Learning Japanese with Johnny’s

People often ask me about how I learnt Japanese and how they can start their own study journey. I am mostly self-taught and my skills aren’t fabulous but this is how I taught myself and some of my personal tips for teaching yourself Japanese through the exciting medium of Johnny’s! 🤣

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Buying second hand goods in Japan

There are amazing stores all over Japan that sell all kinds of wonderful second hand JE bits and pieces. Concert goods, CDs, DVDs, photos, advertising, streamers, programs, cash cards, magazines, collectors’ items. If it’s got a JE guys face on it then you are sure to be able to buy it somewhere second hand. There are plenty of places where you can get new CDs, DVDs and magazines but most things go out of print and there’s no way of getting new concert goods after a concert is over, so the second hand route is generally the quickest and cheapest way to build up your JE collection.

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Paparazzi photos in Harajuku

As well as the official photos sold by the Johnny’s Shop there are a number of stores on and around Takeshita Dori in Harajuku where you can buy paparazzi photos. These are photos taken by the press of the boys live in concert, plays or press conferences. When you walk along the street you’ll see signs layered with big beautiful photos. These are often at the top of dark, scary looking stair cases that lead to dingy, underground stores. These photos are technically illegal so whether you choose to support these businesses or not is up to your own discretion. JE obviously just turn a blind eye on these stores though as they are literally everywhere on and around Takeshita.

I don’t generally shop in the scary underground stores so I can’t shed much light on these from personal experience. Some of them have gachapon machines out the front (like gumball machines but with toys inside) that sell photo keychains for about 200-500yen and these are always fun to try your luck at. Most of these stores themselves though have mysterious buying systems that I never managed to work out and a bit of a creepy vibe but… fear not! There is one diamond in the rough of the black market of JE paparazzi photos.

Updated June 2020

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