Any thoughts on the new tobira beginner workbook

Hello guys,

I was wondering if anyone has bought the new tobira beginner workbook and if its worth it



I can’t say much about the workbook, but I find the beginner textbook to be quite useful. my only issue with the textbook is the overflow of vocabulary between each chapter. Maybe the workbook fixes that? I plan on getting the workbook soon, so I will update this with my thoughts.


Thank you so much! Please keep me posted

I have the text book as well, and also plan on getting the workbook(s) eventually. I can understand the complaint on the overflow of vocab, but I actually like that. The sheer amount isn’t much different from what you might get in Genki, and definitely better than other textbooks I’ve used.

That said, I too, hope there’s more use in the workbooks for the vocab given.


If you get it, let me know what do you think about it.

Btw i just received my tobira beginner 1 book i was using genki but i got bored.

How do you guys use tobira ? Do you supplement it with another book or just tobira and wani kani ?

Thanks in advance

I take around 3 to 4 weeks for each lesson. This might be slow for some, but it helps keep me from feeling overwhelmed. Since the pace is slow, I’ve already planned out a general outline I’m following for the book. I detailed that per lesson, but I won’t show that here. Instead, I’ll just give a basic idea of what one lesson looks like overall.

Lesson Plan Overview for a Single Chapter

The general plan looks something like this, but I may adjust it a little bit depending on how I’m feeling on any given day.

  • Listen to the conversations.
  • Listen to the vocab.
  • Work through the speaking exercises that have audio.
  • Work through some of the other exercises by writing.
  • Do the Review page at the end of the lesson.
  • Work through the reading section.
  • Do the writing exercise at the end of that section.
  • Do the listening practice at the end of the lesson.
  • Review the original conversations.

Throughout one lesson, I also search for pictures of vocabulary found in the next lesson, so that I can add the words to Anki. This helps me cement that future vocabulary before I need it, all while focusing on the grammar of the current lesson

Anki Details

My Anki notes include the following:

  • Word in kanji (or kana, if it is usually written in kana alone)
  • Reading, if the word is written in kanji
  • Whether I can read the kanji without furigana
  • Pitch accent for the word
  • Monolingual definition, if I can read said definition
  • Translation
  • Picture
  • Audio

I have audio production and recognition cards for these notes, and I also have visual production and recognition for future work. I separate the visual cards into a separate deck, though, so that I can ignore them for now.

Along with Anki for vocab, I use WaniKani. I try to average about 10 Lessons/Day, which comes to around 3 weeks/level. (I.e., I go up one level at about the same time I move on to the next lesson in Beginner Tobira.)

Since I also have a goal to be able to handwrite Japanese, I will eventually be adding Kanji production cards to Anki. But, at the moment, that would be too much. Thus, it’s future-me’s thing to consider.

Ultimately, I found that I need to take the language learning one day at a time, otherwise I get find myself exploring too far in-depth, too far forward, or just too far, which gives me too much stress.


Thank you!

This was really helpful :smile:

I’m glad you found it helpful. The one thing I’d add: What I’ve outlined is what works for me. You may find that something different works for you. :wink:

Okay I:ve completed about 40% of the workbook for tobira beginner 1, The workbook is a LOT of hiragana practice with very little actual word learning for the first 40 of 124 pages. unfortunately nearly 100% of my time with the workbook so far has been writing hiragana and katakana while not really reflecting what is in the textbook. the first reading practice happens about 33 pages into this 124 page book. then it immediately returns to katakana writing practice. the second reading practice, the one for chapter 2 happens on page 55, halfway through the workbook. unfortunately all my time with the workbook so far has been purely writing review with 1 page of reading review. which is all well and good, but it doesn:t really give an opportunity for you to write things in your own words until quite far into the workbook. It looks as though the workbook ACTUALLY starts closer to page 60, as that is when real content appears.

It’s good to come with full knowledge of hiragana and katakana, with about level 2 wanikani skill. otherwise you may be lost when it comes to this workbook, or you may need to look up a lot in the textbook as when they are teaching you hiragana, they do not show you the reading, but they will ask for it.

It’s not a very good workbook for the first half, I’ve yet to complete the 2nd half. the textbook is good, but as I’ve mentioned before it has a lot of vocabulary overflow.

I hope this helps!

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Thanks for this reply & thank you @jenniferca for the question! I just started ‘Tobira 1 beginner’ textbook, so I’d been thinking about whether I should get the workbook too. After consideration, I don’t think I’m going to get it.

I did notice on the official website that ‘Tobira 1 Beginner workbook 2’ is coming out soon, so the authors don’t even think that ‘Beginner 1 workbook 1’ covers the whole of ‘Beginner 1 textbook’.

I plan on going straight to ‘Beginner 2 Textbook’ when I’m done with the first one (however, my plans are changing daily at the moment lol)


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Thanks for the link, @niwaki-neil.

As you mentioned, each textbook has two planned workbooks. A deeper examination gives rise the information that the two workbooks are meant to have different focuses.

The first workbook is clearly Kanji practice, given the sample pages on the website, which would be why @LordRukifellth has mentioned there’s very little vocab practice.

It seems like the second workbook is planned to be more oriented toward vocabulary and grammar, but until it’s released with sample pages, we don’t really know. But, the plan appears that way, at least.

Based on how I’m already doing lessons, I may or may not get the first workbook in the pair, though I’m leaning toward not buying it. (I like the structure of a book, but with the samples given, it seems like I’m already doing on my own what that book helps with.)

However, once the second workbook in the pair is released, if the sample pages help give the indication that it really does provide more vocabulary/grammar practice, then I’ll definitely buy that on.

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Thabk you @LordRukifellth this is really helpful! :smile:

Im probably going to skip the 1st workbook and wait to see if the second is any good.

Thank you for letting us know what to expect.

@niwaki-neil thank you :smile:

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No problem, I am going to continue completing the workbook. it does follow the chapters and appears to go to chapter 10 in the workbook in the remaining pages. it’s possible that the workbook is backloaded, but it is also possible the second workbook is what is focused more on vocab as mentioned previously. If my opinion changes, I will post again.

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