Our Favorite Japanese Learning Resources: August 2022

Last Updated on 05.08.2022 by Coto Japanese Language School

Fun fact: every week, Coto team gathers together to talk about their favorite Japanese learning resources. It could be anything from podcasts, J-vlogs, and new Japan-based TikTokers to newfound digital dictionaries and Japanese language blogs. 

We have to say, squinting under the sun, sweating and exclaiming, “Atsui desu ne!” ten times in an hour was not how we envisioned the perfect summer. But we can’t believe we’re almost three-fourths of the way into the end of the year. We’ll be listening extra closely for any updates on Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” single topping the charts… as well as if KFC Japan has launched its fried chicken pre-orders.

Anyway, here are our favorite Japanese learning resources this summer 2022. 

Jump to:

Extensions for Japanese Learning
Japanese Learning Blogs and Website
Japanese Instagram, TikTok and YouTube
Japanese Learning App

Extensions for Japanese Learning

rikaikun japanese extesion learning resources
Source: Rikaikun

Rikaikun

Rikaikun is a must-have for anyone trying to learn Japanese, especially if you regularly see Japanese text. As an extension, it shows you the definitions and pronunciations for any Kanji that you hover over. It pulls its definitions from a variety of dictionaries that you can choose to swap between.  You can customize its colors and how it’s positioned, as well as what it displays you. There are also a bunch of handy hotkeys to use if you want to learn them, but they aren’t necessary. It’s incredibly easy to use and very convenient, and overall a must-have for anyone learning Japanese.

Link: Rikaikun 

language reactor
Source: Language Reactor

Language Reactor

Language Reactor is a HUGE help for familiarizing yourself with the Japanese language. Formerly known as “Learning Language with Netflix”, Language Reactor is an extension that lets you expand your vocabulary and learn new words while watching your favorite shows. It shows you dual-language subtitles, one in the original language and one in the language that you want. In the player, you can then hover over whatever word you want to see its definition. Previously, the extension only worked on Netflix, but they have since expanded what they can do. They now work with a bunch of YouTube channels and are expanding to include text files. While they do have a paid mode, the extension works just fine in the free version. With this extension, you’ll be able to learn Japanese while watching what you want to watch! 

Link: Language Reactor 

migaku kanji god anki

Migaku Kanji GOD

Migaku isn’t just an extension for your browser, it’s also an extension for Anki. Migaku lets you easily create flashcards based on what content you’re consuming. Whether that be shows, books or websites, Migaku enables you to make flashcards for any Kanji automatically with the click of a button. The flashcards are automatically made for you to start then learning. It’s also integrated with Anki, letting you seamlessly move your flashcards to the Anki app. While the Anki add-on is free, the chrome extension itself is not, and comes with a $5 a month charge, which is a very reasonable price considering its bonuses. If you avidly use Anki, or want to start learning with flashcards, this is the extension for you!

Link: Migaku Kanji 

Want more Anki extensions? Check out: 11 Game-changing Anki Add-Ons for Japanese Learning You Need

Japanese Learning Blogs and Website

Onomato Project

If you follow our social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook), you probably know that we tend to post Japanese onomatopoeias every so often. If you like that type of content, then you’ll love Onomato Project. With an extensive list of 250+ onomatopoeias, this website is a great resource if you want to learn some onomatopoeias to use in conversation. They provide example sentences and helpful illustrations to go along with the onomatopoeia and its definition. They also provide some quizzes and a couple of resources to further your learning! 

Link: Onomato Project

Want to learn more about onomatopoeia? Check out: 20 Useful Japanese Onomatopoeia to Learn

japanese stack exchange learning resources

Japanese Stack Exchange

If you aren’t familiar with Stack Exchange, it’s a forum where anyone can ask anything, and anyone can respond, and the best answers will get voted to the top. The Japanese community on Stack Exchange is just that, anyone can ask anything they want so long as it relates to the Japanese language. This is a great place not just to get your questions answered, but also to learn from other people’s questions. You can also help someone else if you’re more familiar with the language, or engage in discussion over the use of certain words. If you’d like to join a community of Japanese learners that is active and helpful, you can’t go wrong here.

Link: Japanese Stack Exchange

Tadoku

Tadoku is an excellent beginner resource where you can find free books to practice reading Japanese. All the books on the site are free and easy ways to practice if you’re looking for simple Japanese material. If you’re a bit more experienced in the language, there are a couple of higher-level books, but the site is mainly geared toward beginners. Practicing reading Japanese as someone with little to no knowledge of the language can be a bit difficult when looking for resources, so Tadoku is very helpful in that regard. You can download them, or read them on site if you’d like. They also have audiobooks, if that’s more your thing.

Link: Tadoku 

Japanese Instagram, TikTok and YouTube

Learn Japanese with Tanaka san

The animation channel uses simple, cute illustrations and motions to give short (but effective) Japanese lessons. Each video includes English subtitles, but once you’re confident with your ability, opt it out instead and try to follow through with the whole explanation in Japanese. Tanaka-san, the narrator, speaks slowly and clearly. Combined with graphic cues and images, this YouTube channel is perfect for upper-beginners who want to learn practical Japanese skills: phrases at the convenience store, how to say “I’m sorry” and more.

The channel uploads once a week, with most videos lasting no more than 5 minutes. Check out the channel here.

Crazy Japanese Lessons

Produced by Fuji TV, consider Crazy Japanese Lessons a short study break — although it’s not, because while it’s entertaining, they pack some serious insights into Japanese lingo and colloquial terms in under 2 minutes. Each video opens up with a question about how you say a certain phrase or expression in Japanese. The host, accompanied by his puppet assistant, then gives you a clue until he reveals the answer.

What’s the Japanese idiom for someone who’s “showing their true colors”? Why is the kanji for landing (踊り場) consists of the word “dance” and “place”? The great thing about this channel is that they explain why Japanese people use their word choices in a certain way. (Why is the literal translation of “eat someone” figuratively mean “to scoff”?) 

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58ULYHJ7Ib

Ninja Sensei

Ninja Sensei packs her Instagram content with short-form videos of basic Japanese phrases and grammar conjugation: how to ask someone to do something, how to say “thank you” or “do your best.” You get the gist of it. It’s a great, convenient way to slip a few Japanese lessons into your day, especially because it’s quick and would most probably stop you halfway through another mindless Instagram scroll.

Account: www.instagram.com/ninjapanese/

TikTok: @hirosjapanese

Loving TikTok over Instagram? Unlike the usual Japanese learning accounts where someone would stand in front of the camera to do lecture-like lessons, the Japan-based TikToker will likely make you more engaged by using real-life clips of the topic. This makes you feel like you’re transported straight to Japan — and we have no complaints about his beautiful camerawork and concise voiceover. He lets his shots do all the talking. Follow him here.

Japanese Learning App

Kanji Memory Hint

This app makes learning kanji fun by using mnemonic pictures and two types simple of games. Basically, the app lets you check whether you have learned a “kanji” in a game after you have studied it using associative drawings. Very nice app with easy ways to study. The kanji cath game is fun too. It tests the speed of your reading ability. It’s clear and concise, making it perfect for beginners. 

Download on Google Play

Ringotan

While there are a lot of great kanji learning apps (hint: read above) that make memorizing the characters fun and convenient, they put a strong focus on helping you recognize them, not knowing them. The Ringotan notices that the best way to completely learn kanji is not through games or matching quizzes, but through writing them — which is kind of complicated if you’re studying Japanese with your phone. 

Ringotan teaches you 3500 kanji, but it keeps track of how well you know each kanji, so it can quiz you on only the ones you need. This makes studying both fast and efficient. The app also supports most of the most popular textbooks, as well as Wanikani. 

Download on Ringotan

TODAI: Easy Japanese News

This app lets you read, listen and watch daily news from NHK NEWS WEB EASY, CNN and MBC with easy Japanese. It’s great for getting a little practice reading every day and learning new grammar. Plus there are JLPT practice tests, Japanese podcasts, music/lyric singalongs,

Download on Google Play

Want to study Japanese with a professional teacher? Take our Japanese language assessment test

Get in touch with us and find out how we can help you achieve your Japanese language target. If you’re unsure where you are, we provide a Japanese level check. You can also contact us at [email protected] for any questions about course options and details.