What intermediate books are you using

Sup guys I’m about to be on level 15. But today apparently I have to go to work until 3pm. By time time I get home I have like 127 reviews + an estimated of 120 new lessons…

I just finished Japanese from zero 1-5 series so and also have the pdf for tobira and a book call an integrated approach to intermediate Japanese. both of them have the audio lessons but not sure which one to use.

As for tobira lesson 1, I barely could get read the culture reading comprehension it was about four biggest countries in japan and talks about the history and what not. Could read paragraph 1-5, not 10-25, and I was able to listen and read 30.

Other than that , 1 year and now using one of these N3 books

1 Like

Tobira’s passages show a significant jump in the level of complexity in sentence structure, but aside from what’s being taught that chapter, they don’t particularly use any grammar that you haven’t already seen in the more basic textbooks, so if you go over them slowly, you should be able to understand what’s going on.


I seen the table of contents for approach to intermediate Japanese but some of them I already know. Heard that book is like genki. I am trying tobira first

Here are some of the other intermediate and advanced level textbooks I’ve seen recommended on the forums. Unfortunately, I haven’t used any of them myself, but I’ve heard good things about the QUARTET series, which I believe is also published by Genki authors, the Japan Times Publishing.


I heard that Quartet is easier than Tobira, so maybe you should use that book.
I’m using 中級を学ぼう with a tutor. I wouldn’t recommend it for self studying because the grammar explanations are very brief.

1 Like

This is easier than Tobira, and contains many more explanations in English. I think the sections on Japanese culture explained in English are very insightful too. Harder vocabulary in AIAtIJ only starts turning up in later chapters. The first chapter just feels like a dialogue for beginners with keigo added. Very accessible. QUARTET is from the same publisher (The Japan Times) and is much more recent. It might be more suited to Japanese as it’s used today. I haven’t looked at it much though. Perhaps you should check it out.

The textbook I have personally is Tobira, but I’m about to drop it because I’ve been able to learn almost all the grammar inside it from anime and dictionary/Google searches before even touching the lessons inside the book. (I’m at chapter 13.) Tobira does go into some depth about Japanese society and culture, but I feel it can get rather dry at points if the subjects chosen don’t interest you. Disclaimer: I’m a university student, so perhaps I subconsciously prefer stereotypical ‘university’ topics like ‘how to handle a homestay’. Who knows? Either way, it’s starting to bore me. That doesn’t mean it’s not a good textbook though! It’s just not feeding me enough new information per chapter for it to be worth my time.

Ultimately, I’d suggest you take a look at the textbooks and workbooks on the list that @Kraits posted (except maybe the ones whose names are entirely in Japanese, because they’re definitely too advanced for you if you find the first chapter of Tobira difficult) and see which one has a style that best suits you. Tobira may be vaunted as the ‘best’ because it probably has the most technical terms and complex vocabulary (along with being more interesting for adult learners who aren’t university students), but that doesn’t mean it’s the best for you. Look for something that suits your needs and allows you to progress. All the best!

1 Like

yeah i heard that the intermediate approach book is like genki style. i have both books so i’ll check them out for tobira and the other one

1 Like

This is the way I learn grammar nowadays too. If there’s a structure I encounter whilst reading that I don’t understand, I use Maggie Sensei, Imabi, Wasabi, et cetera, to look it up.

I was a long time fan of Tae Kim’s Grammar Guide, however I have found myself using it less and less as I move on to more ‘specific’ grammar. I’d still recommend it as a good resource though!

For more auditory learning, I like「日本語の森」. One of my primary struggles was with regards to vocabulary, but 日本語の森 is very good for learning new grammar and keeping the vocabulary fairly ‘basic’ (as in non-specialised).

1 Like

i use maggie sensei for extra stuff. IMABI is alright. i like how they order from beginner to advance level. but imabi aint my thing. tae kim is OK.


Maggie Sensei is my favourite. I find Imabi too academic (ironic given how academic my own language tends to be), even if the explanations are generally well organised. Tae Kim is fine, but there are apparently a few errors here and there. Maggie Sensei aside, I generally use JLPT sites in English or Japanese sites.

1 Like

I’m curious, which Japanese Japanese websites (lol) would you recommend? The only struggle I have with them is that a lot of their definitions are a bit contrived. Of course, I appreciate how difficult it is to define a completely new grammar structure in the same language :sweat_smile:.

This one explains grammar and vocabulary with pictures:

This one’s from a Japanese teacher teaching at a Chinese university:

I don’t use them regularly, but I think they’re pretty good. Those sites aside, I mostly just run into random blogs that are meant to explain stuff like keigo or proper usage for business, and also look at dictionaries.

1 Like

This person gives a detailed review of 3 intermediate textbooks. I recommend you check his video out. I spent $162 on Intermediate Japanese Textbooks so YOU don't have to - Quartet Review (and more) - YouTube

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.