Post Japan Trip Woes

So, just back on Saturday from 3 weeks in Japan.

I tried my very best to to keep up with reviews whilst there, and managed to keep my review streak going, which is nice ! However my accuracy was woefully bad because of distractions, typos on the phone keypad, and been exhausted when I got around to doing them.

Now I am back i have managed to clear 300 outstanding reviews, but have gone from around 30 apprentice items to 150 ! :frowning: without doing any lessons :no_mouth:

Probably the most painful month of my time on Wanikani ! I feel like so much knowledge as dropped out of my brain :cold_sweat:

Think it might be a while before I start up with lessons again - which is annoying, as i was hoping to increase my speed once i was back.

how do others cope with vacations ? would I have benefited from using vacation mode?



Welcome back and I hope you had a great time!

In my experience of using vacation mode twice: definitely not. I believe you would have been in a similar situation.

150 Apprentice is certainly an annoying amount of reviews coming at you for a few days, but vacation mode had its own drawbacks. Not having used vacation mode at least means all your items are still on track with the SRS.

With vacation mode, you would have still forgotten a lot of App and Guru 1 items, because they’re supposed to be reviewed more often in those 3 weeks. But any Guru 2 items would also come back to you on a three week delay, which can be harmful with items in the lower SRS stages. The three week delay on Master and higher might not be as harmful, but you still run the risk of failing stuff because it’s not reviewed at the optimal time.

The two times I used it, I had to really take about 2-3 weeks of red screens on the chin, and put up with 20-30% accuracy reviews. It does a pretty savage number on your confidence.

With a few days of pain, you’ll get there. :slight_smile: Best of luck getting back into the stride!


My post-Japan trip woe was that I was so Japanese-fatigued that I didn’t even switch off vacation mode for about another month…

Show us all your photos? :smiley:


Use vacation mode and enjoy your vacation. That’s what I think.


I stop doing lessons quite a few weeks beforehand, so that my review numbers come down a reasonable amount. That way doing one review session each day to keep on top of things doesn’t feel like burden while I’m on holiday.

I agree with Omun that if you’re happy to keep reviewing, avoiding vacation mode is better for your retention. If you want a holiday where you really switch off from everything though, vacation mode isn’t the end of the world. Just be prepared to spend some time struggling a bit when you get back, because you’ll be hit with apprentice and guru items you haven’t seen in ages.

And don’t worry :wink: you’ll be back on track before you know it.


vacation mode stops your wk timers, but not your brain from forgetting.
since you’re not here to “play wk”, but to remember kanji, all vacation mode does is keeping your workload in check. it does nothing for your studies.

i’d stop lessons 2 weeks beforehand and keep up the reviews.


When I went in May I stopped lessons three weeks before I went and just kept up with my reviews, eventually getting my apprentice items down to c.30 before we left when I switch on vacation mode, feeling pretty good about myself. The mistake I made was switching off vacation mode the day after we got back because I was so keen to learn more japanese, and didn’t take into account just how jetlagged I was. The following week was a car crash of kanji reviews and, same as you, my apprentice items ended up at well over 100 - so you could have easily had the same result from putting on vacation mode!

Try not to focus on WK and think about all the real japanese you used while you were there, and it will get better again once you’re back in the rhythm.


I think the main risk is with the lower SRS-level items; like @Omun said, you’d be significantly extending the wait time before reviewing them, which vacation mode isn’t going to help with. AND vacation mode is going to needlessly delay reviews even of the higher level items you weren’t going to miss anyway.

I think the best strategy is @OmukaiAndi’s: stop doing lessons two weeks before the vacation. By the time you go, your review load will be down by about 75% and then it’s up to you if you want to a) keep doing reviews on vacation, b) accept the large review stack when you get back (but it’s fine because the failed ones will repopulate your guru level :stuck_out_tongue:), or c) use vacation mode, which is really the same thing as b but camouflaging it so it doesn’t look as bad.


To be fair, keeping your workload in check is doing something for your studies. Gotta avoid burnout somehow.

Re: OP: Don’t worry! The high apprentice numbers are a little rough, but 300 reviews isn’t such a bad pile if you put new lessons on hold for a bit.

Re: Vacation mode: Keeping up with reviews is obviously best, but if you’re not going to get to them, hell yeah, use it and relax. Better to come back and be able to dive back into a routine than to have it be daunting.

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Ugh, I know that one.


It took me about 6 weeks to study up, do all those reviews, then slowly work down the apprentice and guru failed items until I could go full speed on lessons again.

Ah, you got this. Couple of weeks of slightly higher than normal review counts, you’ll be good as new.

(I still haven’t smoothed out the enlightened spike from the marathon review sesson, but the others are back to normal)

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Thanks all for the advice and encouragement ! :slight_smile:

My apprentice items are down to 135 ! so there is some progress already - and my review session accuracy is getting higher. Hopefully once I am fully back adjusted to the time zone and not ridiculously tired in the evenings it will increase again !

yeashhhhhh - haha. was thinking of doing another topic with a little trip round up. maybe post some pics of Kanji i saw ‘in the wild’ as well as places I visited. haha :grin:


I was actually doing my reviews during a 3 week vacation in Japan. Not very often but when I got free time, such as on a shinkansen or while waiting for food in a restaurant.

But I definitely felt some fatigue, although the ellation of being able to read so many kanji was unforgettable! It was a year since my last trip during which I knew some basic Japanese and kana but maybe 10 kanji.

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