Level 60 The Long Way

This morning I hit level 60, after starting 6 years ago while standing in a train while on vacation in Tokyo.

As you can see, there were a couple long breaks. It took most of these years just to figure out the pace I could keep up without burning out and needing to take a long break (for me, ~100 apprentice items, no more than 20 lessons in a day).

Overall I’d say it was worth it. There were definitely times where I treated WK as my only Japanese study, and those times, having this gamified app to fall back on and feel accomplished was probably more a bandaid than a help. However, the real value was getting me over the hump of constant dictionary use. Long after my vocabulary and grammar were good enough to begin reading, I always bounced off because I hate looking stuff up. Only after I knew probably 80%+ of the words in content was I able to start really immersing, and WK got me there.

At this point, the majority of my study is immersion and some tutoring, as it should be. I’ll definitely keep doing WK to finish out the level 60 content and burn the remaining turtles. After that, I’ll have to make my own cards (the horror!). I feel proud to have done it, and thankful to the developers. To everyone still working their way through the levels, good work! Just remember that WK is only one part of a balanced diet!


Well done. Well done.

Congratulations! Way to stick with it no matter what. I’ve been studying Japanese on and off for a long time as well. Just found WaniKani and am loving it so far! Best of luck with your further studies!

This is really inspiring. I keep seeing posts of people who end up with huge piles or reviews or people who come back after a break and find out they’ve forgotten everything. So it’s encouraging to read a story of someone who’s got there in a slow and manageable pace.

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Congratulations! :tada:

Your story is inspiring and tells us that going slow on WaniKani is also possible. Thank you for sharing it.

Thank you for the kind words!

To provide a little more context for all the other slow goers, I’m 33 now. I have had a full-time job and partner the whole time I studied, but not kids. I am now N3 level - I took the test in December and am very confident I passed.

I started immersion around 2019 and tutoring early 2020. I really recommend those who don’t have time or motivation to really grind WK look into how to maximize their study time. There are times kanji is most valuable, but also times grammar study or reading/listening are the most bang for your buck. Consistency is the most important thing! Find the ways that you can keep motivated to do something for your Japanese every day.

Level 60 is great but most of my reading ability was here by 40. Also, don’t sleep on the non-kanji common vocab that WK is just now starting to add! Those words are essential for immersion.

I wish you all the best of luck! It’s not a race. If you can succeed in learning over any amount of time, you’re already doing better than the many people who quit every day.


I’m glad that you finally made it to the cake level :cake:

Congratulations :crabigator: :cake:

Congratulations on making it to Level 60, and good luck in all of your future Japanese language endeavors! :sunglasses:

-Nick at WK

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Congratulations!!! Really cool to see the pattern of some who struggled over a long time (like me) but clutched it out!!

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Congratulations!! Im coming back after a year to restart my kanji learning from level 1 and it’s inspiring to see this post.

What caught my interest was you reaching level 60 on a train in Tokyo hahaha that’s the perfect way to do it.

Irrelevant but how was your trip to Japan? Where did you go and what did you do?

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congrats, have some cake

how do you intend on immersing? I love Wanikani because it’s straightforward to progress, but I struggle with speaking and I’m looking for more resources and wondering how other people study.
I’ve been taking some italki conversation lessons and reading yotsuba, but without a linear path forward, it’s hard to build a study pattern.

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Oh sorry, it’s a little backwards. I actually started while in Japan! I am hoping to go back in 2025!

I think immersion is very different for each person, since it depends on what gives you motivation.

For me I’m currently reading manga and playing some old RPGs in Japanese. I’m looking to start reading a light novel soon.

Listening is my weakest point, so I’m trying to find a style of listening immersion I really like. Unfortunately I don’t get into anime as much as I used to, nor do I watch much TV. I think I need to find some native Japanese YouTube channels related to content I enjoy, since YouTube is something I actively use anyway.

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I’m right there with you, friend; I know how it feels! I’m going to post mine soon, too! Congrats!