Will my schedule achieve my goal?

I have been very interested in the Japanese language for awhile now. After high school I’d like to take a year off and go to Japan! I’ve been studying on and off for the past few months but because I didn’t really have a goal, it was hard to know where to go.

I can write kana (I don’t care to write kanji) and I can read what’s in my knowledge if you understand my meaning thought it doesn’t mean much at the moment… I have Genki 1 at home and I use that often. I try to take my time with each chapter since I don’t have anyone to practice with and solidify what I learned in order not to forget everything. I own A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar but it feels a bit advanced for me right now. I already know mostly all the vocab and kanji from N5 to N4 (from flashcards) but I will buy a subscription to WaniKani to patch up what I’m missing.

In addition, I will buy a lot more textbooks for example: Japanese Sentence Patterns for Effective Communication: A Self-Study Course and Reference, All About Particles: A Handbook of Japanese Function Words, Genki 2, both of the Shadowing Let’s Speak Japanese books, and Tobira! This is all to supplement Genki 1/2 at first and then Tobira to strengthen my understanding of word order and particle meanings. This is what I struggle on very much. The Shadowing series to help me with speaking and listening. I will also listen to podcasts and other material since I take the bus everywhere. Tell me of some of these books are unnecessary, I don’t have a lot of money :pleading_face:

My goal is to be conversational (more or less) and pass N2 before I go to Japan. I started school late because of medical issues last year so I will unfortunately graduate late. I will be going to my 10th year of high school so I have a bit more than 2 years to achieve it.

When school starts again, I plan to get a job for around 6~ months in order to save up some money.

My schedule would be:
sleep = 8 hours
prepare for school = 30 min
bus to school = 30 min
school = 6 hours
bus to work = 30 min
work = 6 hours
bus home = 30 min
study Japanese = 2 hours

How far in Japanese can I get with this schedule? WaniKani does reviews every 4,8,24 hours I think but with this schedule I will only be able to get 2 hours in before I sleep including grammar… What level could I achieve (in WaniKani) with this schedule? Keep in mind that after I stop working, I will have a lot more time to practice Japanese! What would be the ideal schedule for learning Japanese especially after when I stop working? I can probably fit in some reviews in breaks during work and school :slight_smile:

Please ask any question and give me tips, I will answer


It seems like you have a solid plan. I think wanikani is better if you do your reviews twice or three times a day, which if you do that they’re short anyway. Is there a way to sneak in some time in the morning or during lunch to get in some reviews ? If not then you’ll be fine anyway. 2 years at a steady pace could get you to level 60 actually, some people go real fast and do it in 1 year-ish or less. Though I’m not sure how long it takes if you only do reviews once a day. Especially the beginning apprentice items at the 4 and 8 hour intervals it’s good to do those reviews on time which requires checking back in again on the same day.

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I think that’s quite a lot of time. You can use the bus trips (1h30mins total) to take care of reviews and use the other 2h left of the day for grammar, extra reviews that might show up and reading.

Wanikani alone took me around 1h to 1h30mins every day, and I went full speed. There’s also vocab outside of Wanikani (6000 words from WK isn’t enough for fluency) that you should be doing. For that I advise Kitsun (innovative and the easier to use one) or Anki (the mainstream one with history of years up).

  • Japanese Ammo with Misa is a youtuber and she has enough videos to put you quite ahead of grammar already (around N4).
  • The Grammar Guide by Tae Kim is a free online textbook that goes until N4 and tackles some N3 grammar as well. It’s decent enough.
  • If the Grammar Guide isn’t solid enough and you can afford some spending, I’d recommend Genki I and II (including workbooks). They’ll put you around N4.
  • For N3 and N2, you have 日本語の森 - A youtube channel with Japanese people teaching you grammar, word usage, etc. They have playlists for each JLPT level. Free.
  • If you want to go for books, I advise 新完全マスター series (N3, N2, N1).

I’d use all that I mentioned to be honest. It’s an investment lower than what you proposed and there’s also no source that teaches it all. Having exposure to different approaches (for example, Genki + Japanese Ammo) can make your overall understanding much more complete.

Tbh, I don’t see the need to invest in the books you listed, but that I didn’t mention (at least for now). I feel like the above sources I listed are quite good as well.

Also, make sure to visit the book clubs here on the forums :v: The community has developed several book clubs so that people of all levels can read together It might boost your comprehension level quite well.


I am currently doing one review session per day, because life is hectic. I have calculated that at this pace I will reach level 60 in a little over a year and a half. Unfortunately, if you only review once per day the review can get very lengthy. I’ve had some that last over an hour. This will leave you with limited time to study grammar. You may want to try to do some grammar study on the buss to school, bus to work, and bus home. Or you can do do wanikani review on the bus, up to you. Additionally I see that you did not leave time in your schedule for school home work. That may become problematic.

Short answer, is it doable? Maybe, but it will be rough at times as you are not really leaving any free time to relax and I fear you may will burn out. Goals are good, but just remember to take care of yourself as well.

Edit: I realize that if you do your wanikani review on the bus, you will be able to finish wanikani faster than me, so you will be able to move on from wanikani vocab after about a year.

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Yes! I can do reviews during the time I take the bus, breaks given to me during work and lunch period in school. I’m not sure how I will do it (maybe carry around a laptop) but I will check if there is an app for WaniKani. I don’t know how functional it is on a small phone using a mobile browser.


There’s non official apps for Wanikani for both iOS and android :slight_smile: The team is also developing an official app for iOS (currently in beta). You can maybe email them to hello@wanikani.com to see if they can get you in (in case you use iOS).

I’ve always had a hard time watching educational youtubers because it is difficult for me to stay engaged and memorizing things right away. I feel uneasy and get distracted easily when I am just sitting there and watching something for long time. How should I approach watching them?

I have Genki 1 already, should I also read Tae Kim’s grammar guide? I didn’t know about Tae Kim after I bought Genki 1 though I do like using textbooks rather than reading it online. Thank you for all the great sources! I never heard of Kitsun and 日本語の森 but they look very promising! I’ve tried Anki but again, it was hard to stay engaged since I am just flipping through flash cards

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If you are using an iPhone or iPad I highly suggest this app:

This one is so fantastic, I basically use WK mostly with that app. I don’t know why Wanikani is still developing their own app since this one is open source.

Using a mobile app could let you use the 30 minutes on the bus for Kanji. I need around 1h for 100 reviews.

Good luck, and wow, I would have loved to learn japanese at your apparantely young age - at school. Starting at that age you’ll rock the language when you are my age (41).

I find the videos pretty engaging to be honest. They’re not hugely long either (under 20 mins 95% of them? :thinking:). I think going for the 1 video/day approach is a good one. Not too much that it overwhelms you, but still with great results when you do it consistently for months.

You can buy a printed version of it on Amazon, or print it yourself. Here’s a PDF. The author has no problem with people getting it printed like that. He’s the one giving the pdf file for free (it’s on his website).

I’d say… do Genki. If there’s something you’d like to understand a little bit better, check the explanation of it on the Tae Kim’s grammar guide. There’s also Bunpro, a service you might be interesting in knowing about. They have the grammar points where you can use SRS like Wanikani has. I’m personally not a fan of SRSing grammar, but a huge fan on how they order grammar and the sources they share.

Yeah, I felt the same with Anki. Kitsun works much better for me because most decks also make sure you type your answers. I know the creator personally (he’s a WK user) and I know that it has a good promissing future. Then again, Kitsun will be pay to use in a few months, while Anki is free (iOS app is $25 or so).


Be sure to check out the Genki I study group that just started and see if it’s right for you to jump into.

I really like this book, but since you have A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar, it’s unnecessary to buy All About Particles as well. There’s certainly no harm in having, referencing, and using both. If your funds are limited, I’d recommend skipping, or considering (the slightly more expensive) “How to Tell the Difference Between Japanese Particles: Comparisions and Exercises” (by the name publisher, Kodansha, and author, Naoko Chino).


Because of the job I can pay for things like Kitsun when it comes out of beta! I haven’t bought WaniKani either but that is something I want to invest in. I really do appreciate the help! :smiley:


If money is an issue, I would hold off on buying the more advanced books until you are ready for them (Tobira, the second Shadowing book, etc.)

Additionally, as a self-studier, I would also recommend trying out something like italki.com’s free notebook feature where you can have native speakers check your writing. I posted several of my responses to the Genki 1 writing assignments on that site and received helpful feedback.

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