Konnichiwa Japanese learners!
Are you using YouTube to learn Japanese? If not, why not?
There are so many amazing Japanese YouTube channels out there. And with more and more videos uploaded each day, you’re guaranteed to find your perfect teacher. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced student, studying just for fun or for JLPT level 1, there’s a YouTuber who can help you learn Japanese.
And best of all, it’s completely free!
Here are our top 7 best YouTube channels to learn Japanese:
Japanese Ammo with Misa
Japanese Ammo is one of our favourite online Japanese resources. It’s created by Misa sensei, a multilingual Japanese translator and teacher. Misa teaches through her YouTube channel and blog posts. All of her content is completely free.
There are loads of lessons suitable for beginners. If you’re a beginner, you’ll want to check out this series on basic Japanese grammar. If you’re more advanced, you’ll love her Japanese-only videos.
Recommended video: How to say “I’m HUNGRY / PECKISH / STARVING / FULL” + SLANGS
Nihongo no mori
Nihongo no mori offer some of the best free Japanese lessons for JLPT grades 1, 2 and 3. Taught entirely through YouTube videos, the lessons are produced by a team of Japanese university students. They talk you through every grammar and vocabulary item you need to know to master the JLPT.
The higher level lessons are all in Japanese, which is great for immersion and also for students who don’t speak English as a first language. They also have a few beginners videos which use more English.
Recommended video: Anime Japanese 「5 ways to say hello」
You might have heard of JapanesePod101, an awesome way to learn Japanese online with podcasts. Did you know they also have a YouTube channel? Yep, loads of fantastic content is available for free, and you don’t have to be a JapanesePod101 member to enjoy it.
Although JapanesePod101’s podcast series are suitable for any level, their YouTube channel is mostly aimed at beginners. They have loads of videos on basic Japanese phrases, and can even teach you how to read and write hiragana and katakana. We also love their fun videos on Japanese slang and anime words. There are new videos almost every day, so this channel is a great one to follow to get your regular Japanese listening practise in.
Recommended video: Learn the Top 25 Must-Know Japanese Phrases!
That Japanese Man Yuta
That Japanese Man Yuta is a bit different from the other channels on this list. He doesn’t actually make Japanese lessons. What he does is street interviews in Japan about all kind of topics. He bascially asks all the questions you want to know about what Japanese people are thinking. From what Japanese girls think about dating foreigners, to what it’s like growing up mixed race in Japan, there are some seriously interesting insights on this channel. All the interviews are in Japanese with English subtitles.
We highly recommend this channel if you want to practise your Japanese listening with real, everyday conversation, while also finding out what makes Japanese people tick!
Recommended video: How to Date a Japanese Girl (According to Japanese Girls – Interview)
Lots of people want to learn Japanese because they love anime. But can you use anime to help you learn Japanese? The ADBChannel will show you how! This channel, presented by Gaikoku Jenny, has a really cute and original concept. First you watch a series of clips from all kinds of anime, using the video’s target phrase. Then Gaikoku Jenny talks you through the grammar and how to use the phrase yourself. The channel is quite new and doesn’t have a ton of videos yet, but we’ll be following this one as it grows!
Recommended video: Learn Japanese with Anime Ep 4: Are you ok?
Japanese with Hanako
Hanako is a brilliant teacher who gives free Japanese lessons on her YouTube channel and blog. Hanako publishes weekly live video lessons which are suitable for beginners and cover the same topics as the Genki textbook. More advanced learners will love her special videos and updates where she talks about different topics in both Japanese and English.
Recommended video: オノマトペ (Onomatopoeia)
A bit different from the above channels, JapanSocietyNYC is not a personal channel. Instead, it’s the official channel of the New York Japan Society: a cultural organisation dedicated to promoting Japanese arts, culture, business and education in the US. Their YouTube channel has hundreds of videos for you to explore, including a few different series of Japanese lessons for beginners (we like the Waku Waku lessons). You’ll also find videos in English on everything Japanese, from minimalism to cooking.
Recommended video: Waku Waku Japanese – Language Lesson 1: Meeting People
What are your best YouTube channels for learning Japanese? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add them to our list! Thanks for reading!