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Archive for the 'Japanese Culture' Category

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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    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

    Click here to listen to the audio pronunciation!

    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?
    Click here to check out this free Japanese City list!

    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.

    P.S. Get Your Daily Dose of Japanese with 1-Minute Mini-Lessons
    The Daily Dose of Japanese is a Calendar that gives you new, 1-minute lessons every day. Why? Because learning a little every day is easy, strengthens your habits and motivation and you improve your Japanese over time. Lessons range from culture and holidays to grammar, slang, phrases and more. Find it in the Japanese Resources menu or in the Quick Links menu on your Dashboard.

    Click here to check out the Daily Dose of Japanese Calendar.

    Did you know 何名様ですか。 (Nan-mei-sama desu ka?) means ‘How many people?’

    Did you know 何名様ですか。 (Nan-mei-sama desu ka?) means 'How many people?'

    When you go out in Japan you can expect to be asked this phrase.

    This is the polite way of asking how many people are in your party. When responding, instead of using the term 名様 (mei-sama) you should say (number of people) plus 人 (nin).

    三人です。(San-nin desu.): Three people.

    P.S. Get Your Daily Dose of Japanese with 1-Minute Mini-Lessons
    The Daily Dose of Japanese is a Calendar that gives you new, 1-minute lessons every day. Why? Because learning a little every day is easy, strengthens your habits and motivation and you improve your Japanese over time. Lessons range from culture and holidays to grammar, slang, phrases and more. Find it in the Japanese Resources menu or in the Quick Links menu on your Dashboard.

    Click here to check out the Daily Dose of Japanese Calendar.

    5 Unique Japanese Foods

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    Everybody’s got to eat, right?

    Right! This is why food can be a great way to connect with different cultures! Food can give us a little taste (literally) of life from around the world. When you’re traveling, one of the funnest things to do is try the local restaurants and cafes. From Asia to America, every place has a few unique snacks to munch on!

    So what are some unique foods in Japan?

    Kit Kats

    Yep, that’s right. From Green Tea to Blueberry Cheesecake, there are dozens of interesting and quirky flavors of Kit Kat bars that can be found in Japan. They even have a Wasabi flavor for those of you who are brave enough to try! Kit Kat bars have become wildly popular in Japan. The name “Kit Kat” is often associated with the phrase “Kitto Katsu,” which is a way to wish someone good luck in Japanese. Due to this, the chocolate bars are often given as gifts during celebrations and events.

    Nattō

    This infamous dish made from fermented soy beans just might be the smelliest on the list. Nattō is known for its powerful odor and gooey texture. Nattō is considered a comfort food in Japan and locals are often quick to suggest the slimy-textured food to visitors. Occasionally, nattō can be found in soup, salad, and even sushi. Nattō may taste disgusting, but it is definitely worth a try (just to say you did)!

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    Shabu-shabu

    Another well-known dish in Japan. Thinly sliced beef is boiled in hot water at your table. The meat is fully-cooked within a few seconds and ready to eat! If prepared well, Shabu-shabu is usually very tender and juicy. It is also related to another popular Japanese dish called “sukiyaki.” There are thousands of restaurants in Japan and around the world that serve shabu-shabu, so finding a spot to try it will be a cinch!

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    Omurice

    The Japanese version of an omelet; omurice usually consists of fried rice wrapped in a fluffy whipped egg. It is then topped with a sweet ketchup sauce. If you’re an anime fan, you may be interested in trying the dish at one of the many maid cafes around Tokyo. You can even order omurice that is cooked to resemble your favorite anime character!

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    Fugu

    Warning: Eating this can be bad for your health! It can even kill you! No, we aren’t talking about a sugary snack or fast food…Fugu, or pufferfish, contains a deadly poison called tetrodotoxin that can literally be lethal. This is why, according to Japanese law, it has to be prepared by a licensed professional. However, fugu remains a popular dish in Japan. The risk involved with eating fugu is said to give those who try it a certain “rush.” So if you decide to try this one, be careful and find a reputable restaurant with a licensed chef. Otherwise, the risk just might outweigh the reward…

    So, what do you think? Would you try any of these 5 interesting and unique Japanese foods?

    Choose One Quiz: どちらが好きですか?(Which do you like?)

    Which do you like?
    どちらが好きですか? (Dochira ga sukidesu ka?)

    We’re having another Choose One Quiz. Which do you like, 親子丼(oyakodon) or 牛丼(gyūdon)? Choose one and let us know!

    親子丼(oyakodon) vs 牛丼(gyūdon)

    Which do you like?

    A. 親子丼(oyakodon)
    Oyakodon Is a combination of chicken, egg, green onion and various other ingredients that is put over rice to create a rice bowl. The litereal translation of this dishes name is parent-and-child-donburi.

    B. 牛丼(gyūdon)
    Gyūdon is a Japanese rice bowl that uses cooked beef and onions on top of rice. The dish may also include noodles, and commonly has a raw egg poured on top of it.

    P.S. Do you want to learn more about Japanese food?

    Click here to listen to related a lesson on JapanesePod101:
    Culture Class: Essential Japanese Vocabulary - Food