First Things First

As someone who has been a student in university for what feels like a lifetime (yay for finishing my master’s this year) and who has been teaching English in a variety of different settings between teaching at a Japanese high school, private tutoring, and guest teaching at universities, I cannot stress how important it is that you understand how you learn and your studying method. So many people jump right into studying without trying to understand how they study and in turn don’t retain the information.

It’s very important that you think about your interests, what you like to study, how you like to learn, and how much time you can dedicate to studying each and every day. Starting with those fundamental steps is what will kick start your journey to learning Japanese the best way that you can.


Another factor that I would like you to consider is how motivated you are to study. I think having the motivation to learn Japanese is also extremely important and will determine how much you’re willing to study. Whether it be so that you can sing your favorite anime song during karaoke, or to talk with locals in the area and immerse yourself in the culture, it’s good to have one or two motivations to speak Japanese. As I always say, being intentional with everything in your life only brings about the most wonderful things.

(Apps listed in no particular order. Ranges from N5 to N2 apps)


I will say that being a teacher has helped my Japanese so much because I also need to explain grammar points and why something is written in English the way it is. However, I also struggle with remembering grammar, especially when it comes to utilizing it when it’s time to speak. This is probably one of my favorite apps out of all of the recommendations just because the explanation is good, these grammar points that they teach are useful on tests and daily life, and it’s very easy to learn.

Of course, you also have to do your part by making sure to make note cards either on your phone with a flash card app or with handheld notecards that you can practice every single day. Even if it’s just while you’re on the train or walking, you can study. There is no excuse for you not to be practicing what you are learning with vocabulary and grammar.

App 2) Japanese Word of the Day

Are you looking for a bare minimal study app that you can do to help you study? Here it is. It’s literally a word of the day that you read and study. It won’t kill you to learn just one word a day, so it’s good if you can use this app to learn new words and jot them down.

App 3) JapaneseOnline

Enough is said with the picture. Follow these wacky characters through their adventures as they teach you Japanese in a very fun and friendly way. This app starts from the very beginning around the N5 level, but it’s a great start to learning new words and different grammar that’ll be useful in your daily life.

App 4)imina

This is by far one of the best free apps that you can get. It covers work from the actual Minna Nihongo textbooks with the vocabulary and grammar. You can’t go wrong with this app. Plus they give additional information with kanji and different articles that may be of some use to you. The resources are endless with this app!

App 5) Japanese Communicate Daily

This app is pretty cool because it gives you a bunch of random phrases that’ll be useful in your daily life. You may find some of them on the JLPT, but I feel like this is better for interactions with people around you and for situations like if you’re at a restaurant and need to make an order.

Happy Studying

I really love studying and helping people understand their study methods, it’s a part of my job as an English teacher. There’s just something so magical about helping people along their journey to learn. (My passion as a teacher, is showing, isn’t it? Haha. Even if it’s just my part-time job, I really pride myself in helping my students succeed in learning and with helping people study~) Both in Japanese and English. I have so many more recommendations on top of the ones mentioned here, but I hope that this is a great start to help you on your journey. Who knows, there may be a part two with even more information since I have hundreds of tips and tricks for people to learn ;D

I’m wishing you so much luck!