Japanese resources that'd make great Christmas presents

This is a bit of a specific topic, namely due to the fact my parents keep asking what I want for Christmas and for the last few year’s I’ve never known how to answer.

(also before anyone says it’s unseasonal, my parents both used to work in shops and in retail Christmas starts in August at the latest)

This is basically just another “what resources do you recommend” thread but there’s a few rules:

  1. It has to be paid (my parents are weird about the logistics of gifting and ‘its the thought that counts’ is not something they’d accept, it’s got to have monetary value)
  2. Preferably physical, gift cards for online resources are acceptable, but they like the performance of having something there on the 25th (also if it is a gift card, I’d want it to be a one time purchase and not a temporary subscription to something I’d have to keep paying later)
  3. It can be ordered online/from another country but my parents don’t know how to use proxy services so if it doesn’t have overseas shipping then my parents aren’t tech savvy enough for it
  4. I’m not going to set a budget but try not to think of just the most expensive resource, my parents don’t have thousands to drop on a year-long family trip to Japan for the total immersion of it
  5. Lastly, it can be as general or niche to learning Japanese as you like! A lot of resource lists are about getting the most out of the minimum, but it’s christmas so while I want something useful, it can be a bit more ‘frivalous’

(also I’m a beginner so I’d get the most out of N5 stuff but if you just want to share what you’d want for Christmas/Unspecified Secular Winter Gift-Giving Event then that’d be fun to read too)


Does it have to be something “nice” ? Or just books would be good ?

**For physical, I do have some ideas : **

Books :

-Japanese books like Shinkanzen Master Series, they have grammar, reading, listening and vocal. I recommend grammar and reading.
-SouMatome is also good fro grammar, though you can’t study that alone. But with a teacher explaining, it’s good.
-Minna no Nihongo is also very good but you need the grammar translation book. They will explain in details all grammar in English (or other language) and give you a list of vocabulary. If you don’t study towards JLPT then it’s good.

You can get all of them from Amazon

Games and fun :
Just a list of something more “fun” that will look like a gift.
-Japanese Switch games are compatible with non Japanese Switch :wink: (Pokemon for example, isn’t that hard. Though, it’s more fore N4) You can easily get one from Amazon.jp, they ship outside of Japan and you know at payment the amount of customs and shipping, so no surprise. You can use it in English too. That’s good, especially if you like getting limited edition of games.
-Books, normal ones. If you like reading, give it a try. Even a kid book if you don’t feel confident.

Non physical/digital :

-Audible subscription, if you have a jp Amazon account you can create an Audible account and listen to as many audio books as you want. You can change the speed.
-Games. For example, you can get a Nintendo gift card from play-asia (they also sell games, but I recommend Amazon.jp for physical games). You can easily create a Japanese Nintendo account and then, pay for games with gift cards :slight_smile:

Hope it helps and don’t hesitate to go for things that interest you :slight_smile: Even if you feel that your level might be too low, motivation is what counts here.


Grammar reference books are something that you can use already and will be useful for a very long time. Either the Dictionary of Basic/Intermediate/Advanced Japanese Grammar (that’s three books), or the Handbook of Japanese Grammar Patterns for Teachers and Learners - both are very good resources for both beginners and advanced learners.

I’d normally suggest a good dictionary, but nowadays, and in Japanese especially, digital dictionaries are handier, and there are free ones that are perfectly adequate until you get advanced enough to need more nuance.

You said no subscriptions, but you might want to consider lifetime Wanikani or lifetime Bunpro?

A kindle or tablet to read on, if you don’t have one already, might also make a great present.

And of course, books and/or manga, depending on your preferences. Something to look forward to. Or for something to start now, graded readers?

Or stationery. A nice notebook to practice handwriting kanji, a few cool pens.


Books definitely! Linking to Amazon US for the most part, but can probably find many of these elsewhere.

Textbooks (ones I have personally used and liked):

Reference books (useful at low or high levels):

Other resources:

  • https://www.whiterabbitpress.com/kanjiflashcards – amazing quality physical flashcards. Obviously not NEEDED if you’re sticking to Wanikani for your kanji studies, but definitely make a nice gift. Associated poster is also pretty cool to track your progress, a nice gift in it’s own right, but shipping cost is high if buying just that, so maybe try to order other things from their site (OMGJapan) as well. The site also sells a lot of textbooks and graded readers, so could definitely build up a list.

Fun books:

Anime or drama DVDs or Blu-ray could also be good gifts, if that’s something you like.


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