My 2-minute JapanesePod101 Review

I’m NOT here to give a deep JapanesePod101 Review.

There are plenty of other blogs that do that. Plus if you’ve done your research, you probably already know a little bit about JP101. Maybe you already have a Free Account!

Instead, I’m here to tell you what you want to know – “Is JapanesePod101 worth paying for?

Let’s get started!

Subscription Types

We’ll start off talking about the important stuff – Subscription Types. There are four of them (in order of price):

  1. Free (lifetime)
  2. Basic
  3. Premium
  4. Premium+

Your JapanesePod101 subscription determines what resources you can freely access, and which ones are locked away.

Free subscriptions have access to a small set of lessons, so you can see if JP101 suits your personal learning style.

Basic subscriptions have access to all the lessons, and some basic learning resources. You also get access to the mobile app!

Premium includes everything in Basic, plus more advanced learning resources.

Premium+ includes everything in Premium, plus 1-on-1 learning with a teacher.

Payment Plans

You can pay month-by-month, or in advance. The more in advance you pay, the more of a discount you will get:

  • 3 months (12.5% off)
  • 6 months (25% off)
  • 12 months (37.5% off)
  • 24 months (50% off)

JapanesePod101 updates their subscriptions semi-regularly, so I won’t list them here (I don’t want to make false promises!), but you can check out the most current prices here.

Pro Tip!

JP101 regularly have sales on their paid subscriptions! In the 4 years that I’ve used them, they’ve had sales for 30% off all the way to 70% off!

Sign up for a free lifetime account, and you’ll get emails about sales. They can be a bit spammy, but that means you’ll never miss out on a sale.

Difficulty Levels

JapanesePod101 has 4 difficulty levels:

  1. Absolute Beginner
  2. Beginner
  3. Intermediate
  4. Advanced

They also have Bonus lessons that cover cultural lessons, videos, and JLPT study guides.

The JapanesePod101 team also add new content on a weekly basis!

When it comes to online audio and video material, JP101 is second to none – no matter your level.

Lesson Resources

For each lesson, additional resources are included to help you fully grasp the teachings in each lesson.

Note, the availability of these resources depends on the type of account you have.

Lesson Transcript – The whole lesson transcript is provided so you can follow along with the dialog and what the hosts talk about afterwards.

Dialog – The lesson dialog is provided line-by-line, so you can follow along easier than just using the free lesson transcript. Additionally, you can play the audio of each individual line to help you break down the conversation.

Vocabulary – The vocabulary list that the hosts talk about is provided here.

Lesson Notes – Covers detailed notes on any cultural information, expressions, or grammar points heard in the dialog.

Kanji – Breakdown of the kanji for key vocabulary from the dialog.

Mobile App – Access to lessons through their app. You can download all lessons and resources on to your phone so you can study offline and on the go.

Additional Resources

In addition to the resources listed above, JapanesePod101 also provide resources and study tools to help you further.

The same rule applies here – access to these resources depends on the type of account you have.

You have the some good supplementary resources such as:

  • Quizzes
  • Word lists
  • Flash cards
  • Grammar guides

As mentioned before, JapanesePod101 also offer 1-on-1 lessons for Premium+ subscribers.


You can see the full list of resources and which subscription you need in order to access them here.

The best lesson resources are locked behind a paid membership, BUT aren’t always essential.

Think about which resources suit your needs and go for that!

Should I Create a Free Account?

You absolutely should!

The free lifetime account is available so you can see if the lessons suit your personal learning style.

You also get emails about sales for the paid subscriptions, so if you’re patient you can get 30-40% off without needing to do anything.

You can create a free account here.

Should I Upgrade To Basic?

If you like the lessons and the teaching style, then you might consider upgrading to the Basic plan.

You get access to all of the lessons (literally thousands of them), and access to the Mobile App.

I think the Mobile App is the biggest selling point here – you can download the lessons and PDFs to learn offline, or you can study no matter where you are.

Should I Upgrade To Premium?

I would recommend using the Basic subscription for a while before you pay extra for the Premium account.

You get a lot of extra resources, but that means you need to actually use them in order to make it worth your investment.

What About Premium+?

If you’re struggling with keeping on track with your studies, but like the style that JapanesePod101 offers in its lessons, then you can look at upgrading to the Premium+ subscription.

I’ve never used their 1-on-1 service before, but paying for 6-12 months for Premium+ is MUCH cheaper than a private tutor in most places!

JapanesePod101 Review – Conclusion

To summarise this JapanesePod101 review…

  1. Has a massive library of lessons to choose from
  2. Is suited to all levels – from absolute beginner to advanced
  3. Has good learning resources, but you need a paid membership for the best ones

Think carefully about what features you want and will actually use before you subscribe to JapanesePod101.

I used JapanesePod101 when I was studying for the JLPT. They are a great service that I use to this day, but is not for everyone.

Try before you buy!