Signs in Japanese
After this free lesson, you’ll avoid potential embarrassment and frustration by understanding signs in Japanese! Knowing these useful Japanese words will ensure you’ll never walk into the wrong restroom, light up in a no-smoking area, or have your car towed from a no-parking spot.
Most of the time you’ll probably only need to recognize the written Japanese phrase, but we’ve included audio so you can listen to the Japanese pronunciation. This way you’ll be able to ask if something is open or closed, or more importantly, on sale!
Let's begin this free audio lesson on signs in Japanese!
Resources for further reading:
How to pronounce signs in Japanese
Practice Your Pronunciation With Rocket Record
Rocket Record lets you perfect your Japanese pronunciation. Just listen to the native speaker audio and then use the microphone icon to record yourself. Once you’re done, you’ll get a score out of 100 on your pronunciation and can listen to your own audio playback. (Use a headset mic for best results.) Problems? Click here!
女 / 女子
おんな / じょし
Onna / Joshi
男 / 男子
おとこ / だんし
Otoko / Danshi
開店 / 営業中
かいてん / えいぎょう ちゅう
Kaiten / Eigyō chū
The opening hours
When you buy food in a supermarket and don’t intend to eat it straight away it might pay to check the ‘best before date’ to avoid nasty surprises…
The best before date
…まで に おめし あがり ください
…made ni omeshi agari kudasai
Most restaurants have a smoking and a non-smoking area. There is a big discussion in Japan at the moment over whether to ban smoking in public buildings altogether. In the meantime it might be helpful to learn what “Kin-en” means.
The smoking area
The non-smoking area
Sometimes you will see big bright colored signs in nearly every store window. There must be a sale on…
That’s it for this lesson. I hope you had fun!
For more lessons on Japanese vocabulary I recommend these!
- Break the ice by using vocab to do with sports in Japanese.
- DIY while in Japan? This lesson covers the essential vocab for tools in Japanese.
- This lesson is all about using a computer in Japanese.
Sayaka Matsuura: Rocket Japanese
Make It Stick With Rocket Reinforcement
Reinforce your learning from this lesson with the Rocket Reinforcement activities!