For the last three weeks I’ve been traveling around the southern parts of Honshu, most of Kyuushu and a little bit of Shikoku. For those of you interested in photos you can see some on my Instagram account. I’m not a photographer, the photos are more to give me something to remember the trip by, so visit at your own peril. The few of you who are Swedish can also read something resembling a travel journal.
However, the reason I made this post is to share some of the many instances where kanji was a good thing to know! In Tokyo I found most information to be available in English, but when we started traveling outside of the most common destinations, occasionally the only way to get information was by reading Japanese. I made an attempt to document some of these moment, so that you can test yourself and, hopefully, get a motivational boost in how much you actually can understand compared to someone who hasn’t practiced kanji at all.
1) Which way should you go after entering this bath if you, like me, are a male?
2) Do you need to add laundry detergent to this washing machine? What about fabric softener?
3) What can you find if you stop by the place advertised by this sign at the outskirts of Kagoshima?
4) The English translation is not exactly useful. What does the Japanese text say about this stamp?
5) Another interesting translation. What does the Japanese text tell you about the purpose of this red plastic container?
Apart from the immense kick I got from being able to read and understand so much of the things around me, one of the coolest instances was being approached by an Australian couple at a kombini in Matsumoto. They heard us reading and talking about products and wanted to know if what they had found on the shelf was milk or not. 牛乳 is a good word to know!
I also bought so many books at Junkudo in Ikebukuro! I’m more excited than ever to keep on learning more words