Japan Info

Getting to know Japan: links to major sites on Japan, online magazine sites, Japanese language (Nihongo) sites, kanji learning, finding jobs in Japan. Most sites listed here are in English. This site is run by Sam Ito, a former Japan Times editor. 日本を知る・紹介するサイトのリンク(海外向け)。多くは英文です。To properly view garbled characters, if any, your PC needs a Japanese-character decoder (or go to this site for help). 

General sites
Jobs in Japan    How to be a writer in Japan  
Japanese language  ESL  
Online communities  
International parties
Outdoor fun

General sites on Japan 日本についてのサイト

www.japantoday.com Japan Guide, news, discussion, jobs, bars, dating...

Japan Information Network日本についての総合英語情報、文化、統計、祝日... Japan statistics, culture, etc. Great for research purposes.

Japan Portal  original web address   news, press releases, immigration procedures, event schedules in English, Chinese and Korean, launched by Kyodo News in December 2011

www.japanreference.com Japan-related links

www.jnto.go.jp/eng  The Japan National Tourist Organization  

All about Japan http://allabout.co.jp 


Web Japan   Gateway for all Japanese information: politics, economy, culture, ...

Jim Breen's Japanese Page   Lots of links to computing, Nihongo sites

piqniq.jp  Piqniq is a social network for English-speaking families living in Japan. Our goal is to create a Japan-specific online community and information resource to help you and your family get things done in a country where simple tasks can easily become complicated.    cf. JT ad 06/11/28p1 

Japan Focus  politics, economics, society, culture

Kids Web Japan 日本についての英語総合情報。公的サイト。基本的なことをやさしく学べます。

ジャパン・ナレッジ www.japanknowledge.com/ costs \1,500/month. Encyclopedia of Japan, etc. ワンルック検索が便利

www.japan-guide.com Schauwecker's Guide to Japan  

The Quirky Japan Homepage http://www3.tky.3web.ne.jp/~edjacob/ 

日英対訳 日本文化キーワード事典 www.japanlink.co.jp/ka/index.html 


Live/In/Japan 日本在住の方が作った日本紹介。うがった見方もあり面白い。

THE JAPAN FAQ: KNOW BEFORE YOU GO (OR: WHAT I WISH I KNEW BEFORE....) The Complete Guide to Working, Visiting, and Living in Japan

Stanford Japan Guide Comprehensive. 

Akibanana.com  Akihabara in English

Blogs:   Japan Economy News & Blog   Japan Probe 

Manga Guide to Japan

Emergencies, visas, embassies, government offices

Police 110 (phone number. This is an equivalent of 911 in the U.S.)
Fire/Ambulance 119
  English speakers available -- just say something in English and wait for an interpreter. A guide

Medical Resources in Japan  (U.S. embassy, list of English-speaking doctors)

Search TOKYO hospitals/clinics by location/station. Find English-speaking doctors, enquiries on Japanese medical system. Emergency translation services through phone when you are visiting a doctor. ("Himawari" English version)

Medical Interview Sheet Translation System (M3)  Select your symptoms in English and M3 translates them to the other languages.

 Fire prevention

Earthquake preparedness  Big survival manual  Post-earthquake relief (Tokyo)  Keep tall/heavy furniture pieces away from you bed. During a quake, they would fly in the air to crush your brain in your sleep. 5,000 people were crushed to death in the 1995 Kobe quake.

Japan Helpline  Emergency help. "Whether it is an earthquake, the subway gas attack, or just a toothache in the middle of the night, we are always first to help as Japan's only 24 hour, nationwide assistance service for the international community."

Emergency calls (Minato City site)

Anti-stalking law (Nov. 2000) in Japanese.  

Tokyo police information and inquiries. For info on police related matters or for giving opinions and placing requests, call 03-3501-0110 (dialing phone)  or #9110 (touch-tone phone)  8:30a.m. to 5:15p.m. on weekdays. Crime, driver's license, lost and found.

Guide for foreign residents (Tokyo)

U.S. passports; driving in Japan; marriage in Japan (U.S. embassy)

Visas (Education Japan site)

Immigration offices in Japan  (JapanVisitor site)

Foreign resident registration -- see local government sites. Tokyo  

Japanese Citizenship Issues/ dual citizenship  

Tax agency

Arrests and jail in Japan   Visit the "Safety and Security" section of the American Citizens Services page on the Web site of the U.S. Consulate in Japan

Your country's embassy in Japan

Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Foreign Ministry, Gaimusho)

Japanese government offices 

United Nations 

U.S. government 米政府リンク FirstGov FirstGov for Kids The White House  Library of Congress  
Japan govt Japan Information Network Prime Minister Government links 電子政府の総合窓口(検索) 全省庁横断検索 財務省 駐日大使館・国際機関 


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Finding jobs in Japan (English or bilingual sites)

Your first move: Those living outside Japan need to get work visas. Whatever you wish to do in Japan eventually (such as working at The Japan Times as journalist), your first move is to get whatever job you can, get a work visa and live in Japan. 
Once you are here, you can contact the firms of your dreams and see if they are interested in hiring you. Most firms are reluctant to hire anybody contacting them from overseas. 
Many non-Japanese working in Japan started as an English teacher. It's the easiest job to get, yet teachers are highly respected here. You might want to take a course in Teaching English as a Second Language before flying to Japan. It would look impressive on your resume.

JET Programme Teach English at Japan's public schools at the invitation of the Government of Japan. Tens of thousands have already done so! Probably the best way to get a work visa and launch a Japan-related career. The monthly pay is 300,000 yen, considerably higher than the pay for young Japanese teachers.

http://www.jetprogramme.org/index.html JET

www.jetprogramme.com  JET体験談・日本で教えるためのアドバイス  JET(Japan Exchange and Teaching program) でALTとして1998-99年に長野高校で教えた英国人David Chandlerさんのサイト。JETで日本に行く人たちのため、彼はThe JET Programme: Getting Both Feet Wetという本を書いた(紹介記事The Japan Times 01/6/22p15

BigDaikon,com  is the place for past, present and future JETs

ELT News  English teaching in Japan

British Council   Resources for JETs

Big English/other languge conversation schools:

Some of them, including AEON, recruit outside Japan.

GEOS     AEON   Gaba      NOVA --- under new management following a 2007 bankruptcy  No sex  Culture clash  

東京外国人雇用サービスセンター  Tokyo Employment Service Center for Foreigners Full of tips. A government site for those with visas.

JobTimes a bilingual job search, run by The Japan Times 

Pick up The Japan Times on a Monday for the largest selection of jobs in Japan for English-speaking people. See Classified ads.

国際日本語研修協会 日本で勉強している留学生のためのアルバイト情報 in Japanese



Career Cross Japan http://www.careercross.com

GaijinPot http://www.gaijinpot.com

JapanEnglishTeacher.com  searches English-teaching jobs across Japan

Jobs in Japan http://www.jobsinjapan.com

Job Seek Japan http://www.jobseekjapan.com

Michael Page Japan http://www.michaelpage.co.jp 

Stoneman Corporation http://www.stonemancorp.com 

Let's Japan information about the realities of teaching eikaiwa 

スペースアルク国際派就職 for Japanese

www.eigoJob.com  for Japanese

How to be a writer/journalist in Japan

Your first move: Get a journalism degree or attend a course in a related field. This is not required, but will stand out in your resume. Better still if you have a writing/editing job experience back home. Employers pay attention when qualified people apply for a position.  
Write something. It must be readable, and your grammar must be perfect. Get it published if possible in your local paper or on the web. Or you can open a site and publish your essays yourself. If you do, don't forget to put the site's address on your resume to try to impress potential employers.

If you are already in Japan:
Look out for job openings on newspaper classifieds (Mondays in the case of The Japan Times and Wednesdays on http://jobs.japantimes.jp/ ). 
All the Japan Times wants ads for its journalists are placed on the paper's classified ad pages. In addition, I have seen ads placed by Reuters, Nikkei, BBC, Asahi, Bloomberg, and a lot of magazines.  
If you can't find an opening for a writing position, look for a "COPY EDITOR wanted" ad. If you can get a copy editor job, you will soon get to know the page editors in the office. Talk to them about your story ideas and ask them to let you write something on their pages.  
When you apply for a full journalist job, you will be required to present published samples of your writing, readable and free of grammar errors.
In addition to a resume, you will also need to write a cover letter -- a brief summary to let your potential employer know that you have some experience in the field and a degree in media studies. 
You might want to start by getting a freelance job at magazines, such as Metropolis and Tokyo Weekender.


There aren't that many writing positions in Japan, and some firms don't even bother to place wanted ads. You may need to contact them to see if there have openings.
Write a resume, and email it along with your writing samples to the managing editors of the media firms. A list of the major media is in the News section. Ask to see if there are openings; if not, ask them to put you on the waiting list. 
Meanwhile, you may want to register at temp firms that send temp writers/editors to media firms. I believe Manpower does.

Recommended books:   Associated Press Guide to Newswriting    Associated Press Stylebook

So You Want to be a Writer (in Japan)?  How to be a writer  Find a freelance writing job  How to write and get published   Writing job application letters  Resume writing 

Google on "be a writer

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Japanese language Nihongo (Learning Japanese) 日本語学習。-- Kanji 漢字学習(日本語が外国語の方用)など

Rikai.com www.rikai.com Online character translator. If you speak some Japanese but cannot read kanji, just enter the URL of the site you want to read, and Rikai will help!

Georgia Institute of Technology Online Japanese course, with graphics

Nihongo Mailing List http://homepage.mac.com/nihongoml/ 

Kanji Clinic  www.kanjiclinic.com  great tips, links

TheJapanesePage.com  flash cards, grammar, culture

Smart.fm  flash cards     easy to create your own    iKnow (flash-card app), Dictation (type what you hear),  BrainSpeed (a game)  

NihongoUp  flash card app

ReadTheKanji  Kanji flash cards

E-Kanji www.geocities.com/easykanji  dictionary

Reading Tutor   dictionary. etc.  日本語版:「リーディングチュウ太

http://sp.cis.iwate-u.ac.jp/sp/lesson/j/doc/furigana.html accessing the Goo furigana service   the page will be returned to you with furigana added to all kanji.

ひらひらの ふりがねめがね furigana

Nihongo Web  downloadable visual aids

Basic Conversation (medical terms, etc.)  This Miyazaki Prefecture site contains lots of helpful tips for living in Japan.

Learn Japanese Through Anime   
"Learn the technique that got me speaking fluent Japanese in less than 1 year"    With videos.  "... it was in this crazy language with English subtitles. I didn’t quite know what I was getting into back then and it was a little weird at first but I just decided to watch it. And I got hooked! ... it was like a whole new world opened up to me. ... And to be honest it was what I needed at the time ... --------------- I started like most people, with a few websites and America’s “favorite” language program, Rosetta Stone. ... From there I jumped to Pimsluers and a little known 1980’s TV show called “Let’s Learn Japanese”... from there I decided to take matters a bit more into my own hands. I had the basics of the language so I began to teach myself Japanese. I used actual words and sentences from the shows I was watching, developed a way to use the English subtitles as a teaching method, and researched casual Japanese." 

Five-Minute Japanese 

Genki  Japanese conversation textbook series published by The Japan Times, Ltd.

BILINGUAL is a Japanese study section appearing every Thursday in The Japan Times. 

Hiragana Times A bilingual monthly. Every Japanese story comes with an English translation, with furigana on all kanjis. There is a Web version, too. 

J-Life Free magazine for students of Japanese   日本に暮らすさまざまな国籍の人々と一緒に作っていくフリーペーパー JT05/10/8p3

eduFire  video learning



Nippon Voice Blog  www.JapanesePod101.com Kanda Podsayings Japanese Classical Literature at Bedtime Learn Japan 

Japanese language schools   in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto

www.alpha.ac.jp Business Japanese, 日本語教師養成講座も   

www.ajalt.org Japanese for busy people

www.naganuma-school.or.jp   www.ala-japan.com 日本語教師養成講座も    www.arc.eg.com/nihongo/  www.kaij.jp   www.evergreen.gr.jp  www.sng.ac.jp www.incul.com 日本語教師養成講座も   www.nichibei.ac.jp/jli  www.kicl.net  

Business Japanese Proficiency Test  www.jetro.go.jp/bjt 

Learn Japanese

ESL  These sites are popular with Japanese people learning English

Major sites アルク 伊藤サム 無料英語学習.com 英語を学ぶすべての人へ 英語かけこみ寺 エイゴタウン 百万人の英語 英語ナビ 英語と闘うぺぇじ かかってこい!英会話 英語大好きおどろきワールド 創育English  読めて聴ける英語  英語独学室 A.C.E. 英語のお勉強  英語TOEIC英検の勉強法  ★English Club  Antimoon.com BBC World Service English as 2nd language
Bilingual papers 週刊ST  Asahi Weekly Mainichi Weekly 

Amazon sites

Amazon Japan (free domestic shipping for orders \1,500 or higher), bestseller/ESL links

Search: For English-speaking customers
 英語 サム

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Amazon (U.S.) nonfiction bestsellers; Japanese language bestsellers

In Association with Amazon.com


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Online magazines

Tokyo Weekender  


http://www.tokyo.to Tokyo Journal


http://kto.co.jp Kansai Time Out


http://www.twics.com/~anzu/index.html The New Observer



pop culture

www.midnighteye.com/index.php movies

www.japan-zone.com/modern/index.shtml movie stars, ...

www.peter.hoflich.com/JapanMusic.html music guide

www.airmassive.com Japanese pop culture, especially the music scene

www.sunfield.ne.jp/~mike/index2.htm Radio JFDS's   Japanese Oldies

www.anchovyrecords.com music label

www.realtokyo.com club

www.photojpan.org/showcase/index.html Photo Japan

www.art-japan.com/e online art gallery, street fashions of Harajuku youth

www.stomptokyo.com/godzillatemple for Godzilla fans

www.bekoku-ongaku.com/index_e.html Beikoku Ongaku music magazine

www.compositemag.com/composite/e/e_main.html fashion magazine


www.plus81.com graphic design magazine

www.shift.jp.org graphic designers

www.skijapanguide.com/index.php Ski Japan Guide

www.skysoft.co.jp books

www2.gol.com/users/coynerhm/understanding_japan.htm  Understanding Japan

www.coolgirlsjapan.com/home_e.html independent young women

www.esake.com sake expert

www.blacktokyo.com/webring/index.html Tokyo's first black urban web site

www.gate39.com all aspects of life in Japan

www.japanhomesearch.com H&R Consultants   upscale accommodation

www.geocities.co.jp/Berkeley/1131 Internet Free Riders

www.ispjapan.org    Internet Service Provider    guide to types of Internet access in Japan

www.keibunsha.com The Japan Tatoo Institute

Socializing sites, online communities

Friendster.com  Link friends and friends of friends!

MySpace.com  For music fanatics.

Orkut.com  Invitation only.

TheFaceBook.com  For students.

Beautifulpeople.net(U.S.) Beautifulpeople.net(Japanese) It's "online dating minuse ugly people." The Japan Times 07/12/4p18 

www.GuessWhatIHeard.com  For the easily amused.

www.Tribe.com For the indecisive.

43things.com  For goal-oriented people.

Gaijin discussion sites


BigDaikon,com  is the place for past, present and future JETs.

■e-mail discussion groups

CataList www.lsoft.com/catalist.html  

International parties: make new friends in Tokyo and elsewhere

Tokyo Friends     

Search other international parties 

Outdoor fun

Snow Japan . www.snowjapan.com   "the ultimate guide to winter sports in Japan, and popular online interactive community"

Outdoor Japan   includes Onsen (spa) Guide

www.sunfield.ne.jp/~mike Japan from the Driver's Seat

Nature tours with Chris Cook   

www.outdoorjapan.com  You can meet Japanese and non-Japanese people through activities. like hiking, camping, hot springs, cycling, boating, rock climbing and more

Japan Cycling Navigator www.t3.rim.or.jp/~sayori/ 

Kampgrounds of America www.koa.com/where/japan  has their own Internet access

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Travel agencies (flights, tours):NumberOneTravel AcrossTravel JTB Kinki HIS  

Travel search engines (global ones)

    Popular: Orbitz Travelocity Expedia 

    Travel aggregators: www.cheapflights.com yahoo.farechase.com www.kayak.com www.mobissimo.com www.sidestep.com 

Tokyo subway map Japan maps 


Japan for Visitors http://gojapan.about.com/ 

Tokyo Yokohama Information for Overseas Visitors

www.ease.com/~randyj/rjjapani.htm Favorite getaways in rural Japan

www.jandodd.com/japan travel guide

www.admillion.com/j-guide/index.htm  Japan Sight-Seeing Guide    47 prefectures of Japan

www.geocities.com/TheTropics/Cove/5750/index.html  Japanese Railways Page.


 The Wind Site: Roommate and Guest Houses in Japan  Inexpensive and fun!

Japanese Inn Group   The most popular is the Sawanoya, a great place to meet other travelers

Japanese Guest Houses  Reserve a room at a "ryokan" (traditional Japanese inn) anywhere in Japan. Free reservation service. Maps

Google > Japan > Travel and Tourism Click "Lodging."

■Apartments for rent

Welcome Chintai   Run by the Japan Property Management Association.

Anshin-Chintai あんしん賃貸(Safe Rental Housing) This government-run site includes  a limited data base of apartments for rent that readily accept non-Japanese. Useful if you face housing discrimination against foreigners. 

The-You Inc.  

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English-language dailies The Japan Times    Asahi.com English IHT/Asahi   Daily Yomiuri  Mainichi Daily News  Nikkei Net Interactive  Stars & Stripes 
Magazines   Metropolis  Tokyo Weekender
Non-Japanese media Google News  Lycos News Search  NewsonJapan.com 
NHK World  CNN (対話記録Transcripts) CNN日本 New York Times(検索1996- 過去一週本文無料p1 Washington Post p1 KidsPost Financial Times USA Today(米最大紙) NewsDirectory.com(全新聞・雑誌サイト検索) 英米の厳選サイト(メディア・官庁・団体 「浦・市・図書館活用ガイド」)  新聞の街角(日本・世界中の新聞・雑誌) 
Japanese-language dailies/news 朝日新聞 Yahooニュース  Exciteニュース(34社) Infoseekニュース   佐賀新聞(記事データベースを全国の新聞社では唯一無料で公開。現在は紙面に印刷されているIDが必要) 読売新聞 毎日新聞(過去記事検索) 日経(経済情報検索、就職ナビ...) 産経(バックナンバー検索、「正論」JT対訳 東京新聞 便利コム!! 日本の厳選サイト(「浦・市・図書館活用ガイド」 他メディア(日本新聞協会) 


■Politics 1980代政治年表 
Weather Yahoo!Weather 
■Train schedules/car rentals 乗換 ニッポンレンタカー 
■PC @nifty dion  ブロードバンド情報RBB・NTT西  マイホームページ ホームページ作り方教室 Html Tutorial ★Table Generator ニュース配信 キーワード News Handler test  
■Health オリコンメディカル けんぽれん病院情報 日本医師会病気チェック椎間板  
■TV SkyPerfecTV! SuperChannel GLC  
大江戸温泉  La Qua 豊島園庭の湯    
WannaLearn.com Howstuffworks  国立国会図書館(Diet Library) 東京大学総合博物館憲法画像など) アジア歴史資料センターwww.jacar.go.jp 音楽と80s世相年表(ongaku.tv) 
郵便番号検索 日本地名の読み方 学者牛(日本地名・国名・人名・誕生日) Behind The Name(英語人名由来)  
■Others イベントナビ www.eventnavi.ne.jp  ぐるナビ What is Tokyo? 

Google > Japan Everything about Japan is here.

non-Japan sites

Friends Reunited traces old school friends.

www.1837online.com traces your British ancestors. It indexes every birth, marriage and death in England and Wales since records were centralized in 1837.

e-magazines  Ezine Directory www.ezine-dir.com   

Thanks for your feedback! 

Contact webmaster  Your comments may be quoted on my site/books. Requests for anonymity will be honored. 

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○Hey Sam!

I really love your massive list of japan related sites, and refer people to it all the time.


But I was wondering if it would be possible to request a site to this awesome resource.

Namely its my site, so I know, obviously I think its a great site, but I'd like you to overlook my biased opinion, and consider it solely based on content.

It's http://www.japanesethroughanime.com/  

I upload tons of free Japanese video lessons and blog posts, and even have a free Japanese newsletter people can subscribe to as well.

In any event though, thanks so much for your time and consideration!

Take care,



Hi Ken,

I just read some your essays and they were all very interesting and informative, including how you got hooked on the language and how you overcame teenage troubles. Many people will benefit by learning about the practical ways you mastered Japanese. So I'll be placing a link to your site.


Thanks and gambatte, 




Hi Sam!

Oh thank you so much! I'm really glad you enjoyed it :)


Take care,



ian gumbrell2007/09/07 11:04
こんにちわ私はian gumbrellといいます。イギリスのブライトンからきました。愛知県豊橋市にすんでいます。



○oita bridger  Jul/15/03

Hi, Sam, 

You do have one of the greatest collection of links and all!

I have not seen a collection like this kind anywhere.

Please do keep up the good work.


You can call me Simon.

My job is bridging so I call myself the "bridger" 


○You should list the Snow Japan website on your page, it would be useful as it is an excellent site. www.snowjapan.com

Pete Jun/7/04

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