Bunsuke’s Newsletter

Bunsuke’s Newsletter is a great way to add a dose of Japanese reading practice to your daily routine. After signing up, you’ll receive a daily email with a short excerpt from Japanese literature, complete with vocabulary list, grammar explanations, and a translation of the text. Bunsuke includes an Amazon link for the book they took the excerpt from, so you can read on if one … [ Read more ]

popIn WAVE

popIn WAVE is an audio platform for multiple media outlets, including The Weekly Economist ( 週刊しゅうかんエコノミスト) and HUFFPOST Japan. Via this platform, you can listen to a wide range of “spoken articles,” all based on corresponding written articles. These spoken articles examine the stories behind the original articles, and discuss related topics, often with the writer or editor of that article.

All the content is professionally … [ Read more ]

Japan Reader

Let’s face it — reading Japanese is hard. Perhaps the most common complaint we hear from intermediate Japanese learners is that they can decode a text, but they can’t really just sit down and read it. To build up reading fluency, it’s important to avoid stopping to look up unknown words as you go, because you need to develop reading skills like guessing words from … [ Read more ]

“Day to Day” and “Story for You” from Tree

It can be difficult for Japanese language learners to find interesting short contemporary Japanese stories to read with English translations online. A novel can be daunting in length and complexity, while children’s stories might not be interesting or relatable.

Enter the literary news site tree, from Kodansha publishers, and their web series, Day to Day. Tree, created with the goal of introducing readers to new Japanese … [ Read more ]

News in Slow Japanese

This site is a basic but useful reading and listening resource. You’ll find short news articles read by site owner Sakura in both a slow and fast speed to suit your ability. There are three tabs for the text. The default tab shows the original Japanese text with popup definitions and translations. Another tab is for a romaji version and the third tab is the … [ Read more ]

Kanji Converter

Kanji Converter is an interesting online tool that lets you paste Japanese text to convert. Well, there are other options for that, but where this one differs is that you can toggle different display options on and off. For example, you can show furigana or romaji and English translations. You can highlight all the words by part of speech (nouns, adjectives, particles, etc.). Clicking on … [ Read more ]

Satori Reader

Satori Reader provides carefully curated, intermediate level content with which to practice and grow. With thoughtfully annotated articles spanning a variety of interesting subject matter and a unique system that presents content in a manner appropriate to your knowledge, it bridges the gap between the controlled, textbook Japanese that most students start with and the wide-open world of real-life, native communication. Each article is carefully … [ Read more ]

Manabi Reader (iOS)

Expand your Japanese vocabulary and comprehension by getting in the habit of reading short, native content daily. Manabi Reader makes it easy to jump into interesting native reading material without having to worry about your level: just one tap on any word you don’t know to see its reading and definition.

Don’t waste time trying to find engaging reading material—a curated selection of news feeds, online … [ Read more ]

Furigana Toggle (Firefox Addon)

This addon will let you toggle furigana on pages that have it embedded. That is of only limited use as a lot of sites in Japanese won’t have furigana embedded. Generally speaking, IPA furigana (Firefox, Chrome), which adds furigana to pages that don’t already have it supported, would be the better alternative but that only allows you to toggle the furigana on and … [ Read more ]

IPA furigana (Firefox Addon)

This is a port of the useful and popular Chrome extension for Firefox. It looks up the readings for kanji words and inserts them as furigana.

IPA furigana (Chrome Extension)

A browser extension allowing the injection of phonetic annotations for Japanese text (furigana) on the fly. Uses the IPADIC Japanese dictionary.

  • Works locally in your browser – no external server required
  • Automatically detects pages where furigana insertion is possible
  • Can switch between displaying the readings as hiragana, katakana or romaji
  • Persistent mode – extension will add furigana to all pages automatically until turned off
  • Customizable

[ Read more ]

NHK News Web Easier

NHK News Web Easier provides content for people wishing to learn Japanese, in the form of text, voice and video.

NHK News Web is the online newspaper edited by NHK (日本放送協会), Japan’s public broadcasting company. News Web Easy is a version targeted at children with simpler words, kanji and sentence structures, and with furigana (振り仮名).

NHKEasier gathers content from News Web Easy … [ Read more ]


Reajer gives you access to real, authentic Japanese literature. Each Reajer bilingual text is a standalone unit featuring a short story, an essay, or selected poems, which can be used independently from any other unit in the series. The original Japanese texts are all in the public domain (all the other materials on the website are copyrighted by Dan Bornstein). The Japanese texts are presented … [ Read more ]

Kata (片) — Japanese Text Segmentation Android App

Kata is a Japanese reader for Android that auto segregates Japanese text (kanji, katakana, hiragana) on your phone and gets the translation while showing furigana above kanji. It is free with no ads.

I haven’t played with this a lot, but it seems like a great tool for three things.

  1. You can read NHK news (easy or regular) directly in the app. All kanji already have

[ Read more ]

青空朗読 (Aozora Audio Reader)

Have you ever heard of 青空文庫あおぞらぶんこ? 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 … [ Read more ]

Manga Club

Manga Club is a site that posts officially licensed manga free with ads. But we’re not telling you about it because free manga is great; they recently added the ability to easily switch between Japanese and English with the press of a button!

Now you can read free manga without needing to choose whether to buy Japanese, English, or both, if you want to use them … [ Read more ]


Tofugu Review:

Pulling material from both NHK News and Hukumusume, TangoRisto allows users to make the most of their reading experience with unique features, customizable vocabulary lists, and easy Japanese dictionary lookup.

When you open the app, you’re given a few options to choose from:

  1. NHK News Easy
  2. Top NHK News
  3. Hukumusume.

NHK News Easy is Japanese news written for kids – think … [ Read more ]

Amazon’s Kindle USA Now Offering Japanese eBooks; Here’s How To Study With Them

Looks like a non-Japanese (aka USA, for now) Amazon Kindle store now stocks books in the Japanese language. This opens up some huge opportunities for study, though it does currently have its share of problems. Koichi spent the weekend reading terrible books and trying things out, though, so he’d be able to share them with you.

Japanese Reading Practice For Beginners

Since it’s normally pretty hard for beginners to find reading resources, Tofugu put together a list of resources for beginners to study with, listing them with a little bit about each including some suggestions on how to study with them.

福娘童話集 (fukumusumedouwashuu)

世界と日本の童話 – 昔話集
You can listen to some children’s stories on this site. When you click “お話しを表示する”, you can see the script.