Best Language Apps for Learning Japanese

Stuck at home but dreaming about exploring Japan? There’s never been a better time to learn Japanese! We’re sharing our favorite Japanese language-learning apps, so you can practice your Japanese from home—and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime in Japan.

Woman using language app
Learning Japanese has never been easier. Photo © Ronnie Wu |


WaniKani is a super accessible mnemonic-based learning system that gets you up to speed on reading Japanese quickly. It promises you can learn 2,000 kanji and 6,000 vocabulary words in just over a year. Why not get started now?


With the Todai app, read simple news stories and practice listening and reading Japanese offline. There are options for different reading levels, as well as helpful audio.

Kanji Star

Learn kanji by drawing kanji right on your iPhone or iPad with Kanji Star! This app will help you practice your stroke order and writing based on grade level or your level in the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT).


Imiwa is a multilingual Japanese dictionary that includes both the rōmaji (English alphabet) version of a word and its kanji equivalent. It’s totally free and does not require an internet connection—so you have no excuse not to try it!


A classic option for language learning, Duolingo requires just five minutes a day, and feels more like a game than work. Although it calls its lessons “bite-sized,” that doesn’t mean you can’t pick up the pace if you want, especially if you’ve got some extra time on your hands.

Start planning your adventure today.