The Best Podcasts to Improve Your Japanese | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

The Best Podcasts to Improve Your Japanese

By Margherita Sep 6, 2021

With more and more time spent at home, people find new hobbies, try cooking new food or decide to pick up a language. But studying a language can be very time-consuming and keeping up the motivation can be challenging, especially when you can’t go out practicing or traveling. So, instead of getting bored with grammar books and overly academic resources, implementing more gentle ways of learning might be the right strategy. Have you ever tried podcasts?

Our Recommended Podcasts to Learn Japanese

We recommend you some of the best podcasts to improve your Japanese, from beginner to advanced.

Beginner Level Podcasts

Tofugu Podcast

If you’re just starting off your long journey towards the Japanese language we recommend Tofugu podcast. Tofugu, which started off as a Japanese culture and language blog, has been on the internet for many years now, becoming a valuable resource for all those interested in starting to learn Japanese. The podcast introduces the basics of Japanese grammar and talks about living and traveling in Japan in English, so if you’re not ready for a podcast that’s already entirely in Japanese, Tofugu is the right one for you.

Nihongo con Teppei

Nihongo con Teppei is a Japanese podcast for beginners for those who aim to “learn how to speak Japanese naturally”, as Teppei himself promotes.

Teppei publishes a new short episode 3 times a week. Every episode is roughly 4 or 5 minutes long and it focuses on a word or an expression, short and sweet! This program is the perfect way to get your ears used to Japanese pronunciation and learn new vocabulary. It’s a useful tool for busy people or for those who have a hard time concentrating on textbooks. 

Intermediate Level Podcasts

News in Slow Japanese with Sakura

Sakura provides her listeners with the latest news or news-related topics both in two speeds, slow and fast, so you can listen at your own pace. In particular, Sakura encourages Japanese learners to use her podcast to practice a tecnique called shadowing, which consists in repeating something you have just listened to in real-time, with as little delay as possible which has been proved to help improving speaking skills dramatically.

Nihongo Switch

Iku Yamamoto is the host of Nihongo Switch. Iku talks about different topics, some are strictly related to grammar, but others are more broad and related to the Japanese language and life in Japan. She uses slightly more difficult vocabulary but the good point is that she speaks very slowly and she is very easy to understand. If you subscribe to the newsletter she also sends a vocabulary list before publishing a new episode and transcriptions are also available as well!

The Best Podcasts to Improve Your Japanese phone and feet

Photo credits: Melanie Pongratz on Unsplash

Advanced Level Podcasts

Aji Na Fukuonsei (Voice of Food)

Hirano Sakiko is a young food essayist who built up a solid audience that brought her to reach 111000 followers on Instagram. Every episode of “Aji na fukuonsei” (“Voice of Food” )focuses on a different food or food-related theme and just like a museum audio guide, Sakiko guides the listener through different food-related themes such as a particular foodstuff or brand, combining personal experience and thoughts with facts and other people’s opinions and reviews. Her soft and delicate voice has a soothing effect and the light but interesting topics make Sakiko’s podcats  a good means to wind down after a long day of work, indulging in a glass of wine or a donut. 

Boku Banashi

Boku Banashi” is a podcats host by two salarymen in their 30s. In their 30-minutes long comedy-focused episodes the hosts talk about events and experiences which are taken from their everyday life, but they also deal with issues inspired by news and hot topics in society but keeping it funny.

Pito no Fushigi na Gareji (Peter’s Mysterious Garage)

Peter’s mysterious garage” which takes the form of a radio drama and a talk at the same time. The main protagonist, after setting foot by chance into a mysterious house, meets an extraterrestrial being who guides him around in space and time to discover the origin of different customs, words, traditions and foods. The episodes usually consist of a narration-type part, where we get to understand the topic and its story, while in a second talk-style part we get the chance to hear a more detailed explanation by experts on the topic. 

What Podcasts Are Your Favourite For Learning Japanese?

Who said learning languages has to be through thick grammar books and heavy dictionaries? Give a chance to one of these podcasts to improve your Japanese almost effortless!

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Article featured image photo credits: Juja Han on Unsplash