John and Friends in Tokyo

Tag along as John's friends help him tackle common daily tasks like shopping, paying the bills, going on dates, and more.

This fun series is presented entirely via dialog that is realistic but also easy to follow. It's a great way to become more familiar with the kinds of patterns you might hear among friends, including common speech contractions, hesitation words, good-natured teasing, and more. As always, our friendly notes help break down potentially tricky spots so that you can understand what you hear and incorporate it into your own speech. (Ongoing)

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Episode 1
Fashion-challenged John asks for a little wardrobe help from friend Satoko.
Notes: This episode contains lots of useful planning vocabulary, like words that mean "in that case," "to begin with," and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 9676
Voice Only Unread 1683
Episode 2
As they navigate the shopping center, Satoko digs for information on John's dating life.
Notes: This episode contains a note on the use of the word ko to refer to adults, one on using nai with the suffix -sou, and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 3631
Voice Only Unread 593
Pro
Episode 3
John explains what he's looking for and gets some help from a friendly salesperson.
Notes: This episode contains several examples of a way of making an ordinary verb more polite, as well as lots of good vocabulary and patterns related to clothing.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 2100
Voice Only Unread 315
Pro
Episode 4
John gets down to the business of trying on clothes as Satoko teases him.
Notes: This episode contains a note that explains how to use proverbs in sentences, as well as one on a pattern for suggesting a course of action.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 1400
Voice Only Unread 211
Pro
Episode 5
John and Satoko debate the merits of tight versus roomy clothing.
Notes: This episode has notes that look at several important patterns, including the -te aru pattern and the adjective stem + -me pattern.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 1224
Voice Only Unread 190
Pro
Episode 6
Done with their shopping, John and Satoko figure out where to eat.
Notes: This episode contains a long note on the use of -doori to mean "exactly in accordance with (the preceding noun)," a note on the kekkou that means "quite," and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 1165
Voice Only Unread 163
Pro
Episode 7
John and Satoko pore over their menus.
Notes: This episode contains a note on a service-industry equivalent of desu, a way of saying something appears in print, and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 1112
Voice Only Unread 136
Pro
Episode 8
John and Satoko complete the task of deciding what to order.
Notes: This episode reviews the difference between kimeru and kimaru, looks at an unexpected use of a word that looks like it might mean "service," and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 967
Voice Only Unread 130
Pro
Episode 9
As John and Satoko tuck into their lunch, they discuss their meal and different approaches to seasoning.
Notes: This episode contains a long note on a short phrase that might feel tricky.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 920
Voice Only Unread 127
Pro
Episode 10
The pair discuss the intention behind the flavoring of side dishes.
Notes: This episode contains a note that breaks down a potentially tricky sentence, one that looks at the difference between two words for "flavor," and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 839
Voice Only Unread 122
Pro
Episode 11
John wonders about the Japanese obsession with raw ingredients.
Notes: This episode contains a note that takes up the difference in meaning that can occur by using a present versus a past tense verb before the word toki, and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 769
Voice Only Unread 106
Pro
Episode 12
Satoko asks John about his upcoming date plans over dessert.
Notes: This episode contains a note on the word rounin, one that explains how to say "it was more X than I thought it would be," and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 719
Voice Only Unread 101
Pro
Episode 13
Satoko and John talk about different types of people.
Notes: This episode contains a note on a word that literally means "camp" or "faction," but which you can use to talk about being a "dog person" or "cat person."
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 664
Voice Only Unread 90
Pro
Episode 14
Satoko suggests some date ideas to John.
Notes: This episode contains a note on a word that means "easy; light; carefree," one on a special meaning of sono, and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 605
Voice Only Unread 91
Pro
Episode 15
John calls Nanako to plan their upcoming date.
Notes: This episode contains a note on a pattern for reintroducing a previously discussed topic, one on a word that means "mostly," and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 614
Voice Only Unread 93
Pro
Episode 16
John and Nanako meet up and head to the theater.
Notes: This episode contains a note on using zenzen with positive endings, one on a way to express happiness/relief about how things turned out, and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 577
Voice Only Unread 84
Pro
Episode 17
John and Nanako have a lively discussion of the film's characters and their motivations.
Notes: This episode contains a note on a convenient way to ask for clarification, a note on the word datte, and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 533
Voice Only Unread 75
Pro
Episode 18
The pair talks about what to do next on their day out.
Notes: This episode contains a note that takes a closer look at the relationship between the pattern for making comparisons and the pattern for saying one should do something.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 528
Voice Only Unread 80
Pro
Episode 19
John and Nanako discover an interesting shop.
Notes: This episode contains a note on how to name years in Japanese, one on "dad jokes," and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 473
Voice Only Unread 72
Pro
Episode 20
Nanako revels in childhood memories as John enjoys some old-time candy.
Notes: This episode contains a note on an expression that means "if only...!", one on the use of mono/mon as a particle, and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 462
Voice Only Unread 72
Pro
Episode 21
John and Nanako debate the best place to have dinner.
Notes: This episode contains a note on a phrase that means "to call it dinner," one that looks at "I asked a friend" versus "I heard it from a friend," and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 458
Voice Only Unread 60
Pro
Episode 22
John starts to wonder if he has bitten off more than he can chew.
Notes: This episode contains a note on the words that start with 以-, one on a fancy equivalent of kara, and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 441
Voice Only Unread 59
Pro
Episode 23
John and Nanako negotiate what to order.
Notes: This episode contains a note on the shi that means "for this and other reasons," a note on a suffix that (depending on how you attach it) can mean either a negative or a positive command, and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 401
Voice Only Unread 57
Pro
Episode 24
John and Nanako wrap up dinner.
Notes: This episode contains a note on the phrase gochisou-sama deshita, a common (mis-)use of the word sugoi, and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 397
Voice Only Unread 60
Pro
Episode 25
Satoko calls John to follow up on dinner plans.
Notes: This episode contains a note on the pattern X ni suru, "to decide on X," one on a way of quoting back what someone has said to you, and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 428
Voice Only Unread 61
Pro
Episode 26
John shows up ready to help make dinner.
Notes: This episode contains a note that explains a contraction for the -te shimau pattern, one that explains a word that usually means "in any old way," and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 396
Voice Only Unread 58
Pro
Episode 27
Satoko gets John busy with veggie prep.
Notes: This episode contains a note on a pattern that sounds feminine, as well as a review of a word we saw before that means "quite."
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 377
Voice Only Unread 54
Pro
Episode 28
John practices his knife skills.
Notes: This episode contains a note on a use of suru that means "to make X into Y," one on a use of the conditional to suggest a course of action, and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 365
Voice Only Unread 55
Pro
Episode 29
Satoko explains what meats you can use in curry.
Notes: This episode contains a note on a suffix that means "-sized" as in "golf ball-sized," one on how to name dimensions, as in "3 centimeters by 4 centimeters," and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 342
Voice Only Unread 51
Pro
Episode 30
John and Satoko move on to the sauteing step.
Notes: This episode contains a note on a pattern that means "A means B," one on a word that means for a secret to come to light, and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 338
Voice Only Unread 49
Pro
Episode 31
Satoko walks John through the final steps.
Notes: This episode contains a note that looks at the word mou, one that looks at a special form of ii, and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 331
Voice Only Unread 52
Pro
Episode 32
John is elated as the curry takes shape.
Notes: This episode contains a note on something people say when following instructions, one on a use of the -te kuru pattern that means that gradual change becomes noticeable, and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 328
Voice Only Unread 50
Pro
Episode 33
The group sits down to eat.
Notes: This episode contains a note on a word that you can use to speak of "doing nothing but" a certain thing, a suffix that makes friendly commands, and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 315
Voice Only Unread 49
Pro
Episode 34
Satoko demonstrates how to make tamago-kake gohan.
Notes: This episode contains a note about how to tell someone to be quiet, one on a suffix that means a particular "school" or "style," and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 303
Voice Only Unread 48
Pro
Episode 35
John finally gets a bit of Satoko's Special while Kenji opines on John's curry.
Notes: This episode contains a note on a word that means "the secret; the knack; the trick" of doing something, one on an expression that young people use a lot these days, and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 288
Voice Only Unread 47
Pro
Episode 36
The topic of wine leads into a discussion of John's recent date.
Notes: This episode contains a note about the difference between "I understand" and "I know already!"
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 287
Voice Only Unread 44
Pro
Episode 37
John explains more about the other night.
Notes: This episode contains a note on "pulling apart" the two halves of a verb in the progressive in order to insert a wa between them, one about a phrase that means "(not) in particular," and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 279
Voice Only Unread 44
Pro
Episode 38
Satoko and Kenji lend understanding ears to John.
Notes: This episode contains a note breaking down a difficult sentence that centers on one funny-looking expression, one on a pattern that means "as much as possible," and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 287
Voice Only Unread 46
Pro
Episode 39
The group talks about the importance of values.
Notes: This episode contains a note looking at the difference between two words for "daughter."
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 277
Voice Only Unread 46
Pro
Episode 40
John meets up with two friends at a local pub.
Notes: This episode contains a note on a famous sentence that seems to mean "I am an eel," one on the term "member of society," and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 247
Voice Only Unread 28
Pro
Episode 41
The friends begin to catch up about work and dating.
Notes: This episode contains a note about a pattern for emphasizing an adjective, one for drawing logical deductions, and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 204
Voice Only Unread 24
Pro
Episode 42
The conversation turns from food to work.
Notes: This episode contains a note on a pattern that allows you to set up a hypothetical premise, one that allows you to name a general tendency of the world, and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 193
Voice Only Unread 21
Pro
Episode 43
Saito explains his part-time job as John wonders what kind of job might work for him.
Notes: This episode contains a note on a pattern that means "to do without letup," one on an expression that means "to deal with someone," and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 177
Voice Only Unread 18
Pro
Episode 44
John impresses his friends by using a word that means "to relate proportionally."
Notes: This episode contains a note that shows how to use that word.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 182
Voice Only Unread 16
Pro
Episode 45
Saitou and Kenji talk about the process of applying for work.
Notes: This episode contains a note on a use of 売る that is technically incorrect but is becoming more common.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 160
Voice Only Unread 18
Pro
Episode 46
John is surprised to hear of a unique aspect of Japanese resumes.
Notes: This episode contains a note on "heated questions," one on a way of creating short ranges, like "two or three minutes," and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 140
Voice Only Unread 19
Pro
Episode 47
The gang debates the reason for resume photos.
Notes: This episode contains a note on わけ, one on さすが, and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 140
Voice Only Unread 13
Pro
Episode 48
John learns more about the opportunity at Saitou's favorite cafe.
Notes: This episode contains a note on the word ありがたい, a breakdown of a tricky sentence, and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 133
Standard Unread 12
Pro
Episode 49
The three friends decide to keep the evening rolling.
Notes: This episode contains a note on using the って quoting particle as a heavy-duty topic marker, one on a particle that indicates the speaker is searching their memory, and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 121
Voice Only Unread 10
Pro
Episode 50
The three study the available plans and options.
Notes: This episode includes a note on a suffix that means "all you can...," one that breaks down a tricky sentence, and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 77
Voice Only Unread 10