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Learn Japanese Podcasts


Learn Japanese Pod Podcasts

Welcome to Learn Japanese Pod! Learn Japanese Pod is an online language learning website and podcast to help you to study and speak Japanese fluently. If you want to improve your listening, speaking, grammar vocabulary and all round Japanese skills then please listen to our free audio lesson podcasts. Also please check out our blog with tips and tricks on how to improve your Japanese more quickly. And most of all, we want you to have fun studying Japanese, because that’s the best way to learn. Check out our FAQ to learn more about Learn Japanese pod. Enjoy! 

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Japanese Lesson Podcasts​​

Podcast 14: Talking on the phone in Japanese

In this podcast, Ami Sensei and Alex teach you how to hold a natural conversation in Japanese on the  phone. Check out the podcast to hear the dialogs and learn some useful phone phrases. Click here for podcast downloads and PDF show notes.
Life in Tokyo

Fun Friday: The Best and Worst of Life in Tokyo

In this podcast, Alex and Andy talk about their top 5 best and worst points of living in Tokyo. This should be of interest to you if you are planning to visit or live in Tokyo, or just curious about life here. Click here for podcast downloads.
How to speak Japanese fluently

Podcast 13: Everything you need to know to speak Japanese fluently

Ami Sensei and I present you an epic podcast which teaches you absolutely everything you need to know about learning to speak fluent Japanese. Well, nearly everything, at least enough to get your started. Click here for more details.
 Japanese Music

Fun Friday: Our Favourite Japanese Bands

In this podcast, Ami and I talk about our top 10 favourite Japanese bands. To find out more information on Japanese bands, albums and songs, and to download this podcast click here.
Learn Japanese Pod

Podcast 12: Describing personality in Japanese

In this podcast Ami sensei and I teach you some natural phrases for describing people’s personalities. We perform some dialogs to show you how native Japanese people do it. Click here for lesson notes and extra audio…
Japanese verbs Taberu

Podcast 11: Japanese verbs 食べる Taberu – To Eat

In this podcast Ami sensei and I teach you how to use the plain form of the verb Taberu which means to eat. The plain form of the verb is used in casual conversation between friends. We’ll show you various ways to use the verb to sound natural when in speaking in Japanese. Click here for lesson notes and extra audio…

Podcast 10: The top 10 most common questions you will be asked when visiting Japan

In this episode, Ami sensei and I talk about the most common questions you will likely be asked when you visit Japan. We also discuss the cultural reasons behind those questions and how you can reply in flawless Japanese. Click here for downloads, lesson notes and more…

Fun Friday: Interview with Niko of Nihongoshark

In this episode I talked to my good friend Niko, the creator of Nihongoshark, a website that teaches you how to teach yourself Japanese. Click here for downloads and more information…

Podcast 09: How to order sushi at a Japanese restaurant

In this podcast, Yoshiko and Alex discuss the finer points of sushi dining in Japan. We go over useful phrases and vocabulary for ordering sushi as well as useful cultural points and tips to make the most out of your culinary experience. Go to the podcast here…

Fun Friday: Drinking etiquette in Japan

In this podcast, Yoshiko and Alex teach you some insider’s cultural knowledge for drinking and dining etiquette in Japan for Izakayas, Hanami and other party events. PDF Show notes and extra audio…

Podcast 08: Talking about your likes & dislikes in Japanese

In this podcast, Yoshiko and Alex teach you how to talk about your likes and dislikes in Japanese. PDF Show notes and extra audio…
Learn Japanese Pod

Fun Friday: 2016 Review in Japan

In this podcast, Yoshiko and Alex review 2016 and talk about major events in Japan over the last year. PDF Show notes and extra audio…
Learn Japanese pod

Podcast 7: How to ask for help in Japanese (Season 2

In this podcast, Alex and Asuka will teach you how to ask for help. We will teach you a really natural and colloquial phrase you can use with your friends and family. PDF show notes and extra audio…

Podcast 6: Useful Classroom Japanese Phrases (Season 2)

If you are planning to study Japanese in a classroom setting then this podcast is for you. Asuka and I will teach you some useful classroom Japanese so you can communicate with your Sensei better and learn Japanese more effectively. PDF Show notes and extra audio…

Podcast 5: Top 10 tips for studying Japanese (Season 2)

If you are just starting your studies in Japanese or have been studying for a while and got stuck then this podcast is for you. Asuka and I will give you our top 10 tips for studying Japanese to help you progress more quickly. LISTEN

Podcast 4: Talking about your hometown in Japanese (Season 2)

In this lesson Asuka and Alex will teach you how to ask and answer questions about people’s hometowns which is a great way to get to know people for the first time in Japan. PDF Show notes and extra audio…

Podcast 3: How to apologize in Japanese (Season 2)

Perhaps one of the most important cultural skills you will learn in Japanese is the art of apologizing. Asuka and Alex will show you how! PDF Show notes and extra audio…

Podcast 2: How to do a self introduction in Japanese (Season 2)

If you are going to study Japanese for the first time at university, college or take private lessons, learning to introduce yourself to your classmates and teacher in Japanese is an essential skill. Alex and Asuka will teach you how. PDF Show notes and extra audio…
Asuka of Learn Japanese Pod

Podcast 1: How to ask friends to hang out in Japanese (Season 2)

In this lesson Asuka and Alex will teach you how to ask your friends to hang out, go out for drinks, dinner and more. This is an easy lesson that even beginners can do. PDF Show notes and extra audio…

Learn Japanese Pod Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of frequently asked questions about Learn Japanese Pod which is a podcast and website for learning Japanese.

What is Learn Japanese Pod?

Why did you start Learn Japanese Pod?

Who is learn Japanese Pod?

How does Learn Japanese differ to other Japanese learning systems?

How do I get access to all your podcasts?

What is the Learn Japanese Pod study method?

How difficult is it to learn Japanese?

What’s your best advice for improving my speaking and fluency in Japanese?

What textbooks would you recommend for studying Japanese?

What are your tips for studying Japanese in a classroom environment?

What’s that little green monster in your logo?

What is Learn Japanese Pod?

Alex of Learn Japanese Pod fame

Alex making a fool of himself on the mic, cos that’s what you listen for…

Learn Japanese Pod is a podcast and website which has been running since 2005 teaching people like you who want to seriously improve their Japanese skills in a fun and relaxed manner.

We post podcasts every week which include natural and useful dialogs which you can learn to make your trip to Japan and Japanese studies far more enjoyable.

It’s hosted by Asuka and me, Alex. And here’s a list of stuff on the site you might be interested in:

Podcasts | Videos | Blog


BTW, I’m the guy with the stupid hat on the right. That’s my good buddy Dan on the left and he has a black belt in Japanese.


Have a listen to our podcasts here.

Why did you start learn Japanese Pod?

Pretty Japanese girl

I’m a pretty Japanese girl which means I can eat 3500 calories and not put on any weight…(peace sign)

It wasn’t to meet pretty Japanese girls…at all…very much…OK maybe a little…

But joking aside, at secondary school (that’s “high school” to you North Americans) I was hopeless at languages so at university I decided to study music with Japanese. After moving to Japan for the 2nd year of my degree my Japanese improved immensely.

However, a few years later my progress started to flat line and lost a motivation.


I had tired everything, Pimsleur, Rosetta Stone other Japanese online learning websites and getting slapped in the face by pretty girls in bars Tokyo. But none of that seemed to help. So I decided to design a course that would be comprehensive and well structured…and I failed miserably.

I made a bunch of lessons that were completely rubbish. After a little break and a few cups of sake later I decided to make a fun podcast where I could ask my Japanese friends to teach me and help me get out of my slump and I think it worked. So now we have over 100 Japanese language learning podcasts for those of you who have had trouble improving with your Japanese and want to learn in a more relaxed and fun way.

Who is learn Japanese Pod?

Learn Japanese Pod with Asuka and Alex

Asuka ain’t just got a pretty face, she’s a got a black belt, 2nd dan, in Japanese.

Learn Japanese Pod was created by me, Alex. I’ve been helping students of Japanese like you for over 10 years improve their Japanese language skills. I’ve lived in Japan for over 20 years and I really enjoy helping other people new to Japanese and Japan who are interested in the culture and language.

I get a kick out of helping people improve. If I do a bad job I usually get kicked but that’s another story.

I am joined on our weekly podcast by the beautiful and linguistically talented Asuka, who is originally from Japan but currently lives in Los Angeles.

Asuka enjoys teasing me about my Japanese and I often try and fail to tease her back. You can hear our various podcasting escapades on the main podcast page.

Thank your lucky stars you don’t have to see my picture again.

How does Learn Japanese differ to other Japanese learning systems?

We focus more on speaking and language fluency which we have found to be one of the most popular topics amongst our members on the site. If you become a member, you can chat to other students of Japanese who might be able to give you some advice to help you with any problems you might have.

We focus on natural dialogs as you would really hear on the streets in Japan. We do of course teach grammar and kanji but speaking and fluency is our main thing.

How do I get access to all your podcasts?

You can access our free podcasts on our main podcast page or you can subscribe via iTunes or here for android phones. If you join our free members area, you can get access to extra podcasts not available on the free website and feed. We will also be opening up a premium area soon where you will get access to all the podcasts we have ever made. We will we opening this soon, please watch this space for more information.

What is the Learn Japanese Pod study method?

We have a very simple three step technique to improving Japanese fluency and speaking. 1) Listen, listen and listen again to our podcasts 2) Repeat out loud the conversations, phrases and vocabulary that you want to learn. 3) Repeat steps 1 and 2 as many times as you want until you feel you have absorbed the language and can produce it without thinking and without translating in your head.

How difficult is it to learn Japanese?

Ken Watanabe being cool

Hmm…your podcast is pretty cool, but not as cool as me gaijin

Well, I’m glad you asked. I wrote a post on this asking how difficult is it to learn Japanese in great detail here if you are interested. In short I would break that question down like this:

Speaking Japanese:

Much easier than you think. Japanese grammar is pretty logical and minimal so you can learn basic Japanese relatively quickly.

Japanese pronunciation:

Pretty easy, at least it’s way easier than Chinese as Japanese doesn’t have tones. Even a not particularly well enunciated “konichiwa” will probably be understood.

Reading and writing Japanese:

Oh lord, where should I start? I won’t lie, it’s a lot of work BUT it’s not so complex. In other words, the rules aren’t too hard but you do have to learn a lot of characters to read a newspaper, at least 1500. But don’t worry, I have a blog post all about how to learn kanji.

(coming soon!)

What’s your best advice for improving my speaking and fluency in Japanese?

I write about this in more detail but in short here’s a check list of things to do to help you improve your Japanese fluency.

1. Decide why you want to study Japanese

This will help you to focus on just the Japanese you need to know. For example, ff your goal is to travel to Japan and have an awesome holiday then just study phrases related to traveling to Japan. This will help you save a lot of time and perhaps money. Also, really knowing why you want to study Japanese really helps with motivation which I believe is your ultimate weapon of success. So, now you hopefully know why you want to study Japanese…

2. Listen to Japanese audio and repeat out loud…a lot!

Go find yourself some great audio from…oh I don’t know…this wonderful Japanese learning podcast then repeatedly listen to the dialogs, phrases and vocabulary that you are interested in and want to learn. The repeat them out loud as many times as you can until you feel you’ve fully absorbed it.

This technique is called shadowing and it’s a great method if you are starting out in Japanese and have no one to practice with. It’s good because it gets your ears used to the sounds, you can practice pronunciation, increase your vocabulary and fluency if you keep at it.

That’s how I started out studying Japanese. I just got a random Japanese conversation textbook and just listened and repeated out loud as many times as I could until I eventually studied it at university. It may not be the most groundbreaking advice but it worked, at least for me. And it’s also the premise for this whole website and podcast.

3. Use word cards or apps to increase your vocabulary

Back in the day when I was young and youtube wasn’t around, I religiously studied kanji and vocabulary from word cards. It’s still a good method today plus now, there are a million apps out there to help you learn. They’re great tools that work and you can use them while commuting on the train or bus.

4. Get out there and practice

Again, there are a lot of resources, websites, podcasts, textbooks and apps out there. However, until you actually get out there, make Japanese friends and start using Japanese, I think your progress will be limited. You could join forums, use meetup, use skype or visit your local Japanese cultural center and sign up for a course if you live near one. Remember, get away from your screen and make some Japanese speaking friends.

5. It’s an ultra marathon not a marathon

Some people say learning a language is a marathon and not a sprint. Well, actually, it’s like a iron man marathon meaning it really does take a long time. But never give up and as long as you are having fun, learning, making friends and have cool Japan related experiences, you are guaranteed to improve. We are here to help you as we Asuka and I both know what it’s like to learn a language for the first time. GAMBATTE KUDASAI!

What textbooks would you recommend for studying Japanese?

Sick of staring at a screen and want some dead tree media to help you in your Japan quest? Head over here to see my personal favorite list of Japanese textbooks.

What are your tips for studying Japanese in a classroom environment?

I have two tips for studying Japanese in a class. Firstly, always use polite Japanese when talking to your teacher to show respect. Don’t worry if you don’t know that, it’s usually the first thing you’ll be taught in Japanese class. If your sentences are ending with the -masu and -desu forms then you are probably speaking at the correct level.

My second tip would be learn some useful phrases to extend your speaking and listening skills. In other words, learn phrases that will help you to clarify, confirm and interrupt the teacher when you don’t understand. Here are a couple of useful phrases you could use.

Excuse me (teacher), what does … mean?


sensei, sumimasen ga … wa dou iu imi desu ka?


Could you say that again?


mou ichido itte itadakemasu ka


Could you say it more slowly please?


mou ichido yukkuri hanashite itadakemasu ka?

Who’s that little green monster in your website logo?

The Learn Japanese Pod Monster

Death to boring grammar books

For the millionth time, it’s not a green monster it’s a cute Godzilla…Oh OK, then, it’s a little green monster, fine then. This one was designed by the incredibly talented Jesse. The banner at the top of the page was designed by my good friend Ricardo. Both are amazing artists, go buy their stuff and make them rich!

So, when you see the little green monster, you know it’s Learn Japanese Pod with Asuka and Alex. This is a picture of him tearing up some boring Japanese grammar books, cos we dont likes thems.

Send us your questions!

If you have a question about this site or studying Japanese in general, leave a comment below or send us an email at:



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Video: Useful Japanese phrases for ordering drinks at a Japanese restaurant


In this video, Tomoe teaches some really useful and natural Japanese phrases for ordering drinks at a restaurant in Japan. Check it out here.

Video: How to introduce yourself in Japanese



Check out this video where Tomoe teaches you how to introduce yourself in Japanese.

Latest Interview: Zen meditation in Kyoto


Click here to see the latest video interview with Taka Kawakami about Zen meditation in Kyoto.

kanasheetpic-300x210 Get a FREE Hiragana and Katakana cheat sheet by becoming a free Learn Japanese Pod Memberclick


Blog Posts

New Travel Japanese Course

If you are planning to visit Japan and want to know the basic and essential Japanese to avoid potential hassles and really enjoy your trip, sign up for updates on our new course coming out. Read more about our new travel Japanese course here…

10 Great Japanese Cheat sheets

To be honest there is no way to really cheat your way to the top when it comes to acquiring a new language. However, I have found some very well designed cheat sheets which list some of the most basic and useful elements of Japanese vocabulary and grammar for quick reference and learning. Find out more about these 10 awesome Japanese cheat sheets here..

10 Great Textbooks for Studying Japanese

Japanese language learning materials have been migrating to the web in various forms including online courses, blogs, applications and videos to name a few. However, I still have some personal recommendations for great text books I have used to study Japanese in the past initially on my own and then at university as part of my degree. Check out these great 10 textbooks for studying Japanese here…

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