Okay, everybody!!!!!!!  Let’s practice our Japanese!!!!!!!   The Nihongo Nouryoku Shiken (Japanese Proficiency Test) is coming soon and we gotta be ready!!!!!!!!!   And I love exclamation points!!!!!!!!!



This is a sign at my local American-style grocery store.  The red and white in the corner says, “Wakuwaku o sagasou!”  Wakuwaku is a fun word with lots of nuances, but basically here it means “fun and excitement.”  So the sentence is:  “Let’s look for fun and excitement!”

Then in yellow and white, it say, “rettsu! ryokou”  This is interesting for us English speaking because it incorporates the English word, “Let’s.”  (rettsu is the Japanization of Let’s).  Ryokou means “travel.”  So it is saying in a cutesy say, “Let’s! Travel”


This sign is in our health center, where I take Japanese class on Wednesday.

In white, it say, “Ima sugu hajimerareru kenkou hou”. “Let’s start improving our health right away.”

In black, it says, “Kaidan o tsukaou.”  “Let’s use the stairway.”

Do I obey the sign and use the stairs?  No way.  My Japanese class is on the fourth floor.


Can you guess what this says?

Inu no fun okotowari=”Warning about your dog’s poop”

Fun wa kanarazu mochikaerimasou=”Be sure to carry your dog’s poop home with you.”

Mana- o mamotte kireina machi wo=”Keep good manners in order to keep a clean town.”


tabako poisutte kinshi=”It is forbidden to drop your cigarette.”


This one is really important since it is summer and hot!  The last kanji is easy. (水 = water= mizu, or in this case sui)  Everybody in Japan knows it.  But can you read the whole thing?  tansan=carbonation

So it is “tansansui” Carbonated Water–something I love to drink in summer!  Zero calories!  Yeah, man!

In little letters, it says, “Tennensui de tsukutta”  “Made from natural water”  Hmmmm…What water is not natural?  Hmmmm….  I guess this is spring water right from a mountain, maybe.  As opposed to Tokyo city water.  I guess.


Okay, it is pretty obvious from the sign that it is 75% off.  But below that?  That’s pretty important to know while shopping.

toku 得 is in my dictionary as “profit, gain, advantage, benefit”

so お得に (otokuni) means “Wow, what a bargain!!!!!!!”  If you see that, you know that the store thinks the price is really low.  That is what the store thinks anyway.  Their idea of a bargain price is usually different from my idea of a bargain price.

Off to the side, it says, 最大 (saidai)  which means very large/maximum.  So this is a very large sale for something I totally and completely do not need.


I have save the MOST IMPORTANT for last.  This one is really worth knowing if you live in Japan.  See the 3? See the kanji that comes after it?  If you already know this, then fine, stop reading right now.  But if you are scratching your head with no idea what that means……….

Can you figure it out?  3  what?  Huh? 3 what?

3割引 3 wari biki =”30% off!”


Sometimes you will just hear “waribiki” which means “discount”

Over the 3, it says レジで  reji de which means “at the cash register.”  So you’ll  get the discount off the price listed, and the cash register will figure it out.

Very useful!!!!!!!

My Japanese proficiency test is coming soon, and I’m getting excited!  It’s on July 5.