A close-up photo of a man holding a red and white sticker that reads, “HELLO my name is.” He is holding this name tag in front of his suit breast pocket, as if ready to stick it on.

Popular English Names in Japanese

This list contains 100 popular boys’ and girls’ names in North America (mainly the USA). Due to this, the Japanese translation listed in this guide uses the “standard” pronunciation found in the USA. For example, in the USA, “Michael” is pronounced as “My-kul,” but can also be pronounced as “Mee-kel,” “Mee-shell,” or “Mee-chai-el.” We will … Read more

An image of a clear glass cup tipped over on a brown wooden floor. There is a pool of milk all over the floor, which appears to have come from the tipped over glass.

What Does しょうがない (Shōganai) Mean?  A Guide to Shōganai and Shikata Ga Nai

Have you ever been in a situation you couldn’t control, and the only thing you could do was accept it? Or how about a situation where you wanted something very badly? I bet you probably experienced both of these situations in your lifetime. In these situations, the phrase しょうがない (shōganai) might really come in handy.  … Read more

Free Japanese Lessons for Beginners

Whether you know a little bit of Japanese or none at all, these beginner Japanese lessons are for you. I’ll also list the best resources you can use to help you improve your Japanese. When you master these lessons, be sure to check out our intermediate level and advanced lessons too! Or you can check … Read more

A young Asian girl is standing while holding a book that she is reading. A bookshelf full of books is behind her.

Best Japanese Books for Absolute Beginners

  Beginning your journey to learn Japanese can be overwhelming. Japanese seems like such a difficult language, that you wonder if it’s even possible to master it. There are tons of resources out there, but this actually makes it difficult to know where to even start.  I’ve been there. I’ve literally tried hundreds of books, … Read more

Top 7 Books for Low-Advanced Students of Japanese Pictures

Top 7 Books for Low-Advanced Learners of Japanese

  If you made it to this level of Japanese, congratulations!  It only gets better from here! At this level, you should be able to: Read a minimum of 800 kanji characters Are comfortable reading simple books, blogs, and/or flyers in Japanese Hold conversations in Japan about a wide range of topics Can improvise (ex. … Read more

A group of three young people (two women, one man) is standing in a circle, all of them holding a stack of books in the center of them. The background is bright, but books on bookshelves can been seen.

Top 9 Japanese Books for Low-Intermediate Level Students

  Low-intermediate students of Japanese are just beginning to master the basics, and are ready to dive head first into more complex skills.  This is where you’ll spend a lot of time adding to your foundation in all areas of Japanese.  There’s a lot to learn, but the material at this level is very useful.  … Read more

A young Asian woman sitting down studying, with a lot of books scattered all over the table top.

The 10 Best Japanese Books for High-Intermediate Students

  Your goals as a high-intermediate student should be to increase your skill in all areas of Japanese, but put an emphasis on reading and speaking more naturally. A high-intermediate level means that you have:  An excellent foundation in all areas of Japanese (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) Can read at least 300 kanji characters … Read more

A young, Japanese girl explaining the Japanese word, "Yabai" with Japanese and English text displayed on the screen.

JapanesePod101 Review – Is It Worth It?

Disclaimer: This article includes affiliate links. This means that if you click and purchase something, I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) to help support this site. Learn more Learning Japanese is both fun and frustrating. It’s fun to learn new words and grammar, but it’s frustrating when you get “stuck.” Sometimes … Read more

A young, blonde woman in front of a blackboard pointing at the "ABCs" written on it with a piece of chalk.

Is the JET Program Worth It? Pros Vs. Cons

Is the JET Program worth it? In my opinion, it is 100% worth it. If you have the chance, you should definitely do it.   HOWEVER… working in Japan is not all sunshine and rainbows. Many JETs get sick of the job, or even Japan itself, after just a year or two. So how can I … Read more

A small rectangular chalkboard with the words, "LEARN JAPAENSE" written on it in white chalk. Behind the chalkboard are a stack of books. In front of it is an alarm clock, paper rolled into a tube. a pen, and a ruler. On the right side is a pencil holder with pencils in it.

The Complete Guide to Learning Japanese

This complete guide to learning Japanese will go into detail of how and what to study. Most traditional ways to learn Japanese are not efficient and is just a waste of your time. I’ve always wanted to know how to study and master Japanese. After years of studying Japanese, getting advice from native speakers, and … Read more

A collage of the Miyajima Toori gate, a Shinto priest with his fingers touching his head, and some sort of alter, with mountains in the background. The image has tints of yellow and purple over it.

Shinto: A Look Into the Religion of Japan

Shinto, which means “the way of the Gods” or “Kami” (spirits), as they are referred to, is the oldest religion of the Japanese indigenous people. Shintoism dates back to around the sixth century B.C.E. Despite this lengthy history, Shinto is commonly understood to have become popular around the sixth century C.E. to distinguish between Buddhism, … Read more

A big Buddha statue in Japan. This statue shows the Buddha sitting down and meditating.

Buddhism: A Look Into the Beliefs, Practices & History 

Buddhism is an exercise in spiritual development. The ultimate aim is achieving enlightenment through the practices of meditation and mindful living. Practitioners also strive to develop qualities such as compassion, wisdom, and awareness. Enlightened beings experience life without rose-colored glasses, understanding that life—with all its beauty, trials, and tribulations—can be glorious. Buddhism teaches that by … Read more

An illustration of a boy and girl standing beneath a title that reads, "JAPANESE VERBS: A Beginner's Guide to Conjugation."

Japanese Verbs: A Beginner’s Guide to Conjugation

Mastering Japanese verbs is probably one of the most important skills you need to become fluent in Japanese.  Knowing how to conjugate Japanese verbs will allow you to describe actions, desires, situations and a lot more. Most people think that learning Japanese verbs is very difficult.  This is NOT true!  Learning Japanese verbs is easy.  … Read more

A sheet of notebook paper that has the text, "Japanese 101" displayed on it.

Learning Japanese for Beginners: A Complete Guide

How to Learn Japanese for Beginners In this guide, you’ll find all of the resources you need to go from a beginner to a low-intermediate level of Japanese. While this guide is for beginners, it assumes you already know the basic fundamentals of Japanese.  If this is your first time learning Japanese, check out our … Read more