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Archive for the 'Japanese Culture' Category

Must Know Golden Week Vocabulary

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Golden week is almost here! In few days it will be the beginning of the Golden week, the longest public holiday in Japan.

It’s an exciting moment for a lot of people as it’s the period for some time off and to fully enjoy Spring. Here is the list of Top Words you need to know for your holidays!

1. Traffic jam

渋滞 (じゅうたい)

http://31.media.tumblr.com/af9a01291c45c522c9ffed6f534633ba/tumblr_inline_o67xz4R4Wq1tqv1ik_540.gif

2. Warm

暖かい (あたたかい)

3. Golden Week holidays

ゴールデンウィーク

4. Chimaki

ちまき

http://41.media.tumblr.com/c6ce5cef762be5404e1d14eaa055592a/tumblr_inline_o67zqytYGu1tqv1ik_500.jpg

5. Constitution Day

憲法記念日 (Constitution Day)

6. Kashiwamochi

柏餅 (かしわもち)

http://36.media.tumblr.com/e762178f32dca92f53d1a5657a35970d/tumblr_inline_o67zu5MEek1tqv1ik_1280.jpg

7. Greenery Day

みどりの日 (みどりのひ)

8. Children’s Day

子供の日 (こどものひ)

http://31.media.tumblr.com/3f237aaed401f2ebcf4c97197e385a7d/tumblr_inline_o67xc0ZtXy1tqv1ik_500.gif

9. Trip abroad

海外旅行 (かいがいりょこう)

10. Doll for the Boys’ Festival in May

五月人形 (ごがつ にんぎょう)

http://41.media.tumblr.com/90d511651d12472b06f3258a2f81f496/tumblr_inline_o67zviv2TI1tqv1ik_1280.jpg

11. Traveling

旅行 (りょこう)

12. Koinobori

鯉のぼり(こいのぼり)

http://33.media.tumblr.com/62a5ac2c19d13cfd1b2375f0a1857ecd/tumblr_inline_o67x7ssEXm1tqv1ik_500.gif

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    Click Here to Learn Golden Week words with FREE Audio Pronunciation!

    Top 5 Japanese Pop Culture Icons

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    Japan is a country rich in pop culture, which has spread all around the world and had a big influence. Popular culture changes quickly and drastically, but who are the biggest icons from Japanese Pop Culture in recent years? Here is our Top 5!

    1. ハローキティ - Hello Kitty

    https://33.media.tumblr.com/05c886ee6b6bac4053bf6ee2ad16dbc0/tumblr_inline_o60i4xwRAk1tqv1ik_500.gif

    Hello Kitty, also known as Kitī-chan in Japanese, is one of the major characters in Japan, and a symbol of “Cute” culture. Hardcore fans of Kitty are called kitirā (キティラー). Hello Kitty is popular overseas as well. For example, celebrities like Paris Hilton, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga are known to be enthusiastic Kitty fans.

    2. AKB48

    https://33.media.tumblr.com/d2e30e230ab66f44594bc37a95820788/tumblr_inline_o60i6ktsO11tqv1ik_500.gif

    AKB48 is currently the most popular idol group in Japan, and known for the fact that they have many overseas fans as well. Working from the concept of “idols whose fans can meet and greet”, they have live performances at their own theater, or handshake sessions as part of their service to their fans. AKB was the first female idol group in Japan to adopt a general election system to decide on its members.

    3. 初音ミク - Hatsune Miku

    https://33.media.tumblr.com/29bd9f957ce2d5c753614c03a30e58b2/tumblr_inline_o60i90Lmgu1tqv1ik_500.gif

    Many people may think of Hatsune Miku as a character with green twin ponytails. Hatsune Miku has been recognized as one of the most famous characters in the world, but the name was originally used for a synthetic vocal sound source. When they created a character of a virtual reality idol for the sound source so that it would be more realistic, it became a big hit across Japan. And not only did it become popular in the country, but it has also gained a big reputation overseas, and even performed in the first part of one of Lady Gaga’s concerts.

    4. きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ - Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

    https://33.media.tumblr.com/e434310c9bd758039293acc1642f43ab/tumblr_inline_o60ibkHJja1tqv1ik_500.gif

    Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is a fashion icon of the Kawaii (かわいい, “cute”) style, which is highly regarded overseas, and has gone on multiple word tours. She has also been chosen as the “Harajuku Kawaii Ambassador” (Harajuku kawaii taishi, 原宿カワイイ大使) based in Harajuku, which is the center of Japanese pop culture. Although she started her career as a fashion model in Japan, she has become well-known as a singer since her first single Tsukematukeru (つけまつける) was a big hit.

    5. ポケモン - Pokemon

    https://38.media.tumblr.com/c62913e9b676a3f97a7d7f13dae2129d/tumblr_inline_o60i2jMyqE1tqv1ik_500.gif

    Pocket Monsters – also known as Pokemon – have captured the hearts of children, not only in Japan, but also around the world. It all started from game software for Game Boy which was released by Nintendo in 1996. The game was so popular among both boys and girls that it became one of the biggest megahits in the Japanese game industry. This year Pokemon celebrated its 20th anniversary with a 5 million dollar commercial.

    You can learn more about Japanese Culture on our site with FREE audio podcasts!

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    10 Japanese Anime Words other languages want in their Dictionary

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    Thanks to Japanese, we realize we miss a lot of words and expressions in our own languages. If you’re looking for Japanese words we should have in our dictionary, this list is for you!

    You can hear these commonly used words in anime or dramas. They are pretty easy to understand, but when it comes to translating them or to explaining the meaning, it’s a different story! However, we tried to find the best definition for you, so arigatou for your understanding!

    1. 先生 (Sensei) “Professor”

    https://j.gifs.com/XDP7j8.gif

    This word can be used for all the people that teach you something. A teacher, a doctor, a philosopher… everybody can be a sensei for somebody else.

    2. お疲れ様 (Otsukaresama) “Good work today

    https://38.media.tumblr.com/05b1b970b9d83fbb342ba6342913ec44/tumblr_inline_o5v18nWCMI1tqv1ik_540.gif

    After a good day of work, you can use otsukaresama as a catch-all farewell of sorts when you’re passing a coworker in the hall on the way home at the end of the day. It means that even if you’re tired, a good job has been done.

    3. しょうがない (Shoganai) “Nothing can be done about it/It can’t be helped”

    https://33.media.tumblr.com/5c5e6d012d8e3331da6a7788d22ced3f/tumblr_inline_o5v1dy4Pzt1tqv1ik_500.gif

    The Japanese phrase shoganai, or “it can’t be helped,” is an important word in Japanese. It’s often used to describe Japanese culture, thinking and values. Shoganai is essentially a philosophy. It says that if something is out of your control, it’s better to quickly accept it and move on.

    4. 頂きます (Itadakimasu) “I humbly receive”

    https://38.media.tumblr.com/7174a387da77aae5583e445b160ee299/tumblr_inline_o5v1h77I5I1tqv1ik_500.gif

    In Japan, it’s common to say itadakimasu before eating a meal. The word itadakimasu is often translated as “I humbly receive,” but when relating to food, it’s often compared to saying “Let’s eat,” “Bon appétit,” or “Thanks for the food.”

    5. 猫舌 (Nekojita) “Cat’s tongue”

    https://38.media.tumblr.com/b5caf8edf8ae12ec938006ee0ead855b/tumblr_inline_o5v0npVnk41tqv1ik_500.gif

    It’s not uncommon to see, for example, in a ramen restaurant how Japanese people enter, order, eat and leaves in just a few minutes. Some people seem to not care about something being really really hot. In Japan, people who unable to eat really hot food are called nekojita. It literally means “cat’s tongue.”

    6. 木漏れ日 (Komorebi) “The light that filters through the trees”

    https://38.media.tumblr.com/3c9b73efa49846cd5f9884618cd55bb3/tumblr_inline_o5v0n0w0YC1tqv1ik_500.gif

    This is the word the Japanese have for when sunlight filters through the trees – the interplay between the light and the leaves. It’s a beautiful word with a poetic meaning.

    7. 上げ劣り (Ageotori) “To look worse after a haircut”

    https://38.media.tumblr.com/1bf39f315fafebcd3380eb8cfe7aff6a/tumblr_inline_o5v1lfYAVf1tqv1ik_500.gif

    This is the horrible feeling you have after visiting the hairdresser and they totally messed up your hair!

    8. ドキドキ (Dokidoki) “Onomatopoeia for heartbeat”

    https://38.media.tumblr.com/0d8960544ce2491b52f5920ef918c0d2/tumblr_inline_o5v0oo4Aup1tqv1ik_500.gif

    This is usually used to refer to the heart beating in relation to love, like how the heart beats faster when you are around that one special person. You will often find it Japanese romance anime and manga.

    9. 森林浴 (Shinrinyoku) “Forest bathing”

    https://38.media.tumblr.com/e55544b5008d6c2adbe4831e800ebde1/tumblr_inline_o5v1ryq5xl1tqv1ik_540.gif

    This word is used when you get deep into the woods, where everything is silent and peaceful for relaxation.

    10. バカ (Baka) “Idiot”

    https://33.media.tumblr.com/506dd27e06a3554a939bf3416ac413e9/tumblr_inline_o5v0m72QOe1tqv1ik_500.gif

    Do you really need an explanation?

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    8 Extreme places to visit in Japan

    Click here to discover 30 travel phrases you should know!

    If you are looking for exceptional and exciting places in Japan, here is a list of spots not to miss. Some places on the list are difficult to access, or even forbidden.

    1. 青ヶ島。- Aogashima.

    http://41.media.tumblr.com/6a455108f7bd6d09482bc445c527f006/tumblr_inline_o5lrgwE6uU1tqv1ik_1280.jpg

    The island is located 358 kilometers to the south of Tokyo. It is the smallest village in Japan. It is a volcanic island 3.5 km in length and 2.5 km in width that was formed from the remains of several calderas. The island is one of the most mysterious islands and has a beautiful natural environment. It is worth visiting at least once in a lifetime!

    2. 軍艦島。- Gunkanjima.

    http://41.media.tumblr.com/80a7060ce9db67a91d425b065df0909b/tumblr_inline_o5lrtf9cJS1tqv1ik_1280.png

    Once the most densely populated place in the world, the small island of Hashima, commonly known as Gunkanjima (or “Battleship Island”), is now a ghost island. The island floats off the coast of Nagasaki in Japan. It has become a tourist attraction with trips around the island on offer, but has also been a backdrop for many films.

    3. ドリームランド。- Dreamland.

    http://40.media.tumblr.com/afa886b3a3aff4c85f009ef6f7fe826c/tumblr_inline_o5lru7CXqP1tqv1ik_1280.jpg

    Dreamland is an abandoned theme park in Nara, with all its roller-coasters and rides still standing. It closed permanently in 2006 because of low visitor numbers caused by the popularity of Tokyo Disneyland and Universal Studios Japan. It is a private place and access is forbidden, though some people visit it by jumping over the fences.

    4. 富士急ハイランド。- Fuji-Q Highland.

    http://40.media.tumblr.com/96faf8697ca00dc04cdd70dd3b1a8d17/tumblr_inline_o5ls355EiR1tqv1ik_1280.png

    This is another theme park, but it remains open. It is located near the base of Mount Fuji, and will guarantee you some thrills, with two of the biggest haunted mansions and, above all, roller-coasters ranked as the biggest and fastest in the world.

    5. 地獄谷野猿公苑。- Jigokudani Monkey Park.

    http://40.media.tumblr.com/3f124ebf1624ac0bbcc9f9eb5140b46c/tumblr_inline_o5lsa5C1E61tqv1ik_1280.jpg

    This monkey park located in Nagano prefecture is famous for its large population of wild Japanese macaques, which are also referred to as snow monkeys. It is a popular tourist spot and also easy to access. You can watch the monkeys relaxing in hot springs. Don’t forget to ask them before joining!

    6. 与那国島。- Yonaguni-jima.

    http://41.media.tumblr.com/141f37d50bc20962d53d8ac85a657ab3/tumblr_inline_o5lsde4Lwo1tqv1ik_1280.jpg

    This is the westernmost inhabited island of Japan. Here, you can go diving and see submerged stone structures and ruins of a Japanese atlantis, an ancient city sunk by an earthquake about 2,000 years ago.

    7. 立山黒部アルペンルート。- Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route.

    http://36.media.tumblr.com/5aac6ee9e812875a70f27096ee0d2567/tumblr_inline_o5lsfey2ML1tqv1ik_1280.jpg

    You may have seen images of mountain roads locked between great snow walls. This route is a famous mountain sightseeing route between Toyama and Nagano prefecture. The route is just 37 km in length, but the vertical elevation is as high as 1,975m!

    8. 目黒寄生虫館。- Meguro Parasitological Museum.

    http://40.media.tumblr.com/3f62210ab4d5b2b92ef7374d7c57c721/tumblr_inline_o5lshdmWEl1tqv1ik_1280.jpg

    For another kind of experience, this surprising museum will give you chills for sure. The museum displays some 300 samples of 45,000 parasites collected. And you will be able to buy great gifts for your loved ones.

    Click here to access the top 30 travels phrases lesson for FREE!

    Here are some handy ways you can master the quotes with this lesson:

  • Press the sound icon to hear each word and read along
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  • Leave us a comment and put these quotes to use
  • Speak and master even more Japanese with our fun audio and video lessons made by real teachers. Click on “Browse Lessons” in the top menu to access our massive library. Then, start speaking minutes into your lesson.

    Click Here to Learn Japanese Quotes with FREE Audio Pronunciation!

    Top 10 most famous Japanese Food

    Click here to listen to the audio pronunciation!

    http://38.media.tumblr.com/6cb8663baa52319661179f16389dc148/tumblr_inline_o5i4x93SqT1tqv1ik_500.gif

    1. おでん。- Oden.

    http://38.media.tumblr.com/e702aeac7b59f665d4355016fb126528/tumblr_inline_o5i55glRRr1tqv1ik_500.gif

    2. しゃぶしゃぶ。- Shabu shabu

    http://38.media.tumblr.com/297c7f30da5745e330717af00bf52283/tumblr_inline_o5i5diL7TL1tqv1ik_500.gif

    3. 天麩羅。- Tempura.

    http://33.media.tumblr.com/cf40b88472c2a80e1a06d90e00bc3a10/tumblr_inline_o5i5k6p7sw1tqv1ik_500.gif

    4. 寿司。- Sushi.

    http://38.media.tumblr.com/4a887624a8a46a25725bfe407d38350f/tumblr_inline_o5i8zahUUR1tqv1ik_500.gif

    5. 焼き鳥。- Yakitori.

    http://38.media.tumblr.com/d3c786c4326da39557e0fcde4c1521ff/tumblr_inline_o5i958PPei1tqv1ik_500.gif

    6. 牛丼。- Gyudon.

    http://33.media.tumblr.com/b835ce16b0a30d188423f1c136aeb63a/tumblr_inline_o5i9d3WXvU1tqv1ik_500.gif

    7. 蕎麦。- Soba.

    http://31.media.tumblr.com/bea3603b05a2f388732cf3f36bc838f7/tumblr_inline_o5i9n51vwa1tqv1ik_500.gif

    8. 餅。- Mochi.

    http://38.media.tumblr.com/8b13276dd1193276afbaa4607a74fb8a/tumblr_inline_o5i9ufEPnL1tqv1ik_500.gif

    9. 納豆。- Natto.

    http://38.media.tumblr.com/f4e0eaaeadc2c65e132810c56f6a2d41/tumblr_inline_o5i9z7hmim1tqv1ik_500.gif

    10. おでん。- Oden.

    http://33.media.tumblr.com/404b1877264126c8015345975b09136a/tumblr_inline_o5ia4aA6dI1tqv1ik_500.gif

    Click here to access this lesson for FREE!

    Here are some handy ways you can master the quotes with this lesson:

  • Press the sound icon to hear each word and read along
  • Review all words in a slideshow by pressing “View Slideshow”
  • Listen to all the words in one lesson with “Play Audio”
  • Add the words to your Word Bank or Flashcards
  • Print the entire list out for your personal review
  • Leave us a comment and put these quotes to use
  • Speak and master even more Japanese with our fun audio and video lessons made by real teachers. Click on “Browse Lessons” in the top menu to access our massive library. Then, start speaking minutes into your lesson.

    Click Here to Learn Japanese Quotes with FREE Audio Pronunciation!

    Top 10 Hardest Words to Pronounce in Japanese

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    1. ツイッター。 - Twitter.

    https://38.media.tumblr.com/4fe74a428b5907de18e91c65554bfc21/tumblr_inline_o5aiphLlGa1tqv1ik_500.gif

    2. 伝えられなかった。 - Could not tell.

    https://31.media.tumblr.com/ba712314cd8fe13c031c26e72c2fd6c9/tumblr_inline_o5aj4ykNs91tqv1ik_500.gif

    3. 侵略。 - invasion.

    https://33.media.tumblr.com/e03967df6e39856cc28ab281cd430bc8/tumblr_inline_o5ajjc6Mbt1tqv1ik_500.gif

    4. 便利。 - Convenient.

    https://33.media.tumblr.com/63d39ef5899a32ccc41c2f1952b1f69f/tumblr_inline_o5ajrio29L1tqv1ik_500.gif

    5. 出力。 - Output power.

    https://38.media.tumblr.com/03522fae08a043fd820422e781a277f6/tumblr_inline_o5ak94fTVz1tqv1ik_500.gif

    6. 店員。 - Clerk.

    https://33.media.tumblr.com/b0e2e540e70e8750c192eafed6179671/tumblr_inline_o5akhrbwYb1tqv1ik_500.gif

    7. 旅行。 - Traveling.

    https://31.media.tumblr.com/1d06d09e0c9a3235de939fb7dfa33f68/tumblr_inline_o5akrjVSUE1tqv1ik_500.gif

    8. 暖かくなかった。 - Was not warm.

    https://31.media.tumblr.com/a1f6368c2de6012766c0bf30b89390d5/tumblr_inline_o5akxxKOtK1tqv1ik_500.gif

    9. 駐車場。 - Parking lot.

    https://33.media.tumblr.com/3bfb0c6ae3fa52906b1536df93f12171/tumblr_inline_o5al3eZZZl1tqv1ik_500.gif

    10. おっちょこちょい。 - Clumsy.

    https://31.media.tumblr.com/ec656e5e2ea8fee6148a4385bd5a88f7/tumblr_inline_o5alaqv0uz1tqv1ik_500.gif

    Click here to access this lesson for FREE!

    Here are some handy ways you can master the quotes with this lesson:

  • Press the sound icon to hear each word and read along
  • Review all words in a slideshow by pressing “View Slideshow”
  • Listen to all the words in one lesson with “Play Audio”
  • Add the words to your Word Bank or Flashcards
  • Print the entire list out for your personal review
  • Leave us a comment and put these quotes to use
  • Speak and master even more Japanese with our fun audio and video lessons made by real teachers. Click on “Browse Lessons” in the top menu to access our massive library. Then, start speaking minutes into your lesson.

    Click Here to Learn Japanese Quotes with FREE Audio Pronunciation!

    The Top 10 Words You’ll Hear In Anime!

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    Hey Listeners!

    Are you a big fan of anime? Then this is the list for you!

    There are thousands of different words that are spoken in anime these days. Too many to count. However, there are certain words that have a funny way of showing up in many different series! Today, you’ll learn the top 10 words that you’re sure to hear while watching your favorite anime shows!

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    1. Kawaii (かわいい)
    Definition: Cute, Adorable

    This is a word that is constantly used in Japanese culture. It basically describes anything that can be seen as cute, such as a stuffed animal or a pretty dress!

    2. Sugoi (すごい)
    Definition: Amazing, great

    You’ll often hear this word when a character is surprised or impressed! It can convey the same meaning as “amazing” or “superb.”

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    3. Senpai (先輩)
    Definition: Someone who is your senior, most commonly at school or in the workplace

    In many shows, the main character often has an older friend. This leads to the frequent use of this word. The popular phrase “Notice me, senpai!” also plays on the frequent use of the word.

    4. Baka (ばか)
    Definition: Idiot, stupid

    Usually used in a playful manner, this word is used to describe someone as “dumb” or “an idiot.” This is usually said in an attempt to poke fun at the main character.

    5. Oniisan (お兄さん)
    Definition: Older brother

    The anime shows of today feature an abundance of older brothers, so this is one that’s sure to come up quite often. It is almost always used by the little sister character in the show.

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    6. Daijōbu (大丈夫)
    Definition: Okay, good

    Often used in a way similar to the phrase “it’s going to be alright,” this word essentially means “okay” and is frequently used when a character is trying to cheer someone else up!

    7. Imōto (妹)
    Definition: Younger sister

    Many shows feature a younger sister character, hence the popularity of this word.

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    8. Tomodachi (友達)
    Definition: Friend

    A simple word meaning “friend” or “friends.” This is quite common, since of course, anime is filled with lots of friendship!

    9. Ureshiii (嬉しい)
    Definition: Happy, glad

    You’ll often hear this word when a character is extremely happy or relieved! For example, it is often used when a character thinks that someone is angry with them, but then finds out otherwise.

    10. Otaku (おたく)
    Definition: Someone who is obsessed with something, usually referring to anime/manga

    This is a common term that is usually applied to fans of anime, manga, and even video games.

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    How many of these words did you already know? Remember, these are just the most common words that you’re likely to come across. If you want to start understanding more of your favorite shows, sign up for a FREE lifetime account and start studying with us today!

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    AnimeJapan: The World’s Largest Anime Convention

    Hello Listeners!

    This weekend, an exciting event is taking place in Tokyo, Japan! AnimeJapan, one of the largest anime conventions in the world, will take place at the Tokyo Big Site exhibition center! Anime conventions are known for their crazy and unique festivities aimed at otaku culture, and AnimeJapan is no different.

    AnimeJapan will feature:

    • FOOD PARK, AnimeJapan’s first food park that will carry dishes from 6 different restaurants.
    • A total of 3 different stages (Red, Blue, Green) for panels and entertainment.
    • Cosplayers’ World, an area where cosplayers can “enjoy the world to the fullest.”
    • A Main Area filled with tons of exhibitions and activities.
    • A section dedicated to anime good where dozens of vendors will sell merchandise.

    Tickets are 2000¥ at the door and admission is free for those in elementary school and younger! The convention is being held at Tokyo Big Site and can be accessed from both Kokusai-Tenjijo Station and Kokusai-Tenjijo-Seimon Station.

    4 Major Cities in Japan

    Hello Listener,

    You’re definitely learning new Japanese words and phrases with these lists, the Word of the Day and weekly JapanesePod101 Audio and Video lessons.

    But here’s a geography question for you:
    Do you know the Major Japanese Cities?

    And do you know how to properly pronounce them in Japanese? You’re about to learn it all with this post.

    1. Tokyo

    Tokyo Tower

    Tokyo is the capital of Japan and the largest city in the country. Tokyo is also one of Japan’s forty-seven prefectures, but it is referred to as a to (”a metropolis̶ ;) instead of a ken (”a prefecture”).

    2. Kyoto

    Kyoto

    Kyoto, one of the oldest cities in Japan, was formerly the capital of Japan until 1868, when
    Tokyo became the capital. Now it is a major city in the Kansai area, known for its traditional
    atmosphere with its numerous temples and shrines.

    3. Osaka

    Osaka

    Osaka is a large city that is located in the Kansai area close to Kyoto. It is the capital of Osaka prefecture as well as the economic and cultural center of the Kansai region. Many famous Japanese comedians hail from Osaka. Osaka is also known for its regional specialty dishes now popular throughout all of Japan such as, Takoyaki and Okonomiyaki.

    4. Nagoya

    Nagoya

    Nagoya is the third-largest city in Japan coming in after Tokyo in 1st - and also one of the biggest in the world - and Osaka in 2nd. Nagoya is located in Aichi prefecture and is also a major port city like Tokyo and Osaka. When in Nagoya, the places you simply must see while in Nagoya are Atsuta Shrine and Nagoya Castle. Other things of note are the Tokugawa Art Museum and Nagoya’s famous foods: misokatsu (a fried pork cutlet drizzled with miso sauce), tebasaki (uniquely sweet-flavored chicken wings with sesame seeds) and kishimen (a broad, flat style of udon noodle).

    Want to know more Japanese cities?
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    Have you been to 松島 (Matsushima)?

    Have you been to 松島 (Matsushima)?

    Matsushima (松島) is a group of islands in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. There are some 260 tiny islands (shima) covered in pines (matsu) . Therefore, it’s named Matsushima.

    松島にカモメがたくさんいます。(Matsushima ni kamome ga takusan imasu): Many seagulls are on Matsushima.

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