Just because there’s an involuntary pause on our adventures outdoors, doesn’t mean that should be the case for our learning journeys. Turn social distancing into an opportunity to learn Japanese, using one of the biggest online entertainment sources, YouTube!
YouTube isn’t just for entertainment but also a wonderful tool to learn Japanese — from learning the writing systems to picking up grammar and vocabulary, there are wonderful YouTubers online to guide you through them all, complete with various teaching styles and paces. Learn Japanese online and you’ll be set and ready to go for your next Japan trip!
Here’s a list of 10 YouTubers that are excellent Japanese language sensei.
Planning to pack your bags to move to Japan permanently or long-term in the future? Take this time to brush up your Japanese proficiency — maybe even sign up for the next Japanese language proficiency test, also known as JLPT. This incredible YouTube channel is made specially for that.
Nihongonomori’s videos introduce grammar points for different proficiency levels and explain them in a clear manner — the occasional slide-in of new vocabulary is a bonus! One would probably have to already have a grasp on the basics of Japanese language before diving into this YouTuber’s clear and systematic teaching videos. If you’re the type of learner who would prefer a more formal setting to learn Japanese online, Nihongonomori is the one for you!
Are you planning your first ever Japan trip or simply looking for a suitable platform to learn Japanese online? JapanesePod101’s videos are perfect for future travelers to Japan who would like to pick up the basics of Japanese language fast, as well as for beginners.
The hosts of these YouTube videos go through each individual learning point of the videos clearly and concisely, making it extremely easy to follow and absorb. With a wide range of topics, from a crash course of the hiragana writing system to avoiding common language mistakes, JapanesePod101 is one of those essential channels to get your Japanese language ball rolling!
This channel has a compilation of video interviews on the street. Each video focuses on a certain topic including sushi and public transportation in Japan. Unlike other Japanese language learning YouTube channels, Easy Languages is less like formal learning and more about picking up casual conversation and everyday slang words. Visual learning plays a part in these videos as captions are in all forms — English, romaji (romanized Japanese), and the actual Japanese writing script. This is perfect for Japanese language learners who are working on their listening skills.
Did you know that anime, the entertaining Japanese animation genre, can be used to learn Japanese? The YouTube channel, Learn Japanese, is one that dedicates its content to proving that it is indeed possible to learn Japanese through anime, producing teaching videos using clips of well-known anime like One Punch Man and Haikyuu.
Not only are new vocabulary introduced in each of these videos, but unique and interesting phrases are also broken down to teach grammar points and casual slang here and there. The Learn Japanese YouTube channel is definitely one for those who love Japanese anime and try to make learning Japanese fun.
So, you've got your basic grammar and vocabulary down and you want to put your Japanese language skills to the test. Browse through a couple of Ask Japanese’s YouTube videos!
This channel's content is focused on interviewing locals on the streets of Japan about anything and everything related to the country, answering some of the most popular burning questions on topics including culture and foreigners in Japan. Not only will the videos improve your Japanese language listening ability, but you might even pick up some new vocabulary along the way, and they’re those that are used on an everyday basis.
For all the beginners out there, and those who think Japanese is a tough language to grasp, subscribe to Learn Japanese from Zero! Study Japanese with video content designed to ease you into the language system and get you using it from day one. Not only do they have educational videos for those looking for a formal online teaching, but they also have ones that analyze other media like video games and animation to put the grammar and vocabulary into use.
This is not your everyday Japanese language-learning YouTube channel. Dogen is unique as his content includes not only Japanese language lessons — especially focusing on pitch and pronunciation — but also comedy sketches based on his real life experiences in Japan, reenacting common situations like miscommunications and encounters a foreigner faces when living in Japan. Dogen also touches on topics that other YouTubers don’t, like finance and politics. His channel is more for those with a bit of grasp of the basic Japanese language, but with a touch of humor that anyone can appreciate.
Looking for a bit of amusement while you learn Japanese? This YouTuber stands out from the rest with her fun takes on delivering Japanese lesson points. Reina Scully doesn't offer just your average Japanese-learning lessons — they’re more perky and lively as she adds fun elements like Japanese internet slang challenges and translating weird Japanese words and phrases.
Beginner or not, Reina Scully’s YouTube channel is definitely your one-stop shop for exciting ways to improve and learn Japanese. Don’t be surprised to see content on recent events in Japan as well, like how Japan’s practicing social distancing in this silent chaos.
That Japanese Man Yuta’s YouTube channel content is perfect for intermediate learners as well as those looking to set down roots in Japan in the future. Yuta has amazing introduction videos to the Japanese language as well as cultural insights about topics like dating in Japan and life in Japan. While his videos aren’t formal Japanese-learning videos, they’re better used as a challenge for your listening comprehension skills, especially with his street interview videos. You’re definitely bound to learn a few Japanese slang words and phrases from being exposed to the locals speaking Japanese in Yuta’s videos.
Looking for some slow-paced learning material to pick up basic Japanese grammar and vocabulary? Japanese Ammo with Misa has educational videos covering most of the basics in a clear and concise manner while still maintaining the fun factor.
Not only is her content perfect for those needing to grasp a learning grammar point through reasoning and explanation, but it’s also ideal for those looking to learn more of the casual Japanese, rather than study for a formal test. Her videos about texting in Japanese and reading manga are extremely popular, as Misa teaches how to put the Japanese vocabulary words to daily use.
Whether you’re already familiar with the Japanese language or are a newbie, these 10 YouTubers will no doubt help you level up your Japanese language skills. With the basics of Japanese covered, your next trip to Japan will be even more enjoyable!
To learn specific vocabulary about eating out in Japan, check out our article, Basic Japanese Phrases for Dining Out. And if you've already started planning your Japan trip, browse food experiences in Japan!