Japanese Language


Whatever country you may live in it is only sensible and respectful to learn the language. Every day living is made easier too. So whether you are intending to stay forever or just a few months it is best to start somewhere. Private tutors are one idea or swapping lessons in your own language with a newly acquired Japanese friend. However, starting a class will give you some healthy competition and be more sociable. Below are a sample of language schools and classes available in the Saitama and Tokyo area. Check your local city hall for others.


Japanese Language classes in Saitama offered by municipal governments

Kawagoe Minami Kominkan Kawagoe 0492-43-0038
Omiya Kominkan Omiya 048-643-5641
Shin Sayama Kominkan Sayama 042-953-9034
Urawa Chuo Kominkan Urawa 048-824-0161
Soka Shiritsu Soka 0489-22-5344


Private Japanese Language Schools in Saitama

Japan Foundation International Centre Yono 048-834-1180
Saitama University Urawa 048-852-2111
Sower Gaigo Gakuin Tokorozawa 042-925-4041
Tokyo Friendship Academy Omiya 048-647-3066
Tokyo International University Kawagoe 0492-32-1111


Private Japanese Language Schools in Tokyo

ARC Academy Shinjuku 03-3345-5781
Human Academy Language School Shinjuku 03-3342-4741
KAI Japanese Language School Okubo 03-3205-1356
Sendagaya Japanese Institute Takadanobaba 03-3232-6181
Shinjuku Language Institute Takadanobaba 03-5273-0044


Before parting with your money, which you usually have to in advance for one whole term, ask if it is possible to have a trial lesson first. If they say no ask a second member of staff or think twice about joining.



Publications to aid study

Manga Jin, learn Japanese language and culture through comics.

The Nihongo Journal, ALC press. Comes out every month with tapes available.

NHK Practical Japanese, bimonthly booklet that follows the TV programme.

The Hiragana Times, a tabloid type bimonthly, bilingual magazine, often with eye catching front page headlines about sex.

The Daily Yomiuri and The Japan Times have sections devoted to Japanese study on Monday and Thursdays respectively.

Books for Beginners

The Practical English-Japanese Dictionary, Noah S. Brannen. Words are written in romaji, hiragana and kanji. References are often given with sentence phrases for easier understanding and instant communication.

Survival Japanese, Boye De Mente. All the survival Japanese you need for your first few months in Japan on a host of subjects.

Japanese Simplified, Hugo. Also for the total beginners with no knowledge of hiragana, katakana or any grammar. Audio tapes available.

A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar, Makino and Tsutsui, The Japan Times. An excellent reference book of grammar listed alphabetically.

Shin Nihongo No Kiso 1, The Association for Overseas Technical Scholarship. Practical Japanese is presented in a textbook that is easy to use. Audi and video tapes are available.

Let's Learn Hiragana and Let's Learn Katakana, Yasuko Kosaka Mitamura, Kodansha International. Structured to learn by yourself, these books give your first steps into writing Japanese.

Kanji Isn't That Hard, Yoshiaki Takebe, ALC Press. An interesting book on how kanji developed and how to remember it. With two hundred or more beginning kanji.

A Guide To Reading and Writing Japanese - Dictionary of Kanji, Charles E. Tuttle. An excellent guide for finding that kanji you cannot read. The 1,850 basic characters and common syllabaries are listed by strokes.



Books for Intermediates

Daily Concise Japanese-English Dictionary, Sanseido. Now that you feel that you are entering the world of intermediates, how about using a pocket dictionary that uses hiragana to look up its words.

A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar, Makino and Tsutsui, The Japan Times. Follow up to the one listed above.

Shin Nihongo No Kiso 2, The Association for Overseas Technical Scholarship. Solid follow up to number 1 listed on the previous page.

Introduction to Intermediate Japanese, Nobuko Mizutani, Bonjinsha. Learn Japanese through topical material with newspaper articles to sharpen your kanji and thorough grammatical explanations in English.

Intermediate Japanese, Akira Miura and Naomi Hanaoka McGloin, The Japan Times. With extensive cultural notes, newspaper articles and grammatical explanations in English.

Office Japanese, Hajime Takanizawa, ALC Press. Now you will know what to say next time you are in the office with easy explanatory notes.

Books for Advanced Students

Progressive Shogakukan English - Japanese and Japanese - English Dictionaries. These are very useful and easy to use dictionaries for the advanced student with sample sentences alongside definitions for clear understanding.

Advanced Japanese, Nobuko Mizutani, Bonjinsha. Continuing the series, another solid textbook from the author of so many others.

Modern Japanese: An Advanced Reader, Itasaka, Makino, Yamashita. Harvard University Press. Your kanji power should really be hot for this cookie.

An Introduction to Advanced Spoken Japanese, Brown. Fukuchi, Tani. Inter-University Centre for Japanese Language Studies. Good book for those who are now nearly Japanese.

An English Dictionary of Japanese Culture, Honna and Hoffer, Yuhikaku. Written in both English and Japanese, this has almost everything on Japanese culture listed.

Books for Entertainment

Making Out In Japanese and More Making Out In Japanese by Todd and Erika Geers. Claims to teach you lovers language and real spoken Japanese not found in textbooks. It also points out the differences between men’s and women’s speech. Well worth a read.

"Shikuwazu", one of many Japanese puzzle books made by Nikoli. Call them on 03-3485-2081.

An Illustrated Dictionary of Onomatopoeic Expressions, Taro Gomi, The Japan Times. A fun to read book full of illustrations of all those unusual sounding words like "peko peko" and "jime jime."


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