Best Japanese Newspapers to Learn Japanese in 2023

Table of Contents

As the fascinating world of Japanese language beckons, there is a plethora of resources awaiting exploration. Among the language-learning goldmines, Japanese newspapers and magazines stand out as real-world resources, offering a glimpse into the culture, traditions, and current happenings of Japan. This blog post will guide you through the best Japanese newspapers to learn Japanese in 2023. So, let’s embark on this journey with Curiotory, your trusted online ed-tech platform! 

The Magic of Newspapers in Learning Japanese: – 

Every language carries the soul of its culture and newspapers are the vessels that encapsulate this spirit. Engaging with Japanese newspapers exposes you to an array of vocabulary and grammar used in daily life. It’s like teleporting to Japan without leaving the comfort of your home. Furthermore, reading Japanese newspapers imparts insight into the social and political dynamics of the country. But, wait, aren’t all newspapers a bit too challenging for beginners? Let’s debunk that myth next. 

Exploring the Top Japanese Newspapers: –  

Japan takes pride in its rich journalistic tradition. Here are the top Japanese newspapers that also serve as excellent language learning resources:  

  • The Yomiuri Shimbun: Boasting the largest circulation in the world, it covers diverse topics. With an online platform featuring domestic and global news, it’s a treasure for advanced learners. Fun fact? Yomiuri Shimbun has a dedicated sumo wrestling section, reflective of Japan’s love for this traditional sport! 
  • Asahi Shimbun: Known for its liberal perspectives, Asahi Shimbun provides comprehensive analyses and feature articles. It’s perfect for those aiming to master complex language structures. Here’s a fun fact: Asahi hosts an annual “Children’s Newspaper Contest” where kids can submit their original newspapers! 
  • Mainichi Shimbun: One of Japan’s oldest and most respected newspapers, it covers everything from politics to pop culture. This newspaper is a gateway to explore diverse topics in Japanese. 

Handpicked Japanese Newspapers for Beginners: –  

Learning Japanese with newspapers is not limited to advanced learners. Here are resources designed specifically for beginners: 

  • NHK News Web Easy: Offering simplified versions of news reports, this site is an ideal starting point for beginners. And did you know NHK was Japan’s only public broadcaster until 1950? 
  • The Japan Times ST: This student edition uses simpler language and includes furigana, small hiragana characters next to kanji, making it beginner-friendly . 
  • Matcha Easy: While not a traditional newspaper, Matcha Easy is an online travel magazine that caters to Japanese learners. It presents articles in simple Japanese, with furigana provided for all kanji. 
  • Wasabi – NHK News Lessons: Although not a newspaper, Wasabi’s NHK News Lessons are an excellent tool for beginners. Each lesson is based on an article from the NHK News Web Easy website. The platform provides vocabulary lists, grammar explanations, and comprehension questions for each article.  

Learning Japanese with News and Magazines: Beyond the Traditional: –  

Dive deeper into your language learning expedition with Japanese magazines: 

  • Hiragana Times: An English-Japanese bilingual magazine tailored for foreign learners. Each article is written in English and Japanese, making comprehension a breeze. 
  • Shukan Asahi and AERA: These magazines offer a smorgasbord of topics in a language that is not as complex as newspapers, bridging the gap between beginner and advanced materials. 
  • AERA: Another gem published by Asahi Shimbun, AERA provides easy-to-understand news articles about Japanese society and culture. It’s a more informal and approachable way of engaging with current events.  

Fun Facts about Japanese Newspapers: –  

    • Japanese newspapers are unique. They usually print vertically from right to left, which might seem unconventional at first but adds to the charm of learning Japanese.  
    • Also, did you know that despite the digital age, print newspapers are still incredibly popular in Japan?  
    • That’s right Japan’s newspaper distribution rates are among the highest in the world. The blend of respect for tradition and modernity is a defining aspect of Japanese culture that’s reflected in the popularity of print newspapers, even in the digital era.  
    • Also, the Japanese newspaper industry is unique in its morning and evening editions, allowing readers to stay informed throughout the day. Newspapers like Asahi Shimbun and Yomiuri Shimbun even have English editions, proving the global reach and inclusivity of Japanese journalism. 

    Proven Approaches for Learning Japanese Effectively through Newspapers: – 

    • Start with Your Interest: Choose articles on topics you’re interested in. This will make your reading experience enjoyable and will keep you motivated to learn. 
    •  Use a Japanese Dictionary: When you encounter unfamiliar words, look them up in a Japanese-English dictionary. There are also plenty of good electronic dictionaries and apps available that can make this process easier and faster. 
    •  Note Down New Vocabulary: Keep a notebook or digital document where you write down new words and phrases you come across. Try to review and practice these regularly. 
    •  Read Aloud: Reading the articles aloud can help improve your pronunciation and fluency. It also aids in better memorization of new vocabulary. 
    •  Use Bilingual Resources: Starting with bilingual newspapers and magazines can be helpful. You can compare the English and Japanese versions of the same article to better understand the sentence structure and vocabulary usage. 

    Frequently Asked Questions: –  

    Q1: Why should I use newspapers to learn Japanese? 

     A: Newspapers provide real-world, up-to-date language usage, including vocabulary and grammar structures. They also give insights into Japanese society, culture, and current events. 

    Q2: Are newspapers suitable for beginners learning Japanese? 

    A: While some newspapers can be challenging for beginners due to their use of complex language and kanji, there are newspapers and resources designed for beginners, such as NHK News Web Easy and The Japan Times ST. 

    Q3: How can magazines help me learn Japanese? 

     A: Magazines often cover a wider range of topics and may use simpler language than newspapers, making them a good option for intermediate learners.  

    They can also help you learn about Japanese pop culture and lifestyle. 

    Q4: How can I integrate reading newspapers into my Japanese learning routine? 

    A: Start by setting aside a specific time each day to read. Begin with shorter articles or the beginner resources, gradually moving to longer or more complex articles as your proficiency improves. 

    Q5: How can I understand the kanji in Japanese newspapers? 

     A: For beginners, try starting with newspapers that provide furigana next to the kanji. As you progress, you can begin to phase out these aids and attempt to read the kanji directly.    

    Wrapping Up and Moving Forward : – 

    Embarking on a journey to learn a new language, especially one as beautiful and complex as Japanese, is no less than an adventure. Using newspapers and magazines as your guide, you’ll not only enhance your language skills but also gain a deeper understanding of Japanese culture and society. 

    Beginning with beginner-friendly options like NHK News Web Easy or The Japan Times ST can make the process less intimidating and more enjoyable. As your confidence grows, you can explore more challenging options, like Yomiuri Shimbun or Asahi Shimbun. 

    Magazines like Hiragana Times, Shukan Asahi, and AERA provide a fun and engaging way to diversify your learning resources. And remember, the journey of learning is filled with small victories and moments of revelation – celebrate them all. 

    Armed with your favorite hot drink and a comfortable corner, venture into the wonderful world of Japanese language and culture through newspapers and magazines. At Curiotory, we’re here to ensure your journey is as enjoyable and rewarding as possible. 

    Let’s embrace the joy of learning and continue exploring!