Nihongo Challenge N4-5 Kanji Textbook Review

Review of the N4-N5 Nihongo Challenge Textbook

Kanji is one of those subjects that classroom Japanese students and Japanese self-study advocates alike struggle with. Believe me, I know first hand that studying kanji can be a rather sharp pain in the butt. 

 Why is learning/studying kanji so damn hard? Well, for starters there are just so frickin' many of them: they say to be proficient at reading newspapers, magazines, etc. you need upwards of 1500 characters! Just hearing that is enough to dissuade the Japanese dabbler, or even a Continue Reading …

Genki One: Japanese Textbook Review

Genki One Japanese, Textbook Review

If you’re an expat who didn’t major in Japanese during your college days and you’re starting to learn Japanese from scratch here in Japan, it can be daunting to say the least. You’re not alone. Actually, you would be exactly like me when I came. I didn’t really start studying Japanese until I was several months into the first year of my stay. I had a pretty comfortable, English-teaching position at a nearby 英会話 (eikaiwa - English conversation school). I had a pleasant routine going. 1. Continue Reading …

The Kodansha Kanji Learner’s Course Review

Kanji Learner's Course with Stars

Remember when you started studying Japanese and you thought, “This is fun!” “This is exciting.” You started learning those basic phrases and actually started remembering them! You even got that hiragana stuff down without even breaking a 汗 (あせ-sweat). You started wondering what all the “learn Japanese” fuss was about. THIS is one of the hardest languages to learn…PSSH, whatever. But somehow or another you stumbled on a trainload of Japanese symbols that you couldn’t read whatsoever: Continue Reading …

10 Japanese Train Irritations

Japanese Train Irritations Plain

Yamanote. Hibiya. TX. Keihin-Tohoku. Chuo. Sobu. What do all of these words have in common? Are they the names of the newest hottest anime series from Shonen Jump? Nope, guess again. Are they the Japanese names of Donald’s six illegitimate Japanese children? NO! See?!? that’s how rumors get started! You know what, just forget it. I’ll tell you the answer. These are the names of several of the many train lines here in Japan. The Yamanote, Keihin-Tohoku, the Chuo, and Sobu lines are Continue Reading …

How To Register For the JLPT Online in Japan


YIKES! It's April 30th already?? What's so special about the 30th? Well, today last day to register for July 6th, 2014 JLPT test. With so little time left, the best way to sign up, if you still wanna take it is to register online. Today we'll walk through all the steps, from start to confirmation, to get yourself registered to kick some JLPT arse! There are three basic parts of the registration process: 

1. Get a “MyJLPT ID” 2. Select Your Exam 3.Pay the JLPT Registration Continue Reading …