Here’s a list of some of my favourite resources, some of which I’ve covered on my blog and some which are on my to do list 🙂 I will add to this as and when I find more wonderful resources to recommend!
If you have just started to learn Japanese, you may want to check out my page on getting started with Japanese for links to beginner resources for hiragana, katakana, kanji and vocabulary building.
I have split resources by skill – resources are interspersed with ideas on how to improve your proficiency.
The HelloTalk language exchange app is really useful for finding a language exchange partner. You can have video calls via the app, which also has a helpful Translate feature if you get stuck!
Italki is a site where you can find language exchange partners and also find language tutors – ideal for those that do not have Japanese native speakers nearby to practice with.
Try and look for a local Japanese conversation group via a website like Meetup.com
JapanesePod101 (there is a free trial, subscription costs apply)
Learn Japanese Pod (particularly good for speaking and listening to short dialogues – check out my review here)
I’ve also written a post on 5 Japanese podcasts I really enjoy listening to.
Netflix shows (even on Netflix outside of Japan you can get some Japanese TV – check out my post on this)
Crunchyroll website/ app has a number of anime series and Japanese dramas (free, but a premium subscription available)
I put together a post on reading children’s books in Japanese which has a number of ideas on where to find children’s stories to practice with.
Reajer has a number of bilingual texts with notes to help you understand the Japanese. A lot of texts from this site appear on Aozora so I recommend checking this site out if you are a fan of Japanese literature.
Japanese.io is a website (and Google Chrome add-on) where you can insert a piece of Japanese text and hover over any word or phrase to get the reading and English meaning.
Why not start your own journal in Japanese? Post your Japanese writing on Lang-8/ HiNative/ HelloTalk/ Italki for review by native speakers. I believe that Lang-8 is no longer accepting new signups – HiNative is run by the same company and fills the same purpose.
In November I ran a 30-day Japanese writing challenge on the blog. If you want to build a habit of writing in Japanese, I think this is a great way to get started! My challenge roundup post also has some ideas on where you can find more writing prompts.
Get tweeting in Japanese on Twitter
The NVA (Noun-Verb-Adjective) Challenge provides daily writing prompts if you are ever struggling for something to write about!
Grammar and dictionary resources
Grammar Reference sites
Imabi is a super comprehensive grammar guide that covers the basics right through to classic Japanese – highly recommended!
Tae Kim’s Grammar Guide – an excellent guide for beginners to Japanese
ALC dictionary (especially useful for collocations)
Jisho is my go to Japanese to English dictionary and is super easy to use.
Tagaini Jisho (excellent dictionary for Windows, Mac OS and Linux)
Tangorin (also available as an app)
Weblio (Japanese – English, English to Japanese). This is also available as an app.
If you are considering buying a denshi jisho (electronic dictionary), you might want to check out my post on whether Japanese learners should invest in one.
The KanjiStudy app on Android is a wonderful app for learning and reviewing kanji.
Kanshudo is a pretty comprehensive website for studying kanji. If you are not a complete Japanese beginner, you can take a test to check your current kanji knowledge, which is visualised in a cool kanjiwheel.
Skritter is a website/ app dedicated to learning kanji (and Chinese characters) – there is a monthly subscription but a free trial is available.
Wanikani promises to help you learn kanji quickly and effectively. You can try this out for free initially, but once you reach a certain level it will cost $9 month to keep going.
Kakijun.com is a neat online kanji dictionary for checking kanji stroke order