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10+ Japanese Podcasts for Beginners & Above for 2022

Looking for a good Japanese learning podcast?

Good on ya mate.

Some people learn with Japanese textbooks. Others get a Japanese learning program. And, podcasts help too! Here, you’ll find the 10+ Japanese learning podcasts on iTunes. Now, podcast lessons are a great way to…

  • improve your listening skills
  • speaking skills if you repeat what you hear
  • and pass the time while learning something

Take this Learn Japanese Podcast Guide:

  • Subscribe to these podcasts
  • Download the episodes to learn (they’re yours to keep)
  • And remember – because you can keep them, you can relisten them as many times as you want.

1. Nihongo Con Teppei Podcast

  • Levels: Beginner to Intermediate
  • Strength: Listening skills, vocabulary acquisiton

Teppei is a Japanese guy that has several podcasts aimed at Japanese Beginners and Japanese Intermediate learners.

All in Japanese.

Of course, the beginner one is super slow with lots of repetition and he uses simple words.

The Intermediate one is more so him talking about daily life things – getting enough sleep, keeping at it with your goals, and so on.

Overall, Very easy to listen to and one of my favorite podcasts for my downtime.

If you want actual Japanese lessons delivered via podcasts, check out the next podcast on this list.

2. JapanesePod101

  • Levels: Absolute Beginner to Advanced
  • Strength: Comprehensive – covers all aspects: writing, reading, listening, speaking and more.

japanesepod101 spotify

If you’re brand new to Japanese or have little experience, this is the best place to start. JapanesePod101 is more of a program than a podcast, but started out as one.

These lessons teach you Japanese and explain everything in English. And that’s something you won’t get with most other podcasts.

You get 2-3 audio and video lessons every week. They cover everything from listening and reading to writing and speaking and culture. Great mix of lessons for all aspects of the language.

If you want the transcripts, just visit their website so you can read along.

The best benefit here is that you get several new lessons weekly, non-stop. But keep in mind, these are lessons and not free-talk type podcasts. So, if you want lessons to learn with, that’s great. If you just want to listen to some chit-chat, check out the other podcasts below.

Podcasts:

3. News in Slow Japanese

  • Levels: For Beginners and Intermediate learners
  • Strength: Listening and hearing about current events

If you’re an intermediate to advanced level, this is a great listening series.

You get real news from Japan spoken in slow speed. There’s also native level speed. They release 1 new lesson a week so you’re always getting something new. You can find transcripts on their website.

The downside could be that… it may not be too interesting to listen to news for some learners. Particularly if you’re younger.

For the older crowd and anyone generally open to hearing about Japanese news, it’s a great resource.

4. Learn Japanese while Sleeping Podcast

  • Levels: For Absolute Beginners and Beginners
  • Strength: Listening and vocabulary acquisition.

No, the title is not a joke.

This is a Japanese podcast by Teppei from the aforementioned Nihongo Con Teppei podcasts.

But, it’s separate, so it deserves a separate mentions.

Teppei speak in slow, soft Japanese against a calm melody in the background to help you learn Japanese while relaxing, or before sleep. Of course, if you slept through it, you wouldn’t remember anything.

So, it’s more of a “listen to relax before sleeping.”

5. Tofugu

  • Levels: For Beginners
  • Strength: Grammar explanations

Tofugu is a popular blog about Japanese culture and language.

Now, they turned it into a podcast as well. It lasts anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour and you get your dose of all things Japanese.

They’ll discuss culture, grammar intricacies like wa versus ga, ni versus de, and more.

6. NHK Easy Japanese Grammar

  • Levels: For Beginners
  • Strength: Listening, grammar and vocabulary acquisition.

This podcast is by NHK  – a Japanese broadcasting company. Yep, the same one that runs “NHK news web easy” for Japanese reading practice.

In every episode, you learn basic grammar and vocabulary from a native Japanese speaker and a native English speaker.

So, if you’re looking to polish up your grammar, I think it’s a good Japanese podcast to listen to.

However, they stopped publishing new lessons… which may be good or bad, depending on how you feel. For me, I think keeping it “limited” makes it more manageable for beginners. Once you get through 48 episodes, you can feel like you’ve finished and accomplished something.

7. Japanese with Shun

  • Levels: For Beginners and Intermediate learners
  • Strength: Listening and vocabulary acquisition

This is one of the best Japanese podcasts for 2022 in my opinion.

As with other freestyle podcasts you’ll see here, Shun talks about various topics like night routines, plants, his plans, cooking, things he’s bought recently and so on.

He speaks at a fairly slow speed which is good for Beginners who know some Japanese but aren’t ready for more moderate-speed type Japanese podcasts that you’ll see here.  And, he uses basic words from the Genki textbooks. So, if you’re learning with one, it’s a good chance to “hear” what you’ve been learning.

At the end of the lesson, he also defines some key words in English for extra review.

I think it can be useful for Intermediate learners as well.

8. Let’s Learn Japanese from Small Talk

  • Levels: For Intermediate & Advanced learners
  • Strength: Listening and vocabulary acquisition.

This podcast is run by 2 Japanese ladies where they talk about everyday life… in Japanese.

If you’re a beginner, a lot may go over your head as they speak at a relatively moderate speed and in 99% Japanese – although they do define some key vocabulary at the end of the lessons.

Do I recommend it? Of course. The more listening experience and the more immersion you get, the better.

But more so for Intermediate learners.

If 60-90% of this goes over your head, you might want an easier podcast and come back to this later – when you’re better.

9. YUYU の日本語podcast

  • Levels: For Intermediate and Advanced learners.
  • Strength: Listening and vocabulary acquisition.

This is another 100% Japanese podcast by a Japanese guy named Yuyu.

I’d say this is suited for Intermediate and Advanced learners, as he speaks at a moderate speed with no English.

Yuyu talks about all kinds of daily life topics – which is good for anyone that wants to immerse themselves in Japanese, practice listening, and just expose themselves to everyday speech.

A big plus for me is that he publishes quite often.

10. Learn Japanese Pod

Not to be confused with the Japanese learning program JapanesePod101…

This is less so of a “learn Japanese podcast” course and more of a relaxed conversations about Japanese language and culture. But yes, you will pick up words and conversations here.

learn japanese podcast


And that’s it. Here are the top 10 learn Japanese podcasts for 2022.

How to Use Learn Japanese Podcasts

If you’re wondering how to use learn Japanese podcasts to learn Japanese…

Well, it’s simple. Listen A LOT.

Pick one, two, or three that you really like, and listen daily.

For me, it’s Nihongo Con Teppei Z, JapanesePod101, and Shun’s podcast.

But, make sure to listen daily. Even if the lessons aren’t daily.

Meaning, repeat old lessons. Actually, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, review, and review as much as possible. Success comes from repetition.

Secondary strengths of listening to podcasts are…  are learning new words, grammar and speaking, that is if you speak out loud.

I often listen with a notebook nearby so I can jot down various words or grammar patterns that I don’t know. You could do the same if you want to pull more value out of these podcasts.

Do you know of any great learn Japanese podcasts?

– the Main Junkie

P.S. I highly recommend this for Japanese learners. If you REALLY want to learn Japanese with effective lessons by real teachers – Sign up for free at JapanesePod101 (click here) and start learning!learn with japanesepod101

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