There are currently three main textbooks for those who have completed beginner level textbooks such as Genki, Japanese for Busy People, and Minna no Nihongo. I should mention that Minna no Nihongo also has intermediate textbooks, but I’m focusing on three other books since users of that textbook will probably just continue with the series.

The three books are:

Both An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese and Authentic Japanese Progressing from Intermediate to Advanced are newly revised and include two CDs for free. Tobira is a fairly new textbook first published in 2009 and while it does not include a CD, it does have online content the student can download.

First, the targeted level according to each book’s introduction:

  • IAIJ: 240 hours Classroom time
  • Tobira: 250-300 Classroom time
  • Authentic: If you are around JLPT N2-N1

Let’s look at the first chapter of each book individually. Jump to the textbook you are interested or scroll down:

Tobira Gateway to Advanced Japanese

Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese

Authentic Japanese


Tobira’s goal: “to solidify the grammar, vocabulary, and kanji foundation built during the students’ study at the beginner level, and second, to expand their four language skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) and the socio-cultural knowledge they need for communication.”

Tobira Chapter Structure: (most chapters follow this basic pattern)

1) Getting started–pre-reading section introducing the chapter’s topic.

2) Reading + Vocabulary List–longer text with full vocabulary list

3) Dialogue/discussion with Vocabulary List–Topics covered through dialogues

4) Conversation–exercises in speaking

5) Grammar Notes

6) Kanji List

7) Language Notes

8) Culture Notes

(The first chapter didn’t have Culture Notes section, but cultural notes are peppered throughout the book)

All chapters follow the basic patter above.

Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese

Chapter Structure: (most chapters follow this basic pattern)

1) Culture Notes

2) Conversation

3) Reading

4) Vocabulary

5) Kanji List +Kanji Parts

6) Grammar Notes

7) Practice

8) Listening Practice

9) Speed Reading with Proverbs or Haiku at the Bottom

Authentic Japanese

Chapter Structure: (most chapters follow this basic pattern)

1) Before you Read–questions and light exercises for introducing the topic of the chapter.

2) Reading–1-2 Page essay with questions

3) After Reading–several pages of questions and examples based on the reading

4) Important Expressions–introducing important expressions with examples.

5) Grammar and Vocabulary Exercises


To download larger images of all the scans (sorry for the poor quality), click here.