How Long Does It Take To Learn Hiragana? – A Detailed Answers

Japan is a fascinating country with picturesque natural scenery and interesting culture. If you are a big fan of the land of the rising sun and always try to learn more about this country, you should take some Japanese classes. The reason is that the majority of Japanese people do not speak English. You hardly can find any culture course in English here. Besides, there are a lot of interesting materials which are not available in English. Therefore, it is quite difficult for a foreigner to discover Japan without knowing any Japanese. Well, it is true that Japanese is considered one of the most difficult languages to learn but do not let that stop you. Let’s start your journey by learning Hiragana – the simplest alphabet. In today’s Things-to-do guide, we will give you a detailed answer to the question “How long does it take to learn Hiragana.”

How Long Does It Take To Learn Hiragana? – Detailed Answers For Beginners.

1. What is Hiragana?

There are 3 sets of Japanese letters. They are Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji. To read Japanese in daily life you will need to master all of three alphabets. Though the majority of Japanese writing uses Kanji, Hiragana is the most standard forms of Japanese writing. Unlike Kanji, the letters of Hiragana do not represent unique meanings when they stand alone. Japanese people use multiple Hiragana characters to form a word.

The history of Hiragana dates back to the Heian period (during the 9th century) when Japanese people try to create their own writing system. They created the alphabet based on Chinese calligraphy-style characters called Sōsho (草書). There are a total of 46 Hiragana letters, each represents a distinguished sound. These characters are curly with several successive brush strokes.

how long does it take to learn hiragana

Hiragana consists of 46 characters

        Read more:

2. Best Way To Learn Hiragana

If you already decided to learn, then the question should pop up in your mind right now is “How to learn Hiragana effectively?“.

2.1. Learning Sources

Well, nowadays there are many sources for you to access.

2.1.1. Online courses

Online courses such as Duolingo, busuu are great choices. They provided detailed materials including easy-to-memorize lessons and fun tests which allow you to absorb information quickly.

2.1.2. Books

Another great source is books. However, with books you will only learn how to read and write letters. For pronunciation, you will need to check again on websites. Below is our suggestion for the Best book to learn Hiragana:

  • Japanese from Zero: Despite being quite new, Japanese From Zero books have gained in popularity. Many foreigners consider them the best book to learn Japanese. It is thanks to their easy-to-follow style and details in examples.
  • Minna no Nihongo: Probably every Japanese learner knows about this book series. Alongside improving your reading skills, Minna No Nihongo will give you in-depth grammar explanations. The books are especially helpful for anyone who intends to take the Japanese language proficiency test (JLPT).
  • Genki: Similar to Japanese from Zero, Genki series are also easy to use and follow with cute and fun illustrations.
2.1.3. Youtube

Or, simply you can check the link below to master Hiragana in just 1 hour!

2.2. Stationery

If you only look at the characters, you will find it hard to remember the way to write them down. Though nowadays, we communicate mostly on the Internet but hand-writing still plays an important role. So, you should prepare a small notebook and a pencil/pen to practice writing. Try to write as much as you can until you can reach the speed of writing English. And remember to speak out loud as much as you can too!

how long does it take to learn hiragana

Use notebook to take notes and practice writing

3. How long does it take to learn Hiragana?

The most common types of question when it comes to learning Hiragana are “How long to learn Hiragana?”, “Can you learn hiragana in a day?”, “How to learn Higarana fast”. 

Well, obviously it depends on the determination of each individual. If you study intensively in 1 hour with high focus, then practice a few more hours, you might be able to remember all of 46 characters in just 1 day. On the contrary, if you feel boring and your effort is low, maybe 1 week or even 1 month is not enough.

To master Hiragana, you should spend at least 1 hour per day to practice. Normally, after 2 weeks, people can remember all of the characters.


Is hiragana difficult to learn?

According to many Japanese linguistics, Hiragana is not difficult to learn. It is probably the easiest alphabets among 3 Japanese alphabets. In fact, people normally take a much shorter of time to master Hiragana in comparison with Katana which also consists of 46 characters.

You can see more about the Japanese writing system in the link below:

Can you learn hiragana in a day?

The answer is yes. If you focus and really determine to get the expected outcome, everything is possible.

What is the easiest way to memorize hiragana?

Read, write then speak. Try to repeat this process as much as you can. To test your memory, you should write down all characters randomly, do not follow the order of the alphabet. Or you can take any Japanese textbooks, try to recognize the letter in any random sentence.

A great tool to practice Hiragana is flashcard. You can buy them in the bookstores or create one collection by yourself.

Should I learn hiragana or Katakana first?

Obviously, the answer Hiragana. The reason is that Hiragana is more frequently used than Katakana. In every Japanese training course, all lessons are designed in the way that you will learn Hiragana first, then Katakana.

You can see more details in the link below.


Hopefully, we have provided you enough information on “How Long Does It Take To Learn Hiragana?” . Try to make the first step by sitting down and learn the first 5 Hiragana characters, you may find it is not too difficult as you think it is.

If you have any questions and concern, please feel free to share under the comment section below.

About Yuu Sato

Yuu Hiasa has been working in hospitality industry since 2003. In the past, he used to work as a tour guide and now he is running his business of supplying comfortable accommodations in Japan. Thanks to this experience and his passion for writing blog, the articles by him provides awesome tips and things to do when you are traveling in the country of cherry blossoms.

One Response

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