12 Free Apps Best For Learning Japanese

Every otaku wants to start Learning Japanese but sometimes expensive textbooks just aren’t enough.

Embrace technology that gives you instant feedback and is there to practice whenever you have a free 5 minutes. You don’t have to drop obscene amounts of cash on a class to Learning Japanese or textbooks with these free apps that can help you on your language journey!

Learning Japanese

So without wasting more time lets get into the list.

So.. here are 11 best apps to start learning Japanese for free by investing your 30 mins a day and you also know that no matter how much anime you watch you can’t be able learn Japanese by just watching anime you really need to study.

But these apps will help you a lot as these helped me when i was learning Japanese so lets start.

12. Japanese Dictionary App Imiwa

Japanese Dictionary App Imiwa

The. Best. Free. Mobile. Dictionary. Ever.

Download this app to save yourself the $100+ your teacher wanted you to waste on an outdated electronic dictionary.

Imiwa is free but it packs in high-value content.

It’s an offline Japanese dictionary with extensive Japanese-English entries (currently over 170,000). It’s also filled with sentence examples and kanji stroke order indications.

You can expect Imiwa to be updated all the time. No pushy dictionary salesman trying to sell you the new edition of the Oxford Japanese-English dictionary every new year.

With Imiwa, you will be getting new entries and example sentences for free.

Imiwa’s search system sets it apart from the competition. Both kanji and vocabulary can be searched either via keyboard input, radicals search or JLPT levels.

This is a key function. You can’t learn Japanese at your successfully without it.

There is one more great thing about Imiwa. Just like the other 4 tools you will find in this article, Imiwa is just an app. It weighs nothing.

Advances in technology now mean a dictionary is something you can carry with yourself at any time, just like Imiwa.

Do you want some advice for making new friends in Japan? Don’t bring an 800-page Japanese-English dictionary out and about with you!

The app is free. And awesome. Download it, play with it a little – you’ll love it.


IMI is another brilliant dictionary that allows you to search for vocabulary using kanjikana or romaji. IMI provides example sentences with new vocabulary, and verbs and adjectives come with a conjugation list.

IMI can work as a study tool as well for any user learning kanji. Users can learn and memorize different characters with IMI’s flashcards. You can also view animated stroke orders, and have the ability to search for kanji easy by its radical or stroke order.

IMI plans to release more features in the future that include quizzes and mini games, and the ability to sync study collections across multiple devices.

Download (Free)
Google Play

10. Anki


Flashcards are a fantastic way to learn new vocabulary, and Anki makes it super easy with their app. You have access to thousands of kanji and vocab decks from textbooks and JLPT sources (Japanese-Language Proficiency Test).

Users can also create their own decks, which can add even more diversity to your learning regimen.

9. Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese

Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese 12 Free Apps Best For Learning Japanese

Tae Kim’s Guide is a great way to learn Japanese grammar if you can’t afford a textbook. Grammar is split into elementary to advanced topics, allowing for progressive learning.

Simply grammatical explanations and full translations are also provided.

8. Dr. Moku’s Hiragana & Katakana

4. Dr. Moku’s Hiragana & Katakana

Dr. Moku’s Hiragana & Katakana uses mnemonics, which uses acronyms or images to make learning easier.

A lot of cute humor and animals are used to make memorization a breeze when compared to old-school books and flashcards.

7. Obenkyo


This is a quiz app that’ll really test your knowledge! Written and multiple choice answers are required, giving you different ways to apply your studies.

The app also has kanji lists sorted by JLPT levels, kanji readings, and katakana and hiragana writing practice.

6. Learn Japanese by MindSnacks

Learn Japanese by MindSnacks

MindSnacks adds gamification to your studies and can be great for beginners! Over 800 words and phrases can be learned, with different games teaching romaji, kanji, and kana.

Lessons are broken down into 20-word chunks to prevent burn-out.

5. Kotoba: Advanced Japanese

Kotoba: Advanced Japanese

This app uses nearly 20,000 common words from the Mainichi Shimbun, which is one of Japan’s most read newspapers.

Not only will you learn useful words, but you can study common expressions for different JLPT levels.

4. Kanjiryoku shindan

Kanjiryoku shindan

Kanjiryoku shindan is more for advanced learners since everything is in Japanese.

Use it to test your kanji skills, which involves reading and writing the characters.

3. Kanji Recognizer

Kanji Recognizer

We’ve all been there: staring at a wall of unknown kanji and hoping the meaning will fall into your lap. You can use Kanji Recognizer for those situations!

Draw the kanji on your screen and the app will give you definitions, readings, stroke orders, as well as the katakana and hiragana.

2. HiNative

11. HiNative

HiNative is a question board dedicated to learning a new language. You can explore the nuances of when you should or shouldn’t use honorifics, or ask a native speaker if a written phrase seems natural.

The app adds a human touch to your learning style.

1. Duolingo


Duolingo is an American platform that includes a language-learning website and mobile app, as well as a digital language-proficiency assessment exam.

The company uses the freemium model; the app and the website are accessible without charge, although Duolingo also offers a premium service for a fee.

Hope you like this article don’t forget to tell me What are your favorite Japanese learning apps? in the comment below.

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About the Author

Aiko Nakamura

Hey there, I'm Aiko Nakamura! I'm a 28-year-old anime lover from Tokyo. I dove deep into the world of anime during my studies, earning a Master's in Media Studies. Now, I'm all about creating anime fillers and watch order guides. When I'm not working, you'll find me cosplaying at conventions or exploring otaku communities globally. Anime isn't just a passion; it's my life!

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