Archive for the ‘Learn Japanese’ Category

Japanese Forums and Informational Sites

Monday, June 12th, 2017

I remember when I first started looking for forums about Japan. One of the first sites that I came across was This was perhaps the best forum at the time. Nowadays, it just looks like a parking page for some info on Japan and a few links. If you look to the bottom right of the page you will  come across a link to This forum is good and covers a lot of different topics on Japan and living in Japan. On the left side of the page you will find the site navigation. If you want to learn Japanese or looking for a language exchange, then this is a forum you want to stop by. is another forum that contains a lot of info on a lot of different topics. If you are looking for info on living in Japan then this forum has a lot of posts. Their “Learning Japanese” part of the forum seems to be the most active. The one thing that sets this forum apart from the above mentioned forums is that they have a “China” and “Europe” forum.

If you’re looking to move to Japan for work, then probably the best forum to stop by is This forum, covers all the basis and has a friendly layout.

When it comes to learning Japanese, I have to say that I really like post by Namiko Abe at

As I come across more and more sites I will continue to update this post.  Another Forum on Japan that seems to be fairly active is the forum at The  Check it out when you have time.

Japan Statistics

Monday, June 12th, 2017

I can’t believe how fast time has flown.   I came across a really cool site for those interested in learning more about Japan.  Check out [].   You can click on a category or click on a prefecture to learn a bunch of interesting facts.      Wanna find out where they have the most dentist, foreign residents or murder victims, just click on the appropriate links.   Some of the stats that they have up there on are kind of mind boggling.  Check it out and let me know what you think.

Japan Monthly Web Magazine

Monday, June 12th, 2017

I hope everyone is having a great 2017!  If you like Japan as much as I do, or even just someone with a casual interest in Japan, you should check out the Japan Monthly Web Magazine put out by the Japan National Tourism site.  This site is filled with so many links about many things, for all parts of Japan.  Check it out and let me know what you think!

Tokyo Gift Show

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Japan has many cool gift shows.  I am currently planning on  attending the Tokyo Gift Show in September.  This will be my first time to go to one…and I heard that it is HUGE and exciting.  If you have time check out their website and see if you can’t go too!

Tokyo Cheapo (a.k.a.

Sunday, April 30th, 2017

I stumbled on TokyoCheapo while looking into cellphone sim card providers in Japan.  This site has a lot of great info and is great for anyone visiting or living in Japan.  You can find information about Hotels, Rail, Jobs, and pretty much anything else.  They have a lot of original content as well as links to various sites to get more information.    Check it out when you have time.

Takoboto (Awesome app to learn Japanese)

Friday, February 5th, 2016

With a change in the way people live their lives nowadays, I am constantly on the hunt for apps to learn Japanese.  Takoboto ( a mix of Tako or octopus and Roboto) has got to be one of the best apps out there.  Takoboto allows one to search in English or Japanese.  Whether you are looking up a word or just need to verify kanji, this is an indispensable app for learning Japanese.

When you have time check out Takoboto.  You won’t regret it!

Visiting Fukuoka in 2015

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

IMG_20150327_072646021If you ever get a chance to go to Fukuoka, stay at the Nishitetsu Grand Hotel and have breakfast. As we enjoyed their great breakfast, we got to look out at the magnificent view above.



Japan Fun Facts!

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Wow!  Can’t believe time has flown by so quickly.

As always… I am always trying to find more sites on Japan.    This page on list a lot of fun facts about Japan.  If you have a chance go check it out.    click here to read a bunch of tidbits about Japan.


Hakata Station

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

I remember when I first went to Hakata Train Station in the late 80’s and in throughout the 90’s, it was for the most part… a train station.  On my most recent trip in March of 2012, there seems to be some major improvements.  One could probably spend the whole day there  If you are ever in Fukuoka, stop by Hakata Station!!

NHK World

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

If you are as fanatical about Japan as I am, you may already know about NHK World.  But for those of you who don’t, when you have a chance you should visit the NHK World site.
At this site, you will (of course) get the latest news on Japan.  You will also get to view “On Air” the exact same news cast or documentary that is being shown on TV.   Check it out and let me know what you think.

Happy New Year Japan!

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

2011 has brought many changes to Japan and the world.  With the Japanese economy going down, the Yen getting stronger, exports declining Japan has many challenges ahead.  Topping the year was the March 11th earthquake / Tsunami / Nuclear Disaster; an event that will live with us forever.  My thoughts and prayers go out to all those who are still suffering as a result of the disaster.


Monday, December 12th, 2011

While cruising the web this evening, I came upon “” website.  If you’re looking to gather facts about Japan, then this is a decent site.  I like the history link perhaps the best of all the links on the site.   Having the Google ads in the center of the web page is distracting and takes away from the sites value.

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

Don’t quite remember how I stumbled upon, but I do know that it sparked my curiosity enough to want to blog about it later.

JapanNewbie is a cool site for those wanting to learn about Japan.  For those of you with preconceived notions about Japan, I would definitely recommend you check out this site.    There are sites out there with more information “about” Japan but this site has a variety of information about different aspects of Japan.   So, if you’re an up and coming Japanophile, stop  by and click around the site.


Sunday, June 26th, 2011

Many years ago, Japan Airlines was king. In the past few years, it has really taken a beating. I hope that one day it may once again regain its status.

I worked for Jalpak in the beginning 90’s. I got to meet some really good people and it was a great learning experience. I recently received an email from a friend of mine saying that Jalpak Bangkok will be shutting down at the end of June. I couldn’t believe it. Jalpak has been in Bangkok since 1979.

As time goes on, we may very well see other major player pull out of certain regions. With the internet, we now have a much more connected world and the need for traditional travel agencies has been dwindling.

Fukushima Fighting for their Future

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

[Click on title of post to see attachment]

When I talked to my friends in Fukushima, they tell me that they are pretty much on their own.  Not sure if it is the radiation that is keeping people out, but they tell me that the Japan Red Cross is not around.   They volunteer at the shelters and tell me that people are in dire need of supplies and it is only getting worse in the shelters.

The stories they tell me are not the stories that the media will talk about.  They are fed up with the lack of actual support.  There are a lot of feel good measures and millions of Yen/ Dollars being donated to the Japan Red Cross, but if the money is not being transitioned into actual help for the people it is pointless.  They have decided to do their own fund raising in an effort to get monies directly to the shelters.

Please click on the picture below.  They are selling T-shirts in hopes of generating money for the children and shelters of Fukushima.   If you have any questions you can contact me directly or contact them (contact info on attachment).

[Help Japan] 2011 Earthquake & Tsunami

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Having lived through one disaster and having stayed in a shelter.  I really feel for the victims of this twin disaster.

You tend to long for any degree of normalcy.  Even the little things become luxuries.

One question that I always get, is “I want to help or donate, but I want to give directly to people”.  I guess there are a lot of us that feel that our efforts will not go directly to the victims.

In this post, I will post links of where one can find information about giving, helping, or general information about Quake/Tsunami stricken areas.

Help Sites posted by Japan Today (A must see site)

*The Japan Red Cross (direct link to send money directly to them)

Emergency info from Yahoo Japan site (great place to get info) (Fukushima City home page)

Fukushima Radio Station (Daily updates on radiation levels)

Radiation Levels in Japan Radiation levels listed by prefecture

NHK World (General info and links in English)

Searching for “Japan earthquake live report”

Monday, March 14th, 2011

If you are like a few hundred million people around the world caught up in the tragedy unfolding in Japan, you may want to bookmark this site:  Japan-earthquake-live-report.  The site, is a sub site of

They have put up some useful information for those looking blackout times, train schedules, emergency numbers and so forth

Check it out and let me know what you think.

Earthquake Rocks Japan 2011

Friday, March 11th, 2011

The devastation is just tragic.  I called my friends today in Fukushima and they said that their city does not look the same.   The coastal areas are trashed.  He said that they felt like there was no help coming and to some degree everyone was on their own.

Despite the devastation, northern Japan is still really cold.  I asked my friend  where he was at the time the earthquake struck.   He said that he was at a preschool teaching when everything hit.  There were about 50 kids in the after school program.  He said he got everyone under desk or tables  and then went around to see if the others were okay.  When it stopped, he got the kids out of the building and on to the playground… only to have it start snowing.  Ouch!

We can never be too prepared for disaster, but chance does favor the prepared mind.

Japanese Video Lessons ‘’

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

If you haven’t already noticed, one of the things I do on this Jblog site is to take a look at sites that teach Japanese.  I came upon a site[] that I believe is really good and has the potential to be a great site for learning Japanese.   When you click on a video in the the “Video Lessons” link at the top, you will notice the enormous amount of effort put into creating these video lessons.

If you are just starting out I definitely recommend you check out this site.

I really hope that they continue adding content, but… due to the amount of effort put into each video lesson,  I think it will be really difficult for the creators to keep on adding content on a weekly or monthly basis.

Print your name [Katsujitai]

Friday, January 21st, 2011

It is funny how language is always evolving.  Over the years, some words are used less frequently and slowly start to fade away.   Working in customer service, I have the opportunity of dealing with many retired Japanese customers.  I usually need them to fill out a form and have to ask them to “Print” and then “Sign” their name on the paper.

Often,when I ask someone to print their name, I will say, “koko ni namae o kaite kudasai”.  They will often ask if they can “sign” in Japanese.  Many of them know a good deal of English, so I will usually say ” Eigo de Purinto…”.   This will sometimes prompt a “Purinto te nani”? (What is “Print”?)

The younger people will understand “Buroku-tai” or Block style lettering.  The older people will understand Katsujitai.   So, if you are trying to get someone to print their name, try using “Katsujitai (活字体) to explain yourself.

Note*: To  sign your name or to write in cursive is Hikitai.  If you are teaching kids, you may want to use “Suzuki-moji”.