Blogs and Vlogs on Japanese Language and Culture
In the internet age, there is now a huge wealth of information available to language learners, and this includes a wide variety of blogs on all sorts of topics on both Japanese language and culture. These can be a great way to keep motivated with your language studies, because they can help the student feel more personally invested in what they’re learning. For those who like to watch rather than read, or just like to have something to listen to while folding laundry, a plethora of interesting vlogs exist as well that cover everything from handling daily life in Japan to spooky folktales to how to cook traditional Japanese food. A Google search tailored to whatever your needs or interests are will surely turn up some useful results, but here are a few of our favorites:
1) Tofugu (blog)
One of the top blogs for just about anything related to Japan. Not only are their articles educational and informative, the writers try to infuse a sense of humor into what can often be dry topics as well. Whether you’re looking for a plethora of language learning advice or are in the mood for a history lesson, Tofugu has just about everything.
2) Rachel & Jun (vlog)
These two are a married couple living in Japan that love to talk about not only how to deal with some of the challenges of daily living abroad, but they also tackle the ups and downs of being in a multicultural relationship (Jun is Japanese while Rachel is from America). Many of their videos take the viewer on practical tours around supermarkets, restaurants, apartment hunting, and various tourist places they travel to around the country. Jun also runs a Japanese cooking channel for those who want to learn traditional recipes.
3) Asian Boss (vlog)
Asian Boss focuses on conducting interviews about current cultural trends and issues around Asia, but they have quite a lot of Japan-specific content. Most of their videos interview regular people on the street in these countries, and seek to gather a variety of opinions that those who live outside of the region might not otherwise be exposed to in their home news media.
4) Bilingirl Chika (vlog)
This channel has become quite popular among the Japanese YouTube community since Chika, who is fully bilingual in both languages, teaches English to a Japanese audience. For students who are a bit more advanced and are looking for some listening practice, this channel is gold because whatever she says in Japanese is usually repeated back in English as well. The phrases she teaches are not out of a dry textbook so it’s also useful for making your Japanese much more natural.
5) Sharla in Japan (vlog)
Sharla is a Canadian who has lived in Japan for over 10 years. Her channel is a more traditional vlog covering her daily life there, but she often infuses a lot of interesting information about current cultural trends and happenings, on top of useful language tips.
Since YouTube is chock full of tons of Japanese language content, it’s also a good idea for students to seek out videos on topics of their interest to get additional listening practice. Just typing the Japanese word of your interest should pull up lots of relevant videos, but when in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask your teacher for recommendations. Happy vlogging!