Sunday, October 13, 2013

Hiragana Times


The Hiragana Times is a Japanese magazine written for English speakers interested in all the goodness Japan has to offer. There’s articles on things like canned food bars... (Yep, served straight from the can.)

 Real Escaping Game (Decipher codes! Find hidden objects! Escape!)

 Bonseki (It’s just as cool as bonsai, but with rocks! Don’t look at me that way…)

These articles have alternating English and furigana-laced Japanese paragraphs, so you can follow along in the language of choice (or necessity). There are a few nifty articles in the middle that break all the sentences and words down into hiragana/romanji/English. They are “multi-level texts”. Those are pretty awesome for those of us who are crazy enough about Japan to attempt the language. They’re a little advanced, but the editor’s personal stories are almost my speed. 


This is Japan presented straight from the Japanese. The Hiragana Times  writers play tour guide for us, showing us the crazy stuff, the trends, food, fashion, nature, history, and a bag of chips. It has something for everyone, even your cat. Bonus for language learners- extra audio files for a little extra yens. And it’s really cool to get something mailed to you from Japan every month.


As a subscriber, and not just a bottom-feeding past articles/Facebook previews reader, I am entitled to “premium subscriber privileges” plus the audio. Originally there were online archives, books, and other exciting extras for us, but it seemed like around the time I started up, they changed the site. Also,  “there will be a new ID and password sent to [me] every month,” to access the features. But I have yet to get more than the initial email. And now I’m locked out. Where is the audio? I have no idea. I don’t care enough to complain more than once.


Check out and if you like what you see, you’ll probably like the magazine. If you’re a Japan local, you’re in luck because it’s way cheaper and it’s easy to buy right off the newsstand. $100 a year for a non-Japan subscription.  Digital is way cheaper at $60 a year. I may try that next time around.

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