Have you ever heard of 青空文庫? Established in 1997, this online library hosts several thousand Japanese literary works, completely for free. If you’re not too confident in your kanji readings however, trying to read a Japanese text can be quite tricky. Rather than focusing on overall reading comprehension, you end up zeroing in on just the kanji. Sound like you? Then give their sister site 青空朗読 a try!
青空朗読 (literally, “Blue Sky Audio Reader”) offers up 580 audio recordings of Japanese literature found on 青空文庫, with new recordings popping up periodically. You can listen to the audio on the website, or you can download an electronic publication (.pub) file and upload it into an eBook application. Some eBook apps support audio as well, and so you can listen to the audio reading of the book as you follow along yourself! This is great practice for increasing the fluency of your reading, and the audio is mostly read by professionals, who are dynamic story tellers with great voice inflection. While the website is all in Japanese and may take some effort to navigate, it’s well worth it! [Tofugu Annotation]