Level 60 - Never thought I’d make it but here we are :)

If you had asked me a couple of years ago whether I could make a multi-year commitment to something that started as a way to kill time, I would have laughed. But here we are. :slight_smile:

First up, some thanks:

@jprspereira ’s Ultimate Guide is indispensible to learning how Wanikani works and how to take advantage of it. You don’t need to spend hours per day or do all the lessons in one go. I don’t think I could have found a manageable pace without it.

@ekg for the support and encouragement and for the Battle Blog, especially now that I’m on the post-60 journey. I’m not one for study logs, so it was really motivating to read through someone else’s struggles and to have someone to commiserate with for those last few levels.

@davidsansome and @ulnt2048 for Tsurukame on IOS. Without the app, I wouldn’t have been able to do Wanikani at all.

To all the people I see on here everyday, I wish I could add you individually but I only get 10 mentions per post. You’re all awesome. :slight_smile:

And most importantly, the entire Wanikani team for creating such an amazing app. :smiley:

You all have my sincerest thanks.

And, now, the fun stuff.


Just for you guys, I went and actually installed all the scripts I had been ignoring up until this point just to show off some stats.

Thanks to:

802 days from start to finish. :slight_smile:

That black bar at level 22 is documented here: Finally hit that wall

I’m pretty strict on my 20 lesson limit. :wink:

Still going strong with that 259 day streak. Remember kids: take a break if you need to.

Cool visualization of the workload. Late 2019 was tough. lol

An hour a day is all you need.

Random musings

Here's some more information on my journey.
My method

I work full time and have a family of 6 so I need to be able to do Wanikani without a lot of setup so being able to use Tsurukame on my iPhone has been crucial to getting all my lessons and reviews done.

But other than that, the following method has helped me keep up with WK at a manageable pace:

  • 20 lessons per day, max.
  • Maximum apprentice items: 100. If it’s 95 after my reviews, I’ll only do 5 lessons that day.
  • Do all reviews if possible, but it’s ok to let some roll over to the next day if necessary.
  • Average reviews per day: 300
  • Average time spent on WK per day: 1 hour

I’ve found that setting an apprentice item limit is the best way to smooth out the daily review count.

What can I do?

Sadly, I haven’t noticed the sudden acquisition of super powers since hitting level 60. However, I have been able to do the following since the mid-40s:

  • Play Final Fantasy 6 in Japanese on my Nintendo Advance SP

  • Play Star Ocean 1 in Japanese on my Nintendo 2DS XL

  • Read novels

    • Mushoku Tensei Light Novel (currently reading)

    • Re: Zero volume 1 LN (started, not finished)

  • Read manga

    • One Punch Man volume 17
  • Haikyuu volume 1

  • 特攻の島 volume 1

  • 不滅のあなたへ volume 1

Video Resources

A lot of my immersion and learning has been in my free time just watching videos for fun. These are the ones I’ve found most beneficial.

Cure Dolly’s videos provide an amazingly intuitive way to think about Japanese. The content is quite good, but some people are turned off by the gimmick of the voice and having a CGI presenter. The titles are also a bit click-baity, but I can honestly say I’ve gained more insight from watching her videos than anywhere else.

Cure Dolly Japanese Playlist

SambonJuku 三本塾 does videos entirely in Japanese but he speaks clearly and is much easier to understand for a beginner. He’s a good teacher and his videos provide a good way to watch/read if you turn on Japanese subtitles for the videos that have them.

Sambonjuku Beginner Videos - Very basic. A good foundation but you’ll quickly grow out of them.

Sambonjuku 日本語おもしろい Videos - Much more fun to watch, and more information. Watch with subtitles to supplement your WK.

Onomappu is a really good channel for one simple reason: almost all of his videos have Japanese/English subs so it’s easy to follow along at any skill level.


Sarah K. is a professional translator and her breakdown of the pilot episode for the original Sailor Moon is a great resource for learning how Japanese in Anime is different from regular day-to-day conversation. She goes over how different characters talk and a lot of the contractions and shorthand that they use.

Sarah K. Sailor Moon Series - Fun to watch and very informative for Anime fans.

I didn’t come across Game Gengo’s videos until recently, but they’re really informative and well done. Even knowing all the N4/N5 grammar points, they’re still fun to watch.

The Complete JLPT N4 Grammar Video(Game) Textbook

The Complete JLPT N5 Grammar Video(Game) Textbook

The ANNnewsCH new channel is something I’ll have on in the background when I’m making dinner or doing something else. It’s live so I can just put it on whenever I want.


Some final thoughts

My understanding of Wanikani has changed completely from when I started. I thought that by the end I would know all these Kanji and vocab and I’d be able to read and speak and be fluent in Japanese.

Hoo boy, was I naive. lol

I now realize that Wanikani is a boot camp for reading. No more, no less.

It will do it’s best to prepare you for that and, in my case, it’s done a damn good job.

But it won’t help you understand Japanese. You need grammar for that.

It won’t teach you all or even most of the vocabulary you need to know for regular conversation. You need either anki or more reading for that.

And once you actually start reading, you get a better guage of what it does and doesn’t do. You also get a better idea of how permissive you can be with yourself on reviews with a double check script or an app. It’s not like you’re learning national capitals and somebody’s going to jump out and say “Australia!” and you have to come up with the right answer or get bonked on the head.

In the real world, you’re going to be able to look things up. You’re going to forget burn items. And that’s ok. You can read now. As long as you keep that up, all kinds of possibilities open up.


I can neither confirm or deny that there will be cake. But I do want to share something special with you.

My wife and I had three amazing boys in the first few years after getting married and for a long time we thought that would be it.

Two years ago was the absolute worst time in my life when my mom passed away and I started learning Japanese for something to do as we were back and forth with her chemo treatments leading up to the end.

A year ago was the absolute best time in my life when we were blessed with a little baby girl who is the brightest ray of sunshine you’ll ever meet.

This is her cake.

I got to have some, too. :wink:


Big congrats on reaching lv 60!

Amazing work on getting to the end! :partying_face: :tada::confetti_ball: You’re one of the 1% now! :wink:


That cake is almost too cute to eat, :eyes: but I hope it was yum! :yum:


This cake is not as impressive as your daughter’s, but the more cake the merrier:



Thanks so much. :smiley:

But now the hard stuff starts. lol

More cake is always welcome. :wink:


Congratulations, the cake for your daughter looks really great! I wish all the best to you and your family.

Fun fact: Today George Clooney turned 60. This must be some sort of sign, so I hope you will accept this cake:

(… you’re not called Sharon, are you? :eyes: )


along with WK did you use other ways to learn grammar?

Because only learning kanji and vocab is quite still hard to understand a full sentence in games, manga or news because of connectives like について、によると、から、で、ので、 etc

I still find them very difficult to complete translate a sentence.

Sort of. I did a read through of the N4/N5 rules on Bunpro just to familiarize myself with them and then I just looked things up as needed when reading.

That was probably around level 10. So by now I’ve just picked them up through reading exposure.

I watched the whole N4/N5 video that I posted and didn’t come across any that I didn’t know.


Hey well done, Congrats! :grin::partying_face:


Oh Well Done!!! I admire your tenacity and dedication. I hope I can get there one day myself. But whose sage advice will we follow now you’re done?! I always look out for your posts, and thank you for the excellent summary :cherry_blossom:. Congratulations.


Amazing. Congratulations!


Congratulations in hitting the fabled level 60!


Nicely done!


Thanks for confirming that the 100 apprentice, 20 lesson-a-day strategy is sustainable.
Thanks for such a great read too and taking the time to share those video sources.
Take a break and I hope your next level of Japanese is equally fruitful.

1 Like

Congrats! Can personally attest to keeping apprentice items at around 100 as well. There’s no shame in pausing your lessons - after all the journey is about how comfortable YOU are with its pace.


:confetti_ball: Congrats, you did it! :grin: :confetti_ball:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and advice on different topics here in the community. Hope you’ll stick around :slight_smile:



so bunpro huh? I will start it soon then

what is this video you talked about? I couldn’t find it.

these two?

The Complete JLPT N4 Grammar Video(Game) Textbook

The Complete JLPT N5 Grammar Video(Game) Textbook


Congratulations on reaching Level 60! :partying_face:


congrats friend!


CONGRATZ ALOOOOOO :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes: :tada: :tada: :cake: :fireworks:

Righhhtt! So good that it developed into something more serious and that gets such a big part of your life tho! I’m sure Japanese means a lot to you nowadays :grin:

2 months ago I never expected to really get into chess (@FlamySerpent was learning about it). Nowadays, I spend my time before bed watching grandmasters streaming on Twitch and playing it myself :rofl:

Honestly a great thing to do. Sometimes it’s easy to get greedy and do extra lessons besides the usual daily amount that we’re used to… and after a day or two they become leeches :grimacing: I think SRS really helps us with learning our lesson in terms of avoiding studying too much at once.

How did you get that cool graph? :o



What’s next in your learning journey? :DD I don’t think you mentioned that in your post (if you did, I apologize).

Thanks for the mention of the guide btw <3