We will be retiring this page soon. I have moved all the sleep stories to their own pages all linked on this master index page: https://makotoplus.com/the-makoto-letters/#t-1650364328493

Sleep Stories in Japanese

Relax tonight while listening to a famous Japanese story. The sound of gentle rain and Yumi’s soft voice will help you sleep while enjoying this famous story.While the story is intermediate level, even beginners can listen to begin training their ears to hear the sounds of Japanese.


  1. Relax in a comfortable position in your bed.
  2. Turn the volume down until you hear her voice and a hint of the rain.
  3. Slip into a restful sleep and wake up wondering what happened to the rest of the story!

鼻 Hana (the Nose) by  芥川龍之介 Akutagawa Ryuunosuke

The story explores themes of obsessive vanity and how this affects those around us. View the Japanese and some vocabulary help here.

Summary in Japanese and English

The Story:


Examining unattractive aspects of the human heart or the minute movement of human emotions are a common theme in Japanese novels. Akutagawa Ryuunosuke’s Hana, the Nose, is a novel with a sharp look at pride and egotism.


The priest with a long nose is troubled with a complex. He keeps thinking if only he could make his nose smaller, surely no one would laugh at him. But instead, when his nose became a normal size, the laughter increased. Contrary to expectations, being freed from worry about making his nose small induced frustrations and he often took it out harshly on his disciples.


Once his nose was once again ugly and long, he finally had a cheerful disposition. “There’s nothing more to laugh at now,” he thought.


His problem wasn’t his nose, but his heart with its worrying over his nose.


After that, people didn’t stop staring and laughing, but because he accepted his nose as part of himself, he was freed from his worries.

View the original text on Aozora or use the PDF (click here) if you want to print it out with a larger Japanese font.

Just for Makoto+ members! Download the sound files with or without rain.


Right-Click and Save As to Download

Story without Rain

Right-Click and Save As to Download

注文の多い料理店 Chuumon no Ooi Ryouriten (The Restaurant with Many Orders) by  宮沢賢治 Miyazawa Kenji

Two young gentlemen are tired and hungry after a full day’s fruitless hunt. They happen upon an impressive Western-style restaurant right smack in the middle of the woods. But perhaps they aren’t as lucky as they first appear. Here is an English translation of the story. 

View the original text on Aozora or use the PDF below if you want to print it out with a larger Japanese font.

Just for Makoto+ members! Download the sound files with or without rain.


Right-Click and Save As to Download

Story without Rain

Right-Click and Save As to Download

  • Yumi’s delightfully musical reading to my barely comprehending ears is like a lullaby to a baby. These sleep stories really do work, and on wakeful nights send me off to sleep so very sweetly. I’ve even dared to dream that one day Yumi might read 蜘蛛の糸 .

      • Hi Clay. Thanks for the quick reply. The reason I am asking is because I’ve been using LingQ quite a lot recently and whenever I paste a text with furigana into a lesson, it will copy the kanji and then the furigana after it as normal text. This then messes up the text and is a bit annoying.
        No particular story in mind at this moment. I enjoy pretty much all of the content you are releasing, especially the song section. It would be great to see a song by 人間椅子, who I absolutely love. I have been trying to figure out some of their songs myself, but they tend to be quite complex at times and get lost in translation. Thanks for the good work and the effort you guys are putting in. Keep up the great work!

        • I’ll try to remember to add a furigana-free version, but in the meantime, the easiest way would be to dump it into Notepad (or some text editor that only does plain text) to get rid of the formatting. Then you can do a search for parenthesis. The furigana will appear after the kanji like this: 人間(にんげん)椅子(いす) or something like that.

          The guitarist and bass players are amazing even if the bass player looks like Uncle Fester. Hehe. I’m not into the heavy metal part, but the intro to the two songs I listened to were technically and esthetically beautiful. Let me know a song you’d like to see and I’ll see what I can do. No guarantees. I don’t think I can sit through too much heavy metal. I was about to say I’m an old guy as an excuse, but then again, I’m not nearly as old as 人間椅子. Oh well…

          • Thanks for the tip on how to remove the furigana, which has worked just fine when copying the text from the Aozora page (not from the pdf file though). Thus no need from my side for you to add a furigana-free version. By the way: the link “View the original text on Aozora” takes you to the previous sleep story, not 鼻. (In case you want to update it.)

            Oh, yes. Suzuki Kenichi does indeed look like a member of the Adam’s Family, a look which may be purely intended. I know 人間椅子 are not everyone’s cup of tea, but a real institution among Japanese (heavy) rock bands and even known (not widely but somewhat know) in Europe. Very skilled technically, in particular, Wajima Shinji, the guitarist. Great solos and melodies. And yes: they’re old!
            If I could choose, I’d pick 夜明け前, which is based on the book of the same name, written by Tōson Shimazaki. But you do not have to do it, of course, if you are not into this kind of music. Nobody’s perfect 😉

          • Yes, the guitarist is amazing. The first song I heard had an amazing intro (before the noise started–sorry, not perfect 🙂 ).

            I watched a live performance of 夜明け前. It’s impressive how the drums and bass filled the sound enough for the guitarist to do his solo without needing backup guitars.

            How about a counter offer. Would you be interested in working on it yourself? Parsing the lyrics might be a good exercise, and I’ll be here to help or give my thoughts. Songs can be tricky since it is more poetic, but I think this would be a good exercise.

            Here are the Japanese lyrics (I haven’t compared with the recording to make sure, but uta-net is usually pretty accurate):

            Depending on how you feel, you could work with the Japanese (and a dictionary like jisho.org) only or use the English translation in the top comment here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXetOzNlT08 to work through the Japanese.

            I would be happy to help, of course. You can email me any questions at clay (AT) theJapanShop dot com.

            The lyrics are actually pretty positive. The singer is in a dark place, like a prison or a cave, but the morning is near (朝は近い).

            The last four lines:
            明(あ)けない闇夜(やみよ)はない There is no dark night that never dawns.
            覚(さ)めない悪夢(あくむ)はない There is no nightmare you can’t wake from.
            解(と)けない魔法(まほう)はない There is no sorcery that cannot be undone.
            もうすぐ夜(よ)が明(あ)ける The dawn will soon break.

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