I (Sakura) live and work in the Kansai region of Japan and have been working in the travel industry for several years. And when I am not busy with travel business I am working on this blog.

As a Japanese, I am very happy when people want to study my native language. And if I can make that process even a little easier it makes me feel good. Living in various countries, I have had the opportunity to learn Spanish, Italian and English. This experience has taught me how fun speaking a foreign language can be and has also made me very aware of the barriers to getting there. I am not a teacher but rather a passionate learner of language like you. But I want to do what I can to help you with your studies.

This site is a one-woman show. I make everything by myself, so I really appreciate your feedback and suggestions. I love hearing from my readers and I especially like the nice comments. They are what keep me going.

Thanks for visiting!



  1. idjaramilloc says:

    Dear Sakura,

    I’d been using this site occasionally as a free user just to read a little and get some vocabulary, somehow I always ended up drawn to this site. But, today I started exploring what this site is actually about, (not reading but also SHADOWING) and I immediately paid for the membership access. I’m going to try to follow your proposed weekly study schedule starting next week and I’ll let you (and whoever else may be interested) know how it works out for me. I think this is the perfect complement for my autonomus grammar and vocabulary studies.
    Thank you very much for such great effort put into this website!
    ¡Saludos desde Colombia!

  2. click here says:

    Very nice article. I definitely appreciate this site.
    Continue the good work!

  3. click here says:

    Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your content
    seem to be running off the screen in Firefox.
    I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with web browser compatibility but I
    thought I’d post to let you know. The design look great though!
    Hope you get the problem solved soon. Thanks

  4. click here says:

    Hi, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues.

    When I look at your website in Chrome, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer,
    it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick
    heads up! Other then that, great blog!

    • Sakura says:

      Thanks for the feedback. I’ll look into it. I just upgraded some aspects of the site. That may have something to do with it.

    • Michael says:

      Internet Explorer is a very old browsing software now. It’s not been upgraded by Microsoft since 2009, so u should go using Chrome, Firefox or Opera from now on, or the new Microsoft Edge from Windows 10, witch is the new version of Internet Explorer. The web technology is changing rapidly so Internet Explorer cannot use some of the new technology anymore, and pretty soon probably will appear some web-page that will no longer even load in such an old software.
      I’ve checked this site in Windows 10 Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Edge and it looks fine to me.

      • Sakura says:

        Thanks so much for checking out those browsers. You are so right about Explorer. I gave up trying to make this site compatible with Explorer a long time ago. It’s an almost impossible task.

  5. […] Slow News in Japanese also has an app now which I have not used).  The app, I believe, has vocabulary and some grammar as well. Truthfully, I wish episode descriptions contained short vocabulary lists for some of the unfamiliar words (the eclectic subject matter lends itself to some unusual words sometimes). The app also appears to have premium content that you’d have to pay for, but includes quizzes and the like. The host of the podcast, Sakura, seems to have a great grasp of English as well, so I’d recommend checking out her blog here. […]

    • Sakura says:

      I like the suggestion about the short vocabulary lists. I might put something like that in at some point in the future. I can see how it might be useful to users. As for the app, try out one of the sample lessons. Here is a link to one: http://wp.me/p3qNES-2jo

  6. Xing Xing says:

    Dear Sakura San, I love your website very much. My Japanese has improved as a result of your hard work in creating this brilliant and wonderful site. I find the translation/vocabulary and listening section most helpful for me. You have put in so much effort, passion and love into making this possible. I am so grateful to you. Thank God for you!

  7. sabaideeka says:


    I’ve been following your podcast since late last year. I just signed up for Premium Access, and I particularly appreciate the reading comprehension quiz and shadowing section. I have one suggestion. If you include a direct link to the sample Premium lesson on the pages that say “for premium access members only,” I think that would be helpful. That way, people will know what’s supposed to be on those pages, and can make a better decision about whether to sign up.

    • Sakura says:

      That’s a good suggestion. I will look into that.

    • Sakura says:

      Thanks again for your suggestion! I have just implemented it and I opened up one of the previous lessons in the process. Now there are two sample lessons available to nonmembers.

  8. jason@gdiapers.com says:


    I just found your site and LOVE it. I am desperate to regain my fluency of 15 years ago so I can volunteer for the Rugby World Cup in Japan and Tokyo 2020 Olympics.


    • Sakura says:

      That’s good to hear. I was recently in the same spot with my Spanish, but using the shadowing technique has helped a lot. Good luck to you.

  9. Elena says:

    Dear Sakura-san, I love your site! Would you be willing to let classes/ schools sign up as a group to access this? Thank you, Elena

    • Sakura says:

      I would be very happy to help you and your class out. I offer very significant discounts for groups and classes. Please contact me at the following email address (info@newsinslowjapanese.com) and give me some more details about your class such as number of students and length of term, etc. Looking forward to hearing from you.

    • Sakura says:

      Just to let you know, it is very easy to do group signups. I have a setup designed to handle them.

  10. Ron Lambertson says:

    OK Sakurasan,
    I have just came across your blog via google search for listening practice. I have not yet listened to your sample, BUT reading your blog and your self introduction, YOU’VE GOT ME. I love the one woman lots of effort and passion in the effort. I will sign up and see what happens.
    I lived and studied in Japan for 6yrs, 30plus years ago. So, here we go. I promise honest feed back.
    Yoroshiku, onagaishimasu. Benkyo Shiyo……

    • Sakura says:

      I am so glad you found my site. I hope it can live up to your expectations.

      And I would love the feedback. Please post it here or directly via email. (info@newsinslowjapanese.com)

      Thanks so much!

  11. Harry says:

    すごい。What a great site which I arrived at via your podcast. Truly amazing – thank you for your hard work and interesting and varied approach.  今からがんばります。

  12. MrSteve says:

    Wow, amazing site! Thanks for your support to us Japanese learners.

  13. Viet says:

    Hi Sakura!
    I searched for new Japanese materials today and found this very convenient blog of yours. I am very happy to find this so I can improve my listening skills while also able to understand what is going on. It must be really 大変 to do it alone but your news are so fun to listen to! Please keep going! 🙂

  14. mike says:

    happy to find your website. i learn japanese now about one year and visit every month for marathon running.i hope to be able to understand mre japanese so i can talk more when i am in japan.

  15. Steve says:

    Hi Sakura さん。


  16. j.p. says:

    Thank you for all the hard work! I’m really glad that I got to know about your site. This has been a great addition to my study tools as I’m aiming to master kanji this year. Once again, thank you very much!!!

  17. Jay says:

    Hello Sakura!

    I am writing to say thank you for putting up this blog! I was amazed to learn that only one person is behind this! I also live in the Kansai region. Hope to hear more news from your site! どうもありがとうございます^^

  18. Michelle says:

    I love your site. It is helping me very much. It is really fun and also your articles are interesting. Thank you for all your time and effort. michelle

  19. Ryan Ball says:

    Thank you for creating this site. This is the kind of practice I’ve been looking for. I think ondoku style practice is very helpful but it’s hard to find resources that practical and or interesting. Please keep up the great work!

    • Sakura says:

      I think ondoku or shadowing is one of the best ways to practice a foreign language when you are on your own. Good luck with your studies!

  20. David says:

    Your various resources are absolutely perfect for an intermediate and rusty student of Japanese, such as myself. Really, this is the kind of resource that makes the internet worth having. Thank you so much, I can’t wait to get back into the the thick of studying Japanese again!

  21. Alice M says:

    Thank you very much for your site. It helps me a lot.
    Merci beaucoup !

  22. Sarah says:

    Hi, I just wanted to appreciate all the effort you’ve put into this! I’ve read the news with Rikai-kun many times before, but I remember often being left with all kinds of questions at the end of articles because of poor translation. The thoroughness in your translations and recordings makes the prospect of reading the news so much better!

    • Sakura says:

      I have been in the same spot studying Spanish, Italian or English. Sometimes, I really need a translation of the whole phrase. Especially because Japanese is so different from European languages structurally.

  23. Stephen says:

    Brilliant site Sakura!
    Please keep it going – there’s so little like this for Japanese learners.
    Thanks for this

  24. Michael says:

    I just read your article on the toothbrush. Thank you for posting such a useful way to learn. It is great you have hiragana and English available to check meaning of grammar and vocabulary!

  25. Eban says:

    I am a first year student of Japanese, living in America, and your news readings are exactly what I needed to help me learn the language. Please keep posting. I really enjoy the Basic Listening posts. Thanks again!

  26. Dani Richard says:

    先生、Thank you for such a wonderful web site. I have studying Japanese language and culture since 2012. Your website is a big help for my Japanese language learning. I use the Genki (2nd edition) books with the Teacher’s guide and supplementary materials. I have a 先生 that teaches me 着付け、書道、て日本語. I wear a kimono on a regular basis and have learned to put it on by myself. ありがとうございます。…… Dani Richard

  27. luca says:

    Dear Sakura,
    thanks a lot for your help with this site, I listen to the news while commuting.
    I relocated i Japan 2 years ago and this is really a great help and a unique site, thanks for keeping it up.
    I will support it with donation.
    Since I like so much this I am sure you could like a suggestion: I follow the news through the podcasts on iPhone. There is a way to add the text of the news you are reading or the link to the same news page in your website directly in the podcast using the “summary” function. Maybe you can try it?
    Keep up the good work

    • Sakura says:

      Thanks for your suggestion. As a matter of fact I just carried out an experiment during the holiday with this. I was just trying to figure out which version of the text to put there. I was considering the regular text with Kanji for the slow and the romaji version for the fast. What is your opinion?

    • Sakura says:

      I just added text to my most recent iTunes posts. What do you think?

      • Luca says:

        I saw new podcast that’s for sure great!
        About the kanji, I would suggest both. If space is limited, I would suggest kanji for fast version as more advanced users read that and don’t use romaji.
        Other ideas? Great job Sakura Sensei.

        • Sakura says:

          I like the idea of using both. I think there is plenty of room for it. I will slowly go back and start adding transcripts to my back issues.


  28. Stephanie says:

    Thank you so much Sakura! You help me a lot in practising listening! Thank you so much for your hard work! Keep going on! Cheers from Hong Kong ^_^

  29. Elkin Sierra says:

    Hola Sakura, qué alegría encontrar tu página. Este es el sitio que estaba buscando hace mucho tiempo. He estado estudiando japonés y mi falencia es la escucha y el habla. Pero creo que con la ayuda de tus noticias y el vocabulario, voy a despegar y de ahora en adelante serán mis fortalezas. Animo y continúa agregando noticias.

    • Sakura says:

      Hola Elkin, Muchas gracias por tu mensaje.
      Me da mucho gusto de recibir un mensaje como tuyo.
      Yo entiendo que es dificil aprender japonés porque era difícil aprender español para mi también.
      Pues, estoy aprendiendlo todavía 🙂
      Espero que este sito te da animo de estudiar japonés!
      Muchas gracias de nuevo!


  30. Casiel says:

    Thank you very much from a spanish follower. I also work in the travel industry and have been studying Japanese for some years, though I make little progress. I hope it will now be easier thanks to your help.
    ¡Muchas gracias!

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