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Hitori: How to Solve the Classic Japanese Puzzle


Hitori is one of the more challenging classic Japanese puzzles, as well as one of the most common ones to see on store shelves and in vending machines. If you’ve tried to solve it but haven’t yet been able to, look no further than this guide on how to solve hitori. With this information, you can finally figure out how to beat this puzzle once and for all!


The 3 Ways to Solve Hitori

Hitori comes in three different difficulty levels. Here’s how to solve each type of puzzle. Level 1: The easiest version of hitori requires you to figure out where one black block goes in a grid with all white blocks. There are only nine possible solutions, so if you can’t figure it out in two minutes or less then you need some more practice! Level 2: In level two Hitori puzzles, there are a few restrictions that make things just a little bit harder.


The Rules of Hitori

Hitori (also spelled Hashi) is a classic logic puzzle game from Japan, which shares some structural similarities with Sudoku. Both puzzles are played on a 9×9 grid of cells, and each cell must contain a digit between 1 and 9. In Hitori, you can only place a tile if it does not have any of its digits repeated in any of the four squares touching its corners. Like Sudoku, there’s more than one solution for many puzzles.


 Methods for Solving a Single Cell (1×1)

If you ever encounter a hitori challenge, it’s crucial that you don’t panic. As with any mind game, there are often many ways to solve it—sometimes literally dozens of different strategies and solutions. Use these 10 methods for solving a single-cell (1×1) Hitori puzzle as tools for brainstorming new ideas on how to tackle your own challenge!


 Methods for Solving Two Cells (2×2)

By my count, there are eight possible ways for two cells to be connected in a Hitori puzzle. Six of these methods can be completed by either left-handed or right-handed players, and two require you use your opposite hand. The first six methods are below; click on them for a visual guide. The last two require you to reverse your orientation entirely and are demonstrated here.


 Methods for Solving Three Cells (3×3)

Method 1 and Method 5 are both good methods for solving a three-cell (3×3) grid in hitori. Method 1 may be easier, but you might find that you don’t need to use it. While it’s usually best to start from one of the corners, try looking at different areas first—for example, begin with a cell in row 2 or column 2. In some cases, you can solve an entire 3×3 puzzle using only two cells. If that doesn’t work out, try filling in another square on your own; if you get stuck again, look for patterns around your working space and fill in squares accordingly.


 Methods for Solving Four Cells (4×4)

There are many methods for completing a 4×4, but they all fall into one of seven main strategies, which we’ll cover next. If you’re trying to figure out which method is best for you and your personal style, try them all with a pencil and paper—you may find that one works better than the others in terms of speed or enjoyment. Once you have your preferred method down, take it online and use it to solve as many puzzles as possible! You can also check out our How To Solve Hitori infographic for an overview of each strategy.


 Methods for Solving Five Cells (5×5)

5×5 is a classic Hitori puzzle and an easy one at that. Here are five different ways of completing it. If you’re looking for more than just methods, check out our list of tricks for solving all sorts of puzzles. And if you’re stuck on any other sizes, don’t worry!


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