Thanks to technological developments, Japanese has gotten a lot easier to access and study in the last decade. However, there is still one minor inconvenience: Japan is the only country that speaks Japanese. It's impossible to go to, say, France to study Japanese ... or is it?

Obviously, you could enroll in a Japanese language program in France, but this is a little complicated. A simpler strategy I've been testing myself is much less expensive: 旅行 雑誌 (ryokō zasshi, travel magazines).

The Japanese travel industry is enormous, as is the selection of periodicals covering destinations. Next time you plan a trip, reach for a Japanese guidebook at your local bookstore or, if you're not in Japan, check out the Amazon Kindle store. The series 「地球の歩き方」 ("Chikyū no Arukikata," literally, "How to Walk the Earth"; English title: "Globe-Trotter Travel Guidebook") and 「るるぶ 」 ("Rurubu") are available digitally, and you can access them on your smartphone with the Kindle app. This will save you the weight and clutter of packing the actual magazine.