Getting back into Wanikani - any suggestions?

I started WaniKani later in the year last year but found that as work got busier I had less and less time and I had trouble keeping up with things. At the same time, my wife was learning Korean and I was getting jealous of her ability to read and write Korean so quickly since Hangul is pretty easy to learn. So…I started studying Korean, learned Hangul, and we event spent the second half of December in Korea.

I started 2020 feeling like Korean was going to be the language I was going to learn…and then I started missing Japanese. As of last week I decided I’m not going to let Kanji scare me away, but I do need to have a bit more of a plan around how to keep up with Wanikani given my busy schedule.

Right now I think I can commit about 30 mins a day, is this enough to make real progress? I can probably put in more time over the weekends which might be the best way to bridge the gap. Are there study groups on here that I can possibly join so we can all motivate each other?

I’m going to Japan in about a month so I’m really excited to get back into things and then put my Japanese into practice again. Thanks in advance for any suggestions you have!


I think 30 minutes a day on WK is good, especially if you spread out the reviews. I find personally I like to do 10 minutes in the morning (maybe 60 reviews), then again as they pop up throughout the day, maybe twice more around lunch and dinner. I find habit stacking makes a huge difference for studying: do reviews right after something else, so it becomes an easy habit. My special trick is to not let apprentice items above 50-80 or I get overwhelmed and stop studying completely, so I recommend just taking new lessons inmanagable chunks rather than cramming (also it looks like I’m only level 3 but I just reset from 34 lol).

I also recommend learning some phrases for when you’re in Japan; I went two years ago with a friend who didn’t know any Japanese but she studied kanji for some reason, and it was pretty much nonfunctional. Have fun!


I say progress is progress. If you can study a little bit for at least 2~3 times a day (enough to comfortably hit the spaced repetition times) then you can maintain progress.

This is something I’ve been struggling with for the past few months. I did wanikani everyday for about 9ish months doing a level a week. Then I had to handle moving, changing jobs, and a host of others things that made me take a break from Wanikani for a week and I came back with over 500ish reviews and it was daaaaunting. I still use vacation mode a lot so I don’t come back overwhelmed with more reviews that I left with.

I still haven’t been able to get completely back to my regular Wanikani lifestyle., but I"m trying little bit little to get back to it. It’s a little discouraging knowing I had such a killer streak and was learning so much, and not it feels like mostly catch up. But progress is progress and language learning is a marathon. So don’t worry too much about trying to find the most efficient method possible. You can figure that out that later. Take your time and do what Wanikani you can and you’ll continue to build upon your success :slight_smile:


I think as long as you keep a consistent schedule, it will help you get back into it!

For me, I sporadically go from small review times to big review times, from a few minutes a day to maybe several periods longer than 10 throughout the day. I’d say see how your schedule feels, then plan to use bits of free time on Wanikani!

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Thanks, super helpful and glad to hear 30 mins a day still moves me in the right direction. As for speaking Japanese in Japan, I’m in good shape there. I’ve been studying Japanese for a year and know both Hiragana and Katakana, have used Pimsleur for conversation and went three times last year so really starting to get into a groove…I just want to be able to actually read a darn book in Japanese one of these days!


I personally think the secret to success is chipping away at things consistently over a period of time. Also, good to hear you’ve already been to Japan and have been doing Pimsleur! I just assumed nothing since it wasn’t mentioned (my bad for sure), but in that case you’ll find reading gets rapidly easier with each WK level. I found I could read signs and directions in Japan around level 15-19, which was incredibly motivating. がんばって!

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Very cool - that is great to hear and definitely gives me some good motivation to get to level 15 and beyond. It’s 6:50AM here on Monday and I’m doing my reviews so the week is off to a good start!

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No better time than now to start back Wanikani. When I started, level 50 was the highest level(10 more to go haha), but I started back after a year and a half now and definitely found that making it to level 30 almost guarantees that you will finish Wanikani. Make it a daily routine and you will get there

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