If you are learning Japanese and looking for some amazing Japanese resources, you are in the right place!
I have been interested in one day learning Japanese for many years now and have collected quite the list of resources. (Hopefully I will also be learning along with you by the time you read this!!)
Below you can find some awesome Japanese podcasts to listen to on tons of different topics, some great YouTube channels, the best sites and apps, free and paid resources, all sorts of textbooks and novels, complete guides, and more!
Whether you are a complete beginner or an advanced learner, or whether you are learning Japanese on your own, or learning Japanese with a tutor, these Japanese resources will help you reach your goals!
Check out the table of contents below to see an overview and to jump to any section you need. And when you want to jump back up to the table of contents, just click on the “jump to top” below each section!
Useful Posts on Plurilingualism (YouTube, Books, etc):
I have already written about some amazing resources for language learning on this site!
– If you are self-studying Japanese, check out this guide on self-studying any language!
– If you wish to watch TV in Japanese to help you learn, check out this post.
– For writing help and strategies (plus 50 foreign language prompts to help you write in Japanese), check out this post.
– Here are my five favorite language learning resources, here are the best 15 apps to learn any language, and here are unique language learning resources. Don’t forget to check out my general resources page for a massive list of all sorts of resources as well!
– Tofugu Complete Guide – An amazing guide (and site) to learn Japanese with!
– Tae Kim’s Guide to Japanese – Another amazing guide and great website.
The sites below are specific to Japanese and Japanese alone.
For sites that help with language learning in general (i.e big organizations, custom vocab training, etc), check out my resource page here!
Full courses, worksheets, PDFs, and educational sites:
– Remembering the Kana Textbook PDF – If you are learning Kana, this textbook is a great help. The entire book can be found (for free!) via this link, as well as PDFs for almost 1000 essential phrases in Japanese!
– Real Kana – Learn Kana in a simple, but effective way via this website and app.
– Remembering the Kanji PDF – This is the same as the textbook above, only for Kanji!
– Wanikani – A very popular Japanese resource and great site to learn Kanji via spaced repetition and mnemonics! You can access some features for free, but the full version is paid.
– Kanji Koohii – This site uses flashcards (that work via spaced repetition) and mnemonics to help you learn and remember Kanji!
– Kanji Damage – As stated on their website, “learn 1,700 Kanji using Yo Mama jokes“.
– Japanese Kanji – Also an app, this simple site lists 1,945 jouyou Kanji. You can hover over the Kanji to see important information, such as radical number, strokes, grade level, meaning, etc.
– Kanji.sljfaq.org – A site that allows you to click and build or ‘handwrite’ Kanji on your phone/computer and the site will recognize it. When you click on the Kanji, it will take you to a page that defines it and links to a dictionary entry, etymology, Kanji info, and much more!
– Japanese Talk Online – A big site filled with tips, resources, and guides for all learners of Japanese!
– Tae Kim’s Guide to Japanese – This website is a classic for learning Japanese and one of the best Japanese resources for beginners and intermediate learners. It has tons of grammar help and learning tips.
– Imabi – A great site with a compilation of study materials for beginners all the way to advanced learners. They put a focus on being more challenging and thorough than other resources – aiming to not “hold your hand”, but rather help you really master your goals.
– NHK Japan Programs – NKH has several (free!) Japanese lessons for all levels on a wide array of topics! From business Japanese to absolute beginner Japanese to grammar and more.
– Maggie Sensei – This blog has tons of full lessons (with audio!) and mini lessons on tons of different facets of Japanese. The name comes from the owners dog, Maggie (Rest in peace, as of 2014), and is a fun and lighthearted resource with lots of cute animal pictures as motivation!
– Sakubi Necessities – This is a ~60 lesson online course (free!) that focuses mostly on grammar for complete beginners up to an intermediate level.
– Japanese the Manga Way PDF – This is a PDF of the book which teaches how to correctly structure sentences and learn simple and complex grammar via Japanese Manga!
– Marshall’s Site – Many free grammar and vocab lessons with quizzes after each lesson!
– DJT – The website has some broken links and very old features, but their grammar guide (here) is quite expansive and their reading idea list (here) with levels and tips is an amazing resource. The website also has several links to other resources and guides!
– Wikipedia on Japanese Grammar – A surprisingly helpful resource that gives a great overview and explanation of many grammar points!
– Core6000 – A site with lists of the top words in Japanese – with example sentences! They also offer a grammar dictionary and even a page with scanned textbook pages from “Japanese Grammar Patterns for Teachers and Learners”.
– Tanos – A site primarily focused on preparing you for the JLPT! The site gives a short description of each level, tips and tricks, and lots of great resources.
– Japanese for the Western Brain – This site is designed to help westerners understand Japanese concepts better. It explains several topics in detail. My only issue is that the site uses no Kana at all, only romaji. However, this might be useful for beginners and people who are western and entirely unused to any Asian languages!
– Japanese Pod 101 – A YouTube channel, app, and site that teaches vocab, grammar, and culture. It has a free trial, but after this it does cost, depending on the plan you choose.
– Story Learning’s Japanese Uncovered Course – This is a paid course that focuses on immersion to learn Japanese. It has stories, manga, worksheets, and more to teach you. There is also a 7 day free trial!
– Kana Warrior – If you are learning Kana, this is a very cool and fun game to help you recognize and memorize Kana!
– Japanese – English Quizzes – Tons of quizzes on various topics. Some unfortunately only with romaji, but many with Kana and/or Kanji!
– Jisho – A great dictionary that is in English, yet allows for Japanese or English searches – even Kanji! Several features, such as example sentences, Kanji info, JLPT level, and more, make this a great dictionary for all learners!
– Tangorin – Another English / Japanese dictionary with example sentences! Some sentences are pretty odd, but it is a great, simple dictionary.
– Weblio – Similar to Jisho in terms of having several great features, this dictionary is solely in Japanese (though you can search in English or Japanese!)
– Kotobank – A website where you search a word or phrase and it provides several results from various dictionaries, encyclopedias, and databases. This is solely in Japanese though, so you must have a high enough level to use it!
– Zokugo Slang Dictionary – Amazing site to learn slang and modern language! You do need to have a intermediate to high level in Japanese already though, as the entire site is also solely in Japanese!
Misc. / fun sites in Japanese:
– Hiragana JP – This site is an amazing Japanese resource for anyone who is still working on learning Kanji. It adds the Hiragana next to the Kanji of any Japanese webpage you give it!
– Japanese Language Stack Exchange – This is a great forum where you can ask and answer (or just read) anything related to Japanese language learning! The questions range from grammar to translation to politeness and so much more.
– Manga Z – Tons of free (older) Manga!
– KL Manga – Another site with tons of free Manga. Some newer options, when compared to Manga Z!
– S Manga – Similar to the sites above, but this one is largely listing and linking where to buy specific Manga. There is still some free manga to be found if one searches, though, I’ve been told!
– Aozora – A big electronic library of older Japanese books – all for free!
.Kakuyomu – A massive collection of free fanfiction and web novels! Similar to Wattpad, only in Japanese!
– Yomou Syosetsu – Similar to the site above, this website offers fanfiction and various web novels for free!
– Zoro – Japanese anime, with subtitles, for free! No ads!
– Crunchyroll – Another anime streaming site, however this one does have ads. However this site has tons and tons of options and many new options, as well! Some anime are only available with their (paid) premium membership, however.
– Viki – A famous site for watching TV shows and movies around the world. This site offers quite a few Japanese shows and movies – all subtitled in many languages!
– きょうの日本民話 Japanese Folktales – This site contains almost 400 short audio episodes where natives read folktales in Japanese. Almost all have the stories written out in Japanese, some have Eng-Jap text, some have YouTube videos to follow along with, etc. It is solely in Japanese, however this is a great resource for beginner and intermediate learners, if you can navigate to the stories with Eng-Jap text!
– Simul Radio – A site that lists tons of (perhaps all?) radio channels in Japan with links to their respective webpages! This site is solely in Japanese, as are the radio channels, so this is best for advanced learners. You can easily find some great radios to listen to, even in specific regions with specific dialects, via this site!
– NHK – A news site you probably already know of! One of the most popular news organizations worldwide. They have a massive site with news info, as well as weather, sports, TV and movies, radio, etc.
– Yomiuri – A news broadcasting website with tons of reports on all sorts of topics.
Many of these are free for a select number of lessons and then cost to continue.
I would recommend trying a ton of apps and websites out first, before buying any Japanese resources.
There are more than enough free Japanese resources (or just better paid options, like italki), but some site or app might be perfect for you and your lifestyle and therefore worth it!
Courses and other learning apps:
– Real Kana – The app version of the site mentioned above. This app does cost to download, but as with the website, it is a simple, yet effective way to study your Kana.
– Hiragana Quest – This app teaches you both Hiragana and also Katakana with two cute cat mascots! It has several features, such as pronunciation, mnemonics, example sentences, and more.
– Asahi Kanji – Another app version of a site mentioned above. The app is much more flashcard based and offers more Kanji to learn.
– Learn Kanji JLPT – This app teaches you 2,300 Kanji with the goal of preparing you for the JLPT exam! It also offers some small lessons, other exam training features, and exam practice!
– Skritter – Learn Kana and Kanji with this app that focuses on training your writing, most of all!
– Kanji Teacher – Another Kana and Kanji learning app. This one has a basic and simple interface and is 100% free and free of ads!
– Infinite Japanese – A gamified vocab trainer that is great for beginners!
– Eggbun – An automated language tutor to chat with! It offers simple lessons and training for absolute beginners and up.
– Japanese Grammar – Cobon – This app trains grammar, vocab, pronunciation and Kanji, all in one!
– J-Crosswords – A crossword puzzle app for Japanese learners. Most levels are in Kana, but you can complete some challenging levels in Kanji, as well!
– JLRGP Quest – A very cool RPG game with the goal to teach you Japanese along the way!
– Learning Japanese with Tae Kim – The app version of the famous and helpful guide and site mentioned above. The goal is to help you learn like a native and not from an English speaking POV. This is a full course with lessons on everything from Kana to grammar and more.
– Bunpo – A cute app with a full course from JLPT N5 up to N1! With grammar notes, quizzes, reviews, and more.
– Learn with Dr. Moku – This app aims to help visual learners, in particular, with the basics of Japanese – including learning Kana! Its got a colorful design and focuses on mnemonics.
– Kantan Manga – A CBZ/CBR reader app that allows you to upload Manga into it and then use the built in English-Japanese dictionary to define words as you read!
– 10ten Japanese Reader – This app allows you to use it to translate any Japanese words as you browse online! It offers tons of features such as numeral translations, Kanji information, name information, and so much more.
– Shirabe Jisho – An amazing dictionary with lots of great features such as example sentences, Kanji information, frequency, strokes, and so much more.
– imiwa? – Another great dictionary. This one is multilingual and can be used offline!
– Nihongo – Another amazing dictionary that also acts as a flashcard app! This app also has the capability to translate from photos.
– Satori Reader – On this app, you can find lots of texts and literature in Japanese to read! There is a built-in dictionary to translate and define any words you come across, as well as other features like flashcards, a habit chart, the ability to use Kana or Kanji, and more.
– Japanese Graded Readers – This is another app to read in Japanese. This one ranges from level 0 (very basic) to level 4 (upper intermediate).
If you want to play some fun games in Japanese on your phone, there are two easy ways!
The first is to just switch your phone language to Japanese. This will often automatically switch many apps to this language (even ones where there are no visible language settings!).
The other option is to just go to a specific game’s settings and switch the language manually! Most apps have this capability and then you can play whatever games you love most in Japanese.
Picking word games or games with lots of text is best, as you can train your language skills much more than a typical game with little to no text.
Most of these links are for Spotify. If you do not have Spotify, no worries, you can find some of these via other platforms!
If one podcast appeals to you, just search it online and you should find another listening option that will work for you 🙂
Japanese language learning podcasts:
– Lets Talk in Japanese! – A great podcast no matter your level – each episode has the JLPT level it is best suited for next to the title!
– Learn Japanese with Manga Sensei – A mostly English podcast that explains many topics, though mostly grammar. Best for all levels!
– Learn Japanese Pod – This podcast is great for beginners and up. It focuses on different words, topics, or grammar features each episode and is in English and Japanese.
– Japanese for Beginners (Nihongo con Teppi) – A great podcast (the host Teppi is quite eccentric and fun!) for beginners.
– Japanese with Shun – If you are learning Japanese with Genki, this is a great accompaniment! Shun uses grammar taught in Genki and hosts small lessons and chats on various topics. This is meant for beginner to intermediate learners.
– Let’s Learn Japanese with Small Talk – As the name suggests, this podcast teaches Japanese via small talk and conversations between friends. It is best for early intermediate learners and up!
– Nihongo con Teppi – The intermediate version of the beginners podcast above! With a great and interesting host (Teppi) and a wide array of topics.
– Yuhu Nihongo – This is another intermediate podcast that talks about many different topics related to learning the Japanese language.
Misc. podcasts in Japanese:
– News in Slow Japanese – This is a variety podcast that uses slow Japanese meant for beginner to early intermediate learners!
– Sakura Tips – A slowly spoken podcast on all things Japan related. Great for beginner to early intermediate learners!
– Bilingual News – This podcast is a news broadcast in both Japanese and English, however (despite the name) it is largely in Japanese, with just the occasional translation, sentence, or chat in English. There are transcripts available, though, which is great! This is best for intermediate learners and up.
– 4989 American Life – The host is a Japanese woman who moved to the US with her husband. In the podcast, she talks about adjusting to life in the US! Best for upper intermediate and up.
– British-ish – Similar to the podcast above, only this is a Japanese woman talking about her experience living in England! Best for upper intermediate and up.
– そこあに – A podcast all about anime! Best for upper intermediate and up.
– 流行りモノ通信簿 – A variety podcast that talks about all types of topics! Best for advanced learners.
– 朝日新聞 – A reporter dives deep into a different topic each episode. Best for advanced learners!
– OK! Cozy up! – A morning news broadcast. Best for advanced learners!
I hope this helps you in your studies! Let me know in the comments which of these Japanese resources is your favorite 🙂
Don’t forget to check out my language learning printables to help with learning Japanese on Etsy here! 🙂
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Let’s be friends! 🙂