Week-long trip - advice for review maintenance please!

I’m visiting my mate in Melbourne who I haven’t seen in nearly 2 years! Yay!

How long before the visit should I stop doing new lessons? What have other people (you - yes, you) found manageable?


  • Keeping up with my friend who is 20 years younger than me
  • Gorging ourselves at a Japanese dessert shop
  • Going to Japanese/ international bookshops
  • Going out every night (2 concerts + nightclubs)
  • Killing off my remaining brain cells

I don’t want to use vacation mode because review piles are not something that I want to come back to

It’s only a week but I don’t bounce back like I did in my younger days. I still want to do reviews but no lessons while away

Bonus points for telling me must-visit Japanese culture places in Melbourne


“I don’t want to use vacation mode because review piles are not something that I want to come back to”

Sorry that I’m not exactly answering your question, but vacation mode pauses the SRS system entirely. So you won’t come back to any more reviews than you had when you activated vacation mode.


My advice is to party like a rockstar with your friend and just let the reviews pile up. SRS is doing it’s work…if you miss a bunch it will go on the pile again and it will make you learn it (punishing you for your devious behavior :smiling_imp:)…win/win


In the past I’ve stopped lessons 2-3 weeks before going on vacation.


I went for a week to Iceland and had the same question.

I didn’t pause it and did the reviews and lessons like a champ :stuck_out_tongue:


Same as seanblue, I try to wind down my lessons a few weeks in advance. Then I just keep doing reviews while I’m away.

Normally I’d be doing three sessions a day, but that’s unnecessary if you’re not doing lessons, which is a nice change for a holiday! Winding down the lessons in advance also means that you have a smaller number of reviews each day, mostly on items you’re a bit more confident in. It just reduces the cognitive load a lot so you can holiday happy while still keeping on top of things.


I’d say that the minimum would be 2 to 3 days. That’s how long it usually takes to guru most of your apprentice items, which are the most urgent ones for reviewing and those that take quite a bit part of your daily volume of reviews.


My recommendation is to use vacation mode. Activate it when you think you need a break from your usual review completion pattern.

I’ve used vacation mode once for a weeklong vacation once and it was a much more pleasant and manageable experience than not activating it (which I’ve done 2 or 3 times). I wasn’t keen on using vacation mode as I really wanted to try to keep up with things, but between spotty internet access, dead batteries, and busy plans, it was definitely the right thing to do.

I haven’t stopped lessons in advance of vacations, but I have gone on weeklong vacations without doing vacation mode. It was not fun, and was rather slow and painful to recover from when I couldn’t keep up with the daily reviews. Twice now I’ve come back to about 900 reviews to muddle through afterwards…and I have to say that my recall on those is not great after a week off. That just ends up making my review piles for the next week or so (after returning from vacation) be larger (and therefore more tedious/difficult to manage) than usual. It also meant that I took a lot longer to level up after the vacation: ~3-3.5 weeks (including the week of vacation) rather than my typical ~10days. When I used vacation mode, I leveled up in my standard time (plus the vacation days).

Enjoy your visit and your trip!!


There is nothing wrong or scary about vacation mode. I use it every weekend, because I get out of my usual pattern. Vacation mode keeps my reviews from getting out of whack and my review piles per session are more or less predictable based on my performance. I recommend using all the tools available to you in your journey up Mount Kanji.


Thanks for the info. I’ve seen a people on forums say they had a break from WaniKani and come back to a huge amount of reviews. I just assumed that if they were having a break, they’d turn on vacation mode. Haven’t used it myself so I didn’t know that was how it works

Nah, it’ll be right. Every morning and before I go to bed, I have quiet “me time” to get ready for the day or wind down. I’ve got insomnia and reviews have become part of my sleep hygiene programme. I’m happy to keep them going, just in a smaller number

I’ve never drank and reviewed before so I’m anticipating some… interesting percentages

The first time I went on vacation (to Disneyland) after starting WaniKani I tried continuing reviews (no lessons) while away. Big mistake. I was always too tired to concentrate and could barely keep my eyes open through a review session. Needless to say I was getting everything wrong and lot’s of stuff dropped back to Apprentice.

Now I stop doing new lessons about a week before a trip and turn on vacation mode before I leave. Then when I get back I do reviews and no lessons for a while to get over the jet lag. After a couple weeks away it’s like I’ve never seen any kanji before in my life, but after a few days of pain it gradually comes back.


Can relate. I have tried taking reviews with me on vacations before and never was as diligent as I thought I would be, if at all… I learned quickly the wisdom behind the phrase Trust your past self, doubt your future self.

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Sneak the reviews in when you can.

As for Melbourne. Check out Nihonshu on Lonsdale st, they recently upgraded their sake selection. Try also Wabi Sabi Saloon, Shop Ramen and Shimbashi Soba & Sake on Smith St.

If you want some sake or a Japanese knife to take home, visit Chef’s armoury on Church St. Fuji Mart in Prahran is the best Japanese food store and the Japanese lunch counter in Prahran market is not bad.

If you want to visit a Sento, try Onsen Ma in the CBD or the Japanese Bathouse in Collingwood.

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Probably should also mention Neko Neko vegan ramen if you are vego. Corner of Gertrude and Smith St. It’s really good despite not starting with a vat full of miscellaneous bones.

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And Horse Bazaar. Japanese style bar and event space that plays a lot of hip hop and jazz; serves sake, チュウハイ、ハイボル and its very good on anime visuals with the music. The Izakaya style place next door is pretty decent.

Also worth mentioning Mugen Ramen - they do a great Curry Tsukumen and play 黒沢 明 in the basement on a loop.

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I’m not in a hurry to get to level 60 and I’m susceptible to burn out if I let me reviews pile up. So I usually stop lessons a couple weeks before going on a trip for more than a week.

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Thanks for all these! I am vegetarian and my friend is vegan so that’s going to limit us somewhat. I lived in Melbourne 20 years ago and the restaurants and cafes were much better than Brisbane for a) catering for vegetarians, b) food quality and c) food price

We have some cracking vego/vegan places here, not necessarily Japanese, but good nonetheless. Young Green Food and Transformer are the ones that instantly leap to mind. There’s also Shoku Iku 「食育」which despite the Japanese name is not particularly Japanese but does a bunch of raw vegan stuff. Lentil as Anything too.

I need to find someone to inspire to open a 精進料理 place here; I could see that going down a treat.

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Of the Japanese options mentioned above Wabi Sabi Saloon and Neko Neko (owned by the same people) have some really good vegan options. Try the なす味噌田楽わびさびスタイル定食。

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