Oku-Nikkou

What secrets await deep in the beautiful and mysterious mountains of Inner Nikkou?

Yuuta spends his summers at a hot spring hotel run by his grandparents in an idyllic mountain setting. But an emergency early one summer reveals a truth that Yuuta could have never imagined. A story with elements of fantasy about family, life and death, and growing up. (62 episodes)

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Episode 1
The narrator remembers a moment with his grandparents.
Notes: This episode contains a few challenging words, such as one that means "the basin of a waterfall," and several place names that will likely be unfamiliar. But hang in there! The first few pages of a new story are always the most challenging and this one is worth it.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 12743
Voice Only Unread 3769
Episode 2
Serene Lake Yunoko provides a beautiful place for a walk -- but is a change in the air?
Notes: This episode contains a note on the pattern ka to omottara and as well as a review of the phrase maru de.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 5174
Voice Only Unread 1342
Pro
Episode 3
The narrator explains an annual routine.
Notes: This episode demonstrates how to use made ni after a verb, as well as a special use of the word sae.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 2766
Voice Only Unread 698
Pro
Episode 4
The narrator gives more details about his living situation.
Notes: This episode contains a reminder about the tari pattern, as well as a note regarding an interesting aspect of this story's narration style.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 1463
Voice Only Unread 341
Pro
Episode 5
Yuuta describes his daily life in Tokyo.
Notes: This episode contains interesting notes, such as one on the pattern for invoking a higher power.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 1210
Voice Only Unread 269
Pro
Episode 6
Yuuta reflects on the differences between his life in Tokyo and his summers in Oku-Nikkou.
Notes: This episode contains fun vocabulary, such as a word that means "a treat" or "a reward," plus a pattern for saying that someone does something "secretly" or "covertly," and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 919
Voice Only Unread 241
Pro
Episode 7
Yuuta describes a particularly exciting part of his routine at the hot springs hotel.
Notes: This episode showcases fun vocabulary like words that mean "to cast aside," and "thrill," plus a note on a special use of to to emphasize the trifling quality of an amount.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 798
Voice Only Unread 212
Pro
Episode 8
Yuuta's attention is arrested by a scene outside the hotel.
Notes: This episode is packed with interesting vocabulary, such as an expression that means "to have one's eyes glued to something," as well as several interesting notes.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 713
Voice Only Unread 195
Pro
Episode 9
The courtyard becomes the scene for a memorable moment.
Notes: This exciting episode also contains great vocabulary and notes, such as a pattern that means "as if / as though," and a note on the difference between two readings of δΈ­.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 710
Voice Only Unread 187
Pro
Episode 10
What starts as an unfamiliar sound comes to have a special meaning for Yuuta.
Notes: This episode contains great cultural elements as well as a breakdown of a sentence that stops and starts several times from different angles.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 802
Voice Only Unread 204
Pro
Episode 11
The grandparents share their experience with Yuuta.
Notes: This episode contains lots of good grandparent dialog.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 633
Voice Only Unread 164
Pro
Episode 12
Yuuta's grandmother shares her wisdom as Yuuta reflects on the value of conversation.
Notes: This episode contains a long and potentially tricky sentence, but our careful breakdown will help you make sense of it.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 573
Voice Only Unread 153
Pro
Episode 13
Yuuta makes friends as he lends a hand with the hotel chores.
Notes: This episode has several extended notes that explain a transitive/intransitive verb pair, a suffix for making the names of children's games, and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 526
Voice Only Unread 141
Pro
Episode 14
Yuuta's grandmother relates an episode from her youth.
Notes: This episode contains some challenging dialog, which includes contractions and inversions, but our detailed notes will help you make sense of it.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 552
Voice Only Unread 139
Pro
Episode 15
Yuuta's grandfather reminisces about a favorite food.
Notes: This episode contains a few vocabulary words that might be new to you, such as one that means "a childish (simple and innocent) mind."
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 496
Voice Only Unread 138
Pro
Episode 16
As the years go by, Yuuta grows both in his relationship with his grandparents and his maturity.
Notes: This episode contains excellent expressions and a fun contraction.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 481
Voice Only Unread 128
Pro
Episode 17
As the summer of his third year of school starts, Yuuta thinks about his future.
Notes: This episode contains great vocabulary and notes, as always.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 474
Voice Only Unread 123
Pro
Episode 18
The hot springs hotel is a flurry of activity as the family arrives.
Notes: This episode contains useful words like "rucksack/backpack" and a suffix that means "hunting (for the named thing)," plus helpful notes, as always.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 427
Voice Only Unread 123
Pro
Episode 19
Questions swirl as Yuuta wonders what will happen next.
Notes: This episode contains a note that explains why different kanji characters are sometimes used for the same word.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 438
Voice Only Unread 117
Pro
Episode 20
As night turns to day, the family waits for news.
Notes: This episode contains notes that compare and contrast two words that both mean "sleep," plus a discussion of why the word for "neck" is sometimes used when "head" is meant.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 426
Voice Only Unread 119
Pro
Episode 21
Yuuta weighs in on a discussion that will impact his life in a big way.
Notes: This episode contains notes on a speech contraction common to dialects throughout Japan, as well as a review of a pattern that we met earlier.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 439
Voice Only Unread 116
Pro
Episode 22
The search for Yuuta's grandmother continues.
Notes: This episode contains notes on a word that means "somehow or another" and one that means "warmth."
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 435
Voice Only Unread 114
Pro
Episode 23
As the days go by, people invent all manner of explanations for the grandmother's disappearance.
Notes: This episode contains a note on the difference between two words that both mean "to spread out."
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 421
Voice Only Unread 111
Pro
Episode 24
Yuuta and his grandfather enjoy a moment in the open-air bath.
Notes: This episode contains a note on several equivalent ways to create the present progressive.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 531
Standard Unread 137
Pro
Episode 25
Yuuta's grandfather recalls a favorite food of Yuuta's grandmother.
Notes: This episode contains helpful breakdowns of two short sentences containing easy words that might nonetheless trip you up.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 442
Standard Unread 117
Pro
Episode 26
Yuuta's grandfather elaborates on what happened that night.
Notes: This episode contains three great examples of creating progressive verb forms using the technique described two episodes earlier.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 566
Standard Unread 111
Pro
Episode 27
A wide-eyed Yuuta listens as his grandfather recalls a critical moment.
Notes: This episode contains exciting descriptive vocabulary, as well as an example of three inversions in a row!
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 540
Voice Only Unread 107
Pro
Episode 28
Yuuta's grandfather makes a shocking claim.
Notes: This episode contains a tricky sentence that is worth pushing through to learn several interesting patterns. Our notes will help you break it down.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 514
Voice Only Unread 106
Pro
Episode 29
Yuuta considers his grandfather's story.
Notes: This episode contains an excellent vocabulary word that often turns up in Japanese language tests, as well a reminder about how the word moshikashite works.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 509
Voice Only Unread 106
Pro
Episode 30
Could Yuuta's grandfather be telling the truth?
Notes: This episode contains a note clarifying the word misukasu, "to see through," as well as a reminder about the use of mo to emphasize a surprising amount.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 494
Voice Only Unread 104
Pro
Episode 31
Yuuta and his grandfather continue their conversation inside.
Notes: This episode contains a note on two related words that mean "to give" and "to receive from on high," as well as notes on an important word for naming caveats.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 511
Voice Only Unread 102
Pro
Episode 32
Yuuta's grandfather explains the benefits of the strange system.
Notes: This episode contains a note on the expression sore ga, plus a note on a sentence that uses the -tari, -tari pattern in a way that might be new to you.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 508
Voice Only Unread 106
Pro
Episode 33
Yuuta learns more about how the system works.
Notes: This episode illustrates a special sense of the word ichi-do, plus a special form of the negative -eba conditional.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 442
Voice Only Unread 96
Pro
Episode 34
To everything, there is a season.
Notes: This episode demonstrates the word somosomo, which can help you get back to the basics when considering something.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 454
Voice Only Unread 88
Pro
Episode 35
Yuuta's grandfather relates a story from his youth.
Notes: This fun episode contains a tricky sentence with both an inversion and a dropped final verb, but our notes will help you make sense of it.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 438
Voice Only Unread 95
Pro
Episode 36
Yuuta's grandfather reveals what he thinks happened that fateful night.
Notes: This episode contains great vocabulary such as "a lightning strike" and "a drop; a bead."
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 417
Voice Only Unread 92
Pro
Episode 37
Unable to sleep, Yuuta ponders how differently from his expectations the summer is turning out.
Notes: This beautiful episode contains an expression that means "just when I thought..." and a note on the difference between two similar ways to compare things.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 438
Voice Only Unread 94
Pro
Episode 38
A special moment is shared.
Notes: This episode contains great expressions like "unmistakably" and "to dive down into (covers, etc)."
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 419
Voice Only Unread 93
Pro
Episode 39
Yuuta's grandfather marvels at the passage of time.
Notes: This episode contains a special use of the particle mo, plus an excellent example of contrastive wa.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 402
Voice Only Unread 91
Pro
Episode 40
An older and stronger Yuuta decides to make good on an old promise.
Notes: This episode contains a note on a common contraction, plus a breakdown of an expression that means "one can't help but (verb)."
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 458
Voice Only Unread 95
Pro
Episode 41
As Yuuta returns, he overhears part of a tense conversation.
Notes: This episode contains a long note on the word mou.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 397
Voice Only Unread 88
Pro
Episode 42
Yuuta uses his quick footwork to attempt to convince his grandfather of something.
Notes: This note contains a note on the words for different parts of the eyes, plus two others that break down tricky phrases.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 409
Voice Only Unread 80
Pro
Episode 43
Yuuta observes a change in his grandfather.
Notes: This episode contains an excellent vocabulary word related to the title, as well as a discussion of using the word naisho, "secret," in sentences.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 395
Voice Only Unread 79
Pro
Episode 44
An intrepid Yuuta tails his grandfather.
Notes: This episode contains two uses of the word goro-goro, along with notes that explain them, plus a note explaining a pattern that means "it's not the time to be doing such-and-such."
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 386
Voice Only Unread 83
Pro
Episode 45
The situation on the mountain takes a sudden turn.
Notes: This episode contains several interesting expressions.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 358
Voice Only Unread 75
Pro
Episode 46
Yuuta and his grandfather take stock of things.
Notes: This episode contains a long note about the differences between three words for hugging.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 356
Voice Only Unread 78
Pro
Episode 47
An unexpected encounter happens when Yuuta and his grandfather press on.
Notes: This episode contains notes on three special words for kinds of rain.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 373
Voice Only Unread 77
Pro
Episode 48
Yuuta recovers from the adventures of the previous day.
Notes: This episode contains a great pattern for speaking of familiar sights and sounds.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 361
Voice Only Unread 73
Pro
Episode 49
Yuuta's father explains what he and his father talked about the other day.
Notes: This episode contains notes on an expression that means that circumstances come together in such a way that something is possible, and another on a word for being dumbfounded.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 328
Voice Only Unread 68
Pro
Episode 50
Yuuta's father continues to provide context.
Notes: This episode contains a note on a way of naming the source of your information.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 378
Voice Only Unread 66
Pro
Episode 51
Yuuta remembers an important tradition.
Notes: The episode contains another instance of a pattern we learned earlier that means "having only (done something)."
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 402
Voice Only Unread 74
Pro
Episode 52
Yuuta and his father plan for the future.
Notes: This episode contains two special uses of wa, and notes that break them down.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 375
Voice Only Unread 62
Pro
Episode 53
Yuuta opens up about something that has been on his mind.
Notes: This episode contains a note on how to use the suffix -buri to talk about doing something for the first time in a while.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 366
Voice Only Unread 68
Pro
Episode 54
Yuuta describes how he felt during the summers with his grandparents.
Notes: This episode contains a note on a pattern that means "if only..." or "I wish..." as well as a word that means the speaker is searching for the right way to put something.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 320
Voice Only Unread 62
Pro
Episode 55
Yuuta's father responds.
Notes: This episode contains an interesting word that means "disqualification" and a note on how to use it.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 378
Voice Only Unread 59
Pro
Episode 56
Yuuta considers the scale of what he is experiencing.
Notes: This episode contains a note about the difference between two verbs that are both written using the kanji for "finger."
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 527
Voice Only Unread 68
Pro
Episode 57
As Yuuta and his father look on, visitors appear.
Notes: This episode contains a special use of the particle ya to indicate mild exclamation or dismissiveness.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 412
Voice Only Unread 56
Pro
Episode 58
The visitors share a moment with Yuuta and his father.
Notes: This episode contains great vocabulary, such as a word that means "hearty; lively."
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 378
Voice Only Unread 58
Pro
Episode 59
The cave gets a new visitor.
Notes: This episode contains a note on the interesting word tekkiri, which signals that the speaker now realizes an expectation was incorrect.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 372
Voice Only Unread 54
Pro
Episode 60
The visitor explores the cave.
Notes: This episode contains a note about the verb kazaru, a breakdown of a tricky sentence, and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 341
Voice Only Unread 51
Pro
Episode 61
Something the visitor notices causes him to take stock of his life.
Notes: This episode contains notes on an expression that means "that thing itself; the very thing," one on a special use of the passive of omou, and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 343
Voice Only Unread 49
Pro
Episode 62
The conclusion to Oku-Nikkou.
Notes: This episode contains a note on a salutation you sometimes see in letters and when to use it.
Editions Status Total Readers
With Sound Effects Unread 302
Voice Only Unread 50