Level 10 Timeline


I’m looking at using the Tofogu guide to learning Japanese & it recommends using WaniKani to level 10 before using Genki etc to learn grammer

Tofugu seems to suggest it takes 1-3 months to get to this level but looking at a couple of the posts on here that seems highly optimistic

I’d love if anyone could tell me how long it took them to reach level 10 (In number of days and average hours per day)

Thanks for your help


I cant give you number of days or an analysis. I returned from a long absence (after a reset) in January at level 4 and made it to level 10 today. 7 to 8 took me almost two months. 9 to 10 took me almost a month.

I do at least 3 review sessions a day. Morning, lunch, and evening. If I can fit in more at work when no one is looking to keep the review counts down I do. I don’t time my reviews, so can’t say how long they are exactly. I think they range from 10 minutes to an hour depending on count. I think a count of 80-100 takes me about an hour to complete. So I must spend between 30 minutes and 3 hours a day on it.

Sorry if this isn’t detailed enough to be useful. I intentionally avoid tracking stats so I don’t go crazy.



It took me 87 days according to wkstats. As you can see I wasn’t exactly as fast as possible. And was probably doing between 1h/1:30h of wani kani everyday. I was doing lessons at morning and lunch hour. And reviews at morning, lunch and evening.

But from level 8 (I think) I started doing lessons only in the morning, and reviews at 9h, 13h and 21h, and this is way more efficient. Still probably doing between 1h to 1h30 everyday, but going a lot smoother and faster.

I hope this helps! Good luck!

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It took me about 67 days to get to level 10, I think :slightly_smiling_face:
Imo you don’t need to wait until level ten to start grammar :slightly_smiling_face: It definitely helps, but it’s not necessary. I started learning grammar before kanji, so I think if you really want to you could start whenever you want


It took me 94 days to get to level 10, 113 if you count level 10 itself. The 1-3 month suggestion is probably a bit low, I averaged 10ish days per level and I’ve even slowed down since then. So it really depends on how fast you want to go. I really only spent between 20 to 40 minutes a day on WaniKani (not everyday), but of course speed is also very variable individually.

But honestly, I say start grammar as soon as you want. The wait until level 10 suggestion is a little too much, I think. I already had decent background grammar even at like level 3 so it wasn’t too much of a problem for me, but yeah really all you need for getting into grammar is ye olde hiragana and katakana.


It took me 74 days to get to level 10. But I had studied Japanese/lived in Japan before so it wasn’t all new. I didn’t track how much time I spent. Did reviews at least three to four times a day. I think the level 10 thing is to keep people from getting overwhelmed. By the time you finish level 10 you either have a routine to complete your WaniKani reviews at a rate that works for you or you gave up.


By the way, it’s impossible to reach level 10 in one month. At absolute max speed (6d20 per level, counting levels 1+2 as one level), it takes 54d16h, so just shy of two months. That involves doing reviews at absurd times (e.g., at 3am). At a sane near-max-speed pace (7d per level), you’ll get there in 56 days, and assuming a pace that won’t bury you under reviews (10~14d per level), you’ll get there in 80~112 days so somewhere between 3 and 4 months.


Ignore that advice and start learning grammar now. Any beginner resource will not depend too heavily on kanji.

Human Japanese is a good app based way to start and I like LingoDeer, Bunpro and BunPo once you get going.


I haven’t stumbled on that part of the Tofugu guide in a while, but I thought at least the old WK guide said to start grammar at level 10 “if you haven’t already.” So the implication being more to start it at 10 at the latest. I can easily be misremembering, though. ^^

With regards to your question: I took the free levels very slowly as I was still trying to understand the ins and outs of kanji, hadn’t committed to doing WK daily yet, and started with a very low number of lessons a day. All that made it take longer than three months for me.

And average hours per day? At the beginning, with the review load not being very high yet… between one and two hours a day of WK work, I’d say. In the beginning, I also remember being a lot slower with my reviews.

So while that time a day may seem much, it’s not like that bloated to 4 hours a day of just doing WK. Workload increases over time, but so does your ability to learn and review. Basically every skill can be honed and improved as long as you do it every day, learning included. :slight_smile:

And while I think it’s always wise to be aware of the official advice - you know what you’re capable of. If someone is already quite familiar with Japanese, and knows some vocab and kanji already, there is no point in them keeping to the advice of delaying crucial parts of study. The only thing you have to ask yourself is if you’re over-doing it, and if you can keep up that workload for months or even years.

I personally feel like they advise people not to start all at once just to minimize the number of people that will start everything at the same time while being potentially unfamiliar with kanji / Japanese, and then get overwhelmed, frustrated and burnt out in a month.

Don’t be scared about putting together your own learning routine. You know what you have time for, you know if you’re having fun, and you know if you’re retaining and understanding the things that you learn. If the answer is yes to all that - you might be able to add more onto your routine. If the answer is no - you should likely look into (temporarily) altering your routine to keep it sustainable.

Best of luck!


I go at an average of around 8 to 9 days per level.
I’ll get to level 8 tomorrow, which means I’ll get to level 10 in 2 weeks at the earliest, but most likely it’ll be in 3 weeks.

I have already started grammar though, I’m not new to the language. I can already read and understand all basic stories. With the odd kanji here or there, that I have to look up.

I’m here because this makes learning fun, easy and the community makes it easier not to give up. (though some give up because they spend too much time here, lol)

Anyway, Never too early to learn something new.

Edit; I forgot to add, I joined on march 17th with a hiatus due to needing money for subscription. So that brings me to around 3 months.

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You can dive in whenever. Hell I did it reverse… started in with textbooks and other learning resources, only started WK after 10 months of Japanese study.

In any event, took me 65 days to reach Level 10. 73 if you include completing it.

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Took me 77.6 days to complete levels 1-10. to reach level 10 was 70.5 days. So a bit over 2 months. I’m too lazy to post my charts like all the other people here.

I think the idea behind waiting a bit is that if you know some kanji going into Grammar study it can help smooth out the process because you won’t have to spend as much time looking up the small amount of kanji that might appear. That doesn’t mean you can learn grammar without it.

Children in Japan certainly start learning grammar structures before kanji. I don’t say that to imply that you should try to learn like a Japanese child (you definitely should not), but only to point out that it is possible.


I did it in ~2 months, yay me!

Honestly, this. I started Genki a couple of days before joining WK and I haven’t had any problems going through them at the same time. I’m on level/lesson 7 for both, and I do use an additional SRS system for Genki vocab, which has been super helpful. It’s also just really fun when I learn a kanji in WK and then see it in Genki or vice versa. Don’t worry too much about when the right time to study grammar is, just jump right in :+1:


Just reached Lvl 10 today. Started 23rd of March (71 Days ago) and did not have any previous knowledge about Kanji.

Thanks everyone for your replies - very helpful!!


A small correction - this isn’t the actual average. The Wanikani team have never released any data regarding how long levels take people on average.

That said, from years on this forum, I am pretty sure that 8-9 days is on the faster side of average by at least a few days. I’d put the average among forum participants (ie, the more invested WK members, who probably go faster than other users who don’t visit the forums) somewhere between 12-14 days per level.

The 7-9 days per level are louder about how fast they level up (for some reason it’s seen as an Objectively Good Thing, but full speed ahead is very demanding and not sustainable for most of us), more than us slower levellers, so it’s easy to make the mistake of assuming that’s the average speed.

Just mean that the levels I did average out on around 8 to 9 days. It’s a personal thing.
I do agree that the general average is longer, mostly indeed because it is demanding.
I am just able to do it quicker than most because I have the time that many don’t.
That said, it’s important for people to know it’s not about speed, it’s about what you learn.
It’s a marathon, not a race.
I’m personally just going quickly because I can, and because I have something to gain from it. (a job)

The rest of my post is still valid though, no reason to wait for grammar lessons.
If you can read Kana, that’s good enough for grammar.


Start grammar now, ignore the level 10 thing. In fact, I wouldn’t even bother learning kanji’s until you get the basic grammar. Human Japanese recommenced above is a great resource, and it doesn’t have a single kanji until the second volume… this should keep you busy for a few months while you’ll be learning Japanese rather than memorising kanji’s you don’t know yet what to do with. Then you can start the ‘intermediate’ course and I suppose that’s a good moment to start Wanikani too, as you’ll start seeing kanji’s too.

Another good book is Japanese for busy people, that also doesn’t have any kanji at all in the firstborn volume.

Interesting - I’ve been thinking about it and I can see the logic in the Tofugu idea of collecting a base of Kanji/Vocab before tackling anything else as you will have some understanding when looking at beginner textbooks (Genki etc)

Do you not think it would be beneficial to have this base before starting Genki etc as you will not be looking up every word/completely overwhelmed with the Kanji?