Best podcasts for Japanese language learning

Discover the best podcasts for learning Japanese: a selection of engaging audio resources for all learning levels, enhancing your Japanese language journey.

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Many people think that in order to study a language, you have to learn from a tutor, sit in a classroom, or lock yourself in a room. Of course, that method is absolutely necessary. How about Best podcasts, not to mention apps? You can listen to many of them in your free time. It’s easy because all you do is listen, and it’s fun if you know what you’re doing. Podcasts online for beginners are a great starting point to familiarize yourself with the Japanese language. If you are looking for online Japanese lessons with the best Japanese teachers, click here.

Table of Contents
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Learn Japanese Pod

This podcast is the best and perfect for introductory lessons. Each episode contains conversations in Japanese on topics that the learner is interested in, such as how to book at a restaurant or how to speak in the Osaka dialect. Also, since the host speaks English, you can get the context of the phrases used in the conversation. One of the hosts, Asuka, is a native English speaker, and the other Alex is from the UK, so you don't have to follow the conversation between the two native speakers. This is a great way to find out the most important phrases for first-time learners, especially those planning a trip or study to Japan.

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The Japanese Page .com

This podcast is also the best and perfect for anyone who wants bite-sized audio lessons on a variety of introductory subjects. These episodes focus primarily on grammar and vocabulary. The website can be a little tricky to navigate, but the content is rich, and by supporting the team on their Patreon page, you can gain access to e-zines and other bonus materials. Hosts Clay and Yumi also create an e-zine for beginner and intermediate students called Makoto! also created. Each month, you will find a short story written in Japanese and an MP3 of the story read aloud at slow and normal speed.

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Let’s Talk in Japanese!

Japanese talk for foreigners studying Japanese! A friend of the Japanese teacher speaks in just the right Japanese, not too difficult and not too easy. Any levels of Japanese learners are welcome to this radio. Each title has a number from N1 to N5, which shows JLPT level.

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NHK World

What makes NHK World attractive to beginners is the simple structure of the podcast audio lessons. It is calibrated, visually clear, and easy to listen to from anywhere. Each episode is done in English combined with Japanese words and phrases. How are they used in each situation? The episodes also include scenarios performed by native Japanese speakers. The podcast also includes an interactive element to check your understanding of Japanese. There are a total of 50 lessons, some of which relate to asking for things, ordering in a restaurant, and dealing with disasters.

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Japanese - SurvivalPhrases

If you don't plan to study Japanese for a long time, but want to learn to understand a little Japanese while visiting Japan, this short podcast series is a good place to start!'s playlist "Survival Phrases" contains over a dozen episodes of simple phrases useful for travelers.

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Bilingual News

Bilingual News is one of the best podcasts for people who want to improve their listening comprehension; there are over 300 episodes of one-hour shows, so you can listen to many days' worth of material. Each host talks about a topic in his or her native language. You can listen to casual conversations about the latest news in both English and Japanese, and follow along with the transcripts available in a downloadable smartphone app.

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FUN Japanese Listening » podcast‪s‬

Do you want to improve your Japanese listening skills? This podcast is for you. Asuka, a certified Japanese language teacher, provides listening exercises so that you can pick up the appropriate exercises and practice them. The Fun Japanese Listening Podcast, hosted by Asuka, is an introductory podcast for new language learners. She speaks slowly, making it easy for even inexperienced learners to understand. She repeats phrases over and over, so you can pick up the phrases and practice them out loud.

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Japanese LingQ

Join LingQ founder Steve Kaufman, Tamaki, Hiro, and others on the JapaneseLingQ podcast, sign up for a free account at, and learn full sentences using LingQ's revolutionary learning tools! LingQ is a Japanese language learning tool. LingQ is a platform that makes it easy to learn how to read Japanese. In the app or online, you can find interesting content of varying difficulty levels while using the connected dictionary. Interesting content includes cultural differences between Japan and the US, a visit to Hawaii, and much more. Each episode features several different hosts, so you can hear a variety of voices and accents. Most episodes are about 10 to 15 minutes long.

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Tofugu is a long-running podcast. Not only do the hosts have interesting conversations about the Japanese language, but they also give practical lessons on how to count things and creatures. Episodes are about an hour long, and the hosts often indulge in tangents, talking and chatting about Japanese. There are also reviews, interviews, and a YouTube channel for travelers.

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News in Slow Japanese

Become a better listener of Japanese by listening to interesting and fun news topics. Every week, we talk about important news in easy-to-understand Japanese. Not just difficult words, but entire phrases along with kanji readings are translated with easy pop-ups. News in Slow Japanese is ideal for intermediate level learners. Registration is required to access all content, but many episodes are available for free on the website or iTunes. Typically, the episodes cover news related to Japanese culture, sleeping cafes, hot springs, ramen stores, and more. Each episode also includes a transcription of the dialogue. To improve your pronunciation, we recommend "shadowing," or speaking the script along with the presenter. You can choose to listen to the recording of the episode in either fast or slow speed.

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GoGo Abe Conversation is a mixed English/Japanese conversation podcast program that allows you to easily listen to English conversation. It is also aimed at English conversation learners, but Japanese language learners should listen to it as well. The two conversationalists basically speak only in their native languages.

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Hiiki biiki ひいきびいき

This popular podcast has an archive of 280 episodes on PodBean. The hosts, Daichi and Haruka, talk about everything from virtual reality to movies to marriage in a casual, conversational style. Both hosts are native speakers, so you can improve your comprehension skills with this podcast.

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Nihongo con Teppei

Teppei-sensei's podcasts are short episodes on how to use various phrases and grammar points in Japanese. It takes me a little while to get used to his way of speaking, but it's more a matter of intonation than difficulty. I appreciate the fact that he is putting in so much effort. He seems to be a really nice guy.

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History of Japan Podcast

This is a great podcast for anyone who wants to learn about Japanese history. Why don't you listen to this and get interested in Japanese history? Hosted by historian Isaac Mayer, this podcast will teach you everything from the history of professional wrestling to homosexuality to the Japanese bubble economy of the 1980s. Each episode lasts about 30 minutes and is always meticulously researched. This length is perfect for our short span of concentration, and if you've never been interested in history before, this is the perfect podcast for you. It's perfect for anyone who wants to learn about an interesting period in Japan's rich history.

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The Lifestyle MUSEUM

Hosted by Peter Barakan, this is a guest talk show that welcomes various guests each time to explore their own way of life and values. Discuss various topics with artists of all genres in Japan. A 30-minute program broadcast every Friday on TOKYO FM. If you are drawn to Barakan's soothing voice and are interested in design, art, and Tokyo, why not listen to it? On the Japanese side, the moderator speaks clearly, so it is easy to understand even if the vocabulary and expressions are a little difficult.

This list is based on the results of an independent survey conducted by the HH JapaNeeds team in 2023.
If you would like your podcast site to be included on this list, please contact us.

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