Hiragana Times

I just found out about Hiragana Times. I want to try the digital version. It’s a bit annoying they don’t let people make a monthly subscription but oh well. I searched for something to read in Japanese and this looks great. I can read and learn about what’s going on in Japan too.
Anyone has a subscription to it? How is it? What about the content? How about the reading difficulty? Please give me some opinions, if you know about it. Thank you!

I used to purchase print copies of the Hiragana Times but I gave up after a few months because NHK News Web (Easy) was a quicker, cheaper way to practice reading about current events.

I think Hiragana Times has an admirable goal but it tries to cater to too wide an audience, and as a result there’s a not insignificant amount of content that’s either above or below any reader’s level. Their kanji learning section isn’t bad, but as a WK user you’ll not have much use for it.

The Multi-Level texts are a mixed bag. The early level texts are a bit of a mess with the furigana, romaji and english translation under each word; the later level texts are cleaner, but the nearby English translations are a huge distraction. (I wish they had the translations on opposite pages like some bilingual books.)

To give you an idea of the content, here’s the list from the last issue I purchased (May 2019):

  • p3-5: One paragraph (and photo) each for: Ogata Korin’s edo paintings, the Kagurazaka Street Stage O-edo Tour, the “WFP Walk the World for Africa”, Tamashii Nations Shop opening, an exhibition at the National Museum of Modern Art, Hamic BEAR and Saoshika. (Those last two are under the header “Japanese Product” but they read suspiciously like advertisements.)

  • p6-7: full page (with illustrations) articles on the change in eras, and the 45th anniversary of Hello Kitty

  • p8: full page of advertisements

  • p9-19: Multi-Level texts (various topics)

  • p20-21: Article reprint from August 2007 issue, “Great Master of Management who Cultivated a Path with Positive Thinking”, Matsushita Kounosuke

  • p22-23: Article reprint from October 2010 issue, “What are Common Japanese Names?”

  • p25-40: Kanji lessons.

  • p.45: (inside back cover) 3/4 column note from the editor


$132 for a year subscription? Damn :flushed:

The cover price is only ¥6,000 for the year, it’s the shipping that kills it. :money_mouth_face:

Says ¥10,000 for international. Then goes on to say ¥4000 for shipping. So, ¥14,000?
I wonder if the ¥10,000 includes the shipping. Doesn’t say that as far as I saw, but doesn’t really make sense why charge foreigners more, besides shipping. So, only $95 a year maybe? $8 an issue? Not too terrible I guess.

For the print version only it’s ¥6,000. For print and digital it’s ¥10,000. Then another ¥4,000 for shipping.

Picking up single issues either at a local bookstore like Kinokuniya (about $10-11/issue) or through Amazon Japan (¥463/issue + shipping, which averages ¥400-500 per item when I place an order) would cost the same or possibly work out cheaper than a subscription.

If only places like that existed anywhere near me.

Not sure why I didn’t think of that. Might be worth picking up an issue sometime, just to check out