Is 30min/day enough?

So I’ve enjoyed wanikani so far but recently it feels like I underestimated how much time this site actually takes.

I thought that 30 mins every day was a pretty good amount of time to spend on something like this. But it feels now that as the reviews pile up (so many old but unburned kanji coming back) and the new kanji get harder, 30mins doesn’t seem enough anymore. My progress feels slow as I try to keep the lessons to around 100 per day.

I don’t mind slightly slower progress but would prefer about 20 levels in a year, is this realistic? Has anyone managed to get to level 60 with just half an hour a day? Reading here it seems most spend at least an hour… I wonder if I’m wasting my time. I have poor memory and memorization is hard for me too, so I make quite a few mistakes (also slows down).

I’d like to hear your honest opinions about whether I should keep going or quit? I really don’t think I can commit any more time to WK.


Hi @jj91 !

I’m doing about 8 days per level, with 20 new items every day. I think I spend probably between 1h and 1h30min every day on wanikani. While the reviews are faster, I do take my time to learn the new kanji very slowly and create mnemonics. With the new vocab I’ll just read it once and keep going.

To achieve 20 levels in a year, you need to do about 18.25 days per level.
This amounts to about 3200 items in a year. Or new 8.8 items per day. And about 90 review items every day.

If you think that 30 minutes everyday is enough to learn 9 items + do about 90 review items then you can probably keep going!

Are you currently using any scripts? If you aren’t you can make some adjustments and keep your speed. By using the lesson filter you can control what kind of lessons you do. You can do fewer kanji per day, but do it in a consistent manner, so it’s less taxing in your memory.

I haven’t done the exact math, but you can probably do like 3 new kanji everyday and 5-6 vocab, and still keep a decent speed to do a 18 day level up. If you need any help with the scripts please don’t hesitate to ask ! Good luck !

PS: You can use this tool to calculate how many new items you can learn everyday and it will give you an average based on your accuracy of how many reviews you’ll have to do everyday!


Just do what you can. I’ve been hacking away at this (reading Japanese in general) for nearly 4 years now and the progress is slow, but it’s there. If you can up your study sessions to 1 hour a day you can make serious progress. I suggest 30 min in the morning and 30 min in the evening.


@VictorLino Thank you, very useful. I looked at that site and it seems your numbers are about right. 18 days per level would require bit more work for me, but maybe not too much. I think I will at least keep going until lvl 20 and see it from there. I use the undo script (for typos, very useful) and the one that lets you arrange the lessons.

@virgilmaro Yeah I don’t mind going more slowly as long as I see real progress and don’t feel stuck.


I think if you have little time to focus on japanese in general, the benefits of learning Kanji will be soon reached if you don’t have the actual time to use them in some other context at some point.
After all you learn them to read, you might just start at some point; maybe distributing your pace along the year between progressing with WK with seasons of new lessons mixing it with periods of just taking care of your reviews and progressively dipping your toes into reading seems like a more balanced plan.

I feel if you only do kanji and nothing more it’s way easier to relate japanese learning with just studying and fail to make the connection with it been a language that you can actually use, even with a basic foundation :man_shrugging: .
Reading and overall using the words and kanji you learn put much more cotext to items presented in WK, that helped a lot to fix vocab.

For me 30’ was how long my sessions were… and I had more or less 3 of those during a day :sweat_smile: . I think I did like 36 level in my first WK year as a reference.


I actually do some reading since learning to read is my goal. I just haven’t done it very seriously yet because I want to learn more kanji/vocabulary at first, so I don’t count it as studying. But I do try to get exposure to simpe japanese texts. That’s probably something I should focus more on however.

36 levels in a year is a lot! Congrats, that’s hard work :slight_smile:


I can say that after my 4 very slow years I can read with comprehension. I’ve finished several light novels and games with little aid from reference materials. It sometimes feels like progress isnt being made because it’s hard to detect. If you’ve ever learned to play an instrument it feels similar.

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