My Journey of 368 days (+ The Ultimate Guide for WK 📖 )

Warning: quite a long post. Skipping it might bring consequences that are as bad as skipping your vocab lessons.

It finally happened! :six: :zero: :tada: :fireworks: Thank you for being on this journey with me :heart:

I’m finally level 60! I just want to start this post by saying that I’m very grateful for every single one of you. Whether we talk every day or whether we never talked before, thank you for being here on this journey with me :heart: One of the best things about Wanikani is that this community exists. We’re all part of the same tribe. We’re all here to thrive together.

I wish I could thank you all individually in this post, whether you’re an user or part of the WK staff. I’ve simply made so many friends in here that it would be impossible to tag you all. So again, if you’re reading this, thank you.

How do I feel about finally reaching lvl 60?

I remember my first days on Wanikani. I was so excited by the fact that I was learning so much in so little time. My gamer instincts were calling for me. I felt like this is what Education was supposed to be all along: a place where you are fully allowed to mix fun with hard work.

Believe it or not, I’ve always been a procrastinator. Not with Wanikani though. This changed the game. It reminded me that following my instincts and choosing to dedicate my time on what I believe leads to success. Society tells you that following the rules and forgetting about your “selfish” dreams is the only way to succeed. I disagree. Go after what you want, but make sure to give everything you got.

The truth is that I don’t feel in any way more excited than I’ve felt 10, 30 or 60 levels ago. One would think otherwise, right?! I mean, I finally reached the last step to Crabigator’s heaven! Well, now that I am up here, I see that there are still a lot of stairs left to climb. It’s okay. I loved this journey, so I’m very much sure that I will enjoy the next ones too. The lesson here is that I’m grateful for having reached this far and for still having a lot to go after. A lot of people feel like they lost their purpose after reaching their goals. Please don’t. Whatever comes next, it’s yours to grab.

Is the cake real? :cake:

Yes. gives it a bite

Was WK hard?

Total time to achieve level 60: 368 days.

Graphic extracted from Thanks for developing this lovely tool @rfindley :slight_smile:

Obs: The first level actually took me around 4 days. I created an account, but only did the first lesson on the 6th of June (18 days later).

Life is simple, but not easy. I think the same thing applies to Wanikani. You don’t have to think about being here every single hour or wake up at the middle of night just to do reviews. There’s also no ultimate trick behind being successful on Wanikani. It’s all about showing up and do the work. The #1 reason people reach level 60 is precisely that. They aren’t any smarter than you nor have they discovered the Holy Grail of memorization. They just come back every day to do what they have to do :slight_smile:

I’m just starting. Is Wanikani worth it?

Yes, because there’s cake.

Not enough of a good reason? :slightly_frowning_face: Let me try again…

It is definitely worth your money and time. Is it perfect? No. Is it the best tool to learn kanji? Yes. Don’t get me wrong, the more I progressed, the more I’d notice the aspects where WK could be better. But the thing we need to take into consideration is that this is a product that the WK team is still working to improve. If right now it is the best tool to learn kanji in the market, just imagine the potential that has yet to see the light of day. :sun_behind_large_cloud: :arrow_right: :sun_behind_small_cloud: :arrow_right: :sun_with_face: :100:

Why did I start learning Japanese?

One thing that I’ve been passionate about since my teen years has been self-development. At the time that I was 20 years old, I was listening to Tim Ferris’ podcast and I simply loved it! I knew Tim had studied in Japan when he was younger and that he had learned Japanese in the past. Eventually, I saw a TEDTalk that Tim did a few years ago. He talked about how he managed to learn Japanese and to swim when he was no longer a kid. Now, this was my first trigger. Why? It’s funny. It’s because I still don’t know how to swim. I always convinced myself that it was too late, and here was this dude trying to convince me otherwise. Since he also talked about Japanese, that idea of learning a 3rd language kinda came connected with the swimming.

Nothing happened though. Eventually when the summer vacation arrived, I wanted to rewatch Pokemon to get that childhood nostalgia. Then I started watching Naruto because why the hell not. Then I discovered My Anime List. At this time it was too late to go back: I was stuck in this 2D world.

Because anime became a big part of my daily life in 2015/2016, I eventually started learning more about Japan and its culture. Everything seemed different from what I knew and I was loving it. That’s where I started developing an interest in learning Japanese. Well, the thing is… I learned hiragana and that was it. Study? What’s that? Can I eat it? I ended up convincing myself that anime was helping me learn the language, so I didn’t need to do anything else. Saying that I was learning Japanese was cool though (oh, the ego). At this time though, I was already using HelloTalk to get some Japanese frriieeeeends!!! (purely in English… Yes, I was one of those…). Saying そうです was like saying “I’m soooo goooood omggggggggggg” to myself. facepalms the table while writing this Oh innocent boy. At least, I wasn’t one of those guys that only used romaji. I’m forgiven, right? Right???

Eventually in June of 2017, I’ve found myself entering Summer vacations and I needed something to do. That’s when I’ve found WK. Now here I am :slight_smile:

What is moving me now to keep improving my Japanese is the thought of travelling/living there for a while. I’m 22. I need to experience life. I need to go on an adventure. Japan is the place I chose :v:

Will I subscribe again to WK?

Yes, I’ll be subscribing for 1 more year. Gotta burn every single turtle, right? :v: Also, 1 year isn’t enough. I wanna see all the things that the WK team is preparing for us. Better to support the project then! :slight_smile:

What’s next?

Well, now that I’ll have more free time, there are some things I want to focus on:

  • Learn how to hand write kanji - I realized that sending handwritten postcards/letters to Japanese friends is the best thing ever.
  • Read, write, listen and speak more Japanese.
  • Push myself to be ready for the JLPT N2 in December.
  • Launch an online business.
  • Get my ass in Japan.

Am I leaving the forums?

For some reason, everyone is asking me this question. No, I’m not leaving. I still have a lot to talk to you guys :heart: I’ll definitely reduce my time here, but that’s more about fixing the excessive time I spent in here sometimes.

Extra - I’ve built the Ultimate Guide to Wanikani.

As a way to thank you for this past year, I gathered all the best lessons this journey has taught me into one single post. My goal is not to substitute any of the already existent and very well made Guides, but to upgrade the one I’ve made 4 months ago. I wanted to have it ready today, but life happened. So, I’ll leave you with a list of the things I’ll be talking about. COMPLETED :tada:

Obs: the Guide will be in post right under this one.


The Ultimate Guide to Wanikani :tada:
Become the best version of your Wanikanian self.

For newbies: Please read the WaniKani User Guide first before reading this. WK’s User Guide teaches you the very basics. My Guide turns you from a newbie with basic knowledge to a master. However, first, you need the basics.

This Guide is really longgggggggg. You can read it all in one go, but there’s no need to if you don’t want to. Think of it as the place to come to when in doubt/need of help. Thanks for checking this out <3

Table of contents

Click on the arrows for the text to display.
1. Why you should read this

Dear awesome person,

Welcome to this journey of learning 2055 kanji and 6360 words! Knowledge, together with a great feeling of achievement awaits you! :slight_smile:

In my humble opinion, Wanikani is the ideal solution for anyone wanting to dominate the kanji used in the Japanese language. It’s a system that allows you to efficiently learn in 1 to 2 years what Japanese natives take their school years to learn. However, like anything else in life, this journey is simple but not easy. From you, it will require dedication and willingness to show up every day to do the work.

My goal with this guide is to teach you everything you need to know to be successful on Wanikani. I will teach you how to make this tool part of your routine, much like brushing your teeth. I will also teach you what to pay attention to, which tools to use, and how to make the right decisions during your journey. Whether you’re a beginner or you’re halfway through the program, there’s something in here for you.

This is what I wish I was told when I started Wanikani.

Hope you enjoy it.

2. Level 1 is slow: why?

Why is level 1 soooo slooowwww? - Every WK beginner ever.

Welcome to your first problem ever on Wanikani. Here you are, just starting and eager to learn. However, the system isn’t letting you. I know how you feel. When I was in your position, I felt like I was betrayed. I was craving for more: “Can’t you just unlock more items or something?”

No, you can’t. Don’t worry though, and here’s why. At the moment of writing this, Wanikani has in total 8898 items (radicals + kanji + vocabulary). This means that at some point during your journey, each of these 8898 items will show up for lessons once and for reviewing at least 8 times. In comparison, you start this program with lessons for only 26 items.

Here’s a graphic that is quite eye-opening when it comes to understanding the actual workload that Wanikani requires with time:

Note: If you’re the author of this image, please let me know.

This graphic assumes 100% accuracy and the y-axis represents not your daily workload, but the total number of items in various stages of learning (burned excluded). It’s not perfect, but it does a good job in conveying the reality that Wanikani is in my opinion :slight_smile:

Wanikani works much like the snowball effect. At the start, it does not seem like much, but things will definitely start to pile up and that’s precisely why every beginner needs to understand how this system works.

Level 1 - how long does it actually take?

For levels 1 and 2, the time intervals between reviews are special, compared to other levels on Wanikani. Due to not having that many items to review, the Wanikani team decided to reduce them to half of what’s normal.

SRS intervals for Levels 1 and 2:
Review SRS Level Waiting Time For Review
0 Lesson -
1 Apprentice 1 2h
2 Apprentice 2 4h
3 Apprentice 3 8h
4 Apprentice 4 23h

The fastest leveling up speed for Levels 1 and 2 are 3 days and 2 hours each. This means that it’s possible in 1 week after starting to reach Level 3 and have around 350 items going around your lessons and reviews :slight_smile:

Don’t be in a hurry to do Wanikani - Japanese always has something else for us to do.

While you wait for things to heat, the best advice I’ve got for you is to use this more relaxing time to let yourself get involved in the world of learning Japanese. See what textbooks people recommend you, watch media related to Japan, tell us your goals, let yourself be absorbed by what made Japanese attractive to you in the first place. This language will be a big part of your life from now on, so taking control of it is the best you can do at the moment. Mainly, engage with this lovely community as I’m sure they’ll receive you with open arms as they did to me.

Success is never achieved alone, and it’s best served with the company of others :wink:

3. The Wanikani's sibling that you need to meet

What’s that word again?.. I forgot.

Has it ever happened to you that you’re able to remember exactly what a word means when you see it/hear it, but then when it comes to actually write/say it, you simply can’t?! Well, both these two things have their own designations:

  • Recognition: the ability to see a concept, compare it to the information stored in your memory, and identify what it represents. In language learning, this is what people call passive vocabulary.
  • Recall: the ability to retrieve information from your brain without an external clue and be able to produce the correct concept for it. In language learning, this is what people call active vocabulary.

Other examples:

  • Being able to identify a friend by their face is recognition, but being able to remember how their face looks like is recall.
  • Multiple choice is recognition because the correct answer is right there in front of you, you just need to identify it. An open answer is recall because you have to come up with the whole concept by yourself.
  • Writing/Speaking is recall. Reading and listening are recognition.

Why does this matter? Because one of the keys for Wanikani to be this successful is because they merely focus on recognition, which is quite an easier process than recall. Think about it: in the context of kanji learning, recognition would be seeing the kanji and knowing its readings/meanings. Recall would be to actually learn how to handwrite it (Japanese school system way). The thing is, we live in a world where foreigners needing to know how to handwrite kanji is literally not necessary. We work with computers these days. You just need to type the reading of the word you want and the computer will literally give you suggestions (<= recognition).

Look at it yourself:


I literally just typed こい. Those are all words that can be read as こい. I didn’t need to write anything by hand. It’s all there, like a multiple-choice question. I just needed to choose the right option to get what I wanted. Plus, If you know me well enough, you’ll know that I was looking for option 2 :stuck_out_tongue:

All this to explain why focusing on recognition is a key feature of Wanikani that will lead you to a much faster success in learning kanji. However, it begs the question: what about vocabulary? If recognition basically represents our passive vocab and recall represents our active one, shouldn’t we also worry about recall for vocabulary acquisition? How are we supposed to remember them while speaking/writing? This is where I’ll introduce you to three solutions that allow you to learn Wanikani’s vocabulary from English to Japanese.

Kaniwani: practice the recalling of Wanikani vocabulary.

Kaniwani is a completely free website developed by Wanikani users that will allow you to practice recalling the vocabulary you learn on Wanikani. Instead of going 八 => はち/eight (WK way), you’ll go from eight => はち/八 (EN => JP). The best time to start with it is right together with Wanikani. A lot of people complain about WK being slow at the start, but here you have something important to entertain yourself while things don’t heat up :wink:

KameSame: alternative option to practice the recalling of Wanikani vocabulary.

The only reason I mentioned Kaniwani first is that it was the first tool to allow us to do recall practice together with Wanikani. It has been up for almost 4 solid years and the team behind it does not seem to intend to stop supporting it, which is something to appreciate. Nevertheless, KameSame came out and promises to be a better option.

Obs: KameSame is completely free, but the creator has considered turning the platform into a paid product.

Kitsun: much more than just practicing ENG - JP vocabulary.

Heads-up: Kitsun is a subscription-based (i.e. paid) website and I’m part of the team developing it.

Kitsun also has a deck available to learn the Wanikani vocabulary from English to Japanese (you need to be signed up to see it). However, this platform is much more than that, as it allows you to easily create vocabulary flashcards from an integrated dictionary within a few clicks, making it a very popular option to expand one’s vocabulary around the forums.

Kitsun offers 14 days of free trial, so that’s also something to consider.

My advice is to check all these 3 options and see which one fits your needs the best :slight_smile:

Recalling is unnecessary and a waste of time - Some people.

A lot of people will tell you that recall is unnecessary for language learning, the main reasons being that it’s harder than recognition and that with enough exposure to the language, you’ll develop a decent recall naturally.

In my opinion, both aren’t valid enough justifications. I’m basing this on my experience. I’m not an English native speaker and Japanese is the 3rd language I’m learning. Being the universal language that it is, I’ve been exposed to English since I can remember. Somehow, I’m writing in English. Then how am I saying that exposure isn’t enough?!

Being able to do recognition does not mean you can do recall:

Learning words through exposure definitely has its advantages, as it allows one to learn in context. However, the process itself is recognition. You’ll find a lot of people around the world perfectly able to understand English, but not being able at all to build a solid paragraph of text. This happens because you have exposure, but not actual practice. One needs practice through speaking/writing to be able to get it right. SRS only gets in this equation because it’s a method of accelerating memorization, whether if you’re doing recognition or recall.

The only reason not to wish to SRS recall (EN => JP) would be if you don’t have as a goal writing and speaking a language. Yes, it’s more common than you think. A lot of us are here to be able to read light novels/manga or to watch anime/drama in Japanese. That’s recognition. In my opinion, postponing recall for this reason is perfectly acceptable. It’s a matter of choosing priorities. However, SRSing EN => JP definitely has a fundamental role in helping you improve your writing/speaking skills, if those are part of your goals.

At the end of the day, practicing writing and speaking (recall) and listening and reading (recognition) is what will actually help you win the game of fluency. SRS is like having the best rowboat to take you to the final destination, but you’ll still need to row.

4. Building your own schedule

If you still haven’t read the WaniKani User Guide by the lovely Wanikani team, please do so before proceeding. It will make things easier for you to understand from here on :slight_smile:

I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times. - Bruce Lee

Assuming that one actually succeeds and reaches level 60, Wanikani takes around 2 years to get there on average. Even for the fastest runners, it will take at least 1 year. Plus, I’m not even mentioning the couple of thousands of items you’ll have left to burn once you reach there. What I mean by this is that Wanikani will end up being part of your daily life for the next year(s), and that means coming here for 400+ days, every day. Sounds like a big project, doesn’t it? It is, but that’s why I’m writing this chapter: to help you simplify it.

SRS intervals explained + why they’re important:

SRS intervals on Wanikani (levels 1 and 2 are exception, see chapter 2 for those):
Review SRS Level Waiting Time For Review
0 Lesson -
1 Apprentice 1 4h
2 Apprentice 2 8h
3 Apprentice 3 ~1d
4 Apprentice 4 ~2d
5 Guru 1 ~1w
6 Guru 2 ~2w
7 Master ~1M
8 Enlightened ~4M
9 Burned -

Observation: The tilde (~) is used for the sake of keeping the numbers rounded. Those SRS intervals are actually 1h less to those presented above. For example, the waiting time for an item to get to Apprentice 4 is actually 23h, not 1 day.

If you pay attention, you’ll notice that WK is divided by intervals of 12h and 24h:

  • Apprentice 1 (4h) + Apprentice 2 (8h) = 12h. This means that you need to wait at least 12h to get a lesson to Apprentice 3.
  • After Apprentice 3, it takes ~1d to reach Apprentice 4, then ~2d to Guru I, and so on.
    Why is this important? It’s simple. This will allow you to build your own schedule for WK.

Imagine that you do a lesson at 9 am. This means that you’ll get the 1st review at 1 pm (+4h) and the 2nd review at 9 pm (+8h, considering you got it right both times). Did you notice the pattern? That’s right: 9 am and 9 pm . It’s the WK’s pattern working. Now, think about the time it will take for the next Apprentice levels. That’s right, Apprentice 4 at 9 pm of the following day and Guru 1 two days later also at 9 pm. The same will happen with the remaining SRS levels. Can you see the magic happening?

To use WK to its full potential, it’s better to respect the SRS intervals of Apprentice items on WK. Why? If you’ve read the FAQ/Guide, you’ll know that WK’s goal is to show you an item right before you forget it. By being loyal to the intervals, you’ll be more successful in your reviews. Does this give you extra work? Not at all. Just notice the pattern again.

For an item which lesson was done at 9 am, you’ll need to:

  • Review it at 1 pm.
  • Review it at 9 pm.

You basically only need to use WK three times a day. Forget about trying to be here every single waking hour. You don’t need to. Waking up in the middle of the night is also complete nonsense. Your sleep is way more important than WK and the cool thing is that you can get both right.

Alternative schedule:

There’s another time when you can do lessons: 4h before your last review session. Imagine that the last review session you’ll do is at 1 am. You’ll then do the lessons at 9 pm, Apprentice 1 at 1 am and then Apprentice 2 at 9 am. It’s the 9 pm/9 am magic happening all over again.

Some people even do both schedules by splitting the daily amount of lessons into 2 parts. Go for the one that fits your routine best.

Observation: Obviously, missing reviews by an extra of 1 or 2h will barely do you any harm, but my point here is for you to understand the system. In practice, an extra hour here and there for recently learned items happens all the time and that’s fine.

I understand the logic, but what if I don’t do it?

Imagine you know that tomorrow you’ll be able to use WK at 8 am and 8 pm (12h interval). By following the above line of thought, 8 am would be the right time for lessons. However, If you do them at for example 2 pm instead, it means that the 2nd review will only be available at 2 am. A little bit late, don’t you think?

What happens next is that you’ll probably be skipping these 2 am reviews and be back to WK at 8 am of the following day, but 6h late. This isn’t a problem at all when we’re talking about Guru+ items, but for an Apprentice 2, it means a 75% increase in the SRS interval. Sure, you might skip Apprentice 1 and 2 and still do fine during reviews. But what if you don’t? What happens after 3, 30, 300 days of WK? Rule of thumb: harvest before the storm.

5. Finding your own speed on Wanikani

:baseball: The Lesson Filter script as your starter!

For the method that I’ll be describing below, I highly recommend installing the script Lesson Filter, as it lets you specify the number of lessons of each type (radicals, kanji, or vocab) you want to do in a given lesson session.

Observation: If you don’t know what a script is, don’t worry. I explain it in chapter 7 of this Guide :slight_smile:

Before starting making plans about how long it’ll take you to reach level 60, I always recommend just focusing on making Wanikani into a habit first. You might think this is not necessary, but skip 1 day and you’ll have twice as much work to do the following day. Then instead of being a hobby, Wanikani becomes an annoyance. We don’t want that, do we? :slight_smile:

Even for those that aim to go at maximum speed, taking your time to figure things out is important. Achieving the first 30 levels at maximum speed and burning out after that doesn’t seem much better than taking 2 or 3 extra days per level and steadily climbing until level 60, right? :slight_smile: There are numerous cases like the first one around the community. Life shows up once in a while to give us an extremely hard time. I get it. Everyone has their own priorities in life. However, I’m sure no one wants to give up! :grin: That is why it’s important to settle down for a while, feel the wave, and see how everything goes. Focus on getting WK into your daily routine until level 8 or so. Once there, you’ll be able to better figure out your pace and therefore define your goals.

Enough of boring talk, let me give you the real sauce now.

The 2 types of levels on Wanikani:

  • Normal levels, where the fastest speed to level up is 6 days and 20 hours (~7d).
  • Fast levels, where the fastest speed to level up is 3 days and 10 hours (~3d12h).

The fast levels are 1, 2, 43-44, 46-47, 49-60.
The normal levels are all the ones left and represent most of your WK journey (41 levels total).

If you’ve read How Do I Get More Lessons? you’ll know that “guruing” radicals from x level will unlock the lessons of kanji from that same level, which then will lead you to “guru” those kanji and unlock vocabulary from this same x level. To level up, it’s necessary to have “guru’d” 90% of kanji from a certain level at least once.

Usually, right after leveling up, you’ll unlock all the radicals and the 1st batch of kanji from that level. This is the Part 1 of normal levels. Once you “guru” the radicals and unlock the remaining kanji lessons (2nd batch), you start with the Part 2 of the level. Eventually, you’ll reach 90% of “guru’d” kanji and level up, just to start this process all over again.

This is where the difference between fast levels and normal levels is. Fast levels are levels that unlock more than 90% of kanji right after you reach that same level. There are no two parts. All the radical and 90%+ of kanji lessons can be done after leveling up. This is why you can do them in half the time. Be careful however, fast levels are just as intense as normal ones. Just because you can do them in half the time doesn’t mean that you should.

Defining how many days you’ll spend per level:

The best way to know the ideal speed for you to level up is by figuring out the number of lessons that you’re able to learn efficiently every day. By efficiently, I mean being able to actually learn them and maintain a good accuracy during reviews. For some people, that will be 5 items a day, for others 20. This is one of the reasons why I recommend focusing on adapting to WK until around level 8. By then you’ll have a good enough workload of reviews to figure out your ideal pace.

Personally, I prefer separating radicals & kanji lessons from vocabulary lessons. Let’s imagine that you level up every 10 days. This means that radicals and 1st batch of kanji lessons should be completed within the first 5 days so that you don’t get delayed with the unlocking of the 2nd batch of Kanji and you get to level up in the defined period. Vocabulary lessons, on the other hand, will depend on how many you have available to do. For example, levels 10 to 20 average around 120 words per level. If you level up every 10 days, it means that you’ll have to do around 12 vocabulary lessons per day to keep on track (120w/10d=12w).

  • Total Amount of items/Number of lessons a day = Days spent each level.

  • Total number of vocabulary/Days per level = Number of vocab lessons per day.

Observation: Captain obvious here again to tell you that 1 or 2 days more/less per level is nothing to worry about. My point here is for you to understand the system.

Full speeders: the 4 golden rules of leveling up.

This is the reason why a lot of you are probably here: to learn how to achieve that sweet full speed on WK. Besides knowing what I’ve written in chapter 4 and this one, these are the missing rules that you must follow to achieve the 7 days/levels:

  • Do the radical lessons as soon as you level up. The sooner you guru the radicals, the sooner the 2nd half of Kanji will appear.
  • Do the lessons of the 1st half of Kanji in the days between the unlocking of radicals and the unlocking of the 2nd half of Kanji. This pretty much establishes that most if not all of your 1st half of Kanji will be already Guru before you level up.
  • Do the lessons of the 2nd half of Kanji as soon as you guru the radicals.
  • Do the lessons of vocab available during the time you spend on that level (think of “total vocab/number of days” to know how many words you should learn per day to achieve this).

To get the 3 days and 10 hours speed for the fast levels (43-44, 46-47, 49-60):

  • The earlier you do all your radical and kanji lessons, the sooner you’ll level up.
  • Scream.
  • Try to do as many vocab lessons as possible without killing yourself. Splitting them through sessions might be a smart choice to take.
  • Scream x2.

6. Doing WK at the maximum speed: Is it worth it?

Observation: If you’re looking for an explanation on how to go maximum speed on Wanikani, please read chapters 4 and 5. Chapter 6 is just me telling you not to go full speed (read it also).

Everyone wants to go fast. I get it. I’m the dude that named their thread “My Journey of 368 days” after all. I don’t have much of an opinion here to tell you to do otherwise, or do I? Please hear me out here: I’m a college student with too much free time. I had the time and motivation, so I did it. Not a good enough explanation? Fine, I’ll give you the cool ones then instead.

First 30 ≠ Last 30.

My first argument for full speed not being necessarily a good thing is that the last 30 levels won’t be as productive to your Japanese learning as the first 30. Let me drop you some cool stats (found them thanks to [STATS] Statistics site):

  • By level 30, you’ll be able to identify 88.07% of kanji used on Twitter and 86.48% of the kanji used on Wikipedia.
  • The extra 30 levels, on the other hand, will “only” give you an extra 10,11% for Twitter and 11,71% for Wikipedia.

Don’t get me wrong, the last 30 levels are still very useful. Imagine not knowing around 1 kanji every 10: still annoying, don’t you think so? But this is an interesting concept: Maybe you can go faster for the first 30 levels and then slow down a little and focus on other areas of Japanese learning :slight_smile: Wanikani works so efficiently that some people end up getting to level 60 with barely studying any grammar. In my specific case, I definitely neglected my reading practice just to have a cool title on my level 60 celebration thread.

Japanese is not just about kanji.

Here’s my 2nd argument: Japanese is much more than learning kanji. It involves learning (extra WK!) vocabulary, grammar, practicing your writing, reading, speaking, listening, etc. I know that at first, kanji seems pretty scary. It really was to me as well! However, once you’re around level 10, you’ll realize that Wanikani is doing wonders and that you’re now slowly able to start working on other skills. Don’t lose this momentum to expand your other skills. My opinion is that your kanji knowledge should be above your level on other skills so that you can learn without kanji being a problem. However, don’t let the gap between these skills get too big. Aim for balance.

Not everyone can do it that fast.

Sometimes, the answer is this obvious. At the last 10 levels, I was doing 400 reviews every day while also trying to keep up with my other Japanese studies (and life!!!). Not everyone has the same time, mental energy or interest to go full speed. We don’t need to. In 5 years, if all goes well, we’ll all be level 60. Patience. Know how much you’re willing to give to Wanikani, but never give up. The turtle did win the race against the rabbit, didn’t it? :wink:

7. Scripts: enhance your performance

In short, userscripts for Wanikani are tools developed by a third-party (usually by WK users) whose goal is to improve Wanikani. This community offers quite a big amount of these scripts which in my opinion, are a game-changer in allowing you to have a better experience with this program and learn its content more efficiently.

Scripts that make up the cake (★★★★★):

These are scripts that I believe completely change the game in terms of using Wanikani. They will make your whole experience with this lovely tool much more smooth and efficient. These are the big guns, the scripts everyone wants.

  • Ultimate Timeline: This script is like having your own WK personal secretary. It will show you a detailed view of your reviews from the “now” to the following 7 days of reviews. Do you want to know when the items you just learned a few hours ago will show up for review? Do you want to know what will be your last review of the day? You can easily check this and much more. :slight_smile:

  • Lesson Filter: This script lets you specify the number of lessons of each type (radicals, kanji or vocab) you want to do in a given lesson session. As I explained before, this is essential for managing your WK routine: do you want to do your radical lessons right after leveling up? You can. Do you just feel like doing 7 lessons? With this script you can :slight_smile:

  • Double-Check: If you know about the famous override script, this is a much-improved version of it. It allows you to retype an answer to your review in case you made a typo (and got the review wrong) or due to the WK’s typo tolerance, you actually answered something completely wrong, but got it right. Both ways aren’t fair to your learning, and now you can fix them immediately! :slight_smile: It also has many other cool features worth checking out!

Scripts that make up the cream (★★★★☆):

The above category was about scripts that will completely change the way you do things on Wanikani. However, don’t let yourself get fooled by the ranking of this next category. These scripts might not affect Wanikani as significantly, but they are in no way inferior in terms of improving your efficiency in learning.

  • Prioritize Overdue Reviews (reorder script): this script prioritizes your most urgent reviews that need reviewing and shows them to you first. This is a good thing, as you’ll be able to focus on the reviews needing more of your attention first.

  • Wanikani Heatmap: this script adds a chart that shows in which days and how many lessons and reviews you’ve done. It also shows you some interesting stats such as how many days you have reviewed, how many reviews you do per day on average, and what your current streak is. It’s perfect to keep that motivation up :fire:

  • Wanikani Leaderboard: gives you a leaderboard where you can add your favorite WK users and follow their progress. You’ll be notified every time someone levels up, see how many burns they have, etc! Make it fun, make some buddies, and level up together :grin:

  • ConfusionGuesser: Do you ever feel that most of your difficult reviews are just because you’re mixing items up due to how similar they are? This script helps you fix that. Every time you get an item wrong in your reviews, this script will display the possible items that you’re mixing up with, so that you can see all the visual differences without leaving the tab at all. It’s great to bring those difficult kanji and vocab down :muscle:

  • Self-Study Quiz: Have you ever wished to review a certain type of item from a specific level? This is it. This script allows you to do an extra and personalized reviewing of any items you learn on WK. Do not worry, as this script will not influence the SRS level of items.

  • WaniKani Open Framework Additional Filters: This script serves as an upgrade to the Self-Study one I mentioned above. Basically, it will add filters such as “most recent items learned” and “leeches” (most difficult items for you) to your Self-Study script. For the distance of just a couple of clicks, you can get all the extra reinforcement on the items you need the most :slight_smile:

  • Pitch Info: This one shows you a small graph with the right pronunciation/tone of every vocab on WK. Not sure what your native language is, but the further your native language’s phonology is from Japanese, the more you’ll need this. Getting used to Japanese tones is important and this script, together with the audio that Wanikani offers, gives you a great opportunity to work on this. Plus, this extra reinforcement will also help you with the memorization of the vocabulary. :slight_smile:

  • Jitai (字体): The font randomizer that fits: If you’ve ever been to Japan or if you’ve ever seen pictures of streets in Japan, you’ll notice how they use these weird fonts and how it seems so much harder to read them (even if you know the kanji). Yes, Japanese fonts can be a little messy, but this is why I recommend this script. With it, you’ll be able to install extra fonts to your WK reviews, which will allow you to get used to seeing kanji looking slightly different.

  • Visually Similar Kanji: We all know how messy it is to try to distinguish very similar kanji. What this script does is adding a section with a list of kanji to the kanji’s page that is similar to the one you’re looking at that moment. Whether if it’s during lessons, reviews, or even on the actual item’s page, you’ll have quick access to this list, allowing you to compare similar kanji and identify their small differences.

  • Progress Percentages: this script displays what percentage you have learned of the kanji on each JLPT level, Joyo grade, frequency bracket, and various other sources, on your dashboard. Nothing like some nice stats to keep you motivated :slight_smile:

  • Dashboard SRS and Leech Breakdown: This script allows you to know how many leeches (items you have trouble with) you have on each SRS category (Apprentice, Guru, Master…). It also allows you to have access to the number of items on each subdivision of both the Apprentice and the Guru categories. For example, instead of just seeing 110 items on Apprentice, you’ll also see “10/0/37/63”. [Explanation: 10 in App 1, 0 in App 2, 37 in App 3 and 63 in App 4].

  • Stroke Order: This script shows you the stroke order of kanji during reviews, lessons, and on the kanji pages. Awesome for those wanting to get some handwriting practice.

  • Self-Study Hide Info: This script is the reason why I was able to learn 30 kanji in a row for 60 levels and never get them wrong while they were in apprentice for the first time. Basically, this script is a companion to the above-mentioned Self-Study Quiz script, and what it does is hiding the meanings/readings from the radical/kanji/vocabulary pages. Why did I need this? Because right after doing all the kanji lessons, I’d go to the list of kanji in that level and say out loud all the meanings/readings to myself a couple of times. This helped me with actually making sure that I knew all the kanji. Believe me, without this, I’d have gotten less than 50% accuracy 4h after the first review session.

  • Hide review accuracy: This is the most underrated script on Wanikani, at least in my opinion. Have you ever noticed that you’re too distracted by your accuracy during reviews? Mainly when you’re doing not so well? Notice how it can change your mood. To me, it did. It disturbed my focus, which then would even lead me to do even worse. What this script does is removing the accuracy % during reviews. No more feeling pressured about keeping that % high. Now, you’re able to stay entirely focused on what you’re doing. No distractions.

  • WaniKani Context: this script adds the context sentences to the front of the cards while you’re doing vocabulary reviews. So now, you have the opportunity to practice reading the example sentences more easily while you’re doing reviews :slight_smile:

  • Lesson User Synonyms 2: During your Wanikani journey, you might find yourself wanting to add synonyms during lessons, whether because this new meaning that you wish to add makes more sense to you or because you’re not a native English speaker and you want to add the equivalent word in your native language. Unfortunately, WK only allows you to do this after the Quiz. This script fixes the problem.

  • External Definition: This script basically adds a definition in Japanese to the vocabulary you’re learning on Wanikani. This one might feel a little more extreme, but if you’re ready to challenge yourself and get some sweet reading practice along the way, go for it.

Scripts that make up the cherry on top of the cake (★★★☆☆):

This category is made of scripts that are not necessarily game-changers, but that together will make your experience much more intuitive and natural. In my opinion, every script on this list should be native to Wanikani. There are very simple things on this lovely website that are not perfected and that end up hurting the user in terms of fully experiencing the product. This list fixes it.

  • Show Specific SRS Level in Reviews: This one is very simple. Instead of getting “Apprentice”/“Guru” every time you review an item, you get the specific level that it leveled to. For example, “Guru 2” and “Apprentice 3”.

  • Level Duration: This script will add the time you’re at your current level on your dashboard page. In my opinion, this information is more useful than it seems at first. Why? Well, I’ve written in this Guide before that building a routine on Wanikani is essential for success. So if you’re leveling up every 11 days and this script tells you you’re on day 9, it means that you’re almost leveling up. This helps you manage your lessons and see if your progress is going as you wish to.

  • Fast Abridged Wrong/Multiple Answer: Having to click on “More info” every time you want to see the correct answer to a review or check other meanings/readings can be frustrating. With this script, WK will automatically display the info under the input box after you answer the review. Much more convenient for your study flow :ocean:

  • Progress Plus: This script adds a progress ring around the radical and kanji progression section on the main page, so you can see how far you are to guru them and therefore, leveling up.

  • Lesson Hover Details: This script lets you see the lesson breakdown by type (radicals, kanji, vocab) when you hover over the lessons circle in the menu bar. No need to go into the review page anymore.

  • DotDotDot Expander: If you ever searched for items on Wanikani, you have probably noticed already that sometimes meanings will display incomplete and with three dots during the search. This can get a little annoying, since you might have to check which item is actually the one you were looking for, between other things. This script removes the three dots and shows the entire main meaning of the item.

Scripts for the forums:

If you’re here, the chance of getting stuck in an infinite cycle of lurking on the forums is quite high. Maybe you’ve found yourself neglecting your reviews due to the latest @MissMisc’s award or simply because everyone in here has a beautiful story to tell. Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

On a more serious note, this community is awesome. I’ve made some great friends here and I believe the same will happen to you. So while you’re here, why not make your experience better?

  • Wanikani Forums: Lesson/Review Status: This script allows you to know how many lessons/reviews you have available to do and when the next review session is. If you’re on the forums, you won’t need to open a new tab to check for this information out. This script is also a very passive way of telling you to go do your reviews…

  • WaniKani Forums: Like Counter: Do you want to check if you’re running out of likes? Do you want to know how many likes you’ve got on the forums for the last 24h? Well, this script allows you to do just that :slight_smile:

Scripts on the phone:

Scripts are to be used on the computer and they’re not supposed to work on smartphones. For Android, however, there’s a way to do it. Take into consideration that this method wasn’t tested on all the scripts released, so you might find some not working. For more information about this, check the link I just shared above.

There are also non-official apps for both iOS and Android that come with some of the most wanted scripts integrated.

8. Threads on the forums that you should know about

Here, I have listed threads/sections of the forums that I believe you should know about to improve your Japanese.

  • The Ultimate Additional Japanese Resources List: Like the name itself says, the community gathered a list of the most popular resources, from textbooks to podcasts, to help you take your Japanese to the next level. Need to find a complement to Wanikani? It’s there. Need to find a place where you can practice with natives? It’s there. When in need to find something, start there.

  • Resources for Starting to Read Japanese Content: This thread made by my lovely friend Radish gives you a detailed perspective on how to approach reading in Japanese. You’ll find resources for all levels of Japanese, how to buy books, etc. If it’s about reading practice, it’s probably there.

  • Master List of Book Clubs: As a continuation of the reading theme, book clubs are a very big thing here on the forums. The community gathers, reads, and analyses the same Japanese book together. Participating in a book club like the Beginner Japanese Book Club is an incredible opportunity not only to start reading your favorite content in Japanese but also to get all your questions answered by more advanced members of the community.

  • Japanese Only (Beginners): Wanikani has a team of Japanese natives creating on a daily basis new threads to help you practice your Japanese while giving you corrections. There’s also a Japanese Only (Advanced) for more advanced topics. Everyone is there to learn and making “silly” mistakes is completely permitted. Go ahead and give it a try :slight_smile:

  • Short Grammar Questions: Do you have any grammar questions you’d like to get an explanation of? Do you feel like they’re not significant enough to make a new thread? This is the place. Post your question and the community will help you the best they can. Tip: Reading the whole thread, post by post, will do wonders to your grammar knowledge.

  • Race to lvl 60 with Olympians XXXII (2021) & Let’s climb Tokyo Skytree - level 60 in spring 2022: Are you looking to have a friendly competition with the community? Would you like to join a team full of motivated members that congratulate you for leveling up? Here’s where you do it. One aims to reach level 60 before the Tokyo Olympics, the other is aiming for spring of 2022. Choose the one that motivates you the most, leave a message, and people will receive you with open arms :open_hands:

  • The 0/0 Streak Challenge: Do you have trouble keeping up with your pile of reviews? Have you been avoiding doing those vocabulary lessons from 3+ levels ago? This is where you can get your game straight. Everyone is there for a common goal: to get both the lesson and review piles to 0 at every level. Get to 0/0, post a proof there, come back next level, and do the same. It’s time to stay committed, and this is one of the bests ways to motivate you to do so.

  • :crossed_flags: The Ultimate Japan Travel Guide :crossed_flags: (User Recommendations): Whether you’ve been to Japan before or you want to visit, this thread is for you. You’ll find from general traveling advice to recommendations of what you must see at each prefecture. If you have any experience with traveling to Japan, please let us know there :slight_smile:

  • Statistics site: Would you like to know how many kanji and vocab you’ve learned on Wanikani so far? Do you want to see where your knowledge of kanji stands compared to the JLPT? Do you want to check your average leveling up speed and get a super cool graphic, just like the one I posted on my main post? This is where you’ll be able to access it.

  • The New And Improved List Of API and Third-Party Apps: I know I already wrote an extensive list of scripts on this Guide. However, in case you’re wondering what else is out there, start here.

  • [iOS] Tsurukame - native app with offline lessons and reviews: This is by far the best (unofficial) app out there for iOS. The fact that it allows you to do reviews offline and that it has some popular scripts integrated is a big win. If you’re iOS, give it a try :slight_smile:

  • [Android] Flaming Durtles: This is the best (unofficial) app for android, as it has a bunch of the most useful scripts integrated and offline mode, not to mention that it’s intuitive to use. :slight_smile:

9. The level 30 syndrome

Welcome. You’re halfway it. I’m so proud of you, I really am :slight_smile: You’ve done what thousands before you didn’t. Literally:

Observation: Graphic kindly made by @Kumirei.

You’re not over though. There are still 30 levels left to conquer. According to data, an average of 6.8% of users will “stop” on a level (assuming everyone stopped right now, which isn’t totally right). Don’t relax too much just yet :slight_smile:


Observation: Graphic kindly made by @cpitman.

The First 30 ≠ Last 30 Principle - Remember?*

If you’ve read Chapter 6 of this Guide (if not, please read “The First 30 ≠ Last 30” part), you’ll know how I explained that the first 30 levels have a much bigger impact on your learning, compared to the last 30. However, I also explained that the last 30 levels can still have a significant impact, so they’re far from neglectable. This is a key problem though: the gains from the first half are so big that even if you continue seeing results during the 2nd half of your journey, it’ll feel like too little and you’ll almost definitely lose motivation. The fact that after 30 levels, you’re so good at WKing doesn’t help. You lose the momentum you once had because you’re so used to this program already. It feels like climbing the same staircase over and over again: you’re going up, but it’s still the same staircase. It’s no longer a new challenge.

It’s time to find another challenge - You’re too good to do just one.

Exactly what the title says. Your passion for the Japanese language isn’t going anywhere. You’re not done with learning either. So go find a new challenge, whether if it’s joining the book clubs here on the forums, whether if it’s finding Japanese friends, whether if it’s dedicating more time on grammar, whatever you wish to accomplish. Don’t leave Wanikani behind, however. Use your solid routine to continue with it until the very end (you can do it! o/), but in case you find yourself losing momentum and staying behind, know that it’s time for a bigger challenge :slight_smile:

10. Going on vacation: the dos and don'ts of Vacation Mode (+ how to do it right)

Wanikani is a big investment time-wise. Just to have an idea, users that reach level 60 are expected to use this program from 1 to 3 years on a daily basis. Here’s the thing: during this period, you’ll eventually go on vacation or life might even get in way of your studies. This might make you consider taking a break from Wanikani. Don’t worry, this is completely understandable. This is why the Wanikani team offers an option called “Vacation Mode”, which allows you to freeze all reviews in time so that you’re able to go do whatever you have to do without worrying about them accumulating. When you return, your account will be exactly the way it was when you left. This seems like perfection, right? Well, it has its problems too.

Imagine this situation: you just came back from a two-week vacation in Japan. You activated vacation mode on Wanikani at the time of departure. Although all the items all got frozen in time during those 2 weeks that you traveled, time still passed in real life. In other words, items that you would have to review in 8 hours, 2 days, 1 week, were all rescheduled with 2 extra weeks (vacation time). In reality, you’ll wait exponentially more to review those items.

The table below helps explain how the SRS increase can be tremendously bigger than it should in case you activate vacation mode.

SRS Level SRS Interval Vacation Time SRS Total Interval SRS Interval Increase (%)
Apprentice 1 4h +2 weeks 2w4h +8500%
Apprentice 2 8h +2 weeks 2w8h +4250%
Apprentice 3 ~1d +2 weeks ~2w1d +1600%
Apprentice 4 ~2d +2 weeks ~2w2d +800%
Guru 1 ~1w +2 weeks ~3w +200%
Guru 2 ~2w +2 weeks ~1M +100%
Master ~1M +2 weeks ~1M2w +50%
Enlightened ~4M +2 weeks ~4M2w +12.5%
Burned +2 weeks -

Observation: The tilde (~) is used for the sake of keeping the numbers rounded. WK’s SRS intervals are actually 1h less to those presented above. The %s are also rounded for the sake of simplicity.

Notice the last column. See how the SRS interval increases exponentially, mainly for Apprentice items. Now that you’re back from your vacation in Japan, you probably forgot most things. You’re destined to spend the following days missing Japan, getting your body’s internal clock back into place, and hitting your head against the wall because it feels like you don’t know Japanese anymore.

What should I do then? Should I not use vacation mode then?

I’ve said that this increase is far more significant with your Apprentice items, correct? Notice how Apprentice 4 gets an 800% increase in a 2-week vacation. The solution is simple: 4 to 5 days before going on vacation: stop doing lessons. What will happen is that you’ll Guru a big part of your apprentice items during that time, so that when the actual day of traveling comes, most of your items will be Guru and above. The extra time of traveling won’t affect your reviews nearly as much as before.

The 24h vacation mode - an option for the most dedicated.

I know that some of you will want to try and continue reviewing during your trip. So here’s an advice: put your account on vacation mode for 24h. Yes, 24h. Why you may ask? SRS works by hours, not by timezone. So if you’re traveling to somewhere with a completely different timezone, you’ll find yourself having reviews at weird times of the day. Now, not only is the review schedule messed up but whatever you do during vacation time will make your schedule weird when you go back home. I’ll give you an example:

Let’s imagine Japan’s timezone is an extra 5 hours to yours, so your new schedule will now be 5h delayed. Instead of having reviews at around 7 pm, you’ll have them at midnight (+5h). This is why you need the 24h vacation mode. The trick is to deactivate vacation mode at the same time of the day as you activated it back home. If you activated it at 4 pm back home, you should deactivate it at 4 pm in your new country. Now, the schedule will continue as it was before. When you’re going back to your country, do the same process.

In case you actually go on vacation: please do enjoy your vacation and relax a little. If you wanna keep up with reviews, I respect that. Doing new lessons, however, might turn everything into a mess. You won’t really be focused on what you’ll be doing, and remember that your first exposure to items is important to avoid turning them into leeches.

11. I came back to WK and now I have an insane amount of reviews: what should I do?

You have 2 options: to go through the pain and do the batch of reviews you have available or reset a few levels back. Which one is better will depend on how long you were away, your number of reviews, your level. Mainly, it will depend on your preferences. I’ll offer you my perspective on both approaches so that you feel more comfortable making a choice.

Go through the pain of doing the batch of reviews:

This one is as simple as it gets: success means seeing that 0 on reviews once again. For that to happen, you need to go through the pain of reviewing what you have available. I do have some suggestions:

  • Don’t do any lessons. At this point, trying to force new knowledge to get into your head would be like trying to extinguish a fire while throwing gasoline at it. It doesn’t work. First, get your review pile back to 0. Only then you can go back to your daily lessons.

  • Divide the review pile in smaller batches. Do 20, 50, 100 reviews at a time, throughout the day. Choose your number. Only crazy people cough cough will be able to face the whole pile at once. Choose the way that makes you less wanting to kill yourself.

  • Following the same idea above, it’s also a good idea to spread your pile of reviews throughout several days. If you have a pile of 500 reviews and you go for it in just one day, all the SRS intervals will be synced. This means that those same reviews will come together in the future to hit you back. In my opinion, it’s much better to have a little bit more reviews for 3 or 4 days over having a giant pile do to in a single day.

  • The script Prioritize Overdue Reviews Reorder prioritizes your most urgent reviews that need reviewing and shows them to you first. This is a good thing, as you’ll be able to focus on the reviews needing more of your attention first.

These are some ideas I have. Personally, I advise not to abuse the reorder by levels. Your brain might not know the difference between kanji A that is level 10 and kanji B that is level 40, but because you’re aware that you’re reviewing items level 40, your brain now knows which answer WK is looking for. You, however, didn’t know the correct answer without tips. So yeah, use it sporadically and only in extreme situations like this.

It’s time to reset back:

It sucks having to go back a few levels, but as we say, sometimes it’s better to take 1 step back in order to take 2 forward. The main question this raises is to which level you should reset. I have a solution for you: Self-Study Quiz.

The trick is to use this script to review items, level by level. The moment you find a point where you know less than you’re comfortable with is the moment you figure out which level to reset to. If you think you’ll reset around 10 levels, start with the closest level to what you think you’re comfortable enough. Don’t start from the very 1st level :stuck_out_tongue:

Obs: If your account was created before the 5th of December of 2018, resetting to level 1 will reset some of the mnemonics that you might be used to. For more information, read the Content Overhaul thread.

Hope this helped you make a decision. Good luck :heart:

12. The famous fast levels: should you speed up or take it slow?

As previously mentioned, the fast levels are named by the fact that they can be done in just 3 days and 10 hours (levels 43-44, 46-47, and 49-60). In this chapter, I’ll give you some ideas on what to do about the fast levels: should you do it fast? Or should you slow down and focus on something else?

For the fast levels, you can do 3 things:

  • Level up slower: this strategy makes sense. The last levels teach less common kanji and vocabulary. It’s more efficient to invest the time either studying grammar and vocab, reading native content, or talking with natives. There’s no much to hurry when one knows 97% of kanji used, right?

  • Level up faster (by just doing the same lessons as usual): this option doesn’t necessarily mean to do more lessons or reviews. The last levels have fewer items, which means that if you keep doing the same amount of lessons every day, you’ll eventually level up sooner than you’d usually do.

  • Go full speed demon :japanese_ogre: : this implies leveling up at the fastest speed (3d10h) or close to it per level. If you have the time, the energy, and the motivation to do it, it’s totally doable. The major benefit is that reaching level 60 (sooner) will give you a sense of accomplishment. Not only will you finish sooner a big project in your life, but you’ll be able to immerse yourself completely in something else (whether that’s grammar, reading, or talking with natives).

Which one is better?

It really depends. Some people are just tired of Wanikani and they wanna have more time for things that they enjoy more. Others really want to be done with WK and have this sense of accomplishment/mission completed, so they go faster. Some are just competition addicts and want to spring through WK :stuck_out_tongue:

My take on it is that unless you suddenly don’t have time to WK or there are more urgent places where your energy should be spent, my suggestion would be to maintain your normal dose of lessons until level 60. By now, you have an established routine around WK. I’ve seen too many people doing the levels until 50 very smoothly and then just taking months to finish the last bit because they decided to take it “easy”. Some never do.

Speeding up can be too much as well, as people end up with a huge amount of guru items and leeches, which leads to them not actually memorizing the content they went fast for.

How much effort does going by the fast levels at full speed take? - My experience

Until I started with the fast levels, I was doing between 200 and 300 reviews a day (take into consideration that I went maximum speed the whole time). After a while of having reached the fast levels, I started having to do between 300 and 450 reviews a day. I also had to do 40 new lessons a day, compared to the 20 that I did during the rest of my Wanikani journey. I did it for the challenge. I wanted to be one of the fastest, I wanted a challenge, and I had the energy and time to do it. What I learned from it was that I could go above what I thought was possible for me. Memorizing 40 words per day definitely sounds like one of the silliest things to do, but this simple thing reminded me that I can take bigger jumps than I usually think. It definitely was a fun experiment to do to reach level 60 :slight_smile:

13. The level 60 syndrome

I’m so proud of you that you can’t imagine. You did it, you really did it! People will finally think that you’re knowledgeable of Japanese even though you’re far from it! That’s success in my book! :grin:

On a more serious tone, just look at this:


Observation: Graphic kindly made by @Kumirei.

See how many people are behind you. See how far you’ve come. Really great job :slight_smile: But now, what are your plans? Yes, your plans. Plans for what? For what’s coming next! You didn’t think you’d get to level 60 and be fluent, did you? :kissing_heart:

Here’s my story after reaching level 60:

I got comfortable, very comfortable. By this point, my weakest point was vocabulary but for that I could just do a quick google search. In terms of grammar, I was with a very solid N3. I was able to chat with my Japanese friends with barely any other difficulty besides slow typing. On the other hand, I didn’t have a strong sense of direction in terms of where to go next. My main goal was Wanikani in 1 year, I’ve made it, but then I got lost for 3 months. For 3 months, I didn’t know what to do next. This is precisely the reason why it took me 3 months to actually write this Guide. Japanese wasn’t captivating anymore. The thing is… I wasn’t burned out. I was simply lacking specific goals in my journey to learn Japanese.

This is why I advised you to make your studies broader and to start focusing on something other than kanji on chapter “The level 30 syndrome”. That is also why it’s important to do a Level 60 celebration thread for yourself to organize your ideas and next steps.

Realize that the journey is far from being over.

You can rest and celebrate, but start nibbling on new stuff. Find your missing piece of the puzzle. Gradually, dedicate more time to it. Remember, you started learning Japanese because this challenge attracted you. Remind yourself of that exact attraction. Remind yourself of how it feels. Move forward :slight_smile:

14. And possible more stuff, if I end up remembering


15. A thank you and some words of encouragement

This is the end of the Ultimate Guide. I hope it served you well in understanding how Wanikani works. I also hope that it will help you through this journey. If you wish to ask me any question or give me a suggestion, please do not hesitate to do so :slight_smile:

I’m feeling like I’m turning this into a bigger thing than it actually is. However, I can’t end this without thanking the people from this community. You guys know who you are. Even though it took me more than 3 months to get around myself to start writing this, during that time people would come to this thread or PM me in order to motivate me into writing this. I never asked for encouragement, but your guys were there, more than once. So thank you. This is precisely the advice I’ve got for you reading this: be part of the community. Remember that we’re all like-minded people, we all have a common passion for the Japanese language.

I also want to thank the Tofugu team for spreading this guide by linking it on their welcome email and on their FAQ. It means a lot that the team behind this great product values my work and wishes their users to take the best out of it :slight_smile:

In a world where #dog has 38 times more tags than #human on Instagram, we forget that even though animals are incredible, humans are as beautiful. I’ve found amazing people (a partner too :see_no_evil: ) in this community that I’ll be sure to keep for years to come.

If you are to acknowledge something from this giant Guide, acknowledge that people moving towards the same goal together are stronger. Take your time, but try to be part of the History that is being written :slight_smile:

With love,


16. My challenge to you: the #MessageMe in 1-month challenge

I’ve been noticing that a lot of you guys are taking value out of this guide and are kind enough to leave me a message in here right away. I appreciate this so so much and I want to be able to give back. We’re all here to win, after all. Because of that, I’m creating a very simple challenge: after you read this guide, I’d like you to take note somewhere or add a notification/an alarm on your laptop/phone to 1 month’s time. In 1 month, I’d love to hear you on the number 1 thing that this guide helped you achieve on Wanikani. Whether if it’s that single script that made things so much easier, that new schedule that is allowing you to move forward on WK, anything. This not only will help me figure out the type of suggestions I should be giving more, but it will mainly allow you to look back and think “Damn, such a simple step forward took me so much further in the journey. I can’t wait for what’s coming next.”

Do we have a deal? :slight_smile: #MessageMe in 1 month. I’ll be waiting :heart:

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Your Lie In April spoilers ahead. Skip to the hide details if you have any intention of watching it (which I highly recommend)
Best read with this for effect

Dear @jprspereira ,

It feels weird writing a post to someone you were just the same level as… (over a year ago)

You’re the worst goodest.

Decisive. Smart. Hardworking.

The first time I ever saw you post, I was 5 years old (I guess, because I’m a dog??). It was at a thread for the kanji site I was using. This smart, Portuguese guy came onto the thread and accidentally hit the reply button with his butt. It was too insightful. He turned to the thread that was way too big for his level and the moment he posted that first reply, I was drawn in.

The message was beautiful, like a 24-colour palette. The words danced.

The user next to me started getting flustered. I wasn’t expecting that at all.

And even so, you kept studying. Every day you would do your reviews as well as KaniWani.

When I found out we were in the same continent, I was ecstatic. But how would I ever come to talk to you? Maybe I’d hang out at the lunch concession. Instead, I just watched you from afar.
I mean. After all. You all seemed to get along so well. There wasn’t really any space in there for some dog like me.
When I was a puppy, I had to have an operation and I started having to be at the hospital for regular check-ups. In the first level of painful, I collapsed and I was getting items wrong over and over. With every review session I was there for longer and longer. Really, I didn’t get to my lessons much in painful, I spent more time putting off my reviews. And I knew something was wrong with my body ability to recall kanji.

One night, I saw my reviews piling up in the review queue and I knew that my time was running out.

That’s when I ran away.

I didn’t want to bring my regrets with me to heaven paradise, so I stopped holding back from the kanji I always wanted to learn.
I wasn’t scared anymore to do 200+ reviews.

I ate what treats I wanted instead of always worrying about my weight.

And I took the kanji with all its high and mighty radicles and learned it the way I wanted.

And then I told a lie. Just one.
I lied and said that I, @UntitledName (wait, no, @Borx), wasn’t a good boy.

And that lie brought you to me.

Okay I’m not going to do the whole letter, just making this is making me emotional

What do you think?
Do you think I made it into anyone’s heart like that?
I wonder if I made it into yours.
I wonder if you’ll still remember me.

If you forget me, I’ll just come back and…
No, I don’t want to start over.
Please don’t forget me.
Promise me you won’t forget me.

I’m glad it was you.

I hope this reaches you, @jprspereira


heck off, no way I’m editing that gif to change the name

I’m sorry I ate all those treats.

I’m sorry I didn’t hit on you enough.

I’m sorry I was so good.

I’m so, so, so, so sorry.

Thank you for everything.

@Unitle- heck, @Borx

But for real

Congratulations. Not only did you get to level 60 twice as fast as me, but you managed it with amazing consistency and without slowing down learning other aspects of Japanese. I’m sure you’ve had your slow moments, but in between every review session you’ve never failed to try to help others. I’m sure there are people on the forums today who wouldn’t know anywhere near as many kanji today (or even know any kanji at all) if it wasn’t thanks to your advice and motivation. From my 後輩 to my 先輩, every level has been filled with motivation from you.



Gato! Parabéns!


To the Tony Robbins and Gary Vaynerchuk of WaniKani, congratulations on reaching that golden badge! The amount of dedication it took for you to get there is certainly impressive. You did all that while staying on top of KaniWani, practicing conversation, writing a grammar book and being available for flirts. D::::::::::::


Thank you for being an inspiration to all of us. I hope you like your favorite 2D and 3D girls on display.


És impecável, fofo. :heart:


Nice job m8 <3



And also there is someone who wants to tell you something
Still gonna use Kaori gif, even though @Borx Untitled used like bazillion of them




I’m super HAPPY to be featured on your 60 post


I was wondering that you wouldn’t create a post. xD


dammit untitled @borx has all the kaori gifs! D::::::

Not only have you pulled off an incredible feat, but you did it while also inspiring countless of other users with your advice and guidance along the way — I’m glad our WK paths crossed, I know you’ll make it far not only in Japanese, but in life!




Yes, it goes great with pollnese and rotateach.


Congratulations JPR!!! You are a star



Congratulations!! I will be waiting for your guide I´m sure it will be very helpful!!


You don’t need to try again, @jprspereira senpai… cake served by you is more amazing than anyone would dare to dream of :wink::sparkling_heart::sparkles:~

Congratulations on reaching this milestone on your journey to be the most attractive man who had anything to do with Japanese in the entire world! :sparkles:

But now on a more serious note: congrats, senpai. You’ve worked hard to achieve that and that’s super impressive. I still have a long journey before me, but you inspire me to do my best!

Looking forward to seeing the guide when it’s done :blush::sparkles:

You did well!

Welcome to the vast sea of Japanese beyond WK~ :sparkles:


Good job! That’s a lot of work and a hellava lot of kanji learned!


Congrats Jeepers!



Congrats jp! ^^ Glad you’ll be sticking around, the forums wouldn’t be the same without your motivational posts. Can’t wait to see where your Japanese journey takes you next :slightly_smiling_face:




I remember beginning my WaniKani journey this summer and you where around lvl 7 or 8 if I remember correctly. You’ve always been my secret #gottagofast buddy on here. Crazy how time flies and I’m excited to join you at 60 soon.


I’m so happy for you. I hope I will reach 60 before you reset and reach it again.
Here’s a gift for you.




Aaaaah, congrats, @jprspereira!!! :heart: