Japanese supporting apps on Ipad?

Hi everybody,

I have just ordered an Ipad, and I would like to create a productive japanese learning environment.

Do you have any suggestions for good apps supporting Japanese?
I am thinking particularly to note taking apps that would allow me to seamlessly switch between languages. Maybe with handy “search” features?

Thank you in advance for your help!


Just use your normal note taking app, and install Japanese IME


I was using jade reader on android before to read japanese text with a popup dictionary so the first thing I searched on ipad was something similar. And that’s yomiwa. It has a forum to ask people queetions, text analyser, dictionary and such. I really recommend it


That sounds really useful. Thank you!

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I use my iPad for most of my Japanese studies, but the only app I need is the monokakido dictionary app because I wanted more variety in J>J dictionaries.

Switching between the English/Japanese keyboard on iOS is as easy as it can get and it has a wonderful integrated dictionary, both for J>E and J>J lookups. No need for anything third party.

I use GoodNotes for note taking at university, it has everything one needs, but I’ve never seen the need to use it for Japanese.

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Anyone tried Bookwalker on ipad? How bad is it?


I use Easy Japanese (news articles and videos) and the normal ipad notes app. Also, I open all the websites I use to study Japanese on the ipad because it’s fun to have a bigger screen and use the apple pencil when possible =D

I also use Zen Brush 3 to do some nice kanji calligraphy art :drooling_face:

I personally like it, I love having the big images

Although some of the writing (if it’s too small) easily becomes blurry and can be hard to recognise :eyes:

I like it. The screen is just the right size, you can change font size to your liking (as long as it’s not a manga), and dictionary lookup works great most of the time (again, not for manga, because there’s no actual text, it’s all an image). It uses the default iOS dictionaries (J>J and J>E) which are quite good. (Dictionary lookup from within Bookwalker is a disaster on Android, because it seems you get no dictionary choice, just google translate, which I find unbearable.)
My only gripe is that whenever I switch to another app for any reason, when I get back to Bookwalker it takes an annoying second or two to reload.

Edit: To OP, if you also have a stylus, the new handwriting recognition is pretty neat. Details in this thread:


It’s still bad.

To be fair, they do. But the fact that you can’t copy text irritates me to no end.

This is a pain for me too.

In addition, it will periodically ask you to login again and then take forever to open the book from the bookshelf.

Their bookshelf paradigm also took some getting used to at first.

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That’s what I was worried about. The Android app is trash (even though they updated it this year). Can’t even sync bookshelf that I created on the JP web version. Annoying.

But I was thinking of getting an ipad for reading, taking notes, and sketching.

I know that ios is the leading mobile platform in Japan, so I’d expect it to at least have decent options. I’m not too invested in Bookwalker, so I’d check out other apps if they don’t region lock their content.

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for a long time I used midori as dictionary, very helpful.

Dont know if there are better ones today.

If you are using native (Japanese - Japanese) dictionaries, I strongly recommend the dictionaries of Dictionaries - Our products - Monokakido (I have one Kanji dictionary and two regular dictionaries)

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Does it do handwriting to text in Japanese?

It’s possible to sync the bookshelves but it seemed so complicated I gave up. You have to upload it to cloud separately from the settings.

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It was possible before the app overhaul. Now it just doesn’t see my JP bookshelves. I was digging through the settings and couldn’t figure out how to enable it. If it’s possible it and yet impossible to find it’s another testament to how half-assed their engineering is.


Yes it does!
Even if your handwriting is bad…

You can even use the search function:

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It is not necessary to “install a Japanese IME”. iPads, iPhones, and Macs come with one built in. All you have to do is enable it as an option.

On an iPad, tap on “Settings.” Select “General” Then select “Keyboard.” Select “Keyboards” Tap on “Add New Keyboard…” Add “Japanese -Kana”

When you are somewhere and want to type, if an English Keyboard is up, click on the thing that looks like a globe (with latitude and longitude lines and then it will cycle between the keyboard that you have set. The Japanese kana keyboard is a Hiragana keyboard. As you type, Kanji and katakana will be suggested.

I also suggest that you add Japanese as a language in your list of preferred languages so that if there is any ambiguity about a character, it shows you the Japanese version and not the Chinese version. To do so, go to Settings, General, Language & Region, and add 日本語. Note that is different from changing the “iPad Language” on the same screen. If you change the iPad language, all your apps will switch to Japanese (if the develop made Japanese versions of menus, text, etc.).

Also, iPads come with a built-in Japanese-to-Japanese dictionary and a Japanese-English dictionary that works without an internet connection, but it is not directly accessible through an app (and I recall for some reason Apple has very annoyingly forbidden developers from making a direct interface like there is with the Dictionary App under OS X). To enable it, go to Settings, General, Dictionary, and check the desired Japanese dictionary options. Looking up words is not done from an app. To look something up, go to the home screen and swipe down to open the search box. Type whatever you want to look up. Almost certainly, you will see some results but not the definition. To get to the definition, you have to usually scroll down in the results and usually click “Show more results”. Eventually, there will be a Dictionary section. If what you want isn’t the first thing then click “Show more” and you will see the results from all enabled dictionaries. Tapping on a result can often get you a more detailed definition.

Enabling the Japanese dictionary is also important if you want to tap long on a word on a web page so that a popup menu opens so that you can choose “Define” and get a definition right away.


Kanji Garden is alright - its really good to start off with, but pretty sure you have to pay more if you want to continue with no restrictions. Great to consolidate with WaniKani I’d say. I have this on the iphone 5, so its likely available for ipads

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