The 7 Best Japanese Podcasts - StoryLearning (2023)

The 7 Best Japanese Podcasts - StoryLearning (1)

It doesn't matter if you're just startinglearn japaneseor mastering your kanji and verb conjugation, listening comprehension is something you may be missing.

Finally, learning from real world interactions can be difficult. If you ask someone for directions in Japanese, they will likely change their language to make it easier to understand.

While that's great in the short term, you'll likely find what you've been looking for.doesn't really help you understand authentic japaneseif you hear it

How do you solve this problem? Listen while your Japanese friend is on the phone with his mother? How about something else... useful? And less curious.

Consider using podcasts to get your daily (or weekly) dose of Japanese listening practice. In this post, I share 7 podcasts that will improve your Japanese listening skills as well as your Japanese skills in general.

My top recommendation for improving your Japanese listening skills isconversations. It is an interesting course based on a story that will help you understand real Japanese and improve your listening skills in 90 days or less.


Headphones, smartphone, and the podcast app of your choice at your fingertips! Let's dive...

Why use podcasts to improve your Japanese

The 7 Best Japanese Podcasts - StoryLearning (2)

Podcasts, or episodic series of audio or video files that you can download and listen to, are great ways to learn Japanese.

Japanese dive at real speed

Since the podcasts are often native Japanese conversations,You get immersion for maximum exposure.

Nobody changes their language to make it easier; You hear real Japanese. And it goes at a speed and cadence that you would normally find in the big wide world.

Repeat without boredom or frustration

You will also find these podcastsprovide an easy exercise since they are serialized. Tune in every episode and you'll have new things to listen to all the time.

(Video) 【Japanese Listening】Ep.1: Embarrassing Memories | Story time | Tanaka Radio

This is very different from watching your favorite Japanese movie over and over again until you get too comfortable with it.

Improve your Japanese and general knowledge

Plus, with podcasts, youthey can learn about a topic while learning the language.It's two for one!

Maybe the hosts are talking about world news. Not only do you get some Japanese practice, but you also get an update on what's going on around the world.

Nice bonus!

How to choose the right Japanese podcast for you

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Well, you've decided that podcasts are something you want to watch. How do you choose which podcast to listen to?

Well, the good news is that unlike other types of learning where opinions are divided on how to do something right or wrong (like stroke order in Japanese),Podcasts are a safe space.

When you hear Japanese talking to each other, you hear authentic Japanese, that's all! If you've found a "real" Japanese podcast, don't worry.

What are you into?

Consider the topics you like. Maybe you're a big politician and you'd feel right at home listening to a Japanese news podcast. Or you like to listen to people tell stories.

There are tons of podcasts and each one offers unique language genres. So think about what you want to hear before committing to a podcast.

What is your current Japanese level?

Make sure the podcast is on theright level for you. While that doesn't mean you should find an "easy" podcast just because you're new to Japanese, it does mean you should be aware of your own needs.

There's no use listening to a podcast about Sony executives talking about electronic components when you're still learning how to conjugate verbs. This will be too far to jump if you are just starting out.

7 Amazing Japanese Podcasts With Transcriptions

The internet is full of Japanese-language podcasts, but consider the following seven podcasts as a solid place to start when you begin your search. These podcasts are pretty comprehensive and a great place to start.

(Video) This is How I Learned Japanese in 3 Months

#1 Japanese conversations

japanese conversationsis my story-based listening material designed for advanced learners. While it's not a podcast per se, you'll have itfull access to transcripts, improving your understanding.

Have you ever found yourself listening to some Japanese, then got stuck on a word or phrase and fell behind a minute in the conversation trying to figure out what it means?

Transcripts make it easier to see what you're listening to. All you need to improve your Japanese listening skills isin conversations

#2 Tofugo

The 7 Best Japanese Podcasts - StoryLearning (4)

tofuis one of the most famous Japanese resources out there. Originally a blog about Japanese language and culture, Tofugu has expanded over the years to include a greater focus on language education.

In Tofugu you will findeverything from simple Japanese conversations to stories about whiskeyand clothing brands. This gives you a wide variety of topics to choose from based on your interests and your current level of Japanese.

#3 Japanesepod101

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If you're worried that even Japanese podcasts are too advanced at the intro level, fear not!japanesepod101is one of the few podcast services that offers oneAbsolute Beginner level before Beginner anyone can get started with podcasts.

You can choose a difficulty level and get access to weekly podcasts on a variety of topics, all geared towards language education.

Japanesepod101 contains authentic Japanese language designed to help you learn. Therefore, it is likely that you will find it effective and worth your while.

#4 NHK-Welt

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If you want to replace your daily reading of the newspaper with a healthy dose of Japanese, give it a try.NHK-Welt. This news agency provides world news in Japanese specifically for those learning the language.

You will find that NHK has a number of resources for those who do not speak Japanese as their first language.

Articles in English includedjapanese kanjiYhiragananext to. And podcasts cover a wide range of topics, taking into account the skills listeners are likely to have.

(Video) Uncovering Japanese Through Stories — Skritter Interview With @storylearning

You don't speak English as a native language either? Don't worry! NHK offers these Japanese podcasts for Japanese speakers

  • Arabica
  • Bengali
  • Burmese
  • Chino
  • French
  • hindi
  • Indonesian
  • Korean
  • lost
  • Portuguese
  • russian
  • Español
  • swahili
  • Thai
  • urdu
  • and also vietnamese!

NHK World may be one of the most comprehensive Japanese podcast resources for non-native speakers, but non-ESL students will find it valuable as well.

#5 Bilingual News

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If casual language is more your thing,bilingual newsis a great place to start. After all, Japanese sounds a lot different when spoken with friends than it does in a business setting!

An associated app makes it possibleDownload transcripts of any podcast produced by Bilingual News, and Michael and Mami (the podcasters) have been helping people learn Japanese through podcasts for years. With Bilingual News you are in good hands!

#6 Slow Japanese News

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Sometimes Japanese learners run into a problem where they get a good grasp of the meaning of sentences, but the podcasts are too fast. if this sounds like youslow japanese newsit's a great resource!

Each podcast is pronounced slowly. And thanks to the use ofpopup translations for single words and complete sentences,You can easily follow through and expand your understanding in an interactive format.

NiSJ is a diverse podcast resource where you can find a variety of topics ranging from world news to viral dog videos, and who doesn't like that?

#7 can be big

The 7 Best Japanese Podcasts - StoryLearning (9)

If you find that many podcasts are too geared towards those just starting out with Japanese,Hiiki Biikicould be a good option for you.

The podcasts offered by Hiiki Biiki tend to do just that.more complex topics and use of language, making them excellent not only for intermediate learners, but also for those who want to push themselves to master Japanese listening exercises.

Even if you don't consider yourself advanced, take a look at Hiiki Biiki and see where you stand. Let it surprise you!

Here's how to get the most out of these 7 Japanese podcasts

The 7 Best Japanese Podcasts - StoryLearning (10)

So there you have it: seven great podcasts to help you further your search for a top-notch Japanese listening lover. Before I wrap up, I have 3 more tips to help you get the most out of them.

Don't be afraid to push yourself

But know when something is wrong!

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It's great to challenge yourself and push your limits (after all, that's how we learn!).But letting a half-hour podcast in advanced Japanese go in one ear and out the other doesn't do anyone any good.

You will get there, and it will be faster than you think. There's no shame in starting a "complete beginner" podcast.

Do not exaggerate

Getting burned is quite possible. So treat yourself once in a while. A podcast a day is great, but flat.One podcast a week will produce significant results.

When you try to cram too much into your brain, it has to decide what to get rid of. And they'll probably opt for all the new stuff you've added. Avoid this self-destructive cycle by working hard but also smart.

Write down new Japanese words and phrases as you listen

As you listen, remember to write words you don't know or phrases you've never heard before. You don't have to pause your podcast every time you come across a new twist; Let the context help you.

But later, after listening carefully,Pick a few words or phrases to add to your own vocabulary.

Over time, you will develop more and more skills and expand your own dictionary so that every time you hear a Japanese phrase, you can easily understand its meaning. Eventually, slow and steady wins the race!

Immerse yourself in the Japanese language without leaving home

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After years of language learning and 8 languages ​​and counting, I have discovered that there is no better way to learn than through immersion.

But to do that, you need to immerse yourself in your target language.right level for you. And preferably with something you aremotivated to listensuch as a developing story, the latest news, or an ongoing podcast you don't want to miss.

You'll find something to pique your interest with these 7 Japanese podcast suggestions. And this is the right level for you to take full advantage of "controlled immersion", in other words, exposure to Japanese at your level.

Also, you don't have to spend a fortune to travel to Japan. You can do it all from the comfort of your home with a pair of headphones! If that's not a reason to love these 7 Podcast Suggestions even more, then I don't know what is!

(Video) Learning Languages Through Stories with@storylearning​


The 7 Best Japanese Podcasts - StoryLearning? ›

If you are at beginner or intermediate level in Japanese, then we highly recommend checking out JapanesePod101. They offer a vast array of podcasts and resources for learning Japanese and are one of the best options if you're looking to master conversational Japanese.

Are there any good podcasts for learning Japanese? ›

If you are at beginner or intermediate level in Japanese, then we highly recommend checking out JapanesePod101. They offer a vast array of podcasts and resources for learning Japanese and are one of the best options if you're looking to master conversational Japanese.

What should I listen to to learn Japanese? ›

Japanese Podcast for Beginners (Nihongo Con Teppei) is an excellent first step for Japanese learners looking for some listening practice. While Teppei doesn't slow himself down too much, he still manages to make a podcast that's really accessible.

What is podcast in Japanese? ›

ポッドキャスティング {noun}

Can I learn Japanese just by listening? ›

Listening to learn Japanese can be a very effective way to immerse yourself in a new language. Another bonus: audiobooks are super convenient. No matter how busy you are on any given day, it's easy to find the time to throw on a Japanese audiobook and just allow yourself to be immersed in the language and its cadence.

How can I become fluent in Japanese in 3 months? ›

How Long Does it Take to Learn Japanese on Average? With consistent studying and speaking, for about 30 minutes to an hour a day, you could speak at a conversational level in Japanese in about 3 months.

What type of Japanese is easiest to learn? ›

But hiragana and katakana are easy to pick up — you could master them in a day. They're just the Japanese alphabet and each one represents a syllable. And as for kanji, focus on the language hacks we mentioned!

Should I learn Japanese by myself? ›

As an independent learner, you will be the captain of your own ship in the vast sea of language learning. But with motivation, commitment and some good resources, you will not only find it's totally possible to learn Japanese by yourself, it's also one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences!

How long does it realistically take to learn Japanese? ›

Japanese is one of the most difficult languages for English natives to master. This is because it does not have a lot of likeness in structure to English. Approximately it will take 88 weeks, or 2200 hours of studying, to become fluent. But this article shows tips and tools to expedite and make the process easier.

How long does it take to learn perfect Japanese? ›

However, many experts believe it takes between 4 to 6 months of dedicated study to reach a beginner level. On the other hand, you can expect to spend at least 3 years studying to become fluent in Japanese with near-native level accuracy.

Can you learn Japanese in 2 years? ›

The average length of time to learn advanced Japanese is 2-3 years. At the intermediate level, you can understand most of what your teacher says, and you can follow along with TV programs. When it comes to using the language with other Japanese speakers, however, you still have some limitations.

What does campi mean in Japanese? ›

乾杯 (かんぱい), or Kampai, is a common toast in the Japanese language.

Can I learn fluent Japanese in a year? ›

In fact, Japanese is one of the most difficult languages to learn for a native English speaker. If you want to speak enough Japanese to make friends in Japan and carry on simple conversations, you can master casual Japanese in under a year, especially if you are skipping over hiragana and katakana.

How can I become fluent in Japanese at home? ›

Let's take a look.
  1. Pick a core Japanese curriculum and work with it every day. Most Japanese schools use the “Minna no Nihongo” series (“Japanese for Everyone”). ...
  2. Watch anime, movies, and TV in Japanese. ...
  3. Listen to Japanese radio, music, and podcasts. ...
  4. Cook Japanese food. ...
  5. Make Japanese friends.

How long can you understand Japanese? ›

Learning Japanese isn't easy and it will take time. It's probably fair to say that you can expect a commitment of at least three years in order to achieve something resembling fluency. The average learner gets to the advanced level in three or four years.

What is the hardest language to learn? ›

Across multiple sources, Mandarin Chinese is the number one language listed as the most challenging to learn. The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center puts Mandarin in Category IV, which is the list of the most difficult languages to learn for English speakers.

How many words do you need to know to be fluent in Japanese? ›

For starters, Japanese has three writing systems: hiragana, katakana, and kanji. Kanji includes over 50,000 different characters, however, you only need to know about 2,000 of them to be considered fluent. You also only need to know about 5,000 Japanese vocabulary words to be considered fluent as well.

What is the easiest language to learn? ›

We've used data from the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) to rank them from the easier to the somewhat more challenging.
  • Frisian. ...
  • Dutch. ...
  • Norwegian. ...
  • Spanish. ...
  • Portuguese. ...
  • Italian. ...
  • French. ...
  • Swedish.
Oct 24, 2021

What language is harder than Japanese? ›

However, due to the sheer volume of English speakers who want to learn Mandarin or Japanese, there are more resources for those languages. From that practical standpoint, learners might find that the hardest language to learn of the three is Korean.

Which is harder Korean or Japanese? ›

If you compare both languages, you will notice that both of them are equally challenging. The Korean language's writing systems are hard to learn, whereas the Japanese alphabet is complex to understand. 40 Alphabets, which makes creating and understanding sentences easier. Easier as the writing system is more simple.

How many kanji to memorize a day? ›

1. How many kanji will I learn each day? Some simple math will show that you need to learn at least 23 kanji every day to complete your mission on schedule (2,042 kanji ÷ 90 days = 22.7).

What's the best free app to learn Japanese? ›

Duolingo is the best free app for learning Japanese. The app includes an entire Japanese course for students learning the basics as well as those that want to develop more intermediate skills in grammar, sentence structure, and other topics.

Why is katakana so hard to memorize? ›

Katakana is significantly tougher to master compared to Hiragana because it is only used for certain words and you don't get nearly as much practice as you do with Hiragana. To learn the proper stroke order (and yes, you need to), here is a link to practice sheets for Katakana.

What Japanese alphabet should I learn first? ›

Hiragana is the first alphabet that children and students of Japanese learn to read and write, and it's very widely used in Japan. A basic understanding of hiragana is practically necessary just to start learning Japanese!

Is 2 hours a day enough to learn Japanese? ›

For the past 5 years of studying Japanese, I can say that 2 hours a day is more than enough to get you where you want. To give you a perspective on the matter, I would only study around one hour a day—every other day. If by 'fluent' you mean to hold a conversation, then around a couple of years.

How many hours a day should I learn Japanese? ›

In general, it is recommended that learners spend 2 hours per day studying Japanese. This rate of study will enable a learner to achieve general professional proficiency in Japanese in a time frame of 6.2 years. Increasing or decreasing study hours will shorten or extend the time frame respectively.

Is it easier for bilinguals to learn Japanese? ›

If you already speak a foreign language or were raised bilingual, you may save yourself some time as you learn Japanese. Bilinguals find it easier to learn a third language, as several linguistic studies have proven. This is because they are naturally more accustomed to being exposed to different languages.

Is Duolingo good to learn Japanese? ›

In the end, Duolingo is great for extra review, preview, practice, and vocabulary building, rather than primary learning. And if you're interested in studying Japanese efficiently, don't forget to check out our free 55-page guide with time-tested tips and tricks!

Is Japanese considered hard to learn? ›

The Japanese language is considered one of the most difficult to learn by many English speakers. With three separate writing systems, an opposite sentence structure to English, and a complicated hierarchy of politeness, it's decidedly complex.

What level of Japanese is conversational? ›

The N5 level basically ensures you can understand basic sentences and typical expressions written in hiragana, katakana, and basic kanji as well as from spoken conversations.

How long does the average Japanese student study? ›

Japanese students devote approximately two hours per weekday to homework, and about three hours on Sunday.

How many kanji are there? ›

There are more than 10,000 characters listed as kanji, which can be discouraging when thinking about learning Japanese. Yet in reality only around 2,000 kanji are used in everyday life.

Is Japanese the second hardest language to learn? ›

Japanese is another most difficult language for all those who have grown up learning English, Spanish or French but at the same time might be easy for those who are well-versed in East Asian languages.

How long does it take to master kanji? ›

To learn the essential kanji that makes up most Japanese words it takes up to 3 years by most standards but Actual Fluency calculates that 'if you learn 25 kanji a day, and have no prior experience with Japanese, you should be able to read kanji within three months'.

Does watching anime help learn Japanese? ›

Watching and listening to Japanese anime helps you learn because it's a form of language immersion. You'll pick up vocabulary by listening to native Japanese speech. And your brain will work hard to understand the language using the words you know to figure out the meaning of words you don't know.

What is the Japanese version of LMAO? ›

Warota (ワロタ) is Japanese inernet slang meaning "lmao", "haha" or "made me laugh".

What is sus mean in Japanese? ›

Explanation: In Japanese manufacturing documents, SUS is stainless steel. This means to switch the material used for a particular part or item from what it was to stainless steel.

What does Nico Nico mean in Japanese? ›

Nico Nico Ni is an onomatopoeic phrase for a smile.

Can you learn Japanese from a podcast? ›

If you are at beginner or intermediate level in Japanese, then we highly recommend checking out JapanesePod101. They offer a vast array of podcasts and resources for learning Japanese and are one of the best options if you're looking to master conversational Japanese.

How do I start conversational Japanese? ›

For casual/ simple conversation, you can use: ____ desu (です) – I'm ____. For formal contexts, you can use: Watashi wa ____ to moushi masu(私は__と申します) – My name is ____.

What does Kapo mean in Japanese? ›

Kappo simply means 'to cut and to cook', an all-encompassing word for a less formal cuisine that emphasizes the proximity between the diner and the chef who is cutting and cooking the food.

What is Kerori in Japanese? ›

Tsuginohikerori (or just kerori), is a San-X character created in (year). It appears as a frog which changes colour depending on it's mood. His name is a mix of the prefix and suffix of the Japanese translation to 'Tomorrow Frog' - therefore this is his name meaning.

What does Kencho mean in Japanese? ›

Kenchō (建長) was a Japanese era name (年号,, nengō,, lit. "year name") after Hōji and before Kōgen. This period spanned the years from March 1249 to October 1256.

Can you learn a language just by listening to podcasts? ›

With a native speaker in your ear, you can study a language and be transported at a time when we all need an escape. Podcasts can be a great way to start learning a new language or practice fluency in a language you already know.

Is it OK to learn Japanese from anime? ›

If your goal is to learn Japanese, there is no better way to do that than by watching some of your favorite Japanese anime! Listening to the dialogues and following the storyline will help you to become familiar with the fluency, the phonetics, the tone, and the rhythm of the language, all while enjoying yourself.

Is learn Japanese with Masa Sensei good? ›

Very clear and easy to learn

Masa's podcast is great and she explains her lessons in a very clear and easy way to understand and follow. Excellent content to help listeners learn Japanese with lessons that are well structured and very easy to comprehend.

Does listening to Japanese music help you learn Japanese? ›

So your pronunciation will improve too! The more you listen, the more you learn. Also, getting used to the natural rhythm and pace of spoken Japanese, will help you with speaking Japanese. Then there's vocabulary – music is a much more fun and quicker way to memorise new Japanese words.

How long do you have to listen to a language to learn it? ›

FSI research indicates that it takes 480 hours to reach basic fluency in group 1 languages, and 720 hours for group 2-4 languages. If we are able to put in 10 hours a day to learn a language, then basic fluency in the easy languages should take 48 days, and for difficult languages 72 days.

How effective are podcasts for learning? ›

Educational podcasts are appealing and may encourage students who don't like reading. Many students may struggle with reading through mental impairments, such as Dyslexia, and podcasts can be a big aid in this. Podcasts are equally useful in cases where a visual impairment makes traditional learning methods arduous.

Does listening to a language you don t understand help you learn it? ›

When learning a new language, the fastest and most effective way to absorb new material is by actively listening. You'll be able to engage with what you're hearing on a deeper level, even if you don't understand what's being said.

What type of Japanese should I learn first? ›

You should learn hiragana first, followed by katakana and kanji. Hiragana looks more cursive than katakana or kanji. It is used to write native Japanese words, conjugation endings, and grammar particles. Hiragana consists of 46 characters with each character representing a syllable.

How long does it take to learn Japanese? ›

Japanese is one of the most difficult languages for English natives to master. This is because it does not have a lot of likeness in structure to English. Approximately it will take 88 weeks, or 2200 hours of studying, to become fluent.

Which Japanese language is used the most? ›

  • The most widely spoken language in Japan is Japanese, which is separated into several dialects with Tokyo dialect considered standard Japanese.
  • In addition to the Japanese language, Ryūkyūan languages are spoken in Okinawa and parts of Kagoshima in the Ryūkyū Islands.

What is the fastest way to learn Japanese fluently? ›

7 tips for learning to speak Japanese fluently
  1. Don't rush the basics. For some learners, the three Japanese writing systems can be intimidating. ...
  2. Find media you love. ...
  3. Practise with native speakers. ...
  4. Record yourself speaking. ...
  5. Set goals. ...
  6. Use mnemonics. ...
  7. Stay positive.

Is Japanese hard for English speakers? ›

The Japanese language is considered one of the most difficult to learn by many English speakers. With three separate writing systems, an opposite sentence structure to English, and a complicated hierarchy of politeness, it's decidedly complex.

Are there any benefits to learning Japanese? ›

One of the biggest benefits of learning Japanese is being able to get fully involved in the culture. When you speak Japanese, you can really immerse yourself. You can have conversations with people, attend national holidays and events, and enjoy the native entertainment first hand.

Should I learn to speak Japanese? ›

Learning Japanese language basics is essential for anyone interested in traveling to Japan. While you don't need to be fluent, you'll have a much easier time making your way around if you can communicate. Plus, the Japanese people will appreciate your effort to learn their language.


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