This is how I entertain myself

I bought a couple of products and got a few samples while I was in Japan, and lately I’ve been working on seeing if I can read the labelling on them.

So far I recognized 毛穴 and 電池. I recognized the kanji in 部門 but didn’t know the word, so I looked it up and it means (in this context) category. I’ve got a bunch of other small packages/samples with lots of labelling that I’m curious to eventually read.

The end goal is to be able to read the documentation that came with the qrio smart tag I bought at Bic Camera, lol. I managed to set it up with my superior knowledge of forms (woohoo web programming!) but I had absolutely no idea what anything said, and no, it has no English version or instructions.

I’m not sure if this is excessively dorky or really awesome.¯_(ツ)_/¯


Well the top one says something “Top ranking?”
so i guess this top one means “Number 1 battery?”
or something like that… :wink:
doing the same, when i buy myself japanese products like even caligraphy pens full with kanji’s etc i try to “Decrypt” them into something which i can understand :slight_smile:

My favorite brush pens ever!!!

tho i only have the middle one in a Japanese package :frowning: (Somehow i got it from Amazon)
and it’s in Japanese like many Tombow products :slight_smile: my favorite pens/pencils and erasers

2B Tombow and this weird black eraser are amazing for anything, because it doesnt even leave any marks and when writing with 2B pen its like magic… erase and not even 1 marking or anything :wink:

Sometimes i have a weird thing where i watch Japanese Lets players playing games like Minecraft etc (Not my thing) but its really good if you want to hear to some “Real” japanese and catch a few phrases :wink:

also i’m going to JP next week :wink: for entire 3 weeks


My sister got chopsticks from a Japanese market in Oregon. (she couldn’t fly with umeboshi- BOOO!!!) I swear the label on the back is 99% kanji, one could mistake it for Chinese. I’ll try and find a pic on the interwebs. She also brought back something labeled “Strawberry! cream sand” which I’ll report back on. Sounds appetizing!

If you like reading random Japanese packaging/signs/what-have-you, you should check out Japanese in the Wild! It’s really fun going through the posts and trying to figure out what things mean. Sometimes the comments will have translations, so it’s a good challenge to see if you can get the gist of what’s going on without peeking.

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I’d totally do this! If I had any Japanese labels or packaging…

That label is unrelated to the batteries. It’s some kind of cleanser it was peeled off.

=> Get a Japanese friend.
=> Exchange gifts.
=> Lots of packages in Japanese to read.
=> Happiness achieved :smiley:


Great idea! Now to work on step 1…


Check this video from the guy that wrote Japanese from Zero. It might motivate you to not be afraid and just go with it on HelloTalk :slight_smile:


I’m lucky enough to have at least one Japanese grocery store and a Japanese cosmetics store in my city. :blush: But I bet you can order Japanese stuff online, no?I seem to remember some website where they send you a bundle of stuff every month of a category you choose e.g. candy, cosmetics, cute stuff, etc. I’ll try and remember what it was!!

Yep! You are right. Its from a clay-based facial cleanser :slight_smile:

I keep meaning to try it out…

I’ve tried it a little bit for another language but not Japanese yet, the video is definitely convincing, thanks!

I have Japan Crate and Tokyo Treat, as well as their lines of Japanese stuffies (Doki Doki and… Yume Twins I think the other one was called) so I get lots of Japanese items with their original writings. I’m getting used to reading the flavors at least =P

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Yeah! I mean, you don’t need to be talking/writing in Japanese for 1h in a row with someone ^^ Due to different time zones, most conversations end up being like “I just sent you a message now and you’ll get back to me in 5h or even 10h.” You can go in your own pace more than you probably realize.

I’m just a beginner like you :smiley:

If you really want to start utilizing your Japanese and feel accomplished, I recommend you to change the language of your smart phone to Japanese… I have done that a week ago and I am so happy with the fact that I understand some words that IOS is throwing at me.I literally found a bunch of Kanjis that I already studied in sentences like "パスコードを入力” and time phrases like "時間前” . Also, I was a bit weak with reading Katakana before but now I am more challenged to read it. In top of that, I am learning new Kanjis and Vocab by simply having them on my app’s screen all the time. EX: Weekdays and basic apps names. Using my phone these days is way more entertaining than before, with all the challenges I am facing trying to decode the instructions and settings. XD

I do have a big Japanese store nearby, but I don’t like to read their products descriptions. Or any Japanese product description. I find the Japanese writings on them so hard to read since they contain a lot of Kanjis that I don’t know (Obviously since I am still in level 8). These kind of situations makes me feel overwhelmed and that I am not achieving anything in my studies. So I prefer to avoid them. XP. But I might consider reading them in the future.

Do you (or anyone) know how to set a samsung s6 to Japanese? I can’t seem to make any head way online without some sketchy seeming method… it only allows me French (Canada), Chinese, Korean, and English (Canada)… :frowning:

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For internet browsing only, use Firefox. No need to install any font.

For some system-wide setting, Japanese fonts might help partially. I use モトヤLバーチ3. This is from Samsung Store.

For Anki, use custom Japanese font.

Changing the whole telephone language to Japanese? You need to root. Samsung, in particular, is locked.

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This rooting process is what I thought was sketchy… is it like jailbreaking an iPhone? I don’t want my phone bricked haha. Thank you for the app recommendation though! I’ve found it and will get it after a few more google surveys.

Rooting refers to gaining root access (aka super user or su). I don’t know about the specifics of jailbreaking on iOS, but they both aim to allow you to do more with your device and both run the risk of bricking. However on the Android side this varies greatly from phone to phone. A few manufacturers make it relatively easy to gain root. And many popular devices have very easy one click methods that run very little risk of bricking. It’s generally something you have to do some Googling for in regards to your own device.


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