In Japan and motivated to start studying

Hi guys,

I live in Japan for almost a year now and even though I did a bachelor degree in Japanese studies 7 years ago, I did not reopen a single book since. Now, after 10 months in Japan, of course, my understanding is better and I can get by. However, I’m farrrrrr from comfortable having a daily conversation about something more serious than hobbies and pets.

Obviously, I am also studying with workbooks, but I wanted to know how much useful WaniKani was to you and your studying routine?


It’s a big part of my routine. I basically start and end my day with it. But, of course, the point of wanikani is so I can read books, not to improve my conversation skills. I would say if conversation skills are what you want, wanikani should only be a minor part of your routine.


WK is a very large part of my routine, as well. This is mostly because I was absolute rubbish at kanji before I came to Japan this time, and I knew I needed to improve since I’m currently working in Japan. If your main goal is to increase your vocabulary and kanji knowledge (in particular vocabulary, which is more useful in conversation), then I’d recommend using WK quite a bit. But if your main goal is to learn grammar, then I’d stick to a textbook routine.

I’m in the same boat as you ( one year into working in Japan), except I’m only 2 years removed from graduating with a degree in Japanese, the catch is I was a terrible student in school. WK has definitely helped to elevate both my vocabulary and reading skills. I use it everyday for the past 5 months and the jump in my knowledge was exponential. My grammar is still pretty bad so I cant just sit down and read a book yet, but I can read most street signs store advertisements and other things you encounter on a daily basis. WK will also teach you a lot of words that may not be the daily users but ones that can help to elevate your depth of understanding.

1 Like

WK is good for reading and picking up some vocab. Like others mentioned it won’t help with conversations at all. If it’s conversations you’re concerned about then you might want to find a language exchange partner or find conversation classes.

WK has helped me to be able to read more signs and packaging in Japan, which is useful. However I am back in the US now. I think if you are looking for kanji learning/re-enforcement, you’ve got time to learn them and aren’t planning to study kanji you see day to day then I think WK is great. If not, then it might be better to find a different resource. Maybe a resource that allows you to study kanji you see frequently in the real world.

Already had experience living in Japan with some mediocre Japanese, however pairing WK with watching Japanese media with Japanese subtitles can not be beat.

Just read the subtitles along with with the audio. Good way to pick up natural flow.

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.