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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?

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. 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!

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

    Setsubun: Celebrate the Japanese Bean-throwing Festival!

    Japan is a country with quite a rich culture and history, and the Setsubun Festival reflects this. Find out why the Japanese hold the Bean-throwing Ceremony each year and much more about this holiday’s events with JapanesePod101.com!

    After you’ve learned about this holiday, you’ll have gained much insight into Japan as a whole. So let’s get started by finding out what exactly the Setsubun Festival is.

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    1. What is Setsubun Day?

    Setsubun Day, also known as the Japanese Bean-throwing Festival, is a unique Japanese holiday. Essentially, the Bean-throwing Festival is celebrated as a way of chasing demons away and summoning good fortune.

    In ancient times, many believed that evil spirits were born during the changing of the seasons, and these spirits would make people ill or destroy their crops. To protect themselves, they created a special event to exorcise a symbolic evil spirit, or demon.

    This special event is still performed each year, through throwing beans and reciting chants to keep demons away. Read on for more information about these celebrations.

    2. When is it?

    Season

    節分 (Setsubun) literally means “the day that marks the change from one season to the next.” In the spring, this day is called 立春 (risshun); in the summer, it’s 立夏 (rikka); in the fall, it’s 立秋 (risshū); and in the winter, it’s 立冬 (rittō). Since the Edo period in the 16th and 17th century, the day before 立春 (risshun), meaning “spring,” has been the only one with the name 節分(Setsubun). It’s held each year around February 4.

    3. How is it Celebrated?

    Throw Roasted Soybeans

    There are some fascinating Setsubun traditions that take place on this day. Take, for example, the following.

    At places such as homes and temples, people say, “鬼は外、福は内! (Oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi!)” meaning “Demons outside, fortune inside!” Then, they throw roasted soybeans, known as 福豆 (fukumame) or “fortune beans.” Each family member sows beans at home, though in recent years they have become available at stores like supermarkets.

    At temples, men and women known as 年男 (toshi otoko) and 年女 (toshi onna), meaning they were born in the same Chinese zodiac sign as the current year, throw the beans. These people are said to be vulnerable to disaster that year. After throwing the beans, one bean is eaten for each year of age, and prayers are made for good health over the course of the year.

    Demons are a big part of throwing the beans. However, since demons are fictional and don’t actually exist, fathers will often wear a demon Setsubun mask (or Setsubun oni) and dress as a demon. At kindergartens and nurseries, teachers will play the role of the demon. While children are a little scared, they cheerfully throw beans while chanting “demons outside, fortune inside.” The demon then rushes away and escapes through a door.

    At 節分 (Setsubun), 恵方巻 (ehōmaki) is eaten for good luck. This is a large sushi roll stuffed with Japanese omelette (also known as Tamagoyaki), cucumber, and gourd. Sushi rolls are usually cut into bite-size pieces, but ehōmaki is eaten just as it is, approximately twenty centimeters (almost eight inches) in length.

    There’s also an interesting custom of eating this meal while facing the “lucky direction” for that given year. Further, it’s considered good luck to finish eating the roll in total silence, and many people choose to think about their wishes for the new year as they eat it. One possible wish could be for 無病息災 (Mubyō sokusai) or a “state of perfect health.”

    4. Additional Information

    Did you know that while in most regions people chant “demons outside, fortune inside,” in some places people chant “fortune inside, demons inside?” At temples dedicated to demons, it’s thought that demons are for the use of a god, and so chanting “demons outside” is taboo. This offers a glimpse into an interesting facet of the Japanese culture and how thinking differs on this topic.

    Another interesting fact about this holiday is that sardines are attached to a holly branch, which is then hung on the door. Thorns also grow on holly trees, and it is believed that they too have the power of a talisman to ward away demons.

    5. Must-know Vocab

    Here’s some helpful vocabulary for you to study so you can celebrate Bean-throwing Day to its fullest!

    • 豆 (まめ) — green bean
    • 節分 (せつぶん) — Bean-throwing Ceremony
    • 神社 (じんじゃ) — shrine
    • 鬼 (おに) — devil
    • 立春 (りっしゅん) — the first day of spring
    • 無病息災 (むびょうそくさい) — state of perfect health
    • 恵方巻き(えほうまき) — fortune sushi roll
    • 福は内、鬼は外 (ふくはうち、おにはそと。) — Devils out! Good luck in!
    • 鬼の面 (おにのめん) — devil’s mask
    • 豆まき(まめまき) — bean-throwing
    • 節分祭 (せつぶんさい) — bean-throwing festival

    To hear the pronunciation of each vocab word, check out our Japanese Bean-throwing Day vocabulary list. Here you’ll find each vocab word with an audio file for you to listen to.

    Conclusion

    As you can see, the Setsubun Festival is rooted deeply in Japan’s history, especially in terms of early religion and spiritual beliefs. While some of these beliefs have dwindled over time, this is still a widely celebrated holiday and is enjoyed by many Japanese people each year.

    What do you think about the Setsubun Bean-throwing Ceremony in Japan? Is there a similar holiday in your home country? Let us know in the comments!

    Interested in learning more about Japanese culture? Visit us at JapanesePod101.com, and take advantage of our free vocabulary lists as well as our informational blog posts. You can even utilize our online community to discuss lessons with fellow students, and download our MyTeacher app for a one-on-one Japanese learning experience.

    We hope you enjoyed learning about this Japanese holiday and that you’ll continue delving into Japan’s fascinating culture as you learn the language. JapanesePod101.com will be here for you every step of the way!

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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!

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    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!

    Blood Type Personality in Japan: What It Says about You

    If you have ever visited Japan or stayed in Japan for quite some time, you have probably noticed that a lot of Japanese people ask “what is your blood type?”. This question is one of the most common questions that Japanese people ask. In Japan, it is perfectly fine to ask about a person’s blood type, especially if you want to get to know someone very well instantly, in particular, on a blind date. The reason is that Japanese people believe that each blood type has its own distinct personality and it is the quickest way to determine a person’s temperament and even compatibility with others. You may feel confused as to why people ask about blood types in Japan, but don’t worry. If you are asked this by a Japanese, that means that the person wants to get to know you better.

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    So who developed this concept? The blood type personality theory was developed by a Japanese person named Masahiko Nomi who graduated from the University of Tokyo. He began his first career as a journalist and his first book “Understanding Affinity by Blood Type” became a bestseller in the 1970s. The idea then spread outward and it is popular in some Asian countries, such as South Korea and Taiwan. You are probably wondering, ‘so what’s this all about?’, so let’s have a look at the description of each blood type to see if it matches with your personality. Then let’s look at the compatibility of blood types.

    Blood Type A

    1. Blood Type A

    According to the Japanese blood type personality chart, it is said that people with blood type A are known to be diplomatic and friendly, however due to their sensitive natures, they prefer staying alone to being in a group; therefore they may feel uncomfortable in crowded areas or parties. Also, they are fragile-hearted and easily get hurt, therefore it takes time for them to open up to people. Others may take this negatively and view them as snobs, since people with blood type A are good at hiding their feelings and do not express themselves a lot compared to other blood types such as blood type B or O. If you want to be friends with a person with Blood Type A, the best way is to be patient and get to know them slowly. Once you get to know them you will find that they are very friendly and down to earth! Also, they are punctual and always expect the best results in everything they do, therefore others seem them as perfectionists. When people describe blood type A, you will often hear:

    A型は、几帳面で細かいそうです。
    Aがたは、きちょうめんでこまかいそうです。
    A-gata wa, kichōmen de komakai sō desu.
    “People with type A blood are earnest and sensitive.”

    Blood Type A Personality in Japanese

    • 几帳面 (きちょうめん, kichōmen) = “methodical”
    • 慎重 (しんちょう, shinchō) = “cautious”
    • こだわりが強い (こだわりがつよい, kodawari ga tsuyoi) = “stubborn”
    • 細かい (こまかい, komakai) = “detailed”

    Blood Type Compatibility for A

    • The best blood type compatibility is O, followed by A.
    • The worst blood type compatibility is B.

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    Blood Type B

    2. Blood Type B

    According to the Japanese blood type personality chart, it is said that B types are the most outgoing compared to other blood types. Also they are independent and are passionate about the things that they are interested in. Type Bs always seek stimulation and they are not afraid of speaking their minds. Therefore, they can be seen as self-centered because they express their opinion, regardless of what the other person might feel.

    In Japan, men with blood type B have a negative reputation for being playboys and for not suitable for a stable relationship. But don’t worry, although blood type B has a negative reputation for being the blood type of playboys, there are many positive traits too. They are curious, honest and enjoy attention, therefore people with blood type B can make friends easily, like a social butterfly! When people describe blood type B, you will often hear:

    B型は、創造的で楽観的なようです。
    Bがたは、そうぞうてきでらっかんてきなようです。
    B-gata wa, sōzōteki de rakkanteki na yō desu.
    “People with blood type B are creative and optimistic.”

    Blood Type B Personality in Japanese

    • 創造的 (そうぞうてき, sōzōteki) “creative”
    • 楽観的 (らっかんてき, rakkanteki) “optimistic”
    • 利己的 (りこてき, rikoteki) “selfish”
    • 無責任 (むせきにん, musekinin) “irresponsible”

    Blood Type Compatibility for B

    • The best blood type compatibility is AB, followed by O.
    • The worst blood type compatibility is A.

    Blood Type O

    3. Blood Type O

    They are known to be energetic, practical and friendly. Also blood type O is labeled as a natural leader. They are experts at expressing their opinions in a constructive way, making sure that everyone listens to them, while still being friendly to everyone. They know how to control their emotions very well, giving others a great impression of being stable and under control. Research indicates that blood type O is the most prefered blood type by CEOs and coworkers because of the traits mentioned above. However, although they might have a reputation of being strong outside, they are very sensitive inside. People with blood type O have some difficulties expressing their feelings due to a fear of rejection and also they tend to burn themselves out trying to get things done perfectly. The best way to describe type Os in Japanese is:

    O型の人は情熱的だと言われています。
    Oがたのひとはじょうねつてきだといわれています。
    Ō-gata no hito wa jōnetsuteki da to iwarete imasu.
    “It’s said that people with type O blood are passionate.”

    Blood Type O Personality in Japanese

    • おおらか(おおらか, ōraka) = “easygoing”
    • 社交的 (しゃこうてき, shakōteki) = “outgoing”
    • 高慢 (こうまん, kōman) = “arrogant”
    • 嫉妬深い (しっとぶかい, shittobukai) = “jealous”

    Blood Type Compatibility for O

    • The best blood type compatibility is A, followed by B.
    • The worst blood type compatibility is AB.

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    Blood Type AB

    4. Blood Type AB

    They are the most interesting type compared to the others because this blood type is labeled as either genius or psycho. They are unpredictable because they often jump around from one activity to the next and their temperament is mixture of blood type A and B, therefore their personalities change quickly depending on their mood and the situation, and sometimes they don’t have control over it. Also type ABs are rational thinkers, therefore they cannot stand it when they find some situations to be irrational. As a result, they may have some difficulties interacting with people, giving others the wrong impression of being moody or two-faced. One of the ways to describe blood type ABs is:

    日本でAB型の人は少ないです。
    にほんでABがたのひとはすくないです。
    Nihon de ĒBī-gata no hito wa sukunai desu.
    “We don’t have many people with the AB blood type in Japan.”

    Blood Type AB Personality in Japanese

    • 合理的 (ごうりてき, gōriteki) = “rational”
    • 才能がある (さいのうがある, sainō ga aru) = “to be talented”
    • 批判的 (ひはんてき, hihanteki) = “critical”
    • 風変わり (ふうがわり, fūgawari) = “eccentric”

    Blood Type Compatibility for AB

    • The best blood type compatibility is AB, followed by B.
    • The worst blood type compatibility is O.

    Now, let’s have a look at few useful Japanese sentences which you can use right away.

    Talking about Blood Type

    5. Talking about Your Blood Type in Japanese

    “What’s your blood type?”

    • Informal: (あなたの)血液型は何型? ((あなたの)けつえきがたはなにがた? Anata no ketsueki-gata wa nani-gata?)
    • Formal: (あなたの)血液型は何型ですか。 ((あなたの)けつえきがたはなにがたですか。 Anata no ketsueki-gata wa nani-gata desu ka.)

    “My blood type is…”:

    • Informal: 私の血液型は、…。 (わたしのけつえきがたは、…。 Watashi no ketsueki-gata wa, … )
    • Formal: 私の血液型は、…です。 (わたしのけつえきがたは、…です。 Watashi no ketsueki-gata wa, … desu.)

    Example:

    A: なおこの血液型は何型?
    A: (なおこのけつえきがたはなにがた? Naoko no ketsueki-gata wa nani-gata?)
    A: “What’s Naoko’s blood type?”

    B: なおこの血液型は、O型。
    B: (なおこのけつえきがたは、Oがた。, Naoko no ketsueki-gata wa, O-gata.)
    B: “Naoko’s blood type is O.”

    Tokyo

    6. How JapanesePod101 Can Help You Learn more Japanese

    You’ve learned some secret Japanese blood type personalities with useful Japanese phrases to describe your blood type personality.

    To sum up, we had a look at each blood type and its personality and temperament, and blood type compatibility for each type. Do you think that they are true? Also, do you know how to describe your personality in Japanese? JapanesePod101 has prepared a list of useful Japanese adjectives to describe your personality for you to study. It is available online, so feel free to download it for free.

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    So next time you run into a Japanese person and want to understand their personality quickly, why not ask a simple question, like:

    血液型は何型ですか。
    ketsueki-gata wa nani-gata desu ka.
    “What is your blood type?”

    JapanesePod101 has many vocabulary lists available on our website for you to download for free. Why don’t you prepare a self-introduction, including your blood type and your personality in Japanese? Click “10 Lines You Need for Introducing Yourself” to learn practical phrases in Japanese.

    Thank you and we hope that you enjoy learning Japanese!

    What is JLPT?

    What is JLPT?

    If you have been studying Japanese for any length of time, you might have heard of the JLPT or Japanese Language Proficiency Test. Organized by Japan Educational Exchanges and Services (JEES), a semi-governmental organization, it has kind of become the standard way of measuring one’s Japanese level, at least in terms of their passive language skills (listening and reading).

    Japanese learners sometimes use it to find weak points when studying Japanese. And the higher levels of the test can be used to qualify you for jobs and can even earn you points toward a special permanent residency. Even if you currently don’t have plans to work in Japan, knowing about the different levels of the test can help you organize your studies and choose books and resources that match your level.

    Since the test was revised in 2010, there have been 5 levels to the JLPT – N5, N4, N3, N2 and N1 with N5 being the easiest. The test leans more heavily toward grammar than vocabulary, so you’ll learn most of the grammar you use on a daily basis with the first two tests, but most of the vocabulary you need to use the language by the N2 level.

    But, I’m getting ahead of myself a little bit. Let’s go over each level one by one.

    Test

    JLPT N5

    The N5 gives you a good start to the language. It covers around 600 words, 100 kanji and around 100 grammar points. At this level, you will learn mostly about the building blocks of Japanese grammar – particles. Particles mark all the different parts of the sentence that you are familiar with (the object, the location of something, etc…) as well as some that you are not familiar with like the topic and the subject, which are two important concepts that you will need to understand to use Japanese well.

    What it can be used for

    The N5 is a good show of achievement and interest in the language. It is worth putting on a resume, but it probably won’t qualify you for a job. Many people study and prepare for this test, but don’t actually take it, instead choosing to take a few practice tests to check their level. If you are looking to save some money and time, it might be worth skipping this one on your way to N4 or a higher level.

    Conversation

    JLPT N4

    The N4 covers most of the grammar that you need to survive in a Japanese conversation. Truthfully, if you never learned another grammar point after this level, you could probably get around just fine in Japan and understand the grammar used in most conversations. The amount of vocabulary, around 2000 words, falls short of what you will need to be truly fluent though.

    You will also need to know around 300 kanji, which is still not enough to help you read a newspaper, but might be enough for you to understand the main idea of a few blog articles.

    What it can be used for

    The N4 could help you with a job outside of Japan that doesn’t require Japanese but would be helpful if you had some background. If you are not interested in working and living in Japan, this is where a lot of people stop because you have enough comprehension skills and grammar to survive in most conversations. You will still need to learn more vocabulary and kanji, but you are at a pretty comfortable level with the language.

    Reading

    JLPT N3

    At the N3, you’ll be forced to start increasing your reading speed and comprehension. A lot of the grammar points introduced at this level are more advanced phrases and expressions as well as things used mostly in reading or prepared speaking. It covers around 5000 words and 600 kanji.

    The main purpose of this test is to bridge the gap between N4, which covers a lot of common use grammar and N2 which starts to cover lesser used grammar. Also, it will help you gauge how much you know and understand the vocabulary and kanji you need for N2.

    What it can be used for

    It can be used outside of Japan in a job that requires some basic use of Japanese that doesn’t exactly require real-time comprehension, like email communications. A lot of companies in Southeast Asia or India that work with Japanese companies might only need a N3 if you can back it up with good conversation skills.

    Reading

    JLPT N2

    The N2 gives you most of the grammar you will need to use and understand written and spoken Japanese – around 10,000 words, and 1000 of the most used kanji. Once you’ve passed N2, you should be able to read most native materials with varying degrees of comprehension. You still might only be able to understand the main idea of a newspaper article. But most of the details of young adult novels, advertisements, common notices, and the like should be easy to understand.

    In truth, passing the N2 will give you all of the skills you need to eventually deal with most situations in Japan. You will still need a few months to adjust to anything new before working smoothly, but most people will be able to survive.

    What it can be used for

    The N2 can get a good number of jobs in Japan. If you have good conversation skills, this is realistically all you need to work in Japan. Most companies outside of Japan will accept this as well. Nothing beats N1 of course, but the N2 will do in most situations. You still might not qualify for some highly competitive ‘listed’ jobs, but if you network and meet people, there are plenty of opportunities to be had.

    JLPT N1

    The king of them all. Although there are grammar points covered at this level, half of the grammar questions are more focused on nuances that are difficult if not impossible to specifically study for. A lot of the study guides and books for this level will give you a decent idea of what this test is like, but you will need regular exposure to native-level material in order to pass.

    After passing this test, you will have very strong reading and listening skills. The test forces you to learn good, fast note-taking skills for listening and good skimming and scanning reading skills, which will come in handy at a job that requires a good amount of reading and listening.

    What it can be used for

    The N1 qualifies you for pretty much any job in Japan. It can also be used to qualify for a special visa that has more perks than a simple permanent residency. It will open a lot of doors for you.

    Keep in mind that the time it takes to go from zero Japanese to N2 is about the same amount of time it takes to go from N2 to N1 depending on your background. With that big of an investment in time, it might be worth it to get any job that uses Japanese and learn on the job and spend your study time on another skill or even another language.

    Overall

    The JLPT is a great way to measure your level as you study Japanese. Even if you don’t sit the test, taking the practice tests and preparing for it will greatly improve your reading and listening skills. Personally, I was never a very good note-taker, even in English. But, studying and preparing for the N2 and N1 really helped improve those skills for me.

    If you are getting ready to take the N5, be sure to pick up my JLPT Study Guide for that level. It covers all the grammar, reading, and listening practice you’ll need. And when you are finished you can test your level with the 3 included practice tests.

    JapanesePod101 has a lot of great Japanese courses that focus on some of the harder things to listen for on the JLPT that helped prepare me for N3.

    For information about the JLPT, stop by JLPTBootCamp.