Category Archives: Reviews

Ramen Ryoma: One of the top Ramen restaurants in Portland, Oregon

Last year, I had posted a review of Kukai (also called Kizuki) Ramen, mentioning it was one of the best places I had Ramen in the United States. While tastewise, I still hold to that judgement, putting all things into consideration, there is another serious contender for the Ramen throne. The restaurant is called “Ramen… Read More »

Japanese literature review: “コンビニ人間” (Convenience Store Woman [Konbini Ningen]) by 村田沙耶香 (Sayaka Murata)

When I discovered the book “Convenience Store Woman” (Japanese title “コンビニ人間”) by Sayaka Murata had won the 155th Akutagawa prize (arguably the biggest prize for Japanese literature), I decided to check it out myself. I purposefully stayed away from reviews or information about the book, and all I really knew was the book was about a woman who… Read More »

Japanese literature magazine review: 小説幻冬 (Shousetsu Gento) 

These days rather than reading Japanese novels, each which can still take me quite a long time to finish, I’ve been reading a literary magazine called 小説幻冬 (“Shousetsu Gento”, where “shousetsu” means ‘novel’ or ‘short story’) published by 幻冬社 (Gentosha). [Gotta love the name “幻冬”, which is made up for the characters for “mysterious” and… Read More »

Japanese learning mobile app review: Sokuji (即時): Japanese Dictionary Browser

The other day I got an email from Megzari Raphael, the author of the app “Sokuji: Japanese Dictionary Browser” who asked me to check out this app which targets Japanese learners. “Sokuji: Japanese Dictionary Browser” is an iPhone app which tries to serve a single, important purpose: easy, fast lookup of Japanese words while browsing the web. The… Read More »

Japanese Site Review: カクヨム (kakuyomu) – a great place for free novels and short stories

Sometime last year I wrote a review of the site “syosetu.com” (小説家になろう) which is a nice place to get your fill of free (and legal) Japanese novels and short stories. Since then, I have been a pretty heavy user of the site, reading portions of a great many stories, and writing emails to handful of authors to get… Read More »

Japanese Study Resource List

Dictionary Goo: My favorite Japanese dictionary. http://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/ Japanese Stack Exchange: A great place to have difficult Japanese questions answered, especially grammar related. http://japanese.stackexchange.com Reddit Learn Japanese: A good place to ask questions about Japanese and learn about resources. https://www.reddit.com/r/LearnJapanese/ Oshiete Goo: Knowledge sharing site (Japanese only). Great place to see polite, intellectual Japanese. http://oshiete.goo.ne.jp Reajer: bilingual readers… Read More »

Event Review: Mochitsuki 2017: 21st Annual Japanese American New Year Celebration (もちつき)

Around May last year, my family and I moved to Portland, Oregon from South Florida. One of the reasons was it’s active Japanese culture, and I recently attended an event which truly personified this culture:  Mochitsuki 2017, held in Downtown Portland today (Jan 29). Mochitsuki (餅つき or もちつき) is a tradition in Japan which involves pounding glutinous rice to… Read More »

Japanese children’s book review: 「にほんのマナー えほん” (Japanese Manners Illustrated Book)

Studying Japanese using Japanese books written for children is always something I suggest to leaners who are in the beginner or intermediate levels. As long as you pick a book that isn’t too difficult (you can start with baby books to be safe) you will some good reading practice, and also the satisfaction of actually reading a… Read More »

Japanese Children’s Book Review: 「言葉図鑑」(Visual Word Encyclopedia) by Taro Gomi (五味 太郎)

Sometime back, I mentioned that I recommend reading children’s books in a foreign language as a good way to experience native-level content that isn’t too difficult. For Japanese, this is especially useful since you will have very little, if any, kanji to worry about, which is one stumbling block when reading Japanese books. I’ve read a great… Read More »

Japanese Mobile App Review: Sanseido’s Gendai Shin Kokugo Jiten (三省堂現代新国語辞典)

Recently I went on a long plane trip where I knew I wouldn’t have network for a few hours, and since I was planning on reading and/or translating during the flight, I needed a good Japanese dictionary mobile app that I knew would work offline. I ended up downloading a few, but the one I… Read More »