How often do you study, and how long?

Didn’t find a topic like this here that wasn’t super old, apologies if there’s a recent one

I’m asking both because I’m curious/I think the discussion is interesting and for advice. I can spend up to two hours studying a single topic, which I feel is not very efficient. I often get stuck on a chapter of a grammar book for too long because I dwelve in my notes and extra research, but at the same time it feels good.

I don’t spend as much time on wk, usually 20 to 30 minutes, and only because I write down every new item I learn. Reviews take 2 to 15 minutes at most, it’s a very fast and rewarding process, I gotta admit lol.

How often do you spend studying? Do y’all have different times for different topics?


I’m currently putting all my study time on WK, since my knowledge is lacking in reading. When I level up, once a week, I put quite a lot of effort to learn the new grammar, radicals, and kanji. Days after level up are usually very taxing since it’s usually around 100-120 new items to learn.

Takes quite a lot of time in general to keep my review pile at zero, so I don’t study anything else atm except trying to watch a few episodes of anime a day listening for words I’ve learnt and am familiar with while also bettering my listening comprehension.

I’m currently feeling motivated with WK so I’m trying to keep the momentum as far is it takes me.


When I got back into studying Japanese, I would study up to maybe 5 hours total. Mind that this was just reviewing all of Genki II to get back up to speed, so I already knew much of the stuff and I used Tokini Andy as a teacher.

After that, I went back to Tobira and only managed around 1-2 hours on it since it’s a really heavy textbook. Lots of information to take in. I got too confused and overwhelmed so I stopped this for now. At this point I realized my foundation for the language wasn’t strong and decided to use Cure Dolly instead. When I finish her lessons I’ll go back and tackle Tobira.

My plan now is WK, Cure Dolly, NHK Easy, and Duolingo.

On WK, I only do 20 new lessons a day and try to pack my reviews into 2-3 sessions a day. Those can range from 30 min to an hour with the lessons. Reviews just take maybe 10-15 minutes since I’m pacing myself to avoid review mountains.

When I study with Cure Dolly, each video can take over an hour because her lessons can be really dense and I want to take notes.

Duolingo I can only stand around an hour total a day. It’s fun, but so slow.

NHK Easy, takes maybe 5-10 minutes to go through one article.

So for a typical day now at least 2-3 hours of study!


Oh wow, do you do all new lessons all at once? That’s impressive. I usually do around 20 per day for vocab, since it requires a lot more from me.

Do you plan on adding any other resources in the future? Or are you just riding down wk until the end?

That’s pretty much what I do right now!
Also, how much do you recommend cure dolly? I dont want to swamp myself with a bunch of resources, so I’m trying to be selective.

Also, to specify what I meant in the op: just yesterday, I spent 2 hours learning just この.その.あの.どの and ここ.そこ.あそこ.どこ which I feel it’s too much time on just two small topics, but it also clarified so much.
I’m trying to balance between efficiency and clarity.


Depends usually but two hours a day if possible is a nice sweet spot. More is desirable.

I would not get so hung up on feeling like you are spending so much time on a topic. If you feel you need clarification, I would watch Tokini Andy’s videos on youtube as he goes over Genki 1 and 2 and it looks like you might be on Genki if you were going over この.その.あの.どの and ここ.そこ.あそこ.どこ .

You do not need to “master” something before moving on. Some things may not be SUPER clear or you may still be confused on, but for me, through exposure the grammar will be reinforced and it will make sense more over time. After a point, you can only learn and do so much research about a certain topic as it just wont make as much sense without context and actually using it or seeing it used.

tldr; Don’t move on unless you’re comfortable, but again don’t stress so much about time you’re spending on a topic and if you are worried about spending TOO much time then move on. You’re so early on in the studies that the grammar will enforce itself over time :slight_smile:


I definitely recommend Cure Dolly, but it depends on how you prefer to learn. Her method of teaching Japanese utilizes logical structures. It is extremely different than textbook learning. She takes apart the language and gives sense to it in Japanese structure, not English structure, which is crucial to understanding properly in order to be okay with the traditional English translations. After all, we are learning Japanese and not “Eihongo”.

For a taste of how she teaches, her big example is:

In textbook English, it would be “I like coffee”.

But there is a が particle here. This particle ALWAYS marks the subject, no matter what. So, the coffee is the subject, not “I”. “I” is only the topic marked by は which emphasizes, and thus it can be omitted.
The true logical translation to show exactly how the particles function would be:

“(As for me), coffee is pleasing”.

Just give the first 3 episodes of her Organic Japanese Lesson series a try. If you don’t get that “click” with her explanations of the が and は particles, it’s best to find another method, as she said herself to not waste time on her if it doesn’t work for you.


I spend most of my time reading. I read for 1-3 hours per day. I’ll occasionally look up something I don’t know or recognize, but can’t quite remember. I don’t translate in that time, I am reading to see how much I comprehend in Japanese as I’m focusing on not translating to English. I don’t get everything and that’s fine. I do make note of recurring sentence patterns I don’t get in order to look them up later or make note of them for future grammar studies.

Other than reading I am also going through the grammar points in Bunpro by JLPT level mostly because I’m a completionist and also as a bit of light review. I do reviews two times per day and do new lessons 2-3 times a week at least (more if my schedule permits). I also am reviewing vocab on Kitsun and I follow the same pattern there. I guess I spend like an hour a day on that, maybe a bit more. I also do WK and some other text book stuff and that is probably an hour. Next month I’m going to get back into doing some other stuff so I’m spending more time than usual (I have to wait for some stuff to be fixed that’s why not now) and I’m going to get back to adding in more time for Korean and other languages.

I space it out throughout the day (I work at home so I can do this easily) as well. I tend to study in 30 minute chunks when reading and about that (or less) for other stuff. And I study every day, but I don’t do new lessons every day. I have different things for M-W-F and then a different set of things T-TH (except reading which is daily). I tend to keep weekends for review only and I do other hobbies those days. I probably spend anywhere from 2-5 hours on Japanese a day.


Currently, I study Japanese 1-4 hours a day, depending on how much time work and life in general permits. My main focus is on my two weak points, Kanji and listening comprehension.

The first, I try to finally address using WK. At the moment, I time my lessons so that I get through each level in under 8 days, while spacing out the vocabulary lessons a bit. Days after level changes are a bit heavy since I have to go through all the vocabulary for the second batch of Kanji for the last level before reaching the new radicals. However, reviews are usually fine.

For the listening comprehension, I listen to Japanese learners podcasts while doing other stuff not requiring my full mental attention. I really enjoy the ones by Teppei and Noriko.

Apart from this, I take a course at the local office of the Japan Foundation, which is two hours per week. Before this summer, taking courses there based on Marugoto was actually all I had done the past five years.


I study actively for on average 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours every day, spread throughout the day (not counting active or passive immersion). I haven’t missed a day in seven months.

I think about 35 minutes of that is spent on WK, with another 25-ish minutes on Kaniwani. I also spend 5-20 minutes a day doing Anki reviews for my textbook vocabulary (it’s heavier when I’m adding new cards, but slows down to below 10 minutes most days). Those three things (WK, KW, and Anki) are my absolute minimum daily workload, no matter how busy I am.

Practicing writing kanji often takes 15-20 minutes. Textbook study can vary, depending on how much time I have that day, and what tasks I have to do in the textbook. Generally it’s 30 minutes to an hour.

In addition to that, I’m also doing some active immersion right now and am working on reading my first manga. I’m still pretty slow, so 2-3 pages can take me anywhere from a half hour to an hour. Usually I’m able to spend more time on it when I have less going on with my textbook. On these days, I probably spend closer to 3 hours studying.

Plus, I don’t count this as studying because I was spending just as much time on it before I started learning the language, but I usually watch a couple hours of unsubtitled Japanese media (pro wrestling) every day, and a good chunk of my twitter feed is in Japanese because I follow a lot of wrestlers on there. So I’m getting loads of passive immersion in addition to everything I mentioned above.

I should mention that I’ve had a hyperfixation on Japanese pro wrestling for two and a half years now, which evolved into a hyperfixation on language learning about eleven months ago, so I’m able to put a lot of time into this because it’s my main hobby currently and I genuinely really love doing it (and I also haven’t had much of a social life due to the pandemic). This kind of schedule might not be sustainable for anyone else :sweat_smile:


I spend daily about 20-45 minutes doing Anki reviews. It depends really on how much cards I have to review. I try to do this in the morning, so I’ll feel well rested to study more at night.

Then since I’m focusing on the JLPT now, I’m using the Shin Kanzen Master series on grammar and reading. I do a couple of pages daily and this takes about an hour. (Which I probably will need to extend for 2 hours, since I’m really behind my grammar schedlue)

I also play a lot of games in Japanese. But I don’t count those as study, since I really have a great time with them and this doesn’t tires me out like studying grammar or vocabulary. I spend a lot of my free time doing that.

So, not counting games or reading, about 2 hours in a bad day, but I really need to start going to 3 hours (but that’s only because I’m cramming for the JLPT, it’s better to be consistent in study than overexaust yourself and get burned later on, but if you can so 3+ hours daily and feel okay with that, good for you anyway)


Everyday I do as much Wanikani as I can, Bunpro, and my Anki decks. If I notice a Wanikani level has a lot of Kanji I am struggling to learn I will make a quizlet book for it and spend an hour or two studying that. Most days I make a dent on kaniwani but its hard to keep that up alongside all the other ones. On weekends or when I get some inspiration I practice writing down sentences (either working through genki workbooks, or going into cram mode on bunpro and translating english to japanese there). I was trying to keep a 1 manga a week pace up but am waiting on a shipment to get in so haven’t done that lately. I’m also slowly working through a novel but that is really hard to follow with my limited vocabulary.

Overall breakdown:
Wanikani - 1-3 hours a day, I do all new things asap so days closer to a new level take a lot more time.
Bunpro - 30 minutes a day
Anki - 1 hour a day
KaniWani - 30 minutes a day averaged
Reading - 1 hour a day when I have material

Overall it ends up totaling to around 2-5 hours a day.


Oh wow, do you do all new lessons all at once? That’s impressive. I usually do around 20 per day for vocab, since it requires a lot more from me.

Yes and no. I use the reorder tool to prioritise radicals and kanji necessary for level up (I also prestudy these and put extra effort between SRS session to keep level up momentum), then I spread out the rest over a day or so, depending on amount and available time. Usually, I get quite a high error percentage early on as the new material is introduced, but that’s the beauty of the SRS, the things that you already know and understand will vanish from the pile.

I must say that as the more kanji I learn, there are more kanjis available for me to confuse them with so I sometimes have to backtrack and compare to properly see the diffs, so the difficulty just keeps increasing as well.

I’m not gonna lie, it takes time - and some days are heavy, but I’m able to get some review off during work hours, which is nice. Day 5 and 6 are usually pretty chill, at least in comparison. My goal is to keep this speed up until I start burning items in early February - after that I will see what happens, but I do fear that the work load is just going to increase and get harder.

Do you plan on adding any other resources in the future? Or are you just riding down wk until the end?

Yes, I believe so - but it is a matter of time and energy in combination with motivation. I need to improve my grammar and learn more patterns, even ones that might be considered basic. I will go through Genki books, maybe over Christmas and see how far I can easily go with my now improved vocab and reading. Worth mentioning is that I’ve gone through G1 about ten years ago and I’ve picked up some phrases and constructs over the years. For me, the kanjis has been the hump making progress in Japanese difficult, which is why I now put all my effort in bashing it to pieces.


Have you noticed it is not ここ、そこ、… but こ・そ・あ・ど with various sufixes (こ、れ、の、ちら、う/あ、 んな…) ?

And about the topic of the thread… I studied Japanese formally (3h per week in the classroom) when I was student.
Back then there wasn’t much material available, so while it gave me good grammar bases, I hadn’t much practice/ immersion.

After a very long interlude, I am back, and now there is a lot of resources on the internet… but I don’t have the free time I enjoyed back then…

As I don’t have much time, I am in slow pace. I use Duolingo for training. From time to time I read some grammar resource or read something. And I also do training in WK.
I would say I spent some (cumulated) 2hrs a day, up to 4 on good days I am off work (such days I try to read). … or just 10min (one Duolingo refresh and 10 WK items) on bad days


I spend:

  • 1+ hour daily on Wanikani
  • 1+ hour on Anki
  • the rest goes into reading or Tobira (which is still reading + grammar + exercises)

That’s ~4 hours on weekdays and ~6+ hours on weekends. I’m trying to slowly go beyond that, but past 7-8 hours my brain begins to fry :sweat_smile:


I use a combination of Wanikani, JapanesePod101 Premium Plus, and Duolingo, supplementing occasionally with Japanese from Zero. I study from 1-4 hours a day, depending on time available.


I would say that I spend anywhere from two to three hours on active learning on a weekday and double on weekends. Passive learning is a bit less but I find it very rewarding when I notice a string of familiar words in a series or song.

My main focus, pre-covid, was listening and speaking. Now it’s shifted to vocabulary and reading as I couldn’t recall when I needed to use kun/on-yumi readings.

The list of apps is quite short but I find that they are the ones that help me best for the areas of language.

Reading - a mix of Todai and manga in Japanese
Writing / Kanji - JA Sensei and WaniKani
Speaking - Mango Languages
Listening - any anime or music

Your study time will shift based on your goals and what you feel you need to improve on. Keep at it, and don’t worry if you don’t understand something right away. It will come with time :smirk:

Good luck!


Let’s see, I probably spend a few hours reading, but that varies a lot. Anki takes up maybe a bit less than hour mostly because of my writing exercises; vocab cards I go through quickly. Then if I commute or take a walk I listen to some podcasts ~30-60 min. In the evening maybe play some games in Japanese, but that doesn’t maybe count as much if it’s not text heavy. Random youtubers (mostly let’s plays) sprinkled in as well.


Oh, I have, but I was only studying the topics that the book talked about. I didn’t want to overwhelm myself by going in depth on all demonstratives, the others I’ll dwelve in as I go.

I don’t use genki actually! I use elementary japanese. The demonstrative lesson is in the second chapter, but I didn’t understand most of it, so that’s why I dwelved deeper.

Thank you all so much for replying! It has been really fun reading your comments. Helped me put things in perspective a lot too lol. I’ll try to reply to yall later when I’m more awake

Two times, 30 min each almost

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This is great! I studied Japanese for one year (gasp!) 30 years ago. I always regretted a little that I didn’t study further at the time. However - it was worth the wait because the resources that are available now just blow me away! I am probably putting in anywhere from 1-3 hours per day. I have set a goal to get through Genki 1 this year and am thrilled to have learned about Shiro Neko, Cure Dolly and Tokini Andy through this site. I am filling in around this with some JapanesePod and DuoLingo. Having studied several other languages, one of the huge issues for building fluency is building vocabulary so I am also loving working my way through WaniKani. I was very excited to run across 下さい “in the wild” today - I think I might finally remember it!

What’s my breakdown: am first thing - Reviews (15-20 min); Lunch - 10-15 lessons and reviews (20 minutes); evening (reviews 10-15 min), something else (Genki, learn katakana, other videos ~ 60 min); DuoLingo few lessions before bed. I’m sure I will slow down at some point.