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About Hiragana Times


The monthly magazine that introduces the real Japan to the world

Hiragana Times introduces the real Japan to non-Japanese by looking at Japan as an attractive, unique town in the global village. Inside Hiragana Times, the world of Japan becomes reality, and one can experience the cultural frontier between Japan and the rest of the world. Hiragana Times has been published since 1986 and has readers in more than 100 countries. Readers are mainly in their 20s and 30s, but the number of middle-aged and elderly readers has been rapidly increasing in recent years.

The articles are used in universities and a dictionary

Hiragana Times articles are used every year in some Japanese university English exams, and used as a Japanese text in overseas universities. All the translated sentences from every issue are converted into Braille and also included in the well-known online dictionary “eijiro.” At the NTT All Japan Town Magazine Festival, Hiragana Times has twice been awarded the Grand Prize.

Many fascinating articles for readers


  • Topics & Event
    Events, useful information and new products that non-Japanese would take interest in.,
  • Spotlight
    Figures or spots which are currently talked about are introduced.
  • Social News
    Heart-warming topics that mass media would rarely report.
  • Trends
    Booming new business or newly emerged social phenomenon.
  • Feature
    In depth report of interesting Japanese topics.
  • Understanding Japanese News
    The background or system of different fields is explained.

[Insight into Japan] ——————————————————————
(Special pages designed for Japanese study)

  • New Expressions & Buzzwords
    New words and buzzwords which are currently used.
  • Close Up Japan
    Current Japanese topics and the issues related to non-Japanese are explained.
  • Japanese Customs
    Information necessary for Non-Japanese to live in Japan.
  • Japan Watching
    Japanese way of living is described through a humorous episode.
  • Japanese History Makers
    Impressive people from warriors to cultural people are succinctly explained.


  • Glomaji (Global Romaj) Essay
    Essay written using English alphabet that enable you to convert into correct Japanese.
  • Cover story
    Each issue covers a sightseeing spot in Japan
  • Products with Japanese Flavor
    Traditional art crafts, Japanese taste products and food are introduced.
  • Japanese Comics
    Outline of well-known manga books is illustrated.
  • Japanese Cultural Understanding Test
    Questions from Japanese common knowledge for non-Japanese

[ Latest Issue page]

Revolutionary multi-level Japanese texts


Hiragana Times is a truly unique magazine in which you can study a language while learning about Japan. Each Japanese paragraph is followed by its English translation or vise versa, and furigana are placed above each kanji to make Japanese study even easier.

There are more features in the 13-page “Insight into Japan (text sample)” section.

  • In addition to furigana above each kanji, appropriate English words and phrases are positioned on each Japanese word or phrase below the Japanese texts.
  • Romaji text is also included, so that you cannot only read the texts without the knowledge of Japanese characters, but also practice inputting into a PC to convert to correct Japanese characters.

With this you will be able to understand the meaning of the texts on the spot without having to use a dictionary.

* The audio of the “Multi-Level Texts” is included in the digital version subscription, or available separately from Febe (OTOBANK).

[ Multi-level Japanese texts information]

A Digital version of Hiragana Times is also available

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. By printing every page on your printer, you will be able to create your own Hiragana Times magazine.

The audio is accompanied by the “Insight into Japan” (13 pages)

  • English and Japanese sentences are recorded alternatively, sentence by sentence. Since recordings are created in MP3 format, you will be able to download them on mobile devices.
  • While reading the texts, you can hear the audio through PC, iPad, Phone and android devices.

Furthermore, from these pages you can jump to the “Japanese only text” pages.

[ Digital version Sample ]

How to purchase the Hiragana Times

  • On sale on the 20th of every month in Japan
  • Available in Japan at middle-sized and large bookstores. We recommend the foreign book section of a larger book store.
  • Available also at Apple’s Newsstand and Google Play.
  • Available outside Japan at Japanese bookstores or Japanese centers in major cities of the world.
  • The price in Japan is 500 yen. Outside Japan the price varies.
  • To obtain a subscription, please fill in the subscription page on the site.

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