-can-eat or all-you-can-drink. A lot of Japanese people upload a post while they are still at the place, and share the latest status of themselves with others by emphasising that they’re “now” at the place.

COMMENTS

In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

1- 本当、おいしかったね。 (Hontō, oishikatta ne. )

His girlfriend, Hazuki, uses an expression meaning - “Indeed, it was delicious. ”
This expression shows you are appreciative of the quality of the food.

2- うわー、誘ってくれよ! (Uwā, sasotte kure yo!)

His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “What, why didn’t you invite me!”
With this expression, Shō is being playful.

3- こんど行くとき私も連れて行って〜。 (Kondo iku toki watashi mo tsurete ittē.)

His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “You gotta take me with you next time.”
This phrase expresses a wish.

4- 高そう。。 (Takasō..)

His girlfriend’s nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “Looks expensive…”
Perhaps Yamato is a bit cynical? But he could also be appreciative of the restaurant or the food’s quality.

VOCABULARY

Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 友だち (tomodachi): “friend”
  • しゃぶしゃぶ (shabushabu): “shabushabu (thin slices of beef and a variety of vegetables parboiled in hot soup usually eaten with sesame sauce or sour sauce called Ponzu)”
  • 食べ放題 (tabehōdai): “all-you-can-eat”
  • 本当 (hontō): “indeed”
  • おいしい (oishii): “delicious”
  • 誘う (sasou): “to invite”
  • 高い (takai): “expensive”
  • 連れて行く (tsurete iku): “to take someone with someone “
  • So, let’s practice a bit. If a friend posted something about having dinner with friends, which phrase would you use?

    Now go visit a Japanese restaurant, and wow the staff with your language skills!

    2. Post about Your Mall Visit in Japanese

    Another super topic for social media is shopping—everybody does it, most everybody loves it, and your friends on social media are probably curious about your shopping sprees! Share these Japanese phrases in posts when you visit a mall.

    Hazuki shops with her sister at the mall, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    新しくできたお店に妹と。ものすごい列。。 (Atarashiku dekita o-mise ni imōto to. Monosugoi retsu̷ ;)
    “With my sis at the store that recently opened. What a super long line..”

    1- 新しくできたお店 (Atarashiku dekita o-mise)

    First is an expression meaning: “Newly opened store.”
    In Japan, sharing hot news and the latest information a common thing to do on social media. When you go to a recently-opened store that’s been mentioned on TV or on social media, it’s a perfect chance to show the world that you already went there before anyone else did!

    2- ものすごい列 (Monosugoi retsu)

    Then comes the phrase - “What a super long line.”
    Passing information by word of mouth is also one of the popular uses of social media in Japan. For example, you could check other people’s posts to calculate a less crowded time to visit the place!

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- またショッピング? (Mata shoppingu?)

    Her nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “Shopping again?”
    Yamato is making conversation with this phrase..

    2- わたしも昨日ここにいた! (Watashi mo kinō koko ni ita!)

    Her high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “I was here yesterday, too!”
    This shares a detail of your life - good conversation starters!

    3- また服が増えるのか。。 (Mata fuku ga fueru no ka̷ ;)

    Her boyfriend, Mamoru, uses an expression meaning - “Oh, there we have more clothes…

    4- え、本当に妹さん?大人っぽい。 (E, hontō ni imōto-san? Otonappoi.)

    Her college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “No, is that really your younger sister? She looks mature.”
    Use this expression to demonstrate surprise and even appreciation.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 新しくできた (atarashiku dekita): “newly opened”
  • 妹 (imōto): “younger sister”
  • ものすごい (monosugoi): “incredible, super”
  • また (mata): “again”
  • いる (iru): “to be, to exist”
  • 増える (fueru): “to increase”
  • さん (san): “polite name suffix, similar to Mr. or Mrs.”
  • 大人っぽい (otonappoi): “mature”
  • So, if a friend posted something about going shopping, which phrase would you use?

    3. Talking about a Sport Day in Japanese

    Sport events, whether you’re the spectator or the sports person, offer fantastic opportunity for great social media posts. Learn some handy phrases and vocabulary to start a sport-on-the-beach conversation in Japanese.

    Mamoru plays with his friends at the beach, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    今年こそ、絶対勝つ! (Kotoshi koso, zettai katsu!)
    “This year, for sure, we must win!”

    1- 今年こそ (Kotoshi koso)

    First is an expression meaning “This year for sure.”
    Japanese people love sports, and often gather to play games after work or school. Watching sports games together with friends at a public space is also a big thing in Japan. Some of the most popular sports are baseball and soccer.

    2- ぜったい勝つ! (Zettai katsu!)

    Then comes the phrase - “we must win!.”
    This expression is used when you’re cheering for a team while watching a sports game. This phrase is also used when going into a match. It shows a strong determination. You can also replace the verb with other verbs.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- がんばれー! (Ganbarē!)

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Go for it!”
    Use this expression to show your enthusiastic support for your team.

    2- どこのビーチですか? (Doko no bīchi desu ka?)

    His neighbor, Yūko, uses an expression meaning - “Where’s the beach at?”
    This is a question to determine the location of the game. So, to gather information, use this phrase.

    3- けっきょく結果はどうだったの?笑 (Kekkyoku kekka wa dō datta no?wara)

    His girlfriend’s high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “So what was the result after all? lol”
    This question shows inquisitiveness.

    4- 大学時代を思い出すなあ。 (Daigaku jidai o omoidasu nā.)

    His supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “Reminds me of our college life.”
    Somewhat nostalgic, Norio holds a senior position at work, and is perhaps a bit old-fashioned.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 今年 (kotoshi): “this year”
  • こそ (koso): “for sure”
  • 絶対 (zettai): “unconditional”
  • 勝つ (katsu): “to win”
  • がんばれ (ganbare): “Go for it”
  • けっきょく (kekkyoku): “after all”
  • 結果 (kekka): “result”
  • 思い出す (omoidasu): “to remember, V1″
  • Which phrase would you use if a friend posted something about sports?

    But sport is not the only thing you can play! Play some music, and share it on social media.

    4. Share a Song on Social Media in Japanese

    Music is the language of the soul, they say. So, don’t hold back—share what touches your soul with your friends!

    Hazuki shares a song she just heard at a party, posts an image of the artist, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    おすすめの1曲! (Osusume no ikkyoku!)
    “The one song I recommend!”

    1- おすすめの (Osusume no __)

    First is an expression meaning “__ to recommend.”
    Among the Japanese, it is pretty common to share something you like or recommend on social media. Add any noun right after this phrase to make a recommendation.

    2- 1曲 (ikkyoku)

    Then comes the phrase - “one song.”
    In Japanese, there are various types of counters you have to add after numbers. This counter is only one of them and is used to count “songs” and “music.”

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- うわー、なつかしい。 (Uwā, natsukashii.)

    Her high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Wow, how nostalgic.”
    This expresses an opinion about Hazuki’s choice of music.

    2- 名曲ですね。 (Meikyoku desu ne.)

    Her neighbor, Yūko, uses an expression meaning - “Classic, indeed.”
    This warmhearted comment is a response to the previous one about the song.

    3- 古すぎ。。 (Furusugi..)

    Her nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “Too old..”
    Yamato again doesn’t hold back on expressing his opinion. He finds the song dated.

    4- ぼくも昔このバンドの大ファンだったな。 (Boku mo mukashi kono bando no daifan datta na.)

    Her supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “I used to be a huge fan of this band. ”
    Again a nostalgic comment, with Norio reminiscing about his earlier taste in music.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • おすすめ (osusume): “recommendation”
  • 曲 (kyoku): “song, piece of music, counter for songs”
  • なつかしい (natsukashii): “missed, desired, nostalgic”
  • 名曲 (meikyoku): “famous song”
  • 古い (furui): “old (not person); Adj(i)”
  • 昔 (mukashi): “long ago”
  • バンド (bando): “band”
  • 大ファン (daifan): “huge fan”
  • Do you have a favorite song you would share? And what would you say to a friend posting a song?

    Now you know how to start a conversation about a song or a video on social media!

    5. Japanese Social Media Comments about a Concert

    Still on the theme of music—visiting live concerts and shows just have to be shared with your friends. Here are some handy phrases and vocab to wow your followers in Japanese!

    Mamoru goes to a concert, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    毎年恒例の夏フェスです。 (Maitoshi kōrei no natsufesu desu.)
    “Summer music festival like every year.”

    1- 毎年恒例の (Maitoshi kōrei no )

    First is an expression meaning: “Annual, like every year.”
    This expression is commonly used when you want to share a tradition you never fail to honor every year. In this sentence, you can see he’s emphasizing that going to a summer music festival has become a tradition for him.

    2- 夏フェスです (natsufesu desu)

    Then comes the phrase - “summer music festival.”
    It’s become more and more popular to go to summer music festivals in Japan. Then you will see a lot of pictures, videos and status updates on social media about them. You can replace the noun before “festival” with other nouns, for example, “winter”, “beach” or “rock” as well.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 楽しそう! (Tanoshisō!)

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Looks fun!”
    Yui is making conversation and seems pretty positive and optimistic.

    2- すごい人だな。 (Sugoi hito da na.)

    His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “What a huge crowd of people. ”
    This conveys a sense of surprise.

    3- いっきに3キロやせた気分。。 (Ikki ni san-kiro yaseta kibun..)

    His girlfriend, Hazuki, uses an expression meaning - “I feel like we lost 3 kilos all at once..”
    Hazuki is sharing a feeling.

    4- よく飽きないね〜 (Yoku akinai nē)

    His girlfriend’s nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “No idea why you don’t get tired of it~”
    Yamato is not the most positive of people, is he? He’s commenting on this post with an opinion.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 毎年 (maitoshi): “every year”
  • 恒例 (kōrei): “regular, customary”
  • 夏フェス (natsufesu): “summer music festival”
  • すごい (sugoi): “amazing, great, fabulous”
  • 一気に (ikki ni): “at once, in one go”
  • 痩せる (yaseru): “to lose weight”
  • 気分 (kibun): “feeling”
  • 飽きる (akiru): “to get tired of, to lose interest in; V2″
  • If a friend posted something about a concert, which phrase would you use?

    6. Talking about an Unfortunate Accident in Japanese

    Oh dear. You broke something by accident. Tell friends about it by using these Japanese phrases in a thread on social media. Or maybe just to let your friends know why you are not contacting them!

    Hazuki accidentally breaks her mobile phone, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    ついにやってしまった。。 (Tsui ni yatte shimatta.. )
    “I finally did it.. ”

    1- ついに (Tsui ni )

    First is an expression meaning “Finally.”
    Japanese use this word when something that they expected would happen someday has finally happened.

    2- やってしまった (yatte shimatta)

    Then comes the phrase - “I did it.”
    You can say this expression when you have done something bad. It’s a good opening line to catch people’s attention as well.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- どこで、なんでこんなことに? (Doko de, nande konna koto ni?)

    Her college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Where and how did that happen?”
    Her friend is curious as to how Hazuki broke her phone, and is also making conversation.

    2- えー!これはショック。 (Ē! Kore wa shokku.)

    Her high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Oh no, this is a shock. ”
    This expression shows sympathy with the accident.

    3- この前も壊したばかりなのに!? (Kono mae mo kowashita bakari na noni!?)

    Her nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “You just broke (another) one recently!”
    Don’t you feel you want to slap cynical Yamato?! He seems to be a glass-half-full person.

    4- まさか会社のものではないよな・・・? (Masaka kaisha no mono de wa nai yo na…?)

    Her supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “It’s not a company phone, is it…?”
    Norio feels anxious about this accident and shows it with this question.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • ついに (tsui ni): “finally”
  • どこ (doko): “where”
  • なんで (nande): “why”
  • ショック (shokku): “shocking”
  • この前 (kono mae): “some time ago, recently”
  • 壊す (kowasu): “to break”
  • まさか (masaka): “by no means, never (used before a negation as an exclamation) “
  • 会社 (kaisha): “company, office”
  • If a friend posted something about having broken something by accident, which phrase would you use?

    So, now you know how to describe an accident in Japanese. Well done!

    7. Chat about Your Boredom on Social Media in Japanese

    Sometimes, we’re just bored with how life goes. And to alleviate the boredom, we write about it on social media. Add some excitement to your posts by addressing your friends and followers in Japanese!

    Mamoru gets bored at home, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    暇だなあ。つまんない。 (Hima da nā. Tsumannai.)
    “I have nothing to do. I’m so bored. ”

    1- 暇だなあ。 (Hima da nā.)

    First is an expression meaning: “I have nothing to do..”
    You can also use this expression when you want someone to ask you out but are too shy to directly say it.

    2- つまんない。 (Tsumannai.)

    Then comes the phrase - “I’m so bored..”
    This is the most common expression to say you’re bored in Japanese in a casual way. You can often hear teenagers use this phrase at school.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 花見に行こうよ。 (Hanami ni ikō yo. )

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Let’s go to the cherry blossom viewing.”
    Yui makes an optimistic suggestion.

    2- 外で運動したらどうですか? (Soto de undō shitara dō desu ka?)

    His neighbor, Yūko, uses an expression meaning - “Why don’t you exercise outside?”
    And the neighbour makes a friendly suggestion.

    3- 新宿で飲もうぜ! (Shinjuku de nomō ze!)

    His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Let’s drink in Shinjuku!”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling frivolous.

    4- 私も。。遊ばない? (Watashi mo.. Asobanai?)

    His girlfriend, Hazuki, uses an expression meaning - “Me too.. Wanna hang out?”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling empathy.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 暇 (hima): “time to spare, free time”
  • つまんない (tsumannai): “casual expression of “I’m bored”"
  • 花見 (hanami): “cherry blossom viewing, flower viewing”
  • 外 (soto ): “outside”
  • 運動する (undō suru): “to exercise; V3″
  • 新宿 (Shinjuku): “Shinjuku, the prefectural capital of Tokyo “
  • 飲む (nomu): “to drink;V1″
  • 遊ぶ (asobu): “to hang out; V1″
  • If a friend posted something about being bored, which phrase would you use?

    Still bored? Share another feeling and see if you can start a conversation!

    8. Exhausted? Share It on Social Media in Japanese

    Sitting in public transport after work, feeling like chatting online? Well, converse in Japanese about how you feel, and let your friends join in!

    Hazuki feels exhausted after a long day at work, posts an image of herself looking tired, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    あー疲れた! (Ā tsukareta!)
    “Uh, I’m exhausted!”

    1- あー (Ā)

    First is an expression meaning “Uh.”
    This interjection is often used to express a sigh before you start a sentence. In casual settings like social media, it’s common for Japanese people to write interjections down as well as the actual context.

    2- 疲れた! (tsukareta!)

    Then comes the phrase - “I’m exhausted!.”
    This is one of the most commonly-used phrases in Japanese, both on and offline. You’re going to hear many people saying this phrase after work or school on the way back home.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 今週は長かったな。。 (Konshū wa nagakatta na..)

    Her supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “This week felt longer..”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling empathy.

    2- お疲れさま! (Otsukare-sama!)

    Her boyfriend, Mamoru, uses an expression meaning - “Well done! ”
    But Hazuki’s boyfriend chooses to be encouraging in his comment.

    3- やっと花金だね。 (Yatto hanakin da ne.)

    Her college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Thank God it’s finally Friday!”
    Another post of commiseration and empathy.

    4- たまには休まないと。 (Tamani wa yasumanai to.)

    Her nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “You gotta get some rest. ”
    Yamato likes to state the obvious.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 疲れる (tsukareru): “to tire, to get tired”
  • 今週 (konshū): “this week”
  • 長い (nagai): “long”
  • お疲れさま (otsukare-sama): “thank you, that’s enough for today, greeting at workplace”
  • やっと (yatto): “yay, finally, at last”
  • 花金 (hanakin): “Thank God it’s Friday. TGIF.”
  • たまに (tama ni ): “once in a while, occasionally”
  • 休む (yasumu): “to rest, to have a break”
  • If a friend posted something about being exhausted, which phrase would you use?

    Now you know how to say you’re exhausted in Japanese! Well done.

    9. Talking about an Injury in Japanese

    So life happens, and you managed to hurt yourself during a soccer game. Very Tweet-worthy! Here’s how to do it in Japanese.

    Mamoru suffers a painful injury, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    練習中に骨折。。痛い。 (Renshūchū ni kossetsu.. Itai.)
    “Broke my leg during practice.. It hurts.”

    1- 練習中に骨折。。 (Renshūchū ni kossetsu..)

    First is an expression meaning: “Broke my leg during the practice…”
    This is an example of an expression ending with a noun, which is often used in the headlines of newspaper articles or on TV news.

    2- 痛い。 (Itai.)

    Then comes the phrase - “It hurt.”
    This is a must-know phrase when you go to a dentist or any clinic in Japan. When something hurts, say this phrase out loud.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 痛そう。お大事に。 (Itasō. O-daiji ni.)

    His neighbor, Yūko, uses an expression meaning - “Ouch. Get well soon.”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling warmhearted.

    2- うわ、グロいな。 (Uwa, guroi na.)

    His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Holy smokes, gross.”
    This is an exclamation and an opinion all at once.

    3- すぐ治るといいね。 (Sugu naoru to ii ne.)

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Get well soon!”
    Use this expression to wish your injured friend well.

    4- 無理しないで、安静にするんだぞ。 (Muri shinai de, ansei ni suru n da zo.)

    His supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “Don’t strain yourself. Take a good rest.”
    This expression shows concern and caring.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 練習中 (renshūchū): “during practice; in the middle of practice”
  • 骨折 (kossetsu): “bone fracture”
  • 痛い (itai): “painful, hurt”
  • お大事に (o-daiji ni): “Bless you, get well soon”
  • うわ (uwa): “Whoa, holy smokes, oh my gosh”
  • 治る (naoru): “to heal, to get cured”
  • 無理する (muri suru): “to take something too far, to overdo something”
  • 安静にする (ansei ni suru): “to rest, to be calm”
  • If a friend posted something about being injured, which phrase would you use?

    We love to share our fortunes and misfortunes; somehow that makes us feel connected to others.

    10. Starting a Conversation Feeling Disappointed in Japanese

    Sometimes things don’t go the way we planned. Share your disappointment about this with your friends!

    Hazuki feels disappointed about today’s weather, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    暑すぎる。。お願いだから、早く秋になって。 (Atsusugiru.. Onegai da kara, hayaku aki ni natte.)
    “It’s too hot today.. For God’s sake, turn to autumn already, please.”

    1- 暑すぎる。。 (Atsusugiru..)

    First is an expression meaning “It’s too hot…”
    Japanese people are not the biggest fans of sunlight. If you look at trendy Japanese magazines, you will see having light skin is often considered more attractive. Being tanned and brown as a chestnut is not as attractive as it is in many western countries. When you visit Japan in summer, you will see a lot of Japanese ladies with a sunshade and sunblock groves walking down the streets!

    2- お願いだから、早く秋になって。 (Onegai da kara, hayaku aki ni natte.)

    Then comes the phrase - “For God’s sake, turn to autumn already, please..”
    This Japanese expression for “for God’s sake” is frequently used when you are desperately in need of something. By writing this line at the beginning of a sentence, you can emphasize that you really need whatever follows.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- ほんと!湿気もすごい。 (Honto! Shikke mo sugoi.)

    Her neighbor, Yūko, uses an expression meaning - “I know right! Massive humidity, too.”
    This expression shows commiseration and empathy.

    2- 今日はスーツのジャケットは着られないな。 (Kyō wa sūtsu no jaketto wa kirarenai na.)

    Her supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “Today, I can’t wear a suit (anymore).”
    Norio agrees with the general sentiment that it’s a very hot day, sharing a personal detail about his preferred attire.

    3- これからもっと暑くなるらしいけどね。 (Kore kara motto atsuku naru rashii kedo ne.)

    Her nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “Looks like it’s going to get even hotter, though.”
    Trust Yamato to be the one who brings even worse news. He doesn’t seem like a very optimistic, positive person!

    4- 汗がとまらない。。 (Ase ga tomaranai..)

    Her boyfriend, Mamoru, uses an expression meaning - “I can’t stop sweating..”
    Hazuki’s boyfriend partakes in the conversation by sharing a personal detail.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 暑い (atsui): “hot”
  • お願いだから (onegai da kara): “Come on, for God’s sake”
  • 秋 (aki): “fall, autumn”
  • 湿気 (shikke): “humidity”
  • 今日 (kyō): “today”
  • 着る (kiru): “to wear”
  • もっと (motto): “more”
  • とまる (tomaru): “stop”
  • How would you comment in Japanese when a friend is disappointed?

    Not all posts need to be about negative feelings and experiences, though!

    11. Talking about Your Relationship Status in Japanese

    Don’t just change your relationship status in Settings, talk about it!

    Mamoru changes his status to “In a relationship”, posts an image of him and Hazuki, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    今日で付き合って1ヶ月!ラブラブです。 (Kyō de tsukiatte ikkagetsu! Raburabu desu.)
    “Today is 1 month since we started dating. We’re in love.”

    1- 今日で付き合って1ヶ月! (Kyō de tsukiatte ikkagetsu!)

    First is an expression meaning: “Today is one month since we started dating!.”
    In Japan, you can often see couples counting the number of months they’ve been together for, then making it an anniversary and posting about it on social media.

    2- ラブラブです。 (Raburabu desu.)

    Then comes the phrase - “We’re in love.”
    Although there’s an expression meaning “lovey-dovey”, it’s not very common for Japanese people to show affection such as kissing and hugging in public. Never show too much affection in front of your Japanese girlfriend or boyfriend’s parents! Thismight get a little confusing and embarrassing.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- うそだ!! (Uso da!!)

    His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “No way!!”
    This is a playful and teasing phrase to make conversation.

    2- おめでとう!彼女かわいいね! (Omedetō! Kanojo kawaii ne!)

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Congrats! Your girlfriend is cute!”
    Here, Yui complements his friend on his girlfriend’s appearance.

    3- さて、いつまで続くかな? (Sate, itsu made tsuzuku ka na?)

    His girlfriend’s nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “Well, let’s see how long it lasts?”
    Don’t be the Yamato in any conversation…! Real wet blanket, hey?

    4- 職場恋愛か。。 (Shokuba ren’ai ka..)

    His supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “Office romance, huh..”
    Norio is expressing surprise over this relationship.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 付き合う (tsukiau): “to keep company with, to go out with; V1″
  • ラブラブ (raburabu): “lovey-dovey”
  • おめでとう (omedetō): “Congrats”
  • 彼女 (kanojo): “girl, she, girlfriend”
  • かわいい (kawaii): “pretty, cute, lovely, charming :Adj(i)”
  • さて (sate): “Well, now, anyway”
  • 続く (tsuzuku): “to last, to be continued”
  • 職場恋愛 (shokuba ren’ai): “office romance”
  • What would you say in Japanese when a friend changes their relationship status?

    Being in a good relationship with someone special is good news - don’t be shy to spread it!

    12. Post about Getting Married in Japanese

    Wow, so things got serious, and you’re getting married. Congratulations! Or, your friend is getting married, so talk about this in Japanese.

    Hazuki is getting married today, so she eaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    いよいよ結婚式です。ドキドキ。 (Iyoiyo kekkonshiki desu. Dokidoki.)
    “Finally getting married. Nervous and excited.”

    1- いよいよ結婚式です。 (Iyoiyo kekkonshiki desu.)

    First is an expression meaning “Finally getting married.”
    In Japan, there are two common types of weddings: one is western style with a church ceremony, and the other is Japanese traditional style where the celebration is proceeded in a shrine. Note that a western style wedding at a church doesn’t necessarily mean the couple is Christian. A lot of non-Christian Japanese people prefer to have a wedding at a church.

    2- ドキドキ。 (Dokidoki.)

    Then comes the phrase - “Nervous and excited.”
    This expression can show both excited and nervous feelings at the same time. It’s commonly used to describe feelings before an important event.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- おめでとうございます。末永くお幸せに! (Omedetō gozaimasu. Suenagaku o-shiawase ni! )

    Her supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “Congratulations. Have a long and loving life together!”
    What a warm-hearted, positive wish!

    2- おめでとう!あとでブーケは私に投げてね。 (Omedetō! Ato de būke wa watashi ni nagete ne.)

    Her high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Congrats! Throw the bouquet to me later, will ya?”
    Manami is being the clown and wants Hazuki to throw her the hand bouquet. In many wedding traditions, when you catch the bride’s hand bouquet, it means you’re getting married next.

    3- 結婚?!全然知らなかった。。 (Kekkon?! Zenzen shiranakatta.. )

    Her college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Getting married?! I had no idea.. ”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling surprised.

    4- 守は幸せ者だねー! (Mamoru wa shiawasemono da nē!)

    Her husband’s high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Mamoru is one lucky guy! ”
    Basically, Yui is giving the bridegroom a compliment with this expression. He thinks Hazuki is a very fine bride, and expresses his appreciation this way.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • いよいよ (iyoiyo): “finally, more and more”
  • 結婚式 (kekkonshiki): “wedding ceremony”
  • ドキドキ (dokidoki): “excited and nervous”
  • おめでとうございます (omedetō gozaimasu): “Congratulations”
  • 末永く (suenagaku): “For many years to come”
  • おめでとう (omedetō): “Congrats”
  • 投げる (nageru): “to throw”
  • 幸せ者 (shiawasemono): “lucky guy, person”
  • How would you respond in Japanese to a friend’s post about getting married?

    For the next topic, fast forward about a year into the future after the marriage…

    13. Announcing Big News in Japanese

    Wow, huge stuff is happening in your life! Announce it in Japanese.

    Mamoru finds out he and his wife are going to have a baby, posts an image of his pregnant wife, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    来年パパになります。早く会いたいな。 (Rainen papa ni narimasu. Hayaku aitai na.)
    “I’ll be a dad next year. Wanna see the baby sooner.”

    1- 来年パパになります。 (Rainen papa ni narimasu.)

    First is an expression meaning “I’ll be dad next year..”
    This is a common, simple line to use when you just found out you’re becoming a father and want to let the world know. InJapan, it’s tradition to use this only before you have your first child.

    2- 早く会いたいな。 (Hayaku aitai na.)

    Then comes the phrase - “I want to see him sooner.”
    In Japanese, we don’t have an exact translation for “I miss you” or “Can’t wait” that sounds natural. Instead, we say “I want to see (you) sooner” in Japanese. If you’re in a long-distance relationship with a Japanese partner, you could also use this expression as a way to say you miss a person.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- おめでとう!!楽しみだね! (Omedetō!! Tanoshimi da ne!)

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Congrats!! Isn’t that exciting!”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling optimistic.

    2- やったー、新しいいとこが増える! (Yattā, atarashii itoko ga fueru!)

    His wife’s nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “Yay, a new cousin will be added!”
    For a change, Yamato is really happy.

    3- 女の子?男の子? (Onnanoko? Otokonoko?)

    His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Girl or boy?”
    Shō wants to know details!

    4- いろいろ準備しないとね。 (Iroiro junbi shinai to ne.)

    His wife, Hazuki, uses an expression meaning - “Gotta prepare a lot of stuff.”
    Hazuki shows a realistic view of the matter, as she knows a lot of work is lying ahead of them.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 来年 (rainen): “next year”
  • 早く (hayaku): “fast, quickly, soon”
  • 会う (au): “to meet; V1″
  • 楽しみ (tanoshimi): “fun, excitement”
  • 新しい (atarashii): “new ;-i adjective”
  • いとこ (itoko): “cousin”
  • 増える (fueru): “to increase”
  • 準備する (junbi suru): “to prepare”
  • Which phrase would you choose when a friend announces their pregnancy on social media?

    So, talking about a pregnancy will get you a lot of traction on social media. But wait till you see the responses to babies!

    14. Posting Japanese Comments about Your Baby

    Your bundle of joy is here, and you cannot keep quiet about it! Share your thoughts in Japanese.

    Hazuki plays with her baby, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    新しい家族が増えました。ゆきこと言います。 (Atarashii kazoku ga fuemashita. Yukiko to iimasu.)
    “One new family member is added. She’s named Yukiko.”

    1- 新しい家族が増えました。 (Atarashii kazoku ga fuemashita.)

    First is an expression meaning: “One new family member is added.”
    It’s almost like a must-do thing for Japanese couples to post a baby picture when they first give birth to one. This expression is one of the most common lines to use when you share the news of having a baby on social media. It is simple yet it is cute, and heartwarming.

    2- ゆきこと言います。 (Yukiko to iimasu.)

    Then comes the phrase - “She’s named Yukiko.”
    A lot of Japanese people include the name of the new born baby in a post. Sometimes they also explain the origin of the name and the meaning of the chosen characters (kanji).

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- かわいすぎる〜!手も小さい。。 (Kawaisugirū! Te mo chiisai..)

    Her high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Too cute! Her hand is tiny too..”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling excited.

    2- よく頑張ったな。おめでとう。 (Yoku ganbatta na. Omedetō.)

    Her college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Great job. Congrats. ”
    A warm-hearted compliment and congratulation.

    3- ゆきこに早く会わせて〜! (Yukiko ni hayaku awasetē!)

    Her nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “Let me see Yukiko soon!”
    Yamato is keen to meet his new cousin.

    4- ご出産おめでとう。元気そうな赤ちゃんで何より。 (Go-shussan omedetō. Genki sō na aka-chan de nani yori.)

    Her supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “Congratulations on her birth. I can’t be any happier that she looks like a healthy baby.”
    Norio is sharing warmhearted congratulations and feelings about the baby.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 家族 (kazoku): “family”
  • と言います (to iimasu): “to be named”
  • 手 (te): “hand”
  • 早く (hayaku): “soon”
  • 出産 (shussan): “birth”
  • 元気な (genki na): “healthy, fine, good”
  • 赤ちゃん (aka-chan): “baby”
  • 何より (nani yori): “more than anything”
  • If your friend is the mother or father, which phrase would you use on social media?

    Congratulations, you know the basics of chatting about a baby in Japanese! But we’re not done with families yet…

    15. Japanese Comments about a Family Reunion

    Family reunions - some you love, some you hate. Share about it on your feed.

    Mamoru attends a family gathering, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    久しぶりに親戚の集まり。甥っ子が大きくなってる。。 (Hisashiburi ni shinseki no atsumari. Oikko ga ōkiku natte ru..)
    “Family gathering for the first time in forever. My nephew has gotten big..”

    1- 久しぶりに親戚の集まり。 (Hisashiburi ni shinseki no atsumari.)

    First is an expression meaning “Family gathering for the first time in forever.”
    This Japanese expression for “for the first time in forever” can be used when you did something that hasn’t been done in ages. Japanese people get together with families usually on New Year’s and Bon Festival holidays in August. When they gather, they usually eat a lot and drink a lot just like many families in other countries do.

    2- 甥っ子が大きくなってる。。 (Oikko ga ōkiku natte ru..)

    Then comes the phrase - “My nephew has gotten (all) big..”
    One of the things you’d often comment at the family gathering is how your nephew or younger family members who were small before grew a lot bigger now. You can replace “nephew” with another word to refer to other family members or guests.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 次会うときにはもう大人になってるかもね。 (Tsugi au toki ni wa mō otona ni natte ru kamo ne.)

    His wife, Hazuki, uses an expression meaning - “He might be all grown up the next time we see him.”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling sensitive.

    2- 懐かしいな。みなさん元気? (Natsukashii na. Mina-san genki?)

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Nostalgic. How are you all?”
    Use this expression to share your feelings of nostalgia.

    3- 大家族ね! (Daikazoku ne!)

    His neighbor, Yūko, uses an expression meaning - “What a big family!”
    Yūko is expressing surprise and, perhaps, appreciation for the size of the family.

    4- お母さん全然変わってないな。 (O-kā-san zenzen kawatte nai na.)

    His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Your mom hasn’t changed at all.”
    This is a warm-hearted compliment to Hazuki’s mother and the way she looks.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 久しぶりに (Hisashiburi ni): “for the first time in forever”
  • 親戚 (shinseki): “relative”
  • 集まり (atsumari): “gathering”
  • 甥っ子 (oikko): “nephew”
  • 大人 (otona): “adult”
  • 大家族 (daikazoku): “big family”
  • お母さん (o-kā-san): “mother”
  • 変わる (kawaru): “to change”
  • Which phrase is your favorite to comment on a friend’s photo about a family reunion?

    16. Post about Your Travel Plans in Japanese

    So, Hazuki is going on holiday. Do you know how to post and leave comments in Japanese about being at the airport, waiting for a flight?

    Hazuki waits at the airport for her flight, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    これからタイに行ってきまーす! (Kore kara Tai ni ittekimāsu!)
    “Off to Thailand now!”

    1- これから (Kore kara )

    First is an expression meaning “(from) now.”
    Add this expression at the beginning of a sentence when you want to indicate that you’re about to do something.

    2- タイに行ってきまーす! (Tai ni ittekimāsu!)

    Then comes the phrase - “off to Thailand!.”
    This is a common expression to use when you’re on your way to somewhere to do something. Japanese people on social media often write this line before they go on a trip.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- いいなあ。本場のタイ料理楽しんでね。 (Ii nā. Honba no Tai ryōri tanoshinde ne.)

    Her neighbor, Yūko, uses an expression meaning - “Jealous. Enjoy the authentic Thai food.”
    Yūko wishes to be in Hazuki’s shoes - a warmhearted comment.

    2- お土産よろしく! (O-miyage yoroshiku!)

    Her college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “I’m expecting a souvenir!”
    Making conversation, Shō pretends to be a demanding friend.

    3- いつまで?私も来週行くよ。 (Itsu made? Watashi mo raishū iku yo.)

    Her high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Until when? I’m going next week.”
    Here, Manami is sharing information about her own travels that could mean a meet-up with Hazuki in Thailand.

    4- 楽しんでね! (Tanoshinde ne!)

    Her husband’s high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Have fun!”
    A common well-wish.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • これから (kore kara): “from now”
  • タイ (Tai): “Thailand”
  • に行ってきます (ni ittekimasu): “off to …”
  • 本場 (honba): “home, best place”
  • 料理 (ryōri): “food as in dishes, cuisine”
  • 楽しむ (tanoshimu): “to enjoy oneself; V1″
  • お土産 (o-miyage): “souvenir”
  • 来週 (raishū): “next week”
  • Choose and memorize your best airport phrase in Japanese!

    Hopefully the rest of the trip is better!

    17. Posting about an Interesting Find in Japanese

    So maybe you’re strolling around at your local market, and find something interesting. Here are some handy Japanese phrases!

    Mamoru finds an unusual item at a local market, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    何だこりゃ。初めて見た。 (Nan da korya. Hajimete mita.)
    “What the –. Never seen this before.”

    1- 何だこりゃ。 (Nan da korya.)

    First is an expression meaning “What the –?.”
    This is a common reaction when you see something confusing or surprising. When you find something completely new and interesting overseas, you’ll probably get to use this comment.

    2- 初めて見た。 (Hajimete mita.)

    Then comes the phrase - “Never seen this before.”
    This is a simple and short expression to use when you find something you have never seen.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- タイ限定だね。 (Tai gentei da ne.)

    His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Only in Thailand.”
    This indicates that Thailand has strange customs or people.

    2- ショッキングな外見だね。 (Shokkingu na gaiken da ne.)

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “What a shocking look.” This phrase refers to something that looks shocking to the observer, and not a “fashion look”!
    Expressing surprise, Yuki shares her opinion to keep the conversation going.

    3- あ、これ流行ってるって聞いた。 (A, kore hayatte ru tte kiita.)

    His wife’s high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Oh, I heard it’s a thing now.”
    Manami shows she’s up to date with the latest trends.

    4- 欲しい!! (Hoshii!!)

    His nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “I want it!!”
    Yamato clearly likes what he sees.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • こりゃ (korya): “term derived from これは meaning “this is”"
  • 初めて (hajimete): “first time”
  • 見る (miru): “to see, to watch, to look ; V2″
  • 限定 (gentei): “limit, restriction”
  • ショッキングな (shokkingu na): “shocking”
  • 外見 (gaiken): “look”
  • 流行る (hayaru): “to be popular”
  • 欲しい (hoshii): “want, to want”
  • Which phrase would you use to comment on a friend’s interesting discovery?

    Perhaps you will even learn the identity of your find! Or perhaps you’re on holiday, and visiting interesting places…

    18. Post about a Sightseeing Trip in Japanese

    Let your friends know what you’re up to in Japanese, especially when visiting a remarkable place! Don’t forget the photo.

    Hazuki visits a famous landmark, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    世界遺産に到着!観光客だらけだ。。 (Sekai isan ni tōchaku! Kankōkyaku darake da..)
    “Arrived at the World Heritage! So many tourists..”

    1- 世界遺産に到着! (Sekai isan ni tōchaku! )

    First is an expression meaning “Arrived at the world heritage!”
    This is a common expression to use when you arrive somewhere and want to post about it. You can replace the Japanese word for “world heritage” with any other place, for example, schools, meeting place, etc.

    2- 観光客だらけだ。。 (Kankōkyaku darake da..)

    Then comes the phrase - “So many tourists..”
    When you visit Japan, especially in big cities like Tokyo, a lot of places you go to will probably be crowded. To get on a train also, you often have to throw yourself into crowds. When this happens, you can use this expression, replacing the word “tourists” with something else, for example, “students” or “workers”.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- いい景色だね。 (Ii keshiki da ne.)

    Her neighbor, Yūko, uses an expression meaning - “Nice view. ”
    This comment is used to make conversation and showing interest.

    2- わーおれもここ行ったことある! (Wā ore mo koko itta koto aru!)

    Her college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Oh I’ve been there too!”
    Sharing experiences is a great way to bond on social media.

    3- 夏休みだから、しょうがないよ。 (Natsuyasumi da kara, shōganai yo.)

    Her husband’s nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “It’s during summer break, so it can’t be helped.”
    Yamato adds a dash of realism again with this explanation, fortunately not too negative or cynical.

    4- もっと写真見たい! (Motto shashin mitai!)

    Her high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Show us more photos!”
    Manami shows she is curious and wants more details about Hazuki’s experience.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 世界遺産 (sekai isan): “World Heritage site”
  • 到着 (tōchaku): “arrive, arrival”
  • 観光客 (kankōkyaku): “tourist”
  • 景色 (keshiki): “scenery, view”
  • 行く (iku): “to go”
  • 夏休み (natsuyasumi): “summer vacation”
  • しょうがない (shōganai): “can’t be helped”
  • 写真 (shashin): “photograph”
  • Which phrase would you prefer when a friend posts about a famous landmark?

    Share your special places with the world. Or simply post about your relaxing experiences.

    19. Post about Relaxing Somewhere in Japanese

    So you’re doing nothing, yet you enjoy that too? Tell your social media friends about it in Japanese!

    Mamoru relaxes at a beautiful place, posts a chilled selfie, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    波の音、青い海、冷たいカクテル。最高! (Nami no oto, aoi umi, tsumetai kakuteru. Saikō!)
    “The sound of the waves, the blue sea and the cold drinks. The best!”

    1- 波の音、青い海、冷たいカクテル。 (Nami no oto, aoi umi, tsumetai kakuteru.)

    First is an expression meaning “The sound of the waves, the blue sea and the cold cocktails..”
    This is a poetic description of the situation, which is done by paralleling the key factors in short words. This expression method is often used in advertisements as well. It’s a simple and easy way to catch people’s attention.

    2- 最高! (Saikō!)

    Then comes the phrase - “The best!.”
    This literally means “the best,” and Japanese people often use this expression on social media to emphasize that something is great.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- うらやましいぞー。 (Urayamashii zō.)

    His supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “Jealous.”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling envious.

    2- すごい海きれい! (Sugoi umi kirei!)

    His wife’s high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Amazingly beautiful sea!”
    Manami leaves a positive opinion about the setting Hazuki finds herself in.

    3- 飲んでばかりいないで、泳ぎなよ。 (Nonde bakari inaide, oyogina yo.)

    Mamoru’s nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “Don’t just drink, go swimming.”
    Yamato has his own idea of what Hazuki should be doing.

    4- 焼けて帰ってくるんだろうな。。 (Yakete kaette kuru n darō na..)

    His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “I bet you guys are coming back all tanned.”
    Shō is making conversation with this comment.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 波 (nami): “wave”
  • 音 (oto): “sound, noise”
  • 青い (aoi): “blue, green, pale; Adj(i)”
  • 海 (umi): “sea, ocean”
  • 冷たい (tsumetai): “cold;Adj(i)”
  • うらやましい (urayamashii): “envious”
  • 泳ぐ (oyogu): “to swim”
  • 焼ける (yakeru): “to get a suntan;V2″
  • Which phrase would you use to comment a friend’s feed?

    The break was great, but now it’s time to return home.

    20. What to Say in Japanese When You’re Home Again

    And you’re back! What will you share with friends and followers?

    Hazuki returns home after the vacation, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    あーあ、帰って来ちゃった。 (Āa, kaette kichatta.)
    “Oh well, I’m back again.”

    1- あーあ (Āa)

    First is an expression meaning “Oh well.”
    This is an interjection that describes a sigh of boredom or disappointment.

    2- 帰って来ちゃった (kaette kichatta)

    Then comes the phrase - “I’m back again.”
    Japanese people love to travel, even during the short breaks such as a day off. When they’re back home, this expression is often used to show sadness that the adventure is over.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- おかえりなさい。 (Okaerinasai.)

    Her neighbor, Yūko, uses an expression meaning - “Welcome back. ”
    A friendly, common greeting.

    2- おみやげ楽しみだな。。 (O-miyage tanoshimi da na..)

    Her college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Can’t wait to see the souvenirs..”
    Sharing a need to see brought back from travels is a good conversation starter.

    3- 焼けた?写真見たい! (Yaketa? Shashin mitai!)

    Her high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Sunburnt? Wanna see the photos!”
    Manami is making conversation by asking a question, and also expressing a need.

    4- 東京は寒いでしょ〜。 (Tōkyō wa samui deshō.)

    Her husband’s high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Tokyo feels so cold to you.”
    Yui is suggesting that Tokyo’s weather must be a big change from Thailand’s.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • あーあ (āa): “oh well”
  • 帰って来る (kaette kuru): “to return, to come back”
  • おかえりなさい (okaerinasai): “Welcome back, welcome home”
  • おみやげ (o-miyage): “a small gift, a souvenir”
  • 焼ける (yakeru): “to get sunburned”
  • 見る (miru): “to take a look”
  • 東京 (Tōkyō): “Tokyo, the capital of Japan”
  • 寒い (samui): “cold”
  • How would you welcome a friend back from a trip?

    What would you post on social media regarding an event such as Hazuki’s nephew’s Coming of Age Day?

    21. It’s Time to Celebrate in Japanese

    For Yamato and his family, this is an important day and you wish to post something about it on social media. What would you say?

    Hazuki celebrates his nephew’s Coming-of-Age Day, posts an image of the event, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    甥っ子、成人おめでとう!飲みすぎには注意だぞ。 (Oikko, seijin omedetō! Nomisugi ni wa chūi da zo.)
    “Congrats on the Coming-of-Age day, my nephew! Be careful not to drink too much. ”

    1- 甥っ子、成人おめでとう! (Oikko, seijin omedetō! )

    First is an expression meaning “Congrats on the Coming-of-Age day, my nephew!”
    On Coming-of-Age Day, not only the new adults, but many other people also post a message congratulating “the new adults” on social media. On this day, many new adults, often dressed in Japanese traditional clothes, go to a ceremony in their neighborhood with the friends they grew up with.

    2- 飲みすぎには注意だぞ。 (Nomisugi ni wa chūi da zo.)

    Then comes the phrase - “Be careful not to drink too much.”
    It’s not unusual for young people to drink too much and make mistakes during any big celebration. But especially on Coming-of-Age day in Japan, some new adults go too wild. For this reason, it’s common for older adults to warn them about drinking, as well as congratulate them on their growing up.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 気をつけまーす! (Ki o tsukemāsu!)

    Hazuki’s nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “I’ll be careful!”
    Yamato shows good intentions with this comment.

    2- もうハタチ?!この前まで小さかったのに。。 (Mō hatachi?! Kono mae made chiisakatta noni..)

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Already the 20th? He was so small not very long ago..”
    A common comment on how fast someone young has grown.

    3- おめでとう!いよいよ大人への仲間入りね。 (Omedetō! Iyoiyo otona e no nakamairi ne.)

    His wife’s high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Congrats! He’s finally joined adulthood.”
    An optimistic, positive congratulation on this big day.

    4- 甥っ子さん、成人おめでとう!すっかり大人びて、見違えたな。 (Oikko-san, seijin omedetō! Sukkari otonabite, michigaeta na.)

    His supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “Congrats to your nephew! He’s so grown up that I could hardly recognize him.”
    In the same vein as the previous comments, people are expressing surprise at how big Yamato has grown.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 甥っ子 (oikko): “nephew”
  • 成人 (seijin): “adult, coming-of-age”
  • 飲みすぎ (nomisugi): “overdrinking, excessive drinking”
  • 注意 (chūi): “caution, attention”
  • ハタチ (hatachi): “twenty-years old”
  • 仲間入り (nakamairi): “joining a group”
  • 大人びる (otonabiru): “to become grown-up”
  • 見違える (michigaeru): “to be beyond recognition”
  • If a friend posted something about a special day in their lives, which phrase would you use?

    Someone’s Coming of Age Day and public commemoration days are not the only special ones to remember!

    22. Posting about a Birthday on Social Media in Japanese

    Your friend or you are celebrating your birthday in an unexpected way. Be sure to share this on social media!

    Hazuki attends her own birthday party, posts an image of the event, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    今までで最高の誕生日だった! (Ima made de saikō no tanjōbi datta! )
    “The best birthday ever! ”

    1- 今までで最高の (Ima made de saikō no)

    First is an expression meaning “The best ever.”
    If you want to say that something is the best you ever had, you can add this expression before the noun you are referring to.

    2- 誕生日だった! (tanjōbi datta!)

    Then comes the phrase - “It was a birthday!”
    It’s common to get together with your friends by renting a space at a restaurant and celebrating your birthday in Japan. You’ll have a lot of good deals on your birthday, so make sure to check if they have any birthday deals before you book somewhere!

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 遅くなったけど、誕生日おめでとう! (Osoku natta kedo, tanjōbi omedetō!)

    Her college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “It’s a bit late, but happy birthday!”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling frivolous.

    2- おめでとう。素敵な1年になりますように。 (Omedetō. Suteki na ichi-nen ni narimasu yō ni.)

    Her supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “Happy birthday. Hope you have a great year ahead.”
    This is a warmhearted, friendly well-wish.

    3- いい写真だね! (Ii shashin da ne!)

    Her high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Nice pic!”
    Manami is complimenting Hazuki’s photographic skills.

    4- 私もお祝いに行きたかったな~。 (Watashi mo o-iwai ni ikitakatta nā.)

    Her husband’s high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Wish I could have come to celebrate, too.”
    This friend is cleary feeling disappointed that he couldn’t attend.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 今までで (ima made de): “so far, ever”
  • 最高 (saikō): “best”
  • 誕生日 (tanjōbi): “birthday”
  • 遅い (osoi): “late, slow”
  • 誕生日おめでとう (tanjōbi omedetō): “Happy birthday (casual expression)”
  • 素敵な (suteki na): “fabulous, excellent, fantastic”
  • 年 (nen): “counter for years”
  • 祝う (iwau): “to celebrate”
  • If a friend posted something about birthday greetings, which phrase would you use?

    23. Talking about New Year on Social Media in Japanese

    Impress your friend with your Japanese New Year’s wishes this year. Learn the phrases easily!

    Mamoru celebrates the New Year, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    あけましておめでとうございます!今年もよろしくお願いします。 (Akemashite omedetō gozaimasu! Kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegai shimasu.)
    “Happy New Year. May this year be another good one for us.”

    1- あけましておめでとうございます! (Akemashite omedetō gozaimasu! )

    First is an expression meaning “Happy New Year!”
    When you want to use Japanese New Year’s greetings, this phrase must be top of the list. Regardless of age and sex, Japanese speakers usually use this line to say “happy new year”.

    2- 今年もよろしくお願いします。 (Kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegai shimasu.)

    Then comes the phrase - “May this year be another good one for us.”
    It’s also common to use this wish for the new year. It’s a must-know expression when you greet someone in the new year. Even if New Year’s has past and you’re seeing someone for the first time, it’s polite to give this expression.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- あけおめ! (Akeome!)

    Hazuki’s nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “Happy New Year! ”
    A common wish for New Year.

    2- あけましておめでとう。新年会楽しみにしてるね。 (Akemashite omedetō. Shinnenkai tanoshimi ni shite ru ne.)

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Happy New Year. Looking forward to the new year party. ”
    Yui is expressing how he feels about the party.

    3- 明日初詣行こうぜ。 (Ashita hatsumōde ikō ze.)

    His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Let’s make the first visit to a shrine tomorrow.”
    Making a suggestion is a good way to keep a conversation flowing.

    4- 去年も早かったなー。 (Kyonen mo hayakatta nā. )

    His supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “Last year went pretty quick (again).”
    Norio is a bit nostalgic again, commenting on how fast time flies.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • あけましておめでとうございます。 (Akemashite omedetō gozaimasu.): “Happy New Year. (formal)”
  • 今年 (kotoshi): “this year”
  • よろしくお願いします (yoroshiku onegai shimasu): “Best wishes”, “Nice to meet you”
  • あけおめ (akeome): “Shortened version of “happy New Year.” Used between friends.”
  • 新年会 (shinnenkai): “New Year’s party”
  • 楽しみにしている (tanoshimi ni shite iru): “to be looking forward to”
  • 初詣 (hatsumōde): “The first visit to a shrine in the new year, a traditional custom in Japan”
  • 早い (hayai): “early”
  • Which is your favorite phrase to post on social media during New Year?

    But before New Year’s Day comes another important day…

    24. What to Post on Christmas Day in Japanese

    What will you say in Japanese about Christmas?

    Hazuki celebrates Christmas with her family, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    メリークリスマス!旦那とイルミネーションを見に行ってきます。 (Merī Kurisumasu! Danna to iruminēshon o mi ni itte kimasu.)
    “Merry Christmas! Off to see some illuminations with my husband. ” The “illuminations” refered to here are Christmas lights.

    1- メリークリスマス! (Merī Kurisumasu! )

    First is an expression meaning: “Merry Christmas!”
    Because so few people in Japan are Christians, Christmas is not celebrated as it is in western countries. However, we do give greetings, decorate our houses a bit Christmas-y, exchange gifts and so on. It’s also more common to celebrate the holiday on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day. Also, we don’t have any Christmas holidays.

    2- 旦那とイルミネーションを見に行ってきます。 (Danna to iruminēshon o mi ni itte kimasu.)

    Then comes the phrase - “Off to see some illuminations with my husband.”
    Compared to western countries, it is rare to find someone who thinks of Christmas as a family event in Japan. Christmas in Japan is more of a romantic event for couples or a day to get your child a gift than to spend time with your family. For couples, going to see illuminations is a popular thing to do.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- どこもカップルばっかり!! (Doko mo kappuru bakkari!!)

    Her high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Couples everywhere!!”
    Post an opinion to keep your social media friends informed.

    2- 今夜はホワイトクリスマスだね。 (Kon’ya wa howaito kurisumasu da ne.)

    Her neighbor, Yūko, uses an expression meaning - “Tonight is the white Christmas.”
    Another comment that will be suitable on a social media feed during this time.

    3- 俺は今年もクリスマスは仕事です。。彼女ほしい。 (Ore wa kotoshi mo kurisumasu wa shigoto desu.. Kanojo hoshii.)

    Her college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Working this Christmas as usual. I want a girl
    friend. ”
    As said, it’s not common to celebrate Christmas, but Shō seems envious, doesn’t he? He’d have liked to have romantic partner to go out with on this day.

    4- メリクリ!今年も1年早かったわ〜。 (Merikuri! Kotoshi mo ichi-nen hayakatta wā.)

    Her husband’s high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Merry Christmas! This year went pretty quick for me.”
    Another comment about time.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • メリークリスマス (Merī Kurisumasu): “Merry Christmas”
  • イルミネーション (iruminēshon): “illuminations, lights”
  • 見に行く (mi ni iku): “go to watch”
  • カップル (kappuru): “couple”
  • ホワイトクリスマス (howaito kurisumasu): “white Christmas”
  • 彼女 (kanojo): “girl, she, girlfriend”
  • 仕事 (shigoto): “work, job”
  • メリクリ (merikuri): “Shortened version of “Merry Christmas.” Used between friends.”
  • If a friend posted something about Christmas greetings, which phrase would you use?

    So, the festive season is over! Yet, there will always be other days, besides a birthday, to wish someone well.

    25. Post about Your Anniversary in Japanese

    Some things deserve to be celebrated, like wedding anniversaries. Learn which Japanese phrases are meaningful and best suited for this purpose!

    Mamoru celebrates his wedding anniversary with his wife, posts an image of them, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    初めての結婚記念日ディナー! (Hajimete no kekkon kinenbi dinā!)
    “Wedding anniversary dinner for the first time!”

    1- 初めての (Hajimete no )

    First is an expression meaning “for the first time.”
    When you want to post something you’ve done for the first time, you can add this expression at the beginning.

    2- 結婚記念日ディナー! (kekkon kinenbi dinā!)

    Then comes the phrase - “wedding anniversary dinner!”
    Like in many western countries, it’s common for couples to celebrate wedding anniversaries in Japan. The 25th anniversary is also called the “Silver anniversary,” and the 50th anniversary is called the “Golden anniversary.”

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- ラブラブ! (Raburabu!)

    His wife’s high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Lovey-dovey!”
    Manami posts something humorous and teasing.

    2- 夫婦円満の秘訣は? (Fūfu enman no hiketsu wa?)

    His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “What’s your secret to maintaining a harmonious marriage?”
    The single guy is curious how they manage to maintain a good marriage.

    3- 理想の夫婦だね。 (Risō no fūfu da ne.)

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Ideal couple.”
    Complimenting them, Yui leaves a positive post.

    4- 今日だけは、けんかしないように。 (Kyō dake wa, kenka shinai yō ni.)

    The nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “Just for today, try not to fight.”
    Yamato is being a bit of a wise-nose again, or he’s trying to be funny!

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 初めての (hajimete no): “for the first time “
  • 結婚記念日 (kekkon kinenbi): “wedding anniversary”
  • ディナー (dinā): “dinner”
  • 夫婦 (fūfu): “married couple”
  • 夫婦円満 (fūfu enman): “harmonious marriage”
  • 秘訣 (hiketsu): “secret, trick”
  • 理想 (risō): “ideal, dream”
  • けんかする (kenka suru): “to fight”
  • If a friend posted something about Anniversary greetings, which phrase would you use?

    Conclusion

    Learning to speak a new language will always be easier once you know key phrases that everybody uses. These would include commonly-used expressions for congratulations and best wishes, etc.

    Master these in fun ways with Learn Japanese! We offer a variety of tools to individualize your learning experience, including using cell phone apps, audiobooks, iBooks and many more. Never wonder again what to say on social media!

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    Bunka no hi: Celebrating Culture Day in Japan

    Bunka no hi, celebrated each year in November, is a relatively new Japanese cultural holiday that has experienced some adaptations over time. Originating during the reign of Emperor Meiji, and originally called Meijisetsu, this holiday was a day for Japan to celebrate the birth of its emperor until 1948.

    In this article, you’ll learn the most pertinent facts about Culture Day in Japan: activities, meaning, and what role the Constitution of Japan played in evolving the holiday into what it is today.

    At JapanesePod101.com, we hope to make every aspect of your learning journey both fun and informative!

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    1. What is Culture Day in Japan?

    Culture Day is a Japanese national holiday for appreciating peace and freedom, and was originally put in place to celebrate the birthday of Emperor Meiji. The entire week from November 1 to November 7 is designated as Education and Culture Week, with a focus on Culture Day. Various events such as public lectures and hands-on activities are held, and admission to art galleries and museums is free.

    2. When is Culture Day?

    November Holiday

    On November 3, Culture Day in Japan is celebrated. Later in this article, you’ll discover why this date in particular was chosen. ;)

    3. Japan Culture Day Events & Celebrations

    On Culture Day, Japan puts on events with a deep connection to culture. For example, at the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, a Fall Festival is held which is dedicated to traditional arts such as Bugaku and horseback archery. In Asakusa in Tokyo, and in Shiga Prefecture, parades are held in which people dress in costumes from different eras to demonstrate Japan’s history. In Kanagawa Prefecture, a reenactment of the Daimyo’s Procession from the Edo era is also held. Events such as these provide the opportunity to once again look at the culture that has been passed down through the ages.

    At the Imperial Palace, an Order of Culture Ceremony is held. During this culture award ceremony, people who have made remarkable achievements in the development and improvement of science, technology, culture, and the arts are awarded a medal. In recent years, world-renowned conductor Seiji Ozawa, leading architect Tadao Ando, and famous fashion designer Issey Miyake have all been honored. Images of the emperor personally presenting the awards always appear on the news.

    For National Culture Day, Japanese arts festivals sponsored by the Agency for Cultural Affairs are also held. During this time, those with a proven track record of excellence in the performing arts give performances. In addition to this, from all of the participating performances and works of art, including those approved by the Executive Committee, a grand prize, excellence award, and newcomer award are presented to those who have made great contributions to the promotion of art and culture.

    4. The Japanese Constitution & Culture Day

    Child Doing Crafts

    Do you know which law caused this holiday to be known as Culture Day?

    The answer is the Japanese constitution. The constitution was proclaimed on November 3, 1946. Because of its focus on peace and culture, the anniversary of the proclamation of the constitution was designated Culture Day.

    Incidentally, the Japanese constitution was actually enacted six months later, on May 3. This is also a holiday, known as Constitution Day.

    5. Must-Know Vocabulary for Bunka No Hi in Japan

    Couple Looking at Painting

    • 劇場
      げきじょう
      Theater
    • 十一月
      じゅういちがつ
      November
    • 美術館
      びじゅつかん
      Art museum
    • 美術館
      びじゅつかん
      Museum
    • 文化の日
      ぶんかのひ
      Culture Day
    • 文化
      ぶんか
      Culture
    • 休日
      きゅうじつ
      Day off
    • 文化勲章
      ぶんかくんしょう
      The Order of Culture
    • 明治天皇
      めいじてんのう
      Emperor Meiji
    • 授業参観
      じゅぎょうさんかん
      Class observation day
    • 工作
      こうさく
      Craft
    • 文化祭
      ぶんかさい
      Cultural festival

    To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, and see each one accompanied by a relevant image, be sure to check out our Japanese Culture Day vocabulary list!

    Parting Words…

    We hope you enjoyed learning about Bunka no hi with us, and that you took away something valuable from this lesson.

    Does your country have a cultural holiday? If so, how do you celebrate it? Let us know in the comments; we always love to hear from you!

    Learning about a country’s culture may be the most enriching and exciting aspect of trying to master a language. If you want to continue delving into Japanese culture, you may be interested in the following pages:

    We know that learning Japanese isn’t easy, but at JapanesePod101.com, we do everything we can to make it fun! You really can master the language and come to understand Japanese culture, and we’ll be here with help and encouragement on each step of your language-learning journey!

    Happy learning!

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    How to Say Sorry in Japanese

    Greetings are the first thing you learn when you start to learn a new language. “Hello” and “Thank you” are essential, but “Sorry” becomes even more important when it comes to good communication in a foreign culture which often has different customs and values from your original culture. Thus, “sorry” in studying Japanese is one of the most vital things you’ll learn.

    One of the noteworthy features of Japanese apologies is that there are various ways to say sorry. How to say sorry in Japanese has variations, both formal and informal, and in the severity of what you’re apologizing for and who you’re apologizing to. Japanese apologies also have to accompany particular gestures in some situations.

    Let’s take a detailed look at how to say sorry in Japanese words! Start with a bonus, and download your FREE cheat sheet - How to Improve Your Japanese Skills! (Logged-In Member Only)

    1. Japanese Apology from the Cultural Perspective
    2. “I’m Sorry” in Japanese — Formal
    3. “I’m Sorry” in Japanese — Informal
    4. Conclusion: How Japanesepod101.com Can Help You Learn More Japanese

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    1. Japanese Apology from the Cultural Perspective

    Japanese greetings are not only words of greeting, but also reflect the very Japanese culture and values, much more so than in other languages. The same is true of Japanese apologies, which are very important for avoiding conflicts and keeping good harmony with others in the society.

    和 (wa) or “Harmony” is one of the most important values in Japan. It’s the concept that people prefer to maintain a peaceful unity and conformity with others, and it often involves priority to keep a harmonious state within a social group over its members’ personal interests.

    Some Japanese apology words, such as Sumimasen or Gomen (see below), can be often used as a substitution for “thank you” which also contains a nuance of “gratitude.”

    This may be very difficult for foreigners to understand, but in Japan, when other people do a favor for you, you’re thankful for it and also feel sorry for using their time and effort for you. In this case, those Japanese apology words are used to express both “thank you” and “sorry.” This comes from an idea in Japanese culture that an attitude of politeness and caring for others is valued, and troubling others is considered bad.


    2. “I’m Sorry” in Japanese — Formal

    Japanese Woman Bowing in Apology

    1- Possible Situations and to Whom to Apologize

    Formal Japanese apology words are typically used in official circumstances, such as at work, restaurants, shops, or other official office. They often involve people whom you’re not so close with and situations where certain kinds of official relationships exist: staff/manager, client/customer service provider, etc.

    2- Apology Level: General らく

    These are very common words and gestures for saying sorry in Japanese in the formal style. You can use these in most social situations.

    1. Gestures

    When you apologize, you’re supposed to show how sincerely sorry you are for your mistake to the offended person or people (otherwise, it would make them angrier and make the situation even worse!).

    The common gesture is to place both of your arms and hands straight along your body, or place one of your hands in front of your lower belly, covering it with your other hand. With either of these gestures, you make a “sorry” expression with your face and your head, and slightly tilt down like when you bow.

    2. Words and Phrases

    すみません (Sumimasen) — I’m sorry

    This is the most common “sorry” in spoken Japanese. This can be translated as “I’m sorry” or “Excuse me” in Japanese. This word is often used as a light apology and can also be “Thank you” in some situations as mentioned earlier.

    You say Sumimasen when you bump into someone on the street, when you thrust your way through a crowd, when you spill a glass of water and a waitress has to clean it up, etc.

    Example:

    • すみません、水をこぼしてしまいました。
      • Sumimasen, mizu o koboshite shimaimashita.
      • I’m sorry, I spilled the water.
    • すみません、切符はどこで買えますか。
      • Sumimasen, kippu wa doko de kaemasu?
      • Excuse me, where can I buy a ticket?

    (When someone picked up something you dropped)

    • すみません、ポケットから落ちたのに気づきませんでした。
      • Sumimasen, poketto kara ochita no ni kizukimasen deshita.
      • Thank you, I didn’t notice it dropped from a pocket.

    すみませんでした (Sumimasen deshita) — I am very sorry

    This is the past tense of Sumimasen and is more serious. The past tense often sounds more formal and polite in Japanese when it comes to apologies. Unlike Sumimasen, this word doesn’t have the meaning of “Excuse me” or “Thank you.”

    Example:

    (When you made some mistakes at work and apologize to your boss)

    • すみませんでした、正しいデータで書類をすぐに修正します。
      • Sumimasen deshita, tadashii dēta de shorui o sugu ni shūsei shimasu.
      • I’m sorry, I will revise the document with correct data immediately.

    (When you broke a glass at a restaurant)

    • グラスを壊してしまい、すみませんでした。
      • Gurasu o kowashite shimai, sumimasen deshita.
      • I’m sorry for breaking a glass.

    Wine Glass Shattering

    失礼しました (Shitsurei shimashita) — I’m sorry (for my mistake).

    This is another formal and general way to say sorry in Japanese. Shitsurei literally translates as “impoliteness, rudeness, or bad manners,” and the phrase means “I was rude” or “I had bad manners.”

    This word can be used the same way as Sumimasen deshita. If you want to say it more politely, use itashimashita instead of shimashita. Itashimashita is the respectful way to say “I did.”

    Example:

    (When a waiter brought you the wrong dish)

    • 失礼しました、すぐに味噌ラーメンをお持ちします。
      • Shitsurei shimashita, sugu ni miso rāmen o o-mochi shimasu.
      • I’m sorry, I will bring Miso Ramen as soon as possible.

    (To your client)

    • 間違った商品の値段をお伝えしまして、失礼いたしました。
      • Machigatta shōhin no nedan o o-tsutae shimashite, shitsurei itashimashita.
      • I’m sorry that I told you the wrong price of the product.

    3- Apology Level: Very Deep Apology

    3 Ways to Say Sorry

    The very deep apology in the formal style is quite serious and is used when the severity of your offense is considered very high. In order to show your serious and sincere apology, adjective words such as Hijō ni (“greatly”), Taihen (“terribly”), or Makoto ni (“truely”) are often added in front of the following apology words.

    1. Gestures

    For a deep and sincere apology, place both of your arms and hands straight along your body and bow 60 degrees forward, with your head and face down. If it’s a more serious situation, bow 90 degrees. (The different degrees of a bow show the level of severity.)

    In the case of an extremely severe situation, you can express your seriousness with Dogeza style. Dogeza involves both of your knees down, your hands placed on the ground, and prostrating yourself with your forehead touching the floor.

    In normal daily life, however, Dogeza is the last gesture to do in apology, unless you run over someone with your car and are going to apologize to the victim’s family!

    2. Words and Phrases

    申し訳ありませんでした (Mōshiwake arimasen deshita) — I am terribly sorry / I sincerely apologize

    This is a polite formal apology and you should use this when you’ve done something very wrong.

    The word Mōshi comes from the honorific word Mōsu which means “to say” in the form of Kenjō-go. While saying it, you humble yourself or lower your rank below that of the person you’re speaking to.

    Wake means “reason,” Arimasen means “there is no,” and Deshita is the past tense. The phrase can be literally translated as: “There was no reason/excuse to say (for what I have done).”

    Example:

    (When something you bought is already broken and you take it to the shop, a staff member will say this)

    • 大変申し訳ありませんでした。新しいものに交換します。
      • Taihen mōshiwake arimasen deshita. Atarashii mono ni kōkan shimasu.
      • I am terribly sorry. I will replace it with a new one.

    (To your boss)

    • 会議に遅刻してしまい、誠に申し訳ありませんでした。
      • Kaigi ni chikoku shite shimai, makoto ni mōshiwake arimasen deshita.
      • I am truly sorry that I came late for the meeting.

    申し訳ございませんでした (Mōshiwake gozaimasen deshita) — I am terribly sorry / I sincerely apologize.

    This is similar to Mōshiwake arimasen deshita, but this phrase is even more polite and respectful.
    Gozaimasen is a negative of Gozaimasu which means “there is/are” in a very polite and respectful way.

    Example:

    (The president of a company that has conducted an accounting fraud)

    • 大変申し訳ございませんでした。詳細を調査してしかるべき対応をします。
      • Taihen mōshiwake gozaimasen deshita. Shōsai o chōsa shite shikarubeki taiō o shimasu.
      • We are terribly sorry. We will investigate the details and take the appropriate actions.

    (When you bumped your car into someone else’s car)

    • 大変申し訳ございませんでした。損害の賠償をします。
      • Taihen mōshiwake gozaimasen deshita. Songai no baishō o shimasu.
      • I am terribly sorry. I will reimburse for the damage.

    お詫び申し上げます (O-wabi mōshiagemasu) — I make a deep apology

    This is another very polite way to say sorry in Japanese. This phrase is usually used after you apologize with mōshiwake arimasen deshita or mōshiwake gozaimasen deshita. The word O-wabi means “apology” in a polite way, and the phrase is translated as “I state apology” in a polite and respectful way.

    Example:

    • 大変申し訳ございませんでした。お詫び申し上げます。
      • Taihen mōshiwake gozaimasen deshita. O-wabi mōshiagemasu.
      • We are terribly sorry. I make a humble apology.

    Man Extending Hand in Apology


    3. “I’m Sorry” in Japanese — Informal

    1- Possible Situations

    Informal apologies are used among very close people, such as family, friends, boyfriend/girlfriend, and people you know very well. Note that informal apologies in Japanese should never be used during official occasions because it sounds very casual and it would make things worse.

    Saying Sorry

    2- Apology Level: Light

    These apology words are used in situations where you did something wrong or unpleasant but not so very bad.

    1. Gestures

    For light apologies, usually you just say sorry without any gestures. In some cases, casually put your palms together in front of your face.

    2. Words and Phrases

    ごめん (Gomen) — Sorry

    The word Gomen originally meant “forgive” or “pardon” in a polite way in Japanese, and it was used to ask for forgiveness or pardon. Nowadays, it has become shorter so that we just use the word meaning “sorry.” When you want to say it in a cuter way or with affection, you add ne to the end: Gomen ne.

    Example:

    (After a couple fought over something)

    • A (male):
      • ごめん。俺が悪かった。
      • Gomen. Ore ga warukatta.
      • Sorry. I was bad.
    • B (female):
      • ごめんね。私も。
      • Gomen ne. Watashi mo.
      • Sorry. Me too.

    (When you are late to meet your friend)

    • 遅れてごめん。
      • Okurete gomen.
      • Sorry for being late.

    失礼 (Shitsurei) — Sorry / Excuse me

    Shitsurei is the short and casual version of Shitsurei shimashita. This can also be used as “Excuse me.”

    Example:

    (After you burp/fart)

    • 失礼!
      • Shitsurei!
      • Sorry / Excuse me!

      
    (When you thrust your way through a crowd of friends)
      

    • 失礼、通るよ。
      • Shitsurei, tōru yo.
      • Sorry, let me pass.

    悪い (Warui) — My bad

    It literally means “bad,” but in this case you can use this phrase as “My bad!” However, it sounds a little rough and this word is used mainly by men. Also note that in the example below, you’ll find a variation of how to say sorry I’m late in Japanese.

    Example:

    (When a boyfriend is late for dinner at a restaurant)

    • A (male):
      • 悪い、ちょっと遅れる。先に行って何か頼んでて。
      • Warui, chotto okureru. Saki ni itte nani ka tanonde te.
      • Sorry, I’ll be a bit late. You can go (to a restaurant) first and order something.
    • B (female):
      • わかった。飲み物頼んでおくね。
      • Wakatta. Nomimono tanonde oku ne.
      • Alright. I will order drinks.

    Man and Woman at Nice Restaurant

    3- Apology Level: General

    The following phrase is the common, informal way to say sorry in Japanese. It’s casual, but still sounds polite. In some cases, this phrase can be used in semi-formal occasions.

    1. Gestures

    There is no particular gesture you should do for informal and general apologies. However, it’s a good idea to show your sincere feelings using facial expressions and through the tone of your voice.

    2. Words and Phrases

    ごめんなさい (Gomennasai) — I am sorry

    Gomennasai is a more polite version of Gomen.

    Example:

    • ごめんなさい。お母さんのパソコン壊しちゃった。
      • Gomennasai. O-kā-san no pasokon kowashichatta.
      • I’m sorry. I broke mom’s computer.

     (At a restaurant)
       

    • ごめんなさい。やっぱり注文はカルボナーラに変更したいです。
      • Gomennasai. Yappari chūmon wa carubonāra ni henkō shitai desu.
      • I’m sorry. I want to change my order to Carbonara.

    4- Apology Level: Deep Apology

    When you want to express your deep apology in informal occasions, you can add Hontō ni (“truly”) in front of Gomennasai. It looks more polite and sincere when you hold your hands in front of your lower belly, or put your palms together in front of your face.

    Example:

    • 本当にごめんなさい。お父さんの車で事故おこしちゃった。
      • Hontō ni gomennasai. O-tō-san no kuruma de jiko okoshichatta.
      • I’m very sorry. I made a car accident with the father’s car.
    • 本当にごめんなさい。君に借りた本を失くした。
      • Hontō ni gomennasai. Kimi ni karita hon o nakushita.
      • I’m very sorry. I lost your book that I borrowed.


    Conclusion: How Japanesepod101.com Can Help You Learn More Japanese

    We hope this article on how to say sorry in Japanese is helpful and that you have a better understanding of the Japanese language and Japanese culture. You should now know many Japanese ways to say sorry, as “sorry” in learning Japanese is vital.

    If you’d like to learn more about the Japanese language, you’ll find more useful content on JapanesePod101.com. We provide a variety of free lessons for you to improve your Japanese language skills.

    We also have a YouTube channel where you can enjoy learning the Japanese language by watching videos and listening to actual Japanese pronunciation. If you’re keen on how to read and write Japanese, which consists of three alphabets (hiragana, katakana, and kanji), you can learn more about Japanese gestures, basic Japanese, daily Japanese conversations, 100 Japanese phrases for beginners, and much more.

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    Taiiku No Hi: Health and Sports Day in Japan

    From time to time, we all need to reevaluate our health—our dietary habits, our exercise patterns (or lack thereof), and our ability to live each day well. On Health and Sports Day, the people of Japan do just this. This holiday encourages and inspires good health and more exercise at every level of society, but most especially for children and young adults.

    In this article, you’ll learn about Health-Sports Day in Japan and how it affects the health and lives of people all over the country.

    At JapanesePod101.com, we hope to make every aspect of your language-learning journey both fun and informative!

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    1. What is Health and Sports Day in Japan?

    Health and Sports Day is a national Japanese holiday dedicated to inspiring a love of sports, exercise, and good health. Further, people are encouraged to think about the role of exercise and health in their daily lives.

    Do you know what event inspired the creation of Health-Sports Day?

    The correct answer is the Tokyo Olympics. On October 10, 1964, the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games was held in great fanfare.

    To commemorate this event, two years later, from 1966, October 10 became a national holiday to mark Sports Day. After this, since 2000, and in line with the Happy Monday System, Sports Day was moved to the second Monday of October. This means that every year, many people get to enjoy the feeling of playing sports under a fine autumn sky.

    2. When is Japanese Health Sports Day?

    Many Sports Items

    Each year, Japan celebrates Health-Sports Day on the second Monday of October. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years.

    • 2019: October 14
    • 2020: October 12
    • 2021: October 11
    • 2022: October 10
    • 2023: October 9
    • 2024: October 14
    • 2025: October 13
    • 2026: October 12
    • 2027: October 11
    • 2028: October 9

    3. Celebrating Sports Day in Japan

    On National Health and Sports Day, Japanese kindergartens, schools, companies, and regional organizations across the country hold events such as track meets. On top of relays and races, other more game-like events such as toss-ball, tug of war, and scavenger hunts, are also held.

    There are also events such as sports festivals, physical fitness tests, and marathons, which the entire family can participate in. On Health and Sports Day, Japanese people can enjoy the autumn season, which is known in Japan as the season for sports.

    At kindergarten and elementary school sports events, families also run in order to support their running child. A common sight on Health Sports Day in Japan is that of fathers holding video cameras, lined up in the best position for taking a video while cheering loudly through the viewfinder. The sight of children running with all their might is very cute and is sure to make anyone cheer excitedly. At lunchtime, the children eat lunch with their families.

    Each municipality also organizes a sports event for Health and Sports Day in Japan. These include events where parents and children can enjoy Frisbee, bowling, and marathons. Some places also offer health assessments for adults to raise awareness of their own lack of exercise.

    On Health-Sports Day, Japanese amateur teams in sports such as soccer and baseball form inter-league games and have fun while breaking a sweat.

    4. Fine Weather, Indeed

    Two People Jogging

    Statistically, this day has a high likelihood of having good weather. According to the statistics, in the thirty-four years since Sports Day was first held on October 10, there has been a more than eighty-five percent chance of no rain in Tokyo.

    5. Essential Vocabulary for Health-Sports Day in Japan

    Taking Care of Health

    Here’s some essential vocabulary you should know to talk about Health and Sports Day in Japanese!

    • スポーツ (スポーツ) — sports
    • ジョギング (ジョギング) — jogging
    • 体育の日 (たいいくのひ) — Health-Sports Day
    • 運動 (うんどう) — exercise
    • 健康 (けんこう) — health
    • 運動会 (うんどうかい) — sports festival
    • 体力測定 (たいりょく そくてい) — measurement of physical fitness
    • 運動不足 (うんどうぶそく) — lack of exercise
    • スポーツに親しむ (スポーツにしたしむ) — familiar with sports
    • スポーツの秋 (スポーツのあき) — Autumn is the season for sports.
    • 1964年夏季オリンピック (1964ねん かきオリンピック) — 1964 Summer Olympics

    To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, alongside relevant images, check out our Japanese Health-Sports Day vocabulary list!

    How JapanesePod101 Can Help You Learn More Japanese

    We hope you enjoyed learning about Health-Sports Day in Japan with us, and learned something new.

    Are there any holidays or special events in your country to encourage better health? Tell us about it in the comments; we love hearing from you!

    To continue learning about Japanese culture and the language, explore JapanesePod101.com. We provide an array of fun and effective learning tools for every learner, at every level:

    • Insightful blog posts on a range of cultural and language-related topics
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    • Much, much more!

    If you want to further accelerate your Japanese language-learning, be sure to upgrade to Premium Plus and take advantage of our MyTeacher program. Doing so will give you access to your own Japanese tutor, who will help you develop a personalized learning plan based on your needs and goals.

    At JapanesePod101, we know that you can master the language and culture of beautiful Japan. We care about your learning experience, and will be here with help and guidance every step of the way!

    Happy learning!

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    Tanabata: The Star Festival in Japan - Vega and Altair’s Love Story

    Do you know why the Japanese focus on the Altair and Vega stars one night a year? This has to do with the Tanabata story, which tells about the love between a cow-herder and a weaver (we’ll give you the full story later in this article!).

    During the Star Festival, Japan sets its eyes to the night sky and the Milky Way, hoping that the two constellations, which represent the cow-herder and weaver, will meet.

    The Star Festival Japan celebrates offers a fun and unique glance at Japanese culture and thought. Learning about the Tanabata Festival is a wonderful way to improve your language skills, too, as knowing a country’s culture is key to mastering its language!

    At JapanesePod101.com, we want to make this learning journey both fun and informative for you!

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    1. What is the Japanese Star Festival?

    According to the legend, this is the one day a year that 織姫 (Orihime), meaning “the weaving princess,” and 彦星 (Hikoboshi), meaning “the cow herder,” can spend together. On this night, the Japanese people are more concerned about the weather than on any other night, as the weather dictates whether or not the two can see each other.

    2. When is the Tanabata Festival?

    July 7 is the Star Festival

    The Star Festival, or 七夕 (Tanabata), means “the evening of the seventh,” and is celebrated on July 7th each year. This day has been celebrated in Japan since the Edo Period (1603 - 1867), and because of differences between the Lunar and Gregorian calendars, Tanabata festivals are actually held on both July 7th and August 7th.

    3. How is Tanabata Celebrated?

    China, Vietnam, and Korea have their own versions of the Star Festival, but in Japan, people write wishes on strips of paper and hang them up on bamboo leaves along with decorations shaped like stars and such. Among the wishes written by the children at preschools and elementary schools, there are sometimes those that say, in shaky, just-learned letters, “I wish that Orihime and Hikoboshi can meet each other.” Isn’t that cute?

    The most famous festival is held in Sendai from the fifth to the eight of August. Near Tokyo, in Hiratsuka, Kanagawa, the largest festival in the Kanto area is held for a few days around July 7th.

    At these festivals, people gather on the main street where there are decorations, food stalls, and sometimes entertainment, including music and dancing. The common traditional food of Tanabata includes たこ焼き (takoyaki), 焼きそば (yakisoba), and cold beer.

    There is also a well-known song that is sung during Tanabata, 笹の葉・ささのは・sasa no ha, which means “bamboo leaves.”

    4. The Tanabata Story

    Star Festival Event

    So, what is the Japanese Star Festival story? Well…

    A long time ago, Orihime, the daughter of the King of Heaven, and Hikoboshi, a cattle herd, fell in love. Orihime’s work was to weave at the loom, while Hikoboshi’s job was to take care of the cattle. Both were extremely hard-working, so the King of Heaven gave them permission to be married.

    However, both Orihime and Hikoboshi enjoyed married life so much that as soon as they were married, they stopped working. Angered, the King of Heaven put the Milky Way between Orihime and Hikoboshi, separating them. But, feeling some pity for the two, the King of Heaven permitted them to meet just once a year, at the Star Festival.

    The Milky Way has no bridge, but when the Star Festival comes around, birds called European magpies suddenly come flying out of nowhere, and build a bridge for the two of them…

    And this is the story of the Star Festival.

    So why do people care about the weather on the night of the Star Festival, you ask? Because if it rains, the volume of water in the Milky Way rises, so the European magpies can’t build a bridge, meaning that Orihime and Hikoboshi can’t meet each other.

    5. Vocab You Need to Know for the Star Festival

    Orihime

    Here’s some vocabulary you should know for the Japanese Star Festival!

    • アルタイル (アルタイル) — Altair
    • ベガ (ベガ) — Vega
    • 天の川 (あまのがわ) — Milky Way
    • 七夕 (たなばた) — Star Festival
    • 浴衣 (ゆかた) — Yukata
    • 装飾 (そうしょく) — Decoration
    • 織姫 (おりひめ) — Orihime
    • 願い事 (ねがいごと) — Wish
    • 短冊 (たんざく) — Small piece of paper
    • 7月7日 (しちがつ なのか) — July 7th
    • 彦星 (ひこぼし) — Hikoboshi
    • 笹 (ささ) — Bamboo leaf
    • 笹飾り (ささかざり) — Bamboo decoration

    To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, check out our Japanese Star Festival vocabulary list!

    Conclusion

    What do you think about the Japanese Star Festival and its story? Did you learn anything new today? Let us know in the comments; we always love to hear from you!

    To continue learning about Japanese culture and the language, visit us at JapanesePod101.com! We provide fun and practical learning tools for every learner, including free Japanese vocabulary lists and more insightful blog posts like this one! You can also take advantage of our online community forums to chat with fellow students or ask for help! By upgrading to a Premium Plus account, you can start relishing in the benefits of our MyTeacher program, which allows you to learn Japanese one-on-one with your own teacher!

    Continue studying and practicing, and you’ll be speaking, reading, and writing Japanese like a native before you know it. And JapanesePod101 will be here with you on each step of this journey!

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    Chichi No Hi: How to Celebrate Fathers Day in Japan

    What day is Father’s Day, and what do Japanese traditions look like?

    Fathers Day in Japan (known by the Japanese as 父の日 or Chichi No Hi), is similar to Father’s Day in other countries. It’s simply a day to honor one’s father or father-figure, and to show him appreciation and gratitude for all he does.

    However, for each aspect of Father’s Day that’s familiar around the world, there’s a distinction that makes it uniquely Japanese. In this article, we’ll be going over common Fathers Day traditions in Japan, from the most popular gifts to its stance next to Mother’s Day.

    At JapanesePod101.com, we hope to make this lesson both fun and informative as we examine Japanese culture from the perspective of Chichi No Hi. After all, any successful language-learner can tell you the importance of comprehending a country’s culture in mastering its language.

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    1. What is Japanese Father’s Day?

    In Japan, Father’s Day is called Chichi No Hi, with chichi meaning one’s own father. The Japanese version of this holiday is similar to versions around the world; Father’s Day is a time to let your father (or father-figure) know how much he means to you.

    Just like in many other countries, Father’s Day tends to fall in the shadows of Mother’s Day, however. A Japanese mother is more likely to receive gifts and affection on Mother’s Day than a father is on Father’s Day.

    2. When is Father’s Day in Japan?

    Father's Day is on a Sunday

    So, when is Fathers Day celebrated in Japan?

    The date of Father’s Day varies each year, though it always takes place on the third Sunday of June. For your convenience, we’ve prepared a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years.

    • 2019: June 16
    • 2020: June 21
    • 2021: June 20
    • 2022: June 19
    • 2023: June 18
    • 2024: June 16
    • 2025: June 15
    • 2026: June 21
    • 2027: June 20
    • 2028: June 18

    3. How Do the Japanese Celebrate Father’s Day?

    A Father with His Daughter and Wife

    On Fathers Day, Japan celebrates and shows thankfulness toward fathers, though traditions tend to be profit-oriented. (As seems to be true in the majority of participating countries.)

    That said, the most common way that children in Japan show their fathers gratitude is through gift-giving. Gifts tend to be food- or alcohol-related, with Japanese steaks (wagyuu) and traditional alcoholic beverages like sake being the most popular and well-received. A nice family meal is always appreciated, as well.

    Other Father’s Day gifts and Father’s Day gift ideas include greeting cards, thank you notes, cash and gift cards, and origami creations. Some children also choose to gift their fathers with flowers at the beginning of the day.

    Japanese Father’s Day celebrations don’t typically go beyond gift-giving, which is one way that traditions are unique here. For example, in the United States, spending quality time with one’s father is a popular tradition, and this isn’t the case here.

    4. Father’s Day Gifts: The Universal Struggle

    We all struggle with Fathers Day ideas. No matter how well we know our dads or how well we get along with them, getting them a gift they’ll actually like is difficult. This struggle exists in Japan, as well.

    According to SoraNews24, there’s a huge disconnect in Japan concerning what fathers want on their special day. Children (and entire families) tend to give their fathers more expensive gifts, like the Japanese steaks, when their fathers would actually better appreciate something inexpensive and from the heart—like a thoughtful note of gratitude, or even a little bit of quality time with their children.

    5. Useful Vocabulary to Celebrate Father’s Day in Japan

    Shochu

    Here’s some of the most important vocabulary you should know for Father’s Day in Japan!

    • 日曜日 (にちようび) — Sunday
    • ビール (ビール) — Beer
    • お父さん (おとうさん) — Father
    • 息子 (むすこ) — Son
    • 娘 (むすめ) — Daughter
    • 夕食 (ゆうしょく) — Dinner
    • 愛する (あいする) — Love
    • 焼酎 (しょうちゅう) — Shochu
    • プレゼント (プレゼント) — Present
    • 祝う (いわう) — Celebrate
    • ネクタイ (ネクタイ) — Tie
    • 挨拶状 (あいさつじょう) — Greeting card
    • 六月の第三日曜日 (ろくがつの だいさんにちようび) — third Sunday in June
    • 父の日 (ちちのひ) — Father’s Day

    To hear each of these Japanese Father’s Day vocabulary words pronounced, check out our relevant vocabulary list. Here, you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio file of its pronunciation.

    Conclusion

    Does your country celebrate Father’s Day, or a similar holiday honoring fathers? If so, how do you celebrate it? Let us know in the comments! We look forward to hearing from you.

    To learn more about Japanese culture and the language, visit us at JapanesePod101.com! We provide practical learning tools for every learner, including insightful blog posts like this one and free Japanese vocabulary lists to expand your word knowledge. You can also listen to our podcasts, chat with fellow Japanese learners on our forums, or upgrade to Premium Plus to take advantage of our MyTeacher program!

    Learning—and mastering—a language is a formidable task. But with your hard work and determination, combined with our lessons and support, you’ll be speaking like a native before you know it!

    Best wishes, and Happy Fathers Day!

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    Golden Week: Celebrate Japanese Children’s Day!

    In Japan, Children’s Day is celebrated each year as a way of wishing good health and success for its youth. When it comes to Children’s Day, Japan’s history (and that of ancient China) plays a huge role. While the Children’s Day Festival in Japan was founded on ancient myths and beliefs, many of its traditions remain in place today.

    In learning about Children’s Day Japan activities, you’re opening your eyes to new concepts and cultural aspects of the country of your target language. At JapanesePod101.com, we hope to make learning about Japanese culture both fun and insightful! So let’s get started on our lesson about the Children’s Day Festival Japan holds each year.

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    1. What is Children’s Day in Japan?

    The Boys’ Festival is an event that began when the Chinese custom of exorcizing evil spirits with herbs made its way to Japan. In Japan, it has been celebrated as a traditional event since ancient times to pray for the healthy growth of boys. These days, not only boys, but also girls participate in the celebration, which is also known as Children’s Day, a national holiday in Japan.

    2. When is Children’s Day?

    Children's Day is on May 5

    Each year during Golden Week, Japan celebrates Children’s Day on May 5.

    3. Reading Practice: How is Children’s Day Celebrated?

    Koinobori in Air

    How do the Japanese celebrate Children’s Day? Read the Japanese text below to find out, and find the English translation directly below it.

    5月5日の端午の節句が近づくと、家の外やベランダ、公園などに、「鯉のぼり」が飾られます。鯉のぼりとは魚の形をした吹き流し(ふきながし)のことです。中国に古い話があります。登竜(とうりゅう)という激しい流れの川を鯉が登ったそうです。そして、そのこいは龍(りゅう)になりました。この話から、「こどもがえらくなりますように」とのねがいをこめて、こいのぼりがかざられるようになりました。たいてい、大小さまざまなサイズの鯉が飾られ、一番大きい鯉はお父さん、次に大きいものはお母さん、小さいものは子供と、家族を表していると言われています。

    また、家の中では、「よろい」や「かぶと」をかざります。昔、武士は戦いのとき、身を守るためによろいや兜(かぶと)を身につけました。そこで、男の子の体を守るという意味から、よろいやかぶとを飾るようになったのです。また、「五月(ごがつ)人形」と呼ばれる人形も飾ります。一般的なものには、武士の格好をした男の子や、菱形(ひしがた)の前掛け(まえかけ)をした「金太郎(きんたろう)」があります。

    そして、端午の節句には柏餅(かしわもち)を食べます。柏餅はあんこを二つ折りにした餅ではさんで、柏の葉でつつんだ和菓子です。「かしわ」という植物は新しい芽がでるまで古い芽が落ちません。そのことから、「家系がずっと続いていく」、つまり「子孫繁栄(しそんはんえい)」を願って食べられています。

    地域によっては「ちまき」も食べられています。ちまきとは中国由来(ゆらい)の食べ物で、笹などの葉でもち米を包んで蒸したもののことです。

    As Boys’ Festival on May 5th approaches, the outsides of houses, verandas, parks, and so on are decorated with Koi (”Carp̶ ;) Streamers. Koi streamers are streamers made in the shape of a fish. There is an old tale from China that tells of a koi that appeared to have climbed a dangerous river known as Tōryū. This koi then became a dragon. It is from this story that koi streamers came to be decorated alongside wishes for “children to become mighty.” Usually, koi of various sizes are decorated, with the largest koi said to be the father, the next largest the mother, and the smaller koi the children. These koi are said to represent the entire family.

    Also, the insides of homes are decorated with armor and helmets. In ancient times, when a samurai would fight, they would wear a helmet and armor to protect themselves. It is from this tradition that helmets and armor became decorations, because they were said to protect the boy’s body. There is also a doll known as a go-gatsu ningyō or “May doll.” Typically, they are boys dressed as samurai, and Kintarō with diamond-shaped aprons.

    Kashiwamochi is eaten on Boys’ Festival. Kashiwamochi is a kind of sweet made by stuffing rice cakes with bean paste. The old buds of the kashiwa, or “oak,” do not fall until a new bud appears. They are eaten with the desire that the “family tree will continue forever,” or in other words, for the “prosperity of descendants.”

    Some regions also eat chimaki. Chimaki is a food derived from China, which is made by wrapping steamed glutinous rice with leaves, such as bamboo grass.

    4. Additional Information: The Iris

    There is a special flower for the Boys’ Festival; Japanese use it for celebration just like they do the flower for the Hinamatsuri (”Doll Festival”). Which flower do you think it is?

    It’s the iris. The leaves of the iris have a strong fragrance, and people in ancient China believed that this fragrance exorcized evil spirits. The placing of iris into baths for health, and into sake for drinking, formed the beginnings of the Boys’ Festival. These days, there are also families that take baths called shōbuyu meaning “floating iris leaves.”

    5. Must-know Vocab

    Kabuto

    Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Children’s Day in Japan!

    • 菖蒲 (しょうぶ) — iris
    • 端午の節句 (たんごのせっく) — Boys’ Day celebration
    • 子供の日 (こどものひ) — Children’s Day
    • 緋鯉 (ひごい) — red carp
    • 五月五日 (ごがつ いつか) — May 5th
    • 鯉のぼり (こいのぼり) — koinobori
    • 柏餅 (かしわもち) — kashiwamochi
    • かぶと (かぶと) — kabuto
    • 五月人形 (ごがつ にんぎょう) — doll for the Boys’ Festival in May
    • 真鯉 (まごい) — black carp
    • 菖蒲湯 (しょうぶゆ) — bath with iris leaves in it
    • 鎧 (よろい) — armor
    • 吹流し (ふきながし) — streamer
    • ちまき (ちまき) — chimaki

    To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, visit our Japanese Children’s Day vocabulary list, where you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio file of its pronunciation.

    Conclusion

    What do you think of Japan’s Boys’ Festival celebration? Does your country observe a similar holiday? Tell us about it!

    To learn more about the culture in Japan and the Japanese language, visit us at JapanesePod101.com. We provide our students with insightful blog posts on various topics, free vocabulary lists, and even on online community to discuss lessons with fellow Japanese students. And if you prefer a one-on-one learning experience, you can learn Japanese with your own personal Japanese teacher through our MyTeacher program!

    Know that all of the hard work you’ve put into your language-learning journey and your strong determination will pay off! You’ll be speaking Japanese before you know it, and JapanesePod101.com will be here for each step on your way there. Best wishes!

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    The 5 Best Cities to Visit in Japan & Things to Do

    Japan is a lovely place, decorated with frills of excitement and laced with serenity. But we’ll admit that some destinations in this unique country that you may enjoy visiting more than others. So in this article, JapanesePod101.com will introduce you to the top five destinations in Japan along with fun things to do in each. Your visit or move to Japan will be all the better for it!

    1. Kyoto

    Bicycle in Front of Shop

    The former imperial capital of Japan, Kyoto lays claim to the “Cultural Capital of Japan.” In addition to being Japan’s biggest tourist destination and cultural center, attracting more than ten-million visitors every year, it’s preserved much of the atmosphere of the past.

    There are so many things Kyoto has to offer and several places to go. Let’s take a look.

    Temple

    Things to Do

    Byodoin Temple:
    The Byodoin Temple is a characteristic example of the temple architecture of the Heian period. The site was originally occupied by a country residence which belonged to Minamoto Toru, Fujiwara-no-Michinaga, and Yorimichi. Its most well-known feature is the Phoenix Hall, of which guided tours are offered for the cost of 300 yen (approximately $2.75 USD).

    Daikaku-ji Temple:
    Established in 876 as a temple, it’s located adjacent to the Osawa pond. In the 1600s, Emperor Saga’s imperial detached villa, Saga Palace, was taken apart and reassembled here. The beauty of this temple is further emphasized through its place in Japanese history, including the peace conferences that took place here, ending a civil war between the imperial courts of the North and South during the 12th century.

    Daitoku-ji Temple:
    This is one of the principal temples of the Rinzai sect. The temple, founded in 1324, was destroyed during the Civil Wars of the 15th century; the present structures date from the 16th and 17th centuries. Of the total of 22 buildings, seven are open to the public. Of particular interest are the Zen gardens (dry gardens in kare sansui style).

    Fushimi-Inari Shrine:
    The Fushimi-Inari Shrine is much frequented by merchants and tradesmen who pray for prosperity. One of the greatest shrines in Japan, founded in 711, is dedicated to the goddess of rice-growing, Ukanomitama-no-mikoto.

    Ginkakuji (or Silver Pavilion) Temple:
    This temple lies in the northeast part of the city. In contrast to the Kinkakuji (or Golden Pavilion) Temple, this was never decorated with a covering of silver. It was built in 1482 by the eighth Ashikaga Shogun as a country residence. On his death, it was converted into a Zen temple. It stands by a pool in which the two-story building is reflected. In its upper story it houses a gilded statue of Kannon. Behind it is the main hall with an important statue of Buddha. There is a tearoom adjacent.

    Katsura Rikyu Imperial Villa:
    This was originally constructed for Prince Hachijo Toshihito (1579-1629), brother of the Emperor Goyozei. Much of it was built by 1624, and it was completed by 1658. The garden is so designed that the visitor always sees things from the front. Around the pool are grouped a number of small gardens, and in the distance the summits of Mounts Arashiyama and Kameyama can be seen. The three parts of the building, offset from one another, have influenced modern architecture in Japan and even in other countries. The main buildings were thoroughly restored between 1974 and 1981.

    Kiyomizu Temple:
    Like the Chion-in Temple, this Temple is in the eastern part of the city, situated on a hill up which runs a road known as “Teapot Lane” (good porcelain). The Temple was founded in 790 and is dedicated to the eleven-headed Kannon. (The statue of her is a protected monument.) The present buildings were erected after 1633 in the period of the third Tokugawa Shogun, Iemitsu. They stand mainly on a rocky outcrop above the Otowa Waterfall.

    Koryuji Temple or Uzumasa-dera:
    This was founded by Hata Kawakatsu in 622, but the present buildings are later. The Lecture Hall, the second oldest building (1165) in Kyoto, contains three old statues: in the center a seated figure of Buddha, flanked by figures of the Thousand-Handed Kannon and Fukukenjaku-Kannon. In the rear hall (Taishi-do, 1720) is a wooden statue of Shotoku-taishi, probably a self-portrait (606).

    Nijo Castle:
    This has belonged to the city of Kyoto since 1939. The castle was built by Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1603. For a time during the Meiji Era it was the seat of government, and it was from here that the Emperor issued the rescript abolishing the Shogunate. From 1871 to 1884 it was occupied by the prefectural administration, and during this period many of the works of art contained were badly damaged.

    Nishi-Honganji Temple:
    This is the chief temple of the original Jodo-shinsu sect and an outstanding example of Buddhist architecture. Only part of this temple is freely open to the public; to see the other parts, an application must be filled out in advance to the temple offices. (So if you want to visit here, you may want to get started on this right away!)

    Sanjusangen-do Temple:
    The “Temple of the 33 Niches” takes its name from the way it’s built. Its façade is divided into 33 (sanjusan) niches (gen), to reflect the belief that Kannon, the goddess of compassion, could take on 33 different personifications. The Temple was originally built in 1164. The present building was put up in 1266, after a fire. In days gone by, archery competitions used to be held in the Temple grounds, as is still shown clearly by the holes in the pillars and timbers.

    2. Tokyo

    In addition to its title of Capital of the Land of the Rising Sun, Tokyo is also the political and financial center of Japan! There’s no shortage of things to do. It could take a lifetime to explore this fascinating city, which manages to tastefully mix historic sights with state-of-the-art architecture and technology.

    Things to Do

    Akasaka:
    Akasaka has so much to offer a prospective visitor, most notably an excellent combination of great restaurants. It also offers nightlife for the more mature crowd, which is located near the nearby banking and governmental districts (where we broadcast from!).

    Ameyoko:
    Ameyoko is a market with tons of cheap shops and great food! We recommend taking some time to wander this marvelous shopping street, whether to pick up some fun Japanese souvenirs (think trinkets and cute clothes!) or hunt down a tasty snack. A little birdy (the market’s website) told us there’s chocolate to be found here!

    Asakusa-Kannon:
    This is a Temple surrounded by an interesting shopping district, and is the most popular of several temples in the area. When visiting this temple, you’ll first pass through the Thunder Gate (or in Japanese, Kaminarimon). This serves as the temple’s main entrance as well as the beginning of a stretch of shops. Here you can buy several Japanese souvenirs, from traditional clothing to food.
    Once you pass through the second gate, Hozomon, you can make your way into the actual temple which composes largely of reconstructions. If you plan on visiting in May, you’re in for a treat—that’s when this temple hosts its annual festival!

    Ginza:
    This is a place for shopping and entertainment galore, with department stores, upscale shops selling brand-name goods, and movie theaters. If you long to spend your time in Japan shopping, visit here, especially if you have some extra spending money and want to have a taste of the finer things in Japan. Even if you’re not interested in shopping, there are so many ways you can enjoy a visit here: people-watching, admiring the lavish scenery, and ultimately gaining knowledge about Japanese culture.

    Harajuku:
    This is the fashion capital of Japan (and perhaps the world). This hip and trendy location stands alongside Shibuya and Omotesando as being one of the areas in Tokyo where cutting-edge fashions seem to converge. Harajuku’s streets are lined with shops of international brands and famous clothing designers from all over Japan and around the world. Among these, the fashion building Laforet Harajuku stands as a symbol of the area, packed full of what is “now” in Tokyo fashion.

    On the streets, companies like Malkomalka are represented by a group of youngsters called “Harajuku kids.” Most adults are flabbergasted by these kids “walking down the street in their gaudy clothing,” but the “Harajuku kids” are not just playing around with exterior decoration. An increasing number of fashions allow us to read the designers true intentions from behind the scenes.

    Some even say that one can get a better sense of what modern day Japan is all about by ignoring politics altogether and looking at Harajuku’s youth.

    Kabuki-cho:
    Located in East Shinjuku, Kabuki-cho is notorious for its many bars and nightclubs. We recommend visiting if you’re traveling alone or with a group of friends, but taking the whole family (especially with young kids) is probably not a good idea.

    That said, there’s all sorts of fun to be had here, depending on your taste (and your budget!). A walk down “Piss Alley,” a simple visit to the Samurai Museum, a couple drinks at the zombie-infested Lockup bar, and even a giant Godzilla figure atop a hotel await your arrival in Kabuki-cho. (Oh yeah, Godzilla even growls and lights up from time to time!)

    O-daiba:
    O-daiba is a large, reclaimed, waterfront area that has become one of Tokyo’s most popular shopping and entertainment districts. Maybe its most defining feature is the man-made beach and complementary boardwalk-themed shopping area, though it features several fascinating stores and shops throughout. This is a great place to enjoy relaxing scenery, find a couple of cool souvenirs, and indulge in hours of lighthearted fun as you roam the shopping centers.

    Lovely View of Brightly Lit Street

    Roppongi:
    Roppongi is a district of Minato Ward, Tokyo, Japan, chiefly known for its nightlife and the presence of Western tourists and expatriates. There’s a little something for everyone here, considering its expanse of great dining options, three art museums referred to as the Roppongi Art Triangle, and even a Snoopy museum (yes, the cute little cartoon dog from Peanuts). And, as with most destinations in Tokyo, you can expect to spend some good money here at its multiple shops.

    Shinjuku:
    Shinjuku is Tokyo’s capital where the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is located. Skyscrapers, major department stores, camera and computer stores, and hotels can be found in this area. You’ll have to spend a little to enjoy most attractions here, but we think it’s well worth it. You’re likely to notice right away how crowded the railway station is—over 3.5-million people pass through it each day!

    Shitamachi:
    Shitamachi, often called “Old Tokyo,” is a great place to visit in Japan, especially during summer as this is the opportunity to see its three spectacular festivals. But perhaps the first thing you’ll want to do upon arriving and settling in is visit the Shitamachi Museum. Here you can learn lots of useful historical information about the area, as it does indeed have a rich history.

    Be prepared during your visit to encounter a few stray cats as well, as this is a common cultural feature of the area.

    Several Tall Buildings in Tokyo

    Tokyo Tower:
    The Tokyo Tower affords excellent views of the bay. This used to be the tallest 構造 (こうぞう) or “structure” in Tokyo, before the Tokyo Sky Tree surpassed it in the year 2012. The Tokyo Tower actually serves as an antenna for broadcasting. Inside the tower, visitors are provided not only with spectacular views, but a cafe and shopping opportunity!

    Tsukiji Fish Market:
    The Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market, commonly known as the Tsukiji Fish Market is one of the largest seafood markets in the world. Here you can buy a variety of freshly caught seafood as well as other items you may want to have in the kitchen. You can also enjoy fresh sushi and other seafood dishes during your visit here, up until early afternoon.

    Ryogoku:
    Here you can visit the Edo-Tokyo Museum as well as the renowned National Sumo Stadium. In fact, Ryogoku is well-
    known for its sumo theme, including restaurants that serve the foods sumo wrestlers would eat.

    Ueno:
    Ueno is home to a large park with several art museums and other cultural venues that are sure to please. The Ueno Station serves places north of Tokyo, which is a large commute spot. Also on our list of recommendations for Ueno are the Ueno Park, Ueno Zoo (where you can see Pandas), and its major national museums. In spring, Ueno Park and adjacent Shinobazu Pond are prime places to view cherry blossoms.

    3. Hokkaido

    Hokkaido is Japan’s northernmost main island, and it’s a dream come true for anyone who loves the outdoors. Here, you’ll find skiers in the winter and, when it warms up, hikers! Hokkaido is certainly another popular travel destination.

    Things to Do

    Daisetsuzan:
    Daisetsuzan is Hokkaido’s largest national park. Hikers and other outdoor lovers should definitely not pass up this opportunity to explore nature. Deer and brown bears can also be seen roaming around here. In comparison to many of the other Japan destinations on this list, this is definitely a breath of fresh air for the nature lover!

    Furano:
    Furano is known for its pleasant and picturesque rural landscapes. In July and August, lavender fields bloom into a landscape indescribable by word, and in winter, the region turns into a ski resort. Another fantastic getaway for the nature lover and explorer at heart!

    Overview of City

    Hakodate:
    Hakodate is one of Japan’s oldest harbor cities, and hosts nice hotels to ensure you have a comfortable visit. During your stay, you can enjoy delectable fresh seafood meals as well as some of the loveliest views from Mount Hakodate.

    Noboribetsu:
    Noboribetsu, a very reputable hot spring resort, is a must-experience location during your visit to Japan. At Jigokudani or “Hell Valley,” one can view (and smell) sulfurous steam vents, streams, and ponds. With demon statues to admire, costume parades, showdown performances, and, of course, delectable Japanese food, this is a place full of excitement!

    Clock Tower Surrounded by Flowers

    Sapporo:
    Sapporo, Japan’s fifth largest city, is the place to go if you want some good food and a refreshing Japanese beer! Especially well-known is its ramen. Not to be missed is its annual Snow Festival, where you can not only sled and play in the snow, but enjoy snow- and ice-related art including ice sculptures!

    Shiretoko National Park:
    Shiretoko is one of Japan’s most beautiful and unspoiled national parks. Kamuiwakka Falls is one of Japan’s ultimate hot spring experiences.

    Perhaps Shiretokogoko is the attraction most thought of when it comes to Shiretoko. It is known from the “God made five lakes from his five fingers” folklore. The lake, which is surrounded by virgin forest and praised for its clear water, reflects the Shiretoko Mountain Range on its surface. Many people make their way here in order to catch a glimpse of this fantastic scene, especially in fall. The mountains all turn autumnal at the same time, making it possible to enjoy a scene that’s “more like a picture than a picture.”

    4. Osaka

    Osaka is the historical commercial capital of Japan, and is renown for its unique culture! It’s also the third largest city in Japan with a population of 2.7 million.

    Things to Do

    Minami:
    Minami (”South”) is one of Osaka’s two major city centers. The other one is Kita (”North”) around Osaka and Umeda Stations. The South (Minami) is Osaka’s most popular entertainment and shopping district and includes:

    • Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade
    • Amerikamura (”America Village”)
    • Nipponbashi Den-Den Town (shopping area for discount electronics)
    • Doguyasuji (shopping area for non edible restaurant supplies)
    • Dotonbori (the entertainment district)

    Lovely Building and Garden

    Osaka Castle:
    In 1583, the construction of this castle began. Thirteen years prior to its construction, the building which stood here was destroyed by Oda Nobunaga. Essentially, this castle was designed in hopes of unification in Japan.

    Today, the Osaka Castle is known for the views it offers, as well as educational holograms about its history.

    Brightly Lit Portion of City

    Shinsekai:
    Called “New World” in English, Shinesekai is located south of Osaka’s downtown or “Minami.” Tsutenkaku Tower (“Tower reaching heaven”) lies at the center, and it’s renown for its kushi-katsu, which is various kinds of meat, fish, and vegetables all breaded and deep-fried on small sticks.

    5. Mount Fuji

    Mount Fuji is Japan’s highest mountain at 3776 meters (12,388.5 feet). This dormant volcano last erupted in the year 1708. It can be seen from Tokyo and Yokohama on clear days.

    Things to Do

    Climbing Mount Fuji:
    This can make for lifelong memories. When the skies are clear, you’re assured some wonderful views. You’re sure to never forget the climb, especially in the early morning.

    Mt. Fuji with Cherry Blossom Trees in Front

    The Fuji Five Lake region (Fujigoko):
    This is located in the mountainous Yamanashi Prefecture at the base of Mount Fuji. It’s one of the best places to view Mount Fuji and allows easy access for climbing the mountain (August only).

    Hakone:
    Located within 100 kilometers (about 62 miles) of Tokyo, Hakone is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. Renown for its hot springs and the spectacular view of Mt. Fuji, Hakone is a favorite of locals and international tourists alike.

    Hot Springs

    Conclusion

    As you can see, Japan is rich in fascinating and beautiful places. With these destinations in mind, your upcoming trip to Japan is sure to be a wonderful experience—and we don’t blame you if you want to visit again and again!

    To learn more about Japanese culture and the language before you take that big step of visiting the country, visit us at JapanesePod101.com. We offer an array of insightful blog posts like this one, free vocabulary lists, and even an online community where you can discuss lessons with fellow Japanese learners. You can also check out our MyTeacher program with a Premium Plus account if you’re interested in a one-on-one learning approach with your own personal Japanese teacher!

    Which of these destinations is your favorite? Do you plan on visiting one (or more) of them? Let us know in the comments!

    What is White Day in Japan? Celebrate Japanese White Day!

    On White Day, which is precisely one month after Valentine’s Day, men return the favor for the chocolates they received on February 14th. Whether the chocolate was given to them out of a sense of obligation or love, men who receive chocolate on Valentine’s Day return the favor by sending gifts including sweets.

    Since ancient times, Japan has had a custom in which a person should give something in return for any gift that they receive. This idea is probably unique to Japan, because its people place great importance on honesty and politeness in interpersonal relationships.

    Learn more about White Day in Japan to gain a better understanding of the culture. This will also help you learn Japanese in context, which is an absolute must! Let JapanesePod101.com show you all you need to know about White Day in Japan.

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    1. What is White Day in Japan?

    White Day in Japan is essentially a second Valentine’s Day, and men give women gifts just as they were given gifts on Valentine’s Day a month before. Except they’re supposed to give that gift threefold! No skimping on giving your lady a gift, guys! Common White Day presents include chocolate, flowers, and even jewelry. Of all the Japanese celebrations, White Day may just be the most looked forward to by women!

    2. When is White Day in Japan?

    March 14 is White Day

    Each year on March 14, Japan celebrates White Day—exactly a month after Valentine’s Day. Keep reading for more information on how March 14 (White Day) is celebrated.

    3. Reading Practice: How is White Day Celebrated in Japan?

    Chocolate and Flower Bouquet

    Read the Japanese Kanji text below to learn how White Day is celebrated in Japan. You can find the English translation directly below it.

    —–

    ホワイトデーを楽しみにしているのは誰かと言えば、もちろん、バレンタインにチョコレートを贈った女性たちですね。愛の告白をした人は、その返事に期待が高まりますし、義理チョコをあげた人も「どんなお返しがもらえるだろう」とワクワクするもの。特に、雑誌やテレビでは「男は三倍返し」と言い、「もらったチョコレートの三倍に値する(あたいする)お返しをすべき」、などと勧めるので、女性たちはホワイトデーを心待ちにしています。
    恋人同士、あるいは夫婦の場合、お菓子などの贈り物に加えて、相手の女性が好みそうなアクセサリーなどを一緒にお返しすることも多いです。パートナーとの愛情を確認し合えるイベントの一つとして、またバレンタインデーと切り離せない行事として、ホワイトデーも広く認知(にんち)されています。

    —–
    The ones who look forward to White Day the most are, naturally, the women who have given chocolate on Valentine’s Day. A person who has professed their love gets very excited about their return gift, and even those who sent chocolate out of a sense of obligation are curious, thinking “what I will get in return?” Magazines and TV shows often announce that “the man should return the gift multiplied by three,” recommending that men give a return gift three times the value of the chocolate they received. Therefore, women really look forward to White Day.

    In the case of lovers, or husbands and wives, the lady also often receives some kind of accessory that she may like in addition to sweets. As well as the ubiquitous Valentine’s Day, White Day is widely recognized as an event in which someone can see the affection of their partner.

    While there are several theories as to the origin of White Day, it is said that it comes from a long-established candy store in Fukuoka Prefecture that used to sell white marshmallows on March 14th.

    4. Additional Information

    So, whose idea was White Day?

    The confectionery industry’s. As Valentine’s Day became popular, they came up with the idea of having another day for giving a gift in return for the chocolate received on Valentine’s Day. Seeing how chocolate sales increase rapidly as February 14th approaches, they started advertising for people to return the favor on White Day. This idea has slowly caught on, and is now an established tradition.

    5. Must-know Vocab

    Man Giving Woman Gift

    Here’s some vocabulary you should know for White Day in Japan!

    • ありがとう。(ありがとう) — Thank you!
    • お菓子 (おかし) — snack
    • アクセサリー (アクセサリー) — accessory
    • チョコレート (チョコレート) — chocolate
    • バレンタインデー (バレンタインデー) — Valentine’s Day
    • ホワイトデー (ホワイトデー) — White Day
    • デート (デート) — date
    • お返し (おかえし) — reciprocation
    • ギフト (ギフト) — gift
    • 愛 (あい) — love
    • ハート (ハート) — heart
    • 3月14日 (さんがつ じゅうよっか) — March 14th

    If you want to hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, check out our Japanese White Day vocabulary list. Here you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio of its pronunciation.

    Conclusion

    Now you know all about White Day in Japan. What do you think of this idea? Does your country have a similar holiday, where women receive gifts from men? Let us know in the comments!

    To learn more about Japanese culture and the language, visit us at JapanesePod101.com and create your own account! We offer an array of insightful blog posts, free vocabulary lists, and even an online community to discuss lessons with fellow Japanese learners. You can also check out our MyTeacher program if you’re interested in a one-on-one learning experience with your own personal Japanese teacher!

    We hope you enjoyed learning about White Day in Japan. Know that all of your studying and hard work will pay off, and you’ll be speaking Japanese like a native before you know it!

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    How to Say I Love You in Japanese - Romantic Word List

    Do you often feel lonely and sad? Do you long for romance and are willing to do whatever it takes to meet that special person? Speaking another language could revolutionize your love life! So, why wait? Learning how to say ‘love’ in Japanese could be just what you need to find it.

    Or perhaps you were lucky, and have found your Japanese partner already. Fantastic! Yet, a cross-cultural relationship comes with unique challenges. Learning how to speak your lover’s language will greatly improve your communication and enhance the relationship. At JapanesePod101, our team will teach you all the words, quotes and phrases you need to woo your Japanese lover with excellence! Our tutors provide personal assistance, with plenty of extra material available to make Japanese dating easy for you.

    Table of Contents

    1. Common Phrases You’ll Need for a Date
    2. The Most Romantic Ideas for a Date
    3. Must-know Valentine’s Day Vocabulary
    4. Japanese Love Phrases for Valentine’s Day
    5. Japanese Quotes about Love
    6. Marriage Proposal Lines
    7. 15 Most Common Break-Up Lines
    8. Will Falling in Love Help You Learn Japanese Faster?

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    1. Common Phrases You’ll Need for a Date

    So, you have met your Japanese love interest. Congratulations! Who knows where this could take you…?! However, the two of you have just met and you’re not ready to say the Japanese word for love just yet. Great, it is better to get to know him/her first. Wow your prospective love by using these Japanese date phrases to set up a spectacular first date.

    Japanese Date Phrases

    Would you like to go out to dinner with me?

    • あなたは私と一緒に夕食に出かけたいですか?
    • anata wa watashi to issho ni yūshoku ni dekaketai desu ka?

    The important question! In most cultures, this phrase indicates: ‘I’m romantically interested in you’. Flirting in Japanese is no different, so don’t take your date to Mcdonald’s!

    Are you free this weekend?

    • この週末は暇ですか。
    • kono shūmatsu wa hima desu ka?

    This is a preamble to asking your love interest on a date. If you get an immediate ‘Yes’, that’s good news!

    Would you like to hang out with me?

    • 私と一緒にブラブラしたいですか?
    • watashi to issho ni burabura shitai desu ka?

    You like her/him, but you’re not sure if there’s chemistry. Ask them to hang out first to see if a dinner date is next.

    What time shall we meet tomorrow?

    • 明日、何時に会いましょうか?
    • ashita nanji ni aimashō ka?

    Set a time, and be sure to arrive early! Nothing spoils a potential relationship more than a tardy date.

    Where shall we meet?

    • どこで会いましょうか?
    • doko de aimashō ka?

    You can ask this, but also suggest a place.

    You look great.

    • 元気そうですね。
    • genki sō desu ne.

    A wonderful ice breaker! This phrase will help them relax a bit - they probably took great care to look their best just for you.

    You are so cute.

    • あなたはとてもかわいいです。
    • anata wa totemo kawaī desu.

    If the two of you are getting on really well, this is a fun, flirtatious phrase to use.

    What do you think of this place?

    • この場所をどう思いますか?
    • konobasho o dō omoimasu ka?

    This another good conversation starter. Show off your Japanese language skills!

    Can I see you again?

    • また会えますか?
    • mata aemasu ka?

    So the date went really well - don’t waste time! Make sure you will see each other again.

    Shall we go somewhere else?

    • どこか他のところに行きましょうか?
    • doko ka hoka no tokoro ni ikimashō ka?

    If the place you meet at is not great, you can suggest going elsewhere. It is also a good question to follow the previous one. Variety is the spice of life!

    I know a good place.

    • いい場所を知っています。
    • ī basho o shitte imasu.

    Use this with the previous question. However, don’t say if you don’t know a good place!

    I will drive you home.

    • あなたを家まで送ります。
    • anata o ie made okurimasu.

    If your date doesn’t have transport, this is a polite, considerate offer. However, don’t be offended if she/he turns you down on the first date. Especially a woman might not feel comfortable letting you drive her home when the two of you are still basically strangers.

    That was a great evening.

    • 素晴らしい夜でした。
    • subarashī yoru deshita.

    This is a good phrase to end the evening with.

    When can I see you again?

    • いつまたあなたに会えますか?
    • itsu mata anata ni aemasu ka?

    If he/she replied ‘Yes’ to ‘Can I see you again?’, this is the next important question.

    I’ll call you.

    • 電話します。
    • denwa shimasu.

    Say this only if you really mean to do it. In many cultures, this could imply that you’re keeping the proverbial backdoor open.

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    2. The Most Romantic Ideas for a Date

    You learned all the Japanese phrases to make a date - congratulations! Now you have to decide where to meet, which can be tricky. Discuss these options with your lover to gauge whether you like the same things. Check out romantic date ideas in Japanese below!

    Date Ideas in Japanese

    museum

    • 美術館
    • bijutsukan

    If you’re looking for unique date ideas that are fun but won’t break the bank, museums are the perfect spot! You won’t be running out of things to say in the conversations.

    candlelit dinner

    • キャンドルディナー
    • kyandorudeinā

    A candlelit dinner is perhaps best to reserve for when the relationship is getting serious. It’s very intimate, and says: “Romance!” It’s a fantastic choice if you’re sure you and your date are in love with each other!

    go to the zoo

    • 動物園に行く
    • dōbutsuen ni iku

    This is a good choice for shy lovers who want to get the conversation going. Just make sure your date likes zoos, as some people dislike them. Maybe not for the first date, but this is also a great choice if your lover has children - you’ll win his/her adoration for inviting them along!

    go for a long walk

    • 長い散歩に出る
    • nagai sanpo ni deru

    Need to talk about serious stuff, or just want to relax with your date? Walking together is soothing, and a habit you can keep up together always! Just make sure it’s a beautiful walk that’s not too strenuous.

    go to the opera

    • オペラに行く
    • opera ni iku

    This type of date should only be attempted if both of you love the opera. It can be a special treat, followed by a candlelit dinner!

    go to the aquarium

    • 水族館に行く
    • suizokukan ni iku

    Going to the aquarium is another good idea if you need topics for conversation, or if you need to impress your lover’s kids! Make sure your date doesn’t have a problem with aquariums.

    walk on the beach

    • 浜辺を歩く
    • hamabe o aruku

    This can be a very romantic stroll, especially at night! The sea is often associated with romance and beauty.

    have a picnic

    • ピクニックをする
    • pikunikku o suru

    If you and your date need to get more comfortable together, this can be a fantastic date. Spending time in nature is soothing and calms the nerves.

    cook a meal together

    • 一緒に食事を作る
    • issho ni shokuji o tsukuru

    If you want to get an idea of your date’s true character in one go, this is an excellent date! You will quickly see if the two of you can work together in a confined space. If it works, it will be fantastic for the relationship and create a sense of intimacy. If not, you will probably part ways!

    have dinner and see a movie

    • 夕食を食べて映画を見る
    • yūshoku o tabete ēga o miru

    This is traditional date choice works perfectly well. Just make sure you and your date like the same kind of movies!

    3. Must-know Valentine’s Day Vocabulary

    Valentine's Day Words in Japanese

    Expressing your feelings honestly is very important in any relationship all year round. Yet, on Valentine’s Day you really want to shine. Impress your lover this Valentine’s with your excellent vocabulary, and make his/her day! We teach you, in fun, effective ways, the meanings of the words and how to pronounce them. You can also copy the characters and learn how to write ‘I love you’ in Japanese - think how impressed your date will be!

    4. Japanese Love Phrases for Valentine’s Day

    So, you now have the basic Valentine’s Day vocabulary under your belt. Well done! But, do you know how to say ‘I love you’ in Japanese yet? Or perhaps you are still only friends. So, do you know how to say ‘I like you’ or ‘I have a crush on you’ in Japanese? No? Don’t worry, here are all the love phrases you need to bowl over your Japanese love on this special day!

    Valentine's Day Words in Japanese

    I love you.

    • あなたの事を愛しています。
    • Anata no koto o aishite imasu.

    Saying ‘I love you’ in Japanese carries the same weight as in all languages. Use this only if you’re sure and sincere about your feelings for your partner/friend.

    You mean so much to me.

    • あなたは私にとって、とても大事な存在です。
    • Anata wa watashi ni totte, totemo daiji na sonzai desu.

    This is a beautiful expression of gratitude that will enhance any relationship! It makes the receiver feel appreciated and their efforts recognized.

    Will you be my Valentine?

    • バレンタインを一緒に過ごしてくれる?
    • Barentain o issho ni sugoshite kureru?

    With these words, you are taking your relationship to the next level! Or, if you have been a couple for a while, it shows that you still feel the romance. So, go for it!

    You’re so beautiful.

    • 君はとても美しいよ。
    • Kimi wa totemo utsukushii yo.

    If you don’t know how to say ‘You’re pretty’ in Japanese, this is a good substitute, gentlemen!

    I think of you as more than a friend.

    • 私は、友達以上としてあなたのことを考えている。
    • Watashi wa, tomodachi ijō to shite anata no koto o kangaete iru.

    Say this if you are not yet sure that your romantic feelings are reciprocated. It is also a safe go-to if you’re unsure about the Japanese dating culture.

    A hundred hearts would be too few to carry all my love for you.

    • 百個のハートでも、君を愛しているというのは表現しつくせない。
    • Hya-kko no hāto demo, kimi o aishite iru to iu no wa hyōgen shi tsukusenai.

    You romantic you…! When your heart overflows with love, this would be the best phrase to use.

    Love is just love. It can never be explained.

    • 「愛」はただ単に「愛」である。説明なんてできない。
    • “Ai” wa tada tan ni “ai” de aru. Setsumei nante dekinai.

    If you fell in love unexpectedly or inexplicably, this one’s for you.

    You’re so handsome.

    • あなた、とてもハンサムですね。
    • Anata, totemo hansamu desu ne.

    Ladies, this phrase lets your Japanese love know how much you appreciate his looks! Don’t be shy to use it; men like compliments too.

    I’ve got a crush on you.

    • 私はあなたに一目惚れした。
    • Watashi wa anata ni hitomebore shita.

    If you like someone, but you’re unsure about starting a relationship, it would be prudent to say this. It simply means that you like someone very, very much and think they’re amazing.

    You make me want to be a better man.

    • あなたは私により良い男になろうと思わせてくれた。
    • Anata wa watashi ni yori yoi otoko ni narō to omowasete kureta.

    Gentlemen, don’t claim this phrase as your own! It hails from the movie ‘As Good as it Gets’, but it is sure to make your Japanese girlfriend feel very special. Let her know that she inspires you!

    Let all that you do be done in love.

    • どんな事も愛情をもってやりなさい。
    • Donna koto mo aijō o motte yarinasai

    We hope.

    You are my sunshine, my love.

    • あなたは私の太陽、そして愛です。
    • Anata wa watashi no taiyō, soshite ai desu.

    A compliment that lets your lover know they bring a special quality to your life. Really nice!

    Words can’t describe my love for you.

    • 言葉であなたへの愛情は言い表せられない。
    • Kotoba de anata e no aijō wa iiarawasenai.

    Better say this when you’re feeling serious about the relationship! It means that your feelings are very intense.

    We were meant to be together.

    • 私たちは一緒になる運命だったんだ。
    • Watashi-tachi wa issho ni naru unmei datta n da.

    This is a loving affirmation that shows you see a future together, and that you feel a special bond with your partner.

    If you were thinking about someone while reading this, you’re definitely in love.

    • これを読んでいる時に誰かの事を考えているなら、あなたは恋に落ちているに違いない。
    • Kore o yonde iru toki ni dareka no koto o kangaete iru nara, anta wa koi ni ochite iru ni chigainai.

    Here’s something fun to tease your lover with. And hope he/she was thinking of you!

    5. Japanese Quotes about Love

    Japanese Love Quotes

    You’re a love champ! You and your Japanese lover are getting along fantastically, your dates are awesome, your Valentine’s Day together was spectacular, and you’re very much in love. Good for you! Here are some beautiful phrases of endearment in Japanese that will remind him/her who is in your thoughts all the time.

    6. Marriage Proposal Lines

    Japanese Marriage Proposal Lines

    Wow. Your Japanese lover is indeed the love of your life - congratulations! And may only happiness follow the two of you! In most traditions, the man asks the woman to marry; this is also the Japanese custom. Here are a few sincere and romantic lines that will help you to ask your lady-love for her hand in marriage.

    7. 15 Most Common Break-Up Lines

    Japanese Break-Up Lines

    Instead of moving towards marriage or a long-term relationship, you find that the spark is not there for you. That is a pity! But even though breaking up is never easy, continuing a bad or unfulfilling relationship would be even harder. Remember to be kind to the person you are going to say goodbye to; respect and sensitivity cost nothing. Here are some phrases to help you break up gently.

  • We need to talk.
    • 私達、話し合った方が良いね。
    • Watashi-tachi, hanashiatta hō ga ii ne.

    This is not really a break-up line, but it is a good conversation opener with a serious tone.

    It’s not you. It’s me.

    • あなたのせいじゃない。私のせい。
    • Anata no sei ja nai. Watashi no sei.

    As long as you mean it, this can be a kind thing to say. It means that there’s nothing wrong with your Japanese lover as a person, but that you need something different from a relationship.

    I’m just not ready for this kind of relationship.

    • まだ付き合うとか考えられないんだ。
    • Mada tsukiau toka kangaerarenai n da.

    Things moved a bit fast and got too intense, too soon? Painful as it is, honesty is often the best way to break up with somebody.

    Let’s just be friends.

    • 友達のままでいましょう。
    • Tomodachi no mama de imashō.

    If the relationship was very intense, and you have sent many ‘i love u’ texts in Japanese, this would not be a good breakup line. Feelings need to calm down before you can be friends, if ever. If the relationship has not really developed yet, a friendship would be possible.

    I think we need a break.

    • 距離を置いたほうがいいと思う。
    • Kyori o oita hō ga ii to omou.

    This is again honest, and to the point. No need to play with someone’s emotions by not letting them know how you feel. However, this could imply that you may fall in love with him/her again after a period of time, so use with discretion.

    You deserve better.

    • 君にはもっといい人がいるよ。
    • Kimi ni wa motto ii hito ga iru yo.

    Yes, he/she probably deserves a better relationship if your own feelings have cooled down.

    We should start seeing other people.

    • お互い、他の人を探すべきだよ。
    • O-tagai, hoka no hito o sagasu beki da yo.

    This is probably the least gentle break-up phrase, so reserve it for a lover that doesn’t get the message!

    I need my space.

    • 一人になりたいんだ。
    • Hitori ni naritai n da.

    When a person is too clingy or demanding, this would be an suitable break-up phrase. It is another good go-to for that lover who doesn’t get the message!

    I think we’re moving too fast.

    • 急ぎすぎたんだと思う。
    • Isogisugita n da to omou.

    Say this if you want to keep the relationship, but need to slow down its progress a bit. It is also good if you feel things are getting too intense for your liking. However, it is not really a break-up line, so be careful not to mislead.

    I need to focus on my career.

    • 仕事に集中したいんだ。
    • Shigoto ni shūchū shitai n da.

    If you feel that you will not be able to give 100% in a relationship due to career demands, this is the phrase to use. It’s also good if you are unwilling to give up your career for a relationship.

    I’m not good enough for you.

    • 自分はあなたにはふさわしくないと思う。
    • Jibun wa anata ni wa fusawashikunai to omou.

    Say this only if you really believe it, or you’ll end up sounding false. Break-ups are usually hard for the receiving party, so don’t insult him/her with an insincere comment.

    I just don’t love you anymore.

    • もう気持ちが冷めてしまったんだ。
    • Mō kimochi ga samete shimatta n da.

    This harsh line is sometimes the best one to use if you are struggling to get through to a stubborn, clingy lover who won’t accept your break up. Use it as a last resort. Then switch your phone off and block their emails!

    We’re just not right for each other.

    • 相性が良くなかったんだよ。
    • Aishō ga yokunakatta n da yo.

    If this is how you truly feel, you need to say it. Be kind, gentle and polite.

    It’s for the best.

    • これでよかったんだよ。
    • Kore de yokatta n da yo.

    This phrase is called for if circumstances are difficult and the relationship is not progressing well. Love should enhance one’s life, not burden it!

    We’ve grown apart.

    • こんなに離れてしまっていたんだ。
    • Kon’na ni hanarete shimatte ita n da.

    Cross-cultural relationships are often long-distance ones, and it is easy to grow apart over time.

  • 8. Will Falling in Love help you Learn Japanese faster?

    Most people will agree that the above statement is a no-brainer - of course it will! Your body will be flooded with feel-good hormones, which are superb motivators for anything. JapanesePod101 is one of the best portals to help help make this a reality, so don’t hesitate to enroll now! Let’s quickly look at the reasons why falling in love will speed up your learning of the Japanese language.

    Three Reasons Why Having a Lover will Help you Learn Japanese Faster!

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    1- Being in a love relationship with your Japanese speaking partner will immerse you in the culture
    JapanesePod101 uses immersive methods and tools to teach you Japanese, but having a relationship with a native speaker will be a very valuable addition to your learning experience! You will gain exposure to their world, realtime and vividly, which will make the language come alive even more for you. The experience is likely to expand your world-view, which should motivate you to learn Japanese even faster.

    2- Having your Japanese romantic partner will mean more opportunity to practice speaking
    Nothing beats continuous practice when learning a new language. Your partner will probably be very willing to assist you in this, as your enhanced Japanese language skills will enhance the relationship. Communication is, after all, one of the most important pillars of a good partnership. Also, you will get to impress your lover with the knowledge gained through your studies - a win/win situation!

    3- A supportive Japanese lover is likely to make a gentle, patient teacher and study aid!
    With his/her heart filled with love and goodwill for you, your Japanese partner is likely to patiently and gently correct your mistakes when you speak. This goes not only for grammar, but also for accent and meaning. With his/her help, you could sound like a native in no time!

    Three Reasons Why JapanesePod101 helps you learn Japanese Even Faster when you’re In Love

    Start with a bonus, and download the ‘How To be a Good Lover Cheat Sheet’ for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to be a Good Lover in Japanese

    1- All the Resources and Materials Will Help Both of You
    Falling in love with a man or woman speaking Japanese is an opportunity for both of you to learn a new language! For this reason, every lesson, transcript, vocabulary list, and resource at JapanesePod101 is translated into both English and Japanese. So, while your partner can help you learn Japanese faster, you can potentially also help him/her learn and master English!

    2- Lessons Are Designed to Help You Understand and Engage with Japanese Culture
    At JapanesePod101, our focus is to help our students learn practical vocabulary and phrases used by everyday people in Japan. This means that, from your very first lesson, you can apply what you learn immediately! So, when your Japanese partner wants to go out to a restaurant, play Pokemon Go, or attend just about any social function, you have the vocabulary and phrases necessary to have a great time!

    3- Access to Special Resources Dedicated to Romantic Japanese Phrases
    You now have access to JapanesePod101’s specially-developed sections and tools to teach you love words, phrases, and cultural insights to help you find and attract your Japanese soul mate. A personal tutor will assist you to master these brilliantly - remember to invite him/her to your wedding!