THE definitive list of Japanese language audiobooks

As I discussed here, an audiobook together with the corresponding  transcript is one of the best ways of improving your proficiency in a foreign language.

For whatever reason, the Japanese are not big fans of audiobooks. I have spent a great deal of time looking around for good quality materials in Japanese, but usually ended up frustrated by how scattered the resources were.

The following list is therefore an attempt to bring together all the Japanese audiobooks that I could find.  Many of them are free. I have provided links to the audio file, transcript, physical book or e-book wherever possible. Enjoy!


Fairy Tale “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” (8 min)
Audio (free with Audible trial)
Book


Fairy Tale “Beauty and the Beast” (9 min)
Audio (free with Audible trial)
Transcript
Book
Book (manga)


Fairy Tale “Cinderella” (8 min)
Audio (free with Audible trial)
Transcript
E-book


O Henry “Gift of the Magi” (25 min)
Audio (free) 
Transcript
Parallel Text 
E-book


Natsume Soseki “Yumejuuya” (1 hour 14 min)
Audio (free with Audible trial)
Transcript
Translation
E-book


Arthur Conan Doyle “The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire” (51 min)
Audio (paid)
Transcript
Book


Kurosaku “Yuusha to Muramusume” (1 hour 15 min)
Audio (paid)
Transcript


Matsushita Kounosuke “Watashi no Jijyoden” (47 min)
Audio (paid)
(no parallel text available)


James Allen “As a Man Thinketh” (1 hour 28 min)
Audio (paid)
English transcript
E-book
Book


Shinya Yamada “Saodakeya ha Naze Tuburenainoka?” (2 hours 51 min)
Audio (free with Audible trial)
Book (only on Amazon JP)
Manga (only on Amazon JP)


O Henry “The Last Leaf” (25 min) 
Audio (free) 
Parallel Text 
E-book


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle “Captain of the Polestar” (27 min)
Audio (free)
Transcript
Book


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle “The Gloria Scott” (79 min)
Audio (free)
Transcript
Parallel Text 
Book


Edgar Allan Poe “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (100 min)
Audio (free)
Transcript
Parallel Text 
Book


Hans Christian Andersen “The Emperor’s New Clothes” (21 min) 
Audio (free) 
Transcript
Parallel Text 
Book (manga)


Oscar Wilde “The Selfish Giant” (16 min) 
Audio (free) 
Transcript
Parallel Text 
Book


Ryunosuke Akutagawa “Spider’s Thread” (10 min) 
Audio (free) 
Transcript
Translation 
E-book


Ryunosuke Akutagawa “Rashomon” (18 min)
Audio (free) 
Transcript
Translation 
E-book


Ryunosuke Akutagawa “The Dog, Shiro” (28 min)
Audio (free) 
Transcript
Translation 
E-book


Kenji Miyazawa “Night on the Milky Way Train” (134 min)
Audio (free)
Transcript
Translation 
E-book (Miyazawa’s complete works)

Kenji Miyazawa “The First Deer Dance” (20 min)
Audio (free)
Transcript
E-book (Miyazawa’s complete works)

Kenji Miyazawa “The Great Bear of the Crows” (20 min)
Audio (free) 1 2 3
Transcript
Translation 
E-book (Miyazawa’s complete works)

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Maurice LeBlanc “Edith Au Cou De Cygne” (52 min)
Audio (free)
Transcript

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Lyman Frank Baum“A Kidnapped Santa Claus” (22 min) 
Audio (free)
Transcript


Osamu Dazai “Memories” (114 min)
Audio (free)
Transcript
E-book (Amazon JP store only)


Osamu Dazai “A Poor Man’s Got His Pride” (27 min)
Audio (free) 
Transcript
E-book (Amazon JP store only)


Gilbert K Chesterton “The Sins of Prince Saradine” (Incomplete)
Audio (free)
Transcript
Parallel Text 
E-book (Amazon JP store only)


Soseki Natsume “Three Cornered World” (Complete)(275 min)
Audio (free)
Transcript
Book (manga) 
E-book


Soseki Natsume “I am a Cat” (Complete)(22 hr)
Audio (free) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Transcript
E-book


Robert Louis Stevenson “The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” (Complete)(224 min)
Audio (free)
Transcript
Book (manga)


E.C. Tubb “The Winds of Gath” (Complete) (5 hr)
Audio (free)
Book

Notes:

1. Some people (like me!) prefer to own the real book rather than just a website transcript, so the Japanese e-book and physical book versions have been listed for your convenience. However, please note that the text in the book may be different from the audiobook depending on the edition. While the exact transcript is preferable, don’t stress too much if it doesn’t match up. It will still be helpful if you read it!

2. I adapted this list from an old post on the HTLAL forum that was full of broken links. I have also added several materials to the list.

3. Many of the audiobooks and e-books that I found were listed on Amazon.com. For copyright reasons, they might not be available on your local Amazon store, so try looking on Amazon.com if in doubt.

Do you know of any other useful Japanese audiobooks? Paid or free is OK. Please let us know below in the comments and we will add them to this list! We’d also be grateful for any reports of dead links or incorrect transcripts. Thank you.

5 thoughts on “THE definitive list of Japanese language audiobooks

  1. Thanks so much for the list! I tried to listen to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, but I could only find the first chapter for free on Youtube, and I couldn’t find it anywhere for a reasonable price. If you can find the Japanese audiobook of HP, that would be wonderful. The reader’s voice was engaging and it is such a fun way to practice.

    1. Thank you for commenting Hilary! I think you will find that Harry Potter is going to be similarly priced wherever you look. Its popularity also means that any copyright violations will be clamped down upon. That goes for double in Japan where copyright law is strictly enforced. I suggest you buy the audiobook the legal way. Investing in your learning is the best thing you can invest in!

  2. Awesome work getting this list together. I’ve also looked in the past and found the same thing, that Japanese Audiobooks are rare. Thanks for this!

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