Scratching Deer

Somewhere in Nara

Scratch my head.
atama wo kaite kureru

How to Say SCRATCH in Japanese


Deer Crossing Street


Somewhere in Nara

A deer is crossing a road.
shika ha douro wo wattateiru  tokoro desu.

How to Say CROSS A STREET in Japanese

Every year between October and September, there are many cases of road accidents involving deers 道路・通りを渡る douro/doori wo wataru crossing roads/street.


Male Deer vs Female Deer


Somewhere in Nara

There are a lot of deers in Nara
nara de ha takusan no shika ga imasu

Some have antler
aru shika ha edazuno ga arimasu

Some don`t have antler
aru shika ha edazuno ga arimasen

How to Say DEER in Japanese

All male シカ shika deers have antlers. Most female シカ shika deers don`t. For シカ shika deers, their horns are called antler.

Extraordinary Japanese Culture: Useful Japanese Words

Japanese language is a fantastic language. Why do I say so? Because there are so many meanings to a Japanese word. You will find these Japanese words 便利 benri convenient. I think I have been using these Japanese words more than 100 times a day.


"I bought your lunch." "Oh, sumimasen."
"Here, take this concert ticket." "Oh, sumimasen."
"I have brought you the DVD that you wanted to watch." "Oh, sumimasen."

Hmmm... hen strange! Why say sumimasen, there is nothing to 謝る ayamaru apologize about. Later I got to know that they are not apologizing. They are saying "Thank you". Sumimasen also means ありがとう arigatou thank you.

Here are the other uses to sumimasen.

"Sumimasen, sumimasen, sumimasen, 降ります orimasu I getting off!" as you call aloud while getting off a
満員電車 man in densha fully packed train.
Used when you are asking people to give way.

"Sumimasen, how do I go to Shinjuku station from here?" as you asking a seemingly busy station officer.
Used when you are interrupting someone from what they are doing.

"Sumimasen, the train was late," as you apologize for arriving late to work.
Used when you are sorry.

"Sumimasen, two beers please," you ordered to the bartender.
Used when you are requesting.


In Japan, there are many Japanese words and expression for different situations. When you don`t use correct Japanese words, you might be thought as 失礼 shitsurei impolite. While the correct Japanese word is important, replying to the Japanese words is also likewise important. What word should I use to 返事 henji reply? It is doumo.

"Konnichiwa!" someone greeted you.

"Otsukare sama deshita!" greeted you when you are going home.

"Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!" requested you to do something.

"Arigatou gozaimasu!" said the salesperson when you bought something.

"Shitsurei shimasu!" someone said to you as he is about to hang up the phone.

If you are in Japan, you will notice that many Japanese people use the above Japanese words oftenly. The next time you hear "sumimasen" and "doumo", try to identify what the Japanese people mean.

With that, when you are in Japan, try out the above Japanese words of "sumimasen" and "doumo".

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Nara Deer Week


Something that impressed me in Nara are the deers that greeted and welcomed me.
For the first time, I got to so close to them. Touched them looked them in the eyes without any fences in between. The feeling was amazing.

For the next 2 weeks, picturelearning will be presenting pictures of Nara deers.
We hope you feel amazing too!

Extraordinary Japanese Culture: Japanese Greetings


"Good morning" is said at night

When we start to learn Japanese language, we will first learn the Japanese greetings.
The very first Japanese greeting would probably be おはようございます ohayou gozaimasu "Good morning".
We were taught that ohayou gozaimasu would simply mean good morning and it should be used in the morning.

When I was hired to work in the 居酒屋 izakaya (Japanese pub) as a アルバイト arubaito part-timer, I wanted to give a good impression on the first day at work. So I went to work early while other workers have not arrived yet. At 4pm I arrived at work and said aloud, "こんばんわ konbanwa Good evening" to the 店長 tenchou shop manager and assistant shop manager. But they just うなづいたunaduita nodded quietly in return. At that time, I thought I gave a proper あいさつ aisatsu greeting, thus I felt it was okay. However, after that, when the other workers came, each of them greeted by saying, "Ohayou gozaimasu, ohayou gozaimasu!".

"Huh, it is already past 5pm. Why do they say ohayou gozaimasu?" I was confused.
Out of curiosity, I asked another non-Japanese worker there,"Hey, why did you said ohayou gozaimasu?"
"Hmmmm....every part timer need to say ohayou gozaimasu. Regardless if it is morning, noon, or night, you say `good morning`. I also don`t know, just say it," he explained.
Although I can`t really get it, I just replied,"なるほど naruhodo Oh, I see. From now on I will greet ohayou gozaimasu!".

Arigatou vs Yoroshiku onegaishimasu

In 英語 eigo English, there is no greeting equivalent to "yoroshiku onegaishimasu". The closest translation on the web would be "Please take good care of me". It is mostly used during 自己紹介 jiko shoukai self-introduction. I didn`t know the yoroshiku onegaishimasu for other uses. For example, I didn`t know that yoroshiku onegaishimasu can be used in writing emails too.

In English business emails, for requests, we would end with "Thank you" and "Regards".
I got used to that way of writing, thus when I was writing Japanese emails, I would end by writing "arigatou gozaimasu". I continued doing it for some time until one day, my 先生 sensei teacher found out and told me: "When you have any request, say yoroshiku onegaishimasu".

Different from English emails, in Japanese language, there is a specific word when requesting. You must use yoroshiku onegaishimasu. Suddenly, I felt I was 失礼 shitsurei impolite since I didn`t use the yoroshiku onegaishimasu before.
When you are requesting your counterpart, and while your counterpart haven`t said if he can or cannot do it, saying "arigatou gozaimasu" would means that you have already assumed that your counterpart will definitely able to do it. Although no one had 文句を言う monku wo iu complained me, to a certain extent, I probably had been impolite to some people.

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Giant Panda Bread

Somewhere in Osaka

What a giant panda bread!
nanto kyodai na panda pan

How to Say BREAD in Japanese

The biggest naan パン pan bread in the world is 3 meter wide

I love naan with tandoori chicken.

Kobe Tower

Meriken Park, Kobe

It looks like it is orange in color. Actually the steel is red in color.
orenji iro ni mieru kedo. hontou ha hagane ga akairo desu.

How to Say Steel in Japanese

What is difference between iron and 鋼 hagane steel? 鋼 hagane Steel is an alloy made out of iron. Both can be as strong depending on the composition and application.

See Which is stronger steel or iron?


Port of Kobe


Meriken Park, Kobe

The night view of the ships is beautiful.
 fune no yakei mo utsukushii da ne.

How to Say SHIP in Japanese

Port of Kobe is the 4th busiest port in Japan with passenger and cargo 船 fune ships.

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Japanese Iron Man

Wakamatsu Koen, Kobe

In the city of Kobe,...
koube shi ni ha

...there is a hero. His name is Iron Man.
eiyuu ga iru. namae ha tetsujin da.

How to Say IRON in Japanese

Tetsujin, the Japanese version of 鉄 tetsu Iron Man, was Americanized and named Gigantor.

See history of Tetsujin


Starbucks in Kitano-Cho


Kitano-Cho, Kobe

Let`s have a break.
chotto yasumou ka.

How about coffee at Starbucks?
 suta-bakkusu de ko-hi- ha dou

How to Say STARBUCKS in Japanese

Do you know that スターバックス suta-bakkusu Starbucks got its name from the novel, Moby Dick?


European Cars

Kitano-Cho, Kobe

I wish one of those cars are mine.
sono kuruma ha watashi no da to ii ne.

How to Say I WISH in Japanese

(something you wish) + だといいね da to ii ne.

For example: I wish I were a king.
watashi ga ousama da to ii ne.

Featured Articles: Extraordinary Japanese Culture

Dear Readers,

I have completed a two more parts of the Extraordinary Japanese Culture series.
The first part of the series was released in February under the featured articles.
For those who missed it, see Extraordinary Japanese Culture Part 1: Drinks

This coming 18/Aug and 19/Aug, I will release
Extraordinary Japanese Culture Part 2: Greetings
Extraordinary Japanese Culture Part 3: Super convenient words

Don`t miss it!!!


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