Created for expats living in Japan

Learning Japanese for Free: Great Online Tools

There are a lot of great free online materials for learning Japanese online and they are perfect for self-study. In this article you will find a collection of learning websites and tools for studying Japanese. If you are looking for Japanese-Learning Apps, please check “Best Japanese Learning Apps” to find the best one for you.

Online Tools for Japanese Self-Study

JF Japanese e-Learning Minato

JF Japanese e-Learning Minato is a Japanese language learning platform provided by the Japan Foundation. You can learn Japanese through free online courses and also connect with people from all over the world in the community.

Marugoto Plus

Marugoto Plus is a free online platform to learn Japanese and it’s connected to the JF Japanese e-Learning mentioned above. You can also learn about Japanese culture according to the contents of the Japan Foundation official Japanese course book “Marugoto: Japanese Language and Culture”.

Marugoto Words

Linked from the website above, Marugoto Words explains Japanese words by using simple illustrations. This is a free online tool.

The Japan Foundation Apps

If you would like to learn with Japan Foundation’s apps: they are available for iOS and Android.


Source: (国際交流基金関西国際センター / Japan Foundation, Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai)

NIHONGO eな is a Japanese-Learning portal site where you can find websites, tools, apps, and more.

Challenge with Erin

Challenge with Erin is a site created for high school students who are are learning Japanese. Some of their materials can prove valuable for Japanese language learners. It is also available as an app, for iOS and Android.

Hirogaru, get more of Japan and Japanese

Source: (国際交流基金関西国際センター / Japan Foundation, Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai)

Hirogaru, get more of Japan and Japanese is a website where you can learn Japanese by reading information on 12 topics that Japanese learners would be interested in. There are videos narrated by Japanese people and you can also exchange comments with others.

Learning Japanese History - Hato no Kai

Hato no Kai offers Japanese history material which is written in easy-to-understand Japanese and five languages: English, Chinese, Spanish, Korean, and Thai. Click the illustration on the page to find the Japanese and English (or other languages) explanation.

Other Learning Materials

Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Japan

Although the website is in Japanese, you can find more useful tools the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Japan website. There are also teaching materials and e-learning websites for learning Japanese which are created by the Japan Foundation.


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