11 Best Apps to Learn Japanese ASAP

George Garcia

best app to learn japanese

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Learning Asian languages is challenging, and Japanese is no exception. From new characters, grammar rules, pronunciation, and cultural aspects, language learners must go through a lot before they can speak Japanese.

Fortunately, language learning apps have eliminated these problems by offering lessons remotely. Most apps have structured classes and plenty of learning materials like audio and video recordings of native speakers, written examples, and live sessions to practice Japanese conversation.

This article examines some of the best Japanese learning apps, their lessons, tutors, and why you should try them.

My Selected Favorite Apps

Overall Best App to Learn Japanese

Rocket Languages review

The most comprehensive audio-based Japanese language learning platform

Best Japanese Learning App for Beginners

mondly review

An effortless Japanese language learning with cutting-edge technology

Best Japanese Learning App with Lifetime Plan

Pimsleur review

A compelling app with audio lessons for learning Japanese

How to Choose the Best App to Learn Japanese?

The language learning market is saturated, so finding the best apps to learn Japanese is time-consuming. It takes throughout research and testing to see what’s actually effective. Here at Lingomee, we’re all about making it easier for you. We benchmark all products through the same measures.

⭐ RatingA sum of user experience, content quality, features, customer support, and value for money.
🥇 Available languagesMost relevant for studying multiple languages but tells a lot about the best apps to learn Japanese.
📈 Suits best forEvaluations are based on ACTFL guidelines, but we also measure how fast you will move up a level.
🛒 Payment optionsShows how flexible the pricing plans are and, in most cases, how much you can save.
💵 Price rangeA measure of how much you should expect to spend on a language-learning app.
📚 Hours of study timeAn approximate measure of how much language learning material there is for one language.
🕒 Time commitmentOptimal daily dedication for the best results, as spending more time isn’t always the best strategy.
💻 PlatformsWhere you can use the best apps to learn Japanese. 
🔄 Refund policyA money-back guarantee is a safeguard for your money.
🎁 Free TrialMost of our best apps to learn Japanese do not require a credit card to signup.
  1. Rocket Languages – Overall Best App to Learn Japanese
  2. Mondly – Best Japanese Learning App for Beginners
  3. Pimsleur – Best Japanese Learning App with Lifetime Plan
  4. JapanesePod101 – Best Japanese App for Audio Lessons
  5. Glossika – Best App to Learn Japanese with Spaced Repetition
  6. Preply – Best Japanese Learning App to Find Tutors
  7. MosaLingua – Best Japanese App for Language and Culture
  8. Lingopie – Best Japanese App for Visual Learners
  9. italki – Best Japanese App for Speaking Practice
  10. LingQ – Best App To Learn Japanese Reading
  11. Duolingo – Best Japanese App With Free Access
 Rocket LanguagesMondlyPimsleurJapanesePod101GlossikaPreplyMosaLinguaLingopieDrops AppItalkiFluentULingQBusuuDuolingo
Brand Glossika App Preply MosaLingua Lingo Pie
ReviewRocket Japanese reviewMondly reviewPimsleur Japanese reviewJapanesePod101 reviewGlossika ReviewPreply ReviewMosaLingua ReviewLingopie ReviewDrops App reviewItalki reviewFluentU reviewLingQ reviewBusuu reviewDuolingo review
Price15 – 260 $9.9 – 89.99 $14.95 – 575 $4 – 552 $13.33 – 30.99 $3 – 40 $9.49 – 330 $12 – 199 $13 – 159.99 $4 – 50 $ per lesson29.99 – 143.99 $7.99 – 34.99 $9.99 – 79.99 $9.99 – 79.99 $

11 Best Apps to Learn The Japanese Language

Rocket Languages

Overall Best App to Learn Japanese

Rocket Languages Website

Why we like Rocket Japanese

Rocket Japanese covers everything you need to learn Japanese – from speaking and grammar to culture and immersion. The highly interactive app is also affordable, which makes it one of the best apps to learn Japanese.

⭐ Platforms:Web, iOS, Android
⌚ Time commitment:40 minutes per day
💵 Price:$15 – $260
🔄 Refund policy:60-day money-back guarantee
🎁 Free Trial:✔️

Key Features

  • Interactive Audio Lessons – talk the language of native Japanese speakers through real-life interactions.
  • Play It! – take the role of a speaker in a dialogue and practice your pronunciation.
  • Reinforcement Activities – use multiple exercises to memorize the language in every aspect.
  • Progress-Tracking – stay on your learning path with a gamified motivational system.

The Good

The Bad

Why Rocket Languages is The Overall Best App to Learn Japanese

Rocket languages uses a comprehensive, where every lesson builds on the previous one, allowing Japanese learners to progress steadily. The structured and detailed lessons cover Japanese vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, and cultural insight. Quizzes and learning games, like identifying and matching the correct word, help students retain what they have learned.

The interactive audio lessons set Rocket languages apart from other Japanese apps. The Japanese lessons focus on conversational aspects and are prepared by native tutors. They teach useful phrases and improve listening and speaking skills.


Rocket Japanese starts from $99.95, which might seem expensive. But it’s not. Instead of paying a subscription fee, you get access to all the Japanese course content for one price. Forever. Rocket languages also has an unlimited free trial with access to some introductory content. There really isn’t any reason not to try it.


Best Japanese App for Beginners

Mondly website

Why we like Mondly Japanese

Mondly might be the most innovative language-learning app on the market. It appeals to language learners of various levels with gamified and even virtual reality lessons. Language learning is guaranteed to be fun with Mondly.

⭐ Platforms:Web, iOS, Android
⌚ Time commitment:30 minutes per day
💵 Price:$9.90 – $89.99
🔄 Refund policy:Individual refunds
🎁 Free Trial:✔️

Key Features

  • Speech Recognition Technology – gain confidence in speaking with advanced voice recognition.
  • Interactive Chatbot – receive instant feedback on your conversational skills.
  • AR and VR Modules – engage with digital characters and objects while learning a language.
  • Mondly Kids – immerse your kids into a foreign language through interactive games.

The Good

The Bad

Why Mondly is The Best Japanese App for Beginners

Mondly stands out with its personalized approach to learning Japanese, where each student undergoes a Japanese course tailored to their needs. Language learners have to take a placement test to determine their skills. The language app then tailors the classes to suit the learners based on how they perform.

It is especially great for beginners as Japanese grammar exercises, flashcards, and the Alphabet, are fine-tuned to their needs. The gamification in Mondly ensures novice Japanese learners are kept motivated with immersive exercises like word-matching example sentences, fill-in-the-gaps, and virtual reality modules.


The payment options of Mondly are flexible – you can pay every month ($9.99), every three months ($29.97), or annually ($47.99). The lifetime subscription ($89.99) has great value for money, providing access to all languages and features. You can also try out Mondly with the seven-day free trial.


Best Japanese App with Lifetime Plan

Pimsleur website

Why we like Pimsleur

Pimsleur gets you conversational in a new language with interactive audio lessons and games. A native speaker instructor will walk you through basic vocabulary and the most important concepts for reading, grammar, and writing.

⭐ Platforms:Web, iOS, Android
⌚ Time commitment:30 minutes per day
💵 Price:$14.95 – $575
🔄 Refund policy:30-day money-back guarantee
🎁 Free Trial:✔️

Key Features

  • Driving and Offline Mode – download audio lessons for offline use and easily control the app while driving.
  • Speak Easy challenge – build conversational skills, expand vocabulary, and get conversational in real-life settings.
  • Voice coach – advanced speech recognition technology for pronunciation practice.
  • Speed Run Game – memorize and translate words quickly with an interactive game.

The Good

The Bad

Why Pimsleur is The Best Japanese App with Lifetime Plan

Pimsleur focuses on listening and conversational skills by combining speech recognition and native speaker audio recordings. Pimsleur analyzes how you are speaking the Japanese language while audio lessons encourage learners to role-play as they progress through Pimsleur lessons.

Pimsleur also focuses on cultural insights for understanding how to behave around Japanese speakers. All of this will keep you busy for a long time, and it’s why Pimsleur is one of the best apps for learning Japanese.


Pimsleur offers affordable subscription options ranging from $14.95 monthly audio-only Japanese courses to $150 for all-inclusive individual courses. Premium Pimsleur account provides access to all available languages and levels. The seven-day free trial is a great way to test Pimsleur before purchasing.

Japanese POD 101

Best Japanese App for Audio Lessons

JapanesePod101 web

Why we like JapanesePod101

Japanese POD 101 provides an extensive collection of podcast-like language courses with the same high-quality standard in each. Listen to native speaker dialogues adjusted for your level and accessible at your own pace.

⭐ Platforms:Web, iOS, Android
⌚ Time commitment:40 minutes per day
💵 Price:$4 – $552
🔄 Refund policy:60-day money-back guarantee
🎁 Free Trial:✔️

Key Features

  • Pathways – learn Japanese with personalized lesson plans suiting your interests.
  • Dialogues – follow native speaker conversations while making notes and recording yourself.
  • Vocabulary – learn Japanese words separately with pronunciation and translation of each.
  • Lesson Notes – read comprehensive yet concise notes on the most crucial concepts of the Japanese language.

The Good

The Bad

Japanese POD 101 Overview

Japanese POD 101 focuses on audio lessons covering basic and advanced Japanese language skills. The Japanese lessons are interactive, where you engage in role-playing activities by repeating phrases and words to match native speakers. The language app also uses spaced repetition to strengthen the retention of the writing system.

While you are learning Japanese, POD 101 utilizes flashcards and interactive quizzes to measure your progress. Unlike some other Japanese learning apps, there is no voice recognition, but you can record yourself speaking and compare the pronunciation to native speakers.


Best App to Learn Japanese with Spaced Repetition

Glossika Review

Why we like Glossika

Glossika helps to overcome the intermediate-level gap by exposing language learners to numerous native-speaker audio recordings. The listening and speaking exercises work with one of the best spaced repetition systems on the market.

⭐ Platforms:Web, iOS, Android
⌚ Time commitment:20 minutes per day
💵 Price:$13.33 – $30.99
🔄 Refund policy:60-day money-back guarantee
🎁 Free Trial:✔️

Key Features

  • Learn new items –  use spaced repetition to remember new words and phrases.
  • Review – constantly rehearse the words with an algorithm that remembers where you need more practice.
  • Stories – read books with the help of native speaker recordings.
  • My Skills – achieve more by knowing what you already learned and what lies ahead.

The Good

The Bad

Glossika Overview

Repetition makes it perfect, and this applies to learning Japanese as well. Glossika allows intermediate learners to memorize new grammar structures and vocabulary naturally. It also helps with writing and speaking skills.

The high-quality audio recordings are from native speakers who speak Japanese phrases realistically. There are some explanations of grammar rules to help learners understand the Japanese language. 


Best Japanese App to Find Tutors

preply website

Why we like Rocket Preply

A diverse selection of native-speaker teachers, flexible scheduling, and customized lessons makes Preply stand out as an online tutoring platform. Their generous refund system guarantees you’ll find a live tutor for foreign language on Preply.

⭐ Platforms:Web, iOS, Android
⌚ Time commitment:Few hours a week
💵 Price:$3 – $40
🔄 Refund policy:14 or 90-day refunds
🎁 Free Trial:✔️

Key Features

  • Thousands of Tutors – jump into native language learning with a native tutor for almost any language there is.
  • One-on-one Lessons – personalize your language learning experience with a personal tutor.
  • Preply Classrooms – utilize an interactive solution that allows your language teacher to share screens, show slides, record lessons, and much more.
  • More than language learning – learn more than a language with courses on photography, business, graphic design, and much more.

The Good

The Bad

Preply Overview

Preply uses cutting-edge technology to pair learners with qualified tutors. The matching system considers the student’s skills, learning styles, and goals. The tutors plan live classes to suit any student who is learning Japanese. Preply also has a flexible schedule, as many Japanese learners are struggling to find time.

In addition, there is a large library of learning materials compiled by native speakers – textbooks, quizzes, and more. This way, Preply ensures you get a complete Japanese course. The lesson materials are routinely checked to ensure the language app is relevant and detailed for effective Japanese language learning.


Best Japanese App for Language and Culture

mosalingua website

Why we like MosaLingua

MosaLingua is a language-learning app that has perfected the use of spaced repetition and flashcards. But it packs even more – dialogues, reading materials, music, and many more culturally relevant materials are available on this platform.

⭐ Platforms:Web, iOS, Android
⌚ Time commitment:15 – 30 minutes per day
💵 Price:$9.49 – $330
🔄 Refund policy:30-day refunds
🎁 Free Trial:✔️

Key Features

  • Flashcards – learn new words, review old ones and improve your language skills with the help of spaced repetition.
  • MosaLingua Dialogues – participate in audio conversations with foreign language subtitles.
  • Reading exercises – access a large library of books and stories to improve reading comprehension.
  • MosaLingua Videos – improve your listening skills by watching various videos with quality transcripts.

The Good

The Bad

MosaLingua Overview

Since Japan is a country with unique traditions, learning Japanese culture is a must. MosaLingua has a section dedicated to all things about culture. Students learn about gift-giving, bowing, social hierarchy, and much more. There are also other sections dedicated to conversation with idioms, expressions, and common sayings.

The Japanese course in MosaLingua utilizes active recall techniques and spaced repetition to help you remember grammar and vocabulary lessons. The learning materials also help improve reading, speaking, listening, and written Japanese skills.


Best Japanese App for Visual Learners

Lingoepie website

Why we like Lingopie

Lingopie is a full-fledged TV learning experience. It provides an extensive library of different language video content for visual learners. There are multiple review options for memorization, a vibrant community, and even a private tutoring service.

⭐ Platforms:Web, iOS, Android
⌚ Time commitment:40 minutes per day
💵 Price:$12 – $199
🔄 Refund policy:7-day money-back guarantee
🎁 Free Trial:✔️

Key Features

  • TV Shows And Movies – enjoy authentic TV content while learning languages.
  • Audio Content – Listen to music, podcasts, and audiobooks to learn a new language.
  • Subtitles And Transcripts – follow subtitles of your target language and get instant translations.
  • Review and Practice – study and memorize words with flashcards and spaced repetition.

The Good

The Bad

Lingopie Overview

Lingopie teaches through Japanese-language TV with English subtitles. This approach provides an immersive visual experience while learning Japanese. You are unlikely to get bored with Lingopie, as the language app hosts a variety of movies, documentaries, dramas, and anime.

Although you won’t practice writing or speaking Japanese, there will be plenty of opportunities for vocabulary lessons with quizzes, lists of words, and flashcards. Lingopie also introduces culture with videos on traditional tea ceremonies and food-focused documentaries.


Best Japanese App for Speaking Practice

italki website

Why we like Italki

italki is the most popular online tutoring platform with a wide selection of teachers for any language. The language exchange provides all you need for tutoring and even some additional practice possibilities outside the classroom.

⭐ Platforms:Web, iOS, Android
⌚ Time commitment:Few hours a week
💵 Price:$4 – $50
🔄 Refund policy:100% satisfaction guarantee
🎁 Free Trial:✔️

Key Features

  • Teacher Filtering – find the right tutor with the help of relevant filters.
  • italki Classroom – take classes with an in-built software without worrying about compatibility.
  • italki Credits – pay with a virtual currency and save money.
  • italki Discover – find various activities created by the italki community.

The Good

The Bad

italki Overview

italki allows students to find a teacher or other speakers to practice with. Teachers provide tailored video classes, and community tutors help provide opportunities to speak Japanese. The low prices on this language app make it one of the best Japanese apps for finding opportunities of speaking Japanese.

italki provides a comfortable and supportive environment with these tutors, where learners can practice writing, get grammar lessons, improve reading skills, and cover all other aspects of learning Japanese. If that’s not enough, there’s a vibrant community of native speakers to interact with in community features.


Best App To Learn Japanese Reading

Lingq web

Why we like LingQ

LingQ houses a wide selection of custom language learning content unique to your target language. Its simple and interactive design organizes various podcasts, books, news articles, and songs for a culturally rich language experience.

⭐ Platforms:Web, iOS, Android
⌚ Time commitment:30 minutes per day
💵 Price:$7.99 – $34.99
🔄 Refund policy:90-day money-back guarantee
🎁 Free Trial:✔️

Key Features

  • LingQ Reader – listen, read, and compile learning materials adjusted to your pace.
  • Flashcards – rehearse words you learned with color-coded, spaced repetition-powered card decks.
  • Upload – import videos, reading materials, songs, and more to learn foreign languages faster.
  • LingQ Community – discuss pain points and participate in friendly competitions with other language learners.

The Good

The Bad

LingQ Overview

LingQ has an extensive library of authentic content, like news articles, short stories, and books. The Japanese course at LingQ is tailored around massive text reading to also help in learning kanji. The ‘LingQing’ program allows users to save new words and Japanese characters for later. It’s one of the best apps for learning Japanese while reading.

The in-built kanji character and Japanese dictionary also improve reading skills. LingQ reading materials are complemented by audio lessons, such as podcasts. Students can listen to the audio recordings of native speakers at different speeds, suiting beginners and advanced learners.


Best Japanese App With Free Access

Duolingo website

Why we like Duolingo

Duolingo is the most gamified language learning experience you can get. Just like in a video game, you must collect gems and earn XP while learning basic concepts of a new language.

⭐ Platforms:Web, iOS, Android
⌚ Time commitment:15 – 30 minutes per day
💵 Price:$9.99 – $79.99
🔄 Refund policy:48-hour refunds
🎁 Free Trial:✔️

Key Features

  • Gems, XP points, badges… – motivate yourself to learn with an abundance of elements from mobile games.
  • Stories – read and listen to interactive stories bringing you closer to a real-life experience.
  • Roleplay – converse with a chatbot that can adjust to your proficiency level.
  • Personalized lessons – delve into short lessons teaching the basics of the target language while focusing on your weak spots.

The Good

The Bad

Duolingo Overview

The Duolingo free version allows learners to learn Japanese without investing upfront. The free app focuses on bite-sized classes that are easy to understand. The Japanese lessons also contain fun visual and audio components that resemble learning games. The speech recognition system detects some mistakes while helping you to speak Japanese.

While you won’t get to practice writing kanji a lot, Duolingo’s heavy gamification makes the classes fun. Word learning games and fill-in-the-blank exercises are especially motivating for complete beginners. Receiving points for completing tasks is likely to get you started when learning Japanese with this free app.

Frequently Asked Questions When Learning Japanese

How long it takes to become fluent in Japanese depends on your learning speed, effort, motivation, and whether you already know any Asian languages. However, it’s normal for students to become fluent in Japanese within three years.

The secret to learning Japanese quickly is combining the right apps and learning materials and putting in the work. Most of your effort, at least at the beginning, should go to learning Japanese characters and Kanji study. After that, the progress should be quicker.

Learning Japanese on your own is a possible but difficult task. We suggest staying consistent and complementing your learning with apps for learning Japanese. Taking quizzes, interactive exercises, and watching video content will help you to stay motivated at the beginning.

However, you will still need Japanese teachers eventually. If traveling to Japan is not an option, sign up for a language exchange app, such as Preply or italki. The Japanese tutors there will definitely help you overcome the intermediate gap

My Verdict

Our list of best apps to learn Japanese serves beginners and advanced learners. They cover different learning aspects, including speaking Japanese, writing, kanji study, and reading. If you struggle with motivation, these apps for learning Japanese also contain interactive approaches to keep you going.

Founder / Polyglot
Rocket Languages


Most comprehensive audio-based Japanese language learning platform
Rocket Languages


Most comprehensive audio-based Japanese language learning platform
Founder / Polyglot