Being up to date on Japanese news can be an uphill task. If you don’t speak the language, understanding the standard newscasts can be hard. If you can’t read Kanji, forget the local newspapers. To most foreigners, especially those new to the country, newspapers are just squiggles and pictures, leaving you guessing the latest gossip.
While some TV channels offer dubbing or subtitles (which you can turn on if you have a new enough TV), sometimes you just want to read up on the goings-on in your spare time. The three following websites will help you stay on top of things, both major and minor.
This website provides standard national news, sometimes a little delayed from the Japanese version, but they are clear, concise, and easy to understand. The website packs a few other fun features, such as daily pictures, special feature stories, and reader polls to keep you up to date on all things happening. Totally free, endless clicking, and easily printable, this website will keep you informed as well as entertained.
A little meatier than Japan Today, this website is as real-time as it gets. The site is run by the Yomiuri Shimbun, and subscribers are offered unlimited access to the Washington Post.
Non-subscribers can enjoy the standard news for free. The articles are well written, informative, and slightly dense to be honest. If you want to keep up with the comings and goings, in more detail and on a higher level, this website is for you.
The most casual and therefore intriguing of the three, this website offers an insight into the bizarre and funky world of Japanese culture. Mostly filled with stories that foreigners would find especially interesting – from soccer players modelling loincloths to perverts stealing ladies bicycle seats the website is designed to keep you entertained for the most part, while informing people of things they would not otherwise be aware of.
The more you know!