Nihongo Nikki Noto (Writing a Diary in Japanese)

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I’ve already written a lot about the difference between active and passive knowledge (check my learn japanese guide if you haven’t). The goal is always to be able to express what you want in Japanese. Having a tandem partner with whom you can have a nice conversation is awesome of course. But if you aren’t blessed with a friendly Japanese native who wants to learn your mother tongue as bad as you want to learn Japanese, it can become difficult. Nihongo Nikki Noto tries to bridge this gap and help you write a diary in Japanese. Nothing too fancy, just a couple of words here and there. And because we all hate when things become too overwhelming the  book gives you ideas and grammatical challenges for each day.

Maybe writing a diary is in fact the better alternative to a tandem partner. I speak from experience. About two years ago I was trying charm two Japanese girls into having a nice tandem chat with me. Not both at the same time, that would’ve been too demanding. Regardless, I failed, both times and was let down in a very Japanese way. In a certain sense I can definitely relate to all the foreign boys in Japan who suddenly can’t reach their Japanese girlfriends anymore. From one day to the other they’re just – gone. And can’t be reached anymore. Maybe they were put off by the fact that I had a girlfriend or maybe I’m just a prick. Regardless, just start writing a Japanese diary and forget about the tandem thing. Tried it, failed for you (and me) and can now tell you: Beware of female Japanese tandem partners who’re studying music.

What Nihongo nikki Noto makes such a great book to practise with are the pretty detailed explanations of various Japanese grammar points. Each “day” features another entry and gives you a lot of examples so that you can instantly use your new knowledge. There is always a certain topic for each day. Be it the weather, chores etc. which can give you some ideas for potential topics. I personally never wrote a diary before, so it can be a little difficult to start. Just have a look at all the pictures I took which show some of the vocab pages I wrote about and some grammar pages as well.

Writing a diary in Japanese should mainly benefit our Japanese abilities, of course. But there is another great side to it. You reflect a little more about your life. It’s never a bad thing to have a positive attitude and focus on the good times in life. (I have to be careful that I’m not turning this into a new age site)

Nihongo Nikki Noto is published by ALC which is a fantastic company for Japanese study books. I’ve already featured the splendid Understanding basic Japanese grammar and Essential Japanese Expressions. They’re always putting out high quality books which are only rivaled by the Japan Times.

Note: Shortly after writing this review this really great book went out of print. Your best bet is still amazon but prices are astronomically high these days. Really hoping for a re-print someday but even in December 2016 nothing happened so far.

  • Buy Nihongo Nikki Noto (Writing a Diary in Japanese) at amazon.com
    If you buy the book through my link, I’ll get a small referral fee which will be used to buy even more awesome books for review. Thanks for your support!

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  • Buy Nihongo Nikki Noto (Writing a Diary in Japanese) at amazon.com
    If you buy the book through my link, I’ll get a small referral fee which will be used to buy even more awesome books for review. Thanks for your support!
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  • Minh

    This might be actually useful! I’ve got to practice on output and I write on Lang-8 now and then, but I can’t come up with contents to write regularly. No romaji is a plus, and Korean (which I will look into in the distant future)! Thanks for introducing this book.

    • Glad you like it Minh. This will definitely give you some ideas on how to practice your written Japanese.

  • Ich hab das letztens auf deren Website gesehen!! An sich finde ich die Idee nicht schlecht und die Passagen, die man dann selber schreiben muss, scheinen nicht allzu umfangreich zu sein. Ist zumindest ein guter Start, um überhaupt auch noch handschriftlich Japanisch schreiben zu üben. Ein weiterer Plus Punkt ist, dass man bei einigen Vorgaben noch zusätzliche Ausdrücke lernt und man diese ggf. mit oder teils übernimmt.
    Japp, ‘ne gute Alternative zu ‘nem Tandem Partner. ‘ne Freundin hatte gemein, dass ich mir ‘nen Tandem Partner suchen sollte, aber ich bin da skeptisch. Ich bin ja eher der Meinung, dass man dahin gehen soll, in der man auch gezwungen ist, die Sprache zu sprechen, um einigermaßen ein Sprachgefühl zu erlangen. Meine Mom hat das mit mir gemacht und mich zu Oma und den anderen Verwandten mitgeschleppt, damit ich lerne, die dort halbwegs zu verstehen :’D Hat geklappt und ein Tagebuch mit Hilfe des にほんご日記ノート hilft dem einen oder anderen auch! Man muss halt immer seinen inneren Schweinehund überwinden und eben wenigstens einmal die Woche etwas schreiben! :)

  • Christian Inthedark Pasti

    Just bought it! From amazon :( [I’ve seen your link too late, sorry]. Hope it’ll helps lol

  • Another great write up. Just placed an order through your link. I’m looking forward to using this book.

  • Kizzahxoxo

    Buying through your link! I really much appreciated the review and detail! So yeah, giving my thanks and this is why I’ll get through your link. Your blog is brilliant..

  • Javier Aristín

    Thank you! It’s a really good suggestion!

  • narjp

    Really want to buy this but cant find it anywhere in 2016, any ideas, I’d be very grateful.

  • Shuu Chuu

    I should have bought this amazing book while it was still available on White Rabbit Japan. Instead, I had to wait for months till I found a copy in perfect condition on eBay (I was very lucky I guess). This is a very good alternative to tandem and the explanations are clear and easy to follow. Also, there’re Korean translation ;P This book is a gem ♥