Kanji Crackdown

I’ve tried studying Kanji several times previously. And they never seem to stick.

A friend recommended these books to me and I’ll be using them in my latest attempt to master Kanji.


Remembering the Kanji is a 3 volume series covering the 3007 most frequently used kanji. I’m starting with volume 1 that guides us on the remembering of how the Kanji is written.

Volume 2 apparently guides you through the reading of the Kanji while Volume 3 focuses on additional Kanji not presented in Vols. 1 and 2.

Kanji Learner’s Dictionary is another popular tool among Japanese learners.

As it’s name suggests, it’s a dictionary not a guide. It provides the various readings and meanings for each Kanji.

I’m using these 2 heavyweight Kanji learning resources in the hope that I can finally remember all the kanji that I’ve learnt.

Remembering the Kanji is neatly divided into lessons covering a different number of Kanji. Each lesson appears to build on the knowledge from older lessons. This gives a clear structure.

However, as mentioned, Volume 1 only guides its readers with remembering how the Kanji is written and what the Kanji means. It does not cover the reading of the Kanji.

Hence, I’m coupling the Kanji Learner’s Dictionary along with it to learn about the reading of the Kanji. The Kanji Leaner’s Dictionary also provides examples of how the Kanji is used, and how it is read in different circumstances.


Let me know! What’s your method to learning Kanji?


Japanese Lessons for Beginners – Practicing My Pronunciation

Lately we have learnt many sentence structures. However, as I was practicing with a friend this week, I realised that my pronunciation sounds kinda weird at times. Especially the ‘R’ particles!

And so, I have started to pay more attention to and practice my pronunciation.

Here’s a great resource for practicing pronunciation: http://www.saiga-jp.com/pronunciation_voice.html

They have recorded the pronunciation for each and every character of the Hiragana.

Simply imitate the recording and practice your pronunciation.

Till next time!


Japanese Lessons for Beginners – Describing Locations (more!)

Counting Levels in a Building

Took  a month’s break from blogging to let some of the previous sentences soak in.

And today, we are back with more counting!

Counting Levels in a building

The counter that is used to count levels in a building in Japanese is: かい

Basement 1 : ちか いっかい

Level 1: いっかい

Level 2: にかい

Level 3: さんがい  (Note the exception when counting Level 3!)

Level 4: よんかい

Level 5: ごかい

Level 6: ろっかい

Sentence Structures

The main structure used here is:

location (level) に subject がpresent (or not)

にかい に なにが ありますか。[What is located at level 2?]

ぎんこう が あります。[There is a bank (at level 2)]

ぎんこう は なんかい が あります。[On which floor is the bank located on?]

As always, practice makes perfect! 🙂

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JAPANESE LESSONS FOR BEGINNERS – How to describe the location of multiple items

We’re back with More Sentence Structures today!

how to describe the location of multiple items / people in japanese

Today we are learning how to describe the location of multiple items / people.

p.s. As per all sentence structure lesson post, always take note of the connecting words used in the sentences!

Stating the number of objects at a particular location.

it's important to have many of these when in Japan

(A Reminder…)

For non-living objects: we end the sentence with あります

For living objects: we end the sentence with います

Landmark / Reference Pointdirection  に object/subject   number あります / います.

I’m using a simple color coding system to point out the various subjects in the sentence. It may be messy for some, it may make the sentence structure more obvious for others. Let me know in the comments below!


コンビニ まえ おとこのひと ふたり います

There are 2 males in front of the convenience store.

えき まえ やくざ たくさん います

There are a lot of yakuza in front of the train station.

ひきだし なか  ペン5ほん あります

There are 5 pens inside the drawer.

さいふ なか   おかね たくさんあります

There is a lot of money inside the purse.

What’s next: Practice Daily

Try describing different things using today’s sentence structure as you commute to work or play!

If you find yourself stuck with a Japanese noun or how to count specific objects, find out how to using Google.

With practice, you will become a better Japanese speaker!

Stay tuned for more sentence structures:)


Hello FellowJapanese Language Learners! 


Describing Location Of Object With Reference To A Landmark / Specific Object

Let’s jump right in – starting with the nouns used frequently:

1. To the Right of Cute Cat: 右 (みぎ)

2. To the Left of Cute Cat: 左 (ひだり)

3. Behind: 後ろ (うしろ)

4. In Front : 前 (まえ)

In you can’t remember all these, here’s a cheat! (Use this noun instead)

となり = near to

5. Above: 上 (うえ)

6. Below: 下 (した)

Start practicing how to describe the location of an object with CUTE CAT (in pic) as a point of reference!

Till the next lesson, have fun:)


It’s been a while since the previous update. The last few chapters felt repetitive. So, anyway here are some useful terms in Japanese that you may need to know!


  • Taxi Stand: タクシーのりば
  • Bus Stop: バスのりば
  • Police Station: こうばん
  • Hospital: びょういん
  • Book store : ほんや
  • Bakery: パンや
  • Liquor store: さけや
  • Pharmacy: くすりや


  • Eraser: けしゴム
  • Pencil: えんぴつ
  • Stapler: ホッチキス
  • Scissors: はさみ
  • ScotchTape: セロテープ
  • Files: ファイル

More grammer lessons coming up soon!

Japanese Lessons for Beginners – Describing Objects


Describing Objects

1. Location of Objects


Referring to Objects based on their location


This (Nearer to speaker) = これ (kore)

This (Nearer to listener) = それ (sore)

That (Far from both parties) = あれ (are)

2. Verifying presence of an Object

(Inanimate) Object が  あります = There is an (inanimate) object

(Animate) Object  が います = There is an (animate) object

Notice the use of あります and います in the examples above. When referring to animate or living things, use います. And when referring to inanimate or non-living things, use あります.


レストレン  が  あります = There is a restaurant.

いぬ  が  います = There is a dog

Japanese Lessons for Beginners – How to ask for Date / Time


HOW TO ask for the DATE AND TIME

Today’s lesson will be a short one that links up from yesterday’s topic on ‘How to Tell the Date and Time in Japanese‘. Since yesterday’s lesson has provided you with a large amount of information to store into your Japanese learning brain, we will focus on just 2 questions today.

1. How to ask for the date in Japanese

tell dates in japanese

What is today’s date? = 今日 は 何月 何日 ですか

  • 今日 (きょう) = today
  • 何月 (なんがつ) = what (is the) month
  • 何日 (なんにち) = what (is the) day
  • か = question marker

In direct translation, the question about would be translated as: Today, what is the month, what is the day?

2. How to ask for the time in Japanese

present and past tense

What time is it now? = 今 何時 ですか

  • 今 (いま) = now
  • 何時  (なんじ)= what time

In direct translation, the question about would be translated as: Now, what is the time?

Start Practicing! 

Now, find a friend who is also learning Japanese and start asking each other the time and date. This will give you a lot of practice reciting both time and date in Japanese!

Japanese Lessons for Beginners – Dates and Time


How to tell date and time

Let’s hop straight into today’s lesson!

1. Telling Dates in Japanese

tell dates in japanese

1a. Relative ‘Dates’ 

Relative ‘dates’ (for the lack of a better word) refers to words that refer to days in relation to the present. (words such as today, tomorrow, last year, etc)

Here are the relative ‘dates’:

How to say relative time in japanese


1A. Specific DATES

Specific dates refer to….specific dates! Just look at the table below and you’d get the idea.

How to read the calendar in Japanese

Days in Japanese

Take special notice of the colored days. The first 10 days and the 29th day of the month come with their very own noun. Take some time to memorise these so that you do not sound like a clueless Gaijin in Japan! ^^

Also, note that the days ending with -4 end with よっか and NOTよんにち.

Once you are done with the specific days, let’s move on to learning the months in Japanese!

months in japanese

Months in Japanese

Notice the pattern? Yes! 月 (げつ) refers to ‘month’ in Japanese.  Just at the number in front of 月 to tell the month to your Japanese friends.

BUT! Take note of tricky July – it is said as しちがつ instead of  なながつ!


Good Morning!

And now, its time to learn about telling time in Japanese! (pun intended)


As per the explanation of relative ‘dates’, relative time nouns also refer to time with relation to the present. Some examples include: Morning, afternoon, evening.

In this section, you will also be introduced to a combination of the relative ‘dates’ you have learnt above as used with relative time. (Don’t worry, its not too mind blowing!)

Read the table below for all the relative time nouns in Japanese;

relative time in Japanese

Relative Time In Japanese

2B. [B for Bonus] Repetitive TIME/date

Now that you know how to tell the relative date and time, how do you express something that is done on a regular schedule?

Here’s how:

  • Every Morning = 毎朝 (まいあさ)
  • Every Evening = 毎晩 (まいばん)
  • Every Day = 毎日 (まいにち)
  • Every Week = 毎週 (まいしゅう)
  • Every Month = 毎月 (まいつき)
  • Every Year = 毎年 (まいおし or まいねん)

Get the pattern?  毎 is used to refer to ‘every’!

Take note of 毎月 (every month): 月 here is read as つき and not がつ! Tricky tricky

2C. Specific time 

tell time

What time is it in Japanese?

Before we go reading the time specifically, here are some terms that you would need to know:

  • Hour = 時 (じ)
  • Minute = 分 (ふん) [Special note: depending on the number that precedes 分, it can be read as ふん, or ぷん.]
  • Second =  秒 (びょう)
  • A.M. = 午前 (ごぜん)
  • P.M. = 午後 (ごご)

Alright, now that you know how to read ‘hour’, ‘minute’ and ‘second’ in Japanese, let’s move on to learn to read specific timings. Refer to the table below.

How to tell time in Japanese

How to tell time in Japanese (special pronunciation are highlighted)

There’s no escaping, you will have to memorise the above table to become a proficient Japanese time reporter!

But, here are some examples to help you:

4.35pm = ごご 四時 三十五分

12.34am = ごぜん 十二時 三十四分


We have reached the end of today’s lesson!

How is today’s lesson? If you have gone through it seriously, you would be speaking dates and time in Japanese like a native by now! (well, as least you would know how to like a native)

Hmm, we should get some native Japanese to help all of us with our Japanese intonation soon….

Japanese Lessons for Beginners – Level Up Your Japanese Sentence Forming!

Before you read this, read my previous posts on:

If you find that the lessons are not going as per the sequence that you are using, refer to Japanese for Busy People I


Forming sentences in japanese!

Using the Present, Past, Affirmative and Negative Verbs that we learnt yesterday, we will touch on these sentence structures today:

  • Saying: Where someone will go
  • Saying: When someone will go (present tense)
  • Saying: When someone went (past tense)
  • Asking and Saying: Whether someone go(affirmative and negative forms)
go go go mastering japanese

Let’s get started!

1. Saying: Where someone will go

someone は place に  いきます。


Sentence Structure in Japanese is slightly different from that of English.

Using the above as an example, it means “Someone is going to a place” in English.

BUT, if translated directly into English, the structure is as such: “Someone to a place is going”. (somewhat like Yoda speaking)

Here’s what some of the words above means:

is going = に いきます

connective words:  は and に

some examples

すみすさんぎんこう に いきます。Ms. Sumisu is going to the bank.

やまださんデパート に いきます。Mr. Yamada is going to the departmental store.

Meaning of some of the nouns used in the examples above:

ぎんこう (read as: ginkou): Bank

デパート (read as: depaato): Departmental store

2. Saying: When someone will go (present tense)

someone time place に  いきます。

Notice that unlike other nouns (eg. people and places), time doesn’t have a connective particle next to it in this structure. According to the Japanese for Busy People I textbook, relative time expressions do NOT require such particles.

(refer to the lesson on ‘Date and Time‘ to find out what is relative time)

Explanation of this Japanese sentence structure 

The above sentence structure means “Someone is going to a place at a particular time” in English.

When translated directly into English, the structure is as such: “Someone, at a particular time,to a place, is going”.

Going off

“I’m leaving on a jetplane…”


すみすさんきょう くうこう に いきます。Ms. Sumisu is going to the airport today.

やまださんあさって ともだちのうち に いきます。Mr. Yamada is going to his friend’s house, the day after tomorrow.

Meaning of some of the nouns used in the examples above:

くうこう (read as: kuukou): Airport

ともだち の うち (read as: tomodachi no uchi): (tomodachi)Friend’s house (uchi)

きょう(read as: kyou): Today

あさって(read as: asatte): Day after tomorrow

3. Saying: When someone went (past tense)

someone time place に  いきました。


The above sentence structure means “Someone went to a place at a particular time” in English.

When translated directly into English, the structure is as such: “Someone, at a particular time,to a place, went”.


すみすさんきょう ゆうびんきょく に いきました。Ms. Sumisu went to the post office today.

やまださんせんしゅう  イタリア に いきます。Mr. Yamada went to Italy last week.

Meaning of some of the nouns used in the examples above:

ゆうびんきょく (read as: yubinkyoku): post office

イタリア (read as: itaria): Italy

せんしゅう(read as: senshyu): last week

4. Asking and Saying: Whether someone go (affirmative and negative forms)

Question: someone は  place に  いきますか。


The above sentence structure means “Did someone go to a place?” in English.

When translated directly into English, the structure is as such: “Someone, to a place, go?”.

ALSO: notice that the sentence ends with a Japanese ‘fullstop’ even though it was a question. The only clue you’d have that its a question, is the last particle used in the sentence: .

reminder of the usuage of 

か is usually used at the end of a sentence to denote a question. And, it is verbalized with a rising intonation.


すみすさんゆうびんきょく に いきますか。Did Ms. Sumisu go to the post office?

やまださんせんしゅう  イタリア に いきますか。Did Mr. Yamada go to Italy?

More Variations

Of course you can use this structure to refer to something that happened in the PAST:

someone は  place に  いきましたか。

Just change the ます to –> ました  (as per yesterday’s lesson)



Have fun and stay tuned to more lessons! No (brain) Pain, No Gain!

I’m basing my studies from the textbook, Japanese for Busy People I