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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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How to Find a Job in Japan

Do you love Japan? Would you consider working and living in Japan? If so, know that there are many ways for foreigners to find a job in Japan!

But how easy is it to find a job in Japan? Is it hard to find a job in Japan?

It can be very difficult for a foreigner to work in Japan, for various reasons. These include:

  • English isn’t the official language in Japan.
  • Multinational and international companies are located mainly in Tokyo.
  • Work conditions are quite different from those in other countries.

However, there are many jobs available for foreigners, including language teaching, IT engineering, health- & medical-related jobs, and other white collar jobs. In short, depending on your skills and interests, there’s a variety of Japanese companies that may be willing to take you on!

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Without further ado, here’s our guide on how to find a job in Japan.

Table of Contents

  1. Job Search Websites
  2. Language Teaching Jobs
  3. Blue Collar Jobs
  4. Office Jobs
  5. Health-related Jobs
  6. Working Holiday
  7. How Japanesepod101 Can Help You Learn More Japanese

Japanese skyline


1. Job Search Websites

There are a few different ways for foreigners to find a job in Japan. The easiest and most common way is to search for jobs on job portal websites. Here, you can find out which Japanese companies are hiring and the types of jobs available in Japan. Some websites also have good information and content about living and working in Japan, in addition to job listings.

Below is a list of useful websites for foreigners to find a job in Japan, but please see headings 2-5 for more detailed information on different job categories. These job portals in Japan are a good place to start, though.

1- GaijinPot

This is a website which provides various information to foreigners living in Japan or those who intend to visit or live in Japan. GaijiPot supports foreigners mainly in the following five topics: Find Jobs in Japan, Study in Japan, Live in Japan, Travel in Japan, and Understand Japan.

Therefore, while you’re searching for a job, you can also gather information about renting an apartment, schools for learning Japanese, things you need to know for living and working in Japan, and more at GaijiPot. There’s also the classifieds page, where anyone can post an advertisement or ask questions about anything.

2- Daijob

This is one of the largest job search websites for multilinguals; it’s been operating since 1998, and it has more than 10,000 job listings. You can search for jobs by category, industry, and language. There’s also an advanced search function to narrow down results according to your preferences, such as location, position level, salary, keywords, and so on. You can also search for job advertisements by employer types from a direct employer, recruiter, staffing agency, and employer (undisclosed).

3- Career Cross

This website has more than 5,500 job listings and it was founded in 2000. With this website, you can search by job category, location, train line, language level, keywords, and more. Considering that commuting to work during rush hour is always tiresome, especially in central areas in the big cities, it’s useful that this website can search jobs by train line so that you can find a job with minimal cumbersome commuting.

This website has the Japan Salary Guide page for your reference. Average, minimum average and maximum salaries are shown for each job by category. The website also has a list of companies which have job positions available, so if you have any desired companies in mind, it’s very handy for finding out if they’re hiring.

4- enworld

This is one of the group companies of en Japan Inc., which is one of the largest recruitment and staffing companies in Japan, established in 1999. It has affluent information about the Japanese job market and employment.

This website is for multilingual job seekers, including Japanese people, so some job advertisements aim to hire Japanese people with language skills. However, there are many international and high-salary job listings as well. There are more than 600 job posts and you can search for jobs by location, job category, and keywords. It has job listings for many countries, including Japan.

5- Career Engine

This is another job search website, though it seems relatively small in scale. It has a few hundred job listings. You can search for jobs by industry, location, full- or part-time, language level, and keywords. It also has a listing of direct hire jobs and companies that don’t involve a third party—such as recruiters—and you can directly communicate with the company that posted the job advertisement.

6- Jobs in Japan

This one was established by an American who’s been living in Japan since 1998. It has around 200 job listings. You can search for jobs by industry, job category, job type, location, language level, employer type, keywords, and more.

This website is useful in that you can also search by the availability of work visa sponsorship if you need a visa to work. The website has a blog with articles about Job Seeker Advice and Living in Japan Guide. The website itself doesn’t have abundant job postings, but is still helpful because it’s for foreigners in Japan, and made by a foreigner who lives and works in Japan.

The following organizations and websites are also useful for foreign job seekers in Japan.

7- JapanCareer

This is a consulting and support company specialized in employment for foreigners in Japan. It offers employment support for students/entry-level workers and mid-career workers, as well as employers, to promote the employment of foreigners. You can search for jobs from the website, but it’s also wise to register with them and get career counseling for free, as well as full support for employment.

8- Tokyo Employment Service Center for Foreigners

This is a public employment support office specializing in providing job counseling and placement services for foreign students who have student visas, and foreigners who are specialists or technical experts with a corresponding status/visa who live in Japan and seek employment.

The center is run by the Government of Japan. If you have a valid visa to stay and work in Japan, it can help in many ways. It offers job career counseling, job matching, seminars for how to get a job (writing a CV, tips, and practice for an interview, etc.), internship opportunities, Japanese classes, and so on.

A Teacher and Blackboard


2. Language Teaching Jobs

Teaching is one of the most common types of job in Japan for foreigners. There are a few types of language-teaching jobs in Japan: teaching at private language schools, public schools, international schools, vocational/technical schools, and universities. These are basically English-teaching jobs for native English speakers. However, you can also find other language-teaching jobs at private language schools and universities; there are many positions available.

1- The JET Programme

The JET Programme (The Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme) is the most famous and credible teaching job in Japan and is run by the Government of Japan. The teaching language is mostly English, but other languages such as French, German, Chinese, and Korean languages are available in rare cases.

This programme is designed for a native English-speaker with a university degree to teach English and participate in a cultural exchange at Japanese public schools. The JET programme is a one-year contract and you can renew the contract for up to five consecutive years.

On your application, while you can submit your request where you would like to teach, the JET will determine which location and school you’re assigned to. The salary for the ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) in the first year is ¥3,360,000 (Approximately $37,960 as of December 20 8) and the annual salary will increase when the contract is renewed. Working hours are typically 35 per week, from Monday to Friday, and 20 paid holidays per year will be given.

2- Teaching at Private Language Schools

Teaching in private language schools in Japan is also a popular job. If you’re a native English speaker, English-teaching jobs are widely available, especially in large cities. For other languages, positions are limited, but you can still find a language-teaching job at private language schools if they provide classes for other languages.

A major private language school can issue you a work visa, and they tend to have more job opportunities as they have many branches in different cities, including: ECC, EAON, GABA, Berlitz, NOVA, Shane English School.

Other language schools that have school branches in different areas are Rosetta Stone Learning Center, English Village, and Linguage. You can directly apply for job positions by contacting them directly from their website.

There are many other small-scale language schools, and you can find job positions for them by searching through major recruitment websites for foreigners, such as GaijinPot, Jobs in Japan, and Daijob. You can also search at TEFL and SeekTeachers by selecting your desired job title and country.

3- International Schools

International schools are another good option for teaching because they offer relatively higher salaries, although getting a position is a bit difficult. Teaching jobs at international schools usually require a higher education diploma, particular certificate, and experience in teaching/education. Here are the list of websites you can use to search for international schools in Japan:

4- Teaching at Vocational/Technical Schools

Teaching at vocational/technical schools that have language courses/classes is another option. The Shingakunet website is in Japanese, but it has a list of schools that you can copy and paste the names of to search for their official websites. There, you can see if they have job positions and contact them directly. Job advertisements can also be posted on the websites GaijinPot, Jobs in Japan, Daijob, TEFL, SeekTeachers, and more.

5- Teaching at a University/College

As with international schools, teaching at a university/college offers a good salary, but they usually have high requirements. There are more than 700 universities in Japan, and most of them offer English and other language education/classes to their students.

You can visit each school website, search for job postings, and contact them directly. The Japan Association for Language Teaching has job listings for working at universities, including teaching jobs. Sometimes job advertisements for teaching English at a university/college are posted on TEFL and SeekTeachers.


3. Blue Collar Jobs

In the current system, foreign people won’t be sponsored with a work visa for blue collar jobs in Japan. Those unskilled jobs are available only if you already reside in Japan with a valid visa to work, or if you’re an accepted candidate for the Technical Intern Training Program which is organized by the Government of Japan. So while this may not be the best way to find a job in Japan at the moment, it’s not totally outside the realm of possibility!

For those who don’t have particular skills or professional experience, it may be easier to become a student in Japan and work part-time. While studying a specialized area and learning Japanese, they can work part-time and they can apply for proper jobs after graduating from school.

However, due to the large shortage in the labor force of Japan, the government has been considering opening up resident and work visas for foreigners in the blue-collar job categories. Keep your eyes peeled for updates about a change of policy from the Japanese government; we may hear good news in the near future!

1- The Technical Intern Training Program

The Technical Intern Training Program is offered by the Japanese government for foreigners who wish to acquire specific skills, technologies, or knowledge in Japan. The program aims to establish employment relationships between companies and other businesses in Japan with intern trainees engaged in technical fields, and it provides opportunities for the trainees to acquire or improve skills that would be difficult to master in their original countries.

The training period is a maximum of five years. The program covers the following industries:

  • Agriculture
  • Construction
  • Food
  • Textile
  • Machinery
  • Manufacturing

For more detailed information, please check the official website. After acquiring skills and knowledge, as well as Japanese, while you live and work in Japan, you may be able to apply for other jobs in Japan.

2- Part-time Jobs

If you already have a valid visa to stay and work in Japan, you can find unskilled and part-time jobs from the following major websites in Japan. Most part-time jobs in Japan are unskilled jobs that don’t require specialized skills.

However, most unskilled and part-time jobs are based on the premise that you already have fluent Japanese skills. Therefore, all of the part-time job search websites below are only written in Japanese. If you don’t speak Japanese, you can still search for part-time jobs in English from the websites listed in the first section by selecting the job type as part-time.

Japanese job search websites have many more job advertisements than English websites. That said, here are the websites we recommend:

On all of these websites, you can search for part-time jobs by job category, location, salary, work conditions, and keywords.

Teamwork


4. Office Jobs

In order to find office jobs or white collar jobs in Japan, the job search websites described in the first section are useful. Depending on what professional skills and experience you have, and of course what type of job it is, it’s definitely advantageous if you have Japanese language skills. Not only does it make it easier to communicate at work, but it’s also helpful in establishing good relationships with Japanese colleagues and bosses.

This is very important because Japanese work and corporate culture put equal value on trust and relationship as they do on work performance itself. Being able to establish these increases your chance of getting better appraisal and even promotions.

Apart from job search websites, you can also register at recruiting and headhunting companies to find a job in Japan. This increases the possibility of getting a better job with a higher salary if you have specialized skills and knowledge. Thus, utilizing their services may help you find some of the highest paying jobs in Japan. Here’s a list of major headhunting companies in Japan which have experience and a good number of job positions available.

1- HAYS

HAYS is a British recruiting company and Hays Japan has been providing services focused on global and highly-skilled employment since 2001. The specialized areas they focus on are:

  • Accounting & Finance
  • Banking & Financial Services
  • Digital Technology
  • Finance Technology
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology
  • Insurance
  • Legal
  • Life Sciences
  • Manufacturing & Operations
  • Marketing & Digital
  • Office Professionals
  • Property
  • Supply Chain and Sales

2- Robert Walters

Robert Walters is also originally from the UK and the Japan branch has been operating since 2000. This company has teams of specialists who are experts in their area, which means a recruiter who deals with IT job matters, for example, won’t deal with finance job matters.

All of the recruiters are well-aware of the job market in the respective area they’re in charge of. At these companies, the recruiters are bilingual and foreign staffs are also working. These are multinational companies focused on bilingual/multilingual human resources, and so they have a good number of job positions at international companies in Japan.

It’s easier for foreigners to get a job and work at an international company in Japan than at a Japanese company because in most cases they have bilingual office environments and don’t have traditional Japanese corporate/work culture which can be hard for foreigners to understand or adapt to.

Blood pressure check


5. Health-related Jobs

Working in the health sector in Japan is difficult for foreigners, as is likely true in most other countries. You need to possess the qualification or license to work in the health sector, which includes positions such as a doctor, nurse, therapist, mental counselor, etc. Even if you already have a nursing license in your own country, for example, you still need to pass the Japanese national exam to be qualified to work as a nurse in Japan.

If you’re a qualified nurse or care worker from Indonesia, the Philippines, or Vietnam, there’s a governmental program for working in Japan. Based on the Japan-Indonesia Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), Japan started to accept trainees of nurses and care workers from Indonesia since 2008, the following EPA from the Philippines since 2009, and most recently from Vietnam since 2014.

While accepted candidate trainees come and work in Japan, they are obliged to pass the Japanese national examinations for nurses or care workers within three years. When they pass the exam, they’re able to work in Japan without limitation of the term. By 2016, there were more than 3,800 trainees accepted and working in Japan. However, passing the Japanese national examination in Japanese is still extremely difficult. In order to apply, please visit the organizations in each country which deal with domestic selection and application (click the name of the country in the paragraph above).

Japan Foundation and The Authorized Non-Profit Organization (NPO) for Educational Support for Foreign Nurses and Care Workers support accepted trainee nurses and care workers by offering Japanese classes, counseling services, employment advice, and more.

Cherries


6. Working Holiday

Another easy option for working in Japan is the Working Holiday program. The Working Holiday program is based on bilateral arrangements between the governments and it aims to make it possible for young people of Japan and its partner countries/regions to enter each country for the purpose of spending holidays while allowing them to work. The program promotes opportunities for the youth to appreciate the culture and life of the country, as well as further understanding, by offering the right to work in that country.

Japan has a partnership with the following countries/regions:

  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Canada
  • The Republic of Korea
  • The United Kingdom
  • Ireland
  • Denmark
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • France
  • Germany
  • Poland
  • Slovakia
  • Hungary
  • Spain
  • Argentina
  • Chile
  • Iceland or Czech
  • Hong Kong
  • Taiwan

The eligible age for application depends on the country, but it’s usually from 18 to 25 or 30 years old. The maximum length of stay is one year. In order to apply for the Working Holiday visa, please contact Embassies or Consulates-General of Japan in the respective country/region or Interchange Association (Taipei Office or Kaohsiung Office).

With the Working Holiday visa, you’re able to work part-time but note that certain jobs aren’t allowed under this visa such as working at bars, cabarets, nightclubs, gambling establishments, and other premises affecting public morals in Japan.


Conclusion: How Japanesepod101 Can Help You Learn More Japanese

We hope you enjoyed learning about finding a job in Japan with JapanesePod101! So, is it easy to find a job in Japan? Yes and no. Jobs in Japan for foreigners can be difficult to come by, and when it comes to jobs in Japan, employment opportunities don’t just leap out at you. But once you know a little more about the job industry here, it becomes much easier and more straightforward.

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

If you’re a beginner learner of Japanese, you’ll find the following useful:

If you’re at the intermediate level, we recommend:

You’ll enjoy learning the Japanese language by watching videos and listening to actual Japanese pronunciation.

Happy Japanese learning with JapanesePod101!

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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)

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    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!

    Secret Revealed: The Best Way to Learn a Language on Your Own

    Learning A Language on Your Own

    Can You Really Learn Japanese Alone?

    Learning a language on your own or without traditional classroom instruction may seem quite daunting at first. What if you run into questions? How do you stay motivated and on track to achieving goals?

    Don’t worry, not only is it possible to learn Japanese or any language without traditional classroom instruction: JapanesePod101 has created the world’s most advanced and extensive online language learning system. Not only is JapanesePod101 specifically designed to help you with learning a language on your own, it’s actually faster, more convenient, and less expensive than traditional classroom options!

    Let’s look at some of the benefits of learning Japanese or any language alone.

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    Also, don’t forget to download your free cheat sheet - How to Improve Your Language Skills too!

    3 Reasons to Learn a Language Alone

    Learning Alone

    1. Learn at Your Own Pace and On Your Schedule

    In today’s fast-paced world, there just isn’t time for traditional classroom instruction. Between getting to class and studying on some professor or teacher’s schedule, traditional classroom learning is simply impossible to fit in. But when you learn Japanese alone, you can study in bed if you like and whenever suits your schedule best, making it far easier to actually reach your goal of learning and mastering the language.

    2. Learning a Language on Your Own Reduces Stress and Anxiety

    Speaking in front of a class, pop quizzes, and tests are just a few of the stressors you will encounter when you learn a language in a traditional classroom setting. Specifically, these are external stressors that often derail most people’s dream of learning a new language. But when you learn Japanese alone, there are no external stressors. Without the external stress and anxiety, it becomes much easier and more exciting to study Japanese and reach your very own goals—all on your own!

    3. Learning Japanese Alone Helps Improve Cognitive Function and Overall Success

    Learning a language on your own is indeed more challenging in some ways than being taught in a traditional classroom setting. In fact, while classroom instruction requires more rote memorization and following instructions, studying a language on your own requires more problem-solving and higher cognitive function to self-teach lessons and hit goals. So while it’s more challenging and requires higher levels of cognition, teaching yourself a language pays dividends throughout life by better preparing you for social/work opportunities that arise.

    How to Learn a Language on Your Own with JapanesePod101

    Learning with JapanesePod101

    1. Access to the World’s Largest Collection of Japanese Audio & Video Lessons

    The best way to learn a language on your own is to study from native speaking instructors. Ideally, you want audio and/or video lessons that teach vocabulary, grammar, and provide actual Japanese conversations and dialogue to help you with pronunciation. JapanesePod101 has hundreds of hours of HD audio and video lessons created by real Japanese instructors and every lesson is presented by professional Japanese actors for perfect pronunciation. Plus, all lessons can be accessed 24/7 via any mobile device with Internet access. And, if you download the PDF versions of each lesson, you can even study without Internet access once the lesson is stored on your device!

    2. “Learning Paths” with Japanese Courses Based Upon Your Exact Needs & Goals

    Although JapanesePod101 has more than thousands of video and audio lessons, you need not review each and every one to learn the language. In fact, JapanesePod101 has developed a feature called “Learning Paths”. You simply tell us your goals and we will identify the best courses and study plan to help you reach them in the shortest time possible. So even though you are technically learning a language on your own, our team is always here to help and make sure you reach your goals FAST!

    3. Advanced Learning Tools Reduce Learning Time and Boost Retention

    When you have the right tools and Japanese learning resources, it’s actually easy to teach yourself a language! In the past 10+ years, JapanesePod101 has developed, tested, and refined more than 20 advanced learning tools to boost retention and reduce learning time, including:

    • Spaced Repetition Flashcards
    • Line-by-Line Dialogue Breakdown
    • Review Quizzes
    • Voice Recording Tools to Help Perfect Pronunciation
    • Teacher Feedback and Comments for Each Lesson
    • Japanese Dictionary with Pronunciation
    • Free PDF Cheat Sheets
    • And Much More!

    Armed with our growing collection of advanced learning tools, it’s truly a breeze to learn Japanese alone and reach your goals!

    Conclusion

    Learning a language on your own is not only possible, it’s actually easier and more beneficial for you than traditional classroom instruction. In fact, when you learn Japanese on your own you can study at your own pace, eliminate stress, and actually increase cognitive function.

    JapanesePod101 is the world’s most advanced online language learning system and a great resource to help you teach yourself a new language. With the world’s largest collection of HD audio and video lessons, more than 20 advanced learning tools, and customized “Learning Paths”, JapanesePod101 makes learning a new language easier, more convenient, and less expensive than traditional classroom instruction.

    And the best part is: With JapanesePod101, you can study in bed, your car, or wherever you have a few spare minutes of time. Create your Free Lifetime Account now and get a FREE ebook to help “kickstart” your dream of learning a language on your own below!

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    Language Learning Tips: How to Avoid Awkward Silences

    Avoid Awkward Silences

    Yes, even beginners can quickly learn conversational Japanese well enough to carry on real conversations with native speakers. Of course, beginners won’t be able to carry a conversation the same way they could in their native language. But, just knowing a few tips like which questions to ask to keep a conversation going are all you need to speak and interact with real native speakers! But before we get to specific suggestions, let’s first take a closer look at how having real Japanese conversations is so vital to your mastery of the language.

    Learning to Carry a Conversation is Vital to Mastery of Any Language

    Communicating with other people is the very point of language and conversation is almost second nature in our native tongue. For beginners or anyone learning a new language, conversations aren’t easy at all and even simple Japanese greetings can be intimidating and awkward.

    However, there are 3 vital reasons why you should learn conversational Japanese as quickly as possible:

    • Avoid Awkward Silences: Nothing kills a conversation faster than long periods of awkward silence, so you need practice and specific strategies to avoid them.
    • Improve the Flow of Conversation to Make a Better Impression: When you know what to say to keep a conversation going, communication becomes much easier and you make a better impression on your listener.
    • Master the Language Faster: Nothing will help you learn to speak Japanese faster and truly master the language than having real conversations with native speakers. Conversations quickly expose you to slang, cultural expressions, and vocabulary that force you to absorb and assimilate information faster than any educational setting—and that’s a great thing!

    But how can you possibly have real conversations with real Japanese people if you are just starting out?

    3 Conversation Strategies for Beginners

    Conversation

    1. Ask Questions to Keep a Conversation Going

    For beginners and even more advanced speakers, the key is to learn to ask questions to keep a conversation going. Of course, they can’t be just random questions or else you may confuse the listener. But, by memorizing a few key questions and the appropriate time to use them, you can easily carry a conversation with minimal vocabulary or experience. And remember, the more Japanese conversations you have, the quicker you will learn and master the language!

    2. Learn Core Vocabulary Terms as Quickly as Possible

    You don’t need to memorize 10,000’s of words to learn conversational Japanese. In fact, with just a couple hundred Japanese words you could have a very basic Japanese conversation. And by learning maybe 1,000-2,000 words, you could carry a conversation with a native speaker about current events, ordering in restaurants, and even getting directions.

    3. Study Videos or Audio Lessons that You Can Play and Replay Again and Again

    If you want to know how to carry a conversation in Japanese, then you need exposure to native speakers—and the more the better. Ideally, studying video or audio lessons is ideal because they provide contextualized learning in your native language and you can play them again and again until mastery.

    JapanesePod101 Makes it Easier and More Convenient Than Ever to Learn Conversational Japanese

    Learning Japanese

    For more than 10 years, JapanesePod101 has been helping students learn to speak Japanese by creating the world’s most advanced online language learning system. Here are just a few of the specific features that will help you learn conversational Japanese fast using our proven system:

    • The Largest Collection of HD Video & Audio Lessons from Real Japanese Instructors: JapanesePod101 instructors have created hundreds of video and audio lessons that you can play again and again. And the best part is: They don’t just teach you Japanese vocabulary and grammar, they are designed to help you learn to speak Japanese and teach you practical everyday topics like shopping, ordering, etc!
    • Pronunciation Tools: Use this feature to record and compare yourself with native speakers to quickly improve your pronunciation and fluency!
    • 2000 Common Japanese Words: Also known as our Core List, these 2,000 words are all you need to learn to speak fluently and carry a conversation with a native speaker!

    In all, more than 20 advanced learning tools help you quickly build vocabulary and learn how to carry a conversation with native speakers—starting with your very first lesson.

    Conclusion

    Although it may seem intimidating for a beginner, the truth is that it is very easy to learn conversational Japanese. By learning a few core vocabulary terms and which questions to ask to keep a conversation going, just a little practice and exposure to real Japanese conversations or lessons is all it really takes. JapanesePod101 has created the world’s largest online collection of video and audio lessons by real instructors plus loads of advanced tools to help you learn to speak Japanese and carry a conversation quickly.

    Act now and we’ll also include a list of the most commonly used questions to keep a conversation going so you can literally get started immediately!

    Supplement Your Japanese with LiveFluent

    LiveFleunt.com

    Are you ready to take the vocabulary, cultural knowledge, and the confidence you’ve gained through JapanesePod101.com and deepen it? Our trusted partner LiveFluent seeks to shed light on the lesser talked-about aspects of learning—and grasping in its full essence—a new language.

    Live Chat

    1. Immersion

    LiveFluent holds the view that a vocab list and good memory are not enough to become fluent in a language. You need to live that language and that culture; you need to actively apply the language you’re learning to the real world and not look back.

    The necessity of immersion in mastering a language is quite interesting. This tactic implies that you go and live in the country of the language you’re studying if possible. As LiveFluent points out, this does, in fact, make full command of the language a necessity.

    From reading street signs to making purchases to being capable of forming relationships with people in this country, you’ll find that getting the hang of Japanese becomes a little more appealing when actually in Japan.

    But once you’re “immersed,” how do you make sure you’re actually able to grasp the language when you need it?

    Dictionary

    2. Context Clues

    LiveFluent suggests that you use context clues to begin understanding the language when it’s in use. What are the street signs shaped like, and where are they placed? What’s written on the shopkeeper’s face, and what tone are they using? Can you make out any single words that the friendly face across from you is saying, and read their body language?

    As a child, your parents or teacher may have urged you to do this for words you didn’t know while reading in lieu of using a dictionary. LiveFluent suggests that you do the same when immersing yourself in a new language. Because it really works!

    3. Conclusion

    By the compass of its wise language-learning ideas, LiveFluent also points to some of the best tools for learning Japanese. Being so empowered with knowledge and equipped with the right tools should make you feel good about taking the next steps in your journey.

    Learning Japanese comes with its hurdles; but it should also come with its fun. If you’re looking to build upon your current knowledge and language skillset, be sure to check out LiveFluent and continue your studies with us here at JapanesePod101!

    We wish you the best of luck and great success in your language-learning endeavors!

    How to Transform Your Daily Commute Into Learning a Language

    Learn a language during your commute!

    Today, classrooms are no longer the only or even best place to learn a new language like Japanese. More and more people are finding that they can easily learn a language just about anywhere they have a few minutes of spare time, including their daily commute to work. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American spends over 50 minutes a day commuting to and from work, or over 300 hours a year.

    Rethinking Your Daily Commute to Work

    But rather than simply sitting in traffic and wasting the time, you can instead use your daily commute to literally learn Japanese in just a few short months! JapanesePod101 has developed specialized learning tools that you can use on your commute to work (and home again) to master the language in your spare time. Keep reading to learn how to get your free audiobook to use on your next commute so you can see for yourself how easy it is to transform “dead time” into realizing your dream of learning a new language!

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    But before we look at how to transform your commute home into a mini-classroom, let’s take a closer look at 4 reasons why traditional classroom settings just aren’t the best option for most people in today’s fast-paced world.

    • Difficulty Getting to and From Class
    • Learning on Someone Else’s Schedule
    • Very Expensive and May Cost $1,000’s to Complete
    • Can Take Years to Finally Complete Classes and Learn the Language

    The simple truth is that traditional classroom instruction is simply not a viable option for most people in today’s very fast-paced, time-starved world. Now let’s examine how you can learn a language faster, more easily, and at far less expense than traditional classes—all during your commute to work and back home again!

    Bus

    3 Reasons Your Daily Commute Can Help You Master a Language

    1. The Average Commute Time is More than 300 Hours Per Year

    Between the commute to work and getting back home again, over 6 hours a week is completely wasted and not helping you reach any goals or objectives. But thanks to online language learning platforms with audiobooks and other resources that you can access during your commute, you can easily transform wasted time into tangible progress towards learning a new language. With over 300 hours available annually, your daily commute could provide you with enough time to literally master a new language each and every year!

    2. Increase Your Earning Potential While Commuting to Work

    How would you like to transform all those spare commuting hours each week into more money for a new car, house, or even a dream vacation? According to research, someone making $30,000 per year can boost their annual income by $600 or more per year by learning a second language. Added up over the course of a lifetime, you can boost your total earnings by $70,000 or more while achieving your dream of learning a new language during your daily commute!

    How? From work-at-home translation jobs to working overseas, there are many ways to leverage your second language into more money in your bank account! So instead of wasting your precious time, you can make your commute more productive and profitable and the more languages you learn, the higher your income potential.

    3. Repetition is Key to Mastering a New Language

    Not sure if it’s practical to learn another language while commuting to and from work each day? Well not only is it possible—learning in your car on the way to and from work each day can actually help you learn and master Japanese or any language much faster! The simple truth is that repetition is absolutely vital to truly internalizing and mastering any language. So, if you listen to audiobooks or even audio lessons on your commute to work and then repeat the same lesson on your commute home, the information is more likely to be “locked-in” to your long-term memory!

    Learning

    5 Ways JapanesePod101 Makes It Easy to Learn a Language On Your Commute

    JapanesePod101 has been helping people just like yourself learn and master Japanese in the comfort of their home, during their daily commute, or any place they have a few minutes of spare time. Here are five features provided by JapanesePod101 that make it easy to learn a new language while commuting to and from work:

    1. The Largest Collection of Audio Lessons on Planet by Native Speaking Instructors
    Every single week, JapanesePod101 creates new audio lessons by native speaking instructors. All lessons are short, to the point, and guaranteed to improve your mastery of Japanese.

    2. Word of the Day
    Simply exposing yourself to new information and vocabulary terms helps increase your fluency and mastery of Japanese. So every single day, JapanesePod101 adds a new Word of the Day for you to learn and memorize during your commute.

    3. Daily Dose Mini-Lessons
    Have a short commute to work but still want to make progress towards learning and mastering Japanese? Not a problem! Our Daily Dose Mini-Lessons are 1-minute or less and designed to improve your grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation.

    4. All Content Available on a Convenient Mobile App
    You don’t need a PC or tablet to learn Japanese during your daily commute. At JapanesePod101, all of our lessons, tools, and resources are available 24/7 via our Mobile App. That means you can access all of our audio lessons and other tools during your commute to work or any time you have a few spare moments!

    5. Audiobooks and Other Supplemental Resources
    In addition to the world’s largest online collection of HD audio lessons, JapanesePod101 has also created several audiobooks to enhance your understanding and make it more convenient than ever to learn a language during your commute!

    Conclusion

    The average commute time of most Americans is over 300 hours each year and it’s the perfect opportunity to learn and master a new language. In fact, you can use the “dead time” during your daily commute to learn a new language and potentially boost your lifetime earnings by up to $70,000 or more! Whatever your motivation, JapanesePod101 has the tools and resources necessary to help you learn a new language each year during your commute to and from work. Act now and we’ll even provide you with a free audiobook to try out on your next commute!

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to Improve Your Language Skills!

    How to Say Hello in Japanese: Practical Japanese Greetings

    How to Say Hello in Japanese

    Greetings are the most important things to learn when learning a new language. Japanese greetings are not only words of greeting, but also reflect the very Japanese culture, much more so than in other languages. Have you heard of the cultural features of Japanese politeness?

    Yes, it’s also embedded in the language. The Japanese language has the formal and informal styles, and the formal style is even divided into three honorific languages with different levels of politeness. So in short, you’ll also learn the Japanese culture by learning how to say hello in Japanese.

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    The Japanese language also has particular greetings only used for particular occasions, such as on the phone, at work places, in the service sector at restaurants and shops, etc. We use appropriate words depending on the occasion and who we’re speaking to.

    Learning the cultural aspects makes it easier to understand and learn the language faster.

    Let’s get started with learning Japanese greetings and the specifics of greeting people in Japanese here and on JapanesePod101.com!

    1. Formal Japanese Greetings

    Formal Japanese greetings are very convenient to use because these are said in a polite manner and
    you can use them for most occasions, and to everyone. Here are some Japanese formal greetings.

    1-Kon’nichiwa — こんにちは — (Hello) [formall and semi-formal]

    Kon’nichiwa is the most common and classic word for saying hello in Japanese. The term kon’nichi literally means “today” traditionally, and wa stands for “is,” or it indicates the main subject of a sentence. Back in time, when people met someone, they would start a conversation by saying konnichi wa ii hi desu ne (“Today is a nice day”) or kon’nichi wa ikaga desu ka (“How is today?”). Over time, the phrase became shorter and now Kon’nichiwa is the first word to greet nowadays.

    Kon’nichiwa is used in both formal and semi-informal occasions. It would sound a little awkward to say konnichiwa to your very close friends. Also keep in mind that it’s usually only used during the day time, between morning and evening.

    Example:

    • Kon’nichiwa, o-genki desu ka.
    • こんにちは、お元気ですか。
    • Hello, how are you?

    2- Hajimemashite — はじめまして— (Nice to meet you) [formal]

    Hajimemashite is used when you meet someone for the first time to say, “Nice to meet you” in Japanese. This greeting term derives from a polite conjugation of the verb 始める (hajimeru), which literally means “to begin” or “to start.” In greeting, Hajimemashite means to start knowing someone new or to start a new relationship with someone. Essentially, it’s a good way to introduce yourself in Japanese.

    This term is formal and can be used for any occasion. For a very official occasion, there’s another way to say “Nice to meet you,” more politely and with respect: お会いできて光栄です。(O-ai dekite kōei desu.)

    Example:

    • Hajimemashite, watashi wa Naomi desu.
    • はじめまして、私はなおみです。
    • Nice to meet you, I am Naomi.

    Japanese Greetings

    3- Ohayō gozaimasu — おはようございます — “Good morning” [formal]

    Ohayō gozaimasu is the morning greeting to say “good morning” in Japanese. Ohayō comes from the word はやい (hayai) which means “early” and the O in front makes the following word polite. Gozaimasu is the very polite word used to end a sentence, meaning “it is” or “there is/are.”

    This is used in both formal and semi-informal occasions in the morning before noon.

    Example:

    • Ohayō gozaimasu. O-genki desu ka.
    • おはようございます。お元気ですか。
    • Good morning. How are you?

    4- Konbanwa — こんばんは — (Good evening) [formal]

    Konbanwa literally means “This evening is.” Like Kon’nichiwa, back in time, when people met someone in the evening, they would begin a conversation by saying Konbanwa ii yoru desu ne (“This evening is a good night”). This shortened to Konbanwa which became the normal greeting word.

    This greeting is formal and used in any occasion that takes place in the evening and at night.

    Example:

    • Konban-wa. Saumi desu ne.
    • こんばんは。寒いですね。
    • Good evening. It is cold, isn’t it?

    5- O-genki desu ka. — お元気ですか。— (How are you?) [formal]

    This is how to say “how are you” in Japanese and it’s a very useful phrase to start a conversation with. The O is the polite emphasizing word, genki means “in good shape,” and desu ka is the polite word to put at the end of a question. It means, “Are you in good shape?”

    This is a formal and semi-formal greeting and can be used any time after meeting someone new, whether it be colleagues, neighbours, acquaintances, etc.

    Example:

    • A: O-genki desu ka.
    • B: Hai, genki desu.
    • A: お元気ですか。
    • B: はい、元気です。
    • A: How are you (are you in good shape)?
    • B: Yes, I’m good.

    6- O-hisashiburi desu. — お久しぶりです。— (Long time no see) [formal]

    O-hisashiburi desu is a good phrase to say when you meet someone you haven’t seen in quite a while. Hisashiburi means “after a while” and O makes it polite. Desu is the word used to end a polite sentence.

    This greeting is used in both formal and semi-informal settings.

    Example:

    • O-hisashiburi desu. O-genki desu ka.
    • お久しぶりです。お元気ですか。
    • Long time no see. How are you?

    7- Sayōnara — さようなら — (Good bye) [formal]

    Sayōnara is probably one of the most famous Japanese greeting words as it’s sometimes used even in Hollywood movies to say “goodbye.” Sayōnara is the short version of Sayō naraba which means, “If that’s the way it is.” Back in time, when people departed from another person, they summed up conversations by saying Sayō naraba and and then finished talking and left. It became the phrase for “goodbye.”

    Sayōnara is a formal but relatively more semi-formal phrase. If you’re looking for a more casual way of saying goodbye to close friends, you can say just bai bai (“bye bye”), which is the Japanese spelling for the English word.

    Example:

    • Sayōnara. O-ki o tsukete.
    • さようなら。お気をつけて。
    • Good bye. Please take care.

    8- Mata aimashō — また会いましょう — (See you again) [formal]

    Mata aimashō literally translates as follows: mata = “again” and aimashō = ”let’s meet.”

    This phrase is used in formal and semi-formal occasions. It’s the useful Japanese greeting word that’s used after saying goodbye to someone, whether you’ll actually meet this person again in the future or not. It gives off the good impression that you’re willing to meet this person again.

    Example:

    • Sayōnara. Mata aimashō.
    • さようなら。また会いましょう。
    • Good bye. See you again.

    Boy Saying Hello

    2. Informal Japanese Greetings

    Wondering how to say “hello” in Japanese casually? When you greet your family, friends, or someone else you’re close to, an informal style of greeting is better suited! Saying hello in informal Japanese makes it sound more friendly, familiar, and amiable. However, please note that it’s considered very rude to use these greetings when addressing elderly people or someone well-respected, especially in formal settings.

    1- Ohayō — おはよう— (Good morning) [informal]

    This is a casual version of Ohayō gozaimasu and is used to say good morning in Japanese.

    Ohayō is an informal phrase used to greet your family, close friends, girlfriend/boyfriend, and so on.

    Example:

    • Ohayō. Mada nemui.
    • おはよう。まだ眠い。
    • Good morning. I’m still sleepy.

    2- Genki? — 元気?— (How are you?) [informal]

    Genki? is just the shortened phrase for O-genki desu ka, which makes it a very casual way to say “how are you?” in Japanese. This is a very handy word to greet someone close to you.

    This greeting is used in informal settings and is suitable to use for casual and quick interactions with your close friends.

    Example:

    • Genki? Kawari nai?
    • 元気?変わりない?
    • How are you? Are you all good?

    3- Saikin dō? — 最近どう?— (What’s up? / How is it going recently?) [informal]

    Saikin dō? is a very casual phrase to say “What’s up?” in Japanese. Saikin means “recently” and translates to “how?”

    This term is used in informal and very casual occasions to greet someone very close to you. If you want to use it in a more formal setting, you just add desu ka at the end: Saikin dō desu ka.

    Example:

    • Saikin dō? Kanojo to junchō?
    • 最近どう?彼女と順調?
    • What’s up. Are you doing well with your girlfriend?

    4- Hisashiburi — 久しぶり — (It’s been a while!) [informal]

    As you can see, Hisashiburi is just the shorter version of O-hisashiburi desu, lacking the words of O and desu, which make the phrase polite.

    Hisashiburi is an informal greeting word and is a very common way to say “hello” when you see someone again after it’s been a while. Especially for old friends and someone close to you.

    Example:

    • Hisashiburi! Aitakatta!
    • 久しぶり!会いたかった!
    • It’s been a while! I wanted to see you!

    Say Hello On The Phone

    3.How to Say Hello on the Phone in Japanese

    If you’re wondering how to say hello in Japanese when answering the phone, keep reading. When you say “hello” in Japanese on the phone, you shouldn’t jump straight to Kon’nichiwa. Before saying Kon’nichiwa, you should say the following phrase.

    Moshi moshi — もしもし— (Hello)

    This phrase is how to say “hello” on the phone in Japanese. This comes from the Japanese verb mōsu which means “to say” in a humble and polite way.

    Moshi moshi is usually only used on the phone, whether you’re calling or answering the phone.

    Example:

    • Moshi moshi, watashi wa Tanaka desu. Suzuki-san wa imasu ka.
    • もしもし、私は田中です。鈴木さんはいますか。
    • Hello? I am Tanaka. Is Mr. Suzuki there?

    Smart Phone Message

    4. Japanese Greetings for Various Occasions (Very Japanese Expressions)

    Here are the very Japanese greetings to say hello for particular occasions. These greatly reflect the Japanese culture.

    1- Otsukare-sama desu — お疲れ様です— (Well done / see you, bye / other) [formal]

    Otsukare-sama desu actually has some different meanings, all of which are handy to use. As mentioned above, O and desu make the phrase polite. Tsukare is literally translated as “tiredness” and sama is the most respectful way to refer to someone or something. The Japanese use this expression when they want to show their appreciation for the other person’s efforts and works with respect.

    Otsukare-sama desu is a formal term and is a very useful phrase to use when it comes to work-related occasions. It can be used to say “well done” or “good job” to praise or to be thankful for someone who finished something. You can also use it to say “you must be tired” to show that you care for someone and understand how they feel. Or it can simply be used as a greeting at an office when you arrive and leave, meet colleagues, and pass each other in the office. Nowadays, Otsukare-sama desu is one of the most common ways to say “hello” in Japanese in the work setting, especially among colleagues.

    Examples:

    • Otsukare-sama desu. Purezen wa totemo yokatta desu.
      • お疲れ様です。プレゼンはとても良かったです。
      • Well done. The presentation was very good.
    • Otsukare-sama desu. Mata ashita.
      • お疲れ様です。また明日。
      • See you tomorrow.

    2- Irasshaimase — いらっしゃいませ — (Welcome) [formal]

    You may not have the opportunity to use Irasshaimase yourself, but you’ll definitely hear this many times whenever you go to the store or a restaurant in Japan. This phrase comes from the honorific form of the Japanese verb irrassharu which means “to come.” Japanese service sectors are very keen on treating customers and guests with great politeness and respect.

    Irasshaimase is formal and is usually only used in stores or restaurants to greet and welcome customers and guests. This is how to say “hello” in Japanese in the service sector.

    Example:

    • Irasshaimase. Nanmei-sama desu ka.
    • いらっしゃいませ。何名様ですか。
    • Welcome. How many are you? (at a restaurant)

    How to Learn Japanese Greetings Easily and Fast

    As we’ve seen, there are so many variations of how to say “hello” in Japanese, and all of these Japanese greetings reflect Japanese culture.

    The best thing that you can do to learn the Japanese language easier and faster is to listen carefully when Japanese greetings are used, when and where, and who greets whom. You can also grasp the tips we’ve provided for you here and use them in your actual practice.

    Whether you’re traveling to Japan or communicating with Japanese people online, these important and practical Japanese greeting vocabulary will make it easier for you to make new friends!

    We hope you find this article educational and that you enjoy learning Japanese greetings! Now go out and practice how to introduce yourself in Japanese!

    Young Student Sitting In The Table

    How Japanesepod101 Can Help You Learn More Japanese

    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 many videos you can enjoy learning the Japanese language with 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 basic Japanese, Daily Japanese Conversations, Japanese Phrases for Beginners, Japanese gestures, and much more. Please visit our website for a fun learning experience!

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    Seijin No Hi: Celebrate Japanese Coming of Age Day in Japan

    Learning about the different holidays in Japan is a great step in better understanding Japan’s culture. This is because Japanese holidays and traditions offer both insight into the country’s past and values, as well as opportunities to learn the language itself more efficiently. (Because context can mean everything!)

    In particular, Coming of Age Day in Japan holds great value to the country’s youth and elderly alike. This is a day to celebrate all of those Japanese youth who have turned 20 years old, Japan’s legal age of adulthood.

    In addition to celebrating this momentous occasion in every Japanese adult’s life, this day is also designed to encourage them to be the best adults they can be.

    Despite the fact that what was once one of the most popular Japanese holidays is losing momentum, many people still hold to this holiday’s traditions in Japan.

    Learn more about this monumental day in the lives of young Japanese adults, including vocabulary and information about the Coming of Age Ceremony in Japan, with JapanesePod101.com.

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    1. Why Should You Know About Coming of Age Day?

    Coming of Age Day in Japan is an exciting day for the country’s youth, and is celebrated throughout Japan. This day is a reflection of Japan’s culture in that it promotes the wellbeing and success of those who have officially become adults.

    The passage from childhood to adulthood is important in Japanese culture (as it is around the world!), and in Japan this happens at the age of 20. As one of the most significant public holidays in Japan, there are some interesting holiday traditions in Japan for recognizing it.

    Learn more about Japanese Coming of Age Day and its significance to the Japanese people!

    2. What is Coming of Age Day in Japan?

    Young People Celebrating Coming of Age Day

    On Japanese Coming of Age Day (or Seijin no hi), Japan celebrates its youth who have turned 20 years old—the age which signifies official adulthood. And this is no minor celebration; it’s celebrated openly across the country, and is one of the most popular Japanese holidays.

    This day is marked by the Coming of Age Ceremony, during which town officials around Japan hold celebrations for these new adults to welcome them into adulthood.

    3. When is it?

    The Month of January

    Japanese Coming of Age Day takes place on the second Monday of January each year. For your convenience, here’s a quick list of the date of this holiday for the next ten years:

    • 2019: January 14
    • 2020: January 13
    • 2021: January 11
    • 2022: January 10
    • 2023: January 9
    • 2024: January 8
    • 2025: January 13
    • 2026: January 12
    • 2027: January 11
    • 2028: January 10

    4. How is it Celebrated?

    1- Coming of Age Ceremony

    On this day, the most important celebration is a Coming of Age Ceremony; one of these ceremonies takes place in various regions of Japan. All those who’ve turned 20 years old attend and are granted congratulations by town officials, as well as given a souvenir to remember the event by.

    These ceremonies also serve as an opportunity for the new Japanese adults to step up and show their maturity. It’s common for there to be a “representative” participant at these ceremonies, who gives a speech on behalf of each new Japanese adult. Oftentimes, these speeches contain promises of growing to become good and successful people, as well as hope for the future.

    Another special feature of the Coming of Age Ceremony is that participants from the previous year are also welcomed to attend. This not only allows the new adults to see their older friends and acquaintances; it also gives the older visitors the opportunity to cheer on their younger friends and reflect on their own Coming of Age Ceremony the year before.

    2- Dress

    It’s common for the young people to dress up in nice traditional clothing, particularly the young women who wear a 振袖 (ふりそで) or “furisode,” which is a special type of kimono. Men tend to opt for a suit and tie themselves, but on occasion will choose to wear a kimono with a 袴 (はか)
    or “hakama,” which are like loose-fitting trousers.

    3- Food and Fun

    After the ceremonies are over, some of the young people choose to spend time partying with their close friends and family. Oftentimes, they go out drinking and enjoy eating 赤飯 (せきはん),
    or “sekihan,” which is a popular dish with rice and red beans often associated with holidays and special events.

    Despite recent changes in the holiday (namely: lesser participation among youths and lowered age of maturity to 18 soon to take effect), it remains a significant day in the lives of many new adults and their families.

    5. Must-Know Vocab for Coming of Age Day

    Sekihan, A Popular Rice and Bean Dish

    Now that you’ve learned more about Japanese Coming of Age Day, let’s delve into some vocabulary you should know to celebrate this Japanese holiday to its fullest!

    • スーツ (スーツ)
      • English Translation: Suit
    • 袴 (はか)
      • English Translation: Hakama (loose-fitting trousers sometimes worn by young men on this day)
    • 成人の日 (せいじんのひ)
      • English Translation: Coming of Age Day
    • 振袖 (ふりそで)
      • English Translation: Furisode (a special kimono worn by females on this day)
    • 二十歳 (はたち)
      • English Translation: Twenty years old
    • お祝い (おいわい)
      • English Translation: Celebration
    • 成人式 (せいじんしき)
      • English Translation: Coming of age ceremony
    • 赤飯 (せきはん)
      • English Translation: Sekihan (a dish with rice and red beans)
    • 1月の第2月曜日 (いちがつの だいにげつようび)
      • English Translation: The second Monday of January
    • 新成人 (しんせいじん)
      • English Translation: New adult
    • 羽織 (はおり)
      • English Translation: Haori coat (a type of coat worn on top of a kosode)

    If you want to learn how to pronounce these words, be sure to check out our Japanese Coming of Age Day word list. Here, you can find audio pronunciations along with each word to help you better learn them.

    Conclusion

    Now you have a greater knowledge of Japanese Coming of Age Day, including the most important vocabulary for you to know.

    If you want to learn even more about Japanese culture, be sure to visit JapanesePod101.com! We have an array of helpful tools to help you learn Japanese efficiently and in an entertaining manner. These include vocabulary lists, blog posts on various Japanese topics, and our MyTeacher app which gives you access to one-on-one training as you learn Japanese.

    We hope you found this article helpful, and that you enjoy your Coming of Age Day celebration in Japan!