English-Japanese magazine that you can learn real Japan Supported over

30 years by Japan fans of the world!

Innovative editing, that you can learn Japanese language at the same time.

Read by these people


  • Those who would like to know real Japan.

  • Those who would like to live in Japan someday

  • Those who would like to learn Japanese language, while enjoying

What is Hiragana Times?

Contents (July 2017~)

Topics & Event

Events, useful information and new products that non-Japanese would take interest in.

Japanese Medicine

Introduction of medicine that can't be trusted.


Renowned Souvenirs

Most popular food of each region.


Figures or spots which are currently talked about are introduced


Popular TV Programs

TV guide programs many Japanese enjoy.



Booming new business or newly emerged social phenomenon.

Cool Japan

Report of Cool Japanese products or services.


Travelling Japan

Introducing newly emerged or hidden sightseeing spots, facilities, and tourism business.


Special Interview

Asking about their impressions of Japan and such to the ambassadors/ their wives to Japan, or other influential people.


This is Really Tasty!

A foreign resident introduces really tasty instant food.


Japan Profiles

Introduceing a unique person or business.

Business Frontier

Companies broke through the new market with new idea.


Japanese in Japan

A foreign student or worker interview ; what their Japanese life is like.


Japanese Comics

An outline of well-known manga books is illustrated.


Photo Contest Japan

Readers' humor photo contest themed Japan.


[Insight into JAPANese]

(Special pages designed for Japanese study) Kanji Used In a Similar Way to English Similarity is explained with using examples.


Close Up Japan

Current Japanese topics and the issues related to non-Japanese are explained.


Behind the Scenes

The Insight into the Japan's interesting themes with easy explanation.


Sentence Ending 

Expressions that are used in daily life, which do not appear in ordinary Japanese text books.


English Words Used in Japanese

Japanese pronunciation for English words with explanation.


JAPANese Notes

Japanese basic knowledge and customs that non-Japanese should know.



Exploring JAPANese 

Four-frame comics which depicted the scenes humorously that non-Japanese are often mistaken in Japanese.


Kanji Master Road 

Explanation of kanji structure by themes and how to memorize.


New Expressions & Buzzwords 

New words and buzzwords which are currently in use.


*Insight into JAPANese are written in easier expressions for adults. They give an insight into Japan that non-Japanese should be aware of, and are highly reputed for not only being educational, but also entertaining and informative, so that readers will be encouraged to learn Japanese


Best for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) preparation

JLPT places an importance on comprehension (the ability to read and understand). It applies to hearing tests, too. Since it is hard to predict the JLPT questions, it is difficult to know how to prepare for the test. Hiragana Times, which includes many expressions and kanji that often appear in the tests, especially N2 and N1, is one of the best sources to improve your comprehension, for the test.


Editing Features

Furigana (Hiragana) is placed on each kanji, and English word on katakana

For all kanji, furigana (hiragana) is placed in the magazine, allowing one to learn kanji at the same time as reading in hiragana.  Usually furigana is placed above on kanji, but here it is placed below kanji so that you can challenge kanji katakana first.  For katakana which was adopted from English and is confusing for Japanese learners, original English is placed.


English sentence blocks and Japanese sentence blocks are alternately displayed.


You can easily compare the English sentence with the Japanese sentence and grasp the meaning without a dictionary.

Articles are current news and topics on  JapanYou can obtain knowledge of current Japan and study the language at the same time. Contents are reliable since articles are written by professional Japanese writers through interviews.


Multi-checking processes from original text to translation.

1. Writers’ articles are written along with editing policies, but editors check whether they are appropriate, or they flow naturally, and if not appropriate, ask the writer to alter.

Original text are edited

2. Then, proof-readers check whether the expressions are appropriate, or there are typos, or the text is based on fact

3. The corrected text is passed to a translator. Our top class translators include former diplomat, global company business person, those who scored nearly 1,000 in TOEFLE, or passed first grade English proficiency test many times.

4. The translated text is passed to English editor whose mother-tong is English. It is checked and edited to be more natural English.

5. Followed by other proof readers, the amended English text is compared to the Japanese text whether both texts match or not.



6. After finishing layout, English proof-reader whose mother tong is English check the English text.


In addition, Japanese editor and proof readers check Japanese text and also whether the both texts

match correctly.

[Insight into JAPANese] Editing Features

Japanese sentence is followed right after English sentence

You can read English texts with Japanese texts, comparing their sentence constructions. Appropriate English words and phrases are positioned on each Japanese word or phrase under the Japanese texts, in addition to furigana below each kanji. So, you can instantly grasp the meaning.

English words that match to each kanji are placed under kanji In the text “Close up Japan” and “Behind the scenes,” a most proper English word is placed below each kanji of kanji compound words. For instance, 外国人. In addition to “foreigner,” “outside” beneath 外, “country” 国 and “person” 人.

Using a red acrylic sheet you can read Japanese texts only

English sentences and English furigana (words and phrases) are printed in red. So, if you look at the text through a red acrylic sheet, they disappear, and you can see only Japanese text.

Furigana (hiragana) is also placed with each katakana

Katakana, another phonetic script, is used mostly for loan words from foreign words, especially English. Since hiragana is placed not only on kanji, but also on katakana in Insight into JAPANeses, you will be familiar with and learn them, while reading the hiragana texts.


You can also read in alphabet only 

As “New Expressions & Buzzwords,” “” texts are alsoJAPANese Notes” and “Exploring  JAPANese being written in (Glomaji), which matches to a Japanese sound. Those who have noalphabet knowledge about Japanese characters can read, as long as you know the English alphabet.


You can practice Japanese text inputting

Most Japanese people type in alphabet to a PC to get Japanese texts.

 If you try to input the Glomaji text into a PC, you will be able to get the Japanese text printed in the magazine. It will be good practice for inputting.


{Digital version}

The digital version of Hiragana Times contains exactly the same contents and layout as the printed magazine and can be viewed page by page on the Web and enlarged or reduced simply by clicking on the screen. 

Digital version “Multi-level Text” Features

・You can jump to the “Japanese-only text” pages (no English, no furigana nor alphabet).

・You can hear the audio in “Close up Japan,” “Behind the scenes,” “Casual Expressions,” “English


Words Used in Japanese,” “JAPANese Note,” “Exploring JAPANese.” and “New Expressions &Buzzwords.”

・Audio is recorded in easy listening English and Japanese by professional narrators.


・English and Japanese sentences are recorded alternately, sentence by sentence.


・You can listen English and Japanese alternatively, Japanese only, or English only.


・Since recordings are created in MP3 format, you will be able to download them to mobile devices.


・While reading the texts, you can hear the audio using a PC, iPad, Phone and Android devices.

The articles are adopted in university entrance exams, school textbooks and more

1. They are used every year in some Japanese university English exams, and used as a Japanese text in overseas universities. Some articles are adopted in school textbooks.

Articles are used in textbooks

2. They have been included in a well-known online dictionary.


3. They are used as online translation improving data by global enterprises and university lingual study institutes.

4. They are used as a text for English education, Japanese education or understanding Japan at schools and companies,

5. They are used for enterprise magazines, including a hotel magazine, a foreign magazine

Articles are used in other magazines

6. All the translated sentences have been converted into Braille.

In addition to embassies in Japan, many active foreign entrepreneurs and businessmen, including IT business are avid readers of Hiragana Times. Also many interpreters and Japan guides are using the magazine as a source of Japan introduction. In libraries Hiragana Times is reported as one of the most read magazines.

Translated into Braille

*At the NTT All Japan Town Magazine Festival, Hiragana Times has twice been awarded the Grand Prize.

NTT all Japan Town Magazine Contest Grand Prize

© 2023 by Hiragana Times​