Welcome to Smile Nihongo Academy


"I don't have time to attend a language class regularly."

"I cannot afford to pay $30-$50/hour for a private tutor."

"I want to learn at my own pace in my spare time. I am busy!"

"I've tried online courses before but there was no one to answer my questions..."

"I want to learn from a native teacher who can explain things clearly. Japanese is difficult!"

Then, you may enjoy learning in my courses! 😊


1. Pick a course or course package that fits your level and needs.

2. Courses are all self-paced. Proceed at your pace and leave me questions if any.

3. No Time Limit for completing each course.

4. At the end of a course, you can submit an assignment to get personal feedback from me. (Assignments are not mandatory)

I work for a Japanese microelectronics company and have made a major effort to learn the language. I purchased several textbooks, attended weekly classes at a local language school, and also purchased several online courses. The end result for me was confusion until I discovered Yuko-sensei’s series of online courses!

The explanations of grammar and vocabulary concepts are excellent. The videos clearly explain sentence structure and provide excellent templates for creating my own sentences. Very quickly, I was able to send simple email messages to my Japanese colleagues! Yuko-sensei also does an excellent job of explaining Japanese culture. For me, her courses are a priceless resource for advancing my learning.


Course fees are listed at the bottom of this page. Click each course title to learn more.

Japanese 1: Start from Zero!
Learn Japanese pronunciation and how to introduce yourself

Japanese 2: Ask Daily-Life Questions
What time? How much? Where is it? When is your birthday? And much more!

Japanese 3: Japanese Verbs & Particles
Create sentences with verbs & particles. Say things you do and don't do!

Japanese 4: Master TE Form!
Take your communication skills to the next level with TE Form!

Japanese 5: Talk about people & things you love!
Use Japanese Adjectives to express your feelings and preferences.

Japanese 6: Learn to speak informally to your friends!
Learn how to switch your speech style between Formal and Informal!

Japanese 7: Express your ability, capability, and intentions!
Learn Potential Form to express what you can, and Volitional Forms for your intentions!

Listening Course
Try listening exercises and improve your listening comprehension.

Kanji Startup Course
Get started with Kanji from ZERO! Learn to write and read.

Click below to go to each sign-up page.
Packages are not always open for sign-ups. Thank you for your understanding. 🙏


こんにちは!Hello, I am ゆうこ (Yuko) and your teacher here at Smile Nihongo Academy. Please call me Yuko Sensei. I've been teaching Japanese mainly to English-speaking learners for over 20 years. Teaching is my calling, and I enjoy every part of it. You can read more about me here.

For your learning success, it's crucial that the teacher's teaching style matches your learning style.

Try a Mini-Course (free) and see if you learn from my way of teaching.


Smile Nihongo Academy is truly amazing!!! It has literally changed my life, and it all started for me on Yuko sensei' YouTube channel.

After watching some lessons, I moved onward to her Japanese 1 course and I couldn't have been happier. The amount of care and dedication put into these lessons is outstanding! She also offered me additional help via email and the comment thread in the course. Thanks to her courses I'm actually understanding Japanese... that's something I never thought would happen!

If you have any desire to learn this beautiful language then I couldn't recommend a better place to start than under her teaching. Thank you for everything Yuko-sensei, and I look forward to more courses to come!


You can receive individual feedback on your assignment at the end of each course!