GET UP TO 55% OFF WITH OUR BEST HOLIDAY DEALS
GET UP TO 55% OFF WITH OUR BEST HOLIDAY DEALS
JapanesePod101.com Blog
Learn Japanese with Free Daily
Audio and Video Lessons!
Start Your Free Trial 6 FREE Features

Archive for the 'Learn Japanese' Category

Talk About Family in Japanese: Father-in-Law and More!

Thumbnail

Learning a foreign language isn’t only about the language itself, but also about its culture, customs, and society. Family is the minimum unit of a social group, and it’s important to understand its characteristics as this is closely related to culture and customs.

When you learn how to explain your family in Japanese, it helps to expand your vocabulary and improve your communication skills in Japanese.

Compared to English, there are many more words to describe family members in Japanese. These words are according to age and the style (formal and informal). For example, what is a Japanese father-in-law called?

Let’s learn how to describe family in Japanese at JapanesePod101.com. Here’s our list of the most useful Japanese words and family member terms, as well as important information about family in Japan.

Table of Contents

  1. Family in Japan - Cultural Perspective
  2. Basic Family Terms
  3. Terms of Relatives
  4. Family Terms as a Married Person
  5. Endearment Terms
  6. How to Describe Family and Ask Question about Family in Japanese
  7. Conclusion: How Japanesepod101 Can Help You Learn More Japanese

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Family Phrases in Japanese


1. Family in Japan - Cultural Perspective

Family Quotes

Before we move onto the actual family vocabulary, it’s important that we go over family roles in Japanese culture, family values in Japanese society, and the importance of family in Japanese culture. This will give you a better idea of what to expect from Japanese families, and give more context to the Japanese family vocabulary and phrases you’re going to learn!

1- Traditional and Modern Family in Japan

The traditional Japanese family is characterized by the 家 (Ie) or family system, which is literally translated as “household.” It refers to a home and family’s lineage, which bestows importance of kinship and loyalty to their family.

Each member of a family is expected to serve their family’s interests (rather than the individual’s) as a priority. The Japanese family is traditionally patriarchal and a household usually consists of grandparents, their son, his wife, and their children. The eldest son is expected to inherit the household assets, and he’s responsible for taking care of his parents when they get old.

In the modern Japanese family, however, the influence of the traditional ie system isn’t as strong as it used to be. A 核家族 (kaku kazoku) or “nuclear family” is very common nowadays, and consists of two parents and their children, typically centering on a married couple.

While a married couple is expected to live together with a husband’s parents in the traditional Japanese family, grandparents don’t live with a kaku kazoku in a modern Japanese family (although they are visited often).

2- Becoming a Family in Japan (Marriage)

In Japan, the 戸籍 (Koseki) or “family registration system” is mandatory to all households. It requires that the family records all changes in family composition and identity, such as births, deaths, marriages, divorces, acknowledgements of paternity, adoptions, and disrupted adoptions.

It’s required to register one person as the head of a household, and the rest of the members in a household must have the same surname as that of the head. Once a couple gets married, spouses are obligated to have the same surname, and registration of different surnames is not allowed.

Due to the traditional system and the importance of kinship as custom, marriage isn’t only a matter of the bride and groom, but also of their extended family. It’s expected that extended families from both sides are going to have a “family relationship” once a couple gets married in Japan. As such, relationships with one’s in-laws become important.

3- Expressions of Family in Japan

There are various words to name family members in Japanese.

Japanese vocabulary words to describe family count age difference, and there are particular names related to age. This is because age is regarded as one of the most important attributions in the Japanese society, which is greatly influenced by the concept of Confucianism that states seniority is highly respected.

As relationships with in-laws are also culturally important, there are particular names for them as well.

In addition, there are variations of how to express family members, ranging from very casual to formal. Which ones to use depend on the occasion.

Let’s dive into the details in the following sections, and get you started with common family words in Japanese.


2. Basic Family Terms

Family Words

Now, it’s time to learn some basic Japanese words for family members. These are the words you’ll most often hear and use!

1- Basic Family Vocabularies

The formal terms are usually used for official occasions and in written form, while the informal terms are commonly used in casual situations (orally) as well as when calling a family member.

 

English Formal Informal
I / me 私(わたし -
watashi
father 父(ちち お父さん
chichi o-tō-san
mother 母(はは) お母さん
haha o-kā-san
older sister 姉(あね) お姉さん / お姉ちゃん
ane o-nee-san / o-nee-chan
younger sister 妹(いもうと) -
imōto
older brother 兄(あに) お兄さん / お兄ちゃん
ani o-nii-san / o-nii-chan
younger brother 弟(おとうと) -
otōto
grandfather 祖父(そふ) おじいさん / おじいちゃん
sofu o-jii-san / o-jii-chan
grandmother 祖母(そぼ) おばあさん / おばあちゃん
sobo o-bā-san / o-bā-chan
great grandfather 曽祖父 (そうそふ) ひいおじいさん/ ひいおじいちゃん
sōsofu hii-o-jii-san / hii-o-jii-chan
great grandmother

曽祖母(そうそぼ) ひいおばあさん/ ひいおばあちゃん
sobo hii-o-bā-san / hii-o-bā-chan
grandchild(ren) 孫 (まご)
mago
great grandchild(ren) ひ孫(ひまご)
himago

 

Family Leaving Home

Average modern Japanese families usually have 1 or 2 children.

2- More Vocabulary

  • 家族 かぞく (Kazoku) : family
  • 両親 りょうしん (Ryōshin) : parents (father & mother)
  • 親 おや (Oya) : parent(s)
  • 子供 こども (Kodomo) : child(ren)
  • 兄弟 きょうだい (Kyōdai) : brothers
  • 姉妹しまい (Shimai) : sisters

3- Examples

Here are some examples of Japanese phrases for family, so you have a better idea how to use the vocabulary above.

  • 私の家族は、お母さん、お父さん、私、弟の4人家族です。
    Watashi no kazoku wa, o-kā-san, o-tō-san, watashi, otōto no yo-nin kazoku desu.
    My family has four members: mother, father, me, and my younger brother.
  • 私は姉と妹がいる3姉妹です。
    Watashi wa ane to imōto ga iru san-shimai desu.
    I have an older sister and a younger sister, and we are three sisters.
  • 私は兄と姉がいます。
    Watashi wa ani to ane ga imasu.
    I have an older brother and an older sister.
  • 私は祖父と祖母が大好きです。
    Watashi wa sofu to sobo ga daisuki desu.
    I like my grandfather and grandmother very much.

To listen to the pronunciation of basic family terms, please visit Must-Know Terms for Family Members on our website.

Also, if you would like to know more about Japanese numbers, please visit our Japanese Numbers article.

Mother and Daughter Smiling

The bond between a mother and a daughter is often very strong.


3. Terms of Relatives

1- Vocabulary for Relatives

  • 親戚 しんせき (Shinseki) : relatives
  • 叔父 おじ (Oji) : uncle
  • 叔母 おば (Oba) : aunt
  • 甥 おい (Oi) : nephew
  • 姪 めい (Mei) : niece
  • いとこ (Itoko) : cousin

2- Examples

  • 私の親戚は全員東京に住んでいます。
    Watashi no shinseki wa zen’in Tōkyō ni sunde imasu.
    All my relatives live in Tokyo.
  • 私は5人いとこがいます。
    Watashi wa go-nin itoko ga imasu.
    I have five cousins.
  • 私の叔父と叔母は教師です。
    Watashi no oji to oba wa kyōshi desu.
    My uncle and my aunt are teachers.
  • 私の姪は5歳で、甥は2歳です。
    Watashi no mei wa go-sai de, oi wa ni-sai desu.
    My niece is five years old and my nephew is two years old.


4. Family Terms as a Married Person

1- Vocabulary to Know as a Married Person

  • 結婚 けっこん (Kekkon) : marriage
  • 既婚 きこん (Kikon) : married
  • 未婚 みこん (Mikon) : unmarried
  • 離婚 りこん (Rikon) : divorce
  • 夫 おっと (Otto) : husband
  • 妻 つま (Tsuma) : wife
  • 息子 むすこ (Musuko) : son
  • 娘 むすめ (Musume) : daughter
  • 義理の ぎりの (Giri no) : in-law

In order to express “XXX in-law,” add 義理の (Giri no) in front of XXX (the family member).

For example:

  • 義理の両親 (Giri no ryōshin) : parents-in-law
  • 義理の父 (Giri no chichi) : father-in-law
  • 義理の母 (Giri no haha) : mother-in-law
  • 義理の兄 (Giri no ani) : older brother-in-law
  • 義理の弟 (Giri no otōto) : younger brother-in-law
  • 義理の姉 (Giri no ane) : older sister-in-law
  • 義理の妹 (Giri no imōto) : younger sister-in-law

2- Examples

  • 私は夫と娘が1人います。
    Watashi wa otto to musume ga hitori imasu.
    I have a husband and one daughter.
  • 私の義理の父と母は大阪に住んでいます。
    Watashi no giri no chichi to haha wa Ōsaka ni sunde imasu.
    My father and mother in-law live in Osaka.
  • 私は既婚者で子供が2人います。
    Watashi wa kikonsha de kodomo ga futari imasu.
    I am married and I have two children.
  • 私の義理の両親は、私の息子におもちゃを買いました。
    Watashi no giri no ryōshin wa, watashi no musuko ni omocha o kaimashita.
    My parents-in-law bought a toy for my son.


5. Endearment Terms

Parents Phrases

In addition to the formal and informal terms for family, there are also more casual vocabulary words that you can call family members. It may vary from household to household, or on what kind of relationships there are between family members, but here are some examples. Just note that these are typically used in Japanese family relationships that are close.

1- Father

  • パパ (Papa) : papa

Like in English, “papa” is a common name to call a father in Japan, especially when children are very small. However, most Japanese people don’t use papa as they grow up.

  • 父ちゃん (Tō-chan) : dad

This term includes a nuance of cute and comical affection.

  • おやじ (Oyaji) : dad

This term is usually used by sons who are post-adolescent age. When they become adults, they often feel embarrassed to call their father papa or o-tō-san. This term also indicates a nuance of close affection.

2- Mother

  • ママ (Mama) : mama

Just like papa, mama is used especially when children are still small.

  • 母ちゃん (Kā-chan) : mom

This is the version of tō-chan used for mothers.

  • お袋 (Ofukuro) : mom

This is the mother version of oyaji.

3- Grandfather

  • じじ (Jiji) : grandpa

Grandchildren and their parents usually call a grandfather by this term when the grandchildren are still small. It indicates a nuance of cute affection.

  • じーじ (Jīji) : grandpa

This is very similar to jiji, but the first ji is pronounced longer.

4- Grandmother

  • ばば (Baba) : grandma

This is the grandmother version of jiji.

  • ばーば (Bāba) : grandma

This is the grandmother version of jīji.

Elderly Couple

Grandparents often have endearing nicknames when they have grandchildren.


6. How to Describe Family and Ask Question about Family in Japanese

Most of the time, there’s no problem with talking about family and relatives. When it comes to marital status and children, however, it can be a delicate matter. It can sometimes be inappropriate to ask someone about his/her marital status or if they have children, unless he/she is open and willing to talk. This is especially true for a woman in her 30s.

Here are some example questions and answers related to family.

Q:
何人家族ですか。
Nan-nin kazoku desu ka.
How many family members do you have?

A:
お父さん、お母さん、お姉ちゃん、私の4人家族です。
O-tō-san, o-kā-san, o-nee-chan, watashi no yo-nin kazoku desu.
I have four family members: father, mother, older sister, and me.

—–

Q:
兄弟はいますか。
Kyōdai wa imasu ka.
Do you have brothers and sisters?

*When asking a question, kyōdai can also refer to sisters.

A:
私は姉と弟がいます。
Watashi wa ane to otōto ga imasu.
I have an older sister and a younger brother.

—–

Q:
結婚していますか。
Kekkon shite imasu ka.
Are you married?

A:
はい、妻と子供が2人います。
Hai, tsuma to kodomo ga futari imasu.
Yes, I have a wife and two children.

—–

Q:
孫はいますか。
Mago wa imasu ka.
Do you have grandchildren?

A:
はい、私は孫が6人います。
Hai, watashi wa mago ga roku-nin imasu.
Yes, I have six grandchildren.

—–

Q:
ご両親はお元気ですか。
Go-ryōshin wa o-genki desu ka.
How are your parents?

*It’s polite to put go in front of ryōshin when you talk about someone’s parents.

A:
はい、私の父と母は元気です。
Hai, watashi no chichi to haha wa genki desu.
Yes, my father and mother are doing well.

—–

For more about self-introductions, please visit Introducing Yourself in Japanese on our website.


7. Conclusion: How Japanesepod101 Can Help You Learn More Japanese

I hope this article about family in Japanese culture is useful and that it helps to improve your Japanese communication skills.

If you would like to learn more about the Japanese language, you’ll find more useful content on JapanesePod101.com. We provide a variety of free lessons for you to improve your Japanese language skills. For example, Must-Know Terms for Family Members is helpful if you want to practice family terms in Japanese with audio.

We also have YouTube channel: JapanesePod101. It’s always fun to learn Japanese by watching videos and listening to actual Japanese pronunciation.

Before you go, let us know in the comments if there are any family terms you still want to know! And to practice, write a short paragraph about your family in basic Japanese. We look forward to hearing from you!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Family Phrases in Japanese

Japanese Travel Phrases for an Enjoyable Trip to Japan

Thumbnail

Are you traveling to Japan and want to learn practical Japanese travel phrases? This article is designed to help you learn the most useful Japanese words for travel.

It’s always good to learn basic words when you travel to a foreign country. Not only does it make getting around easier, but it also allows you to enjoy communicating with the locals.

In general, Japanese people are not so good at speaking English, free wifi services aren’t very prevalent (especially outside of the central cities), and Japan is still more of a cash-based society than you may think. However, Japanese people are very kind; they’ll listen to you patiently and do their best to help. So just use these basic Japanese travel phrases to talk to Japanese people when you want to ask something.

When you speak even a little bit of Japanese, locals will appreciate your effort and will be more friendly. Here’s JapanesePod101’s list of practical Japanese travel phrases for your travels to Japan!

Table of Contents

  1. Greeting/Communication
  2. Asking for Directions
  3. Shopping
  4. Restaurants
  5. When You Need Help
  6. Conclusion: How JapanesePod101 Can Help You Learn More Japanese

Log


1. Greeting/Communication

Airplane Phrases

To begin our list of essential Japanese travel phrases, we’ll go over greetings and basic travel phrases in Japanese for solid communication. These simple Japanese travel phrases can make a world of difference in your conversations and overall experience in Japan.

1- こんにちは

  • Romanization: Kon’nichiwa
  • English Translation: Hello

In terms of must-know Japanese travel phrases, you probably already know that this is the most common Japanese greeting word. You can say this to anybody for any occasion during the daytime.

2- はい/いいえ

  • Romanization: Hai / Iie
  • English Translation: Yes / No

Hai is “Yes” and it’s pronounced like the English word “Hi.” In Japan, saying yes also means that you understand. Iie is “No” and it’s pronounced ‘EE-eh.’

3- ありがとうございます

  • Romanization: Arigatō gozaimasu
  • English Translation: Thank you

Arigatō gozaimasu is the polite way to say “Thank you” in Japanese, and you can use this for any occasion. In case of a casual situation, you can just say Arigatō, or even more casually, Dōmo (どうも) which means “Thanks.”

4- いいえ、いりません

  • Romanization: Iie, irimasen
  • English Translation: No, thank you.

It literally means “No, I don’t need it,” in Japanese. At a restaurant, say this phrase when a waiter offers to fill your glass of water and you don’t want more.

5- すみません

  • Romanization: Sumimasen
  • English Translation: I’m sorry / Excuse me

This word is usually used to say “sorry'’ or “excuse me”. Say this when you bump into someone in a crowd or when you ask someone for directions. Japanese people also use this to mean “thank you,” in some cases, such as when someone picks up something you dropped.

6- お願いします

  • Romanization: Onegai shimasu
  • English Translation: Please

When you request something, it’s polite to say Onegai shimasu. When someone offers you something and says please, she/he would say Dōzo (どうぞ) in Japanese.

7- 私はXXです

  • Romanization: Watashi wa XX desu.
  • English Translation: I am XX.

Watashi is “I,” wa is “am/is/are,” and desu is a present-tense word that links subjects and predicates; it’s placed at the end of a sentence. You can put your name, or your nationality, such as: Watashi wa Amerika-jin desu (私はアメリカ人です) which means “I am American.”  

Many Different Flags

8- 私は日本語がわかりません

  • Romanization: Watashi wa nihongo ga wakarimasen.
  • English Translation: I don’t understand Japanese.

Nihongo is stands for the Japanese language, and Wakarimasen means “I don’t understand.” If you don’t know something, you can just say Wakarimasen meaning “I don’t know.”

9- 英語を話せますか

  • Romanization: Eigo o hanasemasu ka
  • English Translation: Can you speak English?

This is one of the most useful Japanese phrases for travelers. Eigo means “English,” Hanasemasu is a polite way to say “I speak,” and ka is a word that you add to the end of a complete sentence to make a question.

10- 英語でお願いします

  • Romanization: Eigo de onegai shimasu
  • English Translation: English, please.

This is another important Japanese travel phrase. De is the particle, and in this case it means “by” or “by means of.” The phrase literally translates as “English by please.” You can also say M saizu de onegai shimasu (Mサイズでお願いします) which means “Medium size, please.”


2. Asking for Directions

Preparing to Travel

One of the most important Japanese travel phrases you should know are directions. Here are some useful vocabulary words and two Japanese language travel phrases you need to know!

1- Vocabulary

  • 駅 (Eki) : Station
  • 地下鉄 (Chikatetsu) : Subway/Metro
  • トイレ (Toire) : Toilet
  • 銀行 (Ginkō) : Bank
  • 切符売り場 (Kippu uriba) : Ticket machine/Office
  • 観光案内所 (Kankō annaijo) : Tourist information office
  • 入口 (Iriguchi) : Entrance
  • 出口 (Deguchi) : Exit
  • 右 (Migi) : Right
  • 左 (Hidari) : Left
  • まっすぐ (Massugu) : Straight
  • 曲がる (Magaru) : Turn
  • 交差点 (Kōsaten) : Intersection
  • 角 (Kado) : Corner

2- XXはどこですか

  • Romanization: XX wa doko desu ka
  • English Translation: Where is XX?

Doko means “where” and you replace XX with the name of where you want to go.

For example

  • Toire wa doko desu ka (Where is the toilet?)
  • Deguchi wa doko desu ka (Where is an exit?)

3- XX e wa dō ikeba ii desu ka (XXへはどう行けばいいですか) : How can I go to XX?

  • Romanization: XX e wa dō ikeba ii desu ka
  • English Translation: How can I go to XX?

is “how,” e is “to,” and ikeba ii can be translated as “good to go.” When you want to know how you can get somewhere, replace XX with where you want to go.

For example:

  • Eki e wa dō ikeba ii desu ka (How can I go to the station?)
  • Ginkō e wa dō ikeba ii desu ka (How can I go to the bank?)

4- Other Examples

1. この道をまっすぐ行きます (Kono michi o massugu ikimasu.):Go straight on this street.

Kono michi is “this street” and ikimasu is the polite way to say “Go.” O is a Japanese postpositional particle which indicates an object (in this case, kono michi).

2. 次の角を右へ曲がります (Tsugi no kado o migi e magarimasu.):Turn right at the next corner.

Tsugi no kado means “next corner” and magarimasu is the polite way to say “Turn.” E is another postpositional particle that indicates direction; this can be translated as the English word “to.”

3. 交差点を渡って左へ行きます (Kōsaten o watatte hidari e ikimasu.):Cross an intersection and go to the left (direction).

Watatte is a conjugated form of wataru which means “cross.”


3. Shopping

Basic Questions

You’ll definitely love shopping when traveling in Japan, and some of the best Japanese phrases for travel are those related to this fun past-time. Knowing some useful Japanese words will make your shopping even more enjoyable.

1- XXはありますか

  • Romanization: XX wa arimasu ka
  • English Translation: Do you have XX?

When you’re at a store and looking for something, you can use this phrase by replacing XX with what you want.

2- いくらですか

  • Romanization: Ikura desu ka
  • English Translation: How much is it?

This is probably one of the most useful Japanese words for traveling and shopping. You can say Ikura desu ka in many situations, such as when you’re shopping, buying tickets, paying for a taxi, etc.

3- 免税できますか

  • Romanization: Menzei dekimasu ka
  • English Translation: Can you do a tax exemption?

Did you know that, as a traveler, you can get a sales tax exemption when you purchase things greater than 5,000 yen? Menzei is “tax exempted” and dekimasu means “can do.” Don’t forget to say this when you buy something big!

4- これは何ですか

  • Romanization: Kore wa nan desu ka
  • English Translation: What is this?

Kore is “this” and nan is another form of nani which means “what.” There are many unique foods, gadgets, and things which are unique to Japan, so when you wonder what it is, point to it and say this phrase.

5- これを買います

  • Romanization: Kore o kaimasu
  • English Translation: I’ll buy this.

Kaimasu is the conjugation of the verb kau, which means “buy.”

6- カードは使えますか

  • Romanization: Kādo wa tsukaemasu ka
  • English Translation: Can I use a credit card?

Kādo is “card” and you pronounce it just like the English word “card.” Tsukaemasu is a conjugation of the potential form of the verb tsukau which means “use.” This phrase is useful when you want to use your card at small shops and restaurants.

Man and Woman Shopping


4. Restaurants

Japan has an array of delicious foods, of which sushi and ramen are just the tip of the iceberg. Amazingly, Tokyo is the city with the most Michelin-starred restaurants in the world, for several consecutive years. Enjoy yummy food at restaurants with useful Japanese words for restaurants and easy Japanese travel phrases related to food.

1- Vocabulary

  • 英語のメニュー (Eigo no menyū) : English menu
  • ベジタリアンのメニュー (Bejitarian no menyū) : Vegetarian menu
  • 豚肉を含まないメニュー (Butaniku o fukumanai menyū) : Menu without pork
  • 水 (Mizu) : Water
  • 白/赤ワイン (Shiro / Aka wain) : White / Red wine

2- XXはありますか

  • Romanization: XX wa arimasu ka
  • English Translation: Do you have XX?

When you want to ask if the restaurant has something you want, say this phrase (replacing XX with what you want).

For example:

  • Eigo no menyū wa arimasu ka (Do you have an English menu?)
  • Aka wain wa arimasu ka (Do you have red wine?)

3- XXをください

  • Romanization: XX o kudasai
  • English Translation: Can I have XX?

This is another very useful phrase. Simply replace XX with what you want. You can also use this versatile phrase in various occasions, such as when shopping, choosing something, etc.

For example:

  • Kore o kudasai (Can I have this?)
  • Mizu o kudasai (Can I have water?)

4- お会計お願いします

  • Romanization: O-kaikei onegai shimasu
  • English Translation: Check, please.

O-kaikei means “check.” In Japan, people often cross their index fingers in front of their face as a gesture to indicate “check, please” at casual restaurants. However, when you’re at a nice restaurant, simply tell a waiter: O-kaikei onegai shimasu.


5. When You Need Help

Survival Phrases

Sometimes you get faced with unexpected emergencies while you’re traveling. Japan is famous for being one of the safest countries in the world, but you might fall very ill or be caught in a great earthquake.

1- Vocabularies

  • 警察 (Keisatsu) : Police
  • 病院 (Byōin) : Hospital
  • 救急車 (Kyūkyūsha) : Ambulance
  • ドラッグストア/薬局 (Doraggu sutoa / Yakkyoku) : Drug Store/Pharmacy
  • タクシー (Takushī) : Taxi

2- XXを呼んでください

  • Romanization: XX o yonde kudasai
  • English Translation: Can you call XX?

When you’re severely ill or in case of emergency, let people know by using this phrase. Japanese people will kindly help you.

For example:

  • Yūkyūsha o yonde kudasai (Can you call an ambulance?)
  • Keisatsu o yonde kudasai (Can you call the police?)

3- どこでインターネットを使えますか

  • Romanization: Doko de intānetto o tsukaemasu ka
  • English Translation: Where can I use the internet?

Although large cities in Japan provide free public wifi at major stations, metros, and cafes, you may need to find internet access in smaller cities. Remember that there will be kind Japanese people who will share their personal hotspots, or look things up for you with their own phones, as well.

4- 電話を貸してください

  • Romanization: Denwa o kashite kudasai
  • English Translation: Can I use your phone?

Denwa is “phone” and kashite is a conjugation word of kasu, which means “lend.” This phrase is literally translated as “Please lend (me) a phone.”

5- 助けてください

  • Romanization: Tasukete kudasai
  • English Translation: Please help me.

I believe this phrase is the last thing you would ever use in Japan, but in case something does happen, this is useful survival Japanese for tourists.

Japanese Landmark


6. Conclusion: How JapanesePod101 Can Help You Learn More Japanese

I hope this article of Japanese travel phrases is helpful and that you’ll enjoy your trip to Japan!

If you would like to learn more about the Japanese language, you’ll find more useful content on JapanesePod101.com. We provide a variety of free lessons for you to improve your Japanese language skills.

We also have YouTube channel: JapanesePod101. It’s fun to learn Japanese through watching videos and listening to actual Japanese pronunciation, so we recommend you check it out!

Don’t forget to study with our free Japanese vocabulary lists, read more insightful blog posts like this one, and download our mobile apps to learn anywhere, anytime! Whatever your reason for learning Japanese, know that we’re here to help and you can do it! Keep in mind that the best way to learn Japanese phrases for travel is repetition and practice.

Before you go, let us know in the comments how you feel about using these useful travel phrases in Japanese after reading this article. More confident, or still a little confused about something? Feel free to ask questions in the comments!

Log

Japanese Numbers: Let’s Master the Basic Japanese Numbers!

Thumbnail

Numbers are necessary in everyday life as you need them to express time, record dates, interpret recipe amounts, count objects, and the list goes on. Japanese numerical systems have unique features and they are very different from those in English.

For example, Japanese has a variety of counter words depending on different factors. Further, large numbers are counted by units of four digits while the Western system counts by that of three digits, and the differences only continue for numbers in the Japanese language.

Let’s start to learn basic Japanese numbers with JapanesePod101.com!

Table of Contents

  1. Counting in Japanese: Numbers 0-9
  2. Counting in Japanese: Numbers 10-99
  3. Counting in Japanese: Numbers up to 1000
  4. Counting in Japanese: More than 10,000
  5. Decimal Fraction / Fraction Numbers in Japanese
  6. How to Say Prices in Japanese
  7. Shopping Using Numbers in Japanese
  8. How to Give Your Phone Number in Japanese
  9. Conclusion: How JapanesePod101.com Can Help You Learn More Japanese

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Count to One Billion in Japanese


1. Counting in Japanese: Numbers 0-9

Japanese Numbers

漢字 Kanji ひらがな Hiragana Reading
0 ぜろ/れい Zero/Rei
1 いち Ichi
2 Ni
3 さん San
4 し/よん Shi/Yon
5 Go
6 ろく Roku
7 しち/なな Shichi/Nana
8 はち Hachi
9 く/きゅう Ku/Kyū
10 じゅう

These are the basic Japanese numbers for 0 to 10. You absolutely need to know these numbers in learning Japanese so that you can use them to build bigger numbers.

The standard way of reading 0 to 10 is also used in combination with counter words when you count anything, including actions and events. The Arabic numerals (0, 1, 2, 3…) are also commonly used in Japanese, but they often appear in horizontal texts, while the numbers in Kanji are mostly used in vertical texts, especially in formal writings and in particular situations.

As it’s written in the chart, there are some numbers which can be read two ways:

  • 0 can be ぜろ(Zero) or れい (Rei). Nowadays, “Zero” is more common to read, and the Kanji 零 is rarely used.
  • 4 can either be し(Shi) or よん (Yon).
  • 7 can either be しち(Shichi) or なな (Nana).
  • 9 can be either く(Ku) or きゅう (Kyū).

In most circumstances, both are acceptable. In general, よん (Yon), なな (Nana), and きゅう(Kyū) sound more casual and common.し(Shi), しち (Shichi), and く(Ku) sound more formal.


2. Counting in Japanese: Numbers 10-99

漢字 Kanji ひらがな Hiragana Reading Literal reading in Japanese
11 十一 じゅういち jū-ichi 10, 1
12 十二 じゅうに jū-ni 10, 2
13 十三 じゅうさん jū-san 10, 3
14 十四 じゅうし/よん jū-shi/yon 10, 4
15 十五 じゅうご jū-go 10, 5
16 十六 じゅうろく jū-roku 10, 6
17 十七 じゅうしち/なな jū-shichi/nana 10, 7
18 十八 じゅうはち jū-hachi 10, 8
19 十九 じゅうく/きゅう jū kyū/ku 10, 9
20 二十 にじゅう ni-jū 2, 10
21 二十一 にじゅういち ni-jū ichi 2, 10, 1
30 三十 さんじゅう san-jū 3, 10
40 四十 よんじゅう yon-jū 4, 10
50 五十 ごじゅう go-jū 5, 10
60 六十 ろくじゅう roku-jū 6, 10
70 七十 ななじゅう nana-jū 7, 10
80 八十 はちじゅう hachi-jū 8,10
90 九十 きゅうじゅう kyū-jū 9,10

You can count from 1 to 99 with just ten numbers (0-10). Japanese numbers are simple and easier to use than English in this respect because there’s no exception or particular separate words such as “twenty” or “thirty.” In Japanese, these are expressed “two ten” and “three ten.” 21 is “two ten one.”

The Arabic numerals are commonly used and Kanji is also used in some circumstances. However, Hiragana isn’t used to express numbers. Like the cases of idiomatic words or a combination of Kanji (熟語 じゅくご Jukugo), Hiragana can become long to express and hard to decipher.

For more on Japanese numbers, YouTube has some great content. Please visit our JapanesePod101 YouTube channel and watch Learn Japanese Numbers 1 to 20 to learn Japanese basic numbers. You can listen to hear how they’re actually pronounced.

Numbers


3. Counting in Japanese: Numbers up to 1000

漢字 Kanji ひらがな Hiragana Reading Literal reading in Japanese
100 ひゃく hyaku 100
200 二百 にひゃく ni-hyaku 2, 100
300 三百 さんびゃく san-byaku 3, 100
400 四百 よんひゃく yon-hyaku 4, 100
500 五百 ごひゃく go-hyaku 5, 100
600 六百 ろっぴゃく roppyaku 6, 100
700 七百 ななひゃく nana-hyaku 7, 100
800 八百 はっぴゃく happyaku 8, 100
900 九百 きゅうひゃく kyū-hyaku 9, 100
1000 せん sen 1000
1100 千百 せんひゃく sen hyaku 1000, 100
110 百十 ひゃくじゅう hyaku jū 100, 10
111 百十一 ひゃくじゅういち hyaku jū-ichi 100, 10, 1

From 100 to 1000, the pattern is basically simple and the same. In Japanese, as you can see in the chart, you can simply put the numbers 1 to 9 and add 100 to express 100 to 900 in Japanese. There are some exceptions for reading, such as 300, 600, and 800.

  • 100 is hyaku, but 300 is read san (3) Byaku (100)
  • 600 is roppyaku instead of “roku hyaku,”
  • 800 is happyaku instead of hachi hyaku.
  • 3000 is san (3) zen (100)
  • 8000 is hassen instead of hachi sen


4. Counting in Japanese: More than 10,000

漢字 Kanji ひらがな Hiragana Reading Literal reading in Japanese
10,000 まん man 10000
100,000 十万 じゅうまん jū-man 10, 10000
1,000,000 百万 ひゃくまん hyaku-man 100, 10000
10,000,000 千万 せんまん sen-man 1000, 10000
10^8 おく oku
10^12 ちょう chō

For the large numbers, Japanese numerals are divided into units of four (as in the four zeros in ten thousand). As you can see in the chart, 万 (man) is 10^4, 億 (oku) is 10^8, and 兆 (chō) is 10^12. One million is expressed as one hundred ten-thousands or 百万 (hyaku-man) in Japanese.

Note that you don’t need to put a 1 for 百 (hyaku) meaning 100 or 千 (sen) meaning 1000. But for units past 1000, you need to put a 1 in front. For example:

  • ichi-man ( 10^4 )
  • ichi-oku ( 10^8 )
  • ichhō ( 10^12 )

You also read numbers in Japanese in the same pattern as mentioned before. You can count by simply chaining the numbers. However, there’s also an exception for the large numbers: 10^12 is 兆 ichhō instead of ichi-chō.

For the large numbers, the Arabic numerals are used in combination with Kanji, such as in 5万 (go-man), 4千万 (Yon-sen-man), 100億 (hyaku-oku), 3兆 (san-chō), etc.

Our JapanesePod101 YouTube video How to Count to 600,000 in Japanese is useful to help you learn large Japanese numbers. Please check it out to see how you can count large numbers in Japanese.

Highlighting Numbers


5. Decimal Fraction / Fraction Numbers in Japanese

1- Decimal Fractions

ひらがな Hiragana Reading
0.1 れいてんいち rei ten ichi
0.03 れいてんれいさん rei ten rei san
0.005 れいてんれいれいご rei ten rei rei go

0 before the decimal point is read rei and 0 after the point can be either rei or zero. The decimal point is called ten which literally means “point.”

2- Fraction Numbers

Japanese writing ひらがな Hiragana Reading
1/2 2分の1 にぶんのいち ni bun no ichi
4/7 7分の4 ななぶんのよん nana bun no yon
3/10 10分の3 じゅうぶんのさん jū bun no san

For fraction numbers in Japanese, the number after / is read first. / is expressed as 分の (bun no).


6. How to Say Prices in Japanese

漢字 Kanji ひらがな Hiragana Reading
1 Yen 1円 いちえん ichi-en
5 Yen 5円 ごえん go-en
10 Yen 10円 じゅうえん jū-en
100 Yen 100円 ひゃくえん hyaku-en
1000 Yen 1000円 せんえん sen-en
5000 Yen 5000円 ごせんえん go-sen-en
10000 Yen 10000円 いちまんえん ichi-man-en

The Japanese currency is Yen and it’s read en. Expressing prices is very simple: you just use the numbers and en. The Arabic numerals are usually used for prices.

Clothes Shopping


7. Shopping Using Numbers in Japanese

The phrase いくら (ikura) which means “How much” is often used in shopping.

The word “Price” is 値段 ねだん (nedan) in Japanese.

Examples for Shopping:

  • A: このりんごの値段はいくらですか。
    A: Kono ringo no nedan wa ikura desu ka.
    A: How much is the price for this apple?

    B: りんご1つ120円です。
    B: Ringo hitotsu hyaku ni-jū-en desu.
    B: One apple is 120 yen.

  • A: これはいくらですか。 
    A: Kore wa ikura desu ka.
    A: How much is this?

    B: それは259円です。 
    B: Sore wa ni-hyaku go-jū kyū-en desu.
    B: It is 259 en.

  • A: 2万5千円の靴の値引きはいくらですか。
    A: Ni-man go-sen-en no kutsu no nebiki wa ikura desu ka.
    A: How much is a discount for the shoes of 25,000 yen?

    B: その靴の値引きは20%で、値段は2万円です。
    B: Sono kutsu no nebiki wa ni-juppāsento de, nedan wa ni-man-en desu.
    B: The discount for the shoes is 20%, and the price is 20,000 yen.

Please visit our JapanesePod101 YouTube channel to learn more helpful Japanese for shopping. The following are practical and useful Japanese for when you go shopping: Buying Items at a Register in Japan, Top 15 Must-Know Japanese Phrases to Go Shopping in Japan, and What’s Inside a Japanese Convenience Store?

Business Deal


8. How to Give Your Phone Number in Japanese

Telephone numbers are simple, as you can just chain numbers.

The words “telephone” and “number” are denwa and bangō in Japanese, respectively.

The only thing you should keep in mind is that “ - “ between numbers are read as no. Or, you can simply pause before giving the following numbers.

Examples:

  • A: あなたの携帯電話番号は何ですか。 
    A: Anata no keitai denwa bangō wa nan desu ka.
    A: What is your mobile telephone number?

    B:私の番号は090-1234-5678です。
    B: Watashi no bangō wa zero kyū zero no ichi ni san yon no go roku shichi hachi desu.
    B: My number is 090-1234-5678.

  • A: お問い合わせはフリーダイヤル0120-123-456におかけください。
    A: O-toiawase wa furī daiyaru zero ichi ni zero no ichi ni san no shi go roku ni okake kudasai.
    A: Please call to the toll-free 0120-123-456 for inquiries.


Conclusion: How JapanesePod101.com Can Help You Learn More Japanese

As we’ve seen, Japanese numbers are very simple to read. However, how to count things is a bit more complicated because there are a variety of Japanese counter words for each object, action, or event.

If you’d like to learn more about the Japanese language, you’ll find more useful content on JapanesePod101.com. We provide a variety of free lessons for you to improve your Japanese language skills.

On our YouTube channel, you’ll enjoy learning the Japanese language by watching videos and listening to actual Japanese pronunciation. For more about Japanese numbers, Numbers & Days, Learn Japanese Counters, and Learn Japanese Superstitions - Unlucky Numbers are helpful.

Further, for reading and writing Japanese, Learn to Read and Write Japanese is a good watch. For much more, please check out our YouTube channel!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Count to One Billion in Japanese

How To Post In Perfect Japanese on Social Media

Thumbnail

You’re learning to speak Japanese, and it’s going well. Your confidence is growing! So much so that you feel ready to share your experiences on social media—in Japanese.

At Learn Japanese, we make this easy for you to get it right the first time. Post like a boss with these phrases and guidelines, and get to practice your Japanese in the process.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Japanese

1. Talking about Your Restaurant Visit in Japanese

Eating out is fun, and often an experience you’d like to share. Take a pic, and start a conversation on social media in Japanese. Your friend will be amazed by your language skills…and perhaps your taste in restaurants!

Mamoru eats at a restaurant with his friends, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

POST

Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

友だちと、しゃぶしゃぶ食べ放題なう。 (Tomodachi to, shabushabu tabehōdai nau.)
“At all-you-can-eat shabushabu with my friends now.”

1- 友だちと (Tomodachi to)

First is an expression meaning: “With my friends.”
It’s common to include information about who you’re spending time with in a social media post. However, eating or drinking alone is also common in Japan, and a lot of restaurants accommodate single customers.

2- しゃぶしゃぶ食べ放題なう (Shabushabu tabehōdai nau.)

Then comes the phrase - “At all-you-can-eat shabushabu now..”
All-you-can-eat cuisine is very popular in Japan. When you go to Japanese style bars, you’ll often see a menu that says all-you-can-eat or all-you-can-drink. A lot of Japanese people upload a post while they are still at the place, and share the latest status of themselves with others by emphasising that they’re “now” at the place.

COMMENTS

In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

1- 本当、おいしかったね。 (Hontō, oishikatta ne. )

His girlfriend, Hazuki, uses an expression meaning - “Indeed, it was delicious. ”
This expression shows you are appreciative of the quality of the food.

2- うわー、誘ってくれよ! (Uwā, sasotte kure yo!)

His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “What, why didn’t you invite me!”
With this expression, Shō is being playful.

3- こんど行くとき私も連れて行って〜。 (Kondo iku toki watashi mo tsurete ittē.)

His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “You gotta take me with you next time.”
This phrase expresses a wish.

4- 高そう。。 (Takasō..)

His girlfriend’s nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “Looks expensive…”
Perhaps Yamato is a bit cynical? But he could also be appreciative of the restaurant or the food’s quality.

VOCABULARY

Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 友だち (tomodachi): “friend”
  • しゃぶしゃぶ (shabushabu): “shabushabu (thin slices of beef and a variety of vegetables parboiled in hot soup usually eaten with sesame sauce or sour sauce called Ponzu)”
  • 食べ放題 (tabehōdai): “all-you-can-eat”
  • 本当 (hontō): “indeed”
  • おいしい (oishii): “delicious”
  • 誘う (sasou): “to invite”
  • 高い (takai): “expensive”
  • 連れて行く (tsurete iku): “to take someone with someone “
  • So, let’s practice a bit. If a friend posted something about having dinner with friends, which phrase would you use?

    Now go visit a Japanese restaurant, and wow the staff with your language skills!

    2. Post about Your Mall Visit in Japanese

    Another super topic for social media is shopping—everybody does it, most everybody loves it, and your friends on social media are probably curious about your shopping sprees! Share these Japanese phrases in posts when you visit a mall.

    Hazuki shops with her sister at the mall, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    新しくできたお店に妹と。ものすごい列。。 (Atarashiku dekita o-mise ni imōto to. Monosugoi retsu̷ ;)
    “With my sis at the store that recently opened. What a super long line..”

    1- 新しくできたお店 (Atarashiku dekita o-mise)

    First is an expression meaning: “Newly opened store.”
    In Japan, sharing hot news and the latest information a common thing to do on social media. When you go to a recently-opened store that’s been mentioned on TV or on social media, it’s a perfect chance to show the world that you already went there before anyone else did!

    2- ものすごい列 (Monosugoi retsu)

    Then comes the phrase - “What a super long line.”
    Passing information by word of mouth is also one of the popular uses of social media in Japan. For example, you could check other people’s posts to calculate a less crowded time to visit the place!

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- またショッピング? (Mata shoppingu?)

    Her nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “Shopping again?”
    Yamato is making conversation with this phrase..

    2- わたしも昨日ここにいた! (Watashi mo kinō koko ni ita!)

    Her high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “I was here yesterday, too!”
    This shares a detail of your life - good conversation starters!

    3- また服が増えるのか。。 (Mata fuku ga fueru no ka̷ ;)

    Her boyfriend, Mamoru, uses an expression meaning - “Oh, there we have more clothes…

    4- え、本当に妹さん?大人っぽい。 (E, hontō ni imōto-san? Otonappoi.)

    Her college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “No, is that really your younger sister? She looks mature.”
    Use this expression to demonstrate surprise and even appreciation.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 新しくできた (atarashiku dekita): “newly opened”
  • 妹 (imōto): “younger sister”
  • ものすごい (monosugoi): “incredible, super”
  • また (mata): “again”
  • いる (iru): “to be, to exist”
  • 増える (fueru): “to increase”
  • さん (san): “polite name suffix, similar to Mr. or Mrs.”
  • 大人っぽい (otonappoi): “mature”
  • So, if a friend posted something about going shopping, which phrase would you use?

    3. Talking about a Sport Day in Japanese

    Sport events, whether you’re the spectator or the sports person, offer fantastic opportunity for great social media posts. Learn some handy phrases and vocabulary to start a sport-on-the-beach conversation in Japanese.

    Mamoru plays with his friends at the beach, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    今年こそ、絶対勝つ! (Kotoshi koso, zettai katsu!)
    “This year, for sure, we must win!”

    1- 今年こそ (Kotoshi koso)

    First is an expression meaning “This year for sure.”
    Japanese people love sports, and often gather to play games after work or school. Watching sports games together with friends at a public space is also a big thing in Japan. Some of the most popular sports are baseball and soccer.

    2- ぜったい勝つ! (Zettai katsu!)

    Then comes the phrase - “we must win!.”
    This expression is used when you’re cheering for a team while watching a sports game. This phrase is also used when going into a match. It shows a strong determination. You can also replace the verb with other verbs.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- がんばれー! (Ganbarē!)

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Go for it!”
    Use this expression to show your enthusiastic support for your team.

    2- どこのビーチですか? (Doko no bīchi desu ka?)

    His neighbor, Yūko, uses an expression meaning - “Where’s the beach at?”
    This is a question to determine the location of the game. So, to gather information, use this phrase.

    3- けっきょく結果はどうだったの?笑 (Kekkyoku kekka wa dō datta no?wara)

    His girlfriend’s high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “So what was the result after all? lol”
    This question shows inquisitiveness.

    4- 大学時代を思い出すなあ。 (Daigaku jidai o omoidasu nā.)

    His supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “Reminds me of our college life.”
    Somewhat nostalgic, Norio holds a senior position at work, and is perhaps a bit old-fashioned.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 今年 (kotoshi): “this year”
  • こそ (koso): “for sure”
  • 絶対 (zettai): “unconditional”
  • 勝つ (katsu): “to win”
  • がんばれ (ganbare): “Go for it”
  • けっきょく (kekkyoku): “after all”
  • 結果 (kekka): “result”
  • 思い出す (omoidasu): “to remember, V1″
  • Which phrase would you use if a friend posted something about sports?

    But sport is not the only thing you can play! Play some music, and share it on social media.

    4. Share a Song on Social Media in Japanese

    Music is the language of the soul, they say. So, don’t hold back—share what touches your soul with your friends!

    Hazuki shares a song she just heard at a party, posts an image of the artist, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    おすすめの1曲! (Osusume no ikkyoku!)
    “The one song I recommend!”

    1- おすすめの (Osusume no __)

    First is an expression meaning “__ to recommend.”
    Among the Japanese, it is pretty common to share something you like or recommend on social media. Add any noun right after this phrase to make a recommendation.

    2- 1曲 (ikkyoku)

    Then comes the phrase - “one song.”
    In Japanese, there are various types of counters you have to add after numbers. This counter is only one of them and is used to count “songs” and “music.”

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- うわー、なつかしい。 (Uwā, natsukashii.)

    Her high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Wow, how nostalgic.”
    This expresses an opinion about Hazuki’s choice of music.

    2- 名曲ですね。 (Meikyoku desu ne.)

    Her neighbor, Yūko, uses an expression meaning - “Classic, indeed.”
    This warmhearted comment is a response to the previous one about the song.

    3- 古すぎ。。 (Furusugi..)

    Her nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “Too old..”
    Yamato again doesn’t hold back on expressing his opinion. He finds the song dated.

    4- ぼくも昔このバンドの大ファンだったな。 (Boku mo mukashi kono bando no daifan datta na.)

    Her supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “I used to be a huge fan of this band. ”
    Again a nostalgic comment, with Norio reminiscing about his earlier taste in music.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • おすすめ (osusume): “recommendation”
  • 曲 (kyoku): “song, piece of music, counter for songs”
  • なつかしい (natsukashii): “missed, desired, nostalgic”
  • 名曲 (meikyoku): “famous song”
  • 古い (furui): “old (not person); Adj(i)”
  • 昔 (mukashi): “long ago”
  • バンド (bando): “band”
  • 大ファン (daifan): “huge fan”
  • Do you have a favorite song you would share? And what would you say to a friend posting a song?

    Now you know how to start a conversation about a song or a video on social media!

    5. Japanese Social Media Comments about a Concert

    Still on the theme of music—visiting live concerts and shows just have to be shared with your friends. Here are some handy phrases and vocab to wow your followers in Japanese!

    Mamoru goes to a concert, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    毎年恒例の夏フェスです。 (Maitoshi kōrei no natsufesu desu.)
    “Summer music festival like every year.”

    1- 毎年恒例の (Maitoshi kōrei no )

    First is an expression meaning: “Annual, like every year.”
    This expression is commonly used when you want to share a tradition you never fail to honor every year. In this sentence, you can see he’s emphasizing that going to a summer music festival has become a tradition for him.

    2- 夏フェスです (natsufesu desu)

    Then comes the phrase - “summer music festival.”
    It’s become more and more popular to go to summer music festivals in Japan. Then you will see a lot of pictures, videos and status updates on social media about them. You can replace the noun before “festival” with other nouns, for example, “winter”, “beach” or “rock” as well.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 楽しそう! (Tanoshisō!)

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Looks fun!”
    Yui is making conversation and seems pretty positive and optimistic.

    2- すごい人だな。 (Sugoi hito da na.)

    His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “What a huge crowd of people. ”
    This conveys a sense of surprise.

    3- いっきに3キロやせた気分。。 (Ikki ni san-kiro yaseta kibun..)

    His girlfriend, Hazuki, uses an expression meaning - “I feel like we lost 3 kilos all at once..”
    Hazuki is sharing a feeling.

    4- よく飽きないね〜 (Yoku akinai nē)

    His girlfriend’s nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “No idea why you don’t get tired of it~”
    Yamato is not the most positive of people, is he? He’s commenting on this post with an opinion.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 毎年 (maitoshi): “every year”
  • 恒例 (kōrei): “regular, customary”
  • 夏フェス (natsufesu): “summer music festival”
  • すごい (sugoi): “amazing, great, fabulous”
  • 一気に (ikki ni): “at once, in one go”
  • 痩せる (yaseru): “to lose weight”
  • 気分 (kibun): “feeling”
  • 飽きる (akiru): “to get tired of, to lose interest in; V2″
  • If a friend posted something about a concert, which phrase would you use?

    6. Talking about an Unfortunate Accident in Japanese

    Oh dear. You broke something by accident. Tell friends about it by using these Japanese phrases in a thread on social media. Or maybe just to let your friends know why you are not contacting them!

    Hazuki accidentally breaks her mobile phone, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    ついにやってしまった。。 (Tsui ni yatte shimatta.. )
    “I finally did it.. ”

    1- ついに (Tsui ni )

    First is an expression meaning “Finally.”
    Japanese use this word when something that they expected would happen someday has finally happened.

    2- やってしまった (yatte shimatta)

    Then comes the phrase - “I did it.”
    You can say this expression when you have done something bad. It’s a good opening line to catch people’s attention as well.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- どこで、なんでこんなことに? (Doko de, nande konna koto ni?)

    Her college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Where and how did that happen?”
    Her friend is curious as to how Hazuki broke her phone, and is also making conversation.

    2- えー!これはショック。 (Ē! Kore wa shokku.)

    Her high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Oh no, this is a shock. ”
    This expression shows sympathy with the accident.

    3- この前も壊したばかりなのに!? (Kono mae mo kowashita bakari na noni!?)

    Her nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “You just broke (another) one recently!”
    Don’t you feel you want to slap cynical Yamato?! He seems to be a glass-half-full person.

    4- まさか会社のものではないよな・・・? (Masaka kaisha no mono de wa nai yo na…?)

    Her supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “It’s not a company phone, is it…?”
    Norio feels anxious about this accident and shows it with this question.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • ついに (tsui ni): “finally”
  • どこ (doko): “where”
  • なんで (nande): “why”
  • ショック (shokku): “shocking”
  • この前 (kono mae): “some time ago, recently”
  • 壊す (kowasu): “to break”
  • まさか (masaka): “by no means, never (used before a negation as an exclamation) “
  • 会社 (kaisha): “company, office”
  • If a friend posted something about having broken something by accident, which phrase would you use?

    So, now you know how to describe an accident in Japanese. Well done!

    7. Chat about Your Boredom on Social Media in Japanese

    Sometimes, we’re just bored with how life goes. And to alleviate the boredom, we write about it on social media. Add some excitement to your posts by addressing your friends and followers in Japanese!

    Mamoru gets bored at home, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    暇だなあ。つまんない。 (Hima da nā. Tsumannai.)
    “I have nothing to do. I’m so bored. ”

    1- 暇だなあ。 (Hima da nā.)

    First is an expression meaning: “I have nothing to do..”
    You can also use this expression when you want someone to ask you out but are too shy to directly say it.

    2- つまんない。 (Tsumannai.)

    Then comes the phrase - “I’m so bored..”
    This is the most common expression to say you’re bored in Japanese in a casual way. You can often hear teenagers use this phrase at school.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 花見に行こうよ。 (Hanami ni ikō yo. )

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Let’s go to the cherry blossom viewing.”
    Yui makes an optimistic suggestion.

    2- 外で運動したらどうですか? (Soto de undō shitara dō desu ka?)

    His neighbor, Yūko, uses an expression meaning - “Why don’t you exercise outside?”
    And the neighbour makes a friendly suggestion.

    3- 新宿で飲もうぜ! (Shinjuku de nomō ze!)

    His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Let’s drink in Shinjuku!”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling frivolous.

    4- 私も。。遊ばない? (Watashi mo.. Asobanai?)

    His girlfriend, Hazuki, uses an expression meaning - “Me too.. Wanna hang out?”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling empathy.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 暇 (hima): “time to spare, free time”
  • つまんない (tsumannai): “casual expression of “I’m bored”"
  • 花見 (hanami): “cherry blossom viewing, flower viewing”
  • 外 (soto ): “outside”
  • 運動する (undō suru): “to exercise; V3″
  • 新宿 (Shinjuku): “Shinjuku, the prefectural capital of Tokyo “
  • 飲む (nomu): “to drink;V1″
  • 遊ぶ (asobu): “to hang out; V1″
  • If a friend posted something about being bored, which phrase would you use?

    Still bored? Share another feeling and see if you can start a conversation!

    8. Exhausted? Share It on Social Media in Japanese

    Sitting in public transport after work, feeling like chatting online? Well, converse in Japanese about how you feel, and let your friends join in!

    Hazuki feels exhausted after a long day at work, posts an image of herself looking tired, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    あー疲れた! (Ā tsukareta!)
    “Uh, I’m exhausted!”

    1- あー (Ā)

    First is an expression meaning “Uh.”
    This interjection is often used to express a sigh before you start a sentence. In casual settings like social media, it’s common for Japanese people to write interjections down as well as the actual context.

    2- 疲れた! (tsukareta!)

    Then comes the phrase - “I’m exhausted!.”
    This is one of the most commonly-used phrases in Japanese, both on and offline. You’re going to hear many people saying this phrase after work or school on the way back home.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 今週は長かったな。。 (Konshū wa nagakatta na..)

    Her supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “This week felt longer..”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling empathy.

    2- お疲れさま! (Otsukare-sama!)

    Her boyfriend, Mamoru, uses an expression meaning - “Well done! ”
    But Hazuki’s boyfriend chooses to be encouraging in his comment.

    3- やっと花金だね。 (Yatto hanakin da ne.)

    Her college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Thank God it’s finally Friday!”
    Another post of commiseration and empathy.

    4- たまには休まないと。 (Tamani wa yasumanai to.)

    Her nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “You gotta get some rest. ”
    Yamato likes to state the obvious.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 疲れる (tsukareru): “to tire, to get tired”
  • 今週 (konshū): “this week”
  • 長い (nagai): “long”
  • お疲れさま (otsukare-sama): “thank you, that’s enough for today, greeting at workplace”
  • やっと (yatto): “yay, finally, at last”
  • 花金 (hanakin): “Thank God it’s Friday. TGIF.”
  • たまに (tama ni ): “once in a while, occasionally”
  • 休む (yasumu): “to rest, to have a break”
  • If a friend posted something about being exhausted, which phrase would you use?

    Now you know how to say you’re exhausted in Japanese! Well done.

    9. Talking about an Injury in Japanese

    So life happens, and you managed to hurt yourself during a soccer game. Very Tweet-worthy! Here’s how to do it in Japanese.

    Mamoru suffers a painful injury, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    練習中に骨折。。痛い。 (Renshūchū ni kossetsu.. Itai.)
    “Broke my leg during practice.. It hurts.”

    1- 練習中に骨折。。 (Renshūchū ni kossetsu..)

    First is an expression meaning: “Broke my leg during the practice…”
    This is an example of an expression ending with a noun, which is often used in the headlines of newspaper articles or on TV news.

    2- 痛い。 (Itai.)

    Then comes the phrase - “It hurt.”
    This is a must-know phrase when you go to a dentist or any clinic in Japan. When something hurts, say this phrase out loud.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 痛そう。お大事に。 (Itasō. O-daiji ni.)

    His neighbor, Yūko, uses an expression meaning - “Ouch. Get well soon.”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling warmhearted.

    2- うわ、グロいな。 (Uwa, guroi na.)

    His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Holy smokes, gross.”
    This is an exclamation and an opinion all at once.

    3- すぐ治るといいね。 (Sugu naoru to ii ne.)

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Get well soon!”
    Use this expression to wish your injured friend well.

    4- 無理しないで、安静にするんだぞ。 (Muri shinai de, ansei ni suru n da zo.)

    His supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “Don’t strain yourself. Take a good rest.”
    This expression shows concern and caring.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 練習中 (renshūchū): “during practice; in the middle of practice”
  • 骨折 (kossetsu): “bone fracture”
  • 痛い (itai): “painful, hurt”
  • お大事に (o-daiji ni): “Bless you, get well soon”
  • うわ (uwa): “Whoa, holy smokes, oh my gosh”
  • 治る (naoru): “to heal, to get cured”
  • 無理する (muri suru): “to take something too far, to overdo something”
  • 安静にする (ansei ni suru): “to rest, to be calm”
  • If a friend posted something about being injured, which phrase would you use?

    We love to share our fortunes and misfortunes; somehow that makes us feel connected to others.

    10. Starting a Conversation Feeling Disappointed in Japanese

    Sometimes things don’t go the way we planned. Share your disappointment about this with your friends!

    Hazuki feels disappointed about today’s weather, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    暑すぎる。。お願いだから、早く秋になって。 (Atsusugiru.. Onegai da kara, hayaku aki ni natte.)
    “It’s too hot today.. For God’s sake, turn to autumn already, please.”

    1- 暑すぎる。。 (Atsusugiru..)

    First is an expression meaning “It’s too hot…”
    Japanese people are not the biggest fans of sunlight. If you look at trendy Japanese magazines, you will see having light skin is often considered more attractive. Being tanned and brown as a chestnut is not as attractive as it is in many western countries. When you visit Japan in summer, you will see a lot of Japanese ladies with a sunshade and sunblock groves walking down the streets!

    2- お願いだから、早く秋になって。 (Onegai da kara, hayaku aki ni natte.)

    Then comes the phrase - “For God’s sake, turn to autumn already, please..”
    This Japanese expression for “for God’s sake” is frequently used when you are desperately in need of something. By writing this line at the beginning of a sentence, you can emphasize that you really need whatever follows.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- ほんと!湿気もすごい。 (Honto! Shikke mo sugoi.)

    Her neighbor, Yūko, uses an expression meaning - “I know right! Massive humidity, too.”
    This expression shows commiseration and empathy.

    2- 今日はスーツのジャケットは着られないな。 (Kyō wa sūtsu no jaketto wa kirarenai na.)

    Her supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “Today, I can’t wear a suit (anymore).”
    Norio agrees with the general sentiment that it’s a very hot day, sharing a personal detail about his preferred attire.

    3- これからもっと暑くなるらしいけどね。 (Kore kara motto atsuku naru rashii kedo ne.)

    Her nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “Looks like it’s going to get even hotter, though.”
    Trust Yamato to be the one who brings even worse news. He doesn’t seem like a very optimistic, positive person!

    4- 汗がとまらない。。 (Ase ga tomaranai..)

    Her boyfriend, Mamoru, uses an expression meaning - “I can’t stop sweating..”
    Hazuki’s boyfriend partakes in the conversation by sharing a personal detail.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 暑い (atsui): “hot”
  • お願いだから (onegai da kara): “Come on, for God’s sake”
  • 秋 (aki): “fall, autumn”
  • 湿気 (shikke): “humidity”
  • 今日 (kyō): “today”
  • 着る (kiru): “to wear”
  • もっと (motto): “more”
  • とまる (tomaru): “stop”
  • How would you comment in Japanese when a friend is disappointed?

    Not all posts need to be about negative feelings and experiences, though!

    11. Talking about Your Relationship Status in Japanese

    Don’t just change your relationship status in Settings, talk about it!

    Mamoru changes his status to “In a relationship”, posts an image of him and Hazuki, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    今日で付き合って1ヶ月!ラブラブです。 (Kyō de tsukiatte ikkagetsu! Raburabu desu.)
    “Today is 1 month since we started dating. We’re in love.”

    1- 今日で付き合って1ヶ月! (Kyō de tsukiatte ikkagetsu!)

    First is an expression meaning: “Today is one month since we started dating!.”
    In Japan, you can often see couples counting the number of months they’ve been together for, then making it an anniversary and posting about it on social media.

    2- ラブラブです。 (Raburabu desu.)

    Then comes the phrase - “We’re in love.”
    Although there’s an expression meaning “lovey-dovey”, it’s not very common for Japanese people to show affection such as kissing and hugging in public. Never show too much affection in front of your Japanese girlfriend or boyfriend’s parents! Thismight get a little confusing and embarrassing.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- うそだ!! (Uso da!!)

    His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “No way!!”
    This is a playful and teasing phrase to make conversation.

    2- おめでとう!彼女かわいいね! (Omedetō! Kanojo kawaii ne!)

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Congrats! Your girlfriend is cute!”
    Here, Yui complements his friend on his girlfriend’s appearance.

    3- さて、いつまで続くかな? (Sate, itsu made tsuzuku ka na?)

    His girlfriend’s nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “Well, let’s see how long it lasts?”
    Don’t be the Yamato in any conversation…! Real wet blanket, hey?

    4- 職場恋愛か。。 (Shokuba ren’ai ka..)

    His supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “Office romance, huh..”
    Norio is expressing surprise over this relationship.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 付き合う (tsukiau): “to keep company with, to go out with; V1″
  • ラブラブ (raburabu): “lovey-dovey”
  • おめでとう (omedetō): “Congrats”
  • 彼女 (kanojo): “girl, she, girlfriend”
  • かわいい (kawaii): “pretty, cute, lovely, charming :Adj(i)”
  • さて (sate): “Well, now, anyway”
  • 続く (tsuzuku): “to last, to be continued”
  • 職場恋愛 (shokuba ren’ai): “office romance”
  • What would you say in Japanese when a friend changes their relationship status?

    Being in a good relationship with someone special is good news - don’t be shy to spread it!

    12. Post about Getting Married in Japanese

    Wow, so things got serious, and you’re getting married. Congratulations! Or, your friend is getting married, so talk about this in Japanese.

    Hazuki is getting married today, so she eaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    いよいよ結婚式です。ドキドキ。 (Iyoiyo kekkonshiki desu. Dokidoki.)
    “Finally getting married. Nervous and excited.”

    1- いよいよ結婚式です。 (Iyoiyo kekkonshiki desu.)

    First is an expression meaning “Finally getting married.”
    In Japan, there are two common types of weddings: one is western style with a church ceremony, and the other is Japanese traditional style where the celebration is proceeded in a shrine. Note that a western style wedding at a church doesn’t necessarily mean the couple is Christian. A lot of non-Christian Japanese people prefer to have a wedding at a church.

    2- ドキドキ。 (Dokidoki.)

    Then comes the phrase - “Nervous and excited.”
    This expression can show both excited and nervous feelings at the same time. It’s commonly used to describe feelings before an important event.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- おめでとうございます。末永くお幸せに! (Omedetō gozaimasu. Suenagaku o-shiawase ni! )

    Her supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “Congratulations. Have a long and loving life together!”
    What a warm-hearted, positive wish!

    2- おめでとう!あとでブーケは私に投げてね。 (Omedetō! Ato de būke wa watashi ni nagete ne.)

    Her high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Congrats! Throw the bouquet to me later, will ya?”
    Manami is being the clown and wants Hazuki to throw her the hand bouquet. In many wedding traditions, when you catch the bride’s hand bouquet, it means you’re getting married next.

    3- 結婚?!全然知らなかった。。 (Kekkon?! Zenzen shiranakatta.. )

    Her college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Getting married?! I had no idea.. ”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling surprised.

    4- 守は幸せ者だねー! (Mamoru wa shiawasemono da nē!)

    Her husband’s high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Mamoru is one lucky guy! ”
    Basically, Yui is giving the bridegroom a compliment with this expression. He thinks Hazuki is a very fine bride, and expresses his appreciation this way.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • いよいよ (iyoiyo): “finally, more and more”
  • 結婚式 (kekkonshiki): “wedding ceremony”
  • ドキドキ (dokidoki): “excited and nervous”
  • おめでとうございます (omedetō gozaimasu): “Congratulations”
  • 末永く (suenagaku): “For many years to come”
  • おめでとう (omedetō): “Congrats”
  • 投げる (nageru): “to throw”
  • 幸せ者 (shiawasemono): “lucky guy, person”
  • How would you respond in Japanese to a friend’s post about getting married?

    For the next topic, fast forward about a year into the future after the marriage…

    13. Announcing Big News in Japanese

    Wow, huge stuff is happening in your life! Announce it in Japanese.

    Mamoru finds out he and his wife are going to have a baby, posts an image of his pregnant wife, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    来年パパになります。早く会いたいな。 (Rainen papa ni narimasu. Hayaku aitai na.)
    “I’ll be a dad next year. Wanna see the baby sooner.”

    1- 来年パパになります。 (Rainen papa ni narimasu.)

    First is an expression meaning “I’ll be dad next year..”
    This is a common, simple line to use when you just found out you’re becoming a father and want to let the world know. InJapan, it’s tradition to use this only before you have your first child.

    2- 早く会いたいな。 (Hayaku aitai na.)

    Then comes the phrase - “I want to see him sooner.”
    In Japanese, we don’t have an exact translation for “I miss you” or “Can’t wait” that sounds natural. Instead, we say “I want to see (you) sooner” in Japanese. If you’re in a long-distance relationship with a Japanese partner, you could also use this expression as a way to say you miss a person.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- おめでとう!!楽しみだね! (Omedetō!! Tanoshimi da ne!)

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Congrats!! Isn’t that exciting!”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling optimistic.

    2- やったー、新しいいとこが増える! (Yattā, atarashii itoko ga fueru!)

    His wife’s nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “Yay, a new cousin will be added!”
    For a change, Yamato is really happy.

    3- 女の子?男の子? (Onnanoko? Otokonoko?)

    His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Girl or boy?”
    Shō wants to know details!

    4- いろいろ準備しないとね。 (Iroiro junbi shinai to ne.)

    His wife, Hazuki, uses an expression meaning - “Gotta prepare a lot of stuff.”
    Hazuki shows a realistic view of the matter, as she knows a lot of work is lying ahead of them.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 来年 (rainen): “next year”
  • 早く (hayaku): “fast, quickly, soon”
  • 会う (au): “to meet; V1″
  • 楽しみ (tanoshimi): “fun, excitement”
  • 新しい (atarashii): “new ;-i adjective”
  • いとこ (itoko): “cousin”
  • 増える (fueru): “to increase”
  • 準備する (junbi suru): “to prepare”
  • Which phrase would you choose when a friend announces their pregnancy on social media?

    So, talking about a pregnancy will get you a lot of traction on social media. But wait till you see the responses to babies!

    14. Posting Japanese Comments about Your Baby

    Your bundle of joy is here, and you cannot keep quiet about it! Share your thoughts in Japanese.

    Hazuki plays with her baby, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    新しい家族が増えました。ゆきこと言います。 (Atarashii kazoku ga fuemashita. Yukiko to iimasu.)
    “One new family member is added. She’s named Yukiko.”

    1- 新しい家族が増えました。 (Atarashii kazoku ga fuemashita.)

    First is an expression meaning: “One new family member is added.”
    It’s almost like a must-do thing for Japanese couples to post a baby picture when they first give birth to one. This expression is one of the most common lines to use when you share the news of having a baby on social media. It is simple yet it is cute, and heartwarming.

    2- ゆきこと言います。 (Yukiko to iimasu.)

    Then comes the phrase - “She’s named Yukiko.”
    A lot of Japanese people include the name of the new born baby in a post. Sometimes they also explain the origin of the name and the meaning of the chosen characters (kanji).

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- かわいすぎる〜!手も小さい。。 (Kawaisugirū! Te mo chiisai..)

    Her high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Too cute! Her hand is tiny too..”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling excited.

    2- よく頑張ったな。おめでとう。 (Yoku ganbatta na. Omedetō.)

    Her college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Great job. Congrats. ”
    A warm-hearted compliment and congratulation.

    3- ゆきこに早く会わせて〜! (Yukiko ni hayaku awasetē!)

    Her nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “Let me see Yukiko soon!”
    Yamato is keen to meet his new cousin.

    4- ご出産おめでとう。元気そうな赤ちゃんで何より。 (Go-shussan omedetō. Genki sō na aka-chan de nani yori.)

    Her supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “Congratulations on her birth. I can’t be any happier that she looks like a healthy baby.”
    Norio is sharing warmhearted congratulations and feelings about the baby.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 家族 (kazoku): “family”
  • と言います (to iimasu): “to be named”
  • 手 (te): “hand”
  • 早く (hayaku): “soon”
  • 出産 (shussan): “birth”
  • 元気な (genki na): “healthy, fine, good”
  • 赤ちゃん (aka-chan): “baby”
  • 何より (nani yori): “more than anything”
  • If your friend is the mother or father, which phrase would you use on social media?

    Congratulations, you know the basics of chatting about a baby in Japanese! But we’re not done with families yet…

    15. Japanese Comments about a Family Reunion

    Family reunions - some you love, some you hate. Share about it on your feed.

    Mamoru attends a family gathering, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    久しぶりに親戚の集まり。甥っ子が大きくなってる。。 (Hisashiburi ni shinseki no atsumari. Oikko ga ōkiku natte ru..)
    “Family gathering for the first time in forever. My nephew has gotten big..”

    1- 久しぶりに親戚の集まり。 (Hisashiburi ni shinseki no atsumari.)

    First is an expression meaning “Family gathering for the first time in forever.”
    This Japanese expression for “for the first time in forever” can be used when you did something that hasn’t been done in ages. Japanese people get together with families usually on New Year’s and Bon Festival holidays in August. When they gather, they usually eat a lot and drink a lot just like many families in other countries do.

    2- 甥っ子が大きくなってる。。 (Oikko ga ōkiku natte ru..)

    Then comes the phrase - “My nephew has gotten (all) big..”
    One of the things you’d often comment at the family gathering is how your nephew or younger family members who were small before grew a lot bigger now. You can replace “nephew” with another word to refer to other family members or guests.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 次会うときにはもう大人になってるかもね。 (Tsugi au toki ni wa mō otona ni natte ru kamo ne.)

    His wife, Hazuki, uses an expression meaning - “He might be all grown up the next time we see him.”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling sensitive.

    2- 懐かしいな。みなさん元気? (Natsukashii na. Mina-san genki?)

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Nostalgic. How are you all?”
    Use this expression to share your feelings of nostalgia.

    3- 大家族ね! (Daikazoku ne!)

    His neighbor, Yūko, uses an expression meaning - “What a big family!”
    Yūko is expressing surprise and, perhaps, appreciation for the size of the family.

    4- お母さん全然変わってないな。 (O-kā-san zenzen kawatte nai na.)

    His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Your mom hasn’t changed at all.”
    This is a warm-hearted compliment to Hazuki’s mother and the way she looks.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 久しぶりに (Hisashiburi ni): “for the first time in forever”
  • 親戚 (shinseki): “relative”
  • 集まり (atsumari): “gathering”
  • 甥っ子 (oikko): “nephew”
  • 大人 (otona): “adult”
  • 大家族 (daikazoku): “big family”
  • お母さん (o-kā-san): “mother”
  • 変わる (kawaru): “to change”
  • Which phrase is your favorite to comment on a friend’s photo about a family reunion?

    16. Post about Your Travel Plans in Japanese

    So, Hazuki is going on holiday. Do you know how to post and leave comments in Japanese about being at the airport, waiting for a flight?

    Hazuki waits at the airport for her flight, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    これからタイに行ってきまーす! (Kore kara Tai ni ittekimāsu!)
    “Off to Thailand now!”

    1- これから (Kore kara )

    First is an expression meaning “(from) now.”
    Add this expression at the beginning of a sentence when you want to indicate that you’re about to do something.

    2- タイに行ってきまーす! (Tai ni ittekimāsu!)

    Then comes the phrase - “off to Thailand!.”
    This is a common expression to use when you’re on your way to somewhere to do something. Japanese people on social media often write this line before they go on a trip.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- いいなあ。本場のタイ料理楽しんでね。 (Ii nā. Honba no Tai ryōri tanoshinde ne.)

    Her neighbor, Yūko, uses an expression meaning - “Jealous. Enjoy the authentic Thai food.”
    Yūko wishes to be in Hazuki’s shoes - a warmhearted comment.

    2- お土産よろしく! (O-miyage yoroshiku!)

    Her college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “I’m expecting a souvenir!”
    Making conversation, Shō pretends to be a demanding friend.

    3- いつまで?私も来週行くよ。 (Itsu made? Watashi mo raishū iku yo.)

    Her high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Until when? I’m going next week.”
    Here, Manami is sharing information about her own travels that could mean a meet-up with Hazuki in Thailand.

    4- 楽しんでね! (Tanoshinde ne!)

    Her husband’s high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Have fun!”
    A common well-wish.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • これから (kore kara): “from now”
  • タイ (Tai): “Thailand”
  • に行ってきます (ni ittekimasu): “off to …”
  • 本場 (honba): “home, best place”
  • 料理 (ryōri): “food as in dishes, cuisine”
  • 楽しむ (tanoshimu): “to enjoy oneself; V1″
  • お土産 (o-miyage): “souvenir”
  • 来週 (raishū): “next week”
  • Choose and memorize your best airport phrase in Japanese!

    Hopefully the rest of the trip is better!

    17. Posting about an Interesting Find in Japanese

    So maybe you’re strolling around at your local market, and find something interesting. Here are some handy Japanese phrases!

    Mamoru finds an unusual item at a local market, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    何だこりゃ。初めて見た。 (Nan da korya. Hajimete mita.)
    “What the –. Never seen this before.”

    1- 何だこりゃ。 (Nan da korya.)

    First is an expression meaning “What the –?.”
    This is a common reaction when you see something confusing or surprising. When you find something completely new and interesting overseas, you’ll probably get to use this comment.

    2- 初めて見た。 (Hajimete mita.)

    Then comes the phrase - “Never seen this before.”
    This is a simple and short expression to use when you find something you have never seen.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- タイ限定だね。 (Tai gentei da ne.)

    His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Only in Thailand.”
    This indicates that Thailand has strange customs or people.

    2- ショッキングな外見だね。 (Shokkingu na gaiken da ne.)

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “What a shocking look.” This phrase refers to something that looks shocking to the observer, and not a “fashion look”!
    Expressing surprise, Yuki shares her opinion to keep the conversation going.

    3- あ、これ流行ってるって聞いた。 (A, kore hayatte ru tte kiita.)

    His wife’s high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Oh, I heard it’s a thing now.”
    Manami shows she’s up to date with the latest trends.

    4- 欲しい!! (Hoshii!!)

    His nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “I want it!!”
    Yamato clearly likes what he sees.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • こりゃ (korya): “term derived from これは meaning “this is”"
  • 初めて (hajimete): “first time”
  • 見る (miru): “to see, to watch, to look ; V2″
  • 限定 (gentei): “limit, restriction”
  • ショッキングな (shokkingu na): “shocking”
  • 外見 (gaiken): “look”
  • 流行る (hayaru): “to be popular”
  • 欲しい (hoshii): “want, to want”
  • Which phrase would you use to comment on a friend’s interesting discovery?

    Perhaps you will even learn the identity of your find! Or perhaps you’re on holiday, and visiting interesting places…

    18. Post about a Sightseeing Trip in Japanese

    Let your friends know what you’re up to in Japanese, especially when visiting a remarkable place! Don’t forget the photo.

    Hazuki visits a famous landmark, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    世界遺産に到着!観光客だらけだ。。 (Sekai isan ni tōchaku! Kankōkyaku darake da..)
    “Arrived at the World Heritage! So many tourists..”

    1- 世界遺産に到着! (Sekai isan ni tōchaku! )

    First is an expression meaning “Arrived at the world heritage!”
    This is a common expression to use when you arrive somewhere and want to post about it. You can replace the Japanese word for “world heritage” with any other place, for example, schools, meeting place, etc.

    2- 観光客だらけだ。。 (Kankōkyaku darake da..)

    Then comes the phrase - “So many tourists..”
    When you visit Japan, especially in big cities like Tokyo, a lot of places you go to will probably be crowded. To get on a train also, you often have to throw yourself into crowds. When this happens, you can use this expression, replacing the word “tourists” with something else, for example, “students” or “workers”.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- いい景色だね。 (Ii keshiki da ne.)

    Her neighbor, Yūko, uses an expression meaning - “Nice view. ”
    This comment is used to make conversation and showing interest.

    2- わーおれもここ行ったことある! (Wā ore mo koko itta koto aru!)

    Her college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Oh I’ve been there too!”
    Sharing experiences is a great way to bond on social media.

    3- 夏休みだから、しょうがないよ。 (Natsuyasumi da kara, shōganai yo.)

    Her husband’s nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “It’s during summer break, so it can’t be helped.”
    Yamato adds a dash of realism again with this explanation, fortunately not too negative or cynical.

    4- もっと写真見たい! (Motto shashin mitai!)

    Her high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Show us more photos!”
    Manami shows she is curious and wants more details about Hazuki’s experience.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 世界遺産 (sekai isan): “World Heritage site”
  • 到着 (tōchaku): “arrive, arrival”
  • 観光客 (kankōkyaku): “tourist”
  • 景色 (keshiki): “scenery, view”
  • 行く (iku): “to go”
  • 夏休み (natsuyasumi): “summer vacation”
  • しょうがない (shōganai): “can’t be helped”
  • 写真 (shashin): “photograph”
  • Which phrase would you prefer when a friend posts about a famous landmark?

    Share your special places with the world. Or simply post about your relaxing experiences.

    19. Post about Relaxing Somewhere in Japanese

    So you’re doing nothing, yet you enjoy that too? Tell your social media friends about it in Japanese!

    Mamoru relaxes at a beautiful place, posts a chilled selfie, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    波の音、青い海、冷たいカクテル。最高! (Nami no oto, aoi umi, tsumetai kakuteru. Saikō!)
    “The sound of the waves, the blue sea and the cold drinks. The best!”

    1- 波の音、青い海、冷たいカクテル。 (Nami no oto, aoi umi, tsumetai kakuteru.)

    First is an expression meaning “The sound of the waves, the blue sea and the cold cocktails..”
    This is a poetic description of the situation, which is done by paralleling the key factors in short words. This expression method is often used in advertisements as well. It’s a simple and easy way to catch people’s attention.

    2- 最高! (Saikō!)

    Then comes the phrase - “The best!.”
    This literally means “the best,” and Japanese people often use this expression on social media to emphasize that something is great.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- うらやましいぞー。 (Urayamashii zō.)

    His supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “Jealous.”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling envious.

    2- すごい海きれい! (Sugoi umi kirei!)

    His wife’s high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Amazingly beautiful sea!”
    Manami leaves a positive opinion about the setting Hazuki finds herself in.

    3- 飲んでばかりいないで、泳ぎなよ。 (Nonde bakari inaide, oyogina yo.)

    Mamoru’s nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “Don’t just drink, go swimming.”
    Yamato has his own idea of what Hazuki should be doing.

    4- 焼けて帰ってくるんだろうな。。 (Yakete kaette kuru n darō na..)

    His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “I bet you guys are coming back all tanned.”
    Shō is making conversation with this comment.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 波 (nami): “wave”
  • 音 (oto): “sound, noise”
  • 青い (aoi): “blue, green, pale; Adj(i)”
  • 海 (umi): “sea, ocean”
  • 冷たい (tsumetai): “cold;Adj(i)”
  • うらやましい (urayamashii): “envious”
  • 泳ぐ (oyogu): “to swim”
  • 焼ける (yakeru): “to get a suntan;V2″
  • Which phrase would you use to comment a friend’s feed?

    The break was great, but now it’s time to return home.

    20. What to Say in Japanese When You’re Home Again

    And you’re back! What will you share with friends and followers?

    Hazuki returns home after the vacation, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    あーあ、帰って来ちゃった。 (Āa, kaette kichatta.)
    “Oh well, I’m back again.”

    1- あーあ (Āa)

    First is an expression meaning “Oh well.”
    This is an interjection that describes a sigh of boredom or disappointment.

    2- 帰って来ちゃった (kaette kichatta)

    Then comes the phrase - “I’m back again.”
    Japanese people love to travel, even during the short breaks such as a day off. When they’re back home, this expression is often used to show sadness that the adventure is over.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- おかえりなさい。 (Okaerinasai.)

    Her neighbor, Yūko, uses an expression meaning - “Welcome back. ”
    A friendly, common greeting.

    2- おみやげ楽しみだな。。 (O-miyage tanoshimi da na..)

    Her college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Can’t wait to see the souvenirs..”
    Sharing a need to see brought back from travels is a good conversation starter.

    3- 焼けた?写真見たい! (Yaketa? Shashin mitai!)

    Her high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Sunburnt? Wanna see the photos!”
    Manami is making conversation by asking a question, and also expressing a need.

    4- 東京は寒いでしょ〜。 (Tōkyō wa samui deshō.)

    Her husband’s high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Tokyo feels so cold to you.”
    Yui is suggesting that Tokyo’s weather must be a big change from Thailand’s.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • あーあ (āa): “oh well”
  • 帰って来る (kaette kuru): “to return, to come back”
  • おかえりなさい (okaerinasai): “Welcome back, welcome home”
  • おみやげ (o-miyage): “a small gift, a souvenir”
  • 焼ける (yakeru): “to get sunburned”
  • 見る (miru): “to take a look”
  • 東京 (Tōkyō): “Tokyo, the capital of Japan”
  • 寒い (samui): “cold”
  • How would you welcome a friend back from a trip?

    What would you post on social media regarding an event such as Hazuki’s nephew’s Coming of Age Day?

    21. It’s Time to Celebrate in Japanese

    For Yamato and his family, this is an important day and you wish to post something about it on social media. What would you say?

    Hazuki celebrates his nephew’s Coming-of-Age Day, posts an image of the event, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    甥っ子、成人おめでとう!飲みすぎには注意だぞ。 (Oikko, seijin omedetō! Nomisugi ni wa chūi da zo.)
    “Congrats on the Coming-of-Age day, my nephew! Be careful not to drink too much. ”

    1- 甥っ子、成人おめでとう! (Oikko, seijin omedetō! )

    First is an expression meaning “Congrats on the Coming-of-Age day, my nephew!”
    On Coming-of-Age Day, not only the new adults, but many other people also post a message congratulating “the new adults” on social media. On this day, many new adults, often dressed in Japanese traditional clothes, go to a ceremony in their neighborhood with the friends they grew up with.

    2- 飲みすぎには注意だぞ。 (Nomisugi ni wa chūi da zo.)

    Then comes the phrase - “Be careful not to drink too much.”
    It’s not unusual for young people to drink too much and make mistakes during any big celebration. But especially on Coming-of-Age day in Japan, some new adults go too wild. For this reason, it’s common for older adults to warn them about drinking, as well as congratulate them on their growing up.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 気をつけまーす! (Ki o tsukemāsu!)

    Hazuki’s nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “I’ll be careful!”
    Yamato shows good intentions with this comment.

    2- もうハタチ?!この前まで小さかったのに。。 (Mō hatachi?! Kono mae made chiisakatta noni..)

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Already the 20th? He was so small not very long ago..”
    A common comment on how fast someone young has grown.

    3- おめでとう!いよいよ大人への仲間入りね。 (Omedetō! Iyoiyo otona e no nakamairi ne.)

    His wife’s high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Congrats! He’s finally joined adulthood.”
    An optimistic, positive congratulation on this big day.

    4- 甥っ子さん、成人おめでとう!すっかり大人びて、見違えたな。 (Oikko-san, seijin omedetō! Sukkari otonabite, michigaeta na.)

    His supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “Congrats to your nephew! He’s so grown up that I could hardly recognize him.”
    In the same vein as the previous comments, people are expressing surprise at how big Yamato has grown.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 甥っ子 (oikko): “nephew”
  • 成人 (seijin): “adult, coming-of-age”
  • 飲みすぎ (nomisugi): “overdrinking, excessive drinking”
  • 注意 (chūi): “caution, attention”
  • ハタチ (hatachi): “twenty-years old”
  • 仲間入り (nakamairi): “joining a group”
  • 大人びる (otonabiru): “to become grown-up”
  • 見違える (michigaeru): “to be beyond recognition”
  • If a friend posted something about a special day in their lives, which phrase would you use?

    Someone’s Coming of Age Day and public commemoration days are not the only special ones to remember!

    22. Posting about a Birthday on Social Media in Japanese

    Your friend or you are celebrating your birthday in an unexpected way. Be sure to share this on social media!

    Hazuki attends her own birthday party, posts an image of the event, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    今までで最高の誕生日だった! (Ima made de saikō no tanjōbi datta! )
    “The best birthday ever! ”

    1- 今までで最高の (Ima made de saikō no)

    First is an expression meaning “The best ever.”
    If you want to say that something is the best you ever had, you can add this expression before the noun you are referring to.

    2- 誕生日だった! (tanjōbi datta!)

    Then comes the phrase - “It was a birthday!”
    It’s common to get together with your friends by renting a space at a restaurant and celebrating your birthday in Japan. You’ll have a lot of good deals on your birthday, so make sure to check if they have any birthday deals before you book somewhere!

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 遅くなったけど、誕生日おめでとう! (Osoku natta kedo, tanjōbi omedetō!)

    Her college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “It’s a bit late, but happy birthday!”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling frivolous.

    2- おめでとう。素敵な1年になりますように。 (Omedetō. Suteki na ichi-nen ni narimasu yō ni.)

    Her supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “Happy birthday. Hope you have a great year ahead.”
    This is a warmhearted, friendly well-wish.

    3- いい写真だね! (Ii shashin da ne!)

    Her high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Nice pic!”
    Manami is complimenting Hazuki’s photographic skills.

    4- 私もお祝いに行きたかったな~。 (Watashi mo o-iwai ni ikitakatta nā.)

    Her husband’s high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Wish I could have come to celebrate, too.”
    This friend is cleary feeling disappointed that he couldn’t attend.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 今までで (ima made de): “so far, ever”
  • 最高 (saikō): “best”
  • 誕生日 (tanjōbi): “birthday”
  • 遅い (osoi): “late, slow”
  • 誕生日おめでとう (tanjōbi omedetō): “Happy birthday (casual expression)”
  • 素敵な (suteki na): “fabulous, excellent, fantastic”
  • 年 (nen): “counter for years”
  • 祝う (iwau): “to celebrate”
  • If a friend posted something about birthday greetings, which phrase would you use?

    23. Talking about New Year on Social Media in Japanese

    Impress your friend with your Japanese New Year’s wishes this year. Learn the phrases easily!

    Mamoru celebrates the New Year, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    あけましておめでとうございます!今年もよろしくお願いします。 (Akemashite omedetō gozaimasu! Kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegai shimasu.)
    “Happy New Year. May this year be another good one for us.”

    1- あけましておめでとうございます! (Akemashite omedetō gozaimasu! )

    First is an expression meaning “Happy New Year!”
    When you want to use Japanese New Year’s greetings, this phrase must be top of the list. Regardless of age and sex, Japanese speakers usually use this line to say “happy new year”.

    2- 今年もよろしくお願いします。 (Kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegai shimasu.)

    Then comes the phrase - “May this year be another good one for us.”
    It’s also common to use this wish for the new year. It’s a must-know expression when you greet someone in the new year. Even if New Year’s has past and you’re seeing someone for the first time, it’s polite to give this expression.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- あけおめ! (Akeome!)

    Hazuki’s nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “Happy New Year! ”
    A common wish for New Year.

    2- あけましておめでとう。新年会楽しみにしてるね。 (Akemashite omedetō. Shinnenkai tanoshimi ni shite ru ne.)

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Happy New Year. Looking forward to the new year party. ”
    Yui is expressing how he feels about the party.

    3- 明日初詣行こうぜ。 (Ashita hatsumōde ikō ze.)

    His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Let’s make the first visit to a shrine tomorrow.”
    Making a suggestion is a good way to keep a conversation flowing.

    4- 去年も早かったなー。 (Kyonen mo hayakatta nā. )

    His supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “Last year went pretty quick (again).”
    Norio is a bit nostalgic again, commenting on how fast time flies.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • あけましておめでとうございます。 (Akemashite omedetō gozaimasu.): “Happy New Year. (formal)”
  • 今年 (kotoshi): “this year”
  • よろしくお願いします (yoroshiku onegai shimasu): “Best wishes”, “Nice to meet you”
  • あけおめ (akeome): “Shortened version of “happy New Year.” Used between friends.”
  • 新年会 (shinnenkai): “New Year’s party”
  • 楽しみにしている (tanoshimi ni shite iru): “to be looking forward to”
  • 初詣 (hatsumōde): “The first visit to a shrine in the new year, a traditional custom in Japan”
  • 早い (hayai): “early”
  • Which is your favorite phrase to post on social media during New Year?

    But before New Year’s Day comes another important day…

    24. What to Post on Christmas Day in Japanese

    What will you say in Japanese about Christmas?

    Hazuki celebrates Christmas with her family, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    メリークリスマス!旦那とイルミネーションを見に行ってきます。 (Merī Kurisumasu! Danna to iruminēshon o mi ni itte kimasu.)
    “Merry Christmas! Off to see some illuminations with my husband. ” The “illuminations” refered to here are Christmas lights.

    1- メリークリスマス! (Merī Kurisumasu! )

    First is an expression meaning: “Merry Christmas!”
    Because so few people in Japan are Christians, Christmas is not celebrated as it is in western countries. However, we do give greetings, decorate our houses a bit Christmas-y, exchange gifts and so on. It’s also more common to celebrate the holiday on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day. Also, we don’t have any Christmas holidays.

    2- 旦那とイルミネーションを見に行ってきます。 (Danna to iruminēshon o mi ni itte kimasu.)

    Then comes the phrase - “Off to see some illuminations with my husband.”
    Compared to western countries, it is rare to find someone who thinks of Christmas as a family event in Japan. Christmas in Japan is more of a romantic event for couples or a day to get your child a gift than to spend time with your family. For couples, going to see illuminations is a popular thing to do.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- どこもカップルばっかり!! (Doko mo kappuru bakkari!!)

    Her high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Couples everywhere!!”
    Post an opinion to keep your social media friends informed.

    2- 今夜はホワイトクリスマスだね。 (Kon’ya wa howaito kurisumasu da ne.)

    Her neighbor, Yūko, uses an expression meaning - “Tonight is the white Christmas.”
    Another comment that will be suitable on a social media feed during this time.

    3- 俺は今年もクリスマスは仕事です。。彼女ほしい。 (Ore wa kotoshi mo kurisumasu wa shigoto desu.. Kanojo hoshii.)

    Her college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Working this Christmas as usual. I want a girl
    friend. ”
    As said, it’s not common to celebrate Christmas, but Shō seems envious, doesn’t he? He’d have liked to have romantic partner to go out with on this day.

    4- メリクリ!今年も1年早かったわ〜。 (Merikuri! Kotoshi mo ichi-nen hayakatta wā.)

    Her husband’s high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Merry Christmas! This year went pretty quick for me.”
    Another comment about time.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • メリークリスマス (Merī Kurisumasu): “Merry Christmas”
  • イルミネーション (iruminēshon): “illuminations, lights”
  • 見に行く (mi ni iku): “go to watch”
  • カップル (kappuru): “couple”
  • ホワイトクリスマス (howaito kurisumasu): “white Christmas”
  • 彼女 (kanojo): “girl, she, girlfriend”
  • 仕事 (shigoto): “work, job”
  • メリクリ (merikuri): “Shortened version of “Merry Christmas.” Used between friends.”
  • If a friend posted something about Christmas greetings, which phrase would you use?

    So, the festive season is over! Yet, there will always be other days, besides a birthday, to wish someone well.

    25. Post about Your Anniversary in Japanese

    Some things deserve to be celebrated, like wedding anniversaries. Learn which Japanese phrases are meaningful and best suited for this purpose!

    Mamoru celebrates his wedding anniversary with his wife, posts an image of them, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    初めての結婚記念日ディナー! (Hajimete no kekkon kinenbi dinā!)
    “Wedding anniversary dinner for the first time!”

    1- 初めての (Hajimete no )

    First is an expression meaning “for the first time.”
    When you want to post something you’ve done for the first time, you can add this expression at the beginning.

    2- 結婚記念日ディナー! (kekkon kinenbi dinā!)

    Then comes the phrase - “wedding anniversary dinner!”
    Like in many western countries, it’s common for couples to celebrate wedding anniversaries in Japan. The 25th anniversary is also called the “Silver anniversary,” and the 50th anniversary is called the “Golden anniversary.”

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- ラブラブ! (Raburabu!)

    His wife’s high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Lovey-dovey!”
    Manami posts something humorous and teasing.

    2- 夫婦円満の秘訣は? (Fūfu enman no hiketsu wa?)

    His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “What’s your secret to maintaining a harmonious marriage?”
    The single guy is curious how they manage to maintain a good marriage.

    3- 理想の夫婦だね。 (Risō no fūfu da ne.)

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Ideal couple.”
    Complimenting them, Yui leaves a positive post.

    4- 今日だけは、けんかしないように。 (Kyō dake wa, kenka shinai yō ni.)

    The nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “Just for today, try not to fight.”
    Yamato is being a bit of a wise-nose again, or he’s trying to be funny!

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 初めての (hajimete no): “for the first time “
  • 結婚記念日 (kekkon kinenbi): “wedding anniversary”
  • ディナー (dinā): “dinner”
  • 夫婦 (fūfu): “married couple”
  • 夫婦円満 (fūfu enman): “harmonious marriage”
  • 秘訣 (hiketsu): “secret, trick”
  • 理想 (risō): “ideal, dream”
  • けんかする (kenka suru): “to fight”
  • If a friend posted something about Anniversary greetings, which phrase would you use?

    Conclusion

    Learning to speak a new language will always be easier once you know key phrases that everybody uses. These would include commonly-used expressions for congratulations and best wishes, etc.

    Master these in fun ways with Learn Japanese! We offer a variety of tools to individualize your learning experience, including using cell phone apps, audiobooks, iBooks and many more. Never wonder again what to say on social media!

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Japanese

    How to Say Sorry in Japanese

    Greetings are the first thing you learn when you start to learn a new language. “Hello” and “Thank you” are essential, but “Sorry” becomes even more important when it comes to good communication in a foreign culture which often has different customs and values from your original culture. Thus, “sorry” in studying Japanese is one of the most vital things you’ll learn.

    One of the noteworthy features of Japanese apologies is that there are various ways to say sorry. How to say sorry in Japanese has variations, both formal and informal, and in the severity of what you’re apologizing for and who you’re apologizing to. Japanese apologies also have to accompany particular gestures in some situations.

    Let’s take a detailed look at how to say sorry in Japanese words! Start with a bonus, and download your FREE cheat sheet - How to Improve Your Japanese Skills! (Logged-In Member Only)

    1. Japanese Apology from the Cultural Perspective
    2. “I’m Sorry” in Japanese — Formal
    3. “I’m Sorry” in Japanese — Informal
    4. Conclusion: How Japanesepod101.com Can Help You Learn More Japanese

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Japanese


    1. Japanese Apology from the Cultural Perspective

    Japanese greetings are not only words of greeting, but also reflect the very Japanese culture and values, much more so than in other languages. The same is true of Japanese apologies, which are very important for avoiding conflicts and keeping good harmony with others in the society.

    和 (wa) or “Harmony” is one of the most important values in Japan. It’s the concept that people prefer to maintain a peaceful unity and conformity with others, and it often involves priority to keep a harmonious state within a social group over its members’ personal interests.

    Some Japanese apology words, such as Sumimasen or Gomen (see below), can be often used as a substitution for “thank you” which also contains a nuance of “gratitude.”

    This may be very difficult for foreigners to understand, but in Japan, when other people do a favor for you, you’re thankful for it and also feel sorry for using their time and effort for you. In this case, those Japanese apology words are used to express both “thank you” and “sorry.” This comes from an idea in Japanese culture that an attitude of politeness and caring for others is valued, and troubling others is considered bad.


    2. “I’m Sorry” in Japanese — Formal

    Japanese Woman Bowing in Apology

    1- Possible Situations and to Whom to Apologize

    Formal Japanese apology words are typically used in official circumstances, such as at work, restaurants, shops, or other official office. They often involve people whom you’re not so close with and situations where certain kinds of official relationships exist: staff/manager, client/customer service provider, etc.

    2- Apology Level: General らく

    These are very common words and gestures for saying sorry in Japanese in the formal style. You can use these in most social situations.

    1. Gestures

    When you apologize, you’re supposed to show how sincerely sorry you are for your mistake to the offended person or people (otherwise, it would make them angrier and make the situation even worse!).

    The common gesture is to place both of your arms and hands straight along your body, or place one of your hands in front of your lower belly, covering it with your other hand. With either of these gestures, you make a “sorry” expression with your face and your head, and slightly tilt down like when you bow.

    2. Words and Phrases

    すみません (Sumimasen) — I’m sorry

    This is the most common “sorry” in spoken Japanese. This can be translated as “I’m sorry” or “Excuse me” in Japanese. This word is often used as a light apology and can also be “Thank you” in some situations as mentioned earlier.

    You say Sumimasen when you bump into someone on the street, when you thrust your way through a crowd, when you spill a glass of water and a waitress has to clean it up, etc.

    Example:

    • すみません、水をこぼしてしまいました。
      • Sumimasen, mizu o koboshite shimaimashita.
      • I’m sorry, I spilled the water.
    • すみません、切符はどこで買えますか。
      • Sumimasen, kippu wa doko de kaemasu?
      • Excuse me, where can I buy a ticket?

    (When someone picked up something you dropped)

    • すみません、ポケットから落ちたのに気づきませんでした。
      • Sumimasen, poketto kara ochita no ni kizukimasen deshita.
      • Thank you, I didn’t notice it dropped from a pocket.

    すみませんでした (Sumimasen deshita) — I am very sorry

    This is the past tense of Sumimasen and is more serious. The past tense often sounds more formal and polite in Japanese when it comes to apologies. Unlike Sumimasen, this word doesn’t have the meaning of “Excuse me” or “Thank you.”

    Example:

    (When you made some mistakes at work and apologize to your boss)

    • すみませんでした、正しいデータで書類をすぐに修正します。
      • Sumimasen deshita, tadashii dēta de shorui o sugu ni shūsei shimasu.
      • I’m sorry, I will revise the document with correct data immediately.

    (When you broke a glass at a restaurant)

    • グラスを壊してしまい、すみませんでした。
      • Gurasu o kowashite shimai, sumimasen deshita.
      • I’m sorry for breaking a glass.

    Wine Glass Shattering

    失礼しました (Shitsurei shimashita) — I’m sorry (for my mistake).

    This is another formal and general way to say sorry in Japanese. Shitsurei literally translates as “impoliteness, rudeness, or bad manners,” and the phrase means “I was rude” or “I had bad manners.”

    This word can be used the same way as Sumimasen deshita. If you want to say it more politely, use itashimashita instead of shimashita. Itashimashita is the respectful way to say “I did.”

    Example:

    (When a waiter brought you the wrong dish)

    • 失礼しました、すぐに味噌ラーメンをお持ちします。
      • Shitsurei shimashita, sugu ni miso rāmen o o-mochi shimasu.
      • I’m sorry, I will bring Miso Ramen as soon as possible.

    (To your client)

    • 間違った商品の値段をお伝えしまして、失礼いたしました。
      • Machigatta shōhin no nedan o o-tsutae shimashite, shitsurei itashimashita.
      • I’m sorry that I told you the wrong price of the product.

    3- Apology Level: Very Deep Apology

    3 Ways to Say Sorry

    The very deep apology in the formal style is quite serious and is used when the severity of your offense is considered very high. In order to show your serious and sincere apology, adjective words such as Hijō ni (“greatly”), Taihen (“terribly”), or Makoto ni (“truely”) are often added in front of the following apology words.

    1. Gestures

    For a deep and sincere apology, place both of your arms and hands straight along your body and bow 60 degrees forward, with your head and face down. If it’s a more serious situation, bow 90 degrees. (The different degrees of a bow show the level of severity.)

    In the case of an extremely severe situation, you can express your seriousness with Dogeza style. Dogeza involves both of your knees down, your hands placed on the ground, and prostrating yourself with your forehead touching the floor.

    In normal daily life, however, Dogeza is the last gesture to do in apology, unless you run over someone with your car and are going to apologize to the victim’s family!

    2. Words and Phrases

    申し訳ありませんでした (Mōshiwake arimasen deshita) — I am terribly sorry / I sincerely apologize

    This is a polite formal apology and you should use this when you’ve done something very wrong.

    The word Mōshi comes from the honorific word Mōsu which means “to say” in the form of Kenjō-go. While saying it, you humble yourself or lower your rank below that of the person you’re speaking to.

    Wake means “reason,” Arimasen means “there is no,” and Deshita is the past tense. The phrase can be literally translated as: “There was no reason/excuse to say (for what I have done).”

    Example:

    (When something you bought is already broken and you take it to the shop, a staff member will say this)

    • 大変申し訳ありませんでした。新しいものに交換します。
      • Taihen mōshiwake arimasen deshita. Atarashii mono ni kōkan shimasu.
      • I am terribly sorry. I will replace it with a new one.

    (To your boss)

    • 会議に遅刻してしまい、誠に申し訳ありませんでした。
      • Kaigi ni chikoku shite shimai, makoto ni mōshiwake arimasen deshita.
      • I am truly sorry that I came late for the meeting.

    申し訳ございませんでした (Mōshiwake gozaimasen deshita) — I am terribly sorry / I sincerely apologize.

    This is similar to Mōshiwake arimasen deshita, but this phrase is even more polite and respectful.
    Gozaimasen is a negative of Gozaimasu which means “there is/are” in a very polite and respectful way.

    Example:

    (The president of a company that has conducted an accounting fraud)

    • 大変申し訳ございませんでした。詳細を調査してしかるべき対応をします。
      • Taihen mōshiwake gozaimasen deshita. Shōsai o chōsa shite shikarubeki taiō o shimasu.
      • We are terribly sorry. We will investigate the details and take the appropriate actions.

    (When you bumped your car into someone else’s car)

    • 大変申し訳ございませんでした。損害の賠償をします。
      • Taihen mōshiwake gozaimasen deshita. Songai no baishō o shimasu.
      • I am terribly sorry. I will reimburse for the damage.

    お詫び申し上げます (O-wabi mōshiagemasu) — I make a deep apology

    This is another very polite way to say sorry in Japanese. This phrase is usually used after you apologize with mōshiwake arimasen deshita or mōshiwake gozaimasen deshita. The word O-wabi means “apology” in a polite way, and the phrase is translated as “I state apology” in a polite and respectful way.

    Example:

    • 大変申し訳ございませんでした。お詫び申し上げます。
      • Taihen mōshiwake gozaimasen deshita. O-wabi mōshiagemasu.
      • We are terribly sorry. I make a humble apology.

    Man Extending Hand in Apology


    3. “I’m Sorry” in Japanese — Informal

    1- Possible Situations

    Informal apologies are used among very close people, such as family, friends, boyfriend/girlfriend, and people you know very well. Note that informal apologies in Japanese should never be used during official occasions because it sounds very casual and it would make things worse.

    Saying Sorry

    2- Apology Level: Light

    These apology words are used in situations where you did something wrong or unpleasant but not so very bad.

    1. Gestures

    For light apologies, usually you just say sorry without any gestures. In some cases, casually put your palms together in front of your face.

    2. Words and Phrases

    ごめん (Gomen) — Sorry

    The word Gomen originally meant “forgive” or “pardon” in a polite way in Japanese, and it was used to ask for forgiveness or pardon. Nowadays, it has become shorter so that we just use the word meaning “sorry.” When you want to say it in a cuter way or with affection, you add ne to the end: Gomen ne.

    Example:

    (After a couple fought over something)

    • A (male):
      • ごめん。俺が悪かった。
      • Gomen. Ore ga warukatta.
      • Sorry. I was bad.
    • B (female):
      • ごめんね。私も。
      • Gomen ne. Watashi mo.
      • Sorry. Me too.

    (When you are late to meet your friend)

    • 遅れてごめん。
      • Okurete gomen.
      • Sorry for being late.

    失礼 (Shitsurei) — Sorry / Excuse me

    Shitsurei is the short and casual version of Shitsurei shimashita. This can also be used as “Excuse me.”

    Example:

    (After you burp/fart)

    • 失礼!
      • Shitsurei!
      • Sorry / Excuse me!

      
    (When you thrust your way through a crowd of friends)
      

    • 失礼、通るよ。
      • Shitsurei, tōru yo.
      • Sorry, let me pass.

    悪い (Warui) — My bad

    It literally means “bad,” but in this case you can use this phrase as “My bad!” However, it sounds a little rough and this word is used mainly by men. Also note that in the example below, you’ll find a variation of how to say sorry I’m late in Japanese.

    Example:

    (When a boyfriend is late for dinner at a restaurant)

    • A (male):
      • 悪い、ちょっと遅れる。先に行って何か頼んでて。
      • Warui, chotto okureru. Saki ni itte nani ka tanonde te.
      • Sorry, I’ll be a bit late. You can go (to a restaurant) first and order something.
    • B (female):
      • わかった。飲み物頼んでおくね。
      • Wakatta. Nomimono tanonde oku ne.
      • Alright. I will order drinks.

    Man and Woman at Nice Restaurant

    3- Apology Level: General

    The following phrase is the common, informal way to say sorry in Japanese. It’s casual, but still sounds polite. In some cases, this phrase can be used in semi-formal occasions.

    1. Gestures

    There is no particular gesture you should do for informal and general apologies. However, it’s a good idea to show your sincere feelings using facial expressions and through the tone of your voice.

    2. Words and Phrases

    ごめんなさい (Gomennasai) — I am sorry

    Gomennasai is a more polite version of Gomen.

    Example:

    • ごめんなさい。お母さんのパソコン壊しちゃった。
      • Gomennasai. O-kā-san no pasokon kowashichatta.
      • I’m sorry. I broke mom’s computer.

     (At a restaurant)
       

    • ごめんなさい。やっぱり注文はカルボナーラに変更したいです。
      • Gomennasai. Yappari chūmon wa carubonāra ni henkō shitai desu.
      • I’m sorry. I want to change my order to Carbonara.

    4- Apology Level: Deep Apology

    When you want to express your deep apology in informal occasions, you can add Hontō ni (“truly”) in front of Gomennasai. It looks more polite and sincere when you hold your hands in front of your lower belly, or put your palms together in front of your face.

    Example:

    • 本当にごめんなさい。お父さんの車で事故おこしちゃった。
      • Hontō ni gomennasai. O-tō-san no kuruma de jiko okoshichatta.
      • I’m very sorry. I made a car accident with the father’s car.
    • 本当にごめんなさい。君に借りた本を失くした。
      • Hontō ni gomennasai. Kimi ni karita hon o nakushita.
      • I’m very sorry. I lost your book that I borrowed.


    Conclusion: How Japanesepod101.com Can Help You Learn More Japanese

    We hope this article on how to say sorry in Japanese is helpful and that you have a better understanding of the Japanese language and Japanese culture. You should now know many Japanese ways to say sorry, as “sorry” in learning Japanese is vital.

    If you’d like to learn more about the Japanese language, you’ll find more useful content on JapanesePod101.com. We provide a variety of free lessons for you to improve your Japanese language skills.

    We also have a YouTube channel where you can enjoy learning the Japanese language by watching videos and listening to actual Japanese pronunciation. If you’re keen on how to read and write Japanese, which consists of three alphabets (hiragana, katakana, and kanji), you can learn more about Japanese gestures, basic Japanese, daily Japanese conversations, 100 Japanese phrases for beginners, and much more.

    Please visit our YouTube channel for a fun learning experience!

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Japanese

    Golden Week: Celebrate Japanese Children’s Day!

    In Japan, Children’s Day is celebrated each year as a way of wishing good health and success for its youth. When it comes to Children’s Day, Japan’s history (and that of ancient China) plays a huge role. While the Children’s Day Festival in Japan was founded on ancient myths and beliefs, many of its traditions remain in place today.

    In learning about Children’s Day Japan activities, you’re opening your eyes to new concepts and cultural aspects of the country of your target language. At JapanesePod101.com, we hope to make learning about Japanese culture both fun and insightful! So let’s get started on our lesson about the Children’s Day Festival Japan holds each year.

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to Improve Your Language Skills!

    1. What is Children’s Day in Japan?

    The Boys’ Festival is an event that began when the Chinese custom of exorcizing evil spirits with herbs made its way to Japan. In Japan, it has been celebrated as a traditional event since ancient times to pray for the healthy growth of boys. These days, not only boys, but also girls participate in the celebration, which is also known as Children’s Day, a national holiday in Japan.

    2. When is Children’s Day?

    Children's Day is on May 5

    Each year during Golden Week, Japan celebrates Children’s Day on May 5.

    3. Reading Practice: How is Children’s Day Celebrated?

    Koinobori in Air

    How do the Japanese celebrate Children’s Day? Read the Japanese text below to find out, and find the English translation directly below it.

    5月5日の端午の節句が近づくと、家の外やベランダ、公園などに、「鯉のぼり」が飾られます。鯉のぼりとは魚の形をした吹き流し(ふきながし)のことです。中国に古い話があります。登竜(とうりゅう)という激しい流れの川を鯉が登ったそうです。そして、そのこいは龍(りゅう)になりました。この話から、「こどもがえらくなりますように」とのねがいをこめて、こいのぼりがかざられるようになりました。たいてい、大小さまざまなサイズの鯉が飾られ、一番大きい鯉はお父さん、次に大きいものはお母さん、小さいものは子供と、家族を表していると言われています。

    また、家の中では、「よろい」や「かぶと」をかざります。昔、武士は戦いのとき、身を守るためによろいや兜(かぶと)を身につけました。そこで、男の子の体を守るという意味から、よろいやかぶとを飾るようになったのです。また、「五月(ごがつ)人形」と呼ばれる人形も飾ります。一般的なものには、武士の格好をした男の子や、菱形(ひしがた)の前掛け(まえかけ)をした「金太郎(きんたろう)」があります。

    そして、端午の節句には柏餅(かしわもち)を食べます。柏餅はあんこを二つ折りにした餅ではさんで、柏の葉でつつんだ和菓子です。「かしわ」という植物は新しい芽がでるまで古い芽が落ちません。そのことから、「家系がずっと続いていく」、つまり「子孫繁栄(しそんはんえい)」を願って食べられています。

    地域によっては「ちまき」も食べられています。ちまきとは中国由来(ゆらい)の食べ物で、笹などの葉でもち米を包んで蒸したもののことです。

    As Boys’ Festival on May 5th approaches, the outsides of houses, verandas, parks, and so on are decorated with Koi (”Carp̶ ;) Streamers. Koi streamers are streamers made in the shape of a fish. There is an old tale from China that tells of a koi that appeared to have climbed a dangerous river known as Tōryū. This koi then became a dragon. It is from this story that koi streamers came to be decorated alongside wishes for “children to become mighty.” Usually, koi of various sizes are decorated, with the largest koi said to be the father, the next largest the mother, and the smaller koi the children. These koi are said to represent the entire family.

    Also, the insides of homes are decorated with armor and helmets. In ancient times, when a samurai would fight, they would wear a helmet and armor to protect themselves. It is from this tradition that helmets and armor became decorations, because they were said to protect the boy’s body. There is also a doll known as a go-gatsu ningyō or “May doll.” Typically, they are boys dressed as samurai, and Kintarō with diamond-shaped aprons.

    Kashiwamochi is eaten on Boys’ Festival. Kashiwamochi is a kind of sweet made by stuffing rice cakes with bean paste. The old buds of the kashiwa, or “oak,” do not fall until a new bud appears. They are eaten with the desire that the “family tree will continue forever,” or in other words, for the “prosperity of descendants.”

    Some regions also eat chimaki. Chimaki is a food derived from China, which is made by wrapping steamed glutinous rice with leaves, such as bamboo grass.

    4. Additional Information: The Iris

    There is a special flower for the Boys’ Festival; Japanese use it for celebration just like they do the flower for the Hinamatsuri (”Doll Festival”). Which flower do you think it is?

    It’s the iris. The leaves of the iris have a strong fragrance, and people in ancient China believed that this fragrance exorcized evil spirits. The placing of iris into baths for health, and into sake for drinking, formed the beginnings of the Boys’ Festival. These days, there are also families that take baths called shōbuyu meaning “floating iris leaves.”

    5. Must-know Vocab

    Kabuto

    Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Children’s Day in Japan!

    • 菖蒲 (しょうぶ) — iris
    • 端午の節句 (たんごのせっく) — Boys’ Day celebration
    • 子供の日 (こどものひ) — Children’s Day
    • 緋鯉 (ひごい) — red carp
    • 五月五日 (ごがつ いつか) — May 5th
    • 鯉のぼり (こいのぼり) — koinobori
    • 柏餅 (かしわもち) — kashiwamochi
    • かぶと (かぶと) — kabuto
    • 五月人形 (ごがつ にんぎょう) — doll for the Boys’ Festival in May
    • 真鯉 (まごい) — black carp
    • 菖蒲湯 (しょうぶゆ) — bath with iris leaves in it
    • 鎧 (よろい) — armor
    • 吹流し (ふきながし) — streamer
    • ちまき (ちまき) — chimaki

    To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, visit our Japanese Children’s Day vocabulary list, where you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio file of its pronunciation.

    Conclusion

    What do you think of Japan’s Boys’ Festival celebration? Does your country observe a similar holiday? Tell us about it!

    To learn more about the culture in Japan and the Japanese language, visit us at JapanesePod101.com. We provide our students with insightful blog posts on various topics, free vocabulary lists, and even on online community to discuss lessons with fellow Japanese students. And if you prefer a one-on-one learning experience, you can learn Japanese with your own personal Japanese teacher through our MyTeacher program!

    Know that all of the hard work you’ve put into your language-learning journey and your strong determination will pay off! You’ll be speaking Japanese before you know it, and JapanesePod101.com will be here for each step on your way there. Best wishes!

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to Improve Your Language Skills!

    How to Find a Job in Japan

    Do you love Japan? Would you consider working and living in Japan? If so, know that there are many ways for foreigners to find a job in Japan!

    But how easy is it to find a job in Japan? Is it hard to find a job in Japan?

    It can be very difficult for a foreigner to work in Japan, for various reasons. These include:

    • English isn’t the official language in Japan.
    • Multinational and international companies are located mainly in Tokyo.
    • Work conditions are quite different from those in other countries.

    However, there are many jobs available for foreigners, including language teaching, IT engineering, health- & medical-related jobs, and other white collar jobs. In short, depending on your skills and interests, there’s a variety of Japanese companies that may be willing to take you on!

    Start with a bonus, and download the Business Words & Phrases PDF for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Business Words and Phrases in Japanese

    Without further ado, here’s our guide on how to find a job in Japan.

    Table of Contents

    1. Job Search Websites
    2. Language Teaching Jobs
    3. Blue Collar Jobs
    4. Office Jobs
    5. Health-related Jobs
    6. Working Holiday
    7. How Japanesepod101 Can Help You Learn More Japanese

    Japanese skyline


    1. Job Search Websites

    There are a few different ways for foreigners to find a job in Japan. The easiest and most common way is to search for jobs on job portal websites. Here, you can find out which Japanese companies are hiring and the types of jobs available in Japan. Some websites also have good information and content about living and working in Japan, in addition to job listings.

    Below is a list of useful websites for foreigners to find a job in Japan, but please see headings 2-5 for more detailed information on different job categories. These job portals in Japan are a good place to start, though.

    1- GaijinPot

    This is a website which provides various information to foreigners living in Japan or those who intend to visit or live in Japan. GaijiPot supports foreigners mainly in the following five topics: Find Jobs in Japan, Study in Japan, Live in Japan, Travel in Japan, and Understand Japan.

    Therefore, while you’re searching for a job, you can also gather information about renting an apartment, schools for learning Japanese, things you need to know for living and working in Japan, and more at GaijiPot. There’s also the classifieds page, where anyone can post an advertisement or ask questions about anything.

    2- Daijob

    This is one of the largest job search websites for multilinguals; it’s been operating since 1998, and it has more than 10,000 job listings. You can search for jobs by category, industry, and language. There’s also an advanced search function to narrow down results according to your preferences, such as location, position level, salary, keywords, and so on. You can also search for job advertisements by employer types from a direct employer, recruiter, staffing agency, and employer (undisclosed).

    3- Career Cross

    This website has more than 5,500 job listings and it was founded in 2000. With this website, you can search by job category, location, train line, language level, keywords, and more. Considering that commuting to work during rush hour is always tiresome, especially in central areas in the big cities, it’s useful that this website can search jobs by train line so that you can find a job with minimal cumbersome commuting.

    This website has the Japan Salary Guide page for your reference. Average, minimum average and maximum salaries are shown for each job by category. The website also has a list of companies which have job positions available, so if you have any desired companies in mind, it’s very handy for finding out if they’re hiring.

    4- enworld

    This is one of the group companies of en Japan Inc., which is one of the largest recruitment and staffing companies in Japan, established in 1999. It has affluent information about the Japanese job market and employment.

    This website is for multilingual job seekers, including Japanese people, so some job advertisements aim to hire Japanese people with language skills. However, there are many international and high-salary job listings as well. There are more than 600 job posts and you can search for jobs by location, job category, and keywords. It has job listings for many countries, including Japan.

    5- Career Engine

    This is another job search website, though it seems relatively small in scale. It has a few hundred job listings. You can search for jobs by industry, location, full- or part-time, language level, and keywords. It also has a listing of direct hire jobs and companies that don’t involve a third party—such as recruiters—and you can directly communicate with the company that posted the job advertisement.

    6- Jobs in Japan

    This one was established by an American who’s been living in Japan since 1998. It has around 200 job listings. You can search for jobs by industry, job category, job type, location, language level, employer type, keywords, and more.

    This website is useful in that you can also search by the availability of work visa sponsorship if you need a visa to work. The website has a blog with articles about Job Seeker Advice and Living in Japan Guide. The website itself doesn’t have abundant job postings, but is still helpful because it’s for foreigners in Japan, and made by a foreigner who lives and works in Japan.

    The following organizations and websites are also useful for foreign job seekers in Japan.

    7- JapanCareer

    This is a consulting and support company specialized in employment for foreigners in Japan. It offers employment support for students/entry-level workers and mid-career workers, as well as employers, to promote the employment of foreigners. You can search for jobs from the website, but it’s also wise to register with them and get career counseling for free, as well as full support for employment.

    8- Tokyo Employment Service Center for Foreigners

    This is a public employment support office specializing in providing job counseling and placement services for foreign students who have student visas, and foreigners who are specialists or technical experts with a corresponding status/visa who live in Japan and seek employment.

    The center is run by the Government of Japan. If you have a valid visa to stay and work in Japan, it can help in many ways. It offers job career counseling, job matching, seminars for how to get a job (writing a CV, tips, and practice for an interview, etc.), internship opportunities, Japanese classes, and so on.

    A Teacher and Blackboard


    2. Language Teaching Jobs

    Teaching is one of the most common types of job in Japan for foreigners. There are a few types of language-teaching jobs in Japan: teaching at private language schools, public schools, international schools, vocational/technical schools, and universities. These are basically English-teaching jobs for native English speakers. However, you can also find other language-teaching jobs at private language schools and universities; there are many positions available.

    1- The JET Programme

    The JET Programme (The Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme) is the most famous and credible teaching job in Japan and is run by the Government of Japan. The teaching language is mostly English, but other languages such as French, German, Chinese, and Korean languages are available in rare cases.

    This programme is designed for a native English-speaker with a university degree to teach English and participate in a cultural exchange at Japanese public schools. The JET programme is a one-year contract and you can renew the contract for up to five consecutive years.

    On your application, while you can submit your request where you would like to teach, the JET will determine which location and school you’re assigned to. The salary for the ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) in the first year is ¥3,360,000 (Approximately $37,960 as of December 20 8) and the annual salary will increase when the contract is renewed. Working hours are typically 35 per week, from Monday to Friday, and 20 paid holidays per year will be given.

    2- Teaching at Private Language Schools

    Teaching in private language schools in Japan is also a popular job. If you’re a native English speaker, English-teaching jobs are widely available, especially in large cities. For other languages, positions are limited, but you can still find a language-teaching job at private language schools if they provide classes for other languages.

    A major private language school can issue you a work visa, and they tend to have more job opportunities as they have many branches in different cities, including: ECC, EAON, GABA, Berlitz, NOVA, Shane English School.

    Other language schools that have school branches in different areas are Rosetta Stone Learning Center, English Village, and Linguage. You can directly apply for job positions by contacting them directly from their website.

    There are many other small-scale language schools, and you can find job positions for them by searching through major recruitment websites for foreigners, such as GaijinPot, Jobs in Japan, and Daijob. You can also search at TEFL and SeekTeachers by selecting your desired job title and country.

    3- International Schools

    International schools are another good option for teaching because they offer relatively higher salaries, although getting a position is a bit difficult. Teaching jobs at international schools usually require a higher education diploma, particular certificate, and experience in teaching/education. Here are the list of websites you can use to search for international schools in Japan:

    4- Teaching at Vocational/Technical Schools

    Teaching at vocational/technical schools that have language courses/classes is another option. The Shingakunet website is in Japanese, but it has a list of schools that you can copy and paste the names of to search for their official websites. There, you can see if they have job positions and contact them directly. Job advertisements can also be posted on the websites GaijinPot, Jobs in Japan, Daijob, TEFL, SeekTeachers, and more.

    5- Teaching at a University/College

    As with international schools, teaching at a university/college offers a good salary, but they usually have high requirements. There are more than 700 universities in Japan, and most of them offer English and other language education/classes to their students.

    You can visit each school website, search for job postings, and contact them directly. The Japan Association for Language Teaching has job listings for working at universities, including teaching jobs. Sometimes job advertisements for teaching English at a university/college are posted on TEFL and SeekTeachers.


    3. Blue Collar Jobs

    In the current system, foreign people won’t be sponsored with a work visa for blue collar jobs in Japan. Those unskilled jobs are available only if you already reside in Japan with a valid visa to work, or if you’re an accepted candidate for the Technical Intern Training Program which is organized by the Government of Japan. So while this may not be the best way to find a job in Japan at the moment, it’s not totally outside the realm of possibility!

    For those who don’t have particular skills or professional experience, it may be easier to become a student in Japan and work part-time. While studying a specialized area and learning Japanese, they can work part-time and they can apply for proper jobs after graduating from school.

    However, due to the large shortage in the labor force of Japan, the government has been considering opening up resident and work visas for foreigners in the blue-collar job categories. Keep your eyes peeled for updates about a change of policy from the Japanese government; we may hear good news in the near future!

    1- The Technical Intern Training Program

    The Technical Intern Training Program is offered by the Japanese government for foreigners who wish to acquire specific skills, technologies, or knowledge in Japan. The program aims to establish employment relationships between companies and other businesses in Japan with intern trainees engaged in technical fields, and it provides opportunities for the trainees to acquire or improve skills that would be difficult to master in their original countries.

    The training period is a maximum of five years. The program covers the following industries:

    • Agriculture
    • Construction
    • Food
    • Textile
    • Machinery
    • Manufacturing

    For more detailed information, please check the official website. After acquiring skills and knowledge, as well as Japanese, while you live and work in Japan, you may be able to apply for other jobs in Japan.

    2- Part-time Jobs

    If you already have a valid visa to stay and work in Japan, you can find unskilled and part-time jobs from the following major websites in Japan. Most part-time jobs in Japan are unskilled jobs that don’t require specialized skills.

    However, most unskilled and part-time jobs are based on the premise that you already have fluent Japanese skills. Therefore, all of the part-time job search websites below are only written in Japanese. If you don’t speak Japanese, you can still search for part-time jobs in English from the websites listed in the first section by selecting the job type as part-time.

    Japanese job search websites have many more job advertisements than English websites. That said, here are the websites we recommend:

    On all of these websites, you can search for part-time jobs by job category, location, salary, work conditions, and keywords.

    Teamwork


    4. Office Jobs

    In order to find office jobs or white collar jobs in Japan, the job search websites described in the first section are useful. Depending on what professional skills and experience you have, and of course what type of job it is, it’s definitely advantageous if you have Japanese language skills. Not only does it make it easier to communicate at work, but it’s also helpful in establishing good relationships with Japanese colleagues and bosses.

    This is very important because Japanese work and corporate culture put equal value on trust and relationship as they do on work performance itself. Being able to establish these increases your chance of getting better appraisal and even promotions.

    Apart from job search websites, you can also register at recruiting and headhunting companies to find a job in Japan. This increases the possibility of getting a better job with a higher salary if you have specialized skills and knowledge. Thus, utilizing their services may help you find some of the highest paying jobs in Japan. Here’s a list of major headhunting companies in Japan which have experience and a good number of job positions available.

    1- HAYS

    HAYS is a British recruiting company and Hays Japan has been providing services focused on global and highly-skilled employment since 2001. The specialized areas they focus on are:

    • Accounting & Finance
    • Banking & Financial Services
    • Digital Technology
    • Finance Technology
    • Human Resources
    • Information Technology
    • Insurance
    • Legal
    • Life Sciences
    • Manufacturing & Operations
    • Marketing & Digital
    • Office Professionals
    • Property
    • Supply Chain and Sales

    2- Robert Walters

    Robert Walters is also originally from the UK and the Japan branch has been operating since 2000. This company has teams of specialists who are experts in their area, which means a recruiter who deals with IT job matters, for example, won’t deal with finance job matters.

    All of the recruiters are well-aware of the job market in the respective area they’re in charge of. At these companies, the recruiters are bilingual and foreign staffs are also working. These are multinational companies focused on bilingual/multilingual human resources, and so they have a good number of job positions at international companies in Japan.

    It’s easier for foreigners to get a job and work at an international company in Japan than at a Japanese company because in most cases they have bilingual office environments and don’t have traditional Japanese corporate/work culture which can be hard for foreigners to understand or adapt to.

    Blood pressure check


    5. Health-related Jobs

    Working in the health sector in Japan is difficult for foreigners, as is likely true in most other countries. You need to possess the qualification or license to work in the health sector, which includes positions such as a doctor, nurse, therapist, mental counselor, etc. Even if you already have a nursing license in your own country, for example, you still need to pass the Japanese national exam to be qualified to work as a nurse in Japan.

    If you’re a qualified nurse or care worker from Indonesia, the Philippines, or Vietnam, there’s a governmental program for working in Japan. Based on the Japan-Indonesia Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), Japan started to accept trainees of nurses and care workers from Indonesia since 2008, the following EPA from the Philippines since 2009, and most recently from Vietnam since 2014.

    While accepted candidate trainees come and work in Japan, they are obliged to pass the Japanese national examinations for nurses or care workers within three years. When they pass the exam, they’re able to work in Japan without limitation of the term. By 2016, there were more than 3,800 trainees accepted and working in Japan. However, passing the Japanese national examination in Japanese is still extremely difficult. In order to apply, please visit the organizations in each country which deal with domestic selection and application (click the name of the country in the paragraph above).

    Japan Foundation and The Authorized Non-Profit Organization (NPO) for Educational Support for Foreign Nurses and Care Workers support accepted trainee nurses and care workers by offering Japanese classes, counseling services, employment advice, and more.

    Cherries


    6. Working Holiday

    Another easy option for working in Japan is the Working Holiday program. The Working Holiday program is based on bilateral arrangements between the governments and it aims to make it possible for young people of Japan and its partner countries/regions to enter each country for the purpose of spending holidays while allowing them to work. The program promotes opportunities for the youth to appreciate the culture and life of the country, as well as further understanding, by offering the right to work in that country.

    Japan has a partnership with the following countries/regions:

    • Australia
    • New Zealand
    • Canada
    • The Republic of Korea
    • The United Kingdom
    • Ireland
    • Denmark
    • Norway
    • Portugal
    • France
    • Germany
    • Poland
    • Slovakia
    • Hungary
    • Spain
    • Argentina
    • Chile
    • Iceland or Czech
    • Hong Kong
    • Taiwan

    The eligible age for application depends on the country, but it’s usually from 18 to 25 or 30 years old. The maximum length of stay is one year. In order to apply for the Working Holiday visa, please contact Embassies or Consulates-General of Japan in the respective country/region or Interchange Association (Taipei Office or Kaohsiung Office).

    With the Working Holiday visa, you’re able to work part-time but note that certain jobs aren’t allowed under this visa such as working at bars, cabarets, nightclubs, gambling establishments, and other premises affecting public morals in Japan.


    Conclusion: How Japanesepod101 Can Help You Learn More Japanese

    We hope you enjoyed learning about finding a job in Japan with JapanesePod101! So, is it easy to find a job in Japan? Yes and no. Jobs in Japan for foreigners can be difficult to come by, and when it comes to jobs in Japan, employment opportunities don’t just leap out at you. But once you know a little more about the job industry here, it becomes much easier and more straightforward.

    If you would like to learn more about the Japanese language, you’ll find a lot of useful content on JapanesePod101. We provide a variety of free lessons for you to improve your Japanese language skills.

    If you’re a beginner learner of Japanese, you’ll find the following useful:

    If you’re at the intermediate level, we recommend:

    You’ll enjoy learning the Japanese language by watching videos and listening to actual Japanese pronunciation.

    Happy Japanese learning with JapanesePod101!

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Business Words and Phrases in Japanese

    What is White Day in Japan? Celebrate Japanese White Day!

    On White Day, which is precisely one month after Valentine’s Day, men return the favor for the chocolates they received on February 14th. Whether the chocolate was given to them out of a sense of obligation or love, men who receive chocolate on Valentine’s Day return the favor by sending gifts including sweets.

    Since ancient times, Japan has had a custom in which a person should give something in return for any gift that they receive. This idea is probably unique to Japan, because its people place great importance on honesty and politeness in interpersonal relationships.

    Learn more about White Day in Japan to gain a better understanding of the culture. This will also help you learn Japanese in context, which is an absolute must! Let JapanesePod101.com show you all you need to know about White Day in Japan.

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to Improve Your Language Skills!

    1. What is White Day in Japan?

    White Day in Japan is essentially a second Valentine’s Day, and men give women gifts just as they were given gifts on Valentine’s Day a month before. Except they’re supposed to give that gift threefold! No skimping on giving your lady a gift, guys! Common White Day presents include chocolate, flowers, and even jewelry. Of all the Japanese celebrations, White Day may just be the most looked forward to by women!

    2. When is White Day in Japan?

    March 14 is White Day

    Each year on March 14, Japan celebrates White Day—exactly a month after Valentine’s Day. Keep reading for more information on how March 14 (White Day) is celebrated.

    3. Reading Practice: How is White Day Celebrated in Japan?

    Chocolate and Flower Bouquet

    Read the Japanese Kanji text below to learn how White Day is celebrated in Japan. You can find the English translation directly below it.

    —–

    ホワイトデーを楽しみにしているのは誰かと言えば、もちろん、バレンタインにチョコレートを贈った女性たちですね。愛の告白をした人は、その返事に期待が高まりますし、義理チョコをあげた人も「どんなお返しがもらえるだろう」とワクワクするもの。特に、雑誌やテレビでは「男は三倍返し」と言い、「もらったチョコレートの三倍に値する(あたいする)お返しをすべき」、などと勧めるので、女性たちはホワイトデーを心待ちにしています。
    恋人同士、あるいは夫婦の場合、お菓子などの贈り物に加えて、相手の女性が好みそうなアクセサリーなどを一緒にお返しすることも多いです。パートナーとの愛情を確認し合えるイベントの一つとして、またバレンタインデーと切り離せない行事として、ホワイトデーも広く認知(にんち)されています。

    —–
    The ones who look forward to White Day the most are, naturally, the women who have given chocolate on Valentine’s Day. A person who has professed their love gets very excited about their return gift, and even those who sent chocolate out of a sense of obligation are curious, thinking “what I will get in return?” Magazines and TV shows often announce that “the man should return the gift multiplied by three,” recommending that men give a return gift three times the value of the chocolate they received. Therefore, women really look forward to White Day.

    In the case of lovers, or husbands and wives, the lady also often receives some kind of accessory that she may like in addition to sweets. As well as the ubiquitous Valentine’s Day, White Day is widely recognized as an event in which someone can see the affection of their partner.

    While there are several theories as to the origin of White Day, it is said that it comes from a long-established candy store in Fukuoka Prefecture that used to sell white marshmallows on March 14th.

    4. Additional Information

    So, whose idea was White Day?

    The confectionery industry’s. As Valentine’s Day became popular, they came up with the idea of having another day for giving a gift in return for the chocolate received on Valentine’s Day. Seeing how chocolate sales increase rapidly as February 14th approaches, they started advertising for people to return the favor on White Day. This idea has slowly caught on, and is now an established tradition.

    5. Must-know Vocab

    Man Giving Woman Gift

    Here’s some vocabulary you should know for White Day in Japan!

    • ありがとう。(ありがとう) — Thank you!
    • お菓子 (おかし) — snack
    • アクセサリー (アクセサリー) — accessory
    • チョコレート (チョコレート) — chocolate
    • バレンタインデー (バレンタインデー) — Valentine’s Day
    • ホワイトデー (ホワイトデー) — White Day
    • デート (デート) — date
    • お返し (おかえし) — reciprocation
    • ギフト (ギフト) — gift
    • 愛 (あい) — love
    • ハート (ハート) — heart
    • 3月14日 (さんがつ じゅうよっか) — March 14th

    If you want to hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, check out our Japanese White Day vocabulary list. Here you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio of its pronunciation.

    Conclusion

    Now you know all about White Day in Japan. What do you think of this idea? Does your country have a similar holiday, where women receive gifts from men? Let us know in the comments!

    To learn more about Japanese culture and the language, visit us at JapanesePod101.com and create your own account! We offer an array of insightful blog posts, free vocabulary lists, and even an online community to discuss lessons with fellow Japanese learners. You can also check out our MyTeacher program if you’re interested in a one-on-one learning experience with your own personal Japanese teacher!

    We hope you enjoyed learning about White Day in Japan. Know that all of your studying and hard work will pay off, and you’ll be speaking Japanese like a native before you know it!

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to Improve Your Language Skills!

    How to Say I Love You in Japanese - Romantic Word List

    Do you often feel lonely and sad? Do you long for romance and are willing to do whatever it takes to meet that special person? Speaking another language could revolutionize your love life! So, why wait? Learning how to say ‘love’ in Japanese could be just what you need to find it.

    Or perhaps you were lucky, and have found your Japanese partner already. Fantastic! Yet, a cross-cultural relationship comes with unique challenges. Learning how to speak your lover’s language will greatly improve your communication and enhance the relationship. At JapanesePod101, our team will teach you all the words, quotes and phrases you need to woo your Japanese lover with excellence! Our tutors provide personal assistance, with plenty of extra material available to make Japanese dating easy for you.

    Table of Contents

    1. Common Phrases You’ll Need for a Date
    2. The Most Romantic Ideas for a Date
    3. Must-know Valentine’s Day Vocabulary
    4. Japanese Love Phrases for Valentine’s Day
    5. Japanese Quotes about Love
    6. Marriage Proposal Lines
    7. 15 Most Common Break-Up Lines
    8. Will Falling in Love Help You Learn Japanese Faster?

    Start with a bonus, and download the ‘How To be a Good Lover Cheat Sheet’ for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to be a Good Lover in Japanese

    1. Common Phrases You’ll Need for a Date

    So, you have met your Japanese love interest. Congratulations! Who knows where this could take you…?! However, the two of you have just met and you’re not ready to say the Japanese word for love just yet. Great, it is better to get to know him/her first. Wow your prospective love by using these Japanese date phrases to set up a spectacular first date.

    Japanese Date Phrases

    Would you like to go out to dinner with me?

    • あなたは私と一緒に夕食に出かけたいですか?
    • anata wa watashi to issho ni yūshoku ni dekaketai desu ka?

    The important question! In most cultures, this phrase indicates: ‘I’m romantically interested in you’. Flirting in Japanese is no different, so don’t take your date to Mcdonald’s!

    Are you free this weekend?

    • この週末は暇ですか。
    • kono shūmatsu wa hima desu ka?

    This is a preamble to asking your love interest on a date. If you get an immediate ‘Yes’, that’s good news!

    Would you like to hang out with me?

    • 私と一緒にブラブラしたいですか?
    • watashi to issho ni burabura shitai desu ka?

    You like her/him, but you’re not sure if there’s chemistry. Ask them to hang out first to see if a dinner date is next.

    What time shall we meet tomorrow?

    • 明日、何時に会いましょうか?
    • ashita nanji ni aimashō ka?

    Set a time, and be sure to arrive early! Nothing spoils a potential relationship more than a tardy date.

    Where shall we meet?

    • どこで会いましょうか?
    • doko de aimashō ka?

    You can ask this, but also suggest a place.

    You look great.

    • 元気そうですね。
    • genki sō desu ne.

    A wonderful ice breaker! This phrase will help them relax a bit - they probably took great care to look their best just for you.

    You are so cute.

    • あなたはとてもかわいいです。
    • anata wa totemo kawaī desu.

    If the two of you are getting on really well, this is a fun, flirtatious phrase to use.

    What do you think of this place?

    • この場所をどう思いますか?
    • konobasho o dō omoimasu ka?

    This another good conversation starter. Show off your Japanese language skills!

    Can I see you again?

    • また会えますか?
    • mata aemasu ka?

    So the date went really well - don’t waste time! Make sure you will see each other again.

    Shall we go somewhere else?

    • どこか他のところに行きましょうか?
    • doko ka hoka no tokoro ni ikimashō ka?

    If the place you meet at is not great, you can suggest going elsewhere. It is also a good question to follow the previous one. Variety is the spice of life!

    I know a good place.

    • いい場所を知っています。
    • ī basho o shitte imasu.

    Use this with the previous question. However, don’t say if you don’t know a good place!

    I will drive you home.

    • あなたを家まで送ります。
    • anata o ie made okurimasu.

    If your date doesn’t have transport, this is a polite, considerate offer. However, don’t be offended if she/he turns you down on the first date. Especially a woman might not feel comfortable letting you drive her home when the two of you are still basically strangers.

    That was a great evening.

    • 素晴らしい夜でした。
    • subarashī yoru deshita.

    This is a good phrase to end the evening with.

    When can I see you again?

    • いつまたあなたに会えますか?
    • itsu mata anata ni aemasu ka?

    If he/she replied ‘Yes’ to ‘Can I see you again?’, this is the next important question.

    I’ll call you.

    • 電話します。
    • denwa shimasu.

    Say this only if you really mean to do it. In many cultures, this could imply that you’re keeping the proverbial backdoor open.

    Sneak Peek! Log in to Download this Cheat Sheet!Sneak Peek! Log in to Download this Cheat Sheet!

    2. The Most Romantic Ideas for a Date

    You learned all the Japanese phrases to make a date - congratulations! Now you have to decide where to meet, which can be tricky. Discuss these options with your lover to gauge whether you like the same things. Check out romantic date ideas in Japanese below!

    Date Ideas in Japanese

    museum

    • 美術館
    • bijutsukan

    If you’re looking for unique date ideas that are fun but won’t break the bank, museums are the perfect spot! You won’t be running out of things to say in the conversations.

    candlelit dinner

    • キャンドルディナー
    • kyandorudeinā

    A candlelit dinner is perhaps best to reserve for when the relationship is getting serious. It’s very intimate, and says: “Romance!” It’s a fantastic choice if you’re sure you and your date are in love with each other!

    go to the zoo

    • 動物園に行く
    • dōbutsuen ni iku

    This is a good choice for shy lovers who want to get the conversation going. Just make sure your date likes zoos, as some people dislike them. Maybe not for the first date, but this is also a great choice if your lover has children - you’ll win his/her adoration for inviting them along!

    go for a long walk

    • 長い散歩に出る
    • nagai sanpo ni deru

    Need to talk about serious stuff, or just want to relax with your date? Walking together is soothing, and a habit you can keep up together always! Just make sure it’s a beautiful walk that’s not too strenuous.

    go to the opera

    • オペラに行く
    • opera ni iku

    This type of date should only be attempted if both of you love the opera. It can be a special treat, followed by a candlelit dinner!

    go to the aquarium

    • 水族館に行く
    • suizokukan ni iku

    Going to the aquarium is another good idea if you need topics for conversation, or if you need to impress your lover’s kids! Make sure your date doesn’t have a problem with aquariums.

    walk on the beach

    • 浜辺を歩く
    • hamabe o aruku

    This can be a very romantic stroll, especially at night! The sea is often associated with romance and beauty.

    have a picnic

    • ピクニックをする
    • pikunikku o suru

    If you and your date need to get more comfortable together, this can be a fantastic date. Spending time in nature is soothing and calms the nerves.

    cook a meal together

    • 一緒に食事を作る
    • issho ni shokuji o tsukuru

    If you want to get an idea of your date’s true character in one go, this is an excellent date! You will quickly see if the two of you can work together in a confined space. If it works, it will be fantastic for the relationship and create a sense of intimacy. If not, you will probably part ways!

    have dinner and see a movie

    • 夕食を食べて映画を見る
    • yūshoku o tabete ēga o miru

    This is traditional date choice works perfectly well. Just make sure you and your date like the same kind of movies!

    3. Must-know Valentine’s Day Vocabulary

    Valentine's Day Words in Japanese

    Expressing your feelings honestly is very important in any relationship all year round. Yet, on Valentine’s Day you really want to shine. Impress your lover this Valentine’s with your excellent vocabulary, and make his/her day! We teach you, in fun, effective ways, the meanings of the words and how to pronounce them. You can also copy the characters and learn how to write ‘I love you’ in Japanese - think how impressed your date will be!

    4. Japanese Love Phrases for Valentine’s Day

    So, you now have the basic Valentine’s Day vocabulary under your belt. Well done! But, do you know how to say ‘I love you’ in Japanese yet? Or perhaps you are still only friends. So, do you know how to say ‘I like you’ or ‘I have a crush on you’ in Japanese? No? Don’t worry, here are all the love phrases you need to bowl over your Japanese love on this special day!

    Valentine's Day Words in Japanese

    I love you.

    • あなたの事を愛しています。
    • Anata no koto o aishite imasu.

    Saying ‘I love you’ in Japanese carries the same weight as in all languages. Use this only if you’re sure and sincere about your feelings for your partner/friend.

    You mean so much to me.

    • あなたは私にとって、とても大事な存在です。
    • Anata wa watashi ni totte, totemo daiji na sonzai desu.

    This is a beautiful expression of gratitude that will enhance any relationship! It makes the receiver feel appreciated and their efforts recognized.

    Will you be my Valentine?

    • バレンタインを一緒に過ごしてくれる?
    • Barentain o issho ni sugoshite kureru?

    With these words, you are taking your relationship to the next level! Or, if you have been a couple for a while, it shows that you still feel the romance. So, go for it!

    You’re so beautiful.

    • 君はとても美しいよ。
    • Kimi wa totemo utsukushii yo.

    If you don’t know how to say ‘You’re pretty’ in Japanese, this is a good substitute, gentlemen!

    I think of you as more than a friend.

    • 私は、友達以上としてあなたのことを考えている。
    • Watashi wa, tomodachi ijō to shite anata no koto o kangaete iru.

    Say this if you are not yet sure that your romantic feelings are reciprocated. It is also a safe go-to if you’re unsure about the Japanese dating culture.

    A hundred hearts would be too few to carry all my love for you.

    • 百個のハートでも、君を愛しているというのは表現しつくせない。
    • Hya-kko no hāto demo, kimi o aishite iru to iu no wa hyōgen shi tsukusenai.

    You romantic you…! When your heart overflows with love, this would be the best phrase to use.

    Love is just love. It can never be explained.

    • 「愛」はただ単に「愛」である。説明なんてできない。
    • “Ai” wa tada tan ni “ai” de aru. Setsumei nante dekinai.

    If you fell in love unexpectedly or inexplicably, this one’s for you.

    You’re so handsome.

    • あなた、とてもハンサムですね。
    • Anata, totemo hansamu desu ne.

    Ladies, this phrase lets your Japanese love know how much you appreciate his looks! Don’t be shy to use it; men like compliments too.

    I’ve got a crush on you.

    • 私はあなたに一目惚れした。
    • Watashi wa anata ni hitomebore shita.

    If you like someone, but you’re unsure about starting a relationship, it would be prudent to say this. It simply means that you like someone very, very much and think they’re amazing.

    You make me want to be a better man.

    • あなたは私により良い男になろうと思わせてくれた。
    • Anata wa watashi ni yori yoi otoko ni narō to omowasete kureta.

    Gentlemen, don’t claim this phrase as your own! It hails from the movie ‘As Good as it Gets’, but it is sure to make your Japanese girlfriend feel very special. Let her know that she inspires you!

    Let all that you do be done in love.

    • どんな事も愛情をもってやりなさい。
    • Donna koto mo aijō o motte yarinasai

    We hope.

    You are my sunshine, my love.

    • あなたは私の太陽、そして愛です。
    • Anata wa watashi no taiyō, soshite ai desu.

    A compliment that lets your lover know they bring a special quality to your life. Really nice!

    Words can’t describe my love for you.

    • 言葉であなたへの愛情は言い表せられない。
    • Kotoba de anata e no aijō wa iiarawasenai.

    Better say this when you’re feeling serious about the relationship! It means that your feelings are very intense.

    We were meant to be together.

    • 私たちは一緒になる運命だったんだ。
    • Watashi-tachi wa issho ni naru unmei datta n da.

    This is a loving affirmation that shows you see a future together, and that you feel a special bond with your partner.

    If you were thinking about someone while reading this, you’re definitely in love.

    • これを読んでいる時に誰かの事を考えているなら、あなたは恋に落ちているに違いない。
    • Kore o yonde iru toki ni dareka no koto o kangaete iru nara, anta wa koi ni ochite iru ni chigainai.

    Here’s something fun to tease your lover with. And hope he/she was thinking of you!

    5. Japanese Quotes about Love

    Japanese Love Quotes

    You’re a love champ! You and your Japanese lover are getting along fantastically, your dates are awesome, your Valentine’s Day together was spectacular, and you’re very much in love. Good for you! Here are some beautiful phrases of endearment in Japanese that will remind him/her who is in your thoughts all the time.

    6. Marriage Proposal Lines

    Japanese Marriage Proposal Lines

    Wow. Your Japanese lover is indeed the love of your life - congratulations! And may only happiness follow the two of you! In most traditions, the man asks the woman to marry; this is also the Japanese custom. Here are a few sincere and romantic lines that will help you to ask your lady-love for her hand in marriage.

    7. 15 Most Common Break-Up Lines

    Japanese Break-Up Lines

    Instead of moving towards marriage or a long-term relationship, you find that the spark is not there for you. That is a pity! But even though breaking up is never easy, continuing a bad or unfulfilling relationship would be even harder. Remember to be kind to the person you are going to say goodbye to; respect and sensitivity cost nothing. Here are some phrases to help you break up gently.

  • We need to talk.
    • 私達、話し合った方が良いね。
    • Watashi-tachi, hanashiatta hō ga ii ne.

    This is not really a break-up line, but it is a good conversation opener with a serious tone.

    It’s not you. It’s me.

    • あなたのせいじゃない。私のせい。
    • Anata no sei ja nai. Watashi no sei.

    As long as you mean it, this can be a kind thing to say. It means that there’s nothing wrong with your Japanese lover as a person, but that you need something different from a relationship.

    I’m just not ready for this kind of relationship.

    • まだ付き合うとか考えられないんだ。
    • Mada tsukiau toka kangaerarenai n da.

    Things moved a bit fast and got too intense, too soon? Painful as it is, honesty is often the best way to break up with somebody.

    Let’s just be friends.

    • 友達のままでいましょう。
    • Tomodachi no mama de imashō.

    If the relationship was very intense, and you have sent many ‘i love u’ texts in Japanese, this would not be a good breakup line. Feelings need to calm down before you can be friends, if ever. If the relationship has not really developed yet, a friendship would be possible.

    I think we need a break.

    • 距離を置いたほうがいいと思う。
    • Kyori o oita hō ga ii to omou.

    This is again honest, and to the point. No need to play with someone’s emotions by not letting them know how you feel. However, this could imply that you may fall in love with him/her again after a period of time, so use with discretion.

    You deserve better.

    • 君にはもっといい人がいるよ。
    • Kimi ni wa motto ii hito ga iru yo.

    Yes, he/she probably deserves a better relationship if your own feelings have cooled down.

    We should start seeing other people.

    • お互い、他の人を探すべきだよ。
    • O-tagai, hoka no hito o sagasu beki da yo.

    This is probably the least gentle break-up phrase, so reserve it for a lover that doesn’t get the message!

    I need my space.

    • 一人になりたいんだ。
    • Hitori ni naritai n da.

    When a person is too clingy or demanding, this would be an suitable break-up phrase. It is another good go-to for that lover who doesn’t get the message!

    I think we’re moving too fast.

    • 急ぎすぎたんだと思う。
    • Isogisugita n da to omou.

    Say this if you want to keep the relationship, but need to slow down its progress a bit. It is also good if you feel things are getting too intense for your liking. However, it is not really a break-up line, so be careful not to mislead.

    I need to focus on my career.

    • 仕事に集中したいんだ。
    • Shigoto ni shūchū shitai n da.

    If you feel that you will not be able to give 100% in a relationship due to career demands, this is the phrase to use. It’s also good if you are unwilling to give up your career for a relationship.

    I’m not good enough for you.

    • 自分はあなたにはふさわしくないと思う。
    • Jibun wa anata ni wa fusawashikunai to omou.

    Say this only if you really believe it, or you’ll end up sounding false. Break-ups are usually hard for the receiving party, so don’t insult him/her with an insincere comment.

    I just don’t love you anymore.

    • もう気持ちが冷めてしまったんだ。
    • Mō kimochi ga samete shimatta n da.

    This harsh line is sometimes the best one to use if you are struggling to get through to a stubborn, clingy lover who won’t accept your break up. Use it as a last resort. Then switch your phone off and block their emails!

    We’re just not right for each other.

    • 相性が良くなかったんだよ。
    • Aishō ga yokunakatta n da yo.

    If this is how you truly feel, you need to say it. Be kind, gentle and polite.

    It’s for the best.

    • これでよかったんだよ。
    • Kore de yokatta n da yo.

    This phrase is called for if circumstances are difficult and the relationship is not progressing well. Love should enhance one’s life, not burden it!

    We’ve grown apart.

    • こんなに離れてしまっていたんだ。
    • Kon’na ni hanarete shimatte ita n da.

    Cross-cultural relationships are often long-distance ones, and it is easy to grow apart over time.

  • 8. Will Falling in Love help you Learn Japanese faster?

    Most people will agree that the above statement is a no-brainer - of course it will! Your body will be flooded with feel-good hormones, which are superb motivators for anything. JapanesePod101 is one of the best portals to help help make this a reality, so don’t hesitate to enroll now! Let’s quickly look at the reasons why falling in love will speed up your learning of the Japanese language.

    Three Reasons Why Having a Lover will Help you Learn Japanese Faster!

    null

    1- Being in a love relationship with your Japanese speaking partner will immerse you in the culture
    JapanesePod101 uses immersive methods and tools to teach you Japanese, but having a relationship with a native speaker will be a very valuable addition to your learning experience! You will gain exposure to their world, realtime and vividly, which will make the language come alive even more for you. The experience is likely to expand your world-view, which should motivate you to learn Japanese even faster.

    2- Having your Japanese romantic partner will mean more opportunity to practice speaking
    Nothing beats continuous practice when learning a new language. Your partner will probably be very willing to assist you in this, as your enhanced Japanese language skills will enhance the relationship. Communication is, after all, one of the most important pillars of a good partnership. Also, you will get to impress your lover with the knowledge gained through your studies - a win/win situation!

    3- A supportive Japanese lover is likely to make a gentle, patient teacher and study aid!
    With his/her heart filled with love and goodwill for you, your Japanese partner is likely to patiently and gently correct your mistakes when you speak. This goes not only for grammar, but also for accent and meaning. With his/her help, you could sound like a native in no time!

    Three Reasons Why JapanesePod101 helps you learn Japanese Even Faster when you’re In Love

    Start with a bonus, and download the ‘How To be a Good Lover Cheat Sheet’ for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to be a Good Lover in Japanese

    1- All the Resources and Materials Will Help Both of You
    Falling in love with a man or woman speaking Japanese is an opportunity for both of you to learn a new language! For this reason, every lesson, transcript, vocabulary list, and resource at JapanesePod101 is translated into both English and Japanese. So, while your partner can help you learn Japanese faster, you can potentially also help him/her learn and master English!

    2- Lessons Are Designed to Help You Understand and Engage with Japanese Culture
    At JapanesePod101, our focus is to help our students learn practical vocabulary and phrases used by everyday people in Japan. This means that, from your very first lesson, you can apply what you learn immediately! So, when your Japanese partner wants to go out to a restaurant, play Pokemon Go, or attend just about any social function, you have the vocabulary and phrases necessary to have a great time!

    3- Access to Special Resources Dedicated to Romantic Japanese Phrases
    You now have access to JapanesePod101’s specially-developed sections and tools to teach you love words, phrases, and cultural insights to help you find and attract your Japanese soul mate. A personal tutor will assist you to master these brilliantly - remember to invite him/her to your wedding!

    Secret Revealed: The Best Way to Learn a Language on Your Own

    Learning A Language on Your Own

    Can You Really Learn Japanese Alone?

    Learning a language on your own or without traditional classroom instruction may seem quite daunting at first. What if you run into questions? How do you stay motivated and on track to achieving goals?

    Don’t worry, not only is it possible to learn Japanese or any language without traditional classroom instruction: JapanesePod101 has created the world’s most advanced and extensive online language learning system. Not only is JapanesePod101 specifically designed to help you with learning a language on your own, it’s actually faster, more convenient, and less expensive than traditional classroom options!

    Let’s look at some of the benefits of learning Japanese or any language alone.

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to Improve Your Language Skills!

    Also, don’t forget to download your free cheat sheet - How to Improve Your Language Skills too!

    3 Reasons to Learn a Language Alone

    Learning Alone

    1. Learn at Your Own Pace and On Your Schedule

    In today’s fast-paced world, there just isn’t time for traditional classroom instruction. Between getting to class and studying on some professor or teacher’s schedule, traditional classroom learning is simply impossible to fit in. But when you learn Japanese alone, you can study in bed if you like and whenever suits your schedule best, making it far easier to actually reach your goal of learning and mastering the language.

    2. Learning a Language on Your Own Reduces Stress and Anxiety

    Speaking in front of a class, pop quizzes, and tests are just a few of the stressors you will encounter when you learn a language in a traditional classroom setting. Specifically, these are external stressors that often derail most people’s dream of learning a new language. But when you learn Japanese alone, there are no external stressors. Without the external stress and anxiety, it becomes much easier and more exciting to study Japanese and reach your very own goals—all on your own!

    3. Learning Japanese Alone Helps Improve Cognitive Function and Overall Success

    Learning a language on your own is indeed more challenging in some ways than being taught in a traditional classroom setting. In fact, while classroom instruction requires more rote memorization and following instructions, studying a language on your own requires more problem-solving and higher cognitive function to self-teach lessons and hit goals. So while it’s more challenging and requires higher levels of cognition, teaching yourself a language pays dividends throughout life by better preparing you for social/work opportunities that arise.

    How to Learn a Language on Your Own with JapanesePod101

    Learning with JapanesePod101

    1. Access to the World’s Largest Collection of Japanese Audio & Video Lessons

    The best way to learn a language on your own is to study from native speaking instructors. Ideally, you want audio and/or video lessons that teach vocabulary, grammar, and provide actual Japanese conversations and dialogue to help you with pronunciation. JapanesePod101 has hundreds of hours of HD audio and video lessons created by real Japanese instructors and every lesson is presented by professional Japanese actors for perfect pronunciation. Plus, all lessons can be accessed 24/7 via any mobile device with Internet access. And, if you download the PDF versions of each lesson, you can even study without Internet access once the lesson is stored on your device!

    2. “Learning Paths” with Japanese Courses Based Upon Your Exact Needs & Goals

    Although JapanesePod101 has more than thousands of video and audio lessons, you need not review each and every one to learn the language. In fact, JapanesePod101 has developed a feature called “Learning Paths”. You simply tell us your goals and we will identify the best courses and study plan to help you reach them in the shortest time possible. So even though you are technically learning a language on your own, our team is always here to help and make sure you reach your goals FAST!

    3. Advanced Learning Tools Reduce Learning Time and Boost Retention

    When you have the right tools and Japanese learning resources, it’s actually easy to teach yourself a language! In the past 10+ years, JapanesePod101 has developed, tested, and refined more than 20 advanced learning tools to boost retention and reduce learning time, including:

    • Spaced Repetition Flashcards
    • Line-by-Line Dialogue Breakdown
    • Review Quizzes
    • Voice Recording Tools to Help Perfect Pronunciation
    • Teacher Feedback and Comments for Each Lesson
    • Japanese Dictionary with Pronunciation
    • Free PDF Cheat Sheets
    • And Much More!

    Armed with our growing collection of advanced learning tools, it’s truly a breeze to learn Japanese alone and reach your goals!

    Conclusion

    Learning a language on your own is not only possible, it’s actually easier and more beneficial for you than traditional classroom instruction. In fact, when you learn Japanese on your own you can study at your own pace, eliminate stress, and actually increase cognitive function.

    JapanesePod101 is the world’s most advanced online language learning system and a great resource to help you teach yourself a new language. With the world’s largest collection of HD audio and video lessons, more than 20 advanced learning tools, and customized “Learning Paths”, JapanesePod101 makes learning a new language easier, more convenient, and less expensive than traditional classroom instruction.

    And the best part is: With JapanesePod101, you can study in bed, your car, or wherever you have a few spare minutes of time. Create your Free Lifetime Account now and get a FREE ebook to help “kickstart” your dream of learning a language on your own below!

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to Improve Your Language Skills!