You're beginning to learn Japanese, so you need to learn hiragana. Most Japanese teachers will get you started with a hiragana chart. Unfortunately, the majority of charts aren't that great.
Having made a few hiragana charts in my time, I've seen a lot of them. There are so many styles, types, and methods out there. But you have to find the chart that fits your learning style.
That's why we collected 27 of the best (and only the best) hiragana charts out there. You can compare charts and pick the one that's right for you. Or you can grab them all and fill a binder. The choice is yours. Scroll on.
- Standard Hiragana Charts
- Mnemonic-Based Hiragana Charts
- Hiragana Charts With Stroke Order
- Hiragana Charts That Help You To Practice
- Hiragana Charts For Kids
- Kidsmoji by KF Studio
- Hiragana Chart by Hiroko Nishibayashi-Liston and KYOZAI – L.O.T.E. Teaching Aids
- Imotoyouko's Hiragana Chart
- Mama No Yume Koubou's Hiragana / Katakana Chart
- Thomas The Tank Engine Hiragana Chart
- Pokemon Hiragana Chart
- Happy Lilac Hiragana Chart
- Color-Me-In Hiragana Chart by Benesse
- Happy Lilac's Hiragana Chart 2
- Genki Kokugo Hiragana Chart
- Niji-no-Ie's Hiragana Chart
- "Other" Hiragana Charts
- Learning Hiragana
Standard Hiragana Charts
These hiragana charts are simple and boring. But there's nothing wrong with that. 99.99% of Japanese learners will receive charts like these. They do their job and are easy on printer ink cartridges. For new students of Japanese, any one of these would be my first recommendation.
Tofugu's Hiragana Chart
The first on our list is our very own. It's used on Tofugu's "Learn Hiragana" page (you should check it out if you are learning hiragana and haven't picked a method, or just want to learn hiragana way faster than everyone else). It's very basic, printable (in black and white), and contains not only the main kana, but the dakuten/combo hiragana as well.
No bells and whistles and nothing fancy about it, but it works. Click the image to download the full sized version. Same rule goes for the other charts in this list (click for full size).
Dr. Moku's Hiragana Chart
Dr. Moku is an app that teaches hiragana using mnemonics. It's effective, and I recommend it to anyone that doesn't connect with Tofugu's hiragana mnemonics.
This is their basic hiragana chart, though, so no mnemonics here. Still, it's a nice, simple one that will be helpful for a lot of Japanese students.
Alternatively, download it from the original source. Be sure to check out all the other things that Dr. Moku has to offer as well, especially if you're learning hiragana.
Tofugu's "Retired" Hiragana Chart
This is our old hiragana chart. Nothing wrong with it. You may even prefer its patina.
It's similar to our current one. It just has a different style.
Mnemonic-Based Hiragana Charts
When it comes to learning and memorization, mnemonics are the best way to go, hands down. So it's only natural that a few mnemonic-based hiragana charts have been created. If you're planning on taking this route, you should feel free to mix and match individual kana mnemonics. Not all mnemonics connect with all people. Some will feel more personal (and thus more effective) than others. Grab the mnemonics that work best for you to learn hiragana even quicker.
Tofugu's Hiragana Mnemonics Chart
Because our hiragana learning method is all about mnemonics, we put together a "hiragana mnemonic chart".
If the mnemonics do their job, you won't even need this chart after awhile.
Hiragana Mnemonics Chart by Timothy Stouth & Alexis Cowan
These hiragana mnemonics, made by Timothy Stouth and Alexis Cowan are a lot of fun. There are a lot of mnemonics in here I hadn't seen before.
Alternatively, download the original hiragana chart pdf.
Hiragana Mnemonics Chart by Hatasa-Sensei
I found these hiragana mnemonics on this page. This person got these mnemonics from a Hatasa-Sensei. It looks like he's a professor at Purdue.
Good on Hatasa-Sensei for coming up with and sharing these hiragana mnemonics. I love it when teachers put in extra time and effort to help their students.
Michael Rowley's Mnemonic Hiragana Chart
This chart comes from a 1992 book called "Kanji-Pict-O-Graphix" by Michael Rowley. Love the title. The X at the end makes it cool.
It's floating around a lot of places online uncredited, so thanks to Tofugu reader "A L" for letting us know the source.
Hiragana Charts With Stroke Order
When writing by hand, stroke order is quite important. You can tell when somebody writes in the wrong stroke order because, well, something just looks off. Your handwriting will improve tenfold if you write your hiragana correctly.
With kanji, you can learn stroke order by following a small set of stroke order rules. With hiragana, you're better off learning each individual kana's stroke order. There aren't that many, and these charts will help.
Mama No Yume Koubou's Hiragana Stroke Order Chart
This stroke order chart covers all the main hiragana and uses colors, as well as number indicators to show the correct stroke order.
You can find the original over on the Mama No Yume Koubou website, though it's all in Japanese.
Wikipedia's Hiragana Chart
It wouldn't be an article on the web if there wasn't a link to Wikipedia. There are actually a few sections of Wikipedia's Hiragana page that could be considered "hiragana charts," but this is the nicest looking one.
Here's the original image minus all the fluff around it.
Sasagami358's Hiragana Stroke Order Charts
Nice and simple and gray. Why is it gray? So you can write over top of it to practice.
Get the original, here. You'll also find a darker (not so gray) version, for looking at (and not tracing over).
Hiragana Charts That Help You To Practice
Hiragana charts get even better when you're able to interact with them. Sure, some of these might not be "hiragana charts" in the traditional sense, but they're close enough to include in this list.
Happy Lilac's Hiragana Practice Charts
Happy Lilac is a treasure trove of hiragana practice. In fact, they'll pop up a few times in this article. For this particular hiragana practice chart, all you have to do is write over the gray lines (in the correct stroke order, of course).
Visit Happy Lilac's website for more practice based on the above sheet.
On top of this, Happy Lilac also has a ton of other practice sheets for hiragana too. If you're learning hiragana, I definitely recommend checking them out.
Mama Note's Hiragana Practice Charts
Mama Note's Hiragana practice booklet shows the kana, then has you write over some gray lines before kicking you out of the proverbial nest. I wish it had more "on your own" practice, though. I suppose that's what blank pieces of paper are for.
For the original, visit this page (all in Japanese). You'll find this hiragana practice pdf along with other study materials for Japanese children.
Print Kids Hiragana Fill-In-The-Blanks Charts
These are so useful, because they make you fill in the blanks and actually recall your hiragana. There are so many separate downloads I'm not even going to put them here. Just click on the image or link below to be overwhelmed with all the hiragana practice you could ever want. And if that's not enough, there's always more practice on our learn hiragana page.
Grab all of the practice pdfs right here. Click the green
ダウンロード buttons to download each individual page.
Kid's Nifty Fill In The Blank Hiragana Charts
These practice sheets let you practice the individual kana, one at a time. Seems like a lot of paper to me, but perhaps you can just print out the kana giving you the most trouble.
Visit the Kid's Nifty page and click on the blue
ファイルをひらく buttons to view (and print) each individual sheet.
Tofugu's Learn Hiragana Book
Well, this is technically not a "chart" (it's more of a book), but if you are looking for something that is a hybrid of all the features we've shown so far — mnemonics, stroke order, and writing practice — check out Tofugu's Learn Hiragana Book.
Hiragana Charts For Kids
In Japan, guess who's learning hiragana. Of course, it's the children. So, there are a lot of charts aimed at children (and very few aimed at adults).
If you're teaching your kid(s) hiragana, or if you have the heart of a child, these will be the hiragana charts for you.
Kidsmoji by KF Studio
The Kidsmoji charts are too friggin' cute. Although the illustrations next to the kana relate to a Japanese word using said kana (so they're not really mnemonics), they might help you, or your kids, learn a little extra Japanese vocabulary.
Here's the standard kana.
And this is the combination plus dakuten hiragana.
And finally, the color-me-in version.
There's more charts on their website, including katakana and the English alphabet. You'll also find more black and white color-me-in charts.
Hiragana Chart by Hiroko Nishibayashi-Liston and KYOZAI – L.O.T.E. Teaching Aids
A reader (thanks!) pointed us to where this chart came from. It is part of a series of Japanese teaching aids for classrooms created by Hiroko Nishibayashi-Liston and published by KYOZAI – L.O.T.E. Teaching Aids (now out of business).
PDF versions of the books and other materials (including some free to download) are available here.
Imotoyouko's Hiragana Chart
This hiragana chart is available for purchase on Amazon.co.jp.
It contains an animal (or some other cute thing) for each of the kana. わ is わに (alligator), for example. Sadly, か is not かに (crab).
Mama No Yume Koubou's Hiragana / Katakana Chart
Bright, bold colors. Both hiragana and katakana (for those of you learning katakana too). Color-in-able illustrations.
It's very simple, but solid. Grab the original here.
Thomas The Tank Engine Hiragana Chart
Every Japanese child loves Thomas, and so should you! Trains with faces, what's not to like? This is a simple hiragana chart with stroke order, but for Thomas fans, there's no other hiragana chart out there.
You can find the original, along with other Thomas things, right here.
Pokemon Hiragana Chart
This Pokemon Hiragana chart includes hiragana and katakana, as well as Pokemon illustrations to help you to remember them… that is, if you already speak Japanese. Great way to learn Japanese Pokemon names too.
The physical version of this hiragana chart is available for purchase on amazon.co.jp.
Happy Lilac Hiragana Chart
This chart comes in multiple sizes. If you want a bigger one, just print out more pieces of paper and tape them together.
Happy Lilac is really killing it with hiragana charts. Visit their site for this one, and others.
Color-Me-In Hiragana Chart by Benesse
Kids (and apparently adults now) love coloring. This chart includes example words and illustrations that you can color in yourself.
Grab the original, here.
Happy Lilac's Hiragana Chart 2
Yet another Happy Lilac hiragana chart. If you didn't like that last one, perhaps this will be more your style?
See its birthplace, right here.
Genki Kokugo Hiragana Chart
Bright, gaudy and… why is this chart even on this list? I'll tell you why. That beautiful, beautiful face near the bottom left-hand corner.
Niji-no-Ie's Hiragana Chart
Isn't this hiragana chart adorable?
The original, as well as another color version, can be found here. If you're ever in Okinawa, stop by their store.
"Other" Hiragana Charts
These hiragana charts don't quite fall into the above categories. But that doesn't mean they're not useful/cool.
Hiragana: Origins Chart
Hiragana came from somewhere, and that somewhere is kanji. This chart provides side-by-side comparisons of hiragana and the kanji from whence they came (making it a kind of combo kanji chart).
Now that I think about it, probably not all that useful if you're a beginner. But still interesting!
See the original, and more, on JapanAKAluigi's files page.
Team YumYum's Hiragana Chart, Pins, Et cetera
This, I think, is one of the more beautiful charts on this list.
But, if you don't agree, they've made a blank version just for you. Print it out and add your own illustrations. It might help you to remember your hiragana better too, because you're making it personal.
They make a variety of other hiragana-related goods as well. Like this set of hiragana pins:
Check out their other hiragana-related products. You'll probably need to visit a physical location to get them, though.
A hiragana chart won't actually teach you hiragana. You have to learn and practice. That's why we created a method for learning hiragana. It's free to use, and you'll be able to read every character when you're done. It doesn't take as long as you think, either. And as soon as you finish, you can learn katakana next.
I hope you found a hiragana chart you liked. If you didn't, you can always do a Google search for Hiragana Chart or ひらがな表. But, don't spend all your time looking for charts. You should get started now, because the sooner you learn hiragana, the sooner you can go learn kanji (or other useful Japanese language related things).