Web browser add-ons you really need (and a couple you probably don’t)

Any computer geek will tell you: Add-ons just make the internet more fun. But aside from giving you colored tabs or a new lease on life, these add-ons can help you learn Japanese!

Rikaichan and Rikaikun


Rikaichan translates kanji and other Japanese words to make navigating Japanese Web sites a little easier.


While Rikaichan has already been written about on the blog, it’s always worth mentioning as an invaluable add-on for Firefox users. When Rikaichan is turned on, simply hover your mouse over any Japanese word and a translation will appear. The add-on supports English, German, French and Russian, simply choose the dictionary you want during the download process. Google Chrome users can also meet their translation needs because the Chrome (and apparently more masculine) version, Rikaikun, is also available for download.

Download Rikaichan for Firefox and Rikaikun for Google Chrome

Furigana Injector
Trying to order something off of Rakuten? Booking a night bus to Tokyo? Everywhere you go you’re bombarded by kanji. Furigana injector changes all that. You must also download HTML Ruby to get the full effect, but the end result is furigana displayed there on the Web page. This is a handy tool for reading comprehension and fitting some good kanji practice into your schedule.

Download Furigana Injector for Firefox or Google Chrome



Forecastfox brings accurate weather forecasts for most of rural Japan to your browser.


In Ishikawa, our lives are ruled by the weather. Forecastfox has one of the best formats I’ve seen, and has weather patterns for all over Ishikawa, not just Kanazawa, Wajima and Komatsu. The forecast images display in either your bookmarks or bottom toolbar, making the weather easy to access before you get ready to set out for the day.

Download Forecast for for Firefox and Google Chrome



Characterizer working its magic on an earlier Ishikawa JET Blog post


I tried this Firefox add-on as a joke and it’s actually really fun. While Rikaichan help you understand Japanese Web sites, Characterizer helps you learn kanji while you’re working on English Web sites. Characterizer replaces the first word of most of the text on a Web page with the corresponding kanji for that word. Pick up some kanji while you work online.

Download Characterizer for Firefox


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