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

decided to restart my journey after a 2 year break and I want to be as efficient as “I” can be but don’t want to set wrong expectations for my self. That’s why i have some questions:

  • how long does it take on average to finish 100 reviews (and on the same note, how much time do i have to spend on WaniKani on a daily basis)?

  • is it worth it to write stories for vocab as well in terms of time vs benefit?

  • apprentice level cheating seems to be necessary in one form or the other, what’s the best way to go about it (Review with study Quiz and the double-check script)?

  • how should i deal with vocab? Should i do them directly when i unlock them, or should i do them in batches of 20 for example? I know vocab isn’t important for unlocks but i don’t want to fall behind and it helps with retention as well.

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I noticed that it took you only 4 days to pass Level 26. On that level, were all of the kanji released at the same time? Thanks in advance.

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It was likely formerly a fast level, but I believe that’s no longer the case.


@Masahrio You shouldn’t try to be that analytical about your plan to approach Wanikani. No matter what reason made you take a 2 year break, you should focus now on building a routine around WK and making it work on your day to day life.

It depends. Some people are faster, others are slower. Some can do it in 30 minutes, others do it in 1h+. Also, as you go on using Wanikani, your speed will increase. At first 20 might seem like too many. Later on 20 will be accessible.

It depends on how fast you are capable of going through Wanikani. A good average would be 1 hour/day. It can be more, it can be less.

Some people love it, some just don’t need it. I never needed mnemonics, but I know that some people really depend on them. Since you’re starting, I advise just reading the mnemonics that WK provides and see how it goes. If needed, you can adjust later on.

Apprentice cheating is not necessary at all. Where did you get this impression?

One thing that I recommend is doing Study Quiz right after (or close to) your lessons because I think the extra repetition of those items really helps make the process of taking them from short to long-term memory. But that doesn’t mean it’s okay to do Study Quiz of those items right before WK gives them for reviewing. That’s not just cheating Wanikani, but also cheating your learning.

The point of the double-check script is for you to be able to correct answers you got wrong due to typos (WK has some typo tolerance for the answers but sometimes it’s not enough). But it’s not okay to use this script to have a 2nd try at answering something when you didn’t know the answer in the first place.

I’m reinforcing these things about those 2 script because cheating your way out is tempting but will only lead you to frustration later on. We’re here to learn, not to be a game of 60 levels. I’ve seen a lot of people thinking small cheating would be okay only to lead for them to stop using Wanikani later on. The snowball was too big at that point.

I think doing 20 lessons for 7 days is better than doing 140 lessons in 1 day. Not only the latter is much more demanding in terms of trying to memorize and properly learn the content, but by doing a similar amount of lessons a day, you will have a similar amount of reviews per day (which also means a similar amount of time spent on WK per day). Binging on lessons will bring you an insane amount of reviews to do at the same time in 1 day… 2 days… 1 week… 2 weeks… 1 month… 4 months… A binge of lessons done 4 months ago will come to bite you.

Hope I was clear in answering your questions and I apologize about the delay :slight_smile:

Yup, it was one of the so called “fast” levels at the time. On the other hand, WK increased the number of fast levels in the latter levels, when compared to the time when I was leveling up :slight_smile:


@jprspereira Thank you for your in-depth answer.

I don’t think i’ll get every Radical and Kanji right to unlock the next set of items, so it seems necessary to cheat the system to be efficient. I don’t consider “cheating” within reason to be a bad thing tho.

I have planned to give every radical no matter what SRS stage they are in, a pass. their use is very limited and i would rather have them out of the way. That said, they are the easiest to learn and my accuracy will probably be the highest on radicals.

I’ll give Kanji i haven’t guru-ed (for unlocks) a pass as well, i think it’s more efficient to put a little bit more effort into those Kanji i got wrong afterwards than having to wait for unlocks just because i got a Kanji reading wrong.

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Just make sure that your level of" cheating" isn’t hiding the fact that maybe you’re going too fast for you. I know a lot of level 60 people that did a reset later on and it’s often that the reason is because they did it too fast, which led to them cheating “a bit” and not actually learning the content.

I you can, I’d really reinforce the usage of the self-study script tho, mainly for kanji of your current level. If I was to do the kanji lessons and not do any self-study, 4h later I’d get a 50 percent accuracy. With self-study, I’d be on my way to guru all of them as fast as the system allows :slight_smile:


I’ll adjust as needed (hopefully :relaxed:) and at around lvl 20-30 (in case i make it this far :zipper_mouth_face:) i plan to start reading NHK-Easy and do some sentence mining, this should help with retention.

yep, after a lesson i always go over each Kanji and read the mnemomics i have pre-written (they are unfortunetly not available while doing the lesson) and after that i do a self-study session with all items from that lesson as well.

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Don’t get me wrong, I’m not doubting that you can or cannot do :stuck_out_tongue: Just reinforcing some key ideas to help you succeed :slight_smile: Better to be well prepared than not after all :grin:

Let me know how things go with you :ok_hand:


Finally got some scripts going, hopefully that will help me out. I know the double-check one will be immensely useful at least, I always press enter before I make sure I typed everything right. :woozy_face:


Glad to know you found value in reading the guide :slight_smile: Let me know if I can help you in any way and enjoy WK :v: It’s a fun journey.


This guide was so helpful to me that I felt it was only fair to actually do the #MessageMe challenge! I can’t believe it’s been a whole 30 days since I first read this thread. I think I was on Level 3 or Level 4 then. Now I’m on Level 7—I’ve slowed down a LOT because life, and also because my kanji is now WORLDS ahead of my grammar! It’s getting harder to keep all the new pieces of vocabulary in my head without reference material, so I’m trying to even things out a bit.

I think the single most useful thing I’ve gotten from this thread was KaniWani. I use it whenever I’m studying on WaniKani, and it has helped my recall IMMENSELY. Sure, it’s a little buggy and annoying (for example, it does not give you any way to distinguish whether it wants “mother” 母 or “mother” お母さん)but I don’t think I’d be doing nearly as well in my kanji studies without it.

To be sure, I have also downloaded just about every script mentioned here too! Those are also super helpful, especially the Ultimate Timeline and Self Study, but if I had to pick just one thing, KaniWani is it.

Thank you for building such a helpful guide. I’m inspired to keep learning, even though the road is long and I’m taking the slow way.


Great guide, it helped me a lot, thank you! It really motivates me to reach lvl 60 one day.
It said in your profile that you are learning Russian, I would be happy to help you with it anytime as a native speaker.


Hey, I’m very glad to hear that things are working out for you and I appreciate the kind words! :slight_smile: Yup, Kaniwani was very useful for me as well. I remember being able to identify words in the wild but not being able to recall them, and that always made me feel like my knowledge about those words was incomplete xD

Remember that each new level and each lesson are like an update to your brain. You’re constantly getting better day by day. It’s not reaching level 60 that gives you the knowledge you seek. It’s the day to day work. So in a way, results are not that slow :slight_smile: And don’t worry about speed, consistency is 10x more important. I’ve seen too many speeders drop Wanikani halfway because it became too much. The faster you run, the harder the fall.

Beginner grammar is very important because it’s just everywhere. So do try to balance both WK and grammar the best you can :slight_smile: That balance will you the best results :muscle:

Let me know if I can help you in any other way! :slight_smile:

Здравствуй! :slight_smile:

Glad things are working out for you :grin: My Russian studies are a bit in plateau, as I’ve had too many things to focus these past months :sweat_smile: But it’s definitely something I want to go back to once things calm down a bit, so I appreciate the availability :slight_smile:


Just wanted to tell you how much this guide has helped me. I started WaniKani back in June because my other kanji learning methods weren’t working. I tried Remembering the Kanji, but going to the work of making my own mnemonics was just exhausting and time-consuming and made studying not so fun. And then I tried a kanji deck from Japanese Level Up called Kanji Kingdom for about a year but the kanji just didn’t stick. (Even though I love the JALUP Anki decks…well worth spending the money on the Beginner deck). So, thank you, my dude, for going to all this trouble of making such a thorough guide for us.

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@jprspereira I heard you during a Tofugu ad on one of their podcasts! Your guide is wonderful. I find myself coming back to it again and again! KameSame is a lifesaver! I do recall and recognition for all vocabulary now. At first, I was content with being able to see a Kanji and identify its reading and meaning, but in the back of my head I knew it wasn’t enough, so thank you for pushing me to actually have to produce the Kanji from English, it’s really accelerated my memorization and I think I will be burning items a lot faster now.


He is in the tofugu podcast? I’m not really listening to them so I had no idea but congrats for it. It’s huge achievement.


I’ve gotten a lot from this post and it’s really helped me make the most of WK, however with the new API I can no longer use the majority of the userscripts that are mentioned in this thread. Is there any way to fix this or are they forever gone as long as the creators don’t release an updated version?

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Which ones stopped working for you? I use almost all of the ones in your list and they still work for me.

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Starts at 23:50. Did the ad break :stuck_out_tongue: I cant listen to myself the cringe


Sorry everyone for the late reply :sweat_smile: I keep taking too much time to reply to this thread gdi :sweat_smile:

Hey, glad there was something in it for you! :slight_smile: Does the issue with the scripts still persist?

Oh boy, first impressions :scream: :rofl: I’m glad things are working out well for you! English -> JP is so important to me. The feeling of knowing what something means, but not being able to recall it when you need to apply it is a big headache xD Still keeping up with KameSame? :muscle:

Glad WK is working so well for you :grin: I see you’ve been grinding through the levels too! How are you starting to feel about kanji? I’m assuming that you’re going through a phase where you can already read quite a bit of kanji during exposure :slight_smile:

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