Putting together a Japanese-study booth. Looking for suggestions

Hi all.

I’m in the JET Program and have the task of putting together a Japanese-learning booth for my prefecture’s new-arrival orientation in August.

I feel as though I have a fairly robust list of resources already, but am hoping members here can point me toward any of the items below:

  1. Intermediate or advanced textbook resources you’ve enjoyed (as opposed to JLPT prep series). So far I only have Intermediate Japanese, and nothing for higher levels.

  2. Particular graded readers or graded-reader series you’ve enjoyed.

  3. Any non-standard resources you’ve used for general study that I might not be aware of. I want to be able to provide a solid starting packet for both new learners trying to wade in and higher-level learners who may be switching from classroom learning to self-study for the first time.

Thanks a ton for all the great resources this community has already made me aware of!

EDIT – I also have no idea how people learn hiragana and katakana now outside of just relying on an elementary textbook like Genki, so if you’ve done so recently and used any particularly helpful tools, please let me know!


I am about to finish Tobira: Gateway To Advanced Japanese Learning, which is considered an intermediate textbook around N3 level. I can highly recommend it, it makes you rely on your own skills instead of providing translations, and has personally helped me progress a lot as a self studier.

Apart from that and wanikani, I also use Memrise for vocabulary. It has free courses and uses a sort of srs review system, while you are also able to review at any time you feel like it. I currently am using a Tobira vocabulary course on the website.


Thanks for both! I’ll add Tobira to my list of book resources, and Memrise to digital ones (I’d forgotten it; only had iKnow listed based on my own preferences).

Anyone else, advanced textbooks still appreciated! I’ve only used JLPT course books for advanced study (and will happily recommend those), but I want to be able to list more options for people.

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Other than JLPT coursebooks for anything above the level of Tobira, i feel like most people just end up diving into native material they enjoy instead of studying from a textbook, since most of the grammar you might see - you have already learned. This generally creates a split in the people who are studying for the JLPT and people who are studying the language for their specific uses. So it may be a bit more challenging to come up with that list, although the Dictionary of * Grammar series, for *beginner, *intermediate and *advanced are very powerful, although expensive, grammar resources. Although those generally are used for accompanying grammar studies.

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Yeah, that’s definitely been reflected in my own experiences, so right now what I have is mostly just a mix of JLPT prep books for advanced grammar points, and a few native-oriented language resources/recommendation to branch out into practical study.

Just wanted to cover my bases for different types of learners, since I know there are some higher-level textbooks out there too. (Though my personal recommendation is just to get a JLPT grammar book and do lots of reading and listening with native material.)

Also, since i forgot, i highly recommend this series as reading material for learners: https://www.amazon.co.jp/5分後に笑えるどんでん返し-5分シリーズ-エブリスタ/dp/4309612180/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=
It isn’t graded readers or anything, but it’s essentially an entire series of books with different themes, in short stories which are actually enjoyable, and act as a good starting point for reading native material. Since the fallback of graded readers or any JLPT reading stuff is that the content is pretty boring 9/10 times.

Thank you!

I basically skipped straight into reading adult-oriented fiction after I passed N3, so I’m totally at the mercy of recommendations for earlier, learner-accessible reading practice.

Shinkazen master books for grammar:

Kitsun, as a SRS replacement for Anki. If they think Anki is hard to figure out, they should try Kitsun. It’s much more user-friendly and much more focused on language learning, which leads to the quality going up. It’s created by a WK user btw:

(Free for now - it’s in Beta)


Am using Kanzen Master now for N1, so they’re well on my radar (in addition to Sou Matome), but Kitsun was new.


Having used Tobira for about a month now, I’ve felt like it’s poorly suited for self study. Much of it seems designed for interaction with a second learner or a teacher.

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I think the most overlooked and yet one with the most potential is Netflix.

Showing some of the tools that gradually turn Netflix into a language learning platform I think will make the booth so much more than a tour to the language learning section at the bookstore.

Language Learning with Netflix and Subadub for starters.

There’s the app (Flixgrab+) to download the content (videos) from Netflix as well which turns it into material to be watched with platforms like Voracious or the new Kitsun feature (Subs2Kitsun).

The app for downloading the content will require your Netflix credentials in order to work, which some people sometime find it a bit invasive.

In any case I honestly think is the best step to go from textbooks to a routine people can actually relate with using the language in daily and more pleasurable activities.


Way ahead of you there.

I’m basically covered on suggestions for native resources (outside of lower-level reading material, which was a blindspot), and am more after very beginner stuff (hiragana+katana) and upper-level textbooks just in case there were any people would recommend.

Although it also seemed that way to me at first, I started extensively using dictionaries and other resources to help me read the more difficult texts, which were normally the first ones in each chapter. I also bought the teacher’s guide, which does provide translations for all of the front of chapter texts and dialogues, and also for the grammar sentences. In the end I feel it really helps you get rid of the attachment to english that we might have after Genki series or other beginner resources.

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For hiragana and katakana, I suggest RealKana. This was my sole resource while learning both in less than a week. Its also free!

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RocketLanguages.com, Japanese, is a great source. It goes from beginner to higher levels. It includes reading, vocabulary, writing, grammar, writing (Kana, some kanji), listening, and culture. It has lots of fun reinforcement, and you can learn quickly. I personally love it.

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