Category Archives: JAPANESE

How to write a birthday invitation in Japanese?

“Don’t give up. The beginning is always the hardest. Life rewards those who work hard at it.”
– Unknown

Photo from Pixabay

Hi everyone,

Happy Monday! It is sunny and beautiful here in Pacific NW today. The weather like this is much appreciated around this time of the year as we tend to have more wet weather so often here, but I hear this weather will continue for another week which is a wonderful news for us. Hope weather is fabulous where you are too!

One of my kids just recently had a birthday, and he had to send out an Evite invitation to his friends. I thought this might become a good topic of learning here as we can cover the basics of vocabularies, or phrases used in invitation cards etc.

First, let’s go over some vocabularies. 🙂

Invitation = Shoutaijo (しょうたいじょう、招待状)

Birthday = Tanjobi (たんじょうび,誕生日)

Birthday Party = Tanjobi kai (たんじょうびかい,誕生日会)

Cake = Kēki (ケーキ,けーき)

Pizza = Piza (ピザ,ぴざ)

Location = Basho (ばしょ,場所)

Time = Jikan (じかん,時間)

Date = Hinichi (ひにち,日にち)

Below are the invitation he sent out to his buddies. Perhaps if you have an occasion to send out yours to your Japanese friends, you can try this…!!

You are invited to Jack’s 11th birthday party!

Jack no jyūissai no tanjōbi kai ni anata o shōtai shimasu!

Jack の じゅういっさいの たんじょうびかい に あなたを しょうたいします。

Jack の 11歳の 誕生日会 に あなたを 招待します。

Date:Saturday April 14th, 2018

Hinichi: ni sen jyuhachi nen shi gatsu jyuyokka doyoubi

ひにち:に せん じゅうはち ねん し がつ じゅうよっか どようび

日にち:2018年 4月14日 土曜日

*Quick check:

In Japanese, when we read out the date, we “always” put year first. So, the order will be like, Year/Month/Date and Days.

Location will be at 〜.

Basho wa ~ desu.

ばしょは 〜 です。

場所は 〜です。

Party will start at 2PM and end at 4PM.

Pātī wa 2 ji kara hajimari 4ji ni owarimasu.

パーティーは,2じから はじまり 4じに おわります。

パーティーは,2時から 始まり 4時に おわります。

Please RSVP by Wednesday, April 11th.

Shi gatsu jyuichi nichi suiyōbi made ni ohenji okudasai.

しがつ じゅういちにち すいようび までに おへんじ ください。

4月 11日 水曜日までに お返事 ください。

This is a simple invitation, but you can pretty much apply to any …continue reading


Kuromon Ichiba – “Osaka’s Kitchen”


Kuromon Ichiba street market is a long stretch of locally owned shops and food stands that runs through the center of Osaka. Especially famous for great meat and seafood, this street market is a Japanese food lover’s heaven!

Kuromon Ichiba Street Market

What’s your favorite Japanese food? Chances are, you’ll find it in Kuromon Ichiba Street Market – a 580m street that’s also known as “Osaka’s Kitchen.” This market is a popular tourist spot because it’s only 5 minutes from the Nippombashi subway exit, and it offers some of the best meat and seafood in all of Osaka! It’s a Japanese food lover’s heaven!

Posted by Japanese Language & Culture on Saturday, April 21, 2018


Kuromon Ichiba has over 170 years of history and tradition. Until the end of the Meiji Era, the market was actually called the Emmeji Market, named for the nearby Emmeiji Temple. The large temple was headed by a large black gate, and thus the market’s name was changed to “Kuromon Ichiba” market or “black gate” market.

The food stalls were traditionally catered toward local businesses owners and chefs of restaurants, and although that still makes up over half of the market’s sales, these days, Kuromon Ichiba also caters strongly towards visiting tourists. While some of the shops are big and commercial, the vast majority of them are mom-and-pop family run businesses.

As you walk down the 580-meter street, you can find an endless selection of fresh meat, seafood, vegetables, and more being sold at the front of stores. In fact, Kuromon Ichiba is now nationally known, and affectionately called “Osaka’s Kitchen” and “Gastronome.”

What You Can Eat


A large number of shops at Kuromon Ichiba sell fresh, local meat. You can see giant cases displaying uncooked meat for you to buy and take home. You can also pick …continue reading


How to use なり ( = nari)


= Neko ni wa neko nari no oshiekata ga arun dayo.

= A cat has its own way of teaching.


= Minna, genki?

= How are you doing?

Today’s guest teacher is Câlin-sensei from France. He has been taking my Skype lesson and his Japanese is just amazing!

So he is going to teach you one of JLPT N1 level word なり ( = nari)



= Minasan, konnichiwa! Câlin desu.

= Bonjour à tous! Je suis Câlin!

I am going to teach you how to use なり ( = nari) today. It is listed JLPT 1 level but some of the expressions are very useful even for beginners.

1) as soon as you do ~

How to form:

verb dictionary form + なり ( = nari) = as soon as someone did something, ~

Ex. 弟は家に着くなりトイレに駆け込んだ。🚹

= Otouto wa ie ni tsuku nari toire ni kakekonda.

= As soon as my little brother got home, he rushed into the bathroom.

Ex. 友達は私の顔を見るなり「昨日のデートはどうだった?」と聞いてきた。

= Tomodachi wa watashi no kao wo miru nari “Kinou no deeto wa doudatta?” to kiite kita.

= As soon as my friend saw me, he/she asked me “How was your date yesterday?”.

Note: It is similar to V (past tense) + 途端/ とたん ( = totan) but while the verb which comes before なり ( = naru) is a dictionary form, とたん ( = totan) is used with a past tense.

* 着くなり ( = tsuku nari) →着いたとたん ( = tsuita totan)

* 見るなり( = miru nari) →見たとたん ( = mita totan)

2) なり ( = narini) & なり ( = narino) : in one’s own way/ style

* noun / adjective + なり ( = narini) + verb/adjective

:kkk: in one’s own way:

You use this expression …continue reading


Beyond Takai and Yasui: Japanese Vocab to Watch Out for While Shopping

Source: Gaijin Pot
Beyond Takai and Yasui: Japanese Vocab to Watch Out for While Shopping

Do a search for “Japan” and “expensive” and you’ll get conflicting results. While your expenditures depend heavily on your place of residence, the prices of some goods and services in Japan certainly raise eyebrows.

Regardless of what you’re looking to purchase, these 10 Japanese words and phrases will help you navigate your way around the supermarket or shopping mall when looking for the best deals.

Let’s start with five alternatives to 高(たか)い (takai), or expensive.

1. ワンランク上(うえ): Wan ranku ue, or upgrade

For a nominal fee (usually around ¥500 to ¥1,000), you may be able to improve a dining plan or travel package. For example, you can upgrade your tabehodai (all-you-can-eat) yakiniku course to include a certain brand of beef. A travel agency might throw in an all-day tour or allow you to upgrade your hotel room.

Tip: When booking or ordering with an agent or server, ask: “ワンランク上のプランはありますか?Wan ranku ue no puran wa arimasu ka? (Do you have any upgrades available?)”

2. 上品(じょうひん): Jouhin, or upscale

Riding in the Gran Class shinkansen car (that’s a step above the Green Car), dining on sushi prepared by a three-starred Michelin chef or living in a classy serviced apartment — ain’t expat life fabulous?

While this lifestyle certainly has a sense of jouhin, or elegance, the word “jouhin” can also be used to describe refined people. It’s also a tactful way to say that something is, uh, “expensive AF!”

Tip: You can express disbelief at the number of zeros on a price tag and sound classy at the same time by saying: “上品ですね。Jouhin desu ne. (It’s very elegant.)”

3. 上質(じょうひつ): Joushitsu, or high quality

Just because something is expensive, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re actually getting high-quality goods. On the other hand, going over your budget can actually save you money in the long run.

Initial costs may be higher than …continue reading


Where The Japanese Go During Golden Week

Golden Week (ゴールデンウィーク) is one of the busiest holiday seasons in Japan. So where exactly do the Japanese go during Golden Week?

What is Golden Week?


Golden Week (ゴールデンウィーク) refers to a collection of four national Japanese holidays that occur within seven days every spring. Combined with weekends, the holidays allow for almost the entire nation to take time off work and travel, making it the longest vacation period of the year for most Japanese employees. Transportation prices soar, hotels book up far in advance, and whole towns’ populations seem to empty out.

The holidays making up Golden Week in 2018 are:

Sunday, April 29 – Showa Day (Showa no hi)

Thursday, May 3 – Constitution Day (Kenpo kinebi)

Friday, May 4 – Greenery Day (Midori no hi)

Saturday, May 5 – Children’s Day (Kodomo no hi)

This year, the holidays are divided into a 3-day weekend and then a 4-day weekend. Travelers are predicted to be leaving large cities for more rural areas leading up to May 3, and then heading back into the big cities for May 5 and May 6.



Tokyo, Japan’s capital, is the biggest and most populated city in all of Japan. Made up of 23 separate wards, Tokyo is a vast city with a mix of many famous traditional and modern elements. While much of the city leaves Tokyo during Golden Week to travel to other parts of Japan, there are a few popular spots in Tokyo that become even more crowded during this holiday season. Many people come to Tokyo to visit the famous Shinjuku crossing, Odaiba amusement and shopping area, Tokyo Disneyland, and the historic Senso-ji Temple. For a list of even more ideas of how Japanese people spend Golden Week in Tokyo, check out this list.


<img src="×200.jpg" alt="" width="415" height="276" srcset="×200.jpg 300w ,×512.jpg …continue reading