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JULY 2011

Welcome to the first Learn Japanese Pod Magazine ようこそ


CONTENTS 1 NEWS A welcome and the latest news from Learn Japanese Pod

2 JAPANESE LESSON This month’s Japanese lesson is aimed at the first-time visitor to Japan. We have one lesson on basic restaurant Japanese and another with basic survival kanji.

3 INTERVIEW Wes Lang, an expert mountain climber shares some of his favorite hikes in Japan as well as some advice for the first-time hiker in Japan.

4 TECH AND EVENTS We have some great information on new iPad travel apps, July events and shopping for goods from Japan.

Welcome to the first monthly issue of the new Learn Japanese Pod Magazine. This has information about studying Japanese, traveling in Japan and anything else that floats onto our awesome radar that we would love to share with you. You can expect to find the following regular features: - The latest news from Learn Japanese - Japanese language lessons - Japan travel and event guide - Reviews of hotels, restaurants and products in Japan - Japanese tech, including what’s hot online and apps for learning Japanese - Interviews and more! Remember, you can subscribe to this magazine via our email newsletter or by going to the main site and clicking on the link to our newsletter download page. As this is our first magazine, we would love to hear your comments, ideas and feedback. See details at the bottom of this page to contact us.


Latest News Japanese Study resources We’ve just released some new posts on the main website with links to Japanese study resources. These include 10 Great Text Books for Studying Japanese and 10 Great Japanese Cheat Sheets . We recommend these resources to students from elementary to upper intermediate levels in order to widen their repertoire and input of Japanese materials and media. These articles cover not only online content but also printed textbooks, as we believe it is good to tear yourself away from your computer screen once in a while. One more related article is Japanese Language Learning Links and Resources, which has a larger and more comprehensive list of websites, dictionaries and applications.


Contact Us We’d love to hear about you and what’s on your mind. If you have any questions, comments or ideas concerning this magazine, the website or the podcast, please get in touch with us at the following addresses: Twitter: @japanesepodcast Email: Facebook: Learn Japanese Pod Facebook group



JULY 2011

A DICTIONARY OF INTERMEDIATE JAPANESE GRAMMAR A GREAT JAPANESE GRAMMAR BOOK A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar is a great addition to your Japanese study materials. It includes comprehensive coverage of Japanese grammar with wellwritten explanations and natural sentence pattern examples. This book is good for low intermediate to advanced students of Japanese and covers most bases in terms of what you will need to know for both written and spoken communication in Japanese. It should also help those wanting to study for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. Link: A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar 日本語のレッスン


Restaurant Japanese

Basic Kanji for Survival

This is a lesson on how to order food and drink at a restaurant in Japan. This includes some useful phrases you might hear and use in an izakaya, which is a traditional Japanese style pub.(居酒屋 - いざかや - izakaya)

Kanji can understandably be a little intimidating for those starting out in Japanese. Basic literacy for reading books, magazines and newspapers requires knowledge of 1,000s of kanji. Even if you are just visiting for a short trip and want to find your way around town or order food at a restaurant, it can all seem a little daunting. Well, fear not because we have compiled this mini cheat sheet to teach you the most basic and commonly used kanji for basic survival in Japan.

1) First off, you should check if there are any available seats when entering the restaurant. A good phrase for this might be: 席空いてますか seki aite masu ka Are you full? (Do you have any free seats?)

交番 - kouban - police box 地下鉄 - chikatestu - subway 病院 - byouin - hospital

2) If the restaurant is full, the staff might say: 申し訳ありませんが只今満席です。 moushi wake arimasen ga tadaima manseki desu I’m very sorry but at the moment we are full. 3) If they do have seats, you will most likely be asked: 何名様ですか nanmei sama desuka How many are there in your party? 4) To which you can reply the following:

コインロッカー coin locker (OK, not kanji, but very useful! ) 入口/出口 - iriguchi / deguchi - entrance / exit お手洗 - otearai - bathroom 男性 / 女性 - dansei / josei - men / women 駅 - eki - station 北、南、東、西 - kita, minami, higashi, nishi - north, south, east, west (These will help you with station exits and maps.) 成田空港 - Narita kuukou - Narita Airport



One person

羽田空港 - Haneda kuukou - Haneda Airport



Two people

引く / 押す - hiku / osu - pull - push



Three people

立入禁止 - tachiiri kinshi - do not enter



Four people

両替所 - ryougaeho - money exchange counter



Five people

為替相場 - kawase souba - exchange rate 円 - en – yen



JULY 2011

Interview Hiking in Japan with Wes An interview with an expert mountaineer in Japan

What are your top 10 tips for people who are new to

Could you recommend some good hikes for hikers new

hiking in Japan?

to Japan?

First off, bring a camera. Not only for capturing the scenery, but also for documenting the latest fashion victims: young ladies with down skirts, black tights and gaudy tights, old geezers with flannel shirts and fishing vests. Hiking in Japan these days seems to be more about fashion than anything else. Number two, carry plenty of water. You can never tell if the water source marked on the map will actually be there, and if it is, whether or not it’s actually safe to drink. Three, as with anywhere, pick up rubbish. Always try to bring back more than you started with. It’s appalling to see the amount of discarded candy wrappers strewn about. Four, I would avoid Mt. Takao if possible as it gets super busy, especially on weekends. If you do want to go hiking west of Tokyo, then Mt. Mitake or Okutama might be a better choice. Five, start late. Instead of setting off at 3am, why not have a lie-in and hit the trail around 1 or 2pm? Remember, it doesn’t really get dark until 7:30pm, and you can always bring a torch. There’s a better chance at seeing wildlife later as well. Six, don’t be scared of bears. Honestly, your chances of encountering one are next to nil, so leave the annoying bells and shortwave radios at home! Older Japanese hikers love bringing those along on hikes. Seven, know the lingo. Don’t forget the konnichiwas and other useful words, such as atsui (hot), kitsui (steep, or hard), raku (easy) and kirei (beautiful). Eight, do loop hikes. While not always possible, you should try to help stop erosion by either taking an alternative trail back to the start, or by starting and ending in two different places. Nine, don’t climb a mountain more than 1,000 times. It sounds silly, but there are some idiots out there trying to climb the same mountain more than 10,000 times. No really, there are! And finally ten, leave the booze at home. You’d be surprised how many people bring alcohol on a hike, which can be pretty dangerous.

Well, if you want some relatively easy and beautiful hikes, I guess I would recommend the following: Kaimon-dake in Kyushu Mt. Ishizuchi in Shikoku Mt. Ryozen in Kansai Mt. Tanigawa in Kanto Daisetsuzan in Hokkaido Just be well prepared and be careful of the typhoon season or blizzards in the winter. As the summer months are upon us, many people will be hiking up Mount Fuji. Do you have any advice regarding that? Just make sure you are prepared with enough food, water and warm clothing, as it gets cold on the top. However to be honest with you, I don't really recommend climbing Mt. Fuji. There are way too many people and there's no vegetation on the peak. It's much better to go somewhere like Kawaguchi-ko and climb Mt. Kuro or go to Lake Motosu and climb Mt. Ryuu instead. Where can I find out more about hiking and get information on specific trails in Japan? You can check out my website, which has information on all the hikes I have done in Japan. You’ll also see a list of my favorite hiking blogs and resources for those who want to get out and explore the Japanese countryside. You can find my blog at:

Sponsored link:



JULY 2011

美味しい和食 GREAT JAPANESE FOOD This photo was taken at Watami in Ginza, Tokyo, which is part of a chain of izakaya restaurants located throughout Japan. Izakaya are a great way to sample a wide variety of good Japanese food for the first time. Depending on what time of year you go, the menus will change seasonally to reflect the best seafood and vegetables on offer. This picture features a variation of the American style sushi roll with tuna on top of a cucumber and seaweed roll. This was served with soy sauce and wasabi. Absolutely delicious.


iPad Travel Apps If you are interested in photography and traveling in Japan, we’ve been working on a set of new iPad apps. Each app includes over 100 high-resolution photos of various travel destinations of interest throughout Japan. They also include descriptions of the locations with GPS maps. This should hopefully give you a little inspiration when planning a trip. Alternatively, if you want to stay home and just enjoy the scenery, this would be a great app for you. We have now completed apps for Nara, Kyoto, Kobe and Osaka. Each app is $0.99 and is available from iTunes.

Festivals Tanabata Festival 7th July Fukuoka: Hakata Gion Yamakasa July 15 Kyoto: Gion Matsuri July 16-17 Osaka: Tenjin Matsuri July 24-25 Sports Nagoya Sumo Tournament July 10-24 Holidays Marine day 3rd Monday, July 18 Fuji Rock July 29, 30, 31

products on its shopping site, it also offers a personal shopping service for customers outside of Japan. Just fill in the online request form and an agent will get back to you with a free price quote. Once payment has been made (via credit card or PayPal), the agent will then personally visit the retailer in Tokyo and buy your item just for you, before carefully packing it and sending it on. Once it arrives on your doorstep, you will be the proud owner of something that once would have required a plane ticket to Japan to purchase, and you'll be the envy of your friends. Japan Goods Finder's rates are extremely reasonable, so be sure to check the the service today.


Japan in July It’s summer in Japan and that means hanabi (fireworks), matsuri (festivals) and drinking beer in yukata. Here are some of the major events happening in July 2011. Seasonal Rainy Season: early June-mid July Mt.Fuji climbing season: July 1-August 1 Seishun 18 Kippu: late July through to early September



Japan Goods Finder For those of you who have ever wished you could get your hands on that elusive, Japan-only toy, fashion item, manga, or anything else, we have just the service for you. Japan Goods Finder not only sells some of the most sought-after Japanese

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Learn Japanese Pod Magazine July 2011  

A magazine by the Learn Japanese Pod website and podcast for information on learning Japanese and events in Japan