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Archive for the 'Japanese Phrases' Category

Japanese Untranslatable Words: Let’s Talk like a Native!

Japanese Untranslatable Words

When learning a new language, people encounter words and expressions which can’t be clearly translated into that language. Japanese is no exception. Japanese has various untranslatable words which need to be explained with concepts, contexts, or situations in order to grasp the true meaning and nuance these original words have. Japanese phrases with no English equivalent are both fun and important to learn during your language studies.

Reasons to Study Japanese

Much like in other languages, Japanese untranslatable words reflect the Japanese culture. By learning untranslatable Japanese words, you’ll also gain insight into unique Japanese views, values, and philosophies. Japanese words that are untranslatable often prove interesting to other cultures, and in fact, there are quite a few beautiful untranslatable Japanese words for you to discover!

Here’s our list of Japanese untranslatable words with no direct English equivalent (though these are just our favorite untranslatable Japanese words).

Table of Contents

  1. いただきます (Itadakimasu)
  2. ごちそうさま (Gochisō-sama)
  3. お疲れ様 (Otsukare-sama)
  4. おじゃまします(Ojama shimasu)
  5. もったいない (Mottainai)
  6. 懐かしい (Natsukashii)
  7. よろしくお願いします (Yoroshiku onegai shimasu)
  8. 侘寂 わびさび (Wabi Sabi)
  9. 高嶺の花 (Takane no Hana)
  10. ありがた迷惑 (Arigata Meiwaku)
  11. Summary of Untranslatable Words in Japanese
  12. Conclusion: How Japanesepod101 Can Help You Learn More Japanese

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1. いただきます (Itadakimasu)

  • Literal Translation: I eat/receive. (In a humble and respectful way)
  • Meaning: “I’m thankful for food and I start to eat.”
  • Example Situation:
    • Before you start to eat a meal (whether it be breakfast, lunch, or dinner), you say Itadakimasu.
  • Example:
    • 美味しそうなラーメン!いただきます。
      Oishisō na Rāmen! Itadakimasu.
      The Ramen looks yummy! Itadakimasu.
  • Additional Notes:

In formal Japanese, there are three forms of honorific languages with different levels of politeness: Teinei-go (it shows politeness), Sonkei-go (it respects, honors, and increases the status of the person you’re talking to), and Kenjō-go (it lowers your status with humbleness and respect). Itadakimasu is “I eat” in the form of Kenjō-go which express your humbleness to eat.

Itadakimasu is different from “Bon appetit.” Itadakimasu is used by a person who starts to eat with gratitude for the food and for the person who cooked it, while “Bon appetit” is used by a person who serves food and means “enjoy food.”

Japanese Food


2. ごちそうさま (Gochisō-sama)

  • Literal Translation: Delicious food; treat; feast; banquet; etc., in a respectful style.
  • Meaning: “I finished eating and thank you for the food.” (With respect) Sama is the term used to express respect.
  • Example Situation:
    When you finish eating a meal, you say Gochisō-sama.
  • Example:
    ごちそうさま。お母さん、今日の夕食はとても美味しかったよ!
    Gochisō-sama. O-kā-san, kyō no yūshoku wa totemo oishikatta yo!
    Gochisō-sama. Tonight’s dinner was really good, mom!
  • Additional Notes:
    This is one Japanese word with no English translation that people around the world can actually relate to. You can say Gochisō-sama when you’ve finished eating your meal at home, in a restaurant, or really for any occasion. If you want to say it more politely in a more formal situation, you add deshita to the end: Gochisō-sama deshita. It’ a good Japanese table manner to say Itadakimasu and Gochisō-sama during meals.


3. お疲れ様 (Otsukare-sama)

  • Literal Translation: “(You must be) tired.” (With respect)
  • Meaning:
    Otsukare-sama has some different meanings depending on the situation, all of which are handy to use. It can mean: “hello,” “well done,” “you must be tired,” “see you,” “good-bye,”and so on.
  • Example Situation:
    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 about someone and that you also know how they must feel. Or it can simply be used as a greeting at an office upon arriving or leaving, or when meeting with colleagues.
  • Example:
    1. 会議でのプレゼンお疲れ様。
    Kaigi de no purezen otsukare-sama.
    Well done for the presentation at the meeting.

    2. お疲れ様です。また明日。
    Otsukare-sama desu. Mata ashita.
    See you tomorrow. (At office)

  • Additional Notes:
    It becomes more polite when you put desu at the end of Otsukare-sama. It’s an expression used when Japanese people want to show their appreciation for the other person’s efforts and work with respect. Nowadays, Otsukare-sama desu is a very common greeting in work settings, especially among colleagues.

Living Room


4. おじゃまします(Ojama shimasu

  • Literal Translation: “I disturb.” (In a humble and polite way)
  • Meaning:
    Let me visit /enter a house. (In a humble and polite way)
  • Example Situation:
    This is the greeting phrase to use when you enter someone’s house, especially when you’re invited. It’s to show gratitude for the host for the invitation and makes you seem polite as a guest.
  • Example:
    おじゃまします。すごく広くて素敵なお家ですね。
    Ojama shimasu. Sugoku hirokute suteki na o-uchi desu ne.
    Ojama shimasu. Your house is very spacious and nice.
  • Additional Notes:
    In Japan, we usually say Ojama shimasu whenever visiting someone’s house. It would be rude to enter someone’s house without saying this. When you leave someone’s house, you say Ojama shimashita, which is the past tense of Ojama shimasu.


5. もったいない (Mottainai)

  • Literal Translation: “No dignity/importance.”
  • Meaning: Worthy of a better cause, associated with a feeling of being attached to it and reluctant to throw it away. Mottainai’ can mean: “What a waste,” “How wasteful,” “It is too good for/to ___,” “You don’t know what you’re missing,” etc.
  • Example Situation:
    This phrase may be used when something that’s still useful or worth something is either not being used, or is going to be thrown away. This can be used for people, opportunities, situations, and so on.
  • Example:
    お腹いっぱいだからと言って、食べ物を捨てるのはもったいないよ。
    Onaka ippai da kara to itte, tabemono o suteru no wa mottainai yo.
    It is a waste to throw away food only because you are full.
  • Additional Notes:
    This phrase comes from the Japanese mentality which puts value on treating things well and taking good care of things to use them for a long time. While the English word “waste” has negative nuances such as worthless, useless, and unwanted, whose Japanese translation can be “浪費 (rōhi)”, in Japanese, mottainai contains positive nuances such as worthy and valuable. It also expresses regret that a thing still useful isn’t used to its full potential. This may be one of the most beautiful untranslatable Japanese words.

Nostalgic Woman


6. 懐かしい (Natsukashii)

  • Literal Translation: “Nostalgic.”
  • Meaning: A nostalgic feeling you have when you remember and miss something about the past.
  • Example Situation:
    You feel Natsukashii when you find your toys from childhood that you enjoyed playing with. You remember all the childhood memories of playing with that toy with friends and family, and you have nostalgic feelings about it.
  • Example:
    高校の卒業アルバムを実家で見つけた!懐かしい思い出ばかりだよ。
    Kōkō no sotsugyō arubamu o jikka de mitsuketa! Natsukashii omoide bakari da yo.
    I found the graduation yearbook of highschool at my parents’ house. It’s full of memories of good old days.
  • Additional Notes:
    It can also be used to express: “The good old days,” “Good times,” “I miss ___,” “It reminds me of ___,” “It brings back memories,” “I feel nostalgic,” etc.

Handshake


7. よろしくお願いします (Yoroshiku onegai shimasu)

  • Literal Translation: “Good” / “Right” / “Suitable favor please”
  • Meaning: It has many meanings, depending on what situation it’s used in, and all meanings are quite useful. It can mean: “Nice to meet you,” “Best regards,” “Favorably please,” “Please take care of me,” etc., to show your gratitude and humbleness in hoping to have a good relationship from that point forward.
  • Example Situation:
    Yoroshiku onegai shimasu can be used in a variety of situations, especially when you’re new to something, such as meeting new people at work, when you start a new job or project, when someone’s going to take care of you, etc.
  • Example:
    今日からこのクラスに参加する田中です。よろしくお願いします。
    Kyō kara kono kurasu ni sanka suru Tanaka desu. Yoroshiku onegai shimasu.
    I am Tanaka who starts this class from today. Yoroshiku onegai shimasu.
  • Additional Notes:
    This phrase is very useful. It doesn’t actually have a particular clear meaning and so you can use it for many occasions. It’s also used to finish a conversation or email message.

Japanese Garden


8. 侘寂 わびさび (Wabi Sabi)

  • Literal Translation: “Frugal” / “Simple and quiet” / “Silent”
  • Meaning: This is a concept, or view, of Japanese beauty. It accepts and values things which are natural and transient, as well as imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.
  • Example Situation: An asymmetrical wooden table with a natural and original shape, as well as the grain of a tree, is a great example of imperfection as an aesthetic according to Wabi Sabi.
  • Example:
    建仁寺は、ミラノの大聖堂のように豪華ではないが、禅のわびさびの風情がある。
    Kennin-ji wa, Mirano no daiseidō no yō ni gōka de wa nai ga, Zen no Wabi Sabi no fuzei ga aru.
    The Kennin-ji temple isn’t gorgeous like Milano Cathedral, but there is the Zen taste of wabi sabi.
  • Additional Notes:
    Wabi sabi is also used to express the concept of valuing simplicity and humility, rather than luxury and impressiveness.

Lotus


9. 高嶺の花 (Takane no Hana)

  • Literal Translation: “Flower” (Hana) “in high peak” (Takane).
  • Meaning:
    This is one of the most creative untranslatable Japanese words and describes a woman who seems out of reach and who’s not easy to get familiar with. Takane no Hana is a metaphor which comes from the fact that flowers on a high peak on a mountain aren’t easily reachable. It also expresses a feeling of admiration.
  • Example Situation:
    If you see someone with a high profile who’s super beautiful and has a good personality, you tend to think that she’s not easy to become friends with (or even to make her your girlfriend).
  • Example:
    美人なかおりさんは、クラスで一番優秀で大企業の社長令嬢です。学校中で高嶺の花の存在です
     ね。
    Bijin na Kaori-san wa, kurasu de ichi-ban yūshū de daikigyō no shachō reijō desu. Gakkōjū de Takane no. Hana no sonzai desu ne.
    Beautiful Kaori is the smartest girl in the class and she is the daughter of a large company’s CEO. She is Takane no hana in school, isn’t she?
  • Additional Notes:
    It’s also used to express that a woman is too perfect to be attainable.


10. ありがた迷惑 (Arigata Meiwaku)

  • Literal Translation: “Thankful” / “Grateful” (Arigatai) / “Troublesome” / “Annoying” (Meiwaku)
  • Meaning: This phrase is used to describe a situation when someone does something for you that you didn’t necessarily want them to do (but you still think you should be grateful for it).
  • Example Situation:
    When your neighbour always shares their food with you, but you never actually like when they do this, you feel that this neighbor’s favor is Arigata Meiwaku.
  • Example:
    私の祖母は毎年手編みの手袋をくれます。嬉しいけど使わないから、ありがた迷惑です。
    Watashi no sobo wa maitoshi teami no tebukuro o kuremasu. Ureshii kedo tsukawanai kara, Arigata Meiwaku desu.
    My grandmother gives me her handmade knitted gloves every year. It’s Arigata meiwaku because I’m happy for her favor but I never use them.
  • Additional Notes:
    This phrase reflects the Japanese mentality which puts importance on being polite to others and maintaining harmony without causing conflict. Japanese people can’t easily say “No,” especially when it comes to favors and offerings because people think saying no will hurt or offend the other person’s feelings and would cause some sort of conflict (breaking harmony).


11. Summary of Untranslatable Words in Japanese

In this article, we’ve gone over common Japanese untranslatable words for language learning, and have also shown you untranslatable Japanese words to English.

These Japanese untranslatable words are very handy to use for expressing situations or your feelings. There are thousands of more untranslatable words in Japanese, including idioms, proverbs, slangs, and even newly coined words.

You’ll be able to speak Japanese like a native once you master Japanese untranslatable words, as you also comprehend the Japanese philosophy and mentality behind the country’s culture!

We hope we’ve helped to satisfy your curiosity about untranslatable words from Japanese, and that you found our list of untranslatable Japanese words helpful!


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

The Best Ways to Learn Japanese

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

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

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

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

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

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1. What is the Japanese Star Festival?

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

2. When is the Tanabata Festival?

July 7 is the Star Festival

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

3. How is Tanabata Celebrated?

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

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

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

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

4. The Tanabata Story

Star Festival Event

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

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

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

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

And this is the story of the Star Festival.

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

5. Vocab You Need to Know for the Star Festival

Orihime

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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How to Say “My Name is,” in Japanese and More!

When you’re learning Japanese and starting to make new friends, or visiting Japan for travel, school, or business, there will be many occasions where you need to introduce yourself. Introducing yourself is always important in starting a good relationship with someone: friends, peers, students, co-workers, neighbors, etc.

Hence, it’s important to learn things like how to say “My name is,” in Japanese, as well as other ways of introducing yourself in Japanese phrases.

There are some tips to keep in mind when it comes to introducing yourself in Japan, from a cultural perspective. For example, you should usually use a formal and polite style of Japanese when you introduce yourself, and it’s better not to talk about yourself too much or give too many personal details right away.

Ready to learn how to introduce yourself and learn Japanese with us? Here’s our list of practical phrases and tips for introducing yourself in Japanese words.

P.S., you can find more information on how to introduce yourself in Japanese business on our site!

Table of Contents

  1. Identifying Yourself
  2. Stating Your Name
  3. Stating Your Age
  4. Stating Where You’re From
  5. Placing Yourself in Society
  6. Sharing Personal Details
  7. Conclusion: How JapanesePod101 Can Help You Learn More Japanese

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1. Identifying Yourself

1- Greeting

The first thing you do when meeting someone, before introducing yourself, is offer them a greeting. There’s also a greeting word the Japanese use to close an introduction, which we’ll familiarize you with below. These can also be good ways of how to introduce yourself in Japanese interviews.

1. はじめまして。

Romanization: Hajimemashite.
English Translation: Nice to meet you.

When you first meet someone, Hajimemashite, or “Nice to meet you” in Japanese, is the first word of 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.). Keep in mind that this may be a good phrase for how to introduce yourself in Japanese email.

Example:

  • はじめまして。私はマリコです。
    Hajimemashite. Watashi wa Mariko desu.
    Nice to meet you. I am Mariko.

Note: Watashi wa meaning in Japanese is “(as for) me.”

2. よろしくお願いします。

Romanization: Yoroshiku onegai shimasu.
English Translation: Please treat me well.

This is used at the end of an introduction, after you’ve finished introducing yourself. It actually has many meanings, but in this case, it means “Please treat me well,” or “Please be nice/kind to me.” This may sound awkward in English, but it’s an important greeting phrase in Japan to show your gratitude and humbleness, especially in hoping to have a good relationship with that person. In a casual situation, you can just say Yoroshiku as a shortened version.

Example:

  • 今日からここで働きます鈴木です。よろしくお願いします。
    Kyō kara koko de hatarakimasu Suzuki desu. Yoroshiku onegai shimasu.
    I am Suzuki and I start work here today. Please be good to me.

Greeting

When you greet and introduce yourself for the first time, most of the time you should bow and shake hands.


2. Stating Your Name

Learning how to say your name is an essential aspect of Japanese introductions, especially when it comes to how to introduce yourself in Japanese for interview. Following Hajimemashite, it’s very common to state your name to start your introduction in Japanese. There are a few ways to say your name in Japanese.

1- 私はユミです。

Romanization: Watashi wa Yumi desu.
English Translation: I am Yumi.

This is the most common phrase to tell someone your name.

  • Watashi = I
  • wa = am / is / are
  • desu = This is a Japanese 述語 (Jutsugo) or predicate in a polite style, which is added to the end of a sentence.

2- 私はユミと言いいます。

Romanization: Watashi wa Yumi to iimasu.
English Translation: I am called Yumi.

This is another typical way to say your name in Japanese. It literally means “I am said to be Yumi.”

  • iimasu = This is a conjugated form of 言う (iu ) which means “to say.”
  • To = This is a Japanese postpositional particle which means “as” in this case.

This phrase sounds a bit more formal. In order to say it even more politely for an official occasion, you can say mōshimasu instead of iimasu, which is the respectful form (Keigo 敬語 ) of “say” in Japanese.

3- 私の名前はユミです。

Romanization: Watashi no namae wa Yumi desu.
English Translation: My name is Yumi.

When you’re asked “What is your name?”, you can answer with this phrase.

  • no = of
  • namae = name
  • Watashi no namae = my name

4- ユーミンと呼んでください。

Romanization: Yūmin to yonde kudasai.
English Translation: Please call me Yūmin.

If you have a nickname or あだ名 (adana) which is different from your real name, you can use this phrase after introducing your actual name.

  • yonde = This is a conjugation of 呼ぶ (yobu) which means “to call.”
  • kudasai = This is a Japanese Jutsugo (述語) or predicate in a polite style which means “please (call me)” in this case.


3. Stating Your Age

It’s not very common to state your age to a person you meet for the first time, especially if you’re an adult woman. In some situations, however, you’re expected to introduce your age or when you were born. On such occasions, here are some expressions for how to state your age.

1- 私は16歳です。

Romanization: Watashi wa 16-sai desu.
English Translation: I am 16 years old.

  • sai is “year(s) old.”
  • For Japanese numbers, please visit here for more details.
  • You can use any Japanese number to say “XX years old,” except for twenty.
    • “Twenty” is ni-jū as a Japanese number, but it’s read as はたち (hatachi) only when it’s expressed as an age.

2- 私は今年25歳になります。

Romanization: Watashi wa kotoshi 25-sai ni narimasu.
English Translation: I become 25 years old this year.

  • kotoshi is “this year.”
  • ni is a Japanese particle which is usually used to indicate destination or direction. In this case, it indicates the result of change.
  • narimasu is a conjugated form of なる (naru) which means “to become.”

3- 私は1990年生まれです。

Romanization: Watashi wa 1990-nen umare desu.
English Translation: I was born in 1990.

You can also express your age by stating the year of your birth. This phrase is a common answer when you’re asked when you were born, in situations such as confirming your legal age when you buy cigarettes or alcohol (the legal age for these is twenty in Japan).

  • nen is “year.”
  • umare is “was born” in noun form.
  • In order to express a year, unlike in English, the Japanese say the whole number.
    • For example, “1990″ in Japanese numbers is read “one-thousand nine-hundred ninety” in Japanese, which is sen kyū-hyaku kyū-jū.


4. Stating Where You’re From

When thinking about how to introduce yourself in a Japanese job interview, in particular, you should learn how to talk about where you’re from. Different regions have different features. It’s common to state where you’re from in your introduction in Japan. When you find that someone is from the same city or region of your city, it makes it easier to familiarize yourselves with each other.

1- 私は東京出身です。

Romanization: Watashi wa Tōkyō shusshin desu.
English Translation: I am from Tokyo.

  • shusshin is a noun word which means “come from” or “a place of one’s origin.”
  • If you’re a foreign person in Japan, state your country.

2- 私はカナダ人です。

Romanization: Watashi wa Canada-jin desu.
English Translation: I am Canadian.

  • You can also state your nationality or ethnicity instead of the country you’re from.
  • jin denotes nationality when it’s attached to the name of a country.

3- 私は大阪に住んでいます。

Romanization: Watashi wa Ōsaka ni sunde imasu.
English Translation: I live in Osaka.

  • You can also mention where you reside now.
  • Sunde imasu is a conjugated form of 住む (sumu) which means “(I am) living.”


When you’re from another country, it’s nice to introduce which country/region you’re from.


5. Placing Yourself in Society

1- Stating Your School and Major [for Students]

1. 私は東京大学に通っています。

Romanization: Watashi wa Tōkyō Daigaku ni kayotte imasu.
English Translation: I go to Tokyo University.

  • daigaku is “university.”
  • kayotte imasu is a conjugated form of 通う (kayō) which means “(I am) going” when talking about a place where you constantly and repeatedly go.
  • Vocabulary related to school:
    - 大学 (Daigaku) — University
    - 短期大学 (Tanki daigaku) — Junior college
    - 専門学校 (Senmon gakkō) — Vocational school / Technical school
    - 高校 (Kōkō) — High school
    - 中学校 (Chūgakkō) — Middle high school
    - 小学校 (Shōgakkō) — Elementary school

2. 私は経済学を学んでいます。

Romanization: Watashi wa keizaigaku o manande imasu.
English Translation: I study economics.

  • keizai is “economics” and gaku denotes a subject.
  • Vocabulary related to subjects:
    - 経営 (Keiei) — Business management
    - 法律 (Hōritsu) — Law
    - 生物 (Seibutsu) — Biology
    - 国際関係 (Kokusai kankei) — International relations
    - 情報技術 (Jōhō gijutsu) — Information technology
    - 金融 (Kinyū) — Finance
    - 芸術 (Geijutsu) — Art
    - 心理学 (Shinrigaku) — Psychology

2- Stating Your Profession [for Workers]

1. 私は看護師です。

Romanization: Watashi wa kangoshi desu.
English Translation: I am a nurse.

  • Put the word for your occupation where the underlined word is in the example.
  • Vocabulary related to occupation:
    - 看護師 (Kangoshi) — Nurse
    - コンピュータープログラマー (Konpyūtā puroguramā) — Computer programmer
    - 医者 (Isha) — Doctor
    - 先生 (Sensei) — Teacher
    - 販売員 (Hanbaiin) — Shop staff
    - 会計士 (Kaikeishi) — Accountant
    - スポーツインストラクター (Supōtsu insutorakutā) — Sports instructor
    - 美容師 (Biyōshi) — Hairdresser

2. 私は銀行で働いています。

Romanization: Watashi wa ginkō de hataraite imasu.
English Translation: I work at a bank.

This is another phrase used to mention where you work.

  • de means “at.”
  • hataraite imasu is a conjugated form of 働く (hataraku) which means “(I am) working.”
  • Vocabulary related to where you work:
    - 銀行 (Ginkō) — Bank
    - 会社 (Kaisha) — Company [general term]
    - 貿易会社 (Bōekigaisha) — Trading company
    - 広告会社 (Kōkokugaisha) — Advertising company
    - 建築事務所 (Kenchiku jimusho) — Architectural firm
    - アパレル会社 (Aparerugaisha) — Apparel/clothing company
    - 病院 (Byōin) — Hospital
    - レストラン (Resutoran) — Restaurant
    - デパート (Depāto) — Department store

In Japan, people often introduce themselves by saying which company they work for, but it’s also nice to explain what you do for work as a profession.


6. Sharing Personal Details

1- Information About Your Family and Pets

Here’s some information on how to introduce yourself and your family in Japanese! After all, family is a universal topic and one that’s so important.

1. 私は5人家族です。

Romanization: Watashi wa go-nin kazoku desu.
English Translation: I have a family of five members.

It’s common to say how many members are in your family. Put the number of members in your family in place of the underlined go (”five̶ ;) in the example sentence.

  • nin is a counter word used to count people, which means “person,” and it’s attached after a number.
  • kazoku means “family.”

2. 私は姉と弟がいます。

Romanization: Watashi wa ane to otōto ga imasu.
English Translation: I have a big sister and a younger brother.

You can also introduce how many brothers and sisters you have. For more details about family, please visit Family in Japan.

  • ane means “older sister.”
  • otōto means “younger brother.”
  • imasu is a conjugated form of いる (iru) which means “there is/are” in a polite style.

3. 私は犬を飼っています。

Romanization: Watashi wa inu o katte imasu.
English Translation: I have a dog.

  • inu means “dog.”
  • o indicates an object.
  • katte imasu is a conjugated form of 飼う (kau) which means “(I am) keeping and raising (animals).”
  • Vocabulary related to pets:
    - 犬 (Inu) — Dog
    - ハムスター (Hamusutā) — Hamster
    - 小鳥 (Kotori) — Small bird(s)
    - ヘビ (Hebi) — Snake
    - うさぎ (Usagi) — Rabbit
    - ねこ (Neko) — Cat

Pet
Your pet is a part of your family, so please do mention them!

2- Describing Hobbies

1. 私の趣味は登山です。

Romanization: Watashi no shumi wa tozan desu.
English Translation: My hobby is climbing mountains.

It’s always nice to introduce what you like to do in your free time in order to let people know more about you. It’s common to share information about your hobbies in Japan, unless it’s too personal (such as political or religious activities).

  • Watashi no means “my.”
  • shumi means “hobby.”
  • Vocabulary related to hobbies:
    - 登山 (Tozan) — Climbing mountains
    - 映画鑑賞 (Eiga kanshō) — Watching movies
    - 写真 (Shashin) — Photography
    - 旅行 (Ryokō) — Traveling
    - マンガ (Manga) — Comics
    - スキー (Skī) — Ski
    - サーフィン (Sāfin) — Surfing

2. 私はサッカーが得意です。

Romanization: Watashi wa sakkā ga tokui desu.
English Translation: I am good at soccer.

You can also introduce what is you’re good at. Insert a suitable vocabulary word in the underlined part of the example sentence.

  • tokui is a noun that means “being good at.”
  • Vocabulary related to things you’re good at:
    - スポーツ (Supōtsu) — Sports
    - プログラミング (Puroguramingu) — Programming
    - デザイン (Dezain) — Designing
    - 歌うこと (Utau koto) — Singing
    - 料理 (Ryōri) — Cooking
    - 楽器の演奏 (Gakki no ensō) — Playing instruments
    - ゲーム (Gēmu) — Game

3- Describing Your Favorite Foods

1. 私はラーメンが好きです。

Romanization: Watashi wa rāmen ga suki desu.
English Translation: I like ramen.

Food is always an easy topic to talk about and can expand any conversation. Insert a suitable vocabulary word in the underlined part of the example sentence.
 

  • suki means “like.”
  • ga indicates an object.
  • Vocabulary related to food:
    - 日本食 (Nihonshoku) — Japanese cuisine
    - 中華料理 (Chūka ryōri) — Chinese cuisine
    - 韓国料理 (Kankoku ryōri) — Korean cuisine
    - イタリア料理 (Itaria ryōri) — Italian cuisine
    - フランス料理 (Furansu ryōri) — French cuisine
    - メキシコ料理 (Mekishiko ryōri) — Mexican cuisine
    - 焼肉 (Yakiniku) — Japanese BBQ
    - カツ丼 (Katsudon) — Pork cutlet bowl
    - お好み焼き (Okonomiyaki) — Japanese pancake
    - 果物 (Kudamono) — Fruits
    - 甘いもの (Amai mono) — Sweets


Talking about food can expand conversations, and it’s a good and easy topic to talk about.

4- Describing Your SNS (Social Network Service)

1. 私はインスタグラムを使っています。

Romanization: Watashi wa Insutaguramu o tsukatte imasu.
English Translation: I use Instagram.

When introducing yourself during a casual occasion, such as when you’re trying to make new friends, you can make mention of your SNS to connect with them.

  • o indicates an object.
  • tsukatte imasu is a conjugated form of tsukau (使う) which means “(I am) using.”
  • Insert the name of an SNS, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., in the underlined part of the example sentence.

This is a great way of introducing yourself to a Japanese friend!

2. 私のユーザー名はsakura123です。

Romanization: Watashi no yūzāmei wa sakura123 desu.
English Translation: My username is sakura123.

If you’re introducing yourself to a friend in Japanese and want them to search for your SNS account and add you as a friend, this phrase is useful.

  • yūzā is a Japanese version of how to say “user.”
  • mei is “name.”
  • Insert the name of your account in the underlined part of the example sentence.

3. 私はブログを書いています

Romanization: Watashi wa burogu o kaite imasu.
English Translation: I write a blog.

  • o indicates an object.
  • kaite imasu is a conjugated form of 書く (kaku) which means “(I am) writing.”


7. Conclusion: How JapanesePod101 Can Help You Learn More Japanese

I hope this article on introducing yourself in Japanese is helpful and that it makes your communication with Japanese people more enjoyable! Hopefully you can now see that knowing how to introduce yourself in Japanese language learning is essential.

Which of these Japanese greetings did you find most useful? Why not practice introducing yourself in Japanese by writing out a self-introductory paragraph in Japanese in the comments? We’d love to hear from you!

If you’d like to learn more Japanese, you’ll find more useful content on JapanesePod101.com. We provide a variety of free lessons for you to improve your Japanese language skills. For example, 10 Lines You Need for Introducing Yourself is useful for practicing your Japanese introduction with audio.

We also have a YouTube channel: JapanesePod101. It’s always fun to learn Japanese language by watching videos and listening to actual Japanese pronunciation. And don’t forget to check out our free vocabulary lists and more blog posts like this one to help you gain insight into Japanese culture and the language!

Know that your determination will pay off, and we’ll be here for each step of your language-learning journey with support and useful tools!

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Chichi No Hi: How to Celebrate Fathers Day in Japan

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

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

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

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

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1. What is Japanese Father’s Day?

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

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

2. When is Father’s Day in Japan?

Father's Day is on a Sunday

So, when is Fathers Day celebrated in Japan?

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

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

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

A Father with His Daughter and Wife

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

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

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

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

4. Father’s Day Gifts: The Universal Struggle

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

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

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

Shochu

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

Best wishes, and Happy Fathers Day!

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The Best 10 Japanese Anime to Learn Japanese

Japanese anime is famous for its uniqueness and highly entertaining stories. Watching Japanese anime is a wonderful way to learn Japanese and have fun at the same time. Doing so allows you to improve your vocabulary, listening skills, and conversation skills, and can help you grasp these things in light of Japanese culture. Hearing the language in context and listening to Japanese anime audio are great ways to learn the language faster.

Japanese anime has a wide range of content, and you’ll definitely find what you love. A few of the most popular genres of Japanese anime shows include:

  • Adventure
  • Action
  • Drama
  • Romance
  • Horror

So, really, whatever type of Japanese anime series or movies you’re looking for, you’re going to find it.

You can also choose Japanese anime movies according to your language level (e.g. beginner or advanced). Some Japanese anime shows even provide English subtitles to increase your understanding. These Japanese anime for beginners are a fantastic place to start.

When you get bored of studying at the desk with textbooks, check out our list of awesome Japanese anime at JapanesePod101.com, and begin watching! Don’t forget to download your gift: a FREE Anime Cheat Sheet including tips and words to watch anime without subtitles!

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Table of Contents

  1. Where to Watch Anime
  2. What You Can Learn from Japanese Anime
  3. The Key to Learning Japanese from Anime
  4. List of the Best Japanese Anime
  5. How JapanesePod101 Can Help You Learn More Japanese


1. Where to Watch Anime

A Remote Control

Now that you see how Japanese culture and anime are so intertwined, and what to expect, we’ll give you some information on how to watch Japanese anime movies. This includes advice on where you can find awesome Japanese anime movies and shows, how watching Japanese anime programs can benefit your language-learning, and how to get the most out of your watching time!

You can watch Japanese anime on TV or on your computer by using streaming service websites. There are many places where you can find Japanese anime episodes online! Some of the websites also have a section for manga comics and novels.

Although some websites have geological restrictions for users, you can access such websites by using a VPN (virtual private network).

Name of Website Subscription Note
Netflix Paid service This streaming service is known for movies and shows, but you can also find Japanese anime on Netflix. In terms of Japanese anime, Netflix really does have some great stuff.
Amazon Prime Video Paid service This streaming service is known for movies and shows, but it also has an anime genre section. The Japanese anime Amazon Prime offers is also high-quality.
Hulu Paid service This streaming service is known for movies and shows, but it also has an anime genre section.
Crunchyroll Paid service

Some content is free

When it comes to Japanese anime, Crunchyroll is a great place to look. This is a streaming service for anime shows and manga. You can also browse manga by streaming online.
Anime-Planet Free service This is a streaming service for anime shows and manga. You can also browse manga by streaming online.

You may also be able to find Japanese anime DVDs, but your best bet is probably one of the streaming services we mentioned above. Also keep in mind that when it comes to Japanese anime, YouTube typically isn’t the best route for watching quality content.


2. What You Can Learn from Japanese Anime

We always see this kind of advice on the Internet: “You should watch Japanese drama, it helped me to quickly progress” or “There is nothing better than anime without subtitles for learning Japanese”.

Following this advice can bring many advantages:

  • Attuning your ears to Japanese by listening to native speakers.
  • Boosting your vocabulary.
  • Boosting your dialogue-related listening comprehension.
  • Letting you hear a language used in context.
  • Learning passively while having fun.

Rain

Essentially, Japanese anime dialogue can teach you all about casual conversations and phrases in Japan.

Most characters in Japanese anime tend to speak in a very informal and casual way; many Japanese anime phrases use slang words and sometimes unique made-up words.

The Japanese language uses the organized 敬語 (keigo) system, which is divided into three honorific types in the formal language:

  • 丁寧語 (teineigo) — polite form
  • 謙譲語 (kenjōgo) — respectable in a humble way
  • 尊敬語 (sonkeigo) — respectable form

We definitely recommend that you expose yourself to a lot of resources in their original language such as anime, movies, drama, music… for the reasons mentioned above. But you will never master Japanese just with those resources. It’s difficult to learn the proper Japanese honorific language from anime, thus you have to keep in mind that Japanese anime sayings will be in very casual language. In some cases, it may even sound childish, awkward, or impolite if you speak like anime characters.

In Japanese, the way you speak—formal or informal—has to be changed based on the occasion and whom you’re talking to. The way that you talk to people depends on your relationship to them: family, friends, acquaintances, work colleagues, clients, etc. Thus, do be mindful of how and when you actually use Japanese anime expressions in daily life.

However, learning Japanese anime words is still very useful for improving your vocabulary, grammar, listening skills, and casual conversation skills.

Anime as a complement to your learning tools

It is best to see Anime as a Japanese learning complement. You need to acquire a certain amount of vocabulary and grammar in order to better comprehend a Japanese video or conversation.

This is our approach: JapanesePod101.com brings you tons of audio and video lessons, from songs to dialogues and cultural insights, and each of these lessons has a grammar focus, a vocabulary list, a lesson transcript and notes so that you don’t miss any points. We give you the foundation you need to be able to understand anime and benefit from watching it.

The myth of learning by only watching Anime

The “watch anime and learn Japanese” concept is just a myth. A lot of high school students improve their English level by reading books and comics, or watching dramas and movies in English with subtitles in their own language. You, meanwhile, might watch all 700 episodes of One Piece or Dragon Ball in Japanese but still have not made any progress!

The difference? Those foreign students are not starting from scratch when they use this method to learn Japanese. Even though they might still be at a low level, they were working on some solid foundations.

Basically what you will hear after 6 months of watching anime in Japanese while hiding the subtitles would probably be something like:

bla bla bla bla bla Hello bla bla bla bla Thank you for this meal bla bla bla bla Stupid bla bla bla How cuuuute bla bla bla bla bla It hurts! bla bla bla bla I love you bla bla bla bla bla bla really!?

Still quite far from fluency, right?


3. The Key to Learning Japanese from Anime

Improve Pronunciation

The key is the amount of passive vocabulary you already have. It’s all the vocabulary you understand when listening to or reading Japanese, without having the need to search in the dictionary. Our brain has a limited capacity and if it doesn’t recognize 70-80% of the words in a sentence, it will be incapable of filling in the blanks to give a sense to the unknown words based on the context.

Let’s look at these two cases:
1. You are at a beginner level of Japanese
2. You are at an intermediate level of Japanese

In both cases, you must expose yourself to a lot of Japanese media: podcasts, videos and so on…

In the first case, your brain won’t be able to analyze what you hear when you’re watching anime because you miss too many words. Of course we don’t forbid you from watching anime, but be aware that you are only training your ears to become accustomed to the sounds of Japanese. This is a good start, but you will also need to start learning basic grammar and vocabulary. Our Japanese for Absolute Beginners series will offer you the resources you need to quickly understand the foundations of the Japanese language, through entertaining topics.

Japanese Basics Video Lessons Japanese Core Word List JLPT N5 Course Master

If you are at an intermediate level, you will need to acquire a lot of vocabulary covering a large range of topics. Challenge yourself with our Listening Comprehension series on YouTube, listen to our podcasts and verify through the lesson notes and transcripts that you understood everything, from the grammar point to the explanation of the kanji used in the lesson.

japanese podcasts japanese kanji

In the meantime, here is some advice on making the most of your Japanese learning! Using these tips will help make your viewing time productive, as well as entertaining:

  • Choose More Realistic Anime

    There are so many anime shows and Japanese animation films available to you, but we recommend that you pick the right ones for the purpose of learning Japanese, especially for beginners. Anime is so popular that many people decide to learn Japanese because of their favorite shows. But the characters in anime live in their own universe, where everyone tends to use slang, casual language, informal pronouns and even made-up words. It’s very easy to spot people who learned Japanese exclusively through anime – you’ll see 20-year-old boys talking like 10-year-old kawaii girls, or 20-year-old girls talking like yakuza!

    Anime shows that are about school life, everyday life, sports, and even detective shows, are more useful for learning as they tend to use more normal and common Japanese. On the other hand, some anime, such as those in the fantasy and science fiction genres, tend to use unusual language and vocabulary which aren’t really useful in the real world.

  • Focus and Listen Carefully

    If you want to really learn, just watching what the anime characters are doing in the Japanese anime episode and reading subtitles aren’t enough. Listen carefully and focus on the words and phrases the anime characters use.

    When you hear something you’ve never heard before, pause the video and write it down so that you can check its meaning later. Even the words and phrases you already know will be solidified in your knowledge by paying attention to how those words are used.

  • Repeat

    You don’t have to try to understand everything completely from the beginning. As you take time to learn, repetition will help you greatly.

    For example, once you find your favorite anime or a Japanese anime movie you really like, watching a particularly great episode or the most fascinating scenes repeatedly is a great idea.

    The first time, watch it with the subtitles on to understand the whole story and flow. The second time, write down the words and phrases you don’t know or that you’re interested in learning; look up their meaning and usage. The third time, while focusing on listening, check how those words and phrases are used with the subtitles on. The fifth time, watch again without the subtitles and see if you can catch the words you learned. Over time, you’ll be able to watch Japanese anime in Japanese with no problems at all!

    Repetition is the key to improved learning, not only when it comes to Japanese anime, but even for subjects in school or sports!

Senpai and Gohai

Anime can be a great learning tool because it’s fun and there is a lot of it around. Just make sure to do a little extra work to optimize its use! Don’t forget to sign up for your Free Lifetime Account to access all our resources, and soon enough you’ll be able to watch anime without subtitles!


4. List of the Best Japanese Anime

1- Dragon Ball Z :ドラゴンボール Z

Goku on a cloud

  • Dragon Ball Z has been one of the most famous and classic Japanese anime shows for many decades throughout the world. It’s been broadcasted in over eighty countries, together with Dragon Ball, which is the original anime show (Dragon Ball Z is the sequel).

    The story of this Japanese anime TV show is about the adventures of the protagonist Goku, who fights (with his companions) against various villains to protect and bring peace to the world. The story and the settings continue over many seasons, and the characters also succeed generations; for example, viewers get to see Goku’s and other main characters’ children. The main scenes are mostly battles and fights between the main characters and villains, but it also contains comic relief and hilarious interactions between the characters.

  • The language used in this anime is very casual and basic. However, many made-up words are also used, such as the names of plants, people, and signature move techniques. Some characters’ speech patterns are unique, and it’s recommended that you don’t use them in the real world.

    For example, personal pronouns:

    • Calling yourself オラ (ora), instead of using 俺 (ore), 僕 (boku), or 私 (watashi) for the word “I,” is strange.
    • Calling other people 貴様 (kisama), おめえ (omē), or てめえ (temē) is very rude. Instead, the proper words for “you” are あなた (anata) or 君 (kimi).
  • Vocab / Phrases from Dragon Ball Z:
    • オラ、腹減ったぁ!
      Ora, hara hetta!
      I am hungry!

    This is said in a casual and comic way. If you want to say it in a usual and polite way, it’s Watashi wa onaka ga herimashita.

    • よーし!負けねぇぞ!
      Yōshi! Makenē zo!
      Alriiiiiiight! I won’t lose!

    This is said in a very casual manner and in a masculine way. This phrase is often used before a battle.

    • まっ、いっか
      Ma, ikka
      Well, whatever (it doesn’t matter).

    This phrase is often used in informal situations when you take it easy on something.

2- Lupin the III:ルパン三世

  • Lupin the III (the third) is another one of the most classic Japanese anime shows, and has been broadcast around the world. It has many anime series and movies, both animation and live-action. It’s still broadcasted until now, celebrating its fifty-year anniversary. Lupin the III is well-known and popular among many people, across generations.

    The story is about Lupin and his gang companions who are proud of being the world’s greatest thieves, stealing valuable objects around the world. Wherever there’s legacy treasure and reputable works, Lupin shows up and performs a daring theft in front of inspector Zenigata who chases Lupin to arrest him.

    Each character is very interesting and each episode is independent. This slapstick comedy is fun and easy to watch.

  • The language used in this anime is very casual, and some villains often use rough and gruff language. Each character also has a very unique way of speaking, such as Lupin’s comical tone, Jigen’s hard-headed tone, Goemon’s Japanese samurai tone, and Fujiko’s sexy and charming tone.
  • Vocab / Phrases from Lupin the III:
    • は脱走の天才だ!
      Ore wa dassō no tensai da!
      I am a genius of escape!

    This is a signature phrase, used when Lupin escapes from entrapment or captivity.

    • 道がなけりゃ作っていくまでよ
      Michi ga nakerya tsukutte iku made yo
      When there’s no path, we shall make it.
    • 俺に任せろ!
      Ore ni makasero!
      Leave it to me! (I’ll take care of it.)

    This phrase is used by a man, as 俺 (ore) is a masculine and informal version of the first person pronoun.

3- Detective Conan “Case Closed” : 名探偵コナン

  • Detective Conan “Case Closed” is a famous Japanese detective manga and anime series which has been broadcast for more than twenty years, and in over forty countries.

    The story revolves around the high school detective protagonist Jun’ichi, who was poisoned by a mysterious syndicate and accidentally transformed into a child. While he tries to unmask the syndicate and their crimes, he lives as a child named Conan (taken from Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of Sherlock Holmes). Meanwhile, he solves many cases that happen around him and his friends.

  • The language used in Detective Conan is a mix of formal and casual. Beginner learners may find it hard to understand because they use difficult vocabulary, such as the names of chemical substances (poisons) and trick techniques using physics. However, it’s very fun to watch if you love mystery-solving.
  • Vocab / Phrases from Detective Conan:
    • 真実はいつも1つ!
      Shinjitsu wa itsumo hitotsu!
      The truth is always only one!
    • 完璧なんてこの世にはねぇよ
      Kanpeki nante kono yo ni wa nē yo
      There is no perfection in this world.
    • オレを信じろ、100%成功する!
      Ore o shinjiro, 100 pāsento seikō suru!
      Believe me, it will succeed 100%!

    This phrase is used by a man, as 俺 (ore) is a masculine and informal version of the first person pronoun.

4- Attack on Titan:進撃の巨人

  • The first series of Attack on Titan began in 2009, and it has become very popular for its unique story, attractive characters, and intriguing action scenes. The anime was also adapted into a live-action movie, and in addition, Hollywood is planning a remake of this movie.

    The story is set in a fantasy world where humanity lives within “shelter” territories surrounded by three huge walls that protect them from gigantic man-eating humanoids called “Titans.” The protagonist Eren, along with his companions, goes on his adventure to fight against the Titans.

  • The language used in Attack on Titan is casual and normal Japanese, without distinctive or eccentric ways of speech. Therefore, it’s relatively easy to understand.
  • Vocab / Phrases from Attack on Titan:
    • 戦わなければ勝てない…
      Tatakawanakereba katenai…
      We can’t win if we don’t fight…
    • あなたがいれば私は何でもできる
      Anata ga ireba watashi wa nan demo dekiru
      I can do anything if you are here (with me).
    • 仕方ないでしょ…世界は残酷なんだから…
      Shikata nai desho… sekai wa zankoku nan da kara…
      It can’t be helped…because the world is cruel…

5- Slam Dunk:スラムダンク

  • Slam Dunk is one of the most famous and classic Japanese sports anime shows. Slam Dunk was first published in 1990 (anime show from 1993), and it holds the record for being the best-selling manga series in history at that time.

    The story is set in a high school, where the protagonist Hanamichi Sakuragi, a delinquent high school student, joined the basketball club. He had to start learning how to play basketball from scratch, but he has a good physical structure and strength ideal for basketball. The team strives to win the national high school tournament to become the number-one team in the country.

  • The language used in Slam Dunk is very casual and normal everyday speech between friends, team members, and the high school basketball coach.
  • Vocab / Phrases from Slam Dunk:
    • あきらめたらそこで試合終了ですよ
      Akirametara soko de shiai shūryō desuyo
      The game will be over now if you give up.

    This phrase is very famous among Japanese people who have seen this anime. This phrase is often used in situations where you want to encourage someone.

    • 俺は俺の仕事をする!
      Ore wa ore no shigoto o suru!
      I do what I have to do! (I do my job.)
    • チャンスの時こそ平常心だ
      Chansu no toki koso heijōshin da
      Composure is important, especially in the time of chance.

    This phrase is useful when advising someone not to get too excited or lose calm judgment in the moment.

6- One Piece:ワンピース

  • One Piece is another long-running Japanese manga and anime that started in 1997 and still continues with over 800 episodes. One Piece is popular and loved by many fans around the world; it’s praised for its unique storytelling, characterization, art, and humor. It has also been adapted to movies and video games.

    The story revolves around Luffy, proclaiming himself the King of the Pirates, and his companions who start their journey to find the famed treasure. One Piece depicts friendship, dreams, adventure, battles, and moving events.

  • The language used in One Piece is informal and very casual.
  • Vocab / Phrases from One Piece:
    • 海賊王”に! おれはなる!
      Kaizokuō ni! Ore wa naru!
      I will become the King of Pirates!
    • 楽に行こうぜ!
      Raku ni ikō ze!
      Let’s take it easy!

    This is said in a very casual and masculine way.

    • 私も一緒に海へ連れてって!
      Watashi mo issho ni umi e tsurete tte!
      Take me to the ocean together, too!

Top Verbs

7- K-On! : けいおん!

  • K-On! is a Japanese manga and anime series first published in 2007. The title of K-On (read as keion) comes from the word 軽音楽 (kei-ongaku), which means “light music” or “popular music” in Japanese. K-On! has become very popular in Japan, and it earned more than 38-billion yen by March 2012.

    The story follows four female students who joined the music club at their high school, but they are the only members. They try to become a famous band, aiming to be national musician stars. It’s fun to watch how they struggle to master their musical instruments, the growth of their friendship, and their day-to-day life in high school.

  • The language used in K-On! is very casual, spoken among friends and peers. Some characters use unique and girlish (and a bit childish) speech patterns. They also tend to use more music-related vocabulary.
  • Vocab / Phrases from K-On!:
    • おっはー!
      Ohhā!
      (Good) morning!

    This is said in a casual and kind of cute way. It’s a slang which became popular among young people a while ago.

    • ここからが本番だな
      Koko kara ga honban da na
      Get on to the real thing from now on.
    • 大切なのは、過去じゃなくて、今だよ
      Taisetsu na no wa, kako janakute, ima da yo
      The important thing is not the past, but now.

8- Bleach:ブリーチ

  • Bleach is an award-winning Japanese manga and anime series first published in 2001; the anime was broadcast between 2004 and 2012. The manga comics have sold more than 120-million copies around the world. It has also been adapted into movies (some of the best Japanese anime adventure movies), musicals, card games, video games, and more.

    The story is about a high school student named Ichigo who became a Shinigami, or a fighter against demonic spirits. He goes on a quest to fight and protect the human world from “hollows,” which are souls of people who died but couldn’t move on to the next world. The world of Bleach is very unique, and you’ll easily get drawn into the enjoyable story.

  • The language used in Bleach is a bit difficult for beginner learners to understand; it includes descriptions of different worlds, the status of souls, functions and abilities, etc. However, it’s a very interesting anime and good learning material for intermediate and advanced learners.
  • Vocab / Phrases from Bleach:
    • ちくしょう…!強くなりてぇな…
      Chikushō…! Tsuyoku naritē na…
      Damn it…! I want to be strong…

    This is said in a casual and rough (masculine) way.

    • 誓ったんだ..ただ俺の魂にだ!
      Chikatta n da… tada ore no tamashii ni da!
      I swore…only to my soul!
    • 助けに来たぜ
      Tasuke ni kita ze
      I came to help (you).

    This is said in a casual and masculine way.

9- Polar Bear Café:しろくまカフェ

Polar Bear Cafe poster

  • Polar Bear Café is a Japanese anime show with a warm and relaxed feel. The manga comic was first published in 2006, and the anime show was broadcast in 2012 and 2013. The art style of the anime looks more targeted for children; however, interestingly enough, anyone can enjoy watching this anime.

    The story revolves around a polar bear that runs a café, and his animal friends (who are customers), which are a panda, a penguin, and so on. They discuss various things about life, do silly animal things, and enjoy their everyday lives. The anime has a lot of gags, and it’s very funny.

  • The language used in Polar Bear Café is a mix of formal and informal, depending on scenes. For example, the characters have formal conversations in workplace settings. However, it’s easy to follow conversations, as they speak relatively slowly. This show is recommended for beginners.
  • Vocab / Phrases from Polar Bear Café:
    • みんな、またね!
      Minna, mata ne!
      Everybody, see you (again).

    This is a useful phrase to use when meeting your friends.

    • 気が散るから話しかけないで
      Ki ga chiru kara hanashikakenaide
      Don’t talk to me because I get distracted.
    • 良かったらピザどーぞ!
      Yokattara piza dōzo!
      If you like, please have pizza!

    This is said in a casual but polite way.

10- Sword Art Online:ソードアート・オンライン

  • Sword Art Online is one of the new-generation anime that depicts an intriguing story and the exciting virtual-reality world. It was originally an online novel published in 2002, which was later adapted into manga and the anime series.

    The story is set in 2022 and VR (virtual reality) becomes real. The users of this VR game can’t log out, and they’re stuck in the VR world as they’re playing. They can log out and finish only when they complete the whole game, and if a player dies in the game, the die in the real world too. The protagonist Kirito decides to fight against the system. In addition to the action and battles in the game, the anime depicts friendship and love among anime characters.

  • The language used in Sword Art Online is casual and the vocabulary is relatively easy. Although it’s a fantasy anime about the VR world in the future, they don’t use many invented words.
  • Vocab / Phrases from Sword Art Online:
    • 次は現実世界で会おう
      Tsugi wa genjitsu sekai de aō
      Let’s meet next time in the real world.
    • 行こう、きっと何とかなるさ
      Ikō, kitto nantoka naru sa
      Let’s go, it will probably be alright.
    • 終わったんだね…ようやく…君に会えた
      Owatta n da ne… yōyaku…kimi ni aeta
      Everything has ended…at last…I could see you (finally).


5. How JapanesePod101 Can Help You Learn More Japanese

In this article, we introduced the best Japanese anime for learning Japanese, and gave you advice on how to make the best use of your time when watching them. Japanese anime characters and stories are always unique and fun! We hope you find your favorite Japanese anime here, and that it helps your Japanese studies.

Have you already seen any of the Japanese anime shows in this article? Do you want to know more about learning Japanese through Japanese anime? Let us know in the comments section!

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

Here’s some more information about Japanese anime with audio: Top 10 Japanese Anime, Top 10 Anime to Help You Learn Japanese, Anime Fighting Expressions, and Top 30 Anime Words & Phrases.

To learn more about Japanese conversations, check out Top 15 Questions You Should Know for Conversations and Top 10 Conversational Phrases.

There’s even more valuable information on our website! Be a fast learner and enjoy studying Japanese at JapanesePod101.com!

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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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Best Japanese TV Shows to Learn Japanese

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Did you ever enjoy watching Japanese anime shows as a kid? Well, Japanese anime shows are just the tip of the iceberg, and there are other entertaining Japanese TV shows (such as Japanese game shows) waiting for you to discover! In this article, I’ll be going over the best Japanese TV shows (read: Japanese must-watch TV shows) for entertainment and learning Japanese!

Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced learner of the Japanese language, watching Japanese television series and shows offers you hours of fun and immersive opportunities to learn practical and conversational Japanese. Various shows are available, and you can choose whatever suits your preference of genre, language level, or interests.

You’ll learn practical Japanese by simply watching Japanese TV shows. Although there aren’t English subtitles for most Japanese TV shows, you’ll get used to the sound of Japanese, learn how Japanese people speak, and what vocabularies are used. This will eventually improve your pronunciation and increase your Japanese vocabulary.

You can find Japanese TV shows on Japanese TV channels, satellite TV, streaming channels, Netflix, YouTube, DVD, and beyond. In particular, you should have an easy time finding Japanese TV shows online, or on Netflix.

Here at JapanesePod101, we introduce the best Japanese TV shows to check out. When you’re bored of studying with textbooks, watch these popular Japanese TV shows and have some fun!

Table of Contents

  1. ドラえもん / Doraemon (Beginner Level - Cartoon)
  2. サザエさん / Sazae-San (Beginner Level - Cartoon)
  3. ちびまる子ちゃん / Chibi Maruko-Chan (Beginner Level - Cartoon)
  4. 南くんの恋人 / My Little Lover (Intermediate Level - Live Action Drama)
  5. 僕だけがいない街 / Erased (Intermediate Level - Live Action Drama)
  6. カッコウの卵は誰のもの / Whose is the Cuckoo’s Egg? (Intermediate Level - Live Action Drama)
  7. 白鳥麗子でございます! / Shiratori Reiko de Gozaimasu! (Intermediate Level - Live Action Drama)
  8. YOUは何しに日本へ?/ Why Did You Come to Japan? (Intermediate Level - Entertainment Show)
  9. 行列のできる法律相談所 / Legal Office: Advice So Good You Stand in Line (Intermediate Level - Entertainment Show)
  10. 世界まる見え!テレビ特捜部 / WORLD GREAT TV (Intermediate Level - Entertainment Show)
  11. Conclusion: How JapanesePod101 Can Help You Learn More Japanese

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1. ドラえもん / Doraemon (Beginner Level - Cartoon)

Improve Listening

When it comes to anime Japanese TV shows for beginners, Doraemon may just be the jackpot!

Doraemon is one of the greatest and most popular Japanese anime shows, and has been aired on Japanese TV for many decades as well as broadcasted to many overseas countries. This is originally from a manga, or comic series, that was first published in 1969 and later adapted into an anime series. Doraemon also has a series of movies, each one independent and with a more action-adventure-oriented story.

The story of Doraemon centers on an elementary school boy named Nobita, who is poor at studying and sports, and is often bullied by classmates. Doraemon, the robotic cat which was invented by Nobita’s descendant in the 22nd Century, was sent back in time to protect and help Nobita. Doraemon has a special pocket where he stores useful gadgets which have superpowers. The story revolves around Nobita and Doraemon, as well as Nobita’s friends.

This Japanese anime show is suitable for beginner learners of the Japanese language. It’s very easy to watch; one episode is fifteen minutes long, and the language used is very basic and spoken by children characters. This Japanese TV show is easy to understand and has a good visual effect.

Example conversation:

Nobita (main character): Doraemon! Tasukete! Jaian ga ijimeru yo.
Doraemon! Help me! Jaian bullies me.

Doraemon: Konkai wa dōshita no? Shōganina, Nobita kun ni iimono ga aruyo.
What happened this time? Fine, I have a good thing for you, Nobita.


2. サザエさん / Sazae-San (Beginner Level - Cartoon)

Family Watching TV

Sazae-san is another one of the top three Japanese cartoons on Japan TV, and a fantastic children’s Japanese TV series in particular. It has been aired for many decades and has been popular across generations. Sazae-san is also originally from a comic series that was first published in 1946, and later adapted into an anime series. It’s still broadcasted on Fuji Television, a Japanese TV station.

This Japanese TV program revolves around the traditional Japanese family and it centers on Sazae, a twenty-four-year-old woman who’s very cheerful. She lives with her parents, her husband, her younger brother and sister, and her son. Each episode focuses on different characters and situations, such as Sazae-san’s husband and his work place, her brother and his elementary school, their neighbours, and so on.

Sazae-san is good for beginner-level learners. You’ll learn a lot about Japanese daily conversations among family, friends, and neighbors. In addition, by watching this family-focused story, you’ll also learn about traditional Japanese family and cultural customs, especially within the home.

Example conversation:

Sazae-san: Kora! Katsuo, Iikagen ni shinasai! Heya ni itte benkyō shinasai!
Hey! Katsuo, that’s enough! Go to the room and study!

Katsuo: (Nukedashite) Ittekimasu!
(Sneaking out) I’m going!


3.ちびまる子ちゃん / Chibi Maruko-Chan (Beginner Level - Cartoon)

Chibi Maruko-Chan is another famous and popular Japanese anime show, broadcast on Japanese TV for many decades. This is also originally from a comic series first published in 1986, which later became an anime series.

The story of this Japanese anime show follows the main character Maruko, who is an elementary school student, and her family and friends. It depicts Maruko’s everyday life in a comical, and sometimes cynical, way. Chibi Maruko-Chan broadcasted mainly in the Heisei era and is called the “Heisei version of Sazae-san” comparing it to Sazae-san, which was the most popular cartoon in the Shōwa era.

This show is also good for beginner learners. Chibi Maruko-Chan uses very easy language about everyday life. You’ll also learn about the typical daily life of a traditional Japanese family from the child’s (Maruko) point of view.

Example conversation:

Maruko: Fujisan ga mierune. Itsuka nobotte mitaiyo.
I can see Mt.Fuji. I want to climb there some day.

Tomozo (Grandpa): Ohh Fujisan ga mieru nō. Washi mo nobotte mitai nō.
Ohh I can see Mt.Fuji, too. I want to climb there some day, too.

Maruko: Sono toshi de noborunkai…
Are you going to climb with your age…


4. 南くんの恋人 / My Little Lover (Intermediate Level - Live Action Drama)

Woman Watching TV

Looking for cute drama Japanese TV shows? This Japanese TV show is based on the manga comic, and it has been adapted into Japanese television dramas. My Little Lover (Minami-kun no Koibito in the original title in Japanese) has been made into four versions of live-action dramas, and the latest version was made in 2015 with ten episodes.

The story of the latest version is about a highschool girl who accidentally shrunk to fifteen centimeters (about six inches) in height. She was discovered by a childhood friend and they try to find a way to restore her to her normal size as they grow their relationship. The show is well-made with a mixture of elements such as fantasy, school drama, humor, and romance.

This show is good for beginner- to intermediate-level Japanese learners. Conversations take place mostly among young people, and the language used isn’t very difficult. Although the setting is in a rural area, they don’t speak any uncommon dialect. Subtitles are available both in Japanese and English for the 2015 version. It’s a good tool for learning everyday speech.


5. 僕だけがいない街 / Erased (Intermediate Level - Live Action Drama)

Erased, or Boku dake ga inai machi in the Japanese title, is a live-action series with twelve episodes, and is originally from a manga series. It’s been adapted for anime as well as a live-action film. If you’re looking for good Japanese TV shows from 2018 or 2019, Erased is an excellent watch.

This show follows the story of a young man who has a strange superpower that allows him to go back in the past, known as “revival.” When bad things happen, he’s thrown back to the past to solve the cause of those bad things. One day, his mother was murdered and he was suspected as a killer. He wished to go back to the past to save his mother. However, after going back in time eighteen years, a mystery begins. With the mysterious plot and some visual effects, it’s very interesting to watch and is sure to draw you in.

The language used in this show is relatively easy, as it’s mostly daily conversations. The drama takes place in Hokkaido, the northern part of Japan, and some characters use a dialect, but it’s not difficult to understand.

Both the live-action drama series and the anime series are available on Netflix with subtitles in Japanese and English. If you’re an intermediate learner looking for good Japanese dramas (TV shows), this one is really good.


6. カッコウの卵は誰のもの / Whose is the Cuckoo’s Egg? (Intermediate Level - Live Action Drama)

Woman Covering Her Face

Whose is the Cuckoo’s Egg? is originally a mystery fiction novel written by Keigo Higashino who is a famous award-winning novel writer. It’s been adapted into a live-action drama and this series has six episodes. This Japanese TV show is a fine example of great Japan television.

The mysterious story revolves around the daughter, Kazami, of a former Olympic skier named Hiromasa. Kazami is expected to be an Olympic athlete, but one day finds out that she has the F-type gene, which is considered a “genius sport gene,” but is rare for Japanese. A scientist, who researches about talent and inheritance, asked Hiromasa for research cooperation of his and his daughter’s DNA, but he refused. There’s huge untold secret about Kazami’s birth…

This show is suitable for intermediate-level learners or above. Some conversations involve scientific vocabulary, and it would be a bit difficult to follow the story if you miss some conversations as the story develops in unexpected ways. This show is available with English subtitles on Netflix.


7. 白鳥麗子でございます! / Shiratori Reiko de Gozaimasu! (Intermediate Level - Live Action Drama)

Shiratori Reiko de Gozaimasu! is a romantic-comedy-drama series adapted from a comic series. This Japanese television program has two live-action drama remakes apart from the original one, and it also has two films.

The story revolves around Reiko Shiratori who is a super-rich girl from the countryside. She likes an ordinary college boy named Tetsuya, and she follows him in Tokyo to tell him her feelings. However, she has too much pride to be honest. The show depicts Reiko’s delicate feelings and complicated behaviors with a comical touch.

It’s not very difficult to understand conversations in this show as they’re mostly casual daily talks among young people. Because of the main character being super-rich, she talks in an elegant and posh style. Shiratori Reiko de Gozaimasu! is available with English subtitles on Netflix.


8. YOUは何しに日本へ?/ Why Did You Come to Japan? (Intermediate Level - Entertainment Show)

This is a Japanese entertainment show aired on TV, presented by a comedy duo known as “Bananaman.”

The program is a studio-based show, and a team of staff members go outside the studio to interview foreigners who have just arrived in Japan at the Narita International Airport, and ask them “Why did you come to Japan?” Next, staff members attempt to follow the interviewees on their trips in Japan to feature and report. Some interviewees have particular hobbies or a business; one example is about a Polish man who collects grinding stones. He came to Japan to visit a renowned artisan and workshop in Osaka that was established more than 200 years ago.

Although this show doesn’t have subtitles in English, there are some subtitles in Japanese for the main featured contents or comments of the participants. Most of the contents are easy to understand thanks to visual aids and subtitles. Some foreigners speak English, which may make the show easier to understand. You’ll be able to learn some characteristic aspects of Japanese culture from this show.


9. 行列のできる法律相談所 / Legal Office: Advice So Good You Stand in Line (Intermediate Level - Entertainment Show)

Cameraman Filming a Scene

This show is a studio-based entertainment show dealing with legal matters. It has been one of the most popular Japanese variety shows since 2002, when it was first aired on TV.

There are reenactment clips on featured legal matters and a fun group discussion follows, with hosts and a variety of guests who are lawyers, comedians, actors, models, and sometimes politicians. After having enjoyable discussions about the featured legal matters, they explain the matters in detail with the current law and legal issues it involves.

This show doesn’t have English subtitles, but most of the important matters and main points are put in subtitles in Japanese. Although the show itself is enjoyable and makes law more familiarized and fun, it’s recommended for Japanese learners at the intermediate level or above when it comes to legal vocabulary.


10. 世界まる見え!テレビ特捜部 / WORLD GREAT TV (Intermediate Level - Entertainment Show)

To conclude our complete guide to Japanese TV series, we’ll talk about WORLD GREAT TV!

This show is a studio-based entertainment show and it’s been one of the most famous and popular Japanese variety shows on TV since 1990.

The show mainly introduces selected TV programs and news from all around the world. Contents are diverse and they feature a wide range of programs, usually very funny and entertaining. The introduced programs are originally from overseas, but some featured contents are remade with a re-enactment drama produced by this show. The main hosts Takeshi Kitano and George Tokoro often have funny discussions and skits with each other and other guests.

Although this show introduces the contents of overseas TV programs, the language is translated and featured in Japanese, and there’s no English. The show can be a bit difficult to understand when it comes to complicated contents such as the investigations of particular cases. However, some contents don’t require language at all, such as funny or shocking video collections. Most of the contents are easy to understand with visual aids and Japanese subtitles on the main information.


Conclusion: How JapanesePod101 Can Help You Learn More Japanese

We hope you enjoyed our complete guide to Japanese TV shows 2019. This article of Best Japanese TV Shows to Learn Japanese introduced the ten recommended Japanese shows that can help make your Japanese studies more enjoyable!

Do you want to further improve your conversation skills? We have a lot to offer!

To learn more about the Japanese language, you’ll find more useful contents on JapanesePod101.com. We provide a variety of free lessons and information for you to improve your Japanese language skills. For example, you can check out Top 15 Questions You Should Know for Conversations to practice your Japanese with audio. If you’re a fan of Japanese anime, How to Learn Japanese with Anime? is just for you! When you notice how often Japanese people use Onomatopoeia and wonder what they mean, 76 Must-Know Japanese Onomatopoeia Words is helpful. How to Say I Love You in Japanese - Romantic Word List is good to review after watching a Japanese romantic show.

Know that your hard work will pay off; with enough practice, you’ll be speaking like a native in no time with JapanesePod101.com

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

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

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

Table of Contents

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

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1. Common Phrases You’ll Need for a Date

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

Japanese Date Phrases

Would you like to go out to dinner with me?

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

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

Are you free this weekend?

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

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

Would you like to hang out with me?

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

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

What time shall we meet tomorrow?

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

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

Where shall we meet?

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

You can ask this, but also suggest a place.

You look great.

  • 元気そうですね。
  • genki sō desu ne.

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

You are so cute.

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

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

What do you think of this place?

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

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

Can I see you again?

  • また会えますか?
  • mata aemasu ka?

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

Shall we go somewhere else?

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

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

I know a good place.

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

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

I will drive you home.

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

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

That was a great evening.

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

This is a good phrase to end the evening with.

When can I see you again?

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

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

I’ll call you.

  • 電話します。
  • denwa shimasu.

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

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2. The Most Romantic Ideas for a Date

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

Date Ideas in Japanese

museum

  • 美術館
  • bijutsukan

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

candlelit dinner

  • キャンドルディナー
  • kyandorudeinā

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

go to the zoo

  • 動物園に行く
  • dōbutsuen ni iku

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

go for a long walk

  • 長い散歩に出る
  • nagai sanpo ni deru

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

go to the opera

  • オペラに行く
  • opera ni iku

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

go to the aquarium

  • 水族館に行く
  • suizokukan ni iku

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

walk on the beach

  • 浜辺を歩く
  • hamabe o aruku

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

have a picnic

  • ピクニックをする
  • pikunikku o suru

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

cook a meal together

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

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

have dinner and see a movie

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

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

3. Must-know Valentine’s Day Vocabulary

Valentine's Day Words in Japanese

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

4. Japanese Love Phrases for Valentine’s Day

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

Valentine's Day Words in Japanese

I love you.

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

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

You mean so much to me.

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

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

Will you be my Valentine?

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

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

You’re so beautiful.

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

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

I think of you as more than a friend.

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

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

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

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

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

Love is just love. It can never be explained.

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

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

You’re so handsome.

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

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

I’ve got a crush on you.

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

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

You make me want to be a better man.

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

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

Let all that you do be done in love.

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

We hope.

You are my sunshine, my love.

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

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

Words can’t describe my love for you.

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

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

We were meant to be together.

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

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

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

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

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

5. Japanese Quotes about Love

Japanese Love Quotes

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

6. Marriage Proposal Lines

Japanese Marriage Proposal Lines

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

7. 15 Most Common Break-Up Lines

Japanese Break-Up Lines

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

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

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

    It’s not you. It’s me.

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

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

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

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

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

    Let’s just be friends.

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

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

    I think we need a break.

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

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

    You deserve better.

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

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

    We should start seeing other people.

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

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

    I need my space.

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

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

    I think we’re moving too fast.

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

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

    I need to focus on my career.

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

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

    I’m not good enough for you.

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

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

    I just don’t love you anymore.

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

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

    We’re just not right for each other.

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

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

    It’s for the best.

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

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

    We’ve grown apart.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    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.

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

    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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