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

駅はどう行けばいいですか

えき は どう いけば いい です か

Eki wa dō ikeba ii desu ka?

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

駅にはどうやっていくの

えき 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)

駅は何処ですか

えき は どこ ですか

Eki wa doko desuka?

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

駅は何処

えき は どこ

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、駅へ行く方法を教えて下さい

すみません、 駅 へ いく ほうほう を おしえて ください

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.

観光案内所

かんこう あんない じょ

Kankō annai jo

The travel information center

道 / 通り

みち / とおり

Michi / Tōri

The street

商店街

ショッピング センター  / しょうてんがい

Shoppingu sentā / Shōtengai

The shopping centre

博物館

はくぶつかん

Hakubutsu kan

The museum

交番

こうばん

Kōban

The police station

病院

びょういん

Byōin

The hospital

公園

こうえん

Kōen

The park

市役所

しやくしょ

Shiyakusho

The city hall

公衆トイレ

こうしゅう トイレ

Kōshū toire

The public restrooms

街の中心 / 中心街

まち の ちゅうしん / ちゅうしん がい

Machi no chūshin / Chūshin gai

The town center

郊外

こうがい

Kōgai

The suburb

ビア ガーデン

ビア ガーデン

Bia gāden

The beer garden

記念物

きねん ぶつ

Kinen butsu

The monument

居酒屋

バー / いざかや

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

左へ

ひだり へ

Hidari-e

To the left

右へ

みぎ へ

Migi-e

To the right

真っ直ぐ

まっすぐ

Massugu

Straight

終わりに

おわり に

Owari-ni

At the end of

始めに

はじめ に 

Hajime-ni

At the beginning of

西へ

にし へ

Nishi-e

To the west

北へ

きた へ

Kita-e

To the north

南へ

みなみ へ

Minami-e

To the south

東へ

ひがし へ

Higashi-e

To the east

角を曲がって

かど を まがって 

Kado o magatte

Around the corner

次の通りを左へ

つぎ の とおり を ひだり へ

Tsugi no tōri o hidari-e.

The next street to the left.

次の通りを右へ

つぎ の とおり を みぎ へ

Tsugi no tōri o migi-e.

The next street to the right.

次の次の通り

つぎ の つぎ の とおり

Tsugi no tsugi no tōri.

The street after the next.

かど

Kado

The corner

はし

Hashi

The bridge

前に

まえ に 

Mae ni

In front of

隣に

となり 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…

取る

とる

Toru…

Take…

渡る

わたる

Wataru…

Cross...

辿る

たどる

Tadoru…

Follow...

行く

いく

Iku...

Go...

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

遠いですか

とおい です か

Tōi desu ka?

Is it very far?

遠いです

とおい です

Tōi desu.

It's far.

遠くないです

とおく ない です

Tōku nai desu.

It's not far.

近いですか

ちかい です か

Chikai desu ka?

Is it close by?

近いです

ちかい です

Chikai desu.

It's close by.

近くないです

ちかく 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! - Talking about your emotions in Japanese is a great way to connect with Japanese.

Jaane Signature

Sayaka Matsuura Rocket Japanese