You can turn these words into hiragana by matching the sounds to the characters on the chart.

bonsai ("tray plantings"-like tiny trees)
edamame ("stem bean")
hibachi ("fire bowl"-a grill)
futon ("cloth mass"-a mattress)
karaoke ("empty orchestra")
karate ("empty hand"-a martial art)
kimono ("wear thing"-traditional robe)
manga (Japanese comics)
origami ("folding paper")
sudoku ("digit single" number puzzle)
tsunami ("harbor wave")


カフェ (katakana)
Cocomo (romaji)
をよろしく (hiragana)

"So Hari, I am waiting on the platform for the train from the airport to Osaka to arrive. A line up of uniformed women are waiting at measured distances along the platform, and we all line up behind them.

The train arrives and stops, passengers get off and then all the women — each one to a door — get on with brush and bucket, placing yellow plastic chains across the entrance to stop us from getting on. After 90 seconds they have each cleaned their compartment and — EXACTLY at the same time! — get off the train and remove the yellow chains.

At that moment, every seat on the train turns 180 degrees to face forward. The women invite the passengers to get on. As the train leaves the station — on time to the second!— the women stand in a line on the platform waving us off.

Weird! xo Alice"

HIRAGANA CHART - Press to hear audio

The BradField Company's INANIMATE ALICE is a digital novel that never ends, narrated by Alice, an aspiring game designer. Free to view online are episodes 1-5 and 12 photo stories set in Australia. This digital journal takes place between episodes 5 and 6 (coming in 2015), during Alice's Gap Year.

Editorial Direction: Hopping Fun Creations
Design and Coding: Andy Campbell

Language Consultant: Kathleen Duquemin
Voice Actor: Naoko Nishikawa
Brad illustrations: John Welding

Special Thanks to Contributors: Elayna Snyder and Chelsea Reidy, Kathleen Duquemin, Alexander Walsh, Nathan Lane, Kathryn Kirkpatrick, Meaghan Baker, Jerry To

Video credits: Osaka station (cover), Dotombori (page 4), Kyoto Station (page 6): Nathan Lane; Takoyaki (page 5), Sumo (page 5): Kathleen Duquemin; Matchmaker Shrine (page 8): Stickandsteam at VideoHive, used by permission.

Image Credits: Rabbit café (cover, pages 2-3): Kathryn Kirkpatrick; dog café (page 3), sumo (page 5), torii (page 6): Kathleen Duquemin; cat café (page 3): Meaghan Baker; Dotombori Canal (page 4): CC BY-SA 3.0 Type Specimen at Wikipedia ; takoyaki (page 5): Alexander Walsh; shoes: Ed Hardy; purikura (page 5): CC by Jonatan Lindström (Flickr); rabbit dog (page 5), shrine (page 6), incense (page 7): copyright © Elayna Snyder; teenagers (page 7): copyright © Saeko Hoshino.

Sound Credit: Japanese music (gadget): sixthtulip (AudioJungle).