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--on brief hiatus until May 8)

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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 8305
Voice Only Unread 1437
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 3084
Voice Only Unread 505
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 1793
Voice Only Unread 264
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 1196
Voice Only Unread 174
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 1053
Voice Only Unread 158
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 988
Voice Only Unread 136
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 943
Voice Only Unread 118
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 807
Voice Only Unread 113
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 770
Voice Only Unread 110
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 709
Voice Only Unread 103
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 647
Voice Only Unread 87
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 602
Voice Only Unread 83
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 554
Voice Only Unread 72
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 508
Voice Only Unread 71
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 513
Voice Only Unread 69
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 479
Voice Only Unread 62
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 436
Voice Only Unread 55
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 427
Voice Only Unread 62
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 379
Voice Only Unread 55
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 368
Voice Only Unread 54
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 363
Voice Only Unread 45
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 348
Voice Only Unread 45
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 307
Voice Only Unread 43
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 303
Voice Only Unread 46
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 328
Voice Only Unread 47
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 291
Voice Only Unread 42
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 277
Voice Only Unread 37
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 268
Voice Only Unread 38
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 245
Voice Only Unread 37
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 241
Voice Only Unread 35
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 241
Voice Only Unread 35
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 234
Voice Only Unread 34
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 226
Voice Only Unread 33
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 211
Voice Only Unread 30
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 196
Voice Only Unread 27
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 190
Voice Only Unread 24
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 184
Voice Only Unread 25
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 182
Voice Only Unread 27
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 173
Voice Only Unread 26