My favorite free online Japanese dictionaries

Since I have gotten my electronic dictionary, I have not been using free online resources as much as I used to. While I love my denshi jisho, I know that they can be an investment and that many beginning to intermediate to even advanced students can thrive using free material online. I have spent a lot of time researching the meanings of words online and have decided to introduce the 3 sources that I have used most often.


English-Japanese Bilingual Dictionary is a dictionary that is very popular with Japanese language learners. It is very straight forward and provides one-word or short definitions along with example sentences. I have never focused on the practice sentences on this site before, but I have heard they can sometimes be unreliable.

While I would prefer to use Japanese monolingual dictionaries while looking up words, sometimes it made more sense to use an English-Japanese dictionary. I would often use bilingual dictionaries when it came to medical terms or other terms were I thought that there would be no cultural differences in the use of the term. Sure, I could look up the word ‘uterus’ and get an understandable definition, but a uterus does the same thing world wide and I found it easier just to have a one word explanation while I was creating the SRS card for this term.

When I was relaying in this dictionary, I found it to be satisfactory and usually ended my search after using this site.

I still use this dictionary sometimes when I am working on book reviews. This dictionary has a feature where it will list a JLPT level if the term happens to be associated with a certain level.

I no longer use this dictionary for purely looking up definitions, as I prefer the Kenkyuusha dictionary on my electronic dictionary.


Japanese Monolingual dictionary

Honestly, I was never able to find one free monolingual Japanese dictionary that satisfied me. came somewhat close. But it was not close enough for me to use it as my go to dictionary. I usually had to shop around on a few different sites before I found that perfect explanation that really resonated with me.

I would usually type the term into a search engine followed by the word meaning in Japanese. For example “戦慄 意味”. From there I would open up a few links and read a definitions until I was able to find an entry that suited me. Out of all of the free dictionaries out there, I think I ended up using the most.


Japanese Monolingual Dictionary

Now this dictionary is something special.

It will not have all of the words that you are looking for, but when it does happen to have that specific word it has a wealth of information that will help you to understand every facet of the word. It will introduce you to the different nuances connected to the word, explain the different ways you can use it, and give you examples. Every time I have been able to use this dictionary, I felt satisfied and like I really understood its true meaning.

Japanese Novel Review:5分で読書: きのう失恋した Yesterday’s Heartbreak in 5 Minutes by The カドカワ読書タイム Team

I found this book for free on I saw from a post on reddit that this website has been doing campaigns where they have a monthly selection of novels that can be read for free. I decided to read this novel to see if it would be a good choice for beginner students. This is my first time reading a Japanese novel online. I really prefer paper based novels as I love everything related to trees in general. But I really wanted to seek out more beginner reading materials and I am interested in find free materials online to help me with my budget. There are some more expensive hardcover books that I am interested in, but my current budget would only allow me one paperback book per week.

Ive heard of this book series before, but basically it is a collection of short stories with the same theme.  Each story is broken up into sections that would take a Junior High School level Japanese student around a few minutes to read. I think that this format would work well for language learners as well! It is nice that it basically tells the reader a good place to stop. While the description might make it seem like its the same thing as chapters in a normal novel, the timing of these breaks is more consistent.

Continue reading “Japanese Novel Review:5分で読書: きのう失恋した Yesterday’s Heartbreak in 5 Minutes by The カドカワ読書タイム Team”

積ん読 Tsundoku – My reading line up

I was inspired to write this blog by Peregrinja’s post over on her blog, The Blog of a Reiwan Lady, on her own habit of collecting novels but in Japan and back home.

I am sure that for most people reading this blog, Tsundoku(積読) is a word that you have seen before.  Its basically the habit of collection books but not actuality reading them. The word implies that the book collector had originally planned on, or still does plan on reading the vast amount of books that they have managed to collect.

When I was younger, I was an avid reader in my native language and would read non-stop no matter where I was. My parents really supported my hobby and got my as many books as I wanted. While I had an extremely large collection of books, they were all books that I had read cover to cover and I never really got into the habit of letting books sit around unread. That changed when I moved to Japan. I started feeling guilty about reading books in my native language when I felt that I should have been using that time to focus on my Japanese. This lead to me putting a pause on reading for pleasure for quite a long time.

Continue reading “積ん読 Tsundoku – My reading line up”

August and September Goals


In this post I want to reflect on the goals I created last month and make new goals for how I would like to move forward in September. Here is what I had planned for August.

I did not read either of the two books that I picked out for myself.  I guess that style does not work for me and I need to be able to pick each book based on my mood the day I start reading it. I think I may have to officially give up on reading Weathering with You(天気の子).  I saw this movie in theaters and really enjoyed it, but I am just not into the idea of reading another novelization of an anime. I think I am just going to give it to a Japanese Professor I know so that she can re-home it.  Having books around that I do not enjoy is kind of bothering me so hopefully I will be able to do something about it soon.

Continue reading “August and September Goals”