Native material recommendations?

Hey guys! This is my first time posting on the forums. I’ve been lurking for a little bit now.

(A little about me) I live In Oita prefecture and I teach English at a high school. Used to live in Fukui as an eikaiwa teacher. It’s my 3rd year in Japan and 4th year studying Japanese. I have finished Genki 1 and 2, and am currently on the last chapter of Tobira.

I just bought a Kindle for its awesome built in dictionary and note taking functions.
I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations for books or magazines that are pretty digestible?
I have read a few manga series in Japanese like dragon ball and yotsuba without much trouble, but I’m not too strong with reading text only stories yet.

Thanks in advance!



To start with, you could probably check out some of the books from the book club threads, or peruse what’s available on


If you want to try reading a novel, the beginner book club is doing 時をかける少女 soon. If that’s something you’d be interested in reading I’d highly recommend joining. Whenever you have a question you can ask and we’ll give you an answer asap. From the preview on ebookjapan it looks relatively easy for a novel, so as long as you’ve been keeping up with grammar I think you won’t have a difficult time keeping up.


Wow I had no idea the book club thread existed. Thanks! I’ll give it a look.

I don’t know how would you rate your known vocab, since kanji and grammar wise looks like you have it under control. Vocab will greatly determine how fluid your time reading actually is… 'cause of the time looking up words can pull you off the whole mindset of “reading japanese” when picking a book.

I started the 10分で読める伝記 series months ago which is a graded series aimed at kids in the 6-11 years old. After reading and adding unknown vocab while reading the entire series I consider I will be close to the 8000 words (so far I’m half the way there, starting the 4年生 book and a bit above 5K words).

Anyway, I’m bringing up the vocab count because so far is the only real issue I see for going after more advanced lectures. I totallly recommend the above mentioned series, specially because it provides a lot of vocab in different fields of work so I feel i’m filling some gaps in vocab awareness. Besides that its fun and been biographies it doesnt feel as childish as some other lectures I tried aimed at the same public.

A good place to have in mind for seeking books specifically aimed at different ages is . If you know what kind of material it’s challenging enough (age wise) for you then you can find recommendation based on age too.

I live in Tokyo, so availability of various things might be a bit different. I personally really enjoyed reading からかい上手の高木さん. It’s just a little higher level than よつばと! so it should be pretty digestible. The authors other series are also really good. Generally speaking, I would recommend just dropping by your local Bookoff, or other book store of that variety and just browse for a little bit. You should be able to find some stuff that both matches your level and interests. Netflix is also really good here, since you can watch stuff in Japanese, with or without Japanese subtitles.


Netflix is the #1 reason I’m kinda happy I just now got back into Japanese learning. Netflix didn’t have features like subtitles a decade ago…!

and you can set your account language to Japanese!

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