Learn Japanese with These Courses and Apps – Boost Your Japanese

What gets you motivated to learn Japanese? 

Anime, manga, Japanese pop culture? Japanese friends or family? 

Or have you been dreaming of visiting, studying, or working in Japan?

Maybe you started studying Japanese on your own, but realize that you need more structure to improve.

Or you’re interested in taking a course, but you don’t know which one is for you.

With all the language learning apps and courses out there, which one do you choose?

So we’ve put together a quick guide to help you decide which platform might work for you for starters.

Language learning is a process, and there’s no one perfect course or textbook. We hope you find a combination that works for you!

If you haven’t yet, sign up to our newsletter, and we’ll let you know when there’s a promotion for any of these apps/courses.

(Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links. We may earn a commission when you purchase through one of the links. This helps keep all of our content free. We only recommend products that we stand by.)


Rocket Languages is known for its simple, structural courses that will immerse you in the language to experience the culture like a local.

The course includes interactive audio lessons, a forum for networking and practicing, games, quizzes, cultural tips, and more. It even helps you perfect your pronunciation with their state-of-the-art voice recognition system. Because of its wide variety of resources, you can find one suited to your learning style and goal.

Why: You can learn Japanese according to your learning style and fine-tune your speech to sound like a native.

Try a FREE trial!

italki logo

You’ve been self-studying with textbooks, podcasts, and videos, but you’re thinking, “How can I practice what I’ve learned?” italki is a platform where you can take one-on-one lessons starting from $1.

You get customized lessons, and you have control over the schedule. Practicing with humans is the best way to learn a language. It’s an affordable option to practice your conversational skills.   

Why: You’ll learn from a real person. And we know how effective that can be. To learn a language, we need lots of practice.

Fluentu is a fun and educational way to get immersed in Japanese without being here. Watching anime, YouTube videos, and TV shows is great, but you can’t measure what you understand.

With Fluentu, you can take quizzes and review key vocabulary words introduced in each video. Fluentu pulls videos from the real world. You might come across some Nihongo Flashcards videos!

Why: You’ll learn Japanese through real-life situations and dialogue. And you can test your understanding.

Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

You’ve probably come across a JapanesePod101 video if you’ve looked for Japanese lessons on YouTube.

JapanesePod101, run by Innovative Language, takes the communicative learning approach by providing practical, real-life situations and content through podcasts and audio. The lesson notes will give you grammar tips to help you understand the context and communicate with clarity.

Rather than the typical three levels — beginner/intermediate/advanced —their programs are divided into nine, which means more choices suited for you if you’re in between levels.

And with the Premium Plus tier, you get access to one-on-one lessons.

Why: You like the idea of the communicative approach. You can choose a level that’s right for you — no running into too easy or difficult.

Nihongo Flashcards

Japanese flashcards ladle
Japanese flashcards stew

Last but not least, if you’re not quite ready for a course, tutor, or paid app, that’s okay too.

Language learning should be fun!

Nihongo Flashcards doesn’t offer any courses, and we don’t teach grammar (because we’re not teachers). But we aim to introduce words, cultural references, and nuances that aren’t in textbooks. Even for the basics, we show illustrations for visual learners (and motivation!).

If you’re self-studying and want to make your own flashcards, you can download them here.

If you’re a Quizlet user, check out our tips jar here and here.

Are you intrigued by quirky wasei-eigo and katakana words? Check out 100 Curious Katakana Words.

And if you’re looking for a notebook to practice writing Japanese, check out our practice notebooks on Amazon.

All the best to your language learning journey!

Aichan yay