Even though Japan has the reputation of a Hightech country, print media such as magazines, comics and newspapers are still around and popular all over the country. Let’s take a closer look at Japanese newspapers or Shinbun (新聞).
Japanese newspapers are similar to their worldwide counterparts and range from general news-oriented papers to special interest newspapers devoted to economics, sports, literature, industry, and trade.
Newspapers are circulated either nationally, by region, by each prefecture or by each city. Some newspapers publish as often as two times a day (morning and evening editions) while others publish weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even yearly. The five leading national daily newspapers in Japan are the Asahi Shinbun, Mainichi Shinbun, the Yomiuri Shinbun, Sankei Shinbun and the Nikkei Shinbun.
The first two are generally considered liberal/left leaning while the latter three are considered conservative/right leaning. The most national daily English-newspaper in Japan is The Japan Times.
Japanese newspapers began in the 17th century as yomiuri, which were printed handbills sold in major cities to commemorate major social gatherings or events.
If you speak Japanese, you should start reading newspapers as they contain interesting global and more specific local information about your current location. If you don’t speak Japanese, you should either buy the Japan times or get some papers as a nice souvenir!