Nihongo Nikki Noto (Writing a Diary in Japanese)

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Last updated on July 28th, 2018

I’ve already written a lot about the difference between active and passive knowledge (check my learn Japanese guide if you haven’t). The goal is always to be able to express what you want in Japanese. Having a tandem partner with whom you can have a nice conversation is awesome of course. But if you aren’t blessed with a friendly Japanese native who wants to learn your mother tongue as bad as you want to learn Japanese, it can become difficult. Nihongo Nikki Noto tries to bridge this gap and help you write a diary in Japanese. Nothing too fancy, just a couple of words here and there. And because we all hate when things become too overwhelming the book gives you ideas and grammatical challenges for each day.

Maybe writing a diary is, in fact, the better alternative to a tandem partner. I speak from experience. About two years ago I was trying to charm two Japanese girls into having a nice tandem chat with me. Not both at the same time, that would’ve been too demanding. Regardless, I failed, both times and was let down in a very Japanese way. In a certain sense, I can definitely relate to all the foreign boys in Japan who suddenly can’t reach their Japanese girlfriends anymore. From one day to the other they’re just – gone. And can’t be reached anymore. Maybe they were put off by the fact that I had a girlfriend or maybe I’m just a prick. Regardless, just start writing a Japanese diary and forget about the tandem thing. Tried it, failed for you (and me) and can now tell you: Beware of female Japanese tandem partners who’re studying music.

What Nihongo Nikki Noto makes such a great book to practice with are the pretty detailed explanations of various Japanese grammar points. Each “day” features another entry and gives you a lot of examples so that you can instantly use your new knowledge. There is always a certain topic for each day. Be it the weather, chores etc. which can give you some ideas for potential topics. I personally never wrote a diary before, so it can be a little difficult to start. Just have a look at all the pictures I took which show some of the vocab pages I wrote about and some grammar pages as well.

Writing a diary in Japanese should mainly benefit our Japanese abilities, of course. But there is another great side to it. You reflect a little more about your life. It’s never a bad thing to have a positive attitude and focus on the good times in life. (I have to be careful that I’m not turning this into a new age site)

Nihongo Nikki Noto is published by ALC which is a fantastic company for Japanese study books. I’ve already featured the splendid Understanding basic Japanese grammar and Essential Japanese Expressions. They’re always putting out high-quality books which are only rivaled by the Japan Times.

Note: Shortly after writing this review this really great book went out of print. Your best bet is still amazon but prices are astronomically high these days. Really hoping for a reprint someday but even in December 2016, nothing happened so far.

  • Buy Nihongo Nikki Noto (Writing a Diary in Japanese) at WRJ
    If you buy the book through my link, I’ll get a small referral fee which will be used to buy even more awesome books for review. Thanks for your support!

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  • Buy Nihongo Nikki Noto (Writing a Diary in Japanese) at WRJ
    If you buy the book through my link, I’ll get a small referral fee which will be used to buy even more awesome books for review. Thanks for your support!
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