Is it worth it

I just got to level three and I was previously not aware that anything past level 3 isn’t free. Is premium worth it? If in the end I don’t decide to pay for it, what resources would you recommend for continuing to learn Japanese?


It used to be that if you weren’t subscribed, you couldn’t even see the information beyond level 3. This changed fairly recently, and so you should be able to take a look at the the content for future levels if you are interested in gauging the value. Now a lack of a subscription just means you can’t do lessons or reviews for those items.


I would imagine most people currently using the service would tell you it’s worth it, at least up to a point.

It also depends if it feels worth it to you, if you feel the system enhances your learning experience, etc.


Have you tried any other methods of learning Kanji?

I personally tried numerous ways of learning, which were effective until I plateaued eventually. From personal experience I can say that it’s worth it, but if you are unsure then you should try other methods and gauge what works best for you.


I started Wanikani not too long ago and recently got to level 3 around a few days ago. So I was in the same boat.

I’ve tried other resources to get into learning Japanese with mixed results. I would basically start and then quit a week or two later. The Tofugu guide for Hiragana was what *actually *helped me finally start and finish learning Hiragana, and when I learned about Wanikani I basically jumped aboard.

The subscription threw me off for a bit, but now that I’ve reached level 3 and got a taste for the system I have to say it’s pretty awesome and I basically forked my cash over on the spot lol


Do you have some examples of other methods you tried before? I want to experiment some before committing to wanikani with money

Man, you’re not buying a car. It’s 10$ a month. You probably spend the same daily just for lunch.
If you’ve enjoyed the interface and system until then, then there is little ambiguity in my opinion.


For me it was hard to study kanji from Anki and books, mostly because I don’t practice writing along with my kanji. Wanikani made it easy and you also get a ton of vocabulary to make use of your new kanji… So it is worth it for me!


I have a hard time self studying the language. And I don’t have time to take classes. Therefore, this acts as a good starting point and the fact that it uses repetition base keeps me from sliding backwards. Every support right now use other resources to, you just need to find a study method that works for you.




Spending $10 a day ‘just for lunch’ is a luxury that most people on the planet can’t afford. Not even in most western countries most people spend that much for their lunch every single day. If you’re lucky enough to be able to spend $10 every day for your lunch don’t assume that others can, likewise $10 monthly might be expensive for some on a budget.

Going back to the topic Wanikani is definitely a good resource for learning kanji’s but I would only invest into it if you already have knowledge of basic grammar (let’s say the first volume of Japanese for busy people, human Japanese or genki).


I think it’s worth it, on my own I’m not that productive so this gives me reviews every day and since I’m paying for it I feel more obligated to do it! Eh as for free probably anki would be your best bet, but I tend to just click through it and not learn much. Also I’ve been playing with duolingo as a filler when i’m bored


I used to have an internal debate whether it was worth it, since most of the Kanji learning resources I have used never worked for me. So I said, why not try it for a month?

And a month extended for two, three… the gamified version and the weird mnemonics totally worked for me.

Now I’m just waiting for any discount to move on to annual or lifetime subscription :rofl:


In response to the phrasing in the original post, even if you continue with Wanikani for learning kanji, there are many other free an paid resources available for learning all aspects of Japanese language. You can find many of them in The Ultimate Additional Japanese Resources List!


I hope this helps,
I have a lifetime subscription, I can say that it’s really worth it.

It’s been 9 months since I started using Wanikani and I learned more than 1,000 kanjis and more than 3000vocabulary words … 1500of them are burned which means I should already know them by heart. AHAH. Also, I just took the JLPT N3 Test, although I’m not confident that I’d pass (because of the listening part). I knew most of the items in the kanji/vocab part.

I also like that the only thing I have to do is spend more or less an hour a day to do lessons / reviews and be diligent with it.


I think that it is fair to say that nearly everyone here uses many learning resources. Wanikani takes care of the kanji aspect, so that you don’t have to think or worry about it anymore. Just follow the program, and in a year or two you will know the bulk of the kanji that you will ever need.

You still need to give some thought to grammar at the very least, and listening and speaking if you wish.

But, Wanikani is a hub of knowledge of all of those things. You get the group knowledge of everyone else studying here, plus support from people struggling with the same thing as you.

Yes, worth it!


Will it be worth it or not highly depends on your advantages and shortages in learning. But compared to other resources WaniKani has some mechanics, that works better.

I learned Japanese in class, where we study speaking a lot, but reading text wasn’t a priority. And also I’m watching a lot of anime with subtitles. So, listening is not a problem for me, and speaking is OK. I have a lack of reading knowledge, and electronic resources are really good to make it better.

I have tried Anki, but, because there is no need to print answer be yourself, it is quite simple to abuse it, even unintentionally. As a result, kanjis can be forgotten fast. Think Anki is good for repeating, but not so good at learning.

Also tried some other services, where user should type the answer by himself, but that always was sooo, repetitive, and with so many unnecessary parts. I don’t think that I want to recognise words by listening (at least for now) and recall kanji by kana (it’s not make sense for me). Compared to these, WaniKani has just that parts, what I need, I can done lessons fast, and recalling kanjis at good rate.

WaniKani also has a few disadvantages for my taste, but they can be easily avoided.
I don’t like all these radicals, that not really a radicals. And that names often isn’t the same as wide-known, so I have added a synonyms.
Think, I would prefer to learn “a radical + few kanji + few words with these kanji, repeat”, rather than “radicals, kanjis, words, repeat”. But WaniKani’s way is OK too. May be it is better at something, but I don’t know it yet.


Remembering the Kanji is a fairly famous resource you could try out as an alternative, but it involves buying books which are fairly pricey themselves.

Personally I would pay for a month of WaniKani to see whether you find it effective before shelling out for a book, especially as in many ways WaniKani builds on the methods of Remembering the Kanji.

Memrise and iKnow are alternative flashcard sites which might have decks for learning kanji, but I don’t know for sure. iKnow is also a paid service anyway (and Memrise is… partially free??).


Sure. At first I tried using Anki decks, as others have mentioned. This was great at drilling common kanji that I had already been familiarised with, but as soon as it got even slightly advanced it became very hard for me to learn kanji on it’s own without context. By this I mean an Anki card would show me a single kanji and it’s readings, but very little examples of words and sentences of its usage.

To try to combat this I started writing kanji on grid paper, along with it’s readings and then a few common examples of words, prefferably paired with kanji that I already knew. This method was actually very effective but as you can probably see at this point, I ended up doing almost exactly what WaniKani already does, but just at a snails pace compared to the capability of WaniKani.

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As someone who just reached level four and chose to subscribe, I understand the decision you have to make. I think premium is worth it for me because WaniKani seems to be such an effective self-study tool for kanji. I don’t have the time or money to go back to school right now, so classes aren’t an option.

That being said, you need to decide if WaniKani has been worthwhile for you before subscribing.

Since you seem concerned about the cost of WaniKani, I imagine you’re looking for free resources. Unfortunately, most resources for learning Japanese (textbooks, etc.) aren’t going to be free. One exception is Tae Kim’s guide. You can buy a physical copy of his book to support him, but he’s generously put the contents of his guide online:

I’d start there, but investing in a textbook and/or workbook wouldn’t be a bad idea. You can also consult the Ultimate Additional Japanese Resources list that was already posted. :slight_smile: