The cheapest way or totally no charge to learn Japanese from native speakers

2019-07-28 OTHERS

This post is also available in 日本語

In Japan, you will encounter many situations that you should speak Japanese at work. However, it costs to learn Japanese in Japanese language schools or colleges. In addition, it is harder for people who already have full-time positions to learn Japanese at school.

Here, we would like to show you some of the volunteers to teach you Japanese without cost or inexpensively. Some of the groups even give you class to experience Japanese culture and tradition. You will have an opportunity to see different sides of Japanese culture and languages at different seasons throughout the year. Don’t miss it.

Pros and cons to learn Japanese from volunteers.


  • You can have a lesson for free or with minimum cost like several hundred yen.
  • You may be able to private lessons.
  • Native Japanese speakers teach you.
  • You can interact with local people.
  • There are so many schools to accept new students anytime.
  • There are some volunteer groups which are run by retired Japanese instructors.


  • You may not be able to get intensive explanations since it is volunteering.
  • Some teachers are too chatty to teach you in a time efficient manner.
  • Some teachers speak with dialect.

You can ask questions to professional instructors using online class in case that you still have some unclear subjects.  Because it takes long time to accomplish languages, you should use those volunteer classes if you have difficulties to go to language school financially or scheduling seems to be very tight.

How do they teach you?


Typically, the range of cost is between no charge and several hundred yen. Unlike regular schools, they do not charge you hundreds of thousands of yen for classes. It depends on the school, but you may be able to pay per class or once for the certain numbers of classes.

Teaching material

You may learn Japanese using handouts from textbooks or cartoons. Usually, they use “Genki”, “Minna no Nihongo” or “Marugoto”.


Instructors are mostly local volunteers. It depends on locations, but some are college students and some are senior citizens. Also, some retired professional Japanese instructors happen to volunteer to teach you in their spare times.

Content of lessons

It depends on the group. Some follow lessons using text books, and some teach you by a free conversation style. Games are also utilized for kids.


Public halls, international exchange centers, local schools or coffee shops…


It depends on the group. The range is between one time only or several times for a few months. There are some lessons for short-term visitors.

Some groups offer class to experience traditional Japanese culture.

There are also some groups to offer you to experience Japanese culture. In spring, you might be invited for Hanami, which is a celebration event for cherry blossom with food. In summer, you might have an opportunity to wear yukata. In winter, you might be able to experience to make sticky rice. You don’t need to prepare for the events since volunteers will explain what the meanings of those events. It is a great opportunity for you to make some friends and use your Japanese skills.

Volunteer groups to teach Japanese