How’s business?

カジュアルフロア おさわり禁止

If you’re studying katakana, try reading the words on the sign around this fellow’s neck to find out what they have on offer upstairs.

Halloween happens to be on the horizon, but he’s a fixture in front of this Kyoto clothing store throughout the year.

Use the rikaichan popup dictionary or your favorite reference tool with the words I’ve transcribed below the photo if you need help reading the katakana, or the message in his mouth.

The vertical hiragana/kanji can be seen more clearly if you click on the photo to enlarge it and then click again on his mouth.  A very common verb and kanji compound that you can likely guess the meaning of from the context.

I wonder what kind of greeting’s waiting for me on the second floor?

Originally posted 2012-09-21 22:57:57.

Summertime temptations at Kyoto’s Nishiki Market

生ビール冷えてます。

Use the rikaichan popup dictionary or your favorite reference tool on the text I’ve transcribed just below the photo if you need help reading this sign.

It includes an often seen kanji/katakana pairing, so even if you’re still getting katakana down, this is a good chance to get some exposure in a natural context to a very high frequency kanji character and perhaps learn one of its readings and meanings.  Give it a try before continuing.

If you go out to eat or drink in Japan, this one will serve you well, in case you needed a bit more motivation. Asking for なまビール  will do the trick, or just say なま and save your energy for sipping! Your draft beer will appear in a flash.

I like the way the shopkeeper embellished the standard sign(you can often get this and others like it at the 100 yen shop,  the local version of a dollar store) with a glittery approximation of a cup of suds, with  bubble wrap quite capably standing in for the head.

Admittedly, I noticed these details only after considering buying one as it was a typically muggy August day, but it was only early afternoon, so I somehow resisted the urge.

I came across it when I was strolling through Nishiki Market,  which is a must do when you’re in Kyoto.  It’s a narrow, covered street with a 400 year history that’s home to a wide variety of traditional shops.  It’s packed with tourists on weekends and there’s a certain energy about that that can be fun, but weekdays allow for more elbow room and the chance to take things in at a more leisurely pace.

A great place to stroll and indulge your senses,  soaking up  sights, sounds, tastes and smells that will linger in your mind long after your visit. And a good number of shops, like this one, offer foods that you can eat or drink on the spot and on your feet,  to tide you over between meals.

But with possibilities like raw, skewered cubes of tuna marinated in olive oil and Italian spices along with more traditional delicacies in no short supply, why not go with the flow, graze your way from end to end and call it lunch?

Originally posted 2012-09-15 10:30:36.

Kana Kanban

DSC01524

コカコーラのおいしさホントにしってる?

If you’re studying katakana and hiragana, try reading the sign on top of this vending machine. Use the rikaichan popup dictionary or your favorite reference tool with my transcription below the photo if you need help.

The verb 知ってる is written in hiragana, しってる, and the noun 美味しさ,  or おいしさ here, gets the hiragana treatment as well.

i-adjectives in Japanese are easy to convert to their noun forms,  just replace the final i(い) with sa(さ). This pitch for Coca-Cola includes a great example of this in a natural context,  with the adjective for delicious, おいしい appearing in its noun form, おいしさ. For more examples of this, take a moment to read a very concise,  well done piece here, at NIHONGO ICHIBAN.

Did you notice that 本当に(ほんとに) is written in katakana in this ad? In Japan katakana is often employed in advertising for emphasis, much as italics would be used in elsewhere.

JapanesePod101.com – Learn Japanese with Free Daily Podcasts

Originally posted 2013-09-07 01:00:04.

Kana Kanban

DSC07973

ありがとうございました

If you’re studying hiragana, try reading this. Use the rikaichan popup dictionary or your favorite reference tool with my transcription below the photo if you need help.

The shoe in the photo belongs to the owner of this Kyoto barber shop, who was sitting on a stool waiting for his next customer when his doormat caught my eye.  Shouldn’t this message be facing the other way? Hmmm……….

Originally posted 2013-05-11 10:06:35.

Kana Kanban

DSC07456

おにぎり 100YEN セール

If you’re studying hiragana and katakana, try reading this convenience store poster. Use the rikaichan popup dictionary or your favorite reference tool with my transcription below the photo if you need help.

Originally posted 2013-05-01 00:41:48.