heheee, I'm a dumb Gaijin!! meemee! lol. Well for me, I'm creative, so I need equally creative ways to learn ^.^ I actyally learned how to read the hiragana and katakana BEFORE actually learning japense words. I used manga and anime to actually help me learn the language, aswell as talking to actual Nihonjin, to better help with vocabulary and sentence structure and such. ^.^
At first i read a basic phrase book at home, went to japan on holiday and did ok using what i had learned but knew i had to take it to another stage to express myself as i longed to so i enrolled in a japanese school which i now go to every saturday morning. Now i have learnt the kana and am starting the kanji and things are going well. So good luck in whatever route you go down in learning this great language!