The 10 JLPT Commandments

The JLPT deadline for the July 2014 test will soon be upon us (April 30th to be exact).  There is still a little bit of time.

For years the Japanese Language Proficiency Test has been the official yardstick that non-Japanese people to measure just how good their Japanese really is. Whether you’re taking level N5 or have the chutzpah to try for level N1, here are ten universal laws to keep in mind when preparing for exam. These rules are so important, in fact, you may want to grab a hammer and chisel to clink them down on the nearest stone tablet you can find. I’ll wait... Okay. Ready? JLPT COMMANDMENT 1: Continue Reading …

The Japanese App Survival Kit for Newbies

What are the 4 Japanese Apps for Newbies?  Read On and Find Out!

You gaze across the black concrete plains in search of food, your eyes dampening from looking out into the brisk chill of the Tokyo night air. That's when the sobering realization hits you. You aren't in the classroom anymore. No more theory. You’re in Japan, out in the wild. At a second glance you see prides of Japanese men and women stampeding towards you, snarling, ready to pounce. Your heartbeat rises to maddening thump beneath your chest. Okay, first of all (take a breath) it’s not Continue Reading …

51 Japanese Deja Vu Expressions

Japanese Deja Vu Expressions

Two of the biggest challenges with learning Japanese from a scratch is that: 1) Beginners can often find it challenging to reproduce the language in the same way that they hear it. I still have my moments where I find myself stammering my Japanese more than a child who's just had a rather frightening encounter with Stephen King's, Pennywise the Clown. 2) It can be tough for your poor ears to sift through those dense mounds of language dust to find those shiny "nugget" words, phrases and Continue Reading …

Should I Really Use A Textbook To Study Japanese?

The Japan Guy's Stack of Japanese Textbooks

In a world of apps, gadgets, gizmos, and software, the old, faithful, paper Japanese textbook doesn’t always get the love it deserves. Maybe you’ve even come across people who have nothing good to say about textbooks: “You can’t learn real Japanese from a book!” “Japanese people don’t actually speak like that.”
“You’re learning Japanese, huh? "Oh you’re using THAT textbook.” “That textbook sucks eggs.” While I honestly haven’t heard the term “suck eggs” since my Ren and Stimpy, “Happy Continue Reading …

A List of All Japanese Gold’s Gym Locations in Plain English

Is that me?  Nope, it's not.  That why I'm going to the gym in the first place...to get in better shape.  If I missed any Gold's Gym listings, please let me know!

Attention to all you fitness fans out there! If you’re living in Japan you may be having a hard time finding a Japanese gym because a) the rules are a bit weird, b) it’s too expensive, or c) you’ve caught one too many eyefuls Japanese male privates. If any of these are your reasons, I hate to say it, but a Japanese gyms may be a lost cause. Well, not completely. You’ll find that nearly every gym you go to in Japan is going to do things just a little differently than the gym in your hometown. Continue Reading …