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Are Audiobooks the Key to Improving Your Japanese? Tips for learning Japanese and how to choose an audiobook

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Illustrations inspired by audiobooks

Audiobooks are an effective tool for learners of Japanese. They allow students to be exposed to native speakers' pronunciation and natural conversational expressions, which helps to improve their listening skills. In addition, since you can study while commuting to work or doing housework, you can learn Japanese efficiently in your busy daily life.

In this article, we will introduce tips for learning Japanese through audiobooks, recommended services, and selected recommendations. Please incorporate audiobooks in a way that suits you, and learn Japanese in a fun and effective way.

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Why audiobooks are effective for learning Japanese and their benefits

Audiobooks are a very effective tool for learners of Japanese. The reasons for this are the following advantages

1. exposure to native pronunciation and natural conversational expressions

Audiobooks are recorded by professional narrators and voice actors, so you will be exposed to the correct pronunciation and natural conversational expressions of native speakers. This helps to deepen your understanding of the phonetic aspects of Japanese and improve your listening skills. You can also learn natural expressions and phrases used in daily conversation, which will be useful in actual communication.

2. study at any time and any place

Since audiobooks can be easily played on smartphones, tablets, and PCs, you can use your spare time while commuting to work or doing household chores to advance your Japanese language study. In addition, by downloading the audio data, you can continue learning even in places where there is no Internet connection.

3. reading comprehension and listening skills can be developed at the same time

By listening to audiobooks and using subtitles or books together, you can develop your reading comprehension and listening skills at the same time. By following the text with your eyes and listening to the audio through your ears, you will deepen your understanding of Japanese vocabulary and grammatical structures. In addition, by imaginatively visualizing the development of the story in your brain, you will also develop your ability to express yourself in Japanese.

4. exposure to a diverse range of genres

Audiobooks are available in a variety of genres, including novels, literary works, business books, and self-help books. By choosing works in your area of interest, you can easily maintain your motivation to learn Japanese. In addition, by being exposed to works in genres you would not normally read, you can broaden your Japanese language expression and vocabulary.

5. through repeated listening, vocabulary and expressions are naturally acquired.

Because audiobooks can be listened to over and over again, vocabulary and expressions are naturally acquired. Even if you did not understand a part the first time you listened to it, you will gradually deepen your understanding by listening to it repeatedly. In addition, you can effectively improve your listening skills by concentrating on the parts you did not understand.

As described above, audiobooks have many effective advantages for learning Japanese. By selecting the content that suits you best and using it continuously, you will be able to improve your Japanese language skills while having fun at the same time.

How to Select Audiobooks for Japanese Language Study

When using audiobooks for learning Japanese, it is important to choose contents that match your level and objectives. Here, we will explain the key points for selecting audiobooks.

Choose the content that fits your level!

When choosing an audiobook, it is important for learners of Japanese to select content appropriate to their level. Beginner-level students should start with children's books and simple stories written in easy Japanese. Intermediate students should try works depicting Japanese culture and daily life. Advanced students should try to tackle literary works and specialized content.

Check the quality and speed of narration.

When choosing an audiobook, also check the quality and speed of the narration. Check to see if the pronunciation is clear and easy to understand, and if it is read at a natural speed, and choose the one that best suits your needs. Listening to sample audiobooks is a good way to make a decision.

Recommended for use with subtitles and books.

It is also recommended to use subtitles and books together while listening to audiobooks. By following the Japanese language through your ears with your eyes, you can simultaneously train your reading and listening comprehension skills. Also, if there are words or expressions you do not understand, you can check them in the books.

Recommended Audiobook Services for Learning Japanese

Audiobooks can help you learn Japanese more effectively. Here we introduce some audiobook services recommended for learners of Japanese.

service nameprice rangeNumber of contentsfree trial (e.g. of software, game, etc.)feature
Audible1,500 yen per monthMore than 200,000 booksYes (30 days)amazon prime membership benefits, plenty of unique content
audiobook.comFrom 500 yen/monthMore than 10,000 booksYes (2 weeks)Largest selection in the country, affordable pricing


Audible is one of the world's largest audiobook services provided by Amazon. It offers a wide range of content in Japanese, from masterpieces of Japanese literature to contemporary novels and language learning materials.

Audible features high-quality readings by professional narrators and easy-to-use smartphone apps. You can adjust the playback speed on the app and set up bookmarks.

Audible also offers a monthly subscription plan and benefits for Amazon Prime members, so you can choose the plan that best suits your needs.

A particular recommendation on Audible is the Harry Potter series. This reading, by world-renowned actor Stephen Fry, is extremely popular.

For more information: ▶︎ Books Let's Listen - Audible is one of the largest audiobook services in Japan. With a wide selection of Japanese-language content, audiobooks are available in a variety of genres, including novels, literary works, business books, self-help books, and more. features an easy-to-use application and affordable pricing. With a monthly plan, you can purchase one audiobook per month, or enjoy any other audiobook you like for an additional fee. also offers a wide range of content for learners of Japanese. There is a large selection of Japanese language materials and works for learning Japanese culture that can be useful for studying Japanese.

A particularly recommended work is the audiobook of "How Do You Live? It is favored by many listeners and has become a topic of conversation, especially among the younger generation.

For more information: ▶︎ Listen to unlimited audiobooks -

Recommended Audiobooks by Level

When choosing an audiobook, it is important for learners of Japanese to select content appropriate for their level. Here are some recommended audiobooks by level, from beginner to advanced.

Easy Japanese content for beginners

For beginner-level learners of Japanese, we recommend content written in easy Japanese. They contain less difficult vocabulary and expressions, and the stories are easy to understand, making them ideal for developing listening skills.

  • The "Nihon mukashi banashi" series: Japanese folktales that everyone knows can be enjoyed in easy Japanese.
  • Nihongo Multilingual Reading Books" series: Level-specific reading materials written for learners of Japanese.

Works depicting Japanese culture and daily life for intermediate level students

For intermediate-level learners of Japanese, we recommend works depicting Japanese culture and daily life. You can learn about living Japanese expressions, the Japanese way of thinking, customs, and so on.

  • Banana Flame" (Kazushi Watanabe): Humorous essay on daily life. Japanese culture and customs are depicted.
  • The "Novels to Understand the Japanese Mind" series: A collection of works depicting the lives and relationships of modern Japanese people.

Advanced literary works and specialized content

For advanced learners of Japanese, we recommend literary works and specialized content. Advanced vocabulary, expressions, and understanding of complex topics can further enhance your Japanese language skills.

  • Kokoro" (Natsume Soseki): A masterpiece of Japanese literature. Complex human psychology is skillfully depicted.
  • History of Japan" series: Audiobooks that explain Japanese history by period.

Effective Learning with Audiobooks

While listening to audiobooks alone will improve your Japanese language skills, there are some tricks to learning more effectively. Here we will introduce some effective ways to study using audiobooks.

Allow time for focused listening

When listening to an audiobook, set aside time to concentrate and listen. It is important to listen while understanding the content, rather than listening while doing other tasks.

Acquire vocabulary and expressions by listening repeatedly

By listening to the same audiobook repeatedly, you will naturally learn vocabulary and expressions. If you don't understand a word, look it up in the dictionary or write it down.

Shadowing to familiarize yourself with the mouth.

Shadowing," reading aloud while listening to an audiobook and following the narrator, is an effective way to improve pronunciation and intonation. By imitating what you hear, you can learn to speak Japanese naturally.

For those of you who want to further your studies at a Japanese language school

The Japanese language attracts attention from around the world for its rich expressiveness and profound culture. From movies, music, and literature to everyday conversation, learning Japanese is not only a way to acquire a new language, but also a gateway to a deeper cultural understanding and a broader perspective.

For those of you who want to study Japanese more seriously, enter higher education in Japan, or find a job in Japan, taking your Japanese language skills to the next level is the first step in turning your dreams into reality. There are approximately 700 Japanese language schools in Japan with various characteristics, but it is not easy to select the best school for you.

Therefore, we will do our best to help you choose the perfect Japanese language school to realize your goals and dreams! If you have any questions or concerns about Japanese language schools, please feel free to contact us using the inquiry form below.

We will provide you with the best support to meet your Japanese language learning goals. We hope that our support will make your Japanese language study more fulfilling and fruitful.

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    Audiobooks are an effective tool for learners of Japanese. Choose the content that is appropriate for your level and take advantage of the free services to continue learning in an enjoyable way. In addition to listening, you can maximize the learning effect by using audiobooks together with subtitles or books, or by shadowing to get used to speaking the language. We hope you will take advantage of our audiobooks to improve your Japanese language skills.

    In addition to audiobooks, there are various other tools and services for learning Japanese online. Please also see the following article that introduces recommended Japanese language study sites for foreigners.
    ▶︎ Learn Japanese online and have fun! Introducing the best Japanese language learning sites for foreigners.

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