So much harder than Spanish & French lol..I still don't have all the kanji's down.
Taking courses is the best way to go, but if you can't do that then I reccomend getting a textbook and starting from there. Like Rathany said, Genki is a great textbook for beginners. There are two books to that series with cds for listening comprehension. You can get through basic conversations via the first book. It takes a lot of time, but it is worth it!