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Vocabulary Quiz
back streets • besides • prefecture
reserved • shrine
  1. This would be a difficult job for someone who is as as you.
  2. They have a beautiful in the living room of their house.
  3. Do you know your way through the here?
  4. English, he speaks three other languages.
  5. Does each have its own local government?
Comprehension Quiz
Answer the following questions about the interview.
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649 Travel Tips For Japan
Keiko gives Todd ideas about what to do in Japan with his family.

  • Transcript
  • Audio Notes
Vocabulary notes (text only) explain key vocabulary and phrases from the interview.

back streets

In the back streets, you can see these old people who grew up in that area.

'Back streets' are small roads that not many cars drive on. These are usually streets that go through neighborhoods and are not direct paths to get anywhere. Notice the following:

  1. Driving on these back streets can get very confusing.
  2. It's safe to play soccer in the middle of the road on some of these back streets.


Besides Tokyo, my favorite is Shikoku because it has really nice nature.

Here, 'besides' can be replaced with 'other than.' We understand that Tokyo is her favorite, but what other cities does she like? Notice the following:

  1. It would be difficult to be a vegetarian here, because they don't eat much besides meat and seafood.
  2. Besides swimming, is there anything else to do here in the summer?


It's called Shikoku because it has four prefectures or four countries.

A 'prefecture' is a territory or an area with specific boundaries. Keiko says that this area used to be four different countries, but now it is four different territories in the same country. Notice the following:

  1. Which prefecture is your favorite?
  2. We live in different prefectures now, but we still see each other quite often.


You can see those little small reserved villages between the prefectures.

Here, 'reserved' refers to the fact that these villages don't have much contact with other villages.  They are small, quiet and isolated. Notice the following:

  1. They are a very reserved family, and almost never come to community gatherings.
  2. I feel like I don't know his personality at all, because he is so reserved.


You can go to Kamakura to see the shrines and temples and Buddha.

A 'shrine' is a sacred construction which is built to glorify or show honor for a specific religious figure. Shrines can come in many forms, but usually people will leave gifts for the religious figure and top in front of a shrine to pray or give thanks. Notice the following:

  1. This is the time of year when the people in this area make shrines to honor dead loved ones.
  2. This is one of the biggest shrines in all of Thailand.