Best Way to Learn Japanese Hiragana and Katakana

How to Learn Japanese Kana

Japanese Hiragana for the five basic vowels

a あ i い u う e え o お

Japanese Katakana for the five basic vowels

a ア i イ u ウ e エ o オ

Kana Flashcards

This is the most efficient way to learn the kana. Start with the hiragana: these are used most and these are what Japanese children learn first.

Then go through a similar process with the cards for the katakana.


Kana de Manga: a Fun, Easy Way to Learn the ABCs of Japanese! (2004)

Blog entry: Kana de Manga: a Fun, Easy Way to Learn the ABCs of Japanese! (2004) by Glenn Kardy.

A useful and cheerful adjunct to my ongoing study of Japanese hiragana and katakana. Teaches how to write hiragana and katakana, and gives words using the characters, with drawings of manga-like characters.

Japanese for Busy People: Kana Workbook (Vol 1) (1996)


Reading Japanese
by Professor Eleanor Harz Jorden (Author), Hamako Ito Chaplin (Author)

Also see A Japanese Reader: Graded Lessons for Mastering the Written Language (1962) by Roy Andrew Miller

An oldie-but-goodie:

Books to Help you Learn Japanese

Japanese Step By Step


Berlitz Japanese Resources

Pimsleur Japanese Resources: Basic

Pimsleur Language Program:
Audio-only progam.