How to Learn Japanese Online – Tips and Tricks

If you are looking for an exhilarating linguistic experience, come join us to find out the best ways to learn Japanese online. Learning the language will open you up to the vast culture of the country and all the wonders it holds, so get ready to embark on an amazing journey!

Learning a new language is always a considerable challenge, but learning Japanese will definitely take you above and beyond your wildest imagination. You might think that learning an entirely new alphabet is the hardest part, but this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this courageous endeavor you are about to make.

Take a look at these adorable Japanese waving cats

Craft Your Learning Plan for the Best Results

Learning Japanese online can prove to be quite intimidating, so the very first thing you need to do is to put pen to paper and write down the plan for your upcoming venture. Do some research about the learning tools that you have at your disposal and choose those that you find the most appealing.

Setting goals is extremely important because you need to be aware of the progress you are making. However, you should start with tangible ones and then expand your list as you become acquainted with the learning process.

Don’t Focus on Writing Japanese

The modern Japanese writing systems is known to be one of the most complicated ones in the whole wide world, so you might want to gain some experience with the language before you get started with that.

Nowadays Japanese is a mixture of kanji and kana characters. Kanji have been adapted from ancient Chinese symbols and represent the roots of the language, while kana characters correspond to contemporary linguistic elements.

Considering that most Japanese people still argue over the correct way to write certain words and phrases, it’s safe to say that this is something you can absolutely save for later. In fact, the best way to learn Japanese online is by using lots of audio exercises and focusing on the phonetics.

Learn Japanese Online for Free

There are some amazing learning tools waiting for you on the Web that are completely free of charge. Especially if you are beginner, trying out one of these platforms could be the ideal test for your commitment to learning Japanese online. Once you are convinced that this is something you want to do on the long run, you could start thinking about paid courses as well because you will be provided with a certificate at the end, which could prove to be an amazing asset for your resume.

The best way to learn Japanese online is to combine three core elements: an online course, one or more apps for the road and integrating Japanese elements in your free time. We have tips and tricks for every section, so take a look!

Best Free Japanese Courses

Lately, more and more people are looking for tools to learn Japanese online and naturally, the Internet has delivered in a tremendous way. So start with an old fashioned Google search (try anything from the basic “learn Japanese free online” to more complex versions like “learn Japanese online free with audio”) and analyze the results closely to find the best course for you. We have a couple of suggestions for you, but make sure you choose a course that is adapted to your personal way of learning.


In their own words, Tofugu is a “wonky Japanese Language and Culture Blog” that will make your learning experience extremely interesting. Remember how we said that learning the language will open you up to a multitude of cultural gems? Well, Tofugu is the perfect platform for that part of the process, so take a look.

This is the main page of the Tofugu website.


This website has a more traditional approach on learning Japanese online and offers everything from PDF lessons to audio and video exercises. If you are looking for a well-structured learning plan, this is definitely the right choice for you.

Japanesepod101 is the perfect way to learn Japanese online.

Best Apps to Learn Japanese Online

Go to your app store and type in “learn Japanese online games” to find some extremely amusing practice tools. By using some of the time you would normally spend playing games on your phone for exercising your Japanese you will get to learn a little bit every day. Look through the multitude of results and choose your favorites. Here are some apps that are definitely worth your attention, so make sure to take a look at these as well.

Learn Japanese Online with Mindsnacks

The Mindsnacks method involves eight adorable games that have all the chances of becoming your main source of entertainment for early mornings and your time on the bus or train. So tap away towards better Japanese skills.

Take a look at these adorable games on the Learn Japanese with Mindsnacks app.

Kanji Senpai

Let this adorable sidekick guide you towards a basic Japanese vocabulary by using entertaining interactive exercises. You will even get to try your hand at writing some basic kanji characters. This app is fun for both adults and kids, so it is definitely worth your time.

Learn Japanese online with Kanji Senpai on this amazing app.

Include Japanese In Your Free Time

The language courses you choose will fill you in on the basics of the Japanese language, but in order to consolidate all the information you are presented with, you will have to try to integrate some Japanese elements in your entertainment. This is by far the best way to learn Japanese online!

Japanese Films

Japanese cinema is an absolute delight, so if you have a passion for films this will be your favorite way to get acquainted with the language and the culture. Start with classics like “Seven Samurai” and make your way to contemporary gems like “Battle Royale“, “The Taste of Tea” or “Departures“.

This is a particularly useful practice method because you will be focused on the film but you will almost effortlessly improve your pronunciation and your range of vocabulary. English subtitles are indispensable at this point, but you are going to feel very proud of yourself when you will recognize the main phrases you have learned in your lessons.

Yakuza Movies

These “level Asian” gangster flicks will show you a more brutal part of Japan that will keep you glued to the screen the entire time. From “Sonatine” to “Outrage“, make sure you experience this exhilarating genre.


We need to warn you that these fabulous animation movies are highly addictive, so proceed with caution because anime series and films are bound to fill up your movie list in no time. Make sure you don’t miss excellent series like “Death Note” and “Psycho-Pass” and films like “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “Ghost in a Shell“.

Japanese Horror Films

Remember all those terrifying horror movies that have made you crawl under your blanket shivering these past 10-15 years? If the American versions of “The Ring“, “The Grudge” or “Dark Water” still make you cringe, then prepare for the original Japanese films that they were based on because they take horror to the next level.

We hope we have convinced you to take up learning Japanese online, so have courage and start crafting your own plan because the results are going to be well worth the effort! Good luck!

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