Newcomer - Could use some advice re pacing/other study resources

Hey everyone - I’m new to WK and really loving it so far. Anyway I’ll get right to the point.

From a vocabulary standpoint should WK be my only source while I’m making my way through it? I have Genki 1 and there’s vocab there too, but I’m sure juggling an Anki deck for those vocab + WK will burn me out real quick. I also tried using KaniWani and that’s really been a great help - so I know for sure that I want to stick with the WK + Kaniwani combo. My last thought was maybe start active/passive listening to Anime or Youtube content to start picking up words there. Any advice on how to best utilize my time while avoiding burnout is appreciated. I know there’s lots of advice out there but I’m looking for advice with the assumption that I’ll be sticking with WK and don’t want to overdo it.

Thanks and looking forward to being a part of this great community.


I just started as well, and KaniWani is a must in my opinion.

I have Genki 1 & 2, but I find that it’s easier (and more enjoyable) for me to to learn through virtual apps.

Before joining WaniKani I was using Duolingo, and learned about 700 vocab up to Unit 3 (1 month)
Since joining WaniKani I’ve read posts here that have criticized Duolingo as not being as good a source for learning Japanese as LingoDeer.

So I decided to give it a try and I 100% agree it’s better. I also got LingoDeer Plus because it gamifies learning much more like Duolingo but in MUCH smaller sessions and MORE gamey!!
There are about 7 different types of games all practicing something different.

Both these apps help me with grammer, vocab, sentence structure, particles, pitch, etc. without feeling like I’m ‘studying’.
It’s pretty relaxed and I enjoy learning Japanese that way, and learning Kanji via WaniKani & KaniWani.

I think it’s up to you. I’m going through Genki 2 at the moment and running through the vocab lists using memrise. I find it perfectly manageable, but I’m also not doing WK lessons as soon as they become available nor am I doing kaniwani. I will say that you’re probably going to find yourself somewhat limited with vocab only doing wanikani. It teaches you a lot of words but doesn’t really sort them in terms of usefulness, but rather what goes along with the kanji covered. By the time you’re done you will know a lot but it can be a bit frustrating while going through it.

I’d definitely recommend using something else for vocab if you want to see more gradual progress, but there are a lot of ways you could integrate that. Genki or JLPT vocab lists are one. Making your own anki flashcards based on specific materials is another option. There’s also paid apps like iknow which tries to get you to use words in context while learning them.

On the subject of other vocab outside of Wanikani, you will absolutely need to use some sort of supplement. I use and Bunpro but there’s a lot of options, so do some searching.



Absolutely not. Check out the 10k deck on This is a much better source of vocabulary. The vocabulary on WK very good for its very specific purpose: to reinforce the readings of the Kanji you learn. But it is not good enough as a standalone resource for vocabulary.

There is a comprehensive Genki deck on Kitsun too. Compared to Anki, Kitsun is far better (much less of an eyesore, friendly community…). But if you think you will burn out, do fewer lessons per day.

Personally, this is the last thing I would recommend to anyone just starting WK. Would typically recommend doing KW/KS on items you have already Guru’d, so starting around level 8 or so gives you quite a bit of material to work with. But if your concern is recall for Kanji, and you intend on earning to write the Kanji, you can hit two birds with one stone by using Kanji Study or Skritter on Android. Also, once again, the 10k deck on Kitsun is great for recall if you want a nicer interface and more material, thereby letting you skip KW/KS for vocabulary recall.
So personal recommendation:

  • WK for Kanji recognition
  • Kanji Study/Skritter for Kanji recall + writing
  • Kitsun for vocabulary recognition and recall

But do whatever works best for you.

This is always a good idea. More exposure means higher comfort levels and better listening skills. You can also add vocab you pick up to your personal decks (Anki/Kitsun) as you go along.

I think not overdoing it is the best thing you can do for yourself. In terms of pacing, here are a few thoughts:

  1. Balls to the wall: breakneck speed, finish in 1 year. If you think you will be N1 in grammar in the next year, this can be an OK strategy to be done with most of the Kanji you need around the same time. Also good if you have an inflexible deadline coming in around that time. Also good if this pace is comfortable for you. Also economical if you’re not getting a lifetime subscription.
  2. Be kind to yourself: try out different speeds. There are folks on here who’ve been here for multiple years and are still at it. Others who have finished and have reset multiple times. It all depends on what pacing they are comfortable with. Personally, I aim for 9-day levels because it gets me to the end before the middle of next year and I won’t need to worry about Kanji as much as I progress through grammar.

A little basic math and a date calculator will help you set an objective for finishing date if you’re the sort of person who likes to have specific soft deadlines as motivators.

Hope this helps.

PS. For grammar, checkout Bunpro/Bunpo/Lingodeer.

PPS. I’ve mentioned a lot of resources. Obviously, don’t get all of them. Test and pick what works best for you.


Don’t want to hijack this thread but this is great advice, so just a quick question: I’m currently on level 7 of WaniKani. Together with law studies I don’t have too much time so I’ve stopped using other things.

I plan to start Genki once I get level 10 for grammar and stuff. Would you recommend I start using the 10K pack at the same time or should I get started in advance?

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I’d say you’re at a good spot to start 10k any day now. This is because in the 10k deck, you can put cards that require Kanji above your WK level to sleep and only start learning words with Kanji you already know. The Kanji you learned at the lower levels are sufficiently well learned at this point that learning vocab including them starts being beneficial. I can help you set up your 10k whenever you are ready, if you like. It takes about 3 minutes to set it up in a way that takes advantage of your current Kanji knowledge.

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honestly on the subject of the benefit of using it for the 10k deck is you can sleep Wanikani vocab AND you can set it so you get the non-kanji words first, which is what I started doing with good results.


i’m using wanikani wand bunpro atm, and as i get better and start reading more i’m gonna use kitsun kind of like

Thanks everyone for the responses! The biggest concern I have is just finding a study plan that works and sticking to it. Text books make me feel like I’m back in school again while SRS just makes it feel more enjoyable, which is why I wanted to start learning Japanese in the first place. Right now it looks like the best bet will be

  1. WK + will hold off slightly on KW until passing earlier levels
  2. 10k deck (if anyones willing to help with setup that’d be awesome)
  3. Tae Kim’s grammar guide and possibly bunpro

Step 2-3 look like they’d be good to pick up around level 6-7. I guess the last elephant in the room will be conversational practice.

I’d be happy to help set up the 10k deck. What’s your Discord username? I’ll add you on there and walk you through it.

You could actually start 10k now since it contains around 2k (iirc) pure kana words (words that don’t use Kanji). If you wanted to, that is.

This is the hardest part. This is why I’ve tested so many different resources.

Definitely relatable. Genki is extremely boring for me.

If I’m not wrong about this, it sounds like kitsun is being used here. What about starting with that Genki deck instead and teaching how to use the known words system to transition into the 10k deck? IIRC, they’re both made by the same person and have the same formatting, but the targeted deck might help a bit with pacing and immediately “useful” vocab.

Agreed. Super agreed. If I still had a physical copy of that book I would put under my pillow to solve my insomnia problems.

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That would make the most sense for someone who uses Genki, in principle, but as I cannot condone using Genki in the first place, I wouldn’t actively recommend it.

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I think you should definitely use another resource - WaniKani is good for getting deep knowledge of Kanji readings, but the vocabulary isn’t always based on usefulness in day to day life, but rather reinforcing the way to read various Kanji. You aren’t harming yourself by learning more vocabulary with still unlearned (in WaniKani) Kanji, and in fact you will probably make WaniKani that much easier by “informally” learning some Kanji before they actually come up in the WaniKani system.

Best of luck on your journey!!


Would you mind giving me assistance with the 10k deck as well? discord name removed to prevent spam

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No problem!

Thanks for this excellent breakdown! Appreciate you dropping some wisdom. Want to sneak in the chance to ask…

I realize you mentioned the 10k deck on kitsun, however, would you be familiar with Torii SRS — with its WK/kana vocab mode? Would I be better off with the 10k deck and not bother with Torii? I ask as Torii is the more economical option. I’m not really sure if I’d be seeing the same content between them.

Thanks for your help! :smile:

Torii is an app I have used and deleted, because of the “synonyms problem”. If you’re asked for “girl”, you don’t know if it’s asking for Monica, Erica, Rita, Tina, Sandra, Mary, Jessica 女の子, 女子, 少女, if I recall correctly.

On Kitsun, you can modify and add your own synonyms yourself and I can’t recall if that’s a thing on Torii.

Furthermore, I prefer Kitsun’s interface. I’m extremely shallow when it comes to my software choice and visuals are extremely important to me.

Additionally, Kitsun has far more decks to choose from and more content being made. There is a large deck to help you drill verb conjugation across almost every tense. There is one for Keigo. And as the pool of creators grow, so will the pool of content.

Finally, development is very active and the product keeps getting improved on. This matters to me because the dev is very responsive and the team is very friendly.

yes, those names are all from Mambo No. 5, and no, I couldn’t resist


That’s great! Would definitely like some help getting set up! I saw that you were adding people on Discord, this is my handle:.

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Added! Happy to help.