On iPhone the kana input method for Japanese is a 10-key keyboard with a layout like this:


It's really a pleasure to use because any kana character is only a swipe away.

For example, if you tap and hold "あ" you can then slide left, right, up, or, down to get any vowel sound in the あ column.


On iPad there is no 10-key keyboard offered. Instead there's this 55-key beast to hunt-and-peck through:

?をり みひにちしきい
、ーれ めへねてせけえ

So on iPad I use the romaji keyboard instead (English keyboard layout that converts to kana phonetically). This is about as fast as typing English, but it's still not as fast as iPhone's 10-key.

Do any third-party keyboards exist in the Japan or US App Stores that offer 10-key input similar to that of iPhone?

1 Answer 1


According to http://ipad-ssm.net/archives/211 there's an option to turn on the 10 key instead of having to use your 55 key. It's tricky to find this on your own though.

To do this, you need to have the "Split Keyboard" option on, found in Settings -> General -> Keyboard
Proceed to click on "International Keyboards" and add a new keyboard. You can select the "Japanese (10 key)" (日本語テンキー) option here. You can set further options for this keyboard, as suggested by the site, and just have the Flick option available.

When you start typing somewhere, click on the keyboard icon of your input UI, where there's an option to "Split" the keyboard. After the split, hold down the globe button, and choose Japanese Kana. This should show up the 10 key Japanese keyboard. You will now be able to flick type Japanese text.

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