Anyone taking the Akamonkai online course?

Just curious if anyone else here is taking (or thinking of taking) the online Akamonkai course available through GoGoNihon. I decided to go ahead and give it a try, it’s very pricey at ¥90,000, but that wasn’t an issue for me personally. Certainly can be avoided with other self study resources but I wanted something structured that will force me along.

EDIT: Note that I am not recommending anyone to take this course. There are better ways to use your money!
EDIT2: Updated the link text below as it incorrectly seemed like I was promoting or endorsing the course. Also updated the pricing statement as it was also misleading, if you really want to see what it was before check the edits.

If you want to know what I’m talking about, here’s the link to the GoGoNihon page for the course.

Nearly $1000 and you only get to N5 level?


that seems a liiittle on the pricey side to me as well. It seems that it may be quite slow, judging from the stuff it’s going to cover in 12 weeks. hiragana and katakana are doable with some flashcards and writing practice, wk’s got you covered for kanji, and working through a couple chapters of Genki will probably get you past the level this course teaches, for a fraction of the cost and time.

Yeah, compared to self-study resources it’s insanely pricey. From a schooling perspective this is the cheapest I’ve seen though. Since my vacation plans were cancelled I had some extra disposable income, so not a problem for me fortunately. Seems anything that has a real human involved in any way gets pricey fast. Also since it’s self paced, I don’t think I’ll have issues with it being too slow.

That’s not too unfair of an assessment, although I think it’d be more than a couple chapters of Genki to be fair. Thankfully, it seems hiragana and katakana seem to be pre-reqs for the course since they aren’t covered. I got it more for the actual person reviewing my Japanese anyhow, since I don’t get that with my self-study resources :slight_smile:

The course descriptions say they teach hiragana and katakana as well.

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Well look at that, guess they do lessons a little out of order. Oh well, I’ll just blast through it :slight_smile:. Maybe they start out with things in Hiragana in lesson 1 since they use that as the free preview.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting people should buy this course or anything. I can’t say I’d recommend it over the cheaper self study resources. Was just curious if there were any peers using it alongside WaniKani.

One of the reasons I decided to do the course is that I’ve been strongly considering going to language school in Japan. By completing their course, I’ll be more confident starting out on a higher level, and for 90000 it’s like going to community college to get the pre-reqs out of the way :wink:

I have a personal tutor. We’ve been working through fairly quickly, $40 a week plus the cost of genki text book.

Personally I find it to be a better use of money.


How much actual time do you spend with the tutor a week? That’s insanely cheap compared to all the tutoring services I’ve seen.

To be completely blunt and honest, I don’t see how this could possibly be worth the money.

For the same amount you could get lifetime subscriptions to several of the best learning resources on the market (I’m thinking WaniKani, Bunpro, and Kitsun, but I’m sure there are more) and still have a few hundred dollars left to hire a personal tutor, that’s going to give you 1-on-1 instruction tailored specifically to you, for a number of weeks. If you were going to a brick-and-mortar classroom to get in-person instruction from a university professor, native-speaker, or equivalently qualified person, then maybe it’d make more sense.

However, I can’t find anything at all on the site talking about why you should trust them to teach you Japanese, and that gives me significant reason for concern. On top of that the lessons aren’t even held live, so this is hardly different than any other online resource out there.

All that being said, I’m sure everyone here would be grateful to hear about your experience with this. Though I would advise anyone else thinking about signing up to reconsider.


I’d tend to agree with most of what you said (which might sound weird considering I paid for the course). Akamonkai is a reasonably well known language school in Japan (with brick and mortar locations) so that is the “why you should trust them”, if you trust language schools in general that is. I also added an edit to the first post to clarify that I’m not recommending anyone take this course or use their money on it. I 100% agree that there are better ways to use your money on other resources (several of which I already have). I’ve got my reasons, and was just curious if anyone else was taking it to hear their opinions. I’m pretty well aware of the shortcomings of the course, which I guess I should have outlined in the first post. It’s probably fine that everyone is coming back with the constructive criticism of the course though, since it’s useful for anyone else who was considering it.


I very much do NOT. They are usually business first, education second. You can read a zillion stories from westerners going to Japan to work for private eikaiwa that will tell you it’s morally trying.

You could have gotten really far with a one on one private tutor via iTalki for that money.


Completely fair opinion, which I’m sure a lot of people share. Btw, I don’t see using a course like this and using a private tutor as mutual exclusive, if you have the means to do so. Everyone has different ways of learning which will work best for them, but I’m thankful for the forum here and other resources where people can give opinions and recommendations like this.

I’m coming up on almost 5 years of learning Japanese via strictly self study options, and still can’t consider myself N5 level personally. It’s not a good investment, money wise, but I wanted (even needed) a forced schedule with tailored learning. Probably one on one tutoring will have taken care of that fine, but for my work situation, and various other reasons, I decided to start with this.

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Only an hour. I study two chapters worth of material alone and then we speak for an hour to an hour and a half. I use him mostly for speaking practice to cement what I’ve learned.

Currently it is more review anyway, because much of the grammar points I’ve already learn years ago, but tutor plus genki plus bunpro is really working for me.

You have every right to spend your money and study however you choose, and I don’t mean to imply that you don’t, or that any of our approval should be necessary for you to continue, nor do I mean to belittle you for your decision.

At least for me, the part I took issue with was this sentence

preceding a link “for those interested”.

That, to me, very much came across as an endorsement/recommendation accompanied by what I would consider to be misinformation. In my experience/opinion, and seemingly that of many others, roughly $900USD is very bad as far as schooling goes when in the context of an online, non-live, group-setting Japanese course that starts at square zero with hiragana.

Right, that wording wasn’t the best and didn’t really convey my intention. My claim that $900 isn’t bad is based off every other online Japanese course I found readily available being 1.5 to 2x more expensive than that, and also my local college Japanese course, which has moved online and is no longer live, also being more expensive. Maybe the wording “For those who want to see what I’m referencing” or something rather than “for those interested” would have been better.

EDIT: I went ahead and updated the original post to be worded in a less misleading way.

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Sorry about the constant edits to the main post, but I certainly don’t want to mislead someone into thinking that I endorse or recommend the course as a good deal. My sole intention with the post was to see if anyone else in our community was also taking it and hear their opinions on it.

I can certainly report back when I’m done though as to whether I think it was worth the investment for me personally. Given the price point, I imagine there’s not going to be a ton of people taking it, so it will be interesting to see what they do well vs what is done better with self study resources.


Genki I is supposed to get you to N5, Genki II takes you to N4. Honestly, the price seems right for a class at a college that operates on a quarter system but my views on pricing might be skewed by the fact that I’m American and even at a college in the state I lin in the fees for units alone would be $108, not including admission, health fees, transportation fees, etc. I’m currently taking a 6-9 unit load doing prerequisites for my major and a semester is about $6,000 total before books.

This…this right here

Thanks, it’s been a while since I’ve worked through the books and the grammar I’ve picked up outside of the books is probably making me overestimate how far they take you.
I’m also American and $15,000 for a year is what I’m used to as well, but that’s for a full course load of classes plus all the other resources the university provides. Taking about 5 classes a quarter does bring them to about $1000 for 10 weeks of instruction I suppose, but I feel like taking the Japanese classes at my university would have additional benefits beyond what an online class could offer me. Most valuable imo would be conversation practice and active interaction with the teacher 3-5 hrs per week, which are two things I have unfortunately had very little of with self studying the whole way.