Nihongo SWiTCH - A Japanese Language Learning Podcast Review

 “Nihongo SWiTCH” is an intermediate level podcast entirely in Japanese. This podcast is great for Japanese immersion and listening practice. Iku Yamamoto picks a topic for each episode, and sticks to that topic for the whole episode. She has background music, a slower jazzy piano style, playing at a nice level. She also has a good handle on her voice recording and voice level.

Yamamoto-san began putting up episodes of the “Nihongo SWiTCH” podcast in January of 2020. It looks like she pretty much releases one episode each week on Tuesdays, and she has a little over 100 episodes at the time of writing. Each episode is between 10 to 15 or so minutes. The podcast host (?) does not speak very fast, but her speech is not very slow either. I find it easy to understand her pronunciation, and I can pick up each individual word that she says. I wouldn’t consider myself at an intermediate level, but I can generally understand all of the Japanese she uses in the podcast (even though I may not understand the meaning). I can pick out the words that I don’t understand, and am able to look them up later.

Some of the topics that Yamamoto-san will talk about are things like: 

  • 10 zen lifehacks to reduce stress
  • Diagnose your otaku level of the Japanese language
  • What Japanese say when mistakes, failures, and setbacks happen
  • Japanese proverbs
  • Chill the hot summer with the Japanese best 3 horror stories
  • Japanese Idioms
  • Got Japanese Jokes?
  • Bad Japanese speech habits that you should not imitate

And many others…

Yamamoto-san has a website for the podcast “Nihongo SWiTCH”, where you can find links to the episodes on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. In addition, episode transcripts of all of the podcasts are posted on her website, and her YouTube channel. Be aware that transcripts, on YouTube, for the first 8 episodes feature scrolling text, which can feel a little strange for some people. Also, it scrolls a little too fast, it makes me feel dizzy. Text in the videos is fixed for episodes 9, and after, and looks much better.
On the website, the transcripts do not have any furigana, which is great for Japanese reading practice. If you want more from the transcripts, she offers them with furigana on patreon. The patreon transcripts also include a vocabulary list. I have not seen the patreon transcripts yet, so I cannot comment on those.

Overall, I really like this podcast and I will be returning to listen to the rest of the episodes. 

**Unfortunately, though, I just discovered that the Podcast website has expired; and the last podcast episode was published in November 2022. But who knows, it may come back at some point!

You can find “Nihongo SWiTCH” at the below:

Check out my list of Japanese Language Resources.