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Writing tweets in Japanese

Using Twitter can be a good way to practice a language you’re learning. The enforced shortness of tweets means that you don’t have to- you can’t, in fact- write long essays, and the nature of tweeting means that you don’t have to worry about formality, etc., too much.
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Showing emotions in Japanese

If you read Japanese blogs, emails, Twitter messages, etc., you’ll probably have noticed ‘faces’ in the text, the equivalent of emoticons. These faces are known as 顔文字 (kaomoji; literally, face characters), and can be as simple as this: (^○^)
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Trams in Hiroshima

When many cities in Japan chose to dismantle their tram systems, Hiroshima kept its network, and now the city boasts the most extensive tram network in Japan. The company is called ‘Hiroshima Dentetsu’, shortened to ‘Hiroden’. Trams run from the JR station to the centre of the city, to the port, to a number of suburbs, and to Miyajima-guchi (from where ferries run to Miyajima).
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Twitter Japanese: なう

If you’re following Japanese speakers on Twitter, you’ll probably notice sooner or later a tweet ending in なう (‘nau’). This isn’t a word you’ll find in any dictionary, though, so what does it mean?
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Seishun 18-kippu

The Seishun 18-kippu (‘18′ is pronounced ‘ju-hachi’) is a ticket valid for unlimited travel on JR lines, for 5 days.
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Recent Articles

14
Nov

Random Japanese: 増築

Reading: ぞうちく

This means ‘an extension to a building’. The verb is 増築する.

11
Nov

Random Japanese: 外観

Reading: がいかん

This word means ‘outward appearance’.

10
Nov

Random Japanese: 鮮魚

Reading: せんぎょ

This word means ‘fresh fish’, often when talking about fish prepared for eating or cooking, for example the fish on sale at a supermarket.

9
Nov

Hiroshima Castle Chrysanthemum Exhibition

Chrysanthemums at the exhibition currently being held in the grounds of Hiroshima Castle.

9
Nov

Random Japanese: マンション

This word is obviously derived from the English ‘mansion’- but it doesn’t mean a huge, palatial residence with stone lions, fountains, and all the rest. Unfortunately. What it does mean is a modern apartment, normally in a largish tower block. Older-style apartments, normally in smaller blocks, are referred to as アパート. This word, too, is from English: it is derived from ‘apartment’.

9
Nov

Shimo-Fukawa Station

A train bound for Karuga arriving at Shimo-Fukawa Station (下深川駅:しもふかわえき), on the JR Geibi Line, in Hiroshima.

9
Nov

Kumura Station

Trains around Kumura Station (玖村駅:くむらえき), on the JR Geibi Line, in Hiroshima.

9
Nov

Random Japanese: 空模様

Reading: そらもよう

This word means ‘the look of the sky’- so, whether it’s cloudy, fine, etc.

8
Nov

Shukkeien Chrysanthemum Exhibition

Chrysanthemums at the exhibition currently being held in Shukkeien Garden, Hiroshima.

7
Nov

Chrysanthemum exhibition

The centrepiece of an exhibition of chrysanthemums currently being held in the grounds of Hiroshima Castle. As can be seen, within the display are two koi carp; Hiroshima Castle is known as ‘Rijo’ (鯉城:りじょう), or ‘Carp Castle’. The exhibition is open from 10:00 to 17:00, until November 14th.

There is also a similar, but smaller (and without fish!) exhibition of chrysanthemums at Shukkeien Garden, just a short walk from Hiroshima Castle. This exhibition also runs until November 14th.