At the beginning of language acquisition, you may be worrying if you are already at a point where you are ready to read in Japanese. But don’t worry! There are many resources that use pictures and repetition to help inexperienced learners follow the story.

Reading simple stories will help you recognizing the characters and familiarize you with Japanese expressions. If a text is too difficult or boring, just pick the next one!

Learning Hiragana & Katakana

These 45 short books by the Japan Foundation are great to study hiragana, as only 1-2 characters per story are introduced. The series is continued with 9 more books that introduce katakana.

Example: Hiragana books [あ and か]

Hiragana Books Volume 1
Hiragana Books Volume 2
Hiragana Books Volume 3
Hiragana Books Volume 4
Hiragana Books Volume 5
Katakana Books

Simple Stories with reading level

Many sites use the reading levels as defined by the NPO Tagengo Tadoku. For those studying for the JLPT N5 the appropiate levels are level 0 and level 1. That means you should be able to confidently read hiragana and know very basic grammar such as particle funtions and present and past verb forms.

Tadoku Free Graded Readers
YomuJP Nihongo Tadoku Dōjō
Sakura Tadoku Lab

Blog articles

These are my recommendations for N5 readers: