Japanese resources


Learn Japanese through level-based courses and mnemonics

italki 1 on 1 Japanese tutoring. Sign up on the link to get $10 free credits after your first lesson.

Free up to a point, then paid. Good collection of audio lessons, conversations, and downloadable PDFs.

Maggie Sensei
Excellent grammar reference – I use it when I need to look up a specific grammar point with lots of examples. 

jGram Grammar 
Awesome resource for grammar explanations

Bunkei Bank 
Grammar with examples

Reference for compound verbs

Check conjugations and verb forms

Grammar-based online lessons

Reference sites

Japanese culture & language blog

My favorite online dictionary

Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese
Comprehensive resource for grammar, great for beginner to intermediate learners

Steps to learn Japanese sentence structure A post on my tumblr

Duolingo notes and tips

A cool website that helps improve your Japanese reading

Japanese apps for beginners

Japanese on Master Ling – 7 days free trial! Great app with audio. Lots of lessons so you can advance your level. Includes a chatbot to practice what you’ve learnt.

JA Sensei – good app for those who like comprehensive notes and background. Also available in French!

Skritter – learn Kanji with stroke order and flash cards. Sign up on the desktop website using the link, then download the app to get 10% discount on a subscription.

Obenkyo is a really nice app (only for Android, heh sorry iOS peeps) which starts you from the basics of hiragana and katakana and moves you up to different JLPT levels. I mostly use it to recognize kanji. 

Japanese apps for intermediate+

Clozemaster is awesome for quick phrases and a fun, gamified experience. 

Another nice app to train your Japanese with (2000 kanji and 6000 vocab words) is WaniKani. You use spaced repetition to move through all the different levels of Kanji and it doesn’t let you move on if you haven’t learnt the kanji to a good enough level.

Bunpo app review

Bunpo – seriosuly one of my FAVORITE apps out there. It’s a comprehensive JLPT focus; plenty of example sentences! I used Bunpo for a few days and tracked all my progress and pros and cons on this Twitter thread

📚Best Japanese textbooks for beginners

Japanese for Busy People

Beginner and upwards
By far my favorite series! Fun, engaging, and moves from beginner to advanced. I love how they introduce Kanji in the context of the lessons. Huge fan! 

Japanese from Zero

For beginners
Good for kids, includes fun activities, exercises are easy. Simple for beginners starting with no background. The book has an associated website with resources. It also comes with a bilingual glossary.

Minna no Nihongo

For beginner and upwards
One of my favorite grammar textbooks. Simple layout with lots of vocabulary and activities.


A really popular Japanese book for Beginners. I haven’t personally used it, but you bet a lot of people have and it’s always recommended as top of the line.

Read Real Japanese – Fiction

For upper beginners
Up your comprehensible input with bilingual texts. Japanese on one side and English on the other. Includes stories from famous Japanese authors.

Add a touch of Japanese to your day

Check out some of my custom-designed Japanese items on Society6 to stock up on fresh language learning supplies, phone cases, stickers and more!

📚Textbooks for intermediate & advanced

A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar


Must-have for all grammar geeks!  I have used this for years and it’s amazing for explaining grammar concepts. Totally recommended.

Buy on Amazon

Nihongo So Matome series

For JLPT prep, but good for all

I use these for N2 and N3 grammar and vocabulary. They’re featured in almost all of my book review videos, hehe. 

Buy on Amazon

すぐに使える 日本語会話超ミニフレーズ200


Conversational phrases to sound more natural in Japanese. This book is for intermediate learners.

Buy on Amazon

Tobira Gateway to Advanced Japanese


Must-have for all grammar geeks!  I have used this for years and it’s amazing for explaining grammar concepts. Totally recommended.

Buy on Amazon

Japanese for Busy People

Intermediate & Advanced

Up your comprehensible input with bilingual texts. Japanese on one side and English on the other. Includes stories from famous Japanese authors.



Books I used for JLPT N3

Books I used for JLPT N2

JLPT exam preparation

JLPT Kanji lists
MLC Japanese – test your JLPT level
Japanese Test 4 You
JLPT Grammar resources
Watanoc Reading practice for N5, N4 and N3

Recommended JLPT books I used

Apart from going through past papers, these 500 Practice Questions books really helped me learn the necessary vocabulary, grammar and Kanji to pass the JLPT exam.

Nihongo 500 Mon N4-N5 on Amazon
Nihongo 500 Mon N3 on Amazon
Nihongo 500 Mon N2 on Amazon

N4/5 – Beginner

N3 – Intermediate

N2 – Advanced

Websites & blog posts

Genki Kanji reading practice
WaniKani – free to an extent; thereafter paid
Kanji by frequency
Learn Hiragana
How I learn Kanji – on my tumblr
Kakijun – Kanji stroke order

Tumblr answers I’ve written on learning Kanji:
How I study Kanji
How to memorize Kanji
When and how to learn Kanji
Why you need to learn Kanji
Where to start with Kanji

Skritter – best app for learning Kanji

I use Skritter to learn Japanese Kanji (You can use it for Chinese too, if you like!).

Get 10% off a subscription by signing up on the desktop website here. Then you can download any of the mobile apps. The discount code is already applied on the link!

Podcasts & YouTube

Bilingual News
HKBK fm – discontinued but you can still listen. Wide variety of topics!
Slow Japanese
Japan Society NYC 
Erin Japanese video courses
Nihongo No Mori 
Japanese Pod 101
Shota Sensei
Japanese Ammo With Misa

Spotlight: Noriko Sensei

Noriko is a wonderful Japanese teacher with a podcast good for upper beginner to intermediate learners. You can consider subscribing to her Patreon to get more benefits, or check out her website with resources and Japanese learning tips. I was surprised one day when I saw she featured me in one of her podcast episodes

Japanese related videos

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