Category Archives: EDUCATION

5 must know difficult Japanese words

“A comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there.” – Unknown

Photo from Pixabay

The other day, I came across this quote above, and thought I would share with you all. This applies to all sorts of things we deal with everyday. Your work, study, and social life, etc. and obviously, learning a foreign language has the same principle. Once you are comfortable with certain sets of vocabulary and expressions, do you catch yourself repeating the same all words and expression in certain situations? Feeling comfortable in any situation is great but if you want to improve, you definitely need to try to step out of your comfort zone. It is so easy to say, but so hard to do.

In today’s lesson, I would like to introduce you to the following set of vocabulary that might not sound too familiar but yet good to keep in your vocabulary list.:)

Shotaimen (しょたいめん,初対面) = Meeting someone for the first time

Kanojo towa shotaimen desu.

=>I just met her for the first time.

かのじょとは,しょたいめん です。(彼女とは 初対面 です。)

Uwanosora (うわのそら) = absent-minded

Karewa nani o ittemo uwano sora da.

=> It doesn’t matter what you tell him, his mind is somewhere else.

かれは なにをいっても うわのそらだ。 (彼は 何を言っても うわのそらだ。)

Gaiken (がいけん,外見)= Appearance

Gaiken dakede hito o handan shinaide.

=> Don’t judge anyone by appearance.

がいけんだけで,ひとを はんだんしないで。(外見だけで 人を 判断 しないで。)

Kokoro gakeru (こころがける,心掛ける)= keep in mind

Itsumo nihongo de hanasuyō ni kokoro gaketene.

=>Please keep in mind to speak in Japanese at all times.

いつも にほんごで はなすように こころがけてね。(いつも 日本語で 話すように 心掛けてね。)

Magirawashi (まぎらわしい,紛らわしい)=misleading, ambiguous, hard to tell the difference

The twin brothers look so much alike, and it’s hard to tell one from the other.

==> Ano futago no kyudai wa sugoku yoku niteite, docchi ga docchi ka magirawashi.

あの ふたごの きょうだいは すごく よくにていて,どっちが どっちか まぎらわしい。

(あの 双子の兄弟は すごく よく似ていて,どっちが どっちか 紛らわしい。)

So, I hope you challenge yourself today by learning one extra new word/expression!

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Onsen/Sentō Manners: Japanese Bathing Etiquette

Japanese onsen (温泉: hot springs) or sentō (銭湯: public baths), are are enjoyed by anyone of all ages. Onsen use hot water taken from a natural hot spring, while sentō use tap water heated by boilers. Both onsen and sentō are very enjoyable to Japanese and foreigners alike, but there is a set of unspoken instructions you should know before you go. Here is your guide to have good manners in Japanese onsen or public baths!

Bathing Manners

1. Shower First

Be sure to wash off your body before entering the bath. Every onsen features a washing area that includes several chairs and shower heads – and usually even shampoo and body soap – for you to use to clean yourself before entering the public bath. This is important as it keeps the onsen water clean for everyone who is using it.

2. No Smartphones

No smartphones or cameras inside of the onsen. Yes, many onsen are incredibly beautiful and picturesque, but they are private areas to be enjoyed quietly by everyone. Therefore, smartphones and cameras are strictly forbidden. Please be sure to leave your phone with your other belongings in the locker room/changing area 🙂

2. Tie/Remove Long or Loose Items

If you have long hair, it is polite to tie it back to keep it out of the water. Also, if you have long necklaces, jewelry, or watches that will dangle or possibly come off in the water, it is courtesy to take them off. Some onsen/sento facility provide a shelf to put your small belongings and toiletries once you have entered the bath area, but not all of them.

3. Swimsuits

Do not wear your swimsuits in the onsen. If you are feeling shy, you can use the small towel provided to cover yourself until you get into the water. …continue reading


Song of the Week 31 – “Blue Train”

Memoirs of a Gaijin Playlist

“Blue Train” by Asian Kung Fu Generation

This week’s song comes to us from Jalen Cox, the focus of the latest Meet the Gaijin Interview.

It’s a really chill song, and I like it a lot. I don’t know what it is about it, but there is something very calming about it. It’s also a favorite song of one of my friends, so it always reminds me of her.

Check out the full interview right here!




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