The Ultimate List of Japanese Learning Resources

This page is a collection of the ultimate and best resources for learning Japanese!

I’m aiming to collect all the tools you need to learn Japanese right here on this one page.

I try to share as many free Japanese learning resources as possible, although there are also some paid products that I highly recommend.

The list is updated every time I find a great new resource that will help you kick start your Japanese studies! Know a great tool or resource that I don’t already have here? Please let me know and I’ll include it in the next update 🙂

Best online Japanese courses

Our top recommendation
JapanesePod101
JapanesePod101 is our top recommendation to learn Japanese online. We love the fun, current audio lessons and interactive online tools.


There are literally thousands of audio lessons to choose from, which will take you from complete beginner to highly advanced. You'll never get bored or run out of study material with this highly recommended course!

Sign up for your free lifetime account and see for yourself!
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Rocket Japanese
From $99.95
Another excellent course to learn Japanese by yourself. Learn Japanese online, at your own pace, with interactive audio lessons, flashcards, voice recognition software, Japanese culture lessons, a forum where you can get help from native teachers, and more.
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Best for spoken Japanese
Pimsleur Japanese
7 days free, then $19.95/month

Learn spoken Japanese with an effective, structured course of audio lessons.

Pros:
  • Very effective at teaching speaking and listening
  • Great for studying on-the-go, for example while driving
Cons:
  • Reading and writing lessons are an afterthought
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Best resources for Japanese reading and writing

Free Printable Hiragana and Katakana Workbook
This free printable workbook will teach you all the kana, and has lots of space for practising your handwriting on grid squares.
Download free
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FREE Kanji eBook - JapanesePod101

Learn kanji the easy way by mastering radicals - the building blocks of kanji. By the end, you’ll master over 75% of the must-know joyo kanji!

Download for free
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Japanese Writing Paper: FREE Printable Blank Japanese Writing Sheets - Team Japanese

I created my own blank Japanese grid paper for writing practice. There are two different designs - grid paper for practising your characters, and genkouyoushi paper for compositions. Download and print as much as you need for free!

Free download
Remembering the Kanji 1: A Complete Course on How Not to Forget the Meaning and Writing of Japanese Characters
$30.99
This book is generally recognized as the fastest and most efficient way of memorizing the 2000-ish Japanese jouyou kanji (the kanji required for basic literacy in Japan). It's a real slog to get through all of it, but if you're serious about becoming fluent in Japanese, it's a must.
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02/18/2024 09:05 pm GMT
Kanji Koohii
This is a great free website which works in conjunction with the book above. Users share their mnemonics and stories to help remember the kanji.
Visit
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Japanese Writing Practice: Ultimate List of Resources for Every Level - Team Japanese

My bumper list of resources to practice your Japanese writing, at beginner, intermediate and advanced level.

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FREE Websites for Japanese Reading Practice (At Every Level) - Team Japanese

My most popular blog post of all time! I've collected dozens of free websites to get your Japanese reading practice, from beginner to advanced level.

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Manabi reader app

This app is awesome for Japanese reading practice on the go. It lets you read any text with furigana on the kanji. You can also click on selected words to get a dictionary definition, and then add them to your personal word bank for review. You can choose from their selected texts (news, blogs or folktales), or enter your own url to read any website through the app. Sadly it’s iPhone only at the moment.

Best resources for Japanese speaking and listening

Affordable private lessons with native speakers
italki
From $5/lesson

Find native Japanese tutors for 1-on-1 private online lessons or conversation practice.

Pros:
  • 100s of teachers to choose from, with various specialisms and price ranges
  • Easy online scheduling to suit you
  • $10 free credit with our link
Cons:
  • No free trial
Try italki
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FluentU
14 days free, then from $19.99/month

Learn Japanese watching authentic native video content, with interactive subtitles.

Pros:
  • Good variety of content in different genres
  • Click on subtitles for instant definition and add to flashcards
  • Subtitles have kanji, furigana and romaji options
Cons:
  • Not the cheapest
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Best budget option
Lingopie
7 days free, then starting from $4.20/month

Learn Japanese watching real TV shows with clickable subtitles for instant translations.

Pros:
  • Fun way to study
  • Includes selected Netflix shows
  • 65% off Lingopie annual plan for Team Japanese readers!
Cons:
  • Content more limited than FluentU
  • No kana/furigana option in subtitles
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Where To Get Your Japanese Listening Practice: The Epic List Of Resources!– Team Japanese

Check out this blog post for dozens of resources (free and paid) to practise your Japanese listening skills, from free websites to audio courses, podcasts and YouTube channels to radio stations and Japanese TV shows. I guarantee you'll find some new ideas!

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10+ Effective Ways to Get Japanese Speaking Practice (Even if You Study By Yourself!) - Team Japanese

Check out my smart list of ways to get Japanese speaking practice - yes, even if you study on your own! From clever self-study techniques to improve your fluency and pronunciation, to apps and websites to find real-life conversational partners - there are plenty of ways to get speaking.

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Best YouTube Channels to Learn Japanese {20+ Japanese YouTubers!} - Team Japanese

My recommended Japanese Youtube channels to follow for Japanese listening practice. I include channels for complete beginners up to advanced level students, whether you want to learn grammar, conversation, Japanese songs, learn about Japanese culture or more.

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The Ultimate List of Japanese Podcasts for Listening Practice (Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced) - Team Japanese

Check out my ultimate list of free Japanese podcast recommendations, whether you are a complete beginner or an advanced learner looking for native Japanese content.

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Best Japanese grammar resources

Tae Kim's Guide to Japanese Grammar

Comprehensive and completely free guide to Japanese grammar. Available online, or as a free pdf or app.

Visit
A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar

If you're old school and prefer a proper physical reference book to look things up in, this series of grammar guides is one of the best.

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Other great Japanese learning resources

HiNative

Practise your Japanese writing skills by posting in Japanese. Your writing will be corrected by a native speaker.

rikaikun, rikaichan

Awesome browser extensions to help you read Japanese online. Simply hover over a Japanese word and a mini dictionary entry will pop up. rikaikun is for Chrome, rikaichan is for Firefox.

Jisho

This is a great free online dictionary which has search functions for kanji, sample sentences, and Japanese names, in addition to normal words.

imiwa?

My favourite Japanese dictionary app for iPhone and iPad.

Where to buy Japanese language materials online

OMG Japan

Fantastic selection of Japanese books, study materials, stationery, gifts and more. Ships directly from Japan to almost any country in the world. Can't find what you need in their shop? They'll buy and ship any item from Japan for you through their proxy service.

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Amazon.com

Amazon will probably be your best choice for any Japanese textbooks and study guides. They also have an ever-growing assortment of books in Japanese and bilingual books.

Amazon.co.jp

If you’re looking for a book published in Japan, you might have more luck on Amazon.co.jp. They will ship anywhere in the world – although of course, shipping will be more expensive. Some of the site is translated into English.

What are your top resources for learning Japanese? Let me know and I’ll update our list.

List of websites to learn Japanese online, lots of free resources too


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Rebecca Shiraishi-Miles

Rebecca is the founder of Team Japanese. She spent two years teaching English in Ehime, Japan. Now back in the UK, she spends her time blogging, self-studying Japanese and wrangling a very genki toddler.