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

I was there for 19 days and went to Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, Osaka, and Kanazawa, so one favorite is difficult. If I had to pick just one is would Saihoji temple in Kyoto, you sit through a prayer ceremony and write out a prayer and then get to walk around the moss covered grounds. It’s super peaceful.

Expanding past that, we stumbled into the Kanazawa lantern festival where they float the lanterns down the river which is breath-taking. Library Lounge THESE in Roppongi was a great bar to hang at and wind down. And for something over the top the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku is completely nuts - be warned this is a total tourist thing, like what some crazed person thought someone would like when thinking about zany robot anime Japanese antics.


I wish that was the accepted practice! At my school they periodically did ‘kanji lessons’. That is to say, a teacher showed the stroke order on the whiteboard, asked I’d anyone knew it, gave some example words it’s used in, and then set us to practicing the kanji like 10 times. Rinse, repeat, until the end of the lesson. Usually around 15 kanji I believe.

Anyway, not the point. I wish they just make sure everyone had a system in place that worked, maybe offer some help in case it didn’t. It’s gonna come to light real quick on tests or during class when ppl can’t read learnt kanji.

Kanji lessons with a teacher you pay a lot of money for seems like such a waste of valuable class time for most ppl.

Definitely! :smile:

I’ve found it varies greatly on a daily basis. Days where I maybe haven’t slept enough, or early in the morning… Yeah, it’s generally pretty tough on me. :smiley:

Other days I feel like I can hear and comprehend the language much better, and don’t have to pause before replying.

What’s also generally easier is longer conversations? Like, usually you find a topic both ppl are interested in, and my brain doesn’t have to keep switching? So all the processing power can go to the actual Japanese! :stuck_out_tongue:

Also, thanks for the grammar point I did not know, but shall hear used everywhere from now on. :+1:


1 Like

@jprspereira I observed earlier that with the new update, a few more levels are fast levels now. Feel free to double check since I was really hungry while checking, but it looked like 41, 43, 44 are now fast levels, and 26 is no longer a fast level. All the other late levels are the same status as they were before the update. I didn’t check any pre-40 levels (except for 26) since they aren’t relevant to me now, so no idea if any other earlier levels became fast…

Thought you might want to know so you can update that in the guide :smile:


^^^ Ooh, good to know. I’ll check if wkstats has internally detected the change.

1 Like

I know what you mean. After years in Japan things have leveled out and now I don’t have this type of problem anymore, but my first months in Japan?

One day I would be super “Yeah, I’ve studied lots of Japanese. Let me take you to the cell phone company and translate so you can choose a plan and make a contract.”
And on the following day be like “Me… Food… Want…”

Tough days…


Glad to hear that it’s not just me - and that it gets better!

How long have you been in Japan now?

i’m not syncro, but maybe my experience is useful for you.
it took me roughly 6 months to get my listening in shape, and a year to get out all sorts of grammatical constructs, with 2 years of self-study under my belt when i came.

i also wasted a lot of time when i started out, you could be a lot quicker if you know what you’re doing.

1 Like

Thank you for sharing your experiences with me! :blush:

6 months, you say… I’ll try not to worry too much about it, then. (for now)

In hindsight, what do you wish you had done, or had done sooner? What do you believe would have made the transition go more smoothly for you?

1 Like

i think if i were to start again, i’d do wk from the get go.

since i already had the goal to come here, i prepared by doing first pimsleur, then michel thomas, then japanesepod101. they’re all audio, and my goal was listening and speaking.
that worked well, but that first 6 months period was rough. i was physically exhausted from being surrounded by japanese, all day long. i started to get better after 3 months. speaking was fine, as long as what i tried to stay could be expressed in short sentences. something like 残業になって、焦って駅に走っても、電車が人身事故と安全確認で途中で止まって、相当遅れてた。was impossible for a while (even though grammatically, it’s not so complex).

the first time you try to use a grammar point in speech, you’ll probably find you’re tongue tied. if i were to prepare again, i’d practice using some. 掃除しながら音楽を聴いた。掃除する間に妻が買い物に行った。and so on.
you can know a point perfectly well, but the first time you use it, you feel like an idiot, become all self-conscious and mess up. or maybe that’s just me :slight_smile:


It’s definitely not just you! I quite often feel like an idiot. (but then I remind myself that I literally started speaking this language in September, and try to cut myself some slack. Not sure that helps with the learning, though. :smiley:

Actually using learned grammar is so much more difficult than understanding it when prompted or being able to use it when appropriate in writing. I feel it’s a bit better when I go into a conversation with the purpose of using an uncomfortable grammar at least once. After that first time, even if I mess up horribly, it feels a bit more natural. At least until that conversation is over and it all starts again. :joy:

So you used quite a variety of resources. The one thing you regret is not sticking to WK sooner? That’s some glowing praise for WK right there!

How long have you been in Japan now? Are you still with the company you started at?

1 Like

Good job OP.

For me I simply can’t work on wanikani at this rate and actually “do” something else of my day. I’m glad that it worked for you tho.

My current average seem to be 14 days per level and rising, but at the same time I’ve had issues with burnout in the past when I would cram as much as I could, so lesson limiter is what keeps me sane at the moment.

I also refuse to do those 200+ stacks of reviews in one go because of my tendency to do typos when I go fast.

Hopefully I’ll be able to meet you folks at the top… in a couple years.

1 Like

I’m not sure it’s been a month but I stumbled upon this thread again so I’ll just say it now.
For me the number one thing was definitely the scripts. they’re so useful, thanks for that.
I’ve been doing 7DAY levels for the last 5-6 levels, I have free time at the moment but it gets a bit hectic sometimes, mostly my vocabulary schedule is a mess. need to figure that out
One thing I need to get better at is doing other stuff other than WK: I’ve been learning all the Joyo Kanji on Anki with the nihongoshark deck the last 3 months and I’m almost done, but I’ve neglected grammar… got back to doing lessons on IMABI these last few days.
But I need to find some other stuff to do: I feel like I’m not able to read or listen to anything just yet, but I feel like there is something I’m missing…

1 Like

:scream: Please share your secrets, I want to try leveling up multiple times a day too!

As far as your concerns though, I have to wonder why you’re putting a bunch of time into both this site and another kanji resource? Seems unnecessarily redundant when there’s other stuff that needs to be done. You’ll want to be putting more time into grammar for sure like you mentioned, and you’ll also want some other vocabulary-specific studies outside of WK’s vocabulary. There’s a lot of common vocab that isn’t written with kanji and isn’t on this site. There’s iKnow, which is a paid app with 6000 vocab, or you could just grab a core vocab Anki deck or something.


Ohhh, the gardens look so so beautiful :durtle_love: Being in Kyoto, I assume that it’s full of tourists? :rofl: Or not really?

I bet! Here in Portugal, we have a similar festival that also involves lanterns, but we usually put them in big ballons. We don’t have anything coordinated either, so I’m sure that the Kanazawa lantern festival looks even better :heart_eyes: That’s deff on my things to see :ok_hand:

Yeaaaaaah, people have filled youtube with it already :rofl: I bet it’s a… different experience? :joy:

Yeah, I need my 8h of sleep or I easily burn out throughout the day… it’s insaneeee x.x Gotta make sure to keep the basics (like health) in check :grin::ok_hand:

Haha, no problem :stuck_out_tongue: Make sure to compare it with だけ! They’re translated the same way, but they do have their own nuance :v:しか-だけ-shika-dake/


So, as you might have seen, I tried checking with the team to confirm your tip, but I guess they have no idea :rofl: I’ll take your levels into consideration and update the guide asap :slight_smile: Thank you for the lovely contribution and for the heads-up :grin::v:


Yeah I saw they quoted my own post as a response, I laughed

I feel more confident about it now though because I did see that someone else ran an actual script of some sort and it came to the same conclusion as me :smile:

1 Like

People and their technology… Never cease to surprise us. It’s all 魔術, that’s what it is! :crazy_face:


This was my rationale: I want to be able to read Japanese, be it manga, novels, newspapers or anything online really.
And there’s no getting around it, you need to learn the Joyo Kanji… yes a fraction of them is used in 80% of text of whatever that stat is, but there is a reason little nippons have to learn them by the end of middle (?) school.
Doing only wanikani would let me learn them in 1-2 years, and not even all of them by then.
Doing just the Joyo deck would let me learn them in 3 months, but at the end of that I would still have 0 vocabulary and 0 capacity for reading. (I also didnt know about other vocab resources other than WK when I started, so there’s that :expressionless: )
So, I thought, let’s break my ass and do both, while trying to level up at max speed and doing some grammar too… maybe…
Jokes aside, I’ll be done with learning new kanjis from the deck in 6 days, so once that time frees up, I will look into other things. I’m also switching to a 10day WK schedule, 7 days is too much.
iknow is one of the resources I’ve written down, Genki/Tobira, Bunpro are others, or as you said a Core deck would be also fine, since I like Anki a lot.
I’ll definitely do more grammar lessons on IMABI, and hopefully start reading and or listening.
If you have some recommendations on what I could do, feel free to shoot em

Alright that makes enough sense to me, and I’d agree that there’s not a lot of reason to try to rush 7 day levels here at that point (unless it happened to actually be easy for you to do so).

As far as stuff to do besides the resources you just listed, I’m not sure myself. I know graded readers and stuff exist, I know they have (at least one?) book club somewhere on WK forums, and I know it’s a good idea to start trying to read something as soon as you’ve gotten through some amount of basic grammar, but … I didn’t do those things myself so I’m not sure how much grammar you should do first, or which graded readers are good. Personally, I just kinda lazed through studies with limited motivation for a long while, and by the time I was actually motivated to start reading stuff, I already knew enough that I didn’t have to force myself to search for “easier” reading :sweat_smile: