Listening Practice with Podcasts

  • Bilingual News
  • Soko Ani
  • Hiikibiiki

Non-Japanese pods (because I needed to though my list anyway)

  • Science Solved it
  • Every Little Thing
  • Space (BBC)
  • The Unmade Podcast
  • Hackable
  • Moonshot
  • IRL
  • Hello Internet
  • Cortex
  • Grownups Read Things They Wrote As Kids
  • One Universe At A Time
  • History of Westeros
  • Radio Westeros
  • Titanium Physicists
  • Unattended Consequences
  • Davos’ Fingers
  • Cast of Thrones
  • Reply All
  • Mythical Astronomy of Ice and Fire
  • Tofugu Podcast

Some of these don’t post episodes anymore, but I don’t keep track of which do and don’t. Basically just those three that I listed previously.


that’s really cool actually . thanks for your effort putting all these together.
I listened to hibiki some time ago but didn’t understand much. I just started genki so I don’t know that much grammar.
how is it for you? do you understand most of the stuff they’re talking about?

I understand a lot now, but when I started listening to Japanese podcasts I didn’t understand much. I don’t think it matters a lot whether you do. You’re still learning through exposure. As soon as you learn a new word you’ll start hearing it, and in proper context too.

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I just want to add that the TangoRisto app, added a listening feature to the NHK easy news sections they have, so those can be some pretty easy practice for folk that are looking for some bite sized language bits they can workout.


@Kumirei do you have an archive link for Soko Ani? Their podcast RSS feed only goes back ~50 episodes, when it looks like there’s 500+?

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I had the same problem so I made this thread .
Don’t know if they fix it but I also would like to listen to the older episodes.

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Ugh, that’s depressing. Thank you.

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@hakusaro No, I only listen as they air

@Torao92 This is a different podcast

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@Kumirei @hakusaro oh my bad sorry . I misread that😅

Oh, my bad, I misread what you said. Oops.

@Kumirei oh well :confused:

[10 years later]

It seems to me, the most common Japanese podcasts toted around the internet aside from those at JapanesePod101 are Bilingual News, and ひいきびいき. I’ve tried both, and in my experience, the JP speaker in Bilingual news doesn’t speak enough Japanese for me to really learn something. The news section goes by so fast and is so in-depth that I can’t catch much of anything, and yet the rest of the time when she replies in Japanese, it’s usually simple replies and questions. I still love and enjoy the podcast, but I’m looking for something different.

I’ve tried ひいきびいき too, and found that there was much more Japanese then than I could comprehend, even though they talk slowly. So I was wondering if anybody knew of a happy-medium podcast that features more Japanese than Bilingual, but less than ひいきびいき? There has to be more that I’m missing.


that’s what I’ve been experiencing too. still love billingual news though :raised_hands:t5:

Just popping in to say that all the videos for 夏休み子ども科学電話相談 seem to be unavailable on the NHK site.

However this channel has, as far as I can tell, uploaded all of them.

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wow thanks alot :pray:t5: I’ll check them out

I enjoy this. There is one native speaker and a Brit, who lives in Japan. Each lesson is a simple task like “how to apologise” or “how to talk about my hometown”. They go through every single word of a short dialogue. They explain sentence ending particles. The emphasis is on conversation between friends and going beyond the textbook of polite speech. The web site has a PDF download of “show notes” - dialogue script and explanations.

They are not teaching grammar rules. Having studied Genki 1 and Genki 2, that was not a problem for me.


Go to whatever app you use to get podcasts, and change your location to Japan. I usually browse throught the trending list and give a few different podcasts a go. Most of them are not interesting or too difficult, but every now and then I come across something I like and get a lot of good listening content. Everyone’s ability and interests are different though so it’s something good to work out yourself.

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Oh wow!
You can click through and listen from the page (old-school, I know, that’s me)


Can you make a gas planet like Jupiter with farts?

This is glorious.

Thank you so much @Miimers -
I am now trying to get this downloaded - any advise utterly appreciated!

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OK (self reply)
So that link doesn’t work unless you are in Japan, or if you have a VPN.
So now I have a VPN (ProtonVPN), and now I can hear the NHK player.
Its pretty nice.

Nhk also broadcasts news frequently as a podcast. If you search nhk news you’ll find it. They put out like 5-10 minute news updates 6-8 times a day or something like that. There are longer forms one on the same feed.

Hmm, I have tried with the NHK news podcasts, and I remember when I first lived in Japan years ago an old guy swearing by “Watch the news! That’s the best way to learn Japanese”.
For me, its the least helpful, at that and this stage. It’s like learning to swim in a whirlpool, or a dangerously heavy current at least; I can’t make much sense of all that is flowing by me, it’s quickly depleting and I drown (my mind wonders off in boredom). You can try as hard as you like to fight it, but its useful to accept that drowning is not fun. It makes learning Japanese a funner thing.

I just listened to a 40 minute episode of 子ども科学電話相談を聴くand I understood about 60 - 80%. I often watch JDrama’s without subs, understand less (depending on the genre), but the visual context can help enormously. With this radio show though I was really surprised about how much audio context there was. I was picking up words and meaning just by the conversation around it. Other words I couldn’t work out, but I could understand beyond guessing what kind of word it was - “Ah, that’s a planet name, that’s a gas name”. I was great fun to listen to, I wasn’t studying, but I was following and learning.

I’ve been following Cure Dolly recently, the “immersion” style and their passion around it makes a lot of sense to me (even if other things there worry me). I found this video last night and it expresses how I think about it well, plus giving me a new phrase in English: “Comprehensive Input”
An old and ongoing argument of course, but I think he presents this side well. It would be interesting to hear a strong counter argument.

All that said, I sort of had to think myself if I am breaking house rules by advocating a VPN here. Is this legal? Is this illegal? The rules of those websites obstruct me from that content because I don’t live in Japan (anymore), but I thought as people they could condone it after I became an instant fan of their excellent programme.

There is a TBS podcast that a lot of people swore by - Session 22 -
More adult (not in that way, grow up guys), but good daily conversation between two people, seems to start with news but goes to many places.
Still good input for me compared to the newzzz :sleeping:

I have to say again @Miimers thank you so much for introducing 子ども科学電話相談を聴く.
How did you find it btw?