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Free Japanese Learning Resources

Want to learn Japanese? Here is a list of free online resources created by The Japan Foundation to help you get started! List updated periodically.

To learn under the guidance of a tutor, check out our paid online Japanese courses. You can also purchase ebook editions of The Japan Foundation’s Marugoto: Japanese Language and Culture coursebooks on Google Play or


JF Japanese e-Learning Minato

Minato offers a variety of free self-study courses to get you started with learning Japanese! If you want to learn Japanese from scratch, we recommend the Marugoto A1-1 (Katsudoo & Rikai) self-study course for a comprehensive beginner course, or the Hiragana and Katakana self-study courses if you want to focus on learning the writing systems. Culture courses like flower arrangement and calligraphy are also available!


Marugoto Download Materials

Want to supplement your learning alongside the Marugoto: Japanese Language and Culture coursebooks? On the Marugoto portal website, you’ll find a range of downloadable materials such as audio files, vocabulary and kanji lists, lesson review task sheets, and more to ensure you get the most out of your Marugoto coursebook.
This website is perfect for students wanting to review listening exercises or self-study learners.

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Marugoto Plus

Let’s get interactive! Running alongside the Marugoto: Japanese Language and Culture coursebooks, Marugoto Plus will supplement your learning with grammar, vocabulary, and kanji exercises. Don’t have anyone to practice conversation with? Try out the “Challenge Drama” videos! You can also find a range of video skits to broaden your knowledge on Japanese life and culture.
Perfect for Starter, Elementary 1 and Elementary 2 learners.


Irodori Textbooks

Learn practical, everyday Japanese through the free Irodori: Japanese for Life in Japan textbooks! Want to live and work in Japan one day? Irodori will cover all the topics you need to learn how to communicate in daily life situations in Japan. The textbooks, audio files, and supplementary resources for the Starter, Elementary 1, and Elementary 2 levels are available to download from the website.

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Irodori Online Course

This free online course splits up the above Irodori: Japanese for Life in Japan textbooks into bite-size lessons, with unique features including interactive dramas where you play the main character! Everything is smartphone-compatible, so you can learn whenever, wherever.
The Elementary 1 (A2) level course is currently available in Japanese and English, with additional courses and languages to be added in the near future.

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Hirogaru Nihongo

Get excited about Japan and the Japanese language through Hirogaru!
Navigate through 12 unique topics from food to sports, strengthening your reading and listening skills through short videos and articles in Japanese. You can also interact with other learners across the world via the comments section under each topic.
If you’re interested in Japanese culture and enjoy visual learning, then you’ll love this website!


Japanese in Anime & Manga

Calling all anime and manga lovers!
On this website, you’ll learn a range of Japanese expressions commonly used in anime and manga, organised according to characters, genres, and scenes. Each manga chapter is 100% interactive – hover your mouse over the panels to see the English translation and hear the line in Japanese! You can also practice grammar, vocabulary, and kanji through quizzes ranging from beginner to advanced difficulty.

erin contents library

Erin’s Challenge

Are you interested in Japanese high school student life? Wanting to go on exchange yourself? Then this website is for you!
Follow high school student Erin and her friends through a range of skits as she navigates life in Japan, learning key phrases and expressions along the way. You can also test your cultural knowledge through a downloadable quiz at the end of each topic.

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Nihongo E-na

Wish you could see all your favourite Japanese learning resources in one place? Look no further! Using Nihongo eな’s search engine, you can find the perfect digital resource to supplement your study in areas including (but not limited to) reading, speaking, grammar and culture. You can also filter based on your language level from beginner to advanced.


Hiragana/Katakana Memory Hint

These Memory Hint apps will help you learn Hiragana and Katakana in no time with mnemonic pictures! You can also listen to the pronunciation of each character, and check your progress with quizzes.

Hiragana Memory Hint


Katakana Memory Hint


Kanji memory hint

Kanji Memory Hint

Memorise Kanji readings and meanings with mnemonics and games! These apps cover Kanji from the Starter to Elementary 2 levels.

Kanji Memory Hint 1 (Starter)


Kanji Memory Hint 2 (Elementary 1)


Kanji Memory Hint 3 (Elementary 2)


irodori app

Irodori Practice

With the free Irodori Practice app, you can practice the vocabulary, kanji, grammar, and expressions which you learn in the Irodori: Japanese for Life in Japan textbooks and courses! This app can be used offline once downloaded, so you can study even with an unreliable internet connection.
Currently only available on Android.

Erin app

Challenge with Erin

Haven’t learnt Hiragana, Katakana, or Kanji yet? You can still have fun learning basic Japanese words and phrases through games, comics, and quizzes! The Challenge with Erin – Japanese Language Test app is perfect for learning beginner-level expressions in a fun and engaging way.


Last updated August 2021

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