Yaya’s Life in Japan

May 03 | Evan | Comments Off on Yaya’s Life in Japan |

A glimpse of everyday life in Japan

There is a new YouTube channel in town! Well, this is a new YouTube channel created by Japan Photo Guide’s friend in Japan. She is a photographer so despite it’s new for her to do videography, the videos are beautiful. The angles, subjects, and lighting, you can tell that a photographer worked on it. 

Anyways, this new YouTube channel is called “Yaya’s Life in Japan.” It captures everyday life in Japan, which might be nothing special nor spectacular to Japanese people, but for those who are dying to travel back to Japan or hoping to finally make it to your dream land, Japan, it’s fascinating. You get to see the glimpse of Japanese people’s daily lives on this channel as well as you can learn Japanese words and cultures. 

Yes, watching this channel will definitely be useful for you to prepare for your photo tour of Japan when international traveling resumes, but it’s simply entertaining and educational if you want to learn more about everyday Japan! 

“Enjoy SOBA Lunch” 

Are you a big Japanese food fan? If so, have you heard of soba? Soba is Japanese noodle, which is made from buckwheat. Many people probably know ramen, but if you are health conscious, you definitely want to try soba because it’s as great as the whole wheat spaghetti, much healthier than ramen. If you do not believe it, below is the list of nutritious facts about soba. 

  • Less carb than regular pasta 
  • High in fiber 
  • High in protein and low in fat 
  • Good source of Vitamin B1
  • Good course of manganese (which supports bone health, glucose metabolism, wound healing & support nervous system) 
  • Helps cardiovascular health 
  • Control blood sugar 
  • Free of gluten 
  • Prebiotic 
  • Other minerals (zinc, magnesium, & iron etc.) 

Do I have your attention now? If you are trying something new and are trying to better your health, choose soba over ramen when you are in a Japanese/Asian store next time! Also, are you curious to find out about how to eat soba? Well, take a look at “Enjoy SOBA lunch” from Yaya’s Life in Japan. 

Interview with Yaya, the creator of “Yaya’s Life in Japan” 

I was fortunate to interview Yaya, the creator of the new YouTube channel to learn more about “Yaya’s Life in Japan.” Let’s learn how this YouTube channel came to life. 

Q: What is the reason behind creating this YouTube channel? 

Yaya: There are 3 reasons why I started my channel. 

  1. I wanted my international friends to learn more about Japan. 
  2. I wanted my Japanese friends who live abroad to feel closer to Japan through my videos. 
  3. As a photographer, I have always wanted to try videography. 

Q: Your YouTube videos are beautiful. Is videography new to you? 

Yaya: Yes, I am a photographer, but I am completely new to videography. I have a desire to learn so through doing YouTube, I hope to polish my skill as a videographer. 

Q: How are you choosing your themes? 

Yaya: I am focused on “real life.” I don’t go anywhere special just because I am shooting for YouTube, but instead, I think of my friends’ faces and if anything comes up to my mind that I want to share with them, that is what I create. 

Q: What quality do you value when creating your videos? 

Yaya: I am not too keen on loud and busy so instead, I want the viewers to enjoy the videos without effort. If you can enjoy my videos and feel relaxed, that makes me happy. 

Q: Are there any videos you particularly want this blog reader to check it out? 

Yaya: Yes, the one with cherry blossoms at a local temple, Ikegami Honmouji is my recommendation. I am also going to upload kaitenzushi (converter belt sushi) one soon so if you enjoy sushi and/or Japanese food, please take a look at that one too! 

What do you notice by watching “Yaya’s Life in Japan?” If you have never been to Japan, everything is probably new to you, but if you have been to Japan, have you noticed anything new? In the pandemic era, we are all travel deprived. We are all on the same boat about missing traveling, missing the photo tour of Japan. You can’t yet go traveling to Japan freely, but by watching this channel, I hope you get inspired to learn about Japan as well as inspired to photograph and be more motivated to travel to Japan hopefully in near future

Learn Japanese Today

May 01 | Evan | No Comments |

 

Learn how to make possessive sentences in Japanese! 

In the last “Learn Japanese Today,” you learned how to say “this” and “that” in Japanese. In this article, let’s expand your Japanese even further to learn how to make a possessive sentence using this and that in Japanese. This will certainly be beneficial on your Japan photo tour next year! Sounds exciting? Let’s begin!! 

This dog is Pochi! 

You all know how to say “This is ….” in Japanese now. What if you want to be more informative in Japanese sentences. Below is an example using possessive, “no

This dog is Pochi. 

Kono inu ha pochi desu. (*In Japanese, you write “ha,” but pronunciate “wa.”)

いぬ は ポチ です。

犬 は ポチ です。

When you want to make a possessive “this,” you add “no” and subtract “re” from kore to make “kono.” Here you are providing the dog’s name. 

Let’s do another example using “This dog is…”: 

This dog is a Shiba inu.

Kono inu ha shiba inu desu. 

いぬ は しばいぬ です。

犬 は 柴犬 です。

As well as explaining the name of this dog, in this example, you can describe a type of dog, which is Shiba Inu. By the way, in Japan, as well as Shiba inu, you will hear Shiba ken for the same dog type.  

shiba inu dogs wearing party hats

Interesting fact

Pochi is a well-recognized dog name in Japan, but in more recent years, following names are gaining popularity as dog names in Japan: Maron, Leon, Coco, and Moka to name a few. As for cats, Tama is an equivalent of Pochi, but in more recent years, following names are gaining popularity as cat names in Japan: Mugi, Momo, Hime, Chachamaru to name a few. So when you are in Japan on your photography tour of Japan, pay attention to dogs and cats names. Maybe you can find a new trend in Japan’s pet names? 

“I am Lisa.” and “My name is Lisa.” 

So using possessive, “no” let’s try another one. To introduce yourself, you can do below. Let’s pretend that you are Lisa. 

I am Lisa. 

Watashi ha Lisa desu. 

わたし は りさ です。

私 は 理紗 です。

AND 

My name is Lisa. 

Watashi no namae ha Lisa desu. 

わたし なまえ は りさ です。

名前 は 理紗 です。

To introduce yourself in Japanese, you can use the “watashi wa… desu” form with your name at the … spot. This is simple and totally makes sense in Japanese, but you can also use the example above with the possessive tense using “no.” Even with simple sentences like these, Japanese would always appreciate it if you try using their language so don’t be shy, but try your best to introduce yourself when you meet new people on Japan Photo Guide’s photo tour of Japan! 

Additionally, when you want to say “That is mine” in Japanese, you can do below using “no.” 

That is mine. 

Are ha watashi no desu.

あれ は わたし です。

あれ は 私 です。

As you know “kore” “sore” and “are” in Japanese, depending on the location of the object you are talking about, make sure you use the right one. Furthermore, if you replace “watashi” to “Lisa” in the above sentence, you can say “That is Lisa’s” in Japanese. 

Are ha Lisa no desu. 

あれ は りさ です。

Finally… 

Learning about the possessive “no” gives you more freedom to play with Japanese. You may not have a lot of Japanese knowledge, but by 3 lessons we have had so far, you can say simple sentences to navigate yourself to have a small conversation with Japanese people on the Japan photo tour. If you also know more variety of Japanese nouns, you can also use the above structures to figure out how to say “That is my dog.,” “This is your cat.,” and “That is Lisa’s horse.” etc. 

Learn Japanese Today

Apr 01 | Evan | No Comments |

How to say “This” and “That” in Japanese – “kore, sore, are” 

Do you know how to ask “What is this?” and “What is that?” in Japanese? How about “How much is this?” and “How much is that?” Well, these are simple questions, but very useful when you are visiting Japan. Of course, when you are a part of Japan Photo Guide’s photo tour of Japan, these will be useful to know too, right? 

In this article, we are going to touch base on the basics of “this” and “that” in Japanese. For example, when you are touring Japan and want to ask “how much something is” and “what that is” we can use what we learn here today to navigate yourself better in Japan. Needless to say, when you are a part of Japan Photo Guide’s photography tour of Japan, he will be there to assist you. However, it’s always good to know a few useful Japanese phrases and words so that you can enjoy the tour even more and have freedom to communicate with Japanese people on your own. 

Ok, let’s get started!! 

What is this? 

Let’s first learn a few key words. Below are the keywords you want to first remember. (Like the other Japanese lesson article, I provide you with 3 writing styles here so that you can work at your own level of Japanese.) 

What = nani/なに/何 & nan/なん/何

This = kore/これ

In Japanese, if you want to ask “What is this?” you will be using below: 

Kore ha nan desu ka (*In Japanese, you write “ha,” but pronunciate “wa.”)

これ は なん です か

これ は です か

What in Japanese is “nani,” but in this question, it is conjugated to “nan.” We are also asking “What is this?” and this = これ. Don’t worry too much about other grammar points, but just remember how to ask “What is this?” here for now. It’s not too hard, right? So let’s move onto the next! 

airplane over world map on blackboard

What is that? – There are two kinds of “that” in Japanese! 

Ok, so here is the little tricky point you need to remember. In Japanese, there are two kinds of that. Yes, sounds strange and/or interesting, right? Don’t worry! Let’s break it down. 

That = sore/それ 

= Pointing out item(s) that is far from the speaker, but close to the listener

That = are/あれ

= Pointing out the item(s) that is far from both the speaker and the listener 

As I summaries above, two kinds of “that” in Japanese have clear differences between when to use depending on where the item is placed. It all depends on the place where the item is located in relation to the speaker and the listener. 

For example, you are on a photo tour of Japan and need to get a new camera battery at a store in Japan and the battery you want is behind the counter by the retail staff away from you, you use “sore.”  However, the camera battery you want is behind the counter, but up high in the shelves away from both of you, you use “are.” Did you get a picture? Well, until you get a hold of sore and are, it can be a little confusing, but just keep practicing and you will eventually get it!

Other usage of “kore”, “sore”, and “are.”

As well as the question “What is this/that?,” we can also use kore, sore, and are in other simple questions. How about when you want to ask at a store you want to buy something? Let’s learn some quick Japanese sentences! 

Kore kudasai/これください

 = Can I have this please? 

Sore kudasai/それください

= Can I have that please? (Close to the listener, away from the speaker/you) 

Are = kudasai/あれください

= Can I have that please ? (Far from both the listener and the speaker) 

Here “kudasai” is “please have …”  (yes, a very important one to remember!) so simply by adding this or that in front of kudasai, it can be “Can I have this please?” or “Can I have that please?” It’s easy, right? Of course, as we discussed above, you want to remember which “that” you have to use depending on the item you are talking about in relation to distance for each case. 

Of course, this is the simplest way of asking this type of question so if you know Japanese, you may know alternative ways to ask, but even if it’s simple, it’s polite and to the point so these are very useful for you to remember! 

Summary

Today we covered a very important concept in Japanese. It can be confusing, but don’t worry! Practice makes perfect, right? At least you are introduced to the idea of “kore,” “sore,” and “are” so now we can do a lot more! Maybe in the next article of learning Japanese, we can introduce how to make possessive in Japanese using “kore,” “sore,” and “are” to form even a little more complex Japanese sentences. 

Hope you learned something new today! If you are eager to learn more Japanese and have a particular phrase or concept you like to learn, contact Japan Photo Guide so that we can prepare you for the dream photography tour of Japan for the next year! 

Learn Japanese Today

Mar 01 | Evan | No Comments |

“Shashin wo totte mo ii desu ka?” – How to ask others to take a photo of them 

Who is ready to travel to Japan? Are you eager to join Japan Photo Guide’s Japanese photography tour right now?  

Well, I am sure many of you are eager to travel to Japan and also work on your photography skills. Unfortunately, it’s not possible now, but until the time is ready, why don’t we work on our Japanese language skills so that the next time you visit Japan, you know a few phrases to communicate with Japanese people better! 

Today, we want to focus on how to ask others if it’s okay to take photos of them. In Japanese, we want to say: 

“Shashin wo totte mo ii desu ka”  (*In Japanese, “wo” is pronounced “o.”)

“しゃしん を とって も いい です か” 

“写真 を 撮って も いい です か”
Not sure where everyone’s Japanese language skill is so let’s break down the above sentence to understand the language better. Of course, we are not going too much in depth to keep it simple enough to grasp the language for all levels. (As you can see above, I have illustrated 3 of the same sentences depending on your Japanese level. If you are familiar with hiragana, you might like to challenge yourself practicing in hiragana and if you are advanced, why don’t you challenge yourself with kanji!)

1: Japanese nouns 

Shashin wo totte mo ii desu ka” 

In the above sentence, “shashin” is the noun. Here we are asking about taking a photo, thus “shashin = photo.” If you want to ask someone on the street or somewhere in Japan, ask them above before shooting. Of course, if you know Japanese, adding “sumimasen = excuse me” at the beginning is even better if it is not too much to remember. (Btw sumimasen = excuse me is a really useful one to remember to navigate in Japan regardless if you know what I mean!) 

Since you know where to put a noun in this type of question, instead of “shashin,” you can replace the noun with “video” to ask about taking a video of the person as well. If that’s the case, it becomes…

“Video wo totte mo ii desu ka” 

Attention: In Japanese, we do not have differentiations between singular or plural. Therefore, 1 photo or 2 photos, it is always “shashin.” It may be a confusing concept at the beginning for English speakers, but just remember this is how it works in Japanese. 

2: Question 

“Shashin wo totte mo ii desu ka” 

“しゃしん を とって も いい です か”

“写真 を 撮って も いい です か”

If you are new to Japanese, this is a good clue to know. When you hear “ka” at the end of a sentence, it means a question! As well as you using this phrase, you can always pay attention to how the sentence ends so that if you hear “ka” at the end, it means a question! 

3: Together With and Yours

Issho ni shashin wo totte mo ii desu ka” 

いっしょに しゃしん を とって も いい です か”

一緒に 写真 を 撮って も いい です か”

Just because you guys are all great, why don’t we try a little harder sentence! 

What if you want to take a photo with the person? If you want to ask this, you add “issho ni” at the beginning of the sentence. Here “issho ni” means “together with. 

Also, if the person is confused whose photo you want to photograph, you can add “anata no” to indicate “your” so that he/she is aware whose photo you want to take. If you know the person’s name, you can put the person’s name, such as “Hiroshi-san no” to directly address the person as well. (Of course, without adding “anata no,” usually people know what you are asking.)

Anata no shashin wo totte mo ii desu ka”

“あなた の しゃしん を とっても いい です か”

あなた の 写真 を 撮って も いい です か”

Well, how was the lesson? It’s easy, right? If you are thinking about joining Japan Photo Guid’s Japan photo tour in 2021 and beyond and have certain phrases you want to know in Japanese, please do not hesitate to leave a comment here or send Japan Photo Guide a message. As well as Japanese language, I hope to introduce Japanese cultures and customs that are unique to Japan so that when you join Japan Photo Guid’s Japan photography tour, you will be comfortable communicating with Japanese people a little. Of course, Japan Photo Guid offers both a group Japan tour and a private Japan tour so if you are nervous about Japanese and need more private tours, he is there to support you!!