Directions in Japanese

Ready to master directions in Japanese? After this free audio lesson you’ll be armed with the Japanese words and phrases you’ll need to find your way around Japan. 

I wish it were as simple as learning the word for 'where' in Japanese and a few Japanese road signs, but there’s a little more to it than that! As you may have already guessed, understanding the directions you are given can be more challenging than asking the questions. But have no fear – just listen to the Japanese pronunciation in the audio and practice saying the Japanese words and phrases aloud, as you imagine yourself strolling around Tokyo or Kyoto!

Pronouncing directions in Japanese

えき は どう いけば いい です か

駅はどう行けばいいですか

Eki wa dō ikeba ii desu ka?

How do I get to the train station? (formal)

えき に は どう やって いくの

駅にはどうやっていくの

Eki ni wa dō yatte ikuno?

How do I get to the train station? (casual)

えき は どこ ですか

駅は何処ですか

Eki wa doko desuka?

Do you know where the train station is? (formal)

えき は どこ

駅は何処

Eki wa doko?

Do you know where the train station is? (casual)

How do I get to the train station? (formal)

Another more complete way of asking for directions is by saying…

すみません、 駅 へ いく ほうほう を おしえて ください

すみません、駅へ行く方法を教えて下さい

Sumimasen, eki e iku hōhō o oshiete kudasai.

Excuse me please! Could you please tell me where the train station is? (formal)

Here’s a list of some places you might like to go to and places you may pass on the way to getting there.

かんこう あんない じょ

観光案内所

Kankō annai jo

The travel information center

みち / とおり

道 / 通り

Michi / Tōri

The street

ショッピング センター  / しょうてんがい

商店街

Shoppingu sentā / Shōtengai

The shopping centre

はくぶつかん

博物館

Hakubutsu kan

The museum

こうばん

交番

Kōban

The police station

びょういん

病院

Byōin

The hospital

こうえん

公園

Kōen

The park

しやくしょ

市役所

Shiyakusho

The city hall

こうしゅう トイレ

公衆トイレ

Kōshū toire

The public restrooms

まち の ちゅうしん / ちゅうしん がい

街の中心 / 中心街

Machi no chūshin / Chūshin gai

The town center

こうがい

郊外

Kōgai

The suburb

ビア ガーデン

-

Bia gāden

The beer garden

きねん ぶつ

記念物

Kinen butsu

The monument

バー / いざかや

居酒屋

Bā / Izakaya

The bar

Here are some words and phrases you might get to hear when asking for directions…

ひだり

Hidari

Left

みぎ

Migi

Right

ひだり へ

左へ

Hidari-e

To the left

みぎ へ

右へ

Migi-e

To the right

まっすぐ

真っ直ぐ

Massugu

Straight

おわり に

終わりに

Owari-ni

At the end of

はじめ に 

始めに

Hajime-ni

At the beginning of

にし へ

西へ

Nishi-e

To the west

きた へ

北へ

Kita-e

To the north

みなみ へ

南へ

Minami-e

To the south

ひがし へ

東へ

Higashi-e

To the east

かど を まがって 

角を曲がって

Kado o magatte

Around the corner

つぎ の とおり を ひだり へ

次の通りを左へ

Tsugi no tōri o hidari-e.

The next street to the left.

つぎ の とおり を みぎ へ

次の通りを右へ

Tsugi no tōri o migi-e.

The next street to the right.

つぎ の つぎ の とおり

次の次の通り

Tsugi no tsugi no tōri.

The street after the next.

かど

Kado

The corner

はし

Hashi

The bridge

まえ に 

前に

Mae ni

In front of

となり に

隣に

Tonari ni

Next to

When someone gives you directions, they’ll tell you that you need to take such-and-such street; turn left, and then follow another street…

とる

取る

Toru…

Take…

わたる

渡る

Wataru…

Cross...

たどる

辿る

Tadoru…

Follow...

いく

行く

Iku...

Go...

Now, you might want to know whether it is far or not…

とおい です か

遠いですか

Tōi desu ka?

Is it very far?

とおい です

遠いです

Tōi desu.

It’s far.

とおく ない です

遠くないです

Tōku nai desu.

It’s not far.

ちかい です か

近いですか

Chikai desu ka?

Is it close by?

ちかい です

近いです

Chikai desu.

It’s close by.

ちかく ない です

近くないです

Chikaku nai desu.

It's not close by.

Well done, you have just finished today’s lesson. I hope you enjoyed it.

Here are a few recommended Japanese lessons to try next!

Jaane

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Sayaka Matsuura
Rocket Japanese


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