The Best Online Japanese Classes

Learn Japanese with one of these online classes

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Whether you've always wanted to start learning Japanese or are taking a Japanese college course and need some extra help, online classes are a great option. These services can help you build on skills you already have or work with you to start from scratch. Some allow you to meet one-on-one with a language instructor, while others are structured more like traditional classes.

Online classes allow you extra flexibility, though, and many also offer the ability to choose a teacher that’s right for you, no matter where you're both located. With options all over the world, we’ve compiled a list of the best online Japanese language learning services. Read on to find the one that best fits your needs.

Best Online Japanese Classes of 2022

Best Overall : Italki


iTalki

iTalki

  • Pricing: $4–$80 per lesson 
  • Experience Level: Beginning to expert 
  • Free Trial: No
Why We Chose It

Italki is a well-known and well-liked language learning platform that makes it simple for clients to connect with Japanese teachers who can help them gain the proficiency they seek. With a range of price points, a simple-to-use platform, and a wealth of excellent user reviews, Italki is the best overall option for individuals searching for an online Japanese class. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • No membership required 

  • Choose from over 1,000 instructors

  • Can meet nearly any time of the day

Cons
  • Not all instructors are professional teachers

Overview

Italki is a well-known language service that specializes in helping clients learn new languages. On its website, the company lists more than 10,000 teachers across almost all languages.

If you want to learn or improve your Japanese, Italki has over 1000 Japanese teachers who can give you one-on-one customized lessons. Italki has its own video conferencing software called Italki Classroom, but some teachers use Skype or Google Hangouts.

Before you pick your teachers, you’ll be able to browse their profiles to find one that aligns with your needs and preferences. Each profile has a short text and video introduction to help you learn more about each teacher. You can also see a calendar of their availability and reviews left by previous students.

There are two types of teachers who can meet the needs of various budgets: professional teachers who are certified in teaching foreign languages, and community tutors, who are either native speakers or advanced speakers who can help with speaking practice.

Some instructors charge around $4 per hour, while others cost up to $80 per hour. You can pay per lesson, so you don’t have to commit to buying a package or select a certain number of sessions. Plus, most also offer a discounted trial session.

Plans & Pricing
  • Purchase lessons one at a time; rates based on experience and background
  • Most teachers offer a low-cost trial lesson

Best Budget : Preply


Preply

Preply

  • Pricing: $5–$40 per lesson 
  • Experience Level: Beginning to expert 
  • Free Trial: Yes
Why We Chose It

Preply is an excellent choice for first-time language learners or experts just looking to brush up on their skills. With the ability to purchase classes individually or buy a package at a discount, Preply is a great choice for those who are on a budget. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Book single lessons or buy a package 

  • Find tutors at a range of price points 

  • Filter tutors to find exactly what you want

Cons
  • Not all are professional teachers

Overview

Preply is an online language service that has instructors based in more than 185 countries around the world. Clients looking to learn Japanese will find more than 850 available tutors.

Lessons are held in the Preply classroom, an easy-to-use platform that makes it simple to take your lessons and complete your homework all in one place. All of Preply's teachers are either native speakers or certified instructors. You can search the company's database based on price, location, and availability. You can also read about each tutor’s background and experience, and some have reviews from previous students.

The price range for Preply Japanese classes is between $5 and $40 per hour. Start by booking a trial lesson and, if all goes well, you can buy packages of six, 12, and 20 hours of lessons. Buying a package of lessons allows your teacher to create a customized learning plan that will help you reach your goals.

Plans & Pricing
  • Purchase individual lessons or packages of six, 12, or 20 lessons
  • Free trial lessons available 

Best Online Platform : Verbling


Verbling

Verbling

  • Pricing: $12–$55 per lesson
  • Experience Level: Beginner to expert
  • Free Trial: Most instructors offer free trial lessons 
Why We Chose It

Verbling’s online platform helps instructors and students connect, collaborate, and learn together. The platform works well on a variety of devices—mobile, tablet, desktop, or laptop—and allows students to save their work as well as meet with their instructor during their scheduled sessions. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Learning platform works well on all devices

  • A wide selection of teachers to choose from

Cons
  • Slightly higher price point than other platforms 

Overview

With more than 10,000 teachers, Verbling has someone who can help you learn almost any language. One of Verbling’s stand-out features is its integrated platform where you can find your teacher, schedule your lessons, and meet for classes. The platform works equally well on desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices.

Additionally, Verbling has language tools such as vocabulary review and a TextPad where you can connect and collaborate with instructors. Verbling offers language courses that are already curated and established, however, you can also request a personalized program.

You can search for an instructor based on availability, price, location, gender, or special skills. You can also read their profiles, watch a video introduction, or read about how others have rated them. The price per lesson varies depending on the tutor, but generally, prices range from around $12 and $55 per hour.

Also, most offer a discounted trial lesson, as well as reduced rates if you purchase a package of five or 10 lessons.

Plans & Pricing
  • Lessons can be purchased individually or in packages of 5 or 10
  • Free trial lessons available 

Best for Structured Courses : Wasabi


Wasabi

Wasabi

  • Pricing: $70–$130 per month
  • Experience Level: Beginner to expert 
  • Free Trial: Yes
Why We Chose It

If you want to work, live, or travel freely in Japan, Wasabi is the course for you. With highly structured lessons and free individual learning materials, Wasabi aims to help its students gain advanced Japanese skills. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Free self-study materials

  • Highly qualified instructors 

Cons
  • All lessons are conducted in Japanese, so those without any experience may need another programs

Overview

Based in Japan, Wasabi is an online language school that offers one-on-one lessons via Skype. It is a well-established institution that aims to give users the language skills they’ll need to be able to travel or live in Japan, or use the Japanese language at work. While Wasabi welcomes beginners, all lessons are conducted in Japanese so it may be best for those who already have some experience. 

Wasabi's lessons follow a specific roadmap to take clients from where they are to an advanced proficiency level. All instructors hired by Wasabi are certified teachers or have undergone training as volunteer tutors. Wasabi also offers free self-study materials such as grammar worksheets, pronunciation practice, and podcasts.

If you want to try Wasabi, you can request a free trial. Then, there are two plans that you can opt for: The Basic plan includes four, 50-minute lessons a month for roughly $70 a month, and the intensive plan includes around eight lessons per month for approximately $130 a month. Additional single lessons can be purchased for roughly $19 each.

Plans & Pricing
  • Purchase individual lessons or a package of four or eight lessons per month.
  • Book a free, no-commitment trial lesson to see if Wasabi is the best fit.

Best for Group Lessons : Japanese Online Institute


Japanese Online Institute

Japanese Online Institute

  • Pricing: $50–$1,020 for packages of different types of lessons
  • Experience Level: Beginner to expert 
  • Free Trial: No, but you can purchase a trial flex pass for 3 classes for only $9
Why We Chose It

The Japanese Online Institute offers both group and private lessons to help you reach your language learning goals. Group lessons give students the chance to practice talking with one another, and supplemental private sessions allow them to practice exactly what they need. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Choose a combination of group and individual lessons

  • Select classes focused on the topics you need the most support in

Cons
  • A higher price point than some other companies

Overview

The Japanese Online Institute is a language school that offers both group and private lessons with online teachers. The service has its own online platform for lessons, which works on computers, tablets, and smartphones.

Prospective students can browse the Japanese Online Institute website to see photos of instructors and read their individual bios. The company offers lessons focused on a range of language skills such as conversation, grammar, listening, vocabulary, and business Japanese. In addition to individual lessons, there are more than 130 group classes a week to choose from.  

When you opt for private sessions, you will have access to extra learning materials such as blogs, quizzes, videos, and discussions. Clients can purchase one of several different class packages. Private lesson packages range in cost from around $50 to around $1,020. If you want to try before committing, you can buy three trial flex lessons for around $9.

Plans & Pricing
  • Purchase packages rangr in cost from $89 to $810.
  • To try the Japanese Online Institute before committing to a full package, buy three trial flex lessons for just $9.

Best for All Ages : AmazingTalker


AmazingTalker

AmazingTalker

  • Pricing: $10–$30 per lesson
  • Experience Level: Beginner to expert 
  • Free Trial: No
Why We Chose It

AmazingTalker matches prospective language learners with screened and approved teachers who can help them learn Japanese. With instructors who are well-versed in working with kids available on the site, this platform is the best bet for language learners of all ages. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Well-vetted instructors

  • Teachers have experience working with people of all ages

  • Purchase lessons individually or as a package with no membership requirements

Cons
  • Slightly higher price point than some other companies

  • No set curriculum 

Overview

AmazingTalker is a great resource for finding instructors in a variety of languages. You can find one-on-one teachers for all ages including children, students, and adults. Lessons are held via Zoom, which allows easy access on a computer or mobile device.

AmazingTalker advertises strict requirements for the instructors it hires and requires all of them to have teaching experience or certification. Each Japanese instructor listed on the site has a profile that shares their background and experience, as well as ratings and reviews from other students. If you don’t want to browse through all the instructors, you can input your specifications and be matched with an instructor who fits your needs.

The specs you’ll need to list include your age, the reason you want to learn Japanese, your day and time preferences, price range, and whether you want to communicate with the instructor in your native language. Some are located in the U.S., and others are native Japanese speakers located in different parts of the world.

Class prices vary depending on the instructors’ experience and location, but they average between roughly $10 and $30 per hour. Students can book a 25- or 50-minute session and pay per lesson, so there is no need to buy a package or commit to a certain number of lessons.

Plans & Pricing
  • Lessons are purchased individually or as a package with no membership requirements. 
  • No free trial available.

Best for Academic Support : Wyzant


Wyzant

Wyzant

  • Pricing: $20—$200 per lesson
  • Experience Level: Beginner to expert 
  • Free Trial: No, but there is a money-back guarantee on your first lesson
Why We Chose It

Wyzant is well known for offering tutors in a range of subjects. While online Japanese instructors at Wyzant are able to work with anyone, many specialize in helping college students pass and excel in their Japanese classes. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Experienced in working with college students

  • Purchase individual lessons, no subscription required 

Cons
  • Higher price point than many other companies 

Overview

Wyzant is an online language platform that matches students with instructors in a range of subjects, including Japanese. Clients can find tutors for subjects like math and science, languages, or even sewing or guitar. Regardless of what you want to learn, Wyzant can help you find an online in-person instructor.

Wyzant utilizes its own Online Learning Tool that serves as a digital classroom. It also has an interactive whiteboard that can be used during sessions to help students and instructors collaborate. Many of Wyzant’s online Japanese teachers specialize in supporting university students who are taking a Japanese class and need extra help.

Browse teacher bios to learn more about each one and choose the individual you feel best meets your needs. Japanese instructors on Wyzant have a wide price range, from about $20 to $200 per session.

If you are not satisfied with your instructor for any reason, Wyzant will refund your first class. With the ability to purchase classes individually, you don’t need to worry about adding a subscription to your monthly costs. 

Plans & Pricing
  • Class sessions are purchased individually.
  • Wyzant offers a money-back guarantee on your first lesson.

Best for Structured Feedback : Verbalplanet


VerbalPlanet

VerbalPlanet

  • Pricing: $12—$45 per lesson
  • Experience Level: Beginner to expert
  • Free Trial: Yes
Why We Chose It

Verbalplant understands the value of good feedback, which is why instructors provide immediate feedback after each lesson. This feedback can be used to help track your progress or guide your study and practice priorities. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Immediate feedback after each lesson

  • Lessons for beginners to advanced and expert speakers who want more practice 

Cons
  • Higher price point than some other companies 

Overview

Verbalplanet can help you find a teacher who will give you customized, private lessons and instructors cover all the major languages around the world. The company provides tutoring sessions via Skype, and all instructors are native speakers of the language they teach. 

On the Verbalplanet website, you can view each instructor’s profile, which contains a description of their background, qualifications, experience, and teaching approach, as well as reviews from other students. 

Verbalplanet’s unique offering is its built-in feedback system. After each lesson, your instructor will provide feedback on the different core language skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) based on the Common European Framework of References for Languages.

This feedback is very helpful for progress tracking and provides guidance on where you should focus your study. The cost per lesson for the Verbalplanet instructors ranges between roughly $12 and $45 for a 45-minute class after a free trial lesson.

Plans & Pricing
  • Purchase individual sessions from the instructor of your choice.
  • A free trial is available. 

Final Verdict

Italki is the best overall platform for prospective language learners around the world. With thousands of available instructors who offer different lesson styles, prices, and schedules, you’ll be able to find exactly what you need, whether you’re brand new to Japanese or want to freshen up your advanced skills before a big trip. 

Italki is a great fit for most language learners, though those on a tight budget might be more interested in Preply, which offers excellent low-cost lessons. If budget isn't a factor and you're taking Japanese classes in college and need a little extra support, Wyzant might be the best platform choice. 

Compare the Best Online Japanese Classes

Company Pricing Experience Level  Free Trial Platforms 
Italki 
Best Overall
$4–$80 Beginner to expert No Italki Classroom
Preply 
Best Budget 
$5–$40  Beginner to expert  Yes  Preply classroom 
Verbling 
Best Online Platform 
$12–$55  Beginner to expert  Most teachers offer a free trial lesson The Verbling platform
Wasabi 
Best for Structured Courses 
$70–$130 per month  Beginner to expert  Yes  Skype 
Japanese Online Institute Best for Group Lessons  $50–$1,020 for packages of different types of lessons  Beginner to expert  Purchase a $9 trial flex pass and attend 3 classes for $3 each  The Japanese Online Institute platform 
AmazingTalker Best for All Ages  $10–$30 per lesson  Beginner to expert  No  Zoom 
Wyzant 
Best for Academic Support
$20–$200 per lesson  Beginner to expert  Yes  Wyzant platform 
Verbalplanet  Best for Structured Feedback $12–$45 per lesson Beginner to expert  Yes  Skype

Guide for Choosing the Best Online Japanese Classes

Are Online Japanese Classes Right for You?

If you want to learn Japanese, you might be wondering if online Japanese classes are for you. Online Japanese classes are a great choice for those who:

  • Want to learn at their own pace
  • Are disciplined and motivated enough to stick with a program that does not include in-person accountability 
  • Want unlimited access to learning materials
  • Are looking for a budget-friendly way to learn a new language 
  • Want to learn Japanese from native speakers

To be successful with online Japanese classes, you’ll need a reliable device, regular access to the internet, and the time and focus necessary to tune in fully to the classes you’re enrolled in.  

How to Choose an Online Japanese Class

When determining which online Japanese class is the best fit for you, consider the following:

  • Budget: There is a wide range of price points for online Japanese classes. Choose a company that offers a price point that you will be comfortable with for quite a while, as it often takes consistent commitment over time to learn a new language. 
  • Learning style: Consider where you prefer one-on-one or group classes, how much feedback you like, and whether you’d prefer your class to be taught in Japanese or your own native language. 
  • Language experience: While some teachers are experienced in working with people enrolled in college-level Japanese courses, others love working with beginners and even children. Consider your background and experience with Japanese.

FAQs

How Much Do Online Japanese Classes Cost?

Online Japanese classes cost anywhere from $4 to nearly $100 per lesson and most range in length from 30 to 60 minutes. Generally, teachers with more experience and expertise charge more than native speakers who do not have formal training as a teacher or tutor. 

Can You Learn Japanese Fluently Online?

Several online Japanese programs are designed for those who want to learn to speak Japanese fluently. Share your goals with your instructor and work with them to create a learning plan that works for you. 

How Hard Is It to Learn the Japanese Language Online? 

Learning a language can be both challenging and exciting. While it generally takes quite a lot of work, many adults find they can learn Japanese or other languages online with the proper commitment. 

Are Japanese Online Classes Better Than Traditional Learning?

There is no one right way to learn a language. While some learners find they appreciate the flexibility and self-pacing of online Japanese classes, others may appreciate the accountability that in-person classes offer. Consider your learning style and long-term goals.

Methodology

To select the best online Japanese language classes, we reviewed over 20 online language courses to find the best of the best. We rated each company based on the services they offer, quality, background, tutors' expertise, the type of online platform used for instruction, and the cost of sessions. We also looked at user ratings and reviews provided by previous students.

By Julia Pelly
Julia is an expert in maternal and child health who has written for NatGeo.com, TIME.com, NYT.com, and more. She also consults with both nonprofit and for-profit organizations in addition to her writing.

Edited by
April McCormick
April McCormick

April is the health editor for performance marketing at Verywell, where she oversees family health, wellness, and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Time, Parents Magazine, The Huffington Post, TripSavvy, Parenting.com, First Time Mom and Dad, Mama Mia, All4Women, the New York Times Bestseller, A Letter To My Mom, and more.

Learn about our editorial process