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Japanese keyboard?


Hello, I am trying to find a Japanese keyboard here in the UK.....doesn't seem to be much choice, i was just wondering how the keys are laid out......does the keys have both Hiragana and Katakana on them? Thanks.


I use windows IME, It is as simple as hitting alt+shift to shift from english to romaji and it will automatically transfrom romaji into hiragana/katakana. It also offers to convert into known kanji with the press of a button. On my iPhone i have activated both romaji and ten key Japanese keyboards in international keyboards. The 3 keyboard layouts are then switchable via a little world icon located to the left of the space bar.


Thanks for the info


Hello, I have just recieved my Japanese keyboard and had a few problems setting it up but i can now get it to display japanese characters but don't think it is set up properly. If i click on a Japanese character on the keyboard, it first shows as English then automatically changes to Kana......i want to type the word in Japanese myself. Anybody had any problems setting up their keyboard? I am running Windows 7. Thanks.


It depends on how the IME is setup, if it is setup to recieve input from an english keyboard via romaji then well it will react accordingly. If it is setup to receive input from an actual Japanese keyboard (about 7 extra buttons added for various things) then it will react accourdingly. The difference between the two is first as I mentioned earlier that there are about 7 extra buttons, and usually the result is a smaller space bar and a few smaller other keys like it has a dedicated @ key button and stuff like that (which I love that specific key so much!). The other thing is you can press alt plus the kana key and have a completely different input interface. It's kinda like the difference between QWERTY and DVORAK keyboards except you can switch between them as you like. The second typing format allows you to type kana directly, like you push the や key and it types や versus typing y a to get や... and etc. Although that typing style is rarely used among Japanese people as well so its questionable if you want to learn it... Although I'm tempted to learn it because I want to see which is a faster way to type...


Hi, I am trying to type directly from the keyboard but the characters never show. I think i have wasted my money buying this Japanese keyboard when i could have done it with my old keyboard using MS-IME.


The IME is required irregardless of an english or a Japanese keyboard. The difference you need to specify WITHIN THE IME is that you are using KANA input. You can do this by going into your control panel, language/time/etc. settings, find the one that has the language, click the keyboard tab, click keyboard settings, a new window should pop up and below you should see a cascade of settings specifying what kind of Keyboards are installed on your computer. If you see "Microsoft IME" then click that, select properties and you should see and option to change between romaji input or kana input. However the SHORTCUT to do this on a JAPANESE keyboard is to have the IME set to hiragana/katakana and then press alt + ひらがな/カタカナ key which will change the KEYBOARD input method to kana, also note that if you just press the ひらがな/カタカナ key it will change the IME to hirgana/katakana mode.


Thanks for the info.....all working now.


My problem is with the word for "parcel" in Japanese!
Maybe my eyesight is at fault but I cannot find the voiced "zu".  I clearly see "tsu" on the first keyboard level, but on the voiced level (ALT) there is no "zu" symbol.....
Is there?

in advance, arigato gozaimashita!
Barry Shaw


I use a different input method (IME+romaji) where I type "du" to write the 「づ」symbol, but it sounds like you're using a virtual keyboard with kana. Is there perhaps a key for manually adding the "voice" marking?


It's not your eyesight, Barry. You're right.

On the virtual keyboard there's no way to enter either づ or ぢ.  Even weirder, the katakana version of these characters (ヅ and ヂ) *do* both exist on the virtual keyboard. Why they don't just have the same characters in the same places for both the kana levels of the keyboard is beyond me - it would make it much easier to remember where the keys are, in addition to making sure they didn't accidentally miss any of the keys...

I assume we report it to the Contact Us button on the Help page. I wish there was a dedicated error forum - I've encountered a number of small errors in the course, but it's impossible to tell if they're not fixed yet because they're too small to prioritize, or because they've never been reported.


Hi Barry-S22 & Rindaru,

I have asked our IT team to look into the missing keyboard characters. Note that the best way to type in Japanese is to turn on the Japanese keyboard on your computer so that you can type the Japanese in directly. 

For example, you can type こんにちわ by keying in "konnichiwa" - a much easier option!

As for reporting bugs, there is a section on the forum for posting feedback (My Forum > Rocket Japanese > Japanese Feedback and Comments) or you can contact us directly on "[email protected]". We look at each and every piece of feedback that comes in from our learners  :)


Thank you! I have reached the goal。I expect to go much faster now!


Hi Barry-S22-san!

Just be careful when using kanji when typing :) There can be words with the same spelling, but have completely different meanings.

Also, when writing the particle「は」, you cannot input "wa", as it will give you「わ」. You have to type "ha" instead to get「は」.

Have fun!


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