Konnichiwa Japanese language learners! Welcome to your comprehensive guide to learning Japanese with podcasts!
Today, we’ll explain why podcasts are awesome learning tools and list 15 brilliant podcasts for learning Japanese at all levels.
These podcasts are great resources particularly for developing your Japanese listening skills and your understanding of Japanese culture.
On top of that, you should watch Japanese TV, listen to music, and read Japanese manga to enhance your language acquisition.
Lastly, we’ll provide some pointers for choosing your language-learning podcasts. Now, let’s dive into our list of recommendations so you can kick off your Japanese studies today!
Table of Contents:
- Language Learning with Japanese Media
- Japanese Podcasts for Beginners
- Japanese Podcasts for Intermediate Learners
- Japanese Podcasts for Advanced Learners
- Choosing Your Japanese Learning Podcasts
- FAQs Relating to Japanese Podcasts for Language Learners
- Summing Up: The Best Podcasts for Japanese Learners
Language Learning with Japanese Media
You may be wondering how a Japanese podcast can help you to learn the vernacular and pick up grammar rules, but these resources are actually excellent learning tools.
Not only can you develop your listening skills and pronunciation with podcasts, but you can also hear about life in Japan from the perspective of a Japanese person.
As you listen, you will naturally absorb new vocabulary, develop an understanding of sentence structure and learn how to conjugate the basic verbs in Japanese. What's more, you can learn about formality in Japan by listening to Japanese conversations.
If you want to learn a specific grammar point or find specific cultural information, you will be able to find a Japanese podcast that focuses on your area of interest. With so many podcasts to choose from, the opportunities for learning are endless.
You can also learn Japanese by watching anime, reading manga, and listening to Japanese music. Any content created by native Japanese speakers will inform your language learning and cultural awareness.
For access to great Japanese anime and other TV shows and movies, head over to Lingopie. This is a streaming service for language learners that boasts a ton of great Japanese content with
Japanese Podcasts for Beginners
Let's start with some beginner-friendly podcasts for people with absolutely no knowledge of Japanese, or very basic knowledge of the vocab and grammar.
With this podcast and its website, beginners can start to learn Japanese words and phrases right away. The episodes are designed to teach you the meaning of every word you hear. Moreover, you can select episodes related to your specific area of interest, be it grammar, culture, or writing, for instance.
You can access free lessons with Japanese Pod or subscribe as a member for full access to the library of learning tools. This awesome Japanese page offers audio and video lessons for beginners that get you to speak Japanese right from the first lesson.
2. Beginning Japanese Phrases
This Japanese learning podcast is aimed at beginners who want to develop their useful vocabulary in Japanese. The podcast covers key phrases and new vocabulary words that relate to daily life in Japan.
You will practice speech shadowing and pronunciation in Japanese with this great podcast for beginners and upper beginners. Speech shadowing involves repeating aloud the words and phrases you hear, using the same tone and accent. This is invaluable speaking practice.
3. Japanese with Shun
Japanese with Shun is one of the best podcasts for learning about Japanese grammar, vocabulary, and culture at an upper-beginner level.
Shun discusses travel, culture, and language learning in Japanese and then does a vocabulary round-up at the end with English translations. He covers grammar from the textbook Genki 1 (JLPT N5 - the lowest level of the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test).
4. Fun Japanese Listening
Fun Japanese Listening is an engaging resource for upper-beginner Japanese students who want to learn interesting new Japanese phrases and useful language for everyday life.
This podcast offers short 5 to 10-minute episodes that cover different Japanese expressions and basic grammar concepts. Moreover, the podcast will provide tips for learning Japanese, such as how to get started learning Kanji, the Japanese script.
5. Learn Japanese w/ Manga Sensei
The Manga Sensei podcast has a 30-day challenge for learning Japanese for beginners. Each day, you listen to one of the short Japanese lessons and note down one grammar point and twenty new vocab words.
This is an intensive and well-structured introduction to Japanese. Moreover, the first two episodes introduce the phonetic Japanese scripts hiragana and katakana, which you will need to learn, alongside Kanji, for reading and writing in Japanese.
Japanese Podcasts for Intermediate Learners
Intermediate learners should have developed a basic Japanese vocabulary already and be ready to deepen their grammatical, cultural, and linguistic knowledge with practice.
6. The Real Japanese Podcast
In this podcast, a Japanese teacher called Haruka discusses different subjects each week, such as Japanese culture and food, shopping, and slang words. These episodes feel less like lessons and more like casual Japanese conversations with a friend.
You can listen to this podcast on Spotify or head over to YouTube to watch the video podcast Nect Step Japanese, which is by the same creator. These roughly 15-minute videos cover everything you need to know about communicating in Japan.
7. News in Slow Japanese
The News in Slow Japanese podcasts actually cover every level from beginner to advanced, but it is generally recommended at the intermediate level. You will hear the news being read in slow, clear Japanese, which makes it more accessible than just watching a regular Japanese news channel.
The good thing about listening to everyday news in Japanese is that you can keep up with current affairs around the world while you develop your language skills.
8. Let's Learn Japanese from Small Talk!
In Let's Learn Japanese with Small Talk! two Japanese women discuss various topics about living in Japan. Listening to this Japanese podcast is like talking with your Japanese friends, as the conversations are very casual and light-hearted.
The ladies will also explain difficult words and phrases as they chat, so learners can note down any new vocab they come across.
9. Bilingual News
This is another Japanese news podcast, except it features more colloquial language. With Bilingual News, you will hear a review of the week's news, in Japanese and English. This podcast is unscripted and unedited, so it is a good exposure to natural and authentic Japanese.
You are likely to hear a new Japanese sentence, idiom, or slang term every time you engage with this casual and fun podcast. Note down anything you do not understand and refer to the transcript for clarity.
10. Japanese Swotter
This Japanese podcast is a great choice for anyone looking to develop their speaking skills. Japanese Swotter is a speaking drill podcast that encourages you to shadow speech in Japanese. Try to repeat the words and phrases you hear with as little delay as possible.
You will find full Japanese and English transcripts on the Patreon website. Become a member to access these great resources.
11. Kevinvin Sleepy Japanese
This Japanese podcast is a series of short monologues about life in Japan delivered in a low and soothing tone. Kevin's podcast is designed for Japanese listening practice as you fall asleep. These language lessons are accessible, short, and sweet.
Each episode focuses on a totally different theme, from living abroad and going on holiday to no-nos in Tokyo and a Japanese take on the Will Smith Oscars slap! You might get sleepy but you won't get bored with the Kevinvin Sleepy Japanese podcast.
12. Yuyu の日本語
If you are looking for a prolific podcast creator, look no further. New content from Yuyu is published every few days. Yuyu talks about Japanese history, society, and education, among other topics. This is a great podcast for upper-intermediate Japanese learners.
Moreover, Yuyu has a YouTube channel where you can watch podcasts in the form of YouTube videos. Visual learners will benefit from these YouTube lessons.
Japanese Podcasts for Advanced Learners
Advanced learners will have covered all grammatical points and have an extensive vocabulary. If you are an advanced learner, you will be primarily focused on fluency and listening comprehension of native content.
Listening to native Japanese podcasts is great immersion practice and exposure to the language at its most authentic.
13. NHK Daily News
This podcast is for learners capable of keeping up with advanced topics, as it covers real-life events occurring not only in Japan but around the world. You will hear native Japanese speakers discuss the news using more complex phrases.
Unlike podcasts for beginner and intermediate-level study, NHK Daily News is not dumbed-down. It is suitable for listening to actual Japanese people, as well as advanced learners.
14. Coten Radio
If you are a history nerd, you will absolutely love this podcast. The hosts are passionate about history and they have a different Japanese dialogue every episode relating to various historical facts and stories you may not know.
This podcast is made for native speakers, so some of the languages might be challenging. But this makes it great immersion for advanced-level learners. Practice listening to casual conversational Japanese and note any new idiomatic or slang language you come across.
Finally, we have an informative and entertaining podcast focused on linguistics and language. If you love thinking about how languages work, this is a great option for you. The hosts discuss topics such as Japanese surnames and dialects in a fun and engaging manner.
As they are using their native language and creating content for other natives, they talk fast! ゆる言語学ラジオ provides a valuable experience to absorb natural Japanese as spoken by locals.
Choosing Your Japanese Learning Podcasts
With so many great options, you may not know where to start in terms of choosing a Japanese-language podcast. This list is a great start, but it is far from exhaustive. Do your research and see what excites you.
We recommend you choose which Japanese language podcasts you want to listen to based on your interests and your current Japanese abilities. Then, you can add them to your Japanese study routine alongside other quality resources, such as music, movies, and TV.
Remember to choose level-appropriate podcasts, as this will maximize the learning potential. Podcasts that are too easy will be dull, while episodes that are too complex might put you off your studies.
When researching podcasts, check out the structure of the episodes and their contents. Japanese podcasts cover a range of themes, so you will definitely find one that relates to your hobbies or passions.
Now, let's have a look at some frequently asked questions about audio learning with Japanese podcasts!
FAQs Relating to Japanese Podcasts for Language Learners
Let's look at some of the most frequently asked questions relating to Japanese podcasts for language learners.
Are there any good podcasts for learning about Japanese culture?
Yes, many Japanese podcasts cover culture, society, and life in Japan. As well as those listed above, you can check out NHK World, not to be confused with NHK Daily News. On the NHK World site, you'll find podcast titles relating to Japanese life, culture, work, travel, current affairs, and the language.
Can you learn the Japanese language just by listening?
Yes, you can learn basic Japanese words, phrases, and grammar by listening to Japanese podcasts. Podcasts allow you to develop your Japanese skills, namely your listening comprehension. Most podcast platforms allow you to slow down the audio to a pace that makes it accessible for you.
Where can I get Japanese listening practice?
You can get Japanese listening practice by listening to a Japanese podcast, watching anime, and listening to music in Japanese. Make sure you are getting level-appropriate listening practice by selecting materials designed for learners at your level. Try to work on your Japanese listening skills every day with podcasts, TV, and other useful media.
What should I watch to improve my Japanese?
To improve your Japanese, it is a good idea to watch Japanese TV shows and movies, as well as the news. Anime is a very popular form of Japanese media and it will expose you to the language, slang terms, some culture, and even Japanese traditions. On top of that, you will find great Japanese dramas on Netflix and Lingopie.
Summing Up: The Best Podcasts for Japanese Learners
Now that you know why Japanese podcasts are such great tools for studying Japanese, you can start listening to an educational and fun show today.
Choose from one of the 15 recommendations listed above! Just make sure you go for a level-appropriate podcast.
These podcasts are excellent for language acquisition, speech shadowing, pronunciation practice, learning grammar, and discovering Japanese culture.
Remember, you can also develop your Japanese listening skills and knowledge of Japanese customs, culture, and society by engaging with the TV shows and movies on Lingopie.
Have fun learning a new language with these entertaining Japanese resources!