Looking for a different site/app for learning kanji

I want to find a good site/app for learning kanji and vocabulary and such just like WK does. I would use WK but I have a problem with just the way it works, it doesn’t let you work at your own pace like it advertised and makes you wait hours in-between reviews and lessons.
I found WK through Tofugu after I used it to learn Hiragana and Katakana and I really liked how it worked so I gave WK a try and it’s completely different. I’m not looking for a perfect site or anything, just something that will let me learn at my own pace.
I also read other peoples comments on here saying it basically forces you to learn kanji that are practically useless in the long run. I don’t mind learning in whatever order it wants me to but I just don’t want to waste days or weeks on kanji/vocabulary that I will never use.
I understand there isn’t going to be a perfect site/app that works just how I’d like it to and I’m completely fine with adjusting to whatever learning style it may give as long as the end result is the same.
I’m not in any rush to learn, in the end I’m just learning it for fun. I just want it to be an enjoyable experience and not something where I spent 5 minutes learning to just wait around for the next 5 hours just to spend another 5 minutes reviewing and so on and so forth. I like learning randomly throughout the day when I feel like it, so sometimes I like to learn just a bit, and sometimes I’ll sit around for a couple of hours learning.

TLDR: looking for a site/app that teaches me everything WK does but at my own pace instead of in tiny amounts every few hours.


I like MaruMori


While I don’t have an alternate kanji site to offer, I’d suggest continuing with WK through the free lessons (up through level 3 IIRC) just to get a better feel for the WK methodology so that you will have something to compare with any other kanji-learning sites.

The experience of getting started with the earliest levels of WK is a bit different from what you will see if you spend a little more time with it. Having nothing to study or review can happen at other points along the way, but from what I’ve seen so far, it does not happen as often now as it did early on.


Something like, two apps

  • One for common vocabularies, like iKnow.jp, or maybe Kitsun or Anki
  • Another for Kanji, perhaps https://kanji.koohii.com/ which is practically Heisig’s Remembering The Kanji.
    • Perhaps also Yomichan, to add vocabularies to Anki from there.

Then, perhaps without vocabularies, Kanji would be dry, and perhaps can’t remember much and long. Reading or listening would be needed for vocabularies, so also grammar to support those.

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I’m not here to try and convince you that WaniKani is actually what you should use, but you should be aware that the first few levels aren’t representative of the experience of WaniKani. The amount of reviews you’ll get, and the frequency of when you get reviews will depend on how much you’re doing, but in general the workload really picks up after the first few weeks or so.


It’s called a Spaced Repetition System and it’s exactly what is its selling point. :eyes:

It’s a way to make studying more time efficient. You don’t have to spend loads of time actually studying the lessons, instead, your main focus is to review what you’ve learnt at specific time intervals of increasing length, where the final quiz is months into the future to ensure you have obtained long-term memorization of the items taught.

from the above linked knowledge base page about the timings, which are good to know and use to your advantage when planning how you use WK:

Apprentice 1 → 4 hours → Apprentice 2
Apprentice 2 → 8 hours → Apprentice 3
Apprentice 3 → 1 day → Apprentice 4
Apprentice 4 → 2 days → Guru 1
Guru 1 → 1 week → Guru 2
Guru 2 → 2 weeks → Master
Master → 1 month → Enlightened
Enlightened → 4 months → Burned

For Level 1 & 2 the SRS timings are accelerated for the Apprentice stage.

Apprentice 1 → 2 hours → Apprentice 2
Apprentice 2 → 4 hours → Apprentice 3
Apprentice 3 → 8 hours → Apprentice 4
Apprentice 4 → 1 day → Guru 1

As people have pointed out, the first 3 levels are free. Give them a try, then make a decision. :woman_shrugging:


I generally second what @ekg said, but my friend tried WaniKani for the first three levels and didn’t like it for the same reasons, as well as it being too expensive for her. So now she uses Kanji Garden which is quite similar to WaniKani and a little less expensive. You get a free trial for a month and can study as much as you want during that trial. However, as I understand, they don’t have very good memonics and also not for every word. But you can basically study at your own pace. You can also chose the Kanji you want to learn besides having the order it automatically sets for you.


There’s also Kame Same, and I think JPDB.io both can learn kanji from for free. I think these two programs would be my go to if I chose to stop learning here.

It all boils down to if you need memomics or not. I only did for the first few levels and now I don’t even use them… That may or may not be a good thing though. Hard to say…

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It sounds like you have a fundamental problem with the concept of SRS (Spaced Repetion Systems) itself. For a lot of people, Wanikani is their first SRS, so the idea of waiting a sufficient enough time for studying to be optimal might be a foreign concept, but understand that SRS basically min-maxes time spent studying with memorization, so there is a great risk of burn-out a few months down the line when someone incorrectly assumes the bulk of WK is slow, when the reality is that spaced repetition systems ramp up, and almost always more than people anticipate. Once an SRS starts going too fast it will NOT slow down unless you do no lessons and patiently do your reviews for a few weeks or knock yourself down a few levels and undo some of your progress.

There are a lot of problems I have with Wanikani as of late, but the SRS intervals aren’t one of them. Except for Enlightend → Burned. (1 month → 4 months(???))

Anyways, in the meantime, it’s probably best to start studying grammar while Wanikani’s SRS ramps up. https://bunpro.jp has been one of my favorite resources for learning Japanese and unlike Wanikani, it doesn’t need a plethora of scripts to not feel like a minimum viable product.


Kanji Garden can be free for ever if you want to. The drawback of being free is that it limits the amount of what you study (and possibly review, I can’t remember) per day.
There aren’t mnemonics, but it shows the strokes order for each kanji, which is a nice feature. And yes, you can decide the order you want the kanji to be shown to you


That’s how a spaced repetition system works. If you’re starting to learn something you’re not supposed to slam all 2k kanji in one evening. The goal is retention of information, not learning as fast as possible.

No one ever said anything like that. 99% of the kanji WaniKani teaches are jouyou kanji which you will need to know to read Japanese.


You’re gonna have a hard time with this language


Chances are that you wouldnt manage full pace anyway, so whats the rush?

This is the kanji deck I made for read/meaning and the sibling deck for writing. And if you want further writing practice, made this layout for import (details in the links, tablet encourage). And if you really like WK content or want to use their mnemonics or details, there is a url link for all content entries and have over 2200+ entries to cover the remaining N1 & 常用漢字 (also have a separate deck with mnemonics for the missing one from WK, and can filter via you WK progress already done). It’s is just a far more flexible platform, you can do every lesson today if you want or start at a level you wnat. All the basic scripts everyone has to install are already there and it has a support native app and requires no time investment whatsoever to set up (and yes, has a summary page), otherwise the typing entry is the same experience. And I’d argue the kanji entries are more complete (jisho derived) on readings/meanings than WK. And if you want to work alongside vocab, there are plenty of other decks not to mention other content to aid in studying…at least it is N-level order and not made up randomly like here, nothing gated to prolong your subscription either, customize your SRS pace, etc. (again, do whatever you want), there is a bundle sale ATM if interested.


Not sure if it’s what you’re looking for, but I like the app Japanese Kanji Study (Android) https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mindtwisted.kanjistudy&hl=en_US&gl=US You can practice kanji freely in whichever order and pace you like, with quizz options for reading/meaning/writing, as well as in context of vocab/sentences, and it now also has an optional SRS as well, if you feel like that might be helpful in the future. The low level kanji are free, then it’s a one time fee to upgrade to all the kanji, same with the example sentences. Though it’s a KANJI learning app, I’d definitely recommend to also focus on vocab elsewhere (I’d say the same about WK too).


It makes sense that many of these replies are going to be on the side of convincing you to stick with WK, these are the WK forums after all :joy: I also recommend that you continue until the end of the free trial, and yes it will absolutely speed up in no time (the first few levels are slow so you aren’t overwhelmed later). But also WK simply just might not be for you.

Before WK I tried quite a few other methods, Japanese Kanji Study by Chase Colburn was my favorite. Tofugu has a positive review of it., their main criticism is that it’s too self-led, but that seems to be exactly what you’re looking for. I haven’t used it since like… 2019 or something though? So I’m not sure how much it has changed since then, but I’m sure it’s still good.

I think I briefly used Kanji Garden when it first came out just to see what it was like, but at that point I was already happy using WK so I didn’t feel like switching. Seems to be another good choice though. Here’s the Tofugu review for that too :slight_smile:

Curious which kanji are considered useless


I think what the person writing this post meant is vocab. Some Kanji combinations that are taught on here are just simply not that common and therefore not as useful. But I guess the argument for that is that it’s for learning the reading which you can then transfer to other Kanji combinations you don’t yet know, althought, in my humble opinion, it wouldn’t hurt to add more common vocab words to reinforce the readings.


people before lvl 4

“why is it sooo sloooooow???”

people after lvl 4

“why so many lessons???”



“I want to learn japanse as soon as possible” - Spends 15min a day on it.


Ohh ok, that makes more sense.

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