I wasn’t sure about when to ‘start talking’ by using services like italki or preply, but after having tried both of these options, I think the earlier the better. Do your homework regarding the packages that both these services offer, and take note of the lesson times too.

Looking at some of the posts on the net (factual??) it seems that the payment systems and amount of money that finally gets into the hand of the teachers varies greatly – so again, check the details of the one you plan to use. Depending on your timezone it may be difficult to get a Japanese teacher, but there are quite a few options for expats offering lessons.

Recently the Tanabata festival, which starts in early July, made for some interesting reading and research on how this celebration originally began – and the ‘The Weaver and the Cowherder’ tale is must read.