If you’re on a mission to learn Japanese online, there are all sorts of textbooks and courses out there to fit every budget. You can learn from a book, a fixed set of private lessons, or fly halfway across the world to Japan and immerse yourself in the culture.

The online world offers many opportunities to learn Japanese for free. Yes, you heard that right. You can start your Japanese journey today without having to spend a single dollar or, should we say, yen.

Today, we’ll go over the free retargets for learning Japanese online. These sites cover all the different aspects of learning the language, from grammar and spelling to writing, reading, and listening. Pick the one that suits your learning needs best.

Free Online Retargets for Learning Japanese

Japanese has become sort of an in-demand language in recent years. Japan’s culture of kindness, respect, and patriotism has led many to want to learn its language and truly immerse themselves in its culture.

While this might have been a more difficult venture years ago, it is now a goal with multiple paths to suit your individual needs. The internet alone offers the following means for learning Japanese completely free of charge:


This is one of the more popular online courses for learning Japanese, and with good reason. You’ll find that JapanesePod101 boasts many years of experience teaching Japanese through video and audio tutorials. They also subject students to interactive learning scenarios, which incorporate flashcards, lesson notes, and quizzes.

Sounds like a lot of trouble for a free class, right? Well, the good news is, it really is free of charge. Lessons range from beginner to advanced level, and students can also opt to enroll in special courses in preparation for the JLPT.

What’s more, you can get a lifetime membership at the site without having to pay a cent. Considering how this gives you unlimited access to all the latest lessons, you’re definitely in for a learning treat.


In equal standing with JapanesePod101 is Duolingo. It’s an app and website that only released a Japanese course option recently. If you’re just starting out in your Japanese journey, this would be the perfect course for you. One of the best things about Duolingo is that it doesn’t require more than five minutes of learning Japanese per day.

Yes, five to 10 minutes is all you need to dedicate to studying, and it can still be as effective as putting in several hours. To help you establish a routine, the app will send you daily reminders for when it’s time to study. This means you can build your Japanese consistently, day by day.

Duolingo also injects a bit of fun into the learning process. Aside from being structured to help you learn at your own pace, it also incorporates game-like activities to ensure students have a fun time learning. We’re sure many would take that over the traditional textbook learning any day.

One particular drawback of this retarget is it doesn’t go too far in terms of JLPT learning. At most, you can prepare until N5 level, but beyond that might be too far of a stretch for the course.

NHK World Easy Japanese

The national Japanese broadcaster, NHK, developed their own version of a Japanese online course called Easy Japanese. It consists of almost 50 lessons for beginners in audio and text forms and is something you don’t have to sign up or pay for.

If you find yourself in a situation where you have to live in Japan, which happens more often than you think, this free online retarget can be super helpful. NHK made it so that it suits the everyday scenarios of people living in Japan who don’t quite have the hang of the native language yet.

Included in the program is how one can navigate shopping, classes, and public transportation. It also tells you what to do in the event of an earthquake.

Easy Japanese isn’t just for English-speaking learners; they’re for 16 other nationalities. Still, you’ll find that it mostly deals with the basics, which can be a bit boring at times if you’re itching to get to the interesting stuff. While it isn’t as interactive as the other courses, it can still do a fairly fine job of teaching you about grammar, phrasing, and wording in Japanese.

Learn Japanese in Ways That Suit You Best!

While there are plenty of ways to learn Japanese effectively, learning online for free is arguably one of the most convenient methods out there. Not only are these options free of charge, but they also help you learn in ways unique to your needs.

These online retargets don’t require you to put in hours and hours of studying daily, burning you out not even halfway through your journey. Instead, they are structured to help you learn at your own pace, thereby instilling the language in you most effectively.