You know that feeling when you’re trying to find that perfect app and nothing quite does the trick?
You might shrug ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ and say it just can’t be helped.
Wait, what’s that? You happen to be looking for an awesome Android Japanese keyboard so you, too, can make cool emoji and type like a pro?
Rejoice! ヽ( ´ ∇ ｀ )ノ You’ve come to the right place.
All silliness aside, having a good Japanese keyboard is important if you’re learning the language.
Luckily, there are a ton of totally awesome and uniquely useful Japanese keyboards in the Google Play store that you can download right now to effectively communicate in Japanese through the World Wide Web.
Not all Japanese keyboards are perfect. But don’t worry: We found the best of the best Japanese keyboards that Android has to offer and took the guesswork out of finding the perfect one for you.
3 Reasons to Install a Japanese Keyboard on Your Android Device Right Now!
You could easily use the standard Japanese keyboard input that comes with most Android devices, so why bother looking into different keyboards?
1. You can access more than just kana. The basic Android keyboard is pretty cut-and-dry and used solely to type in Japanese. However, many downloadable Japanese keyboards for Android devices allow you to access common Western emojis as well as Japanese emojis.
If you want to make friends via Japanese social media, emoji access will give you a bit more personality!
2. The built-in Japanese keyboard for Android devices is pretty bland. Most of the keyboards we’re covering are visually customizable. That means you can get visually attractive themes with the click of a button.
3. There are some more bells and whistles that come with downloadable keyboards. In addition to being able to type in Japanese, many of these fancier keyboards allow for voice-to-text recognition, live translations and more attributes.
Now let’s find that perfect keyboard for you!
5 of the Best Japanese Keyboards for Android to Raise Your Kana and Emoji Game
Your phone is an awesome way to learn! In addition to one of these awesome keyboards, we recommend loading your phone up with apps so you can study some Japanese on your downtime throughout the day.
One app no Android device should be without is the FluentU app.
FluentU takes real-world Japanese videos—like music videos, movie trailers, documentaries, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
It naturally and gradually eases you into learning Japanese language and culture. You’ll learn real Japanese as it’s spoken in real life.
Just take a look at the wide variety of authentic video content available in the program. Here’s a small sample:
You’ll discover tons of new Japanese vocabulary through these great clips.
Don’t worry about your skill level being an issue when it comes to understanding the language. FluentU makes native Japanese videos approachable through interactive transcripts.
Tap on any word to look it up instantly.
You’ll see definitions, in-context usage examples and helpful illustrations. Simply tap “add” to send interesting vocabulary words to your personal vocab list for later review.
FluentU even uses a learning program which adapts to your specific needs, to turn every video into a language learning lesson and get you to actively practice your newly-learned language.
If you’re looking for something simple, well-programmed and easy to use, look no further than Google Japanese Input!
Optimized for all Android devices, this keyboard features a straightforward writing system based on hiragana and kanji radicals. Common kana are saved for easy access and the auto-correct is surprisingly accurate.
There’s even an option to translate kana into English text, which is useful for Japanese learners who have trouble recognizing kana.
Since this isn’t a romaji-based keyboard, it may be best suited for intermediate and advanced learners who want to brush up on their hiragana and kanji reading skills.
This keyboard is ideal for beginners or intermediate learners who are comfortable enough with romaji to use a romaji-to-Japanese keyboard. It’s also perfect for newbies who’d prefer to use English, instead. It can save a ton of time compared to other keyboards that are kana based, especially if you aren’t very advanced in learning kana.
Using the app is easy: simply type in English and the text gets translated in real time to Japanese.
Installation is really easy, as well. Simply install and open the app, enable it as your default keyboard, choose a colorful keyboard theme that you love and you’re all set! Once it’s in place, you can press and hold the space key to switch back to your default English keyboard.
This keyboard is free to use with premium options available to remove ads.
Do you prefer a keyboard that’s loaded with features? Simeji Japanese Keyboard + Emoji has a ton of bells and whistles that go above and beyond basic Japanese input.
With Simeji Japanese Keyboard + Emoji, you can create a custom keyboard background or choose from tons of different themes. You can also access different kaomoji and emoji instantly to add some personality to your chats. For those who don’t know, kaomoji are Japanese emoticons made from Japanese keyboard punctuation and kana.
Want to take it up a notch? This’s app’s sticker function has a ton of super cute stickers and GIFs to send to your friends.
If you’re less concerned about aesthetics and more concerned about communication quality, you’re also in luck! This keyboard has over two million Japanese phrases and words in its cloud-based dictionary.
Other features include voice input, a wide range of slang words registered, tons of preset phrases for quickly responding to friends on the go and super user-friendly input. Literally any level of learner can benefit from using this keyboard!
This app is free to use with ads and a premium service is available.
TypeQ is one of the most popular Japanese keyboards available in the Google Play store.
Like many of the keyboards on this list, you can access an emoji and kaomoji bank, customize themes for your keyboard and type in Japanese. The additional features take it from being just a normal Japanese keyboard to being an all-in-one communication app.
First, let’s look at the actual Japanese typing specs. You can toggle between typing in English and typing in hiragana. There isn’t an English-Japanese dictionary available. In addition, there aren’t any romaji input options and it doesn’t seem like kanji is enabled either, so this keyboard would best fit an intermediate or advanced learner or a beginner who’s studied hiragana extensively.
Flick input is enabled so you literally don’t have to lift a finger to type words quickly and accurately.
On the fancy side of this app, you also can access your phone’s camera through the keyboard and use the built-in photo editor and collage function to make social media-ready selfies. There are 12 font variations, a ton of super unique themes created by other users, special effects to add to text and a sticker upload option.
TypeQ is free to use with ads and there are additional in-app purchases available.
Sensomni Japanese Keyboard is a particularly unique keyboard because it’s extremely easy to access all of its functions.
You don’t have to root around the app to find emoticons or special features. Simply click the T-shirt button to change themes, click the Emoji button to find emojis, click the Eng button to switch to English and click the Japanese button to switch to hiragana.
Kanji isn’t readily available and you’ll have to know hiragana in order to use this keyboard. Still, the ease of use is fantastic and makes communicating online in Japanese a breeze.
Since there’s a built-in English keyboard with auto-correct, you won’t need to switch between different keyboard when talking to Japanese or English-speaking friends. You can just use this keyboard 24/7!
Sensomni Japanese Keyboard is free to use with in-app ads.
Did you find at least a couple of these stellar Japanese keyboard appealing? The basic Japanese keyboard for Android devices may be good enough for some, but it really feels nice to have a keyboard with more than just the basic functions.
Em Casalena is a published author, freelance writer and music columnist. They write about a lot of stuff, from music to films to language.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Japanese with real-world videos.