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August 2011




This month’s special feature gives you some tips on some great places to visit and things to do in Kyoto.

Learn to wow your Japanese friends with some Yojijukugo phrases and street slang.

Check out our top picks for events happening throughout Japan including fireworks displays and music festivals.


LEARN JAPANESE POD MAGAZINE FOR AUGUST 2011 In this month’s issue: Traveling to Kyoto, news from Japan, regional food quiz, Japanese lessons, events for August and more... 節電 Setsuden

Welcome Welcome to the Learn Japanese Pod Magazine, a free digital publication with news from our website, what’s happening in Japan and some Japanese lessons. If this is your first time to read this, welcome and where have you been?! Please go to our email subscription page to have this magazine delivered monthly to your inbox.

Contents Visiting Kyoto Japanese Lesson Regional Cuisine August Events

3~4 5 6 7

It has been an especially hot summer as people are bravely turning down their air conditioners to save electricity in the aftermath of the Fukushima crisis. Saving electricity or “Setsuden” is the inescapable buzz word in Tokyo this summer as a range of energy reducing measures have been put into place. Non-essential escalators and lifts have been turned off, air conditioners have been set to 28 degrees and government employees can be seen going about their business wearing “Super Cool Biz” short sleeve Hawaiian shirts. Osaka, which had been unaffected by the power crisis, will now have to start reducing electricity consumption as their nuclear reactors are undergoing safety tests. Gambatte Osaka! Congratulations Japan It’s not all doom and gloom as the Japan national football team, Nadeshiko have won the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Could this herald a new era in Women’s football in Japan? Might young women in Japan have some new role models to inspire them? We will have to wait and see. Congratulations Nadeshiko!


Tell us what’s on your mind We’d love to hear your comments, suggestions and questions about this magazine and also the Learn Japanese Pod Website and Podcast. Here is how you can keep in touch with us and the rest of the Learn Japanese Pod community. If you are a tweeter please follow us on Twitter @JapanesePodcast. You can also chat with other members of our Learn Japanese Pod Forum or just use good old fashioned electronic mail to contact us at Damn you Zuckerberg... It’s a long story but the old Learn Japanese Pod Facebook group got shelved. (Just taking a deep breath and counting to 10...OK, I’m fine now). We’ve made new Facebook Page and a new Facebook group so you can continue to take part in discussions with our community. As a final insult to Zuckerberg, here is our Learn Japanese Pod Google Account. Publicize your Japan events If you are planning a Japan-related event and would like to publicize it, drop us an email with the dates, times and details and we will include it in our September and October issues.

KYOTO Some great places to visit in Kyoto Last March in the aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake, I decided it would be prudent to leave the darkened streets and empty convenience stores of Tokyo to visit Kansai, the birthplace of Learn Japanese Pod. During that trip I stopped off in Kyoto to take pictures to use in our new iPad travel app. Due to my hectic schedule I managed to rush around to most of the main points of interest in just one day. However, I would advise against this as it can lead to a combination of dehydration and Temple-itis, a condition that causes the sufferer to get sick of visiting temples, especially ones with expensive entrance fees. As Kyoto boasts over 1600 buddhist temples and 200 Shinto Shrines, it’s better to choose just a couple of places to take in slowly over the course of a day or afternoon. So here is a list of some of my favorite places to visit in Kyoto which might possibly inspire you to plan a trip to Kyoto but at a more leisurely pace. 龍安寺 Ryoanji

which are both worth visiting. I started my route by walking North from Hanazono station, visiting Ninnaji, then Ryoanji and finally Kinkakuji.You could alternatively go from Ryoanji station. I love Ryoanji mostly for the beautiful 15th Century Zen rock garden that is it famous for. I recommend going at quieter times during the low season or on week days to avoid the crowds. It’s a great place to take in the simple beauty of the rock gardens and have your Zen moment if you can between the “helpful” announcements on the loud speakers to visiting tourists. 哲学の道 Testugaku No Michi

If you are looking for a relaxing stroll through Kyoto then you should check out Testugaku No MIchi or The Philosopher’s Walk. Located in the north of Kyoto in the Higashiyama district, you can stroll along the river bewteen Ginkakuji and Nanzenji temples which could also be added to your itinerary. The path is about two kilometers long and follows a canal lined with cherry trees including cafes, shops and boutiques along As there is so much to see in Kyoto it can get a little the way. You might also run into a clowder of local cats who overwhelming when planning an excursion. One tip is to are professionals at hanging out on the path and getting choose a temple or Shrine that is close to other points of passers-by to stroke them. All in all, it’s a very relaxing walk interest so you can explore the area on foot over a morning or with some really nice places to have a cup of green tea and afternoon. Ryoanji, located in north west Kyoto, is one such watch the world go by. temple within walking distance from Ninnaji and Kinkaku-ji


二年坂と三年坂 Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka Continuing into Higashiyama, you can find some of the oldest streets in Kyoto in Ninnenzaka and Sannenzaka.You can get a taste of traditional Kyoto architecture and find some great shops to buy souvenirs and gifts.You can also hire a rickshaw for a guided tour of the area. Every now and then, you can see couples on dates dressed in Kimonos or Yukata ambling along the cobbled streets. Ninnenzaka and Sannenzaka are conveniently located near to other areas such as Kiyomizudera, Kodaiji, Yasaka and Gion so there is plenty to see and do. 松原通り Matsubara Doori On the lead up to Kiyomizudera, one of the most famous temples in Kyoto, is Matsubara Doori. This is another street with restaurants and traditional shops selling souvenirs and gifts. It’s quite a bustling area but perhaps one of the best places to take in the old Kyoto atmosphere. 舞妓体験 Maiko Makeover If you want to sample some more traditions in Kyoto you can try the Maiko Makeover. For around $100 dollars, you can have a full Maiko makeover with souvenir photos as part of the package. You also get to walk around Kiyomizudera in the traditional Maiko Kimono. This isn’t just for the ladies as hapless boyfriends and husbands can get roped into getting a picture taken of them wearing a Hakama and brandishing a samurai sword. I should know, it happened

The Philosopher’s Path, Kyoto to me. Those photos are under lock and key now. The place I went to was Yume Koubou with three studios located in Gion, Kyoto station and Kiyomizudera. They were very profession and we had a great day out. おいでやす Of course, this is not a comprehensive tour but a humble kick start to getting your Kyoto trip planned. Again, try not to do too much in one day and take in some of the more traditional areas at your own pace. There is so much to see and do that Kyoto will be waiting for your next visit.






Kyoto Dialect


Nani shite haru?



Here is a list of phrases and words in Kyoto dialect or KyoKotoba. You might like to try them out on the locals on your trip to the city. Good luck.

This means “Thank you”. In standard Japanese this would be “arigato”.

This means “what are you doing?” and used the typical Kyoto verb ending “haru”.

This is used in shops and restaurants and means “Welcome”.

This means “good night” and is similar to standard Japanese which is “oyasumi nasai”.



Let’s Study Japanese

中途半端 - Chuutohanpa

In this month’s Japanese lesson we’re going to give you a little taste of some Japanese phrases and slang starting with Yojijukugo.

Chuutohanpa means half-assed, halfbaked or incomplete. For example: 仕事は中途半端に終わらせるな

四字熟語 - Yojijukugo Although the definition for Yojijukugo can be a little vague, it broadly refers to well knows phrases and idioms comprised of four kanji characters. Some of these are derived from Chinese classical literature and can be used in conversation to wow your Japanese friends. These also tend to crop up in Japanese Language Proficiency Test so they are worth knowing. Let’s look at a few examples of the most commonly used Yojijukugo: 一期一会 - Ichigoichie This means a once in a lifetime encounter. For example: ひとの出会いって一期一会だよね。 Hito no deaitte ichigo ichie da yo ne. When people meet, it is a once in a life time event.

shigoto wa chuutohanpa ni owaraseru na Don’t do your work half-assed 弱肉強食 -Jakunikukyoushoku This is a personal favorite of mine. It literally means weak meat, strong appetite. However the real meaning is “it’s jungle out there” or “it’s a dog eat dog world”. For example: ビジネスの世界は弱肉強食だ。 bijinesu no sekai wa jakunikukyoushoku da Business is a dog eat dog world. You can also check out podcast #71 “The law of the jungle” with some more examples of how to use this phrase. For further study you might like to check out this wikipedia article on yojijukugo and this website with endless lists of them. 一生懸命頑張ってください! 俗語 - Slang

Let’s now look at some street slang from Japan. Here is a phrase that might 美人薄命 - Bijinhakumei get a giggle or two from your Japanese A beautiful women who is destined to friends.You can also check out our videos die. For example: on how to use and pronounce these エイミー・ワインハウスって美人薄命 phrases naturally. だったね。 eimii wainhausutte bijinnhakumei datta ne Amy Winehouse was a beautiful women who was destined to die. Learn Japanese Pod App 一石二鳥 - Issekinicho

Check out our Learn Japanese Pod app for both iPhone and android. Check out our video demo showing how to use it and download all our podcasts.

ど忘れ - Do Wasure This means I completely forgot about something. For example: 今日会議だったのど忘れしちゃっ た。

This translates literally to mean two birds Kyou kaigi datta no dowasure shitchatta with one stone and has the same There was a meeting today, I completely meaning as the original English phrase. forgot. wasure comes from 忘れる-wasureru to 十人十色 - Juunintoiro forget. ど-do adds emphasis to the Different strokes for different folks or phrase.You can check out our video on everybody is different. this phrase here on our site.


和食 Japanese Food In this lesson we are going to explore some of Japan’s famous regional dishes and learn how to ask and answer questions about them. Let’s start off with some basic sentence patterns: Question 山梨県の食べ物何が有名ですか?

Answer 葡萄が有名です。

Yamanashi ken no tabemono nani ga yuumei desu ka? What is food is Yamanashi prefecture famous for?

Budoo ga yuumei desu. The grapes are famous.


Quiz Time Try out your general knowledge of this regional food quiz. Match the regions to their famous food. The first one has been done for you. The answers are on page 7.

1)山梨県 Yamanashi

a) 手羽先 Fried chicken wings

2)名古屋 Nagoya

b) 神戸牛 Kobe beef

3)大阪 Osaka

c) 豚骨ラーメン Raamen

4)沖縄 Okinawa

d) たこ焼き Takoyaki

5)北海土 Hokkaido

e) 葡萄 Grapes

6)福岡県 Fukuoka

f) ゴーヤ Goya

7)宮崎県 Miyazaki

g) 地鶏 Chicken

8)神戸市 Kobe city

h) 札幌ビール Sapporo beer

Dishes from around Japan Photos from top to bottom: 1. Salmon sushi from a a small restaurant in Ebisu Tokyo. 2. Coedo beer from Kawagoe. 3. A bowl of noodles in soup and gyoza. 4. A plate of sushi including Gari slices of picked ginger, tuna, salted salmon roe, salmon and sushi rolls.


AUGUST EVENTS Festivals, Fireworks and Concerts in Japan Here are some of our top picks for great events happening around Japan over August 2011.

Tanabata Matsuri Sendai 6th-8th


Awa Odori Tokushima 12th-15th

PL Fireworks Osaka, 1st, 7:45pm-9pm Tondabayashi Station 120,000 fireworks Adachi Fireworks Tokyo, 8th, 6pm-6:50pm Kitasenju Station 10,000 Fireworks Lake Suwa Fireworks Lake Suwa, 15th, 7pm~ Suwako Station 39,000 fireworks Sumida River Fireworks Tokyo, 27th, 7pm-8:30pm Asakusa Station 94,000 Fireworks

Festivals Nebuta Festival Aomori 2nd-7th Kanto Matsuri Akita 3rd-6th

Events calendar

If you are holding a Japan related event anywhere in the world we would like to hear about it and add it to our calendar for September 2011. Please send us an email to:

Festivals, Fireworks and music in Japan 2011

Daimonji Kyoto 16th Earth Celebration Sado 19th-21st Hi Matsuri Fujiyoshida 26th-27th

Music Festivals Otoma Sea Studio Zushi, July 24th - August 28th

Sonicmania Makuhari Messe, 12th Sonicmania Summer Sonic Makuhari Messe, 13th-14th

Tokyo Ska Jamboree Yamanakako, 6th

Free Dommune Zero

Yokohama Reggae Sai Yokohama, 6th

Tone River Jam ’11

World Happiness 2011 Shinkiba, 7th

Progressive Rock Festival

Kawasaki, 19th freedommunezero

Abiko, Chiba, 20th-21st toneriverjam

Hibiya Park, 28th Prog Rock Festival

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Answers to the quiz on page 6: 1-e, 2-a, 3-d, 4-f, 5-h, 6-c, 7-g, 8-b


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Learn Japanese Pod Magazine August 2011  

This is the Learn Japanese Pod Magazine which features articles on Japan, travel, food, sightseeing, culture Japanese lessons and more.

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