Things you use with WaniKani?

I’m planning to sign up for WaniKani and see it through after I get my first summer paycheck, but what other things do people use in conjunction with it? Or do people use this as a solo system to learn Japanese?

I was thinking of buying a textbook series, either Genki, Minna no Nohongo, or Japanese from Zero, to supplement my learning, and doing a chapter each week.

Also, for listening practice, I downloaded Pimsleur Japanese.

Would adding these to my repertoire help me, or would they conflict with WaniKani?


Well you definitely can’t become proficient in Japanese just from WaniKani. WaniKani only teaches you kanji and some vocab, so at the very least you need to learn grammar elsewhere.

So on that note, your plan sounds good. I definitely think it’s useful to get a textbook with exercises for grammar, particularly early on.


You will definitely want a textbook or a program like BunPro to aid in grammar - consider WK to be purely for kanji. I would also recommend still doing vocab through Anki or Memrise. Also try to practice listening and reading through music, podcasts, and eventually graded readers, NHK Easy News, manga, and light novels.

Any additional studying will be beneficial, except for specifically studying kanji outside of the SRS.


I’m using Genki as well and plan to move onto Tobira after that. I also am starting to watch Japanese Ammo with Misa on Youtube, which I wish I knew about earlier. She covers a lot of the beginning grammar with several example sentences for each point. Also she’s a native speaker so you get modern, natural sounding sentences.

You should definitely use one thing besides Wanikani to get the grammar.


Have a look at the resources section, there are a lot of great resources out there. Personally I use lots of different resources, some would say too many, but I find I pick up little bits here and little bits there so they reinforce what I’ve learnt. I’m also a slow learner! WaniKani and Pimsleur are good starting points and are what I did first too, but after you’ve gone through a good 10 levels of WaniKani you’ll probably want to do some other things too. You also want to practice speaking with the audio in both.

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You got a good plan. You will need another resource to learn grammar and practice listening and writing, as Wanikani main focus is on the kanji/vocab. If anything thing one will complement the other, and a kanji/vocab that you already learned on Genki is less work for you on Wanikani, and vice-versa.

I personally am using Genki, and sometimes Japanese Ammo with Misa on youtube.

the site Tofugu said to start using textbooks at around level 10, so stick with wanikani till you know some kanji would be my recommendation. genki is pretty hard to start from scratch, speaking from experience.

I don’t know about Genki, but Japanese From Zero is very easy to use with little to no knowledge of Japanese.


I finished Genki I & II, currently doing Tobira and Shin Kanzen Master N3 along side WaniKani, KaniWani and 3 Anki decks.
I also have Shin Kanzen master N2 and N1 reserved for later purposes :wink:

So WaniKani should actually be a rather small part of your studies, it will pretty much cover all of your useful Kanji recognition needs (basically you’ll be able to read and understand 99% of texts you encounter in your daily life).

What WaniKani won’t teach you:

  • Grammar (you’re pretty much useless without it)
  • Vocab recollection (being able to “reproduce” vocabulary/kanji without having a visual aid, use KaniWani for this)
  • Speaking
  • Listening
  • Writing (optional, I use this WaniKani writing practice Anki deck)
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Since you’re starting, I advise you to check the following resources:

  • Kitsun - SRS system to learn vocab outside of Wanikani - easier to use than Anki. Anki decks can be imported there.
  • Japanese Ammo with Misa - Native Japanese teacher that has some quite high quality videos about grammar.
  • Bunpro - SRS system for grammar. I like them more for the fact that they list all grammar points with quick access to free learning resources teaching those points.
  • Tae Kim’s guide - most mainstream free online textbook out there.
  • Genki - most mainstream physical textbook out there. Get the workbooks as well. It’s essencial to do exercises about grammar that you just learned.

I beg to differ. That recommendation was definitely bad in my case. I suggest to ignore kanji’s altogether at the beginning and use a kana-only textbook (like Japanese for busy people), and only start worrying about kanji’s once the basic grammar is in place. You don’t need kanji’s to speak basic Japanese, but you definitely need grammar.

I reached level 22 and then reset because I realised I was wasting a lot of time in reviewing kanji’s I didn’t need for studying grammar I was at, and that time was better spent actually learning Japanese to a point where I can use those kanji’s for reading stories etc.

I had to reset because by the point I could read simple stories on graded readers I had already forgotten half of the ‘burnt’ kanji’s.

So yeah, to sum it up just forget about Wanikani until you have enough grammar to read a graded reader, otherwise you’ll waste your time and delay your Japanese learning.


My best source for Japanese is (Japanese). It has speaking, writing, grammar, listening, vocabulary, culture, and lots of reinforcement activities. AND it’s fun! It’s a paid site, but well worth the price. Also I use Japanese from Zero, Genki, and graded readers. I’ve also subscribed to TV Japan. These are my main Japanese tools. I use a few other things, but those are my favorites.

I never knew of KaniWani before this so Thanks. I’ve decided to start from the beginning. I’m also using Genki and JPOD

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