End of 2013 Best Japanese Apps and Sites Review 2013年のベストアプリ

christmas tree with presents

Happy New Year and Merry Christmas everyone!



Lately, it’s been winter vacation so has everyone been going out? Have you been giving gifts to people? For me, I had to give a gift for a “secret santa” event, where we just get gifts from unopened package we don’t know what is in it.


Well for coming to my site this year I’m going to give you guys a special present, my list of top Japanese learning apps and sites I use and recommend!  For anyone that’s learning Japanese, I guarantee you there’s something in there for you that will help you out and improve your Japanese to the next level.  Hope everyone had a great 2013 and lets have a great 2014!


[Android App] JA Sensei – 7.5/10

Personal Review: Good app for the android phone, goes over the basics and lots of vocabulary in various sections useful.  The Kanji stroke is useful for practicing writing Kanji.  The lack of detail and explanation will leave you looking to clueless on where to start studying from so best to use this as a reference on top of a textbook.

Pros: Breaks down vocabulary into different types(animals, sports, town), quizzes that let you favorite things you got wrong, counters, Kanji stroke and instant drawing, large vocabulary listing based off grade level, useful related words to vocabulary.

Cons: Costs money for app, no sentence examples for vocabulary, all Japanese verbs group together, hard to navigate from section to section, examples weak with lack of explanation, rote memorizing with lack of images or explanation.


[Android App] JED – Japanese Dictionary 8.5/10

Personal Review: JED Japanese dictionary is essential for any English learning with an android smart phone.  Unlike Google translate that requires internet connection, this app is offline and is fast with great examples and conjugation listing and tags.  Would highly recommend this with addition to another learning app.

Pros: Free app, fast, very large dictionary database, good deal of English translated sentence examples, verb conjugation listing, Kanji radical/grade level/code/JLPT for memorizing and find words, allows copying sentences and Kanji easily, and tagging/history make finding past words easy.

Cons:   No Kanji stroke animation, more a dictionary than useful guide for learning Japanese, no images/audio

kotobachan1 kotobachan2

[Android App] Kotoba-Chan 8/10

Personal Review:  The best app I’ve found for looking at great sentence examples for studying words, it has stoplight color-coded words for level mastery.  I would recommend this app for anyone who wanting to become proficient in Japanese and read Japanese newspaper or take JLPT exam.

Pros: Free app, fast, sorted by JLPT/common words, good for testing and memorizing words, tests words not mastered, fantastic quality of sentences and translation.

Cons:  No Kanji study guide, no explanation of grammar, lack of audio/visual.


[Website] http://studyjapanesenet.blogspot.com/ 9.5/10

Personal Review:  Need an ebook? This site is the best for downloading audio and ebooks of textbook material for free.

Pros: Lots of ebooks and audio books to download including famous ones like Minna no Nihongo.

Cons:  Vietnamese links? Nothing else to complain about.


[Website] http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/ 8/10

Personal Review:  Very detailed website for English learners of Japanese.  Full of great content and is an ebook as well so this would be a great introduction to learning Japanese with the app it provides, as well as youtube channel and introduction material.   Material lacking for advanced students and those studying Kanji or more in depth vocabulary of sentences.

Pros: Free ebook, app, youtube channel, lots of material that is comprehensive, great beginner guide

Cons:  No audio, few visuals, lack of forum or discussion board, hard to navigate


[Website] http://www.erin.ne.jp/ 10/10

Personal Review:  By far the most entertaining site I’ve come across.  It is not only completely useful for beginners from watching beginner video skits and advanced skits to following and reading the manga, culture quizzes, interactive vocabulary with photos/audio, and tests for understanding grammar.  This is a site I highly recommend for any Japanese learner.

Pros: Free site, high school video skits featuring popular Japanese cast, tests, interactive vocabulary with picture and audio, very detailed culture quizzes, manga with audio, 25 lessons with beginner and advanced, and key phrases.

Cons:  Java based


[Website] http://maggiesensei.com/ 9.5/10

Personal Review:  One of the most helpful Japanese teachers online.  Unlike other sites that just provide content, maggiesensei responds to her comments and discussions while providing a personal Japanese touch to everything she is teaching.  This is a site I highly recommend to learn more in depth Japanese that isn’t just in textbooks.

Pros: Free site, funny and cute photos, great comment section and responses, audio for sentences, easy to navigate and find content, very detailed and helpful explanations.

Cons:  Video content would be a bonus.


Winter Updates

Hello everyone! Hope everyone is well!! 皆さんさしぶり!ごきげんよ!I have been away for a while learning more Japanese culture, studying via culture groups, and chat clubs, apps, and meeting various people while working.  I’ve attended the Japan Society in NY, Japanese Culture Group Meetup, my University Japanese Chat club, and want to check out Tenri Culture Institute for special seminars on traditional Japanese zen sounds and Tea-making.  I’m currently practicing Iaido (form of Budo training in the Japanese Katana) which is a sort of contemporary Japanese sword martial art.

Iaido (居合道 Iaidō?), abbreviated with iai (居合?),[3] is a modern Japanese martial art/sport[4]

Iaido is associated with the smooth, controlled movements of drawing the sword from its scabbard or saya, striking or cutting an opponent, removing blood from the blade, and then replacing the sword in the scabbard.[1] While new practitioners of iaido[5] may start learning with a wooden sword (bokken) depending on the teaching style of a particular instructor, most of the practitioners use the blunt edged sword, called iaitō.[6] Few, more experienced, iaido practitioners use a sharp edged sword (shinken).[7]

Practitioners of iaido are often referred to as iaidoka.[8]


A few photos of what iaido looks like below.  The man is doing tamashigiri, which is using a live blade to cut the bamboo.  2nd, Obviously you need a attractive girl that’s badass. ;p

iaido_man iaido_woman


Also for what I’m looking to do, I want to take some time to give my reviews on apps so I will be starting a new section called the “Japanese Learning Tool Reviews” which will be giving my opinion on various websites out there that are free/paid and offer Japanese lessons that I have tested and reviewed with screenshots and my 1 to 5 star opinion with costs.

I will also include various apps like Rosetta Stone review and android/OS apps as well.  The first I will recommend will be coming shortly sometime.  おすすめのアップはこちらについて。。