Your learning resources

Shortly after starting here about 2 years ago I posted a topic called “What do you use in conjunction with Bunpro” or something to that effect. It was a good topic with a lot of great feedback. Since then, several of my learning resources have changed. So let’s open up each others Japanese learning briefcases and show what’s inside.


Bunpro: Kind of a rhetorical I know, but still the best resource for grammar I have found.

Nihongo no Mori: Great site with great explanations, many links from the resources on grammar points here.


Migaku: Ever since another community member suggested it, I hopped on and never looked back. At it’s core it is a browser extension for Google Chrome. Has a great rikai-chan like dictionary, easy flashcard creation and Anki integration, sentence mining. A pretty comprehensive toolkit for immersion learning. A little pricey, but well worth the price with all the time you save and the things it automates for you. Makes flashcard creation a breeze. Have it open all the time when in Bunpro reviews to make flashcards from unknown vocabulary.

Anki: The classic, still kicking. I’ve used other programs, but nothing has been able to top the customization and freedom Anki provides.

Immersion Kit: This is the newest resource I have been using, but one that I will likely be using from here on out. Has over 400,000 entries from various anime and drama. Allows you to search a specific word which is super helpful for me since I like to see a word usage used in various contexts, and I don’t have to wait for it to pop up while immersing.


Netflix: Not as much variety as Crunchyroll, but Japanese subtitles and integration with many flashcard creation programs make it a must for me.

Kindle: Easy word look up, a comprehensive selection on the Japanese Amazon store with tons of deals. Practically unlimited content.

Switch and PS5: Never been easier to play Japanese games, especially on the Switch with a majority of games having full Japanese support. Except Atlus games for some reason, why Atlus?

Youtube: Type in a few interests in Japanese and let the algorithm do it’s work. It’s not as strong as it used to be, but will still give you a majority of Japanese results and suggestions. Great for me since I still can’t crack that Youtube habit, so may as well do it in Japanese.

That’s all I can think of for now. Hopefully we can all get something out of this thread or change the way someone else goes about their studies. Being here the past two years has certainly changed the way I go about it.


My list is not nearly as extensive now. If I was to summarize all the resources I have used over the years it would be, but I cant’ remember them all now anyway. I will just say what I’m currently using and what I recommend to use for absolute beginners.

So let’s start with beginners.

  • Duolingo - don’t touch that.
  • Human Japanese - paid, but fairly cheap, digital textbooks. Wonderful basic grammar resource written in human language. You’re doing yourself a favor by starting with these. There is also an Intermediate textbook which I haven’t tried yet, but if the first one is any indication it’s equally worth the money.
  • Cure Dolly on youtube - I’m not gonna say they’re the best teacher, but I watched all their videos and for someone just starting out I think they’re perfect. Miles better than frankly wasting time with these 5 minute a day apps.

This I think should cover all the most common beginner issues and really kickstart anyone’s learning journey.

Stuff I don’t currently use but would use if not for other reasons. Basically stuff I recommend.

  • Satori Reader - subscription based high quality reading and listening practice material. From the authors of Human Japanese.
  • - completely free reading resource. Japanese aspiring writers are publishing their works there in the hopes of being scouted and getting an adaptation. Wonderful.
  • rtk-search ( - kanji… over 3000 of them compiled in one place in RTK order with Kanji Koohi most popular mnemonic stories (can be a bit spicy/insecure). This is what I used together with Anki for 3 months straight when I started learning kanji. I would put a number of new kanji from there into my Anki decks, one for recognition and the other for production and drill them for hours. Needles to say I burned myself out and I’m never going back to drilling kanji again. Still, worked for me, as there is not a single kanji that I saw in a long time that I would be like “oh wow, what’s that”, even though I can’t write them all and most certainly don’t remember all of their keywords, so I recommend it to anyone going the RTK route, just be more careful.
  • Kanji Study - paid Android app for kanji. Features recognition and writing modes, paid “DLC” for reading practice with ordered kanji appearance so that you don’t see 鬱 in the first sentence. Lacks SRS mode, which is apparently in the making, but who knows when the dev will release it. I am using this from time to time to brush off some kanji recognition, because I keep forgetting the rarer ones, because I’m not going back to hell. Yeah :smiley:

And now what I’m actively using.

  • DraStic NDS emulator for Android, currently playing Pokemon Black 2 which is wonderful for my level and actually very educational, featuring words from various categories of life.
  • ちーにゃチャンネル on youtube - creates cute little Animal Crossing anime with relatively easy vocab. There are other youtubers of course, but for someone still learning I think ちーにゃ is perfect.
  • Anki - I put most of the unknown words I meet into various decks based on the source of the word, for example Pokemon Black 2. I believe that SRS should be only a supplement, which is why when I finish a given game/anime and get all cards to mature stage, the deck is getting retired. What I learned I learned, what I didn’t I will or I won’t in the future. At some point we have to drop SRS completely, or at least that is the goal, so yeah not worth getting attached.
  • Anime with no subtitles. I don’t understand everything yet. Casual speech is mostly okay, but when they start getting formal and spitting 漢語 at speed of light is when my brain switches off. But still I understand enough to get what is going on and enjoy the show. This is enough for me and you gotta start somewhere, right?
  • Kindle - the cheapest source of paid reading material. Bought some books for beginners, no native material yet, except for New Penguin Parallel Text featuring short native level stories with English translations in parallel. Gotta finish it after Pokemon.
  • Forgot to mention Yomichan with a bunch of dictionaries. This is how I get new words into Anki. First I type them into Google Keep, then I check their meaning and decide whether they’re worth learning. Super quick and easy, although requires some setup. Yomichan is in generall super convenient.

As I said there would be more, but this is the stuff I genuinely believe anyone can benefit from.


Thanks for the post! I’ve been looking into Migaku, but I keep getting turned off by the reviews on the Anki add-on page that say that the it’s not kept up-to-date. Can you comment on that at all? Any snags to get it going?

Edit: also, can you recommend any guides to get started? It seems that the guides I’ve come across have been dated, which has led me to think that this extension used to work at some point, but with the reviews I mentioned above, it seems out of date.


Always love to see these kind of threads, as it might make myself find the next great thing.

I have gone over what I use extensively in another thread


I recently switched to and yomi-chan extension in my tablet instead of Kindle, makes it way more smooth the look-ups than Kindle. Also if I ever stop procrastinating about it and feel like I need more vocabulary SRS in the soup of things I do, you can connect it with Anki with AnkiConnect extension.

The only problem is that the device is not as portable, but while I’m sitting at a desk I found a way to cheat the comfort:

I was considering the Kindle Scribe but I’m not sure the look-ups will be that much improved than what I currently have, I might be wrong but no way to tell until the device is released.


My learning methodology / resources for the most part remain the same since 3 or 4 years ago when I really experimented and tried all kinds of things. Some things have sort of changed a bit as they are not as effective as before.

Here is my wall of text :smiley:

My daily mains are:
Reading – for the last 3 years or so, I have read something everyday in Japanese (even if its 2 sentences haha). Normally I try to read physical light novels for 1 hour before bed with a glass of red wine… That way I can rest my eyes a bit, wind down and sleep better. is great for digital manga / light novels / magazines / books. Sometimes I just read samples of anything and see what I can read and may like / buy. There is constantly free manga volumes to read. Booklive is a great alternative.
I used to really like and read stories there too until I realized I prefer to just read the light novel version which in most cases (hopefully) will have better editing and explanations. Or the manga version.

Bunpro – Yay for Bunpro! Its mainly for reviews + cram these days. I only have 30 grammar points left to “Add to Study”!

Kanji Senpai – it’s a phone app like WaniKani to a point but based on JLPT with 8.4k words or so. I really like it as it forces me to write the kanji / kana. There was some costs for the lists but its quite reasonable.

Akebi – Japanese dictionary. Akebi automatically links with AnkiDroid. When I encounter a new word / kanji, I may generate a new AnkiDroid card for it to my Akebi “Learn Later” deck .
AnkiDroid – the Andoird version of Anki. While walking (around at work haha) / waiting around / at coffee shops / home / work , I try to ( avoid social media and) do my daily reviews. From time to time I would do my Ankidroid + Kanji Senpai reviews with a piece of paper to write different things eg reinforce a kanji or a new word. I only use the desktop Anki software to add JLPT questions, kanji / words / grammar (was / is not on Bunrpo) or sentences to my Japanese deck. – I really love the website (there is an app too). Its one of the first tools that I used for studying Japanese 10+ years ago. I would print off their autogenerated kanji practice drawing lists and study new kanji from there. Currently I use it as an extra SRS for everything. Generally, I try to do 15+ or so reviews…. Sometimes I do lots more, sometimes not…

4 Moleskine notebooks. I wanted to go all digital (ie Anki haha) at one point when I decided to study Japanese again in 2018. I wanted to be as mobile as possible. I kind of realized that fully digital is not realistic for me… So I started in a Moleskine notebook to write stuff. Hence why its Moleskine, not another brand. I just write:

  • Grammar points taken mainly from Bunpro + Kanzen Master (N3 + N2) and some other grammar / drill books + Mainly with Japanese descriptions. I would just type online “jlpt + grammar point” or “いみ + grammar point”
  • Words and Kanji taken from Kanji Senpai.

Having 4 notebooks with everything is really nice and compact. I hope I stop at 5 notebooks as it will get too much :D. I generally really do go through them and read what I have written… though sometimes there are periods when I don’t do that :sweat_smile:

Some other resources that I sometimes use are:

  • Video - Crunchyroll, Viki and Netflix. Recently I am trying to watch without subs…
  • Learning Korean in Japanese – I bought “Lets learn Korean with BTS Japan edition. Its fun and quite interesting to test my abilities. It’s a once a month thing to do a page or two.
  • Reading journal – When I finish a manga / light novel I try to copy the outline, generally taken from Bookwalker and print the cover in a journal.

I’m preparing for the N2 right now and have had success passing N3 with the following methods:

  • Grammar : Bunpro and the 新完全マスター books.
  • Vocabulary : My anki decks are 新完全マスター N3, 新完全マスター N2, JLPT N5-N2 words, a custom deck for mistakes I make during practice tests, and words which I’ve found in books that Jisho considers “common words.” Everyone likes to tear down Anki but honestly Anki is one of the reasons I can read so well now.
  • Reading : I’ve stopped reading manga and most light novels because they’re a bit too easy at this point (a lot of furigana). I’d like to read them more but the test is my focus. When I beat N2 I’ll go back to them. I now use 新完全マスター reading comprehension guides, Read Real Japanese Essays: Contemporary Writings by Popular Authors, and I’m working through コンビニ人間.
  • Speaking / Listening : I live in Japan so…life? I guess?
  • Writing : I haven’t been practicing writing kanji simply because it’s not tested and everything is digital now. I’m not going to ignore this forever, but for now it’s not a priority.

Ultimately I’ve found time and consistency are more valuable indicators of success than the tools used.


Over the past year my resources have changed a little bit. I picked up Japanese again 5 or so months ago and have been able to consistently stick with this schedule without any burnout, alongside doing a lot of work on my Korean in the evenings.

Breaking it down into a daily schedule would probably make this a bit easier to understand, so here I go! :slightly_smiling_face:

In the mornings before I get up:

  • Reviews on WaniKani and 5 lessons if I have any.
  • Reviews on Bunpro, and at least 2 lessons.
  • Reviews in KameSame.
  • Flashcard reviews in an application like Anki, called Mochi. (For textbook vocab.)


  • 2 pages in みんなの日本語, or putting the vocab into flashcards if it’s the start of a new chapter.
  • Any extra reviews from the other sites, and a couple new lessons on each.


  • Immersion on Netflix or Viki. If on Viki, the learning mode helps.
  • Watching Japanese Ammo with Misa for some more listening practice + grammar
  • Extra reviews.

For Migaku I’m actually using the newer browser extension that you have to pay for. The stand alone Anki add on is no longer supported, and it’s open to the community if they want to support it, but no one has really put in the time to weed out bugs and such.

The lifetime is quite expensive, $200. But like Bunpro it’s worth the money. You can try it for free on their official website.


Recently I really love the website 絵でわかる日本語. It’s such a terribly made website and they have more advertisements than Madonna has insta followers, but their explanations and examples are so great for anyone around N3 or above that is happy to read things 100% in Japanese.


Thanks for the suggestion as always. My partner tends to be a little lukewarm when I suggest new things, but she saved this website right away.

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Still have it on pre-order. Guess I’ll be the first to know. Lol


For reading ebooks another option that I like is using Calibre - It has a ‘dictionary’ part that will look up automatically any word that you highlight in a user-definable website eg, Takoboto, Jisho etc. The software itself is a nice way to organize all your ebook / manga / pdf collections too.
Because you can change the CSS styling too means you can make furigana hoverable, change fonts, vertical/horizontal text alignment changes - Overall if you know a little bit of html you can really customise the experience.

As for Grammar outside of Bunpro, a great YouTube channel that teaches via video games is ‘Game Gengo’ - He’s covered all the JLPT N5/N4 grammar points and is working on the N3 at the moment. Aside from that the channel has lots of video’s on breaking down the language from different scenes in video games, I recommend checking it out!


SRS is in works and available for Alpha testing. Currently I’m also using it. Definitely will be released before end of year. You can also join in on Alpha testing

Kanji Study SRS Announcement

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Do let me know how it works. I cancelled my pre-order after setting up my surface to kinda do the same job.

My main concern is the dictionary look-up on that device, while it will never be as good as Yomi-chan, if it’s decent enough I might consider it in the future.

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I actually just discovered Game Gengo through Immersion kit. I’ll probably check out some more of his videos.


I haven’t used Yomi-chan extensively since I use Migaku, but the Kindle look up works well enough. I have three dictionaries installed on my Kindle Oasis (Shogakukan, Daijisen, and one other based on jdict) But you can download more.

If you’re not used to the Kindle, word lookup can be a little annoying because you do have to long press, and selecting text is not always accurate. Maybe with the stylus it will help alleviate this process. Still, nothing beats reading on that clear, non-eye straining display that makes the hardest to make out kanji look crystal clear.


Outside of Bunpro, all I’ve been using is WaniKani (trying to go through 15 lessons per day). Currently about halfway through level 6, so still quite green.

I oughta start adding some proper, dedicated reading to my routine. Trying to translate the occasional Twitter post by one of the hundreds of Japanese artists I follow probably won’t quite cut it in the long run, I’m afraid.
I’ve heard that Yotsuba&! is a great read for beginners, so I might give that a whirl.


I’m reading that manga right now little by little and it’s a lot of fun! Since I stopped WaniKani after a little over 20 levels out so a few months ago for other focuses, my kanji knowledge leaves much to be desired. But I like Yotsuba& because everything has furigana and I’m mostly reading it for grammar/vocab immersion. If I was looking for kanji immersion I’d look elsewhere :slight_smile: But here’s another recommendation for Yotsuba& :slight_smile:


Consistency is king. Whether you’re using the worst tool or the best tool, if you do it everyday you will get better. I am also an Anki enthusiast. :blush:


Thanks for the reply, much appreciated!
I’ll definitely be giving it a look, then! Heard nothing but good things about it.