Oku-Nikkou

What secrets await deep in the beautiful and mysterious mountains of Inner Nikkou? A story you will never forget.

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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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 3.5(328 votes)
Voice Only Unread 3.5(117 votes)
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 3.4(158 votes)
Voice Only Unread 3.6(49 votes)
Pro
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 3.1(69 votes)
Voice Only Unread 3.3(28 votes)
Pro
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 3.4(62 votes)
Voice Only Unread 3.4(20 votes)
Pro
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 3.0(56 votes)
Voice Only Unread 3.1(17 votes)
Pro
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 3.0(54 votes)
Voice Only Unread 3.2(16 votes)
Pro
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 3.2(53 votes)
Voice Only Unread 3.4(14 votes)
Pro
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 3.3(42 votes)
Voice Only Unread 3.4(13 votes)
Pro
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 3.0(43 votes)
Voice Only Unread 3.2(13 votes)
Pro
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 2.9(39 votes)
Voice Only Unread 3.1(10 votes)
Pro
The grandparents share their experience with Yuuta.
Notes: This episode contains lots of good grandparent dialog.
Editions Status Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 3.0(40 votes)
Voice Only Unread 3.2(9 votes)
Pro
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 3.1(40 votes)
Voice Only Unread 3.3(8 votes)
Pro
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 3.0(42 votes)
Voice Only Unread 3.0(8 votes)
Pro
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 3.4(41 votes)
Voice Only Unread 3.6(6 votes)
Pro
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 2.9(37 votes)
Voice Only Unread 3.1(7 votes)
Pro
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 2.9(33 votes)
Voice Only Unread 3.1(7 votes)
Pro
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 2.9(35 votes)
Voice Only Unread 2.9(7 votes)
Pro
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 3.0(34 votes)
Voice Only Unread 3.2(7 votes)
Pro
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 2.9(34 votes)
Voice Only Unread 3.0(5 votes)
Pro
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 2.8(33 votes)
Voice Only Unread 2.8(6 votes)
Pro
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 2.9(34 votes)
Voice Only Unread 3.1(7 votes)
Pro
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 3.0(30 votes)
Voice Only Unread 3.0(6 votes)
Pro
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 3.0(30 votes)
Voice Only Unread 3.2(5 votes)
Pro
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 2.7(30 votes)
Standard Unread 2.7(7 votes)
Pro
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 3.1(31 votes)
Standard Unread 3.3(4 votes)
Pro
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 3.2(25 votes)
Standard Unread 3.4(6 votes)
Pro
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 3.0(22 votes)
Voice Only Unread 3.3(5 votes)
Pro
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 3.1(22 votes)
Voice Only Unread 3.3(7 votes)
Pro
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 2.7(20 votes)
Voice Only Unread 2.8(6 votes)
Pro
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 2.9(16 votes)
Voice Only Unread 3.0(7 votes)
Pro
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 3.0(14 votes)
Voice Only Unread 3.0(5 votes)
Pro
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 2.8(12 votes)
Voice Only Unread 3.0(5 votes)
Pro
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 3.3(12 votes)
Voice Only Unread 3.5(3 votes)
Pro
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 3.0(9 votes)
Voice Only Unread 3.0(3 votes)
Pro
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 Difficulty
With Sound Effects Unread 2.7(7 votes)
Voice Only Unread 3.0(too few votes)