I have always found learning new things a lot of fun, especially if it is stuff I have wanted to learn for a long time. Japanese was one such thing I had longed for and this fall I finally got the chance to start studying it.
As of now I have studied Japanese for about four months via a basic distance course on university level and it has been very enjoyable. I may not have come long in my studies, far from as it is only elementary knowledge we learn, but I can already feel that I have started to get a grasp of how the language itself works.
Suddenly when I watch anime I can hear and understand how the sentences are structured and conveyed; only making anime even more of a pleasure to watch. I can now also read sentences I come across on the Internet as long as it is in kana (I still screw up a bit on katakana, though). While I obviously do not understand many words, I tend to look them up and as a result maybe learn a new word or two which I quickly forget afterwards.
It is interesting to see a whole new world open up before me like this. Sure, we have not learned any kanji and the more casual language is far off in the future. But I have just started to learn and it will have to take its time, because this is something I really want to learn. It is one of the few things I burn for.
Maybe I will lose interest as time passes or completely give up on kanji, but so be it. Only learning smaller things is amazing in itself and I value the knowledge, even if it is only a little.
I have found it a bit hard to learn a new language by mostly myself, however. I am the type of person who likes to have direct response, asking questions about the simplest things to confirm that I am heading the right way. At least for me this is especially important when learning a new language, as I would quickly want to know whether or not something is correctly phrased or could be said in another way.
But even so I can assure you that it has been a great deal of fun to study Japanese.
Learning is fun!