Resources for Learning Japanese

From Akita Wiki

Learning the language during your time on JET can have an amazing difference on how you experience Japan. Below are a few online resources to help you improve your nihongo!


  • The Kanji Clinic "Its purpose is to provide practical advice and inspiration to non-Japanese adults striving to achieve literacy in Japanese."
  • Japanese All The Time Motivational articles and techniques for becoming fluent in Japanese in 18 months. Khatzumoto, the writer of this blog first recommends using the Heisig Method of Remembering the Kanji, among other useful tools.
  • Nihongo Pera Pera (Fluent Japanese) A great blog about learning Japanese. Focuses on the JLPT tests as motivation for learning, and also gives many thoughtful reviews. Well worth a look.
  • Nihongo Jouzu Interesting articles, reviews, and study materials. Has not been updated in a long time, but still has many interesting articles.
  • Victory Manual Great reviews and insights into language learning.
  • File:Independent Japanese Study 2012.pptx 2012 Tokyo Orientation Independent Japanese Study Presentation

Online dictionaries

  • Jim Breen's WWWJDIC: Online Japanese Dictionary Service This dictionary is the industry standard. Kanji entries have "SOD" links that show proper stroke order. Includes slang.
  • Jisho Dictionary with the ability to look up kanji by radicals. Includes drawing input. Kanji also have stroke order diagrams and animations. Also has year and number conversion tools.
  • SPACEALC Uses many random literary references. Interface is in Japanese.
  • Glova A favorite dictionary of CIRs. Interface is in Japanese
  • Tangorin Japanese<->English Dictionary that displays conjugation tables, kanji stroke order, etc.


Kotoba (iPhone): Multilingual; Available Offline; Stroke order diagrams; JLPT levels for Kanji

JED (Android): Available Offline; Kanji meaning breakdowns

Online Translators

  • Babel Fish One of many online translators that allows copy and paste or direct input of text.
  • Babylon
  • Excite
  • Hirahira no Furigana Megane Paste the URL of a Japanese website and it will add furigana to it. Helpful for reading.
  • Rikaichan and Rikaikun are fantastic dictionaries and kanji decoders for when you are surfing the World Wide Web. They are available for Firefox and Google Chrome respectively. Slide your mouse over the a kanji or word and its translation appears. Rikaichan in action

Study Sites

JLPT and Kanji Kentei study links listed here.

Reading and Listening

  • Reading tutor Designed to help Japanese learners improve their reading skills in Japanese.
  • NIHONGO-JUKU A resource for students of Japanese. Excellent reading and listening practice for middle to advanced students.
  • Tadoku Graded Readers Paid resource. Graded reading for all levels.
  • NHK News Web Easy Select articles from NHK news presented in simpler Japanese, with furigana.


File:4. 214 Kanji Radicals.pdf File:4. How to Determine the Radical from Nelsons.pdf File:4. Kanji Radicals.pptx File:5. Kanji Trivia.pdf File:5. Kanji Trivia.pptx File:5. Onyomi and Kunyomi.pdf File:19. Japanese Names.pptx File:19. Course Materials on Japanese Names.pdf

  • Kanji drills
  • The Kanji SITE
  • Kanji-A-Day
  • Kanji ABC This website allows you to search for the meanings, readings, and graphemes of a kanji. Provides meanings of the graphemes that make up the kanji as well as providing other kanji that use the same graphemes. Has a search function for looking up JLPT vocabulary by using a kanji, or kanji compounds, that can be sorted my JLPT level.
  • Kanji Stroke Order Click the 漢字の検索 (kanji no kensaku) button on the left and then only input one kanji character.
  • Nomad: Kanji flashcards Free printable kanji flashcards. Print these in color on thick paper, cut out the cards, and study. Sorted by elementary school grade or by JLPT level.

SRS Websites

  • Read The Kanji Pay site that uses SRS along with sample sentences and a hiragana input method. Studying Hiragana and Katakana are free.
  • Anki Spaced Repetition System Anki is a fascinating tool that allows you to study vocabulary and sentences in an efficient way. To quote the website, "It helps you remember things by intelligently scheduling reviews, so that you can learn a lot of information with the minimum amount of effort." Very useful study tool.
  • WaniKani An SRS website for memorizing kanji. Each level, WaniKani first teaches radicals, then builds on these to teach you new kanji, then teaches you vocabulary that use these kanji. Each radical, kanji and vocabulary item has a mnemonic to match, if you need them.
  • Bunpro An SRS website for learning grammar. Bunpro teaches you grammar points in lessons, then in reviews you complete 'fill in the blanks' style sentences. Bunpro is quite customizable, enabling it to be used well as a companion to other study tools.


Learn a Japanese song to practice your Japanese skills at a karaoke bar. Find a song you like and look up the lyrics

ALT made resources

Tongue twisters

See also

Japanese Language • 日本語
Language Resources Resources for Learning Japanese • Akita-ben • Useful Japanese • Japanese tongue twisters
Language Material Resources Textbook reviews • Heisig MethodJapanese newspapersALT-made Resources
Japanese Courses August Intensive Japanese Course • Local Japanese Classes
Other Info Proficiency tests • Language and culture