What I’m Currently Using:
WaniKani | Nihongo no Mori | Rikaichan | A Dictionary of Japanese Grammar
(This page was last updated 2-09-2021.)
Some links are affiliate links, but I only affiliate with products and sites that I have personally used and recommend.
+_Kana & Kanji
- WaniKani ***** WK is a kanji web app developed by the Tofugu team. You have to be able to read hiragana and katakana before you begin. The first three levels are free, so you can see if you like it or not (you will).
- Vector Poster (2230 kanji) *** Neat vector “poster” of kanji color-coded by levels.
- 多読 (Read More or Die) ***** A month-long contest that challenges you to read as much as you can in Japanese for points! Held in January, June, and October. You can use it for other languages too, but Japanese is default.
- WK Reader Resource List *** (*Login may be required to view)
- (J) Maru blog – ***** Blog of the owner of the famous cat Maru and his new friend, Hana, which is updated nearly every day. While English is used so foreign fans of Maru and Hana can understand what’s going on, the Japanese offers more insight.
- (J) Ochikeron’s recipes – This is one of the places Ochikeron posts her recipes entirely in Japanese
- Ochikeron – The lovely Ochi-san shows you how to make all kinds of delicious things! She does most of the talking in English, but includes Japanese subtitles, and at the end of her videos, she usually talks in Japanese and has English subtitles.
- Chika (Bilingirl) (cyoshida1231) – While her recently-created Japanagos channel is good too, I prefer her original channel because I get more Japanese listening practice that way.
- Kanna & Akira (potemi926) – Three adorable girls (Kanna, Akira, and Asahi) and their brother (Ginta) live life, have fun, play games, study, and more.
- Ashiya (fujiashiy) – A Russian girl living in Japan. She makes lovely videos and does most of her speaking in Japanese with Russian subtitles, which is good if you’re like me and don’t know Russian–you have to be able to understand what’s going on from the Japanese alone! Her pronunciation is also very good, and she speaks clearly.
- Hikakin’s Shobon no Action “Let’s Play”
- Hilarious YouTube series where Hikakin plays a spoof of an old-school Mario game that is not what it first appears.
- Kan & Aki’s CHANNELかんあきチャンネル
+_Test Your Knowledge
- JLPT official website
- Renshuu.org ** I listed it here, but it’s a general study site for Japanese learners. The paid package ($20 for 6 months is the cheapest option) seems affordable and includes a whole lot more than the free or guest packages. I tried the free version, but didn’t seem to get much out of it.
- Practice Tests
- EJU – Short (thankfully) for the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students! Sometimes you will be required to take this if you are entering a Japanese University. They have to know how much science, math, world history, and Japanese you know, after all.
- BJT – The Business Japanese Proficiency Test assesses your proficiency in business-level Japanese, testing not only your language knowledge, but also your cultural knowledge as it pertains to business. Arm yourself with keigo; this is about to get messy.
- オンライン日本語テスト – I believe this is made to go with the みんなの日本語 series of textbooks.
Bored with standard Japanese? Spice it up with a regional dialect!
- Japanese Dialects *** Provides basic examples of some of the most common dialects (Kyoto-ben, Hiroshima-ben, Nagoya-ben, Sendai-ben, Hokkaido-ben, Osaka-ben, and Hakata-ben). You can view the page in English (romaji), Japanese, or Chinese.
- 関西弁 **** A great site devoted to Kansai-ben, which includes Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, Nara, and other prefectures in the Kansai region.
- Getting Started with Hokkaido Dialect (Tofugu) *** Links to further resources are at the bottom of their article.
Other Resources and Links
+_Japanese Language Schools in Japan_+
- A Comprehensive Guide on Studying in Japan **** Very helpful read if you’re new to the search.
- Gateway to Study in Japan **** A good supplement to the above material.
- Japan Study Support **** A database of universities and vocational colleges in Japan. They have good information, although their search function could be improved. There is a list of language schools, but it is small.
GenkiJACS (I studied at their Fukuoka location, but they also have schools in Tokyo and Kyoto.)
Go Go Nihon – A service that helps you choose the school that’s right for you, apply to partner language schools, book accommodations, and more. The best part? It’s 100% free. They also offer paid study trips and 10-day tours for a fee