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Japan Travel Guides + Learning Guides


So if I haven’t banged on about it enough here, as well as all over Twitter, I go to Japan next month! Actually in about 3 weeks. Holy crap, there is so much to do.

Over the last few months, I have ended up collating quite a few travel guides amongst other things to do with the Land of the Rising Sun! So today I thought I would share my recommendations and otherwise for which to buy!

Lonely Planet Japanese Phrasebook and Dictionary

This is a little pocket-sized book which I will be carrying around with me on my travels! I haven’t committed enough to learning Japanese recently, my third year of uni has kind of been taking over everything I have been doing sadly, so I’m going to need a bit of help. Of course I could rely on apps, but I like something physical (don’t we all ey?? [and there goes any hope of any brand wanting to work with me ever] )

This book contains kanji as well as the romanized version (how you pronounce it in English), which is even written phonetically!

For such a tiny book, it contains so much! One of my favourite things about it is the dictionary at the back – it actually has two! A Japanese to English dictionary, and vice versa, which shall come in very handy when my Japanese is rather conversational at best.

Lonely Planet Make My Day Tokyo

Another Lonely Planet book! This is incredible, I received it for my 20th birthday last year from my parents! This is a godsend.

It’s full of different things to do in Tokyo, bits of information about each place, such as what time of day to go, where it is, how much it costs, if there are any other top tips and things to do in the area, and the best thing about it, you’ll see now!

Morning, afternoon and evening are split up! It’s pretty much 3 different flip books, and you can switch them around to make your day! Get the name now?

It gets better, they have (somehow) managed to make it so that you can see what subway line and how long it will take, to get between ANY of these places. I have no clue how they did this, but it’s incredible.

I definitely got a lot of inspiration by things in this book, as it was nice to have the majory touristy things put down onto paper to pick and choose from!

It also contains both a city and a subway map! It’s great.

15 Minute Japanese

Whilst this isn’t a travel guide, it’s a handy little book to get a grip on the language and to test yourself.

The thing is, I have 3 weeks until I go, not 12! But it is very helpful! I had a flick through the introductory chapters, but mostly skipped them as that’s the stuff I have learned already, and could see that they are a great way of learning.

Each chapter comes with a little area to review what you have been learning, something which is very helpful! Learning languages is one of those things you think you have nailed once you have said it once, but as soon as you test yourself you see that it’s not true at all!

Cool Japan Guide

To be honest, I haven’t looked through this yet other than a flick through! I got this for Christmas from my sister, and I’ve been so busy that I haven’t sat down to have a real look at it! I’m going to make sure I do this week.

It’s drawn in a style of a bit of a crappy webcomic, I mean that lovingly! It’s basic illustrations with childlike text, it’s very cute!

It seems like a very friendly and easy way to get into Japanese culture, whilst simultaneously learning about some of the anime and manga sights.

Japanese for Busy People

And here’s a link to the kana workbook (also pictured)

These are workbooks used in actual Japanese classes to teach you the language!

I have worked through a fair bit of the romanized workbook, and I found it extremely helpful. Both come with CDs which will play audio clips of people saying phrases, numbers, etc, which you then have to translate.

I was surprised by how fast I managed to pick it all up learning this way, simply by spending about 30 minutes every few days running through a few different exercises, an example of which you can see below:

It’s just like a workbook you used to get in school! But actually full and not full of maths and english and other things that we’ve all left at the wayside.

I hope this was of any use to those of you planning to visit Japan, or learn Japanese! Even if you have no interest in such, I hope you found this the slightest bit interesting! If you have any recommendations for me, please let me know!

Over the next few weeks/months, my blog is going to become increasingly Japan focused! I’m so excited to put up all of the pictures from the places I visit whilst there! This trip is an absolute dream of mine, and the other day I found an old post from early last year, in which I’d said I would hopefully one day go!

And now that day is only a few weeks away! I think I’m spending more time in Japan than there is time between now and then! If that makes any sense at all!

Thanks for reading, see you next time!

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