Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

皆さん、お疲れ様です。(Mina-san, otsukaresama desu.) Well done everyone and welcome back to JapanesePod101.com’s Kantan kana. You now know how to read and write Hiragana.
Today, we are going to move out of the classroom and into the real world. We are going to review the Hiragana characters by taking a look at some actual signs in Tokyo. If you have problems reading any of the characters, brush up by reviewing some of the past 12 lessons. Are you ready? Then let’s take a look at some real world Hiragana.
Here is a word you might see often in Japanese restaurants. Can you read it? It says, やきとり(yakitori). Do you know what that is? How about now? やきとり(yakitori) is the word for “Grilled Chicken Skewers” and this picture was taken from a sign in front of a restaurant that specializes in やきとり(yakitori).
How about this sign? What does it say? It says あんまん(anman). Have you ever tried an あんまん(anman) before? It’s a steam bun with sweet bean paste filling and this picture comes from a restaurant menu board.
Let’s get off the subject of food for a bit and look at this poster of the Japanese world cup soccer team. Can you read the Hiragana? It says ありがとう(arigatō) as you may know, this means “thank you”. You will hear it a lot in Japan.
These characters might look a little different than what you are used to but can you understand it? It says となり(tonari). It means “neighbor” or “next door.” In this case, it’s the name of restaurant and the pictures of a sign above the entrance.
This one might also be tricky to read but can you do it? It says うなぎ(unagi), and it means “Grilled Eel”. This is on a sign in front of a restaurant and you will notice this one is a little bit less uniform in writing. It’s designed to look like it was written with a brush pen.
Here is one that might not look like writing at all. Any idea what it says? おかげさまで(o-kage-sama de) which means “thanks to you”. This is from a restaurant advertising its 5th Anniversary. They are thanking their customers for helping them stay open for 5 years.
And here is the last one for today. It’s a little bit less orderly than others because it’s handwritten. What does it say? It says おかず(okazu) which means side dishes to go with rice. This picture was taken off a street vendor's table. Like English or any other language, everyone has their own writing style. Don’t be alarmed if it looks a little different from what you’ve learned.
How was it? Although kanji gets a lot of attention, Hiragana is the cornerstone of Japanese. Make sure you are feeling comfortable with them before you move on.
In the next lesson, we will move on to the second alphabet of Japanese katakana. You are over halfway through learning all of the Japanese kana. You’ve done well to get this far. You’ve already learned an entirely new writing system. Katakana is coming up but it will be a lot easier to learn now since you’ve mastered Hiragana. I hope to see you all next time.