Learning a language on my own is certainly fun. When I come across a favourite Japanese song I would look for its lyrics and learn how to sing. Above is the Japanese version of Beyond’s Cantonese song From Afar (遙望). In Japanese it is Letter – Tegami (てがみ、手紙).
Reading is certainly a key to master a language. And you have to be a dustbin. You have to be curious enough to read and glance through as much materials as possible. Be it hairstyle and fashion magazines, children comics, newspapers, or novels – just read through it day in day out.
Check the dictionary if a vocabulary is frequently seen. Better still, try to copy Japanese text by hand. Through handwriting those Japanese expression and tone of voice will be wired into your brain cells, which are programmed for rearrangement when we are sleeping.
As for listening, throw yourself in the water by immersing in large volume of Japanese audio. Whenever you are awake, listen to it. Walking or driving, listen to it. Consciously or subconsciously, no matter how much you actually understand, just move on.
One day you will wake up in the morning and find yourself mastering the language quite well. Hard work certainly pays off.