Top 5 Japanese Learning Apps for Children Abroad: A Guide for Expatriates and Returnees

Japanese learning apps, for children, Native Camp


Are you an expatriate raising children abroad or a returnee who spent early years outside Japan? Maybe you reside in Japan but have international ties and want to enhance your family's Japanese proficiency. If you're pondering over teaching Japanese to your child, you're in the right place.

This guide covers five stellar Japanese learning apps tailored for young learners. We'll also explore various teaching methods and share practical tips to make learning Japanese enjoyable and effective.

Diverse Methods to Introduce Japanese to Children

Whether your children are struggling with Japanese, you're fostering young minds overseas, or re-introducing the language to your returnee kids, you're not alone in your educational journey.

Here's a rundown of four effective ways to help your child master Japanese, each with unique benefits tailored to fit different learning needs and styles.

1. Learning Through Apps:

Apps offer a convenient, portable way to learn Japanese. Available for download on tablets and smartphones, they provide flexible learning anytime, anywhere—ideal for filling spare moments productively. From mastering Hiragana and Kanji to boosting reading comprehension, there's an app for every aspect of the language. Some apps are free, others offer premium features for a fee.

2. Learning Through Websites:

Similar to apps but accessible on larger screens like computers and tablets, websites are a fantastic resource for learning Japanese. They often feature downloadable materials, allowing for offline study, perfect for ensuring flexible learning schedules without constant internet reliance.

3. Online Correspondence Education:

For structured learning, online courses offer tailored instructional content with set timings, ideal for students who need a routine. Available internationally, these programs are perfect for disciplined, guided learning.

4. Learning with Physical Materials:

If traditional learning methods resonate more with your child, textbooks and workbooks designed for writing and practicing Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji can be very effective. These materials are crafted from years of educational expertise, ensuring a systematic approach to learning.

Top 5 Japanese Learning Apps

Native Camp:

Primarily known for English education, Native Camp will soon launch a Japanese learning platform. It's known for its flexibility, allowing lessons at any time. A one-month free trial is available, perfect for testing its comprehensive offerings.


Ideal for younger learners from preschool to elementary level, Mimi offers the first month free and charges a nominal fee thereafter. It features professional narrations of about 100 picture books and fairy tales, with new titles added bi-monthly.

Fun Learning:

This app is suitable for early learners and includes interactive activities like drawing, coloring, and mazes besides foundational Japanese writing lessons. It's free, with optional in-app purchases.

Mojitan - Brain Training Word Puzzle:

A free puzzle-based app suitable for all elementary ages, Mojitan offers over 200 word-finding puzzles that are as entertaining as they are educational. It includes in-app purchases.

Elementary Kanji Study: One-Frame Kanji:

Designed for comprehensive kanji learning from grades 1 to 6, this app uses engaging illustrations to teach characters. It's free with optional purchases and great for systematic learning.

Tips for Making Japanese Learning Enjoyable

To foster a love for the language:

Expose your child to as much spoken Japanese as possible, using resources like audiobooks and educational CDs. Engage in regular Japanese conversations, ask questions, and encourage them to express their thoughts in Japanese. Use manga, anime, or songs to align with their interests, making learning a fun and integrated part of daily life.


We hope this guide helps you find the right tools and methodologies to enhance your child's journey in learning Japanese. Whether through apps, websites, online courses, or traditional materials, the right resources can make learning effective and enjoyable. Tailor your approach to your child's unique needs and watch their language skills flourish.