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Bunka no hi: Celebrating Culture Day in Japan

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

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

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

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1. What is Culture Day in Japan?

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

2. When is Culture Day?

November Holiday

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

3. Japan Culture Day Events & Celebrations

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

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

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

4. The Japanese Constitution & Culture Day

Child Doing Crafts

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

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

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

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

Couple Looking at Painting

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

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

Parting Words…

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

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

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

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

Happy learning!

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Japanese Keiro no hi: Respect for the Aged Day in Japan

Have you ever wondered “How are the elderly treated in Japan?”

Each year, the Japanese population celebrates and honors the elderly people in Japan for their contributions to society. The aged are regarded with much respect, and Respect for the Aged Day is a special occasion on which to really go all out and show this admiration.

In this article, you’ll learn all about the Respect for the Aged Day meaning, and more facts about the elderly people in Japan. Learning about this holiday and what it looks like in Japanese society will go a long way toward helping you understand the culture of Japan.

At JapanesePod101.com, we hope to make every aspect of your learning journey both fun and informative! So let’s get started.

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1. What is Respect for the Aged Day?

Essentially, the Respect for the Aged Day meaning has to do with respecting one’s elders.

Respect for the Aged Day, Tokyo and all over Japan, is when Japanese people convey feelings of gratitude, respect, and good wishes toward the elderly population. Be it grandparents, parents, or elderly neighbors, the Japanese recognize the contributions that the aged have made for society to make it what it is today.

While there are several theories about this holiday’s origins, many people think it began in a rural village in the Hyōgo Prefecture in 1947. However, until 1964, this holiday was known as としよりのひ (toshiyori no hi), or “Old Folks’ Day.”

2. Respect for the Aged Day Date

Third Monday in September

Each year in Japan, Respect for the Aged Day is observed on the third Monday of September. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years.

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

3. How to Celebrate Respect for the Aged Day

Comparatively speaking, this holiday is a modern one. Therefore, Respect for the Aged Day traditions are few, though there are a few common Respect for the Aged Day activities that we’ll cover here.

The day before, the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare finds out how many people are over 100 years of age. Local municipalities often give gifts or souvenirs to elderly people who are celebrating a milestone birthday that year, such as Sanju (which is when they turn 80), or Sotsuju (which is when they turn 90). Those turning 100 years old or older receive a visit from the city or town mayor. They’re then congratulated and presented with a congratulatory gift.

On Respect for the Aged Day, and the days surrounding it, the elderly gather together in public facilities, such as community centers, to watch entertainment—such as choir and dance performances—alongside the participants and local residents. Sometimes the elderly also receive souvenirs such as red rice, Japanese sweets, and magnifying glasses.

Kindergartens and nurseries invite grandparents to see their grandchildren, and elementary school students write letters of thanks to their grandparents. This day is a good opportunity for different generations to strengthen their bonds.

Naturally, households with elderly family members convey their gratitude on Respect for the Aged Day, but families who live apart get involved as well. Often, this involves not only saying thank you, but also giving gifts. Meals, flowers, handmade crafts by the grandchildren, and photos of the grandchildren, are high on the list of popular gifts.

4. A Declining Population

Old Woman with Flowers

Japan currently faces the prospect of a declining population, and this is a potential situation that could result in profound economic and social impacts.

Japan’s population is rapidly aging, which means that the number of people over 65 is rapidly increasing. Some people also call this phenomenon the “graying” of the population.

There are a few major factors behind this trend:

  • An increasing number of retiring baby boomers
  • Gains in longevity
  • Decreasing fertility

To combat this, the Japanese government has implemented a series of plans, beginning in 1995, with the goal of improving conditions for child-rearing.

5. Useful Vocabulary for Respect for the Aged Day

Longevity Rankings

Here’s some vocabulary you need to know for Respect for the Aged Day in Japan!

  • プレゼント (プレゼント) — present
  • 孫 (まご) — grandchild
  • 米寿 (べいじゅ) — 88th birthday
  • 敬老の日 (けいろうのひ) — Respect-for-the-Aged Day
  • 祝う (いわう) — celebrate
  • 高齢者 (こうれいしゃ) — senior citizen
  • 祖父母 (そふぼ) — grandparents
  • 長寿 (ちょうじゅ) — long life
  • お年寄り (おとしより) — elderly person
  • 9月の第3月曜日 (くがつの だいさんげつようび) — the third Monday in September
  • 長寿番付 (ちょうじゅばんづけ) — longevity ranking
  • 白寿 (はくじゅ) — 99th birthday
  • 卒寿 (そつじゅ) — 90th birthday
  • 傘寿 (さんじゅ) — 80th birthday
  • 喜寿 (きじゅ) — 77th birthday

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, check out our Respect for the Aged Day vocabulary list!

How JapanesePod101 Can Help You Understand Japanese Culture

We hope you enjoyed learning about Respect for the Aged Day with us! Does your country have a holiday to celebrate or show respect to the aged and eldelry? Let us know in the comments!

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

  • Insightful blog posts on an array of cultural and language-related topics
  • Free vocabulary lists covering a range of topics and themes
  • Podcasts to improve your listening and pronunciation skills
  • Mobile apps so you can learn Japanese anywhere, on your own time
  • Much, much more!

If you’re interested in trying a one-on-one learning approach, be sure to upgrade to Premium Plus. Doing so will give you access to your own Japanese teacher who will help you create a learning plan based on your needs and goals. Yes, really!

Japanese isn’t an easy language to master, but know that your hard work and determination will pay off. You’ll be speaking, writing, and reading Japanese like a native before you know it, and JapanesePod101 will be here with you on each step of your language-learning journey!

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How to Celebrate the Obon Festival in Japan

Each year, Japan celebrates the Bon Festival (also called O Bon, The Obon Festival, or The Feast of Lanterns). This holiday is essentially a time for families to honor their deceased by throwing a celebration for them, a tradition we’ll go more into later.

In this article, you’ll learn about Japanese Bon Dance music, and many other Obon Japanese events and symbols. In learning about the Obon Festival Japan observes each year, you’re allowing yourself a deeper, more heartfelt glimpse into its culture and its history.

At JapanesePod101.com, we hope to make this learning adventure both fun and informative. So let’s get started learning about the Japanese Bon Festival holiday!

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1. What is Obon in Japan?

The Bon Festival is an event of Buddhist origin observed in order to honor the spirits of the ancestors. Essentially, this day is for families to hold a memorial service to welcome the spirits of their deceased ancestors.

The word Bon is said to be an abbreviation of the name for the Ghost Festival, which came from China. The Feast of Lanterns is an event held to save the spirits of deceased parents and ancestors from suffering. This event was brought over to Japan, and together with the Japanese custom of ancestor worship, O-bon in its current incarnation came to be held in the Edo Period.

2. When is the Bon Festival?

Paper Lanterns Hanging

Most of Japan celebrates the Bon Festival from August 13 to August 15, though some regions celebrate it in mid-July.

Many companies close for the Obon holiday, and people go back to their hometowns to visit their families, or go on a vacation somewhere with them. Obon is not just a religious event held to honor the ancestral spirits, it has also taken on a greater meaning as a national holiday.

3. Reading Practice: Bon Festival Japanese Celebrations

Read the Kanji Japanese text below to learn about how the Japanese celebrate the Bon Festival, and find the English translation directly below it.

行事の内容も地域によって様々ですが、一般的な風習(ふうしゅう)を紹介しましょう。

13日に、先祖(せんぞ)の霊を家に迎えるために、提灯(ちょうちん)を灯(とも)したり、迎え火(むかえび)を焚(た)いて、戻る家の場所を伝えます。

14日から15日は、迎え入れた先祖(せんぞ)の霊と一緒に過ごします。仏壇には、帰ってきた先祖(せんぞ)の霊のためのご飯もお供(そな)えします。

16日は、送り火を焚(た)いたり、灯篭流し(とうろうながし)をして、霊を送り出します。

また、お盆には、「盆踊り」が行われます。広場にやぐらを立て、人々は、やぐらの上の太鼓の音頭(おんど)に合わせて、その周りを回りながら踊ります。もともとは、お迎えした霊を供養(くよう)するための踊りといわれていますが、今では、屋台がならび、お祭り的な要素も強くなっています。地域によっていろいろな盆踊りがあり、有名な「阿波踊り(あわおどり)」も、盆踊りの一つです。

「盆と正月が一緒に来たようだ」という表現を知っていますか。これは、お盆や正月は故郷で家族が集まり、楽しく、忙しい時期なので、嬉しいことが重なったり、とても忙しいときに使う表現なのです。

Although the details of Obon vary depending on region, let’s look at some common customs.

On the 13th, lanterns are lit in order to welcome the ancestral spirits back to the home. The fire of these lights shows the spirits the location of the home.

On the 14th and 15th, time is spent with the ancestral spirits. Offerings of food are laid at the household Buddhist altar for the returning ancestral spirits.

On the 16th, the departure lamps are lit, and through these hanging lanterns the spirits depart.

Another custom is the Bon Dance that is performed at Obon. A watchtower is raised in a square, and people then dance around it in time with the beating of the drum on the turret. While originally it was a ritual dance for the memorial service in which the spirits are welcomed, these days with booths lined up, it feels more like a festival. There are regional variations of the Obon Dance. One famous version is the Awa Dance.

Do you know the phrase “It’s like Obon and New Year’s both came at once!”? Because Obon and New Year’s are both busy, enjoyable times when families gather together, this phrase is used to refer to busy times filled with happiness.

4. Horses & Cows

Floating Lanterns

It is thought that at Obon, ancestral spirits come back from the afterlife and then return to it. What do you think spirits use to go back and forth between the afterlife?

It’s thought that the spirits ride a horse and a cow to travel back and forth. At Obon, cucumbers, eggplants, and disposable chopsticks are used to create figures of the horse and cow, which are then put on display. The cucumber represents the horse, and the eggplant the cow. The idea is that the spirits ride on a horse to come home quickly, and ride on a cow to go back slowly.

5. Useful Vocabulary for the Japanese Bon Festival

An Offering

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for the Bon Festival in Japan!

  • お盆 (おぼん) — Bon Festival
  • 提灯 (ちょうちん) — paper lantern
  • 仏壇 (ぶつだん) — Buddhist altar
  • 盆踊り (ぼんおどり) — bon dance festival
  • 精霊流し (しょうろうながし) — Spirit Boat Procession
  • お盆休み (おぼんやすみ) — bon holiday
  • 墓参り (はかまいり) — visiting a grave
  • 供え物 (そなえもの) — offering
  • 迎え火 (むかえび) — welcome fire
  • 霊 (れい) — spirit
  • 灯篭流し (とうろうながし) — floating lanterns
  • 送り火 (おくりび) — ceremonial bonfire
  • 盆踊り (ぼんおどり) — bon dance
  • あの世 (あのよ) — afterlife

To hear each of these Bon Festival vocabulary words pronounced, check out our relevant vocabulary list!

Conclusion: How JapanesePod101 Can Help You Master Japanese

We hope you enjoyed learning about the Japanese Obon Festival with us! What do you think about this holiday? Is there a holiday similar to it in your own country? Let us know in the comments!

To continue learning about the Japanese culture and language, visit us at JapanesePod101.com and explore our array of practical learning tools. Read more insightful blog posts like this one, study our free Japanese vocabulary lists, and download our mobile apps designed to let you learn Japanese wherever you are and on your own time! By upgrading to Premium Plus, you can also take advantage of our MyTeacher program and begin learning Japanese one-on-one with your own teacher and personalized plan.

Learning Japanese is no easy feat, but know that with enough determination and hard work, you can not only learn, but master, the language. And JapanesePod101.com will be here to help every step of your way there!

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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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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!

Start with a bonus, and download the Business Words & Phrases PDF for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

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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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Good Resource to Learn Japanese, Check it Out!

I have visited Japan for three times, and each time this country always surprise me with its culture, scenery and people. As a dancer, I have attended many workshop and classes in Tokyo, and met many inspirational people.
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However, the biggest problem that came up to me is the language barrier. I have had problem to communicate with people about my ideas, stories. As we all known, communication is the most important thing for a friendship. So I started to look for online lessons, since taking actual classes is not possible for me, and I would rather save the money by finding some low budget online tutorial.

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Down to Earth

One problem about language learning is that those materials you got are so out of date, and you start to sound like an ancient person coming out of the cave. Language changes through time, people creates new slangs, dialect, or even words. So if you want to talk with your Japanese friends and also keep up your coolness, you must try JapanesePod101. They have native instructors to help you sounds like a local. The material is always keep up with current events and society, which offers many down-to-earth information. Want to make your Japanese speaking on fleek? Try JapanesePod101.


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Writing a Japanese Address on a Postcard

  1. - Postal symbol, preceding postal code
  2. 107-0052 - Postal code, composed of 7 numbers
  3. 東京都 - Prefecture (県, ken), with the exception of Tokyo (都, to), Hokkaido (道, do) and Osaka/Kyoto (府, fu)
  4. 港区 - Municipality, city (市, shi), village (村, mura) or ward (区, ku). Here it is Minato ward.
  5. 赤坂 - Area. Here it is Akasaka.
  6. 3丁目4-4 - City district (丁目, chome), city block (番地, banchi), bldg/house number (号, go)
  7. ジョン シナ - Recipient’s name. In Japan the last name precedes the first name and is often followed by a honorific suffix like San (さん) or Sama (様), corresponding to Mr. or Ms.

Click here to learn how to send out a Japanese postcard with our fun FREE video!


P.S. Win a personal postcard all the way from Japan! Just click the link above and submit your name and email address :) Hurry! Contest ends this Friday, 10/14/2016!

10 Best Responses to “How Are You” in Japanese

Hi Japanese Learner, how are you? This is one of the most common question used in everyday life. There are many possible responses to this question and various tons to use.

You must learn those different ways to respond because one answer may fit better, and having a greater range of expression is a sign of fluency. With this Japanese lesson, Risa will teach you the 10 best responses to “How Are You” in Japanese. Here we go!

Click Here to Learn How to Pronounce Those 10 Phrases

1.私は元気です。
わたしはげんき。
Watashi wa genki desu.
I’m fine.

2.大丈夫です。
だいじょうぶで。
Daijōbu desu.
I’m okay.

3.眠いんです。
ねむいんです。
Nemui n desu.
I’m sleepy.

4.絶好調です。
ぜっこうちょう。
Zekkōchō desu.
I’m great.

5.調子が悪いです。
ちょうしがわるいです。
Chōshi ga I’m feeling bad.
Warui desu.

6.いい感じです。
いいかんじです。
Ii kanji desu.
I feel good.

7.悪くないです。
わるくないです。
Warukunai desu.
I’m not bad.

8.おかげさまで。
Okagesama de.
Thank you for asking.

9.まあまあです。
Māmā desu.
I’m feeling so-so.

10.ぼちぼちです。
Bochibochi desu.
So-so.

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Japan exclusive rarest Pokemon! Pokemon Go finally released!

After having been delayed many times for different reasons, the mobile-gaming sensation, Pokemon Go, is finally released in its home country: Japan! Are you already on your way to be the very best like no ever was? After reading this post you’ll discover the rarest Pokemon in Japan and you’ll learn how to be the ポケモンマスター (“Pokemon Master”) in Japanese!

pokemon go japan exclusive rarest pokemon

From rumoured release to multiple delay, the mythical creature franchise, Nintendo has been keeping us waiting without official launch date for weeks. “When will it finally come out in Japan? Isn’t it Nintendo home country!?”. But after painfully watching Pokemon Go being released all over the world, Japanese residents finally get the chance to be back on track!

Pokemon Go users have taken the streets with their smartphones in order to catch’em all and train their creatures for battles! The mobile game is the perfect excuse to communicate with players you cross paths with. You definitely need to know how to introduce Yourself in Japanese.

Whether you want to challenge them or just share the location of the wild Pikachu you saw behind the station, learning the Most Used Japanese Phrases will help you to face all situations!

No more chat! People in Japan are already crazy about Pokemon Go and play it while having lunch with friends!

一番になりたい ? You want to be the very best? To be a good Pokemon trainer is all about charisma! You should start working on a cool trainer posture! But watch out, you may have a look before on Japanese gestures and their meaning to avoid any embarrassing pose!

Commuting, lunch break, night walk… all perfect opportunities for you to capture Pokemon! But it was while walking to the office, listening to a podcast about Japanese superstitions, that I encountered the rarest Pokemon ever, to be seen in Japan only!

If the legend is true Risamon can be seen time to time on JapanesePod101 YouTube channel for funny lessons. Our advice if you want to optimize your chance to capture it, is to follow the dedicated Risamon Learning Path available here. And at the end of the road you may realize you will able to hold a conversation in Japanese!

For you Japanese learners, here are 3 phrases you’ll need to know today:

  • Gotta Catch ‘Em All!
    全部捕まえてやるぜ!
    Zenbu tsukamaete yaru ze!

  • I wanna be the very best!
    一番になりたい!
    Ichiban ni naritai!

  • My dream is to become the pokemon master.
    私の夢はポケモンマスターになること。
    Watashi no yume wa Pokemon masutā ni naru koto.

    Next week we’ll publish here the Top 20 phrases you must know to be the best Poke Master!