About Hiragana Times Magazine

Experience the Finest Japanese Learning Magazine:
Immerse Yourself in Japanese Culture and Language!

Discover the ultimate English-Japanese magazine that offers
an authentic glimpse into real Japan.
With over 35 years of unwavering support from
passionate Japan enthusiasts worldwide,
our magazine stands as a testament to our commitment to excellence.

The monthly magazine that introduces the real Japan to the world, in English and Japanese

Hiragana Times introduces the real Japan to non-Japanese by looking at Japan as an attractive, unique town in the global village. Inside Hiragana Times, the world of Japan becomes reality, and one can experience the cultural frontier between Japan and the rest of the world. Hiragana Times has been published since 1986 and has readers in more than 100 countries. Readers are mainly in their 20s and 30s, but the number of middle-aged and elderly readers has been rapidly increasing in recent years.

Hiragana Times is a truly unique magazine in which you can study language while learning about Japan. Each Japanese paragraph is followed by its English translation or vice versa, and furigana are placed below each kanji to make Japanese study even easier.Digital version provides audio.



Editing Features / 編集の特色

Articles are current news and topics on Japan. 現在の日本のニュースや話題を記事

You can obtain knowledge of current Japan and study the language at the same time. Contents are reliable since professional Japanese writers write articles.



English sentence blocks and Japanese sentence blocks are alternately displayed.


You can easily compare the English sentence with the Japanese sentence and grasp the meaning without a dictionary.


Furigana (Hiragana) is placed on each kanji, and English word on katakana

Furigana (Hiragana) is placed on each kanji. For all kanji, furigana (hiragana) is placed in the magazine, allowing one to learn kanji at the same time as reading in hiragana. Usually, furigana is placed above on kanji, but here it is set below kanji so that you can challenge kanji katakana first. The original English word is placed on katakana. For katakana which was adopted from English and is confusing for Japanese learners, original English is placed.


English words that much to each Kanji are placed to under Kanji.

In some texts, a most proper English word that matches to each kanji or kanji compound words is placed. For instance, 外国人. In addition to “foreigner,” “outside” beneath 外, “country” 国 and “person” 人 are written.
二つ以上の漢字の組み合わせの各漢字の下にはそれぞれの漢字に該当する英単語が記載されているページもあります。たとえば、外国人はforeignerと記載される他、「外」はoutside, 「国」はcountry, 「人」はpersonと記されます。

You can also read in alphabet only

In most texts are also written in alphabet (Glomaji), which matches to a Japanese sound. Those who have no knowledge about Japanese characters can read, as long as you know the English alphabet.


You can practice Japanese text inputting

Most Japanese people type in alphabet to a PC to get Japanese texts. If you try to input the Glomaji (Global romaji) text into a PC, you will be able to get the Japanese text printed in the magazine. It will be good practice for inputting.

You can listen to the audio / 音声を聞くことができます。

You can listen to the audio in English and Japanese alternatively, English only or Japanese only.

In the digital version, you can listen to the audio by tapping the audio button. In the print version, you can also listen to the audio by holding your phone over the barcode above the article.

You can try to listen to audio and read
“Japanese Only” texts on the digital version. ↓

  • Audio is recorded in easy listening English and Japanese by professional narrators.

Best for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) preparation

JLPT places an importance on comprehension (the ability to read and understand). It applies to hearing tests, too. Since it is hard to predict the JLPT questions, it is difficult to know how to prepare for the test. Hiragana Times, which includes many expressions and kanji that often appear in the tests, especially N2 and N1, is one of the best sources to improve your comprehension, for the test.

Our Achievements / わたしたち”ひらがなタイムズ” の実績

  1. Our articles are used each year in some Japanese university English exams. Some articles are included in school textbooks. In addition our Japanese texts are used by overseas universities.
  2. Our sample sentences have been used in a well-known online dictionary.
  3. Data from our articles has been used by international companies and by linguistic departments in universities to improve translations.
  4. Our articles have been featured in commercial magazines, including a magazine for the hotel trade and a magazine published in other language.
  5. Our articles have been used by schools and companies as educational texts for improving both Japanese and English skills.
  6. All translated sentences have been converted into Braille.
  7. Hiragana Times has twice been awarded the Grand Prize at the NTT All Japan Town Magazine Festival.
Hiragana Times is not only read in embassies in Japan, but is read by foreign entrepreneurs and businessmen – many of whom are involved in IT. In addition, many interpreters and tour guides use the magazine as a way to introduce Japan to foreigners. Hiragana Times is reportedly one of the most widely-read magazines in Japanese libraries.
各国大使館の他、IT業界をはじめとする日本で活躍している外国人経営者やビジネスマンの多くがHiragana Timesの愛読者です。日本紹介のネタ本として多くの通訳・ガイドにも活用されています。図書館での貸出率が高いとの報告を受けています。