新幹線 the Shinkansen [Others]

1 When did the Shinkansen start its service?
2 How fast is it now?
3 Why does it have a long nose?
4 Why are there so many tunnels on its routes?
5 Aside from the Tokaido Shinkansen, what Shinkansen do you have?
6 Why do you think the Shinkansen is so popular among foreign tourists?
7 Do you think the ticket price is reasonable?
8 What's the difference between Nozomi, Hikari, and Kodama?
9 How long does it take from Tokyo to Osaka by the fastest Shinkansen?
10 What's a "seven-minute miracle"?
11 When did you first ride the Shinkansen?
12 Which do you prefer, a window seat or an isle seat?

Useful Words
時速       per hour
空気抵抗     air resistance
減らす      reduce, decrease
高速で走る    run at a high speed
通路側の席    isle seat


燃料電池車 Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV) [Current Topics]

1 What's the fuel of FCV?
2 How does FCV get electricity?
3 What does FCV emit while running?
4 What's the difference between FCV and EV?
5 What's the problem of FCV?
6 Do you think FCV is eco-friendly?
7 Aside from using FCV or EV, what can we do to be eco-friendly?
8 Do you drive? What kind of car do you have?
9 Are you interested in FCV? Do you want to get one?

Useful Words
水素      hydrogen
酸素      oxygen
放出する    emit
電気自動車   electric car (EV)
二酸化炭素   carbon dioxide
満タンにする  fill up
排気ガス    car exhausts


温泉 Hot Springs [Others]

1 Is it okay to wear a swimsuit in a hot spring bath?
2 How about wrapping my body with a bath towel?
3 Why can't we use a towel in the bathtub?
4 Where do you put your towel?
5 Are there any other etiquettes we should know?
6 I hear tattooed paople are not allowed to take a hot spring bath. Why?
7 Why do Japanese people like hot springs so much?
8 Why are there so many hot springs in Japan?
9 What's "roten-buro"?
10 What hot spring resort do you recommend?

Useful Words
お湯をきれいに保つ  keep the water clean
浴槽のへり      the rim of the bathtub
AをBから締め出す   keep A out of B
鉱物         mineral
血行を良くする    improve your blood circulation
露天風呂       open-air bath


紅葉狩り Leaf Peeping [Event]

1 Could you recommend a good place for leaf peeping?
2 Why do you think Japanese people like leaf peeping?
3 Which do you like more, leaf peeping or cherry blossom viewing?
4 What's the reason why you don't have a party in leaf peeping?
5 Some foreigners say autumn foliage in Japan is more beautiful than that in other countries. Do you agree?
6 Do you know the process leaves change their colors in fall?

Useful Words
紅葉       autumn foliage, autumn leaves, colored leaves
~に敏感な    be sensitive to
季節の移り変わり seasonal transition, seasonal changes
稲作       rice farming
葉緑素      chlorophyll
色素       pigment


勤労感謝の日 Labor Thanksgiving Day [Holiday]

1 What kind of holiday is Labor Thanksgiving Day?
2 What was this day called in the past?
3 Why did GHQ change the name?
4 Is this day similar to Thanksgiving Day of the USA or Canada?
5 Do you eat turkey on this day in Japan?
6 Have you ever tried turkey?
7 Do you know what Presidential Turkey Pardon is?

Useful Words
収穫祭     harvest festival
神道の儀式   Shinto ritual
執り行う    conduct
民主化     democratization
恩赦      pardon


ハローキティ Hello Kitty [Others]

1 Do you like Hello Kitty? Do you have any Hello Kitty goods?
2 What's a kittyler?
3 Why do you think Hello Kitty is so loved in the world?
4 Why does she have no mouth?
5 Is it true she has a pet cat?
6 Sanrio says Hello Kitty is not a cat but a little girl. What do you think?
7 Do you have any other information about Hello Kitty?

Useful Words
~にはまっている  be crazy about, be into, be addicted to
心で話す      speak with one's heart
四つ足で歩く    walk on four legs
猫のひげ      whisker
さそり座      Scorpio
3年生       third grader


出雲 Izumo [Sightseeing Spot]

1 Where is Izumo?
2 Who is Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine dedicated to?
3 What do you know about this deity?
4 What is this shrine famous for?
5 Why do all deities in Japan gather in Izumo in October?
6 Have you ever been to Izumo?
7 What is Shimane Prefecture famous for?

Useful Words
神様      deity
縁結び     matchmaking
しめ縄     sacred rope
石見銀山    Iwami Silver Mine
世界遺産    World Heritage site
シジミ     "shijimi" clams, "shijimi" shellfish


すし Sushi [Food and Drink]

1 Why do you think sushi is so popular in the world?
2 What are popular toppings for "nigiri"? What's your favorite?
3 Could you tell me how to eat "nigiri"?
4 What's "gari"?
5 Why do you eat "gari" or "wasabi"?
6 Could you describe a conveyor belt sushi bar?
7 What's "temaki-suzhi"? How do you make it?
8 What's "chirashi-zushi"?
9 How often do you eat sushi?
10 Why do you describe overcrowded trains as "sushi-zume" in Japanese?

Useful Words
左に倒す    turn it on its left side
一口で     in one bite
生姜の甘酢漬け sweet vinegared ginger
わさび     Japanese horseradish
回転ずし    conveyor belt sushi bar
のり      seaweed paper
手巻きずし   hand-rolled sushi
ちらしずし   mixed sushi with colorful toppings


体育の日 Sports Day [Holiday]

1 When was Sports Day before?
2 What happened on this day in 1964?
3 Why was the date changed to the second Monday of October?
4 Do you agree with this change?
5 When and where was the last Olympic Games held?
6 Do you like sports?
7 What sport do you like to play or watch?

Useful Words
東京オリンピック Tokyo Olympic Games
開会式      the opening ceremony
ハッピーマンデー制度 the Happy Monday System


銭湯 Public Bathhouse [Others]

1 Are public bathhouses in Japan mixed-sex baths?
2 What does the character "ゆ" on the Japanese curtain mean?
3 How much is the fee?
4 Is it okay that a five-year-boy take a bath in the women's section?
5 Why has the number of public bathhouses been decreasing?
6 Which do you like, a public bathhouse or the bath in your house?
7 How important is the habit of taking a bath?
8 What's a "super sento"?
9 Do you go to a public bathhouse?

Useful Words
混浴       mixed-sex bath
のれん      Japanese curtain
廃業する     go out of business
血行を良くする  improve your blood circulation
複合浴場施設   bath complex