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by Vanessa Villalobos
Japanese London Living

How Teaching Yourself Japanese Is Like Conveyor Belt Sushi


Have you ever been to a kaiten-zushi restaurant? I love the weirdly futuristic simplicity of the conveyor belt concept. Tantalising morsels of white, red and orange fish, laid like glistening gems on their thrones of rice glide regally past.

We grab what delights us most, and devour it. Actually, the kaiten zushi experience is such an apt metaphor for Japanese study – in fact, for life in general.

The choice can seem overwhelming, and we aren’t sure what to pick. Sometimes we get put off by accidentally picking something that’s not to our taste. Raw squid? Salmon Roe? Octopus balls? We get it wrong sometimes. Other times a new flavour surprises us and we acquire a taste for it.

We don’t need to gobble up everything that passes us. We need to become more familiar, more discerning. In fact, the likelihood of getting exactly what we want increases every time we try again – we might even summon the courage to ask the sushi chef with the big sharp knives for directly for what we want. Ask, and it is given.

If you’ve been following my series about the ‘OMOSHIROI’ method, you’ll know that I believe learning Japanese should be just to your taste – that is, both fun and interesting TO YOU. And the way to make things fun and interesting is YOUR WAY - to really consider what it is you enjoy, and grab it / do it / read it / learn it / watch it / listen to it / eat it! More! Little and often.

In this episode, I will talk about my top picks for ‘How to Teach Yourself Japanese’, including:

  • Japanese Language Learning Books (textbooks and cultural guide books)
  • Japanese Mind-set Learning Resources (etiqutte & philosophy books, podcasts)
  • Japanese Lifestyle Recommendations (I bite off more than I can chew with this - but pick 'food' and 'karaoke' as the  as areas of the daily lifestyle in Japan that you will be hard pressed to escape!)
  • My mum's assessment of red bean paste
  • Frank Sinatra lyrics

Hope you find this episode helpful! 

I have defined 6 simple steps to OMOSHIROI learning, which I can’t wait to share with you in this series of podcasts!

Start uncovering your UNIQUE visions, goals and tactics to learn the Japanese that YOU WANT!

To grab a copy of the playbook that accompanies this series, click here:

The OMOSHIROI Method Fill-in-the-Blanks Playbook

Visit JapaneseLondon.com to get more info about learning Japanese, and enjoying a Japan-full life in London.

Vanessa connects learners with 1-1 native speaking Japanese tutors for private lessons and runs the Japanese London Conversation Club.

She also blogs about Japanese living in London, and can be found on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!


Episode 5

Season 1

by Vanessa Villalobos