Frequently Asked Questions

Updated: Jul 8, 2023

How much is tuition?

Tuition for Maplopo is ¥12,000 for individuals. Learners who complete the course within one year with an overall achievement score of 80% or higher receive a cash back rebate of ¥20,000 (company sponsored learners receive a cash back bonus of ¥10,000).

Companies enrolling employees can purchase bundles at the rate of ¥420,000 for a minimum of seven seats.

More information about Maplopo pricing can be found on our pricing page.

What is your refund policy?

Because we offer extensive opportunities to test out the course (videos from the entire first section on YouTube, numerous worksheets on the site as well as on LinkedIn, and the Maplopo podcast) there are no refunds offered once you enroll in any given Maplopo season. If you’re not yet sure of whether or not Maplopo is right for you, please check out these materials first.

I'm a college student taking Japanese in school...

If you’re currently enrolled in Japanese language classes (or  completed language studies within a semester prior to enrolling with Maplopo), you may be eligible to enroll under our education partner program.

The partner program for educators and students offers a completion bonus to any student enrolled at an accredited college or university anywhere in the world who completes all requisite coursework for the entire course within one year and with an overall achievement score of 80% or better.

Visit the Maplopo Partners page for more information. Have your favorite faculty member or language lab manager reach out to us from using the form on that page.

What currency are your prices in?

All prices are listed in Japanese Yen. Originally, enrollments were handled in U.S. Dollars, however, given the performance of the yen as of late, we decided to price in our local currency to make the course more affordable to those living in Japan.

If you live outside Japan, you’ll recognize this provides you with a wonderful opportunity to enroll in an advanced Japanese language course within blended, immersive learning at a price point you will not find anywhere else.

The conversion to your currency happens as a natural part of the transaction once you enroll. 

Do you offer discounts or free trials?

For individuals:

Learners who complete a Season are provided a discount on additional seasons, however, outside these offerings there are no additional discounts or trials.

If you are a college or university student currently enrolled in Japanese classes (or have taken classes as recently as a semester prior to enrolling with us), please refer your favorite professor to our Maplopo Partners page.

There, they can reach out to enquire about our Educators program which offers a completion bonus to students who finish the course. All students meeting the requirements of enrollment in coursework at any accredited college or university anywhere in the world are eligible for the program.

For teams: 

Businesses purchasing seats for multiple users are provided with a significant discount on individual pricing. We are interested in developing relationships with firms interested in empowering the growth of their employees, and are willing to do so at rates that are affordable to make that happen at scale. If that sounds like you, please reach out.


What payment methods do you offer?

We interface with Stripe for all payments, so we accept all the major ones: American Express, China UnionPay (CUP), Discover & Diners, Japan Credit Bureau (JCB), Mastercard and Visa, Alipay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Link, WeChat Pay, Bancontact (Belgium), EPS (Austria), giropay (Germany), iDEAL (the Netherlands), Przelewy24 (Poland), etc.

Who is Maplopo for?

First, Maplopo is for readers. We attract learners who love to read all sorts of material, from manga and magazines, to poetry, literature, contemporary fiction, and non-fiction. At the core of what we do is help students learn the language through story. So… our biggest audience is those who love story.

When it comes to the specifics of language, we find Maplopo works best for intermediate and advanced learners of Japanese. Those learners of the language who have a basic grasp of grammar, but need and want more—and in that same set of students—those who recognize they want structure that helps them understand the language in a fashion they cannot find in a classroom.

Some of those enrolled with Maplopo enjoy taking the JLPT and have already passed the N3 or N2… even the N1, but many more students have never taken the exam and are studying Japanese with different personal and professional goals in mind.

A good number of those enrolled with us are translators (or aspiring translators) of Japanese, and enroll largely because they want to learn more about the art and craft of translating. Those students want to tap into one of the most unique parts of Maplopo… us as translators.

Many more enroll to refresh or build upon a near fluency they feel could use improvement. Such students often live and work in Japan, and have been here for many years. Or, they lived in Japan at one time, but now live elsewhere and don’t want to lose what they worked so hard to acquire. They find communicating at work and around town fairly routine, but often just that. These students come to us to learn more deeply what the language is about… the nuance of grammar expressions they may only know on the surface, and to add depth and breadth to their vocabulary.

Maplopo learners also come to us from around the world, in all age groups and with many different personal interests and drivers. We’ve welcomed students from America, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Vietnam… from where do you hail?!

Is everything in the course available immediately?

Some things are, and some things aren’t.

Each Season of Maplopo runs just as if you were in an in-person classroom. So, in similiar fashion, learning modules are dripped out every two to three days until the season is complete. We’ve designed the course this way to keep learners progressing at natural intervals, and to ensure the material you learn is absorbed as richly as possible.

Right out of the gate, you do get access to all the resources in Section ONE, however, and you can view that list of materials as well as the entire course layout by viewing the Maplopo syllabus.

Additionally, if you’d like to download a sample of our Japanese Anki decks, you can grab them on the tour page.

English is not my native language, can I still enroll?

If you can read in English, and understand spoken American English, you should be in good shape. Our videos and worksheet materials do have spoken and written Japanese, but the entire course is taught in English. Each of our videos is also manually subtitled in English.

We have non-native English speakers from Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, Spain and Vietnam in Maplopo who are performing as well (and often better!) than those who grew up speaking English as a first language.  The trick is having a good grasp of English.

I'm busy. Do I have to finish the course by a certain point?

There are no deadlines whatsoever within the course. You have “forever-access” to it, and all the time in the world to complete it. Once you enroll, the course is dripped out to you steadily every two or three days.

We’ve designed the course with a host of pedagogical practices in mind, and we move you forward in a way that helps you feel excited about your progress so you complete the course in a reasonable amount of time, and so your learning sticks. But, life does get in the way of progress sometimes, and because of that, your access to the course is yours. Hang with us and the Japanese language as you see fit!

If I have questions during the course, where can I ask for help?

If questions pop up, we are in the private Discord server to help you, and other students are there as well with any questions you may have.  Of course, we’re always reachable via email as well.

Additionally, we now offer 20 personally reviewed Japanese writing assignments, as well as seven live group sessions using Google Meet. We field a lot of questions via email and in these sessions.

Nowhere else will you find this sort of opportunity to engage with Japanese literature translators and language teachers at this sort of price point. Nowhere.

How hard/easy is this?

Ah… is it difficult? Is it easy?

Language learning is, of course, what you make of it. We consider Maplopo to be appropriately challenging. We’ve packed a lot of learning into the course and provide a lot of tools to help you learn no matter your learning style. You get to work as hard as you want to work.

As an intermediate or advanced learner, you will find some things are easier than others, and some things are more difficult than others. It all depends on you, your prior exposure to the language, and how much you want to push yourself even when you think you already know something.

For example, we cover a number of grammar points that might seem, at the outset, familiar to you. Yet we explain them in ways you have likely not heard…, we provide nuanced examples you certainly have never heard or seen…, and we test your knowledge within our learning platform and in the workbooks in ways that push your understanding beyond where we know it likely is (given that you’re an intermediate to advanced learner of the language).

We do so by including vocabulary you likely do not know, conjugations that will help boost your understanding of grammar, and reviews of what you have already learned with us. And its all done within the context of a story written by one of Japan’s master storytellers.

This course is not you being fed made up situational stories to teach you Japanese… this is you diving into the experience of masterful stories written by Japan’s most respected authors… and you learning Japanese in context with us, and… in a way, with that master at your side.

Do I need to buy anything else to succeed with the program?

We recommend you purchase the Anki mobile app so you can fully leverage our Japanese Anki decks and practice your listening and vocabulary on the go. Other than that, If you consider yourself to be in possession of intermediate level Japanese, you’ll likely have everything you need. Namely, motivation, time, and… again, access to a good Japanese dictionary.

Can I access the course on any device?

Yep. We use Thinkific as our course platform, and it supports all modern devices. We also have an app! Here is the breakdown:


Microsoft Edge


iOS Safari: 11 and up
Samsung Internet


NOTE: Internet Explorer is NOT supported.

Will this help me pass the JLPT?

Well…, Maplopo is not, and won’t ever be, designed to help you pass a language proficiency test.

Some of our students have taken (or are preparing to take) the JLPT or the U.S. Military’s DLPT, but our philosophy is that while tests can be excellent markers of progress, they are as an end-point, not the best marker of one’s learning, nor are they much fun to prepare for. 😉

Learning a language in the context of a story so you can enjoy that story AND learn some more of the language is what we want to help you do in Maplopo.

Is there furigana? Is there romaji?
Great question.


Nope. Although (!) we do find it can absolutely be beneficial when it comes to fostering very early phonetic pronunciation skills, and the research bears this out (so, it’s not as evil as you may have been told).


We do include furigana to help you read antiquated kanji (which you will definitely encounter in these stories). We also use it sparingly in other aspects of the lessons when we feel it will be helpful. That said, when we first designed Season One: 水仙 from Dazai Osamu, we included furigana on nearly all kanji in the first 15 episodes or so. After that, we used it more sparingly in the fashion described above.

We don’t want you reaching for a dictionary every other word, but we also don’t want you to be too coddled with the furigana either. Students tell us we’ve struck a good balance between the two in a manner that supports learning while also allowing for the enjoyment of simply reading.

The original story text in Japanese is provided with both furigana and without furigana, so you can really test your skills if you wish!


Are the audio recordings done by native speakers?

Yes, indeed.

All the audio is professionally recorded by Doc (born and raised in America, speaking American English) and Reiko (born and raised in Japan, speaking native Japanese). You can hear us in motion on our Season ONE Maplopo YouTube channel, as well as on the Maplopo podcast if you want to give us a test run. If you want an even better taste of things, sign up for the complimentary Maplopo Course Preview.