In june next years I’m going to Japan for a 3 weeks vacation, I’ve already been to Japan once without knowing any japanese but since I have roughly 9 months to prepare this time, I thought it would be fun to see how much japanese I can learn between now and my trip. My primary objective is to be able to read and understand Hiragana, Katakana and some Kanji, meaning I am not focusing on being able to write at all (for now anyway)

I will add content to this article every time I learn something new until I can hopefully read japanese.

Note: This article will probably not provide you with the fastest way to learn japanese as I am figuring this out as I go.


I started by learning Hiragana using this neocities website I found and it turned out to be really useful! The Hiragana learning tool is very simple to use, first you choose from a list of all Hiragana the ones that you want to learn, then a random Hiragana character appear and you need to write the Romaji that match it. (Romaji is the romanization of the Japanese written language, Ex: = ni in Romaji)

Using this tool I managed to learn every Hiragana in a little more than a week using the site for an hour and a half everyday. I still mix a couple of them together but I’m fine most of the time.

You can also learn Katakana with this tool which I will do at some point.

The numbers

After I finished learning all the Hiragana it was time to learn about how to read number in japanese. I made a “cheat sheet” to help me learn faster, keep in mind that to keep the tables simple I omitted some less important (in my opinion) things. For example: some numbers can be written in more than one way, I kept only the most popular way of writing it.

The table are in Hiragana only to force me to get used to them.

1 to 10

Numbers Japanese
1 いち
3 さん
4 よん
6 ろく
7 なな
8 はち
9 きゅう
10 じゅう

11 to 19

Tips: じゅう(10) + unit number. Example: 11 = じゅう(10) + いち(1)

Numbers Japanese
11 じゅういち
12 じゅうに
13 じゅうさん
14 じゅうよん
15 じゅうご
16 じゅうろく
17 じゅうなな
18 じゅうはち
19 じゅうきゅう


Tips: Number of tens + じゅう(10) Example: 60 = ろく(6) + じゅう(10)

Numbers Japanese
10 じゅう
20 にじゅう
30 さんじゅう
40 よんじゅう
50 ごじゅう
60 ろくじゅう
70 ななじゅう
80 はちじゅう
90 きゅうじゅう

Note: To write something like 65 you just add the unit number at the end. Example: 65 = ろくじゅう(60) + こ(5)


Numbers Japanese
100 ひゃく
200 にひゃく
300 さんびゃく
400 よんひゃく
500 ごひゃく
600 ろっぴゃく
700 ななひゃく
800 はっぴゃく
900 きゅうひゃく


Numbers Japanese
1000 せん
2000 にせん
3000 さんぜん
4000 よんせん
5000 ごせん
6000 ろくせん
7000 ななせん
8000 はっせん
9000 きゅうせん

Greetings and farewells

Below are collection of greetings and farewells. For example; Good morning or I'm back!

If there is 2 way of saying it, the first one is the polite way of saying it and second one is the casual way.

Normal greetings/farewells

Greeting/farewell Romaji Kanji
Good morning Ohayou gozaimasu / Ohayou あはようございます / おはよう
Good afternon Konnichiwa こにちわ
Good evening Konbanwa こんばんは
Good night Oyasuminasai / Oyasumi おやすみなさい / おやすみ
Thank you Arigatou gozaimasu / Arigatou ありがとうございます / ありがとう

Leaving and returning home

Used when leaving and returning home

Greeting/farewell Romaji Kanji
I’ll be back itte kimasu いってきます
Have a good day / See you itterasshai いってらっしゃい
I’m home / I’m back Tadaima ただいま
Welcome back Okaerinasai おかえりなさい

More to come…

I will be adding more content as I keep learning. I want to add something as least once a week If I’m able to. (last update 20190915)