(updated 8/4/2016) :free J-E dictionary. Can search by typing (even romaji input), radical search or drawing.

Hukumusume: Japanese children stories. Some have audio.

Aozora Bunko:  “(青空文庫, literally the ‘Blue Sky Library’, also known as the ‘Open Air Library’) is a Japanese digital library. This online collection encompasses several thousands of works of Japanese-language fiction and non-fiction. These include out-of-copyright books or works that the authors wish to make freely available“. You can read more on the wiki article. : Japanese picture books : Interactive manga lessons for beginners Database of onomatopoeia found in anime and manga

Erin’s Challenge: Follow the life of foreign exchange student, Erin, on her journey to learn Japanese and its culture. Interactive mini drama/manga series.

Delvin Language: “Delvin combines listening exercises with adaptive vocabulary review, fueled by clips from real videos”. Test your listening skills using real Japanese media clips (anime/drama/movies/commercials) which has N5-N1 levels.

NHK NEWS EASY : NHK article made more simplified with furigana

KanjiBox: Rote learn kanji and vocab. Has N5-N1 levels and shows progress. Requires registration. Free on the web and $4.99 for iOS. : “Learn Japanese by playing games! Earn experience points, level up, and get ranked!”. Requires registration with email, Twitter or Facebook. Doing lesson and kanji quizzes gives experience points to level up. Compare to other users from all over the world. Challenge friends too!

Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese: a free Japanese grammar guide. It can also be downloaded as an iOS/ Android app to have offline access.

Wanikani: “2,000 kanji. 6,000 vocabulary words. In just over a year…WaniKani has mnemonics to teach you every single radical, kanji, and vocabulary word on the site. Waste less time, memorize and recall way more”. I don’t personally use Wanikani but friend of mine is having major success in her kanji and vocabulary studies with it. Worth a mention and look at.

iKnow!: “Learn a language now. Remember it forever”. Well known site that create the Core decks. I don’t use the site, but I do use the Optimized Core 2k/6k deck that used to be around. You can recreate an Anki deck with the resources available in the Koohii forums .

Nihongo-e-na: A website containing Japanese resources. Some I have already mentioned prior. Varies in difficulty and category.


Japanese subtitle websites: Drama subs Has anime subs amongst other things. Anime subs : Torrent site with Anime/Drama/Movie subs. Requires registration via invitation. Sometimes you can get lucky with a brief opening in registration on weekends so check every weekend!


Pocoyo Japan: Watch Pocoyo, a 4 year boy, learn about new things. Easy enough show to watch without translations but if you must have then, the show has been translated in different languages and you can watch the same episodes in your native tongue. You can see the other Pocoyo language channels HERE.

Nihongo Mori (Youtube): JLPT Grammar lessons in Japanese. Beginning levels (N5/N4) have either English speaking or transcripts.

Game Grammar (Youtube): “Teaching Japanese grammar by playing through videogames and analyzing the grammar clauses in their dialog.” Learn Japanese grammar the fun way through video games! Each lesson consists of real dialog from real Japanese games and is being analyzed in an approachable way. They even provide Anki decks for many of their lessons! I can’t recommend this channel enough! This is especially a great resource for gamers interested in learning Japanese.




Anki: A spaced repetition system that allows efficient learning. It can be used in a variety of way, not just for language learning. I use this for my academic courses too. There is the iOS app for $24.99 and free on Android.

Sub2SRS: A program that creates Anki decks with your desired show/movie. Read about my post on it HERE.

Image Occlusion 2.0 Enhanced: Allows you to quickly create Anki cards with images.

Rikaisama: Popup J-E dictionary for Firefox. Has many features including Anki import.

Yomichan  for Chrome: Popup J-E dictionary for Chrome. Has many features including Anki import.

Capture2text: OCR program that allows users to capture Japanese text. Can work with a few other languages too, including English.

Kanjitomo: An OCR popup J-E dictionary.

cb’s Japanese Text Analysis Tool: Generates a frequency report for the text you input into the program. Will show words, kanji and readability.

Kage Shibari (balloonguy’s tool) :  It is a program that allows the user to create an “interactive transcript” ideal for controlled listening and shadowing. The program highlights lines of text that correspond with the audio. The user can also select any line they wish to hear/read and the program will continue from there. Read my post about it HERE.

Aegisub:  subtitle editor/creator

Honeyview Image Viewer: Image viewer program I use to read raw manga scan that I acquire

OneNote: Digital note taking program than can be used across many platforms. Free but is originally a Microsoft Office product. I keep all my important notes here. Also use this in my academic, work and personal life.

OCR Manga Reader for Android: An app that has ORC popup J-E dictionary capacities. Can copy words to clipboard, export as a word list (.txt/ .tsv) or create Anki cards on Ankidroid.

Imiwa? (Japanese dictionary) for iOS : Best free iOS J-E dictionary app I’ve ever used! Lots of great features.

kanji Flow for iOS: An SRS flashcard program app that has imiwa? import so you can spend less time creating cards and more time studying. This is great for those who don’t want to spend the $25 for Anki as an alternative.

SideBooks – PDF&Comic viewer: “SideBooks is a high performance, high speed PDF&Comic viewer that allows you to enjoy reading with the feel of actual paper”. When I am not reading manga on my laptop with Honeyview, I like to use this app on my Android tablet due to its almost real reading experience. Free for iOS and Android.

Habitica: “An open-source habit building program that treats your life like a Role Playing Game”. An entertaining way to keep track of your to-do lists, develop good habits/eliminate bad habits, and ensure you do your daily activities (e.g. Japanese studies). Requires registration (free) and has an iOS and Android app also for free.

Forest: “Stay focused, be present”. An alternative to the Pomodoro Technique where you are reward for your productivity with grown digital trees. Free on Chrome, Firefox and Android and $0.99 on iOS and Windows. I recently purchase the $0.99 ability to sync through devices so now I can count my Trees in my Android phone, tablet and Chrome browser. Chrome has less features than the phone apps but it does a great job of punishing me if I visit any of the sites I blacklisted. Great for a distraction-free environment!


r/JapaneseInTheWild/: Basically Japanese signs in the “wild”.  “Welcome to Japanese in the Wild. Studying off a textbook can get boring. I find that seeing real-life instances of a language can help motivate learners and will provide a lot of practical, everyday vocabulary.”


MONDO (モンド) – Reading Japan App for iOS/Android. “MONDO is made for all who have an interest in Japan, especially people studying Japanese who want to read above their current level to access interesting content and improve their reading ability.”


Rapid Recognition Trainer for Hiragana and Katakana by Purdue University Japanese School at Middlebury College. Increase kana recognition speed by viewing a series of kana being shown on screen one at a time at a speed of your choosing. This is an interesting program but constant reading practice imo is still the best way to improve kana speed! This is a solid second though and good for when you’re feeling lazy to read anything in particular. No feedback though.




Textbooks/JLPT Books


Genki Series: Probably the best textbook series for beginners of Japanese. Especially for self-learners. There are other good Japanese textbooks too but imo they are best utilized in a classroom/traditional environment. I never personally used this set while I was taking Japanese courses, but I wish I had! These books are far superior to what I had to deal with ._.

Genki I and Workbook I(Optional)

Genki II and Workbook II (Optional)

Answer Key Book (Optional but very useful)


Japanese the Manga Way :  Great way to learn grammar that will be beneficial to reading manga better. There are no exercises but explanations.

Nihongo challenge series: This aim at beginners studying for the JLPT (N5-N4). I am personally going to use only he Grammar and Reading book only but I have heard good things about the entire series as a whole.

Nihongo Challenge N4 & N5 Kanji

Nihongo Challenge for JLPT N4 Preparation: Grammar & Reading Practice

Nihongo Challenge for JLPT N4 Preparation: Vocabulary

Nihongo So-matome JLPT N3 (5 Book Set) : Very good series to use to study for the N3 level of the JLPT. You can get away with not having the entire series by not getting the listening book as there is a pleura of listening sources anyways via anime/drama/movies/music. There is also the N2 and N1 series sets.

New Kanzen Master Series: When people think of JLPT, they usually refer to Kanzen Master as a go to study resource. Especially the grammar books. The grammar books range from N4-N1. The other subjects are N3-N1. You can check them out at White Rabbit Press Store.