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Japanese Newspaper Compounds: The 1000 Most Important in Order Frequency

Japanese Kanji Book Recommendation

An excellent Japanese kanji book recommendation for people who want to improve their chances of understanding a Japanese newspaper.

The book contains the 1,000 most important kanji compounds found in Japanese newspapers. Although the book is rather old and is now out of print, it is still a very valid publication worth having on your shelf.

Click here for the Amazon link.

Japanese Newspaper Compounds: The 1000 Most Important in Order Frequency
Japanese Newspaper Compounds: The 1000 Most Important in Order Frequency


Japan Local Living Guides

Japan Living Guides – Helping Foreigners

Japan Living Guides (seikatsu gaido)

Many people are unaware of these Japan living guides which are put together by local governments in order to help foreign residents with matters relating to daily life.

Use these links to access living guides for the below major cities;

The Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR) also has a good collection of general information about life in Japan in over ten languages.

You can usually get living guides in print at ward offices and international centers and the such, however the most convenient way is usually to just look at them online (I still recommend getting one in print though… you never know when you’ll need the information in a disaster when there is no power/internet connectivity etc.).

Still can’t find the information you need?

If you don’t find the detailed information you require for more complex situations, then the guide will at least be able to point you in the right direction, or provide you with a contact point. Make sure you check out the back pages for contact numbers and addresses.

Many cities also offer a free interpreter service for civic matters. Make sure you ask your local ward office if you’re ever stuck (although they should offer the service to you regardless). If you have to ask in Japanese, say tsūyaku onegaishimasu (通訳お願いします).

What’s covered?

The type of areas covered in these guides can vary, but they can be summarised as below;

  • Housing
  • Marriage, Divorce, Residence Issues
  • Hospitals, Insurance, Pensions
  • Jobs
  • Waste Separation and Collection
  • Children and Education
  • Elderly and Disabled Persons
  • Transportation
  • Earthquakes, Typhoons, and Floods
  • Contacting Ward Offices
  • How do you separate all the different types of rubbish?
  • Who do you contact for tax matters?
  • What is a local health center and where is your closest one?

Japan Living Guides


Jgram – Short for “A great website for learning Japanese grammar”


Grammar is not everyone’s favorite part of language learning. We all know that. How do you go about learning all the different structures in Japanese? There are so many different structures, and looking them up can be a real challenge sometimes. Many don’t have English equivalents, and using a dictionary is almost always useless.

Enter “Jgram“!

It’s so easy to look up structures and see actual examples in context.

It’s free to use and has a very intuitive interface. It’s also easy to copy and paste into a spreadsheet so you can make your own lists, and if you’re really keen, create Anki decks with.

You’ll find it has also been conveniently categorized into JLPT levels, making it even more useful when studying for that nasty grammar section.

Make sure you check it out. It is highly recommended.

Japan Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment - graphic

Japan Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment

Japan Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment

You can apply for the lump-sum withdrawal payments if you have the Japanese public pension coverage periods for 6 months or longer. Once you receive your payments, however, your coverage periods for the basis of the payments entitlement will no longer be valid to apply for other Japanese benefits.

For more information on how to get your pension payments back if you leave Japan, please see the official Japan Pension Service website.