Watch Sailor Moon, Learn Japanese

This is a YouTube tutorial series by professional anime and game translator Sarah K. She is also a big fan of Sailor Moon and wants to help people learn Japanese through the anime.

Each episode is around 30 minutes long. Sarah plays snippets of the anime and explains each sentence used, one scene at a time. In her explanation, she breaks down every sentence word by … [ 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 ]

The 24 Best Japanese Dramas to Binge and Learn Japanese

Need a break from Japanese textbooks and vocabulary flashcards? Then it’s time to chill with some Japanese dramas!

J-dramas are easy to get sucked into, especially because they’re so different in format from most Western shows. And they’re a fantastic way to gain some insight into Japanese culture, language, and locales in Japan.

One nice thing about Japanese dramas? They’re usually only one season long and about … [ Read more ]

Japanese Podcast for Beginners (Nihongo con Teppei)

Nihongo Con Teppei For Beginners is a Japanese language podcast. Each episode is about four minutes long, and the content is in Japanese only. This is because the host, Teppei, believes in improving language comprehension skills through listening to podcasts spoken in the original language.

Teppei focuses on one topic in each episode, and tries to use the key word or related vocabulary repeatedly so that … [ Read more ]

JLPT Stories

JLPT Stories is a new podcast and companion site based in Shinjuku that provides stories in Japanese, labeled with their intended JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) level. Each three to four minute story is written and read by a native Japanese speaker at normal speed.

On the website, JLPT Stories provides Japanese transcripts for the stories, with grammar points relating to each story’s JLPT level highlighted … [ Read more ]

10 Incredible Japanese Movies You Need to Watch RIGHT Now

Japan has released some legendary, heartfelt, strange, fantastical, and horrifying films over the decades. They’re also a great learning tool! So, here are the very best Japanese films to watch and learn Japanese from movies.

The Ultimate Guide To: は vs が (The ONLY lesson you need!)

This forty minute video by YouTuber Misa from Japanese Ammo might be one of the only resources titled “ultimate” and “the only lesson you need” that I actually believe. Misa breaks down the particles and and explains the differences in depth with multiple examples and on-screen text and translations.

and can be a major struggle for English … [ Read more ]

Awesome Japanese YouTubers

The Japanese YouTube scene is more sparsely populated than its American counterpart. However, there is definitely a rising J-vlogging scene. But as with all things up and coming, sometimes it’s hard to tell where to start and find out what’s worth your time. Fortunately, I’ve found several awesome Japanese YouTubers for you.

Studying With Japanese Drama: The Step-By-Step Guide

Japanese drama is a pretty excellent way to study Japanese. Watching it is one thing… but actually actively studying it is another. I will tell you exactly how to do that and get a ton of benefit compared to the time spent.

Editor’s Note: some good links and suggestions in the comments section as well.

Japanese TV and movies’ transcripts

This website was created for people who want to study Japanese by watching movies and/or TV. The text is only written in Hiragana and Katakana.

Children of Japan

This pre-WWII video from Encyclopaedia Britannica Films, shows home, work and school activities of a middle-class Japanese family.

MyKikitori

MyKikitori is a fun and easy way to practice kikitori (listening comprehension) for beginning learners of Japanese. It is based on the textbook, Genki: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese Volume 1. It is FREE and there is no need to sign up for an account. Lessons come equipped with audio lessons and quizzes.

Let’s Learn Japanese

Let’s Learn Japanese is a video-based Japanese language study course for English speakers produced by The Japan Foundation. It consists of 52 video lessons, divided into two parts (Basic I and Basic II). Each part consists of 26 episodes, and the episodes explain grammatical structures, new words and cultural information about Japan.

According to Wikipedia, the first part (Basic I) was made in the mid 1980’s, … [ Read more ]

Erin’s Challenge

This video series (originally TV and DVD) now has a web version. Each episode features two skits (basic and advanced) focusing on a grammar topic, discussion of the grammar and various cultural videos.

The skits and cultural videos are subtitled in normal japanese, kana only, romaji, or japanese + English making them open to many level sets. The navigation is currently in Japanese only but an … [ Read more ]

Irasshai Video Lesson Website

Irasshai gets up close and intimate with video learners through the easy, engaging manner of Dr. Tim Cook, the course instructor. Tim takes students on a personal journey to where Japanese is spoken, sometimes to predictable places-inside a Japanese home or an office building in Tokyo. Sometimes the places are less predictable, such as a sushi bar in Atlanta or a fishing hole in the … [ Read more ]

Joe is Japanese

Joeisjapanese is an animated series about haafu Joe McCunney’s adventures in Japan – witty, dry and based on reality if you believe the advertising. At the moment there is only a single long teaser clip on the site, but well worth a look, and the English subtitles will help beginners follow along. High production values and good writing. [courtesy of Nihongojouzu.com]

Japanese TV on Youtube

Will at Nihongojouzu.com offers up his strategies for finding good Japanese video content on YouTube.

怜祈の日常ですよ?(Reiki no Nichijou Desu Yo)

This is a good example of a blog-like podcast in which a Japanese girl talks about her daily life in an “audio diary.” It is a high-quality recording with no background music, making it good for language study. [Charles Kelly Annotation]