How to Ask Directions in Japanese

Asking directions in Japanese

Japan can be a big and confusing place, with street signs covered in strange writing and massive amounts of humanity going every which way, it’s not hard to find yourself lost from time to time.

So how do you get yourself out of a bind and find your bearings again? Today we will teach you a simple phrase for asking directions in Japanese.

Doko Desu Ka?

How to say where is it in Japanese

It only takes adding three simple words to turn a place name into a request for directions: … doko desu ka?

Doko means ‘where’ so what you’re basically saying is “… where is it?”

To make it into a sentence just add your noun and wa. Eg: Suupaa wa doko desu ka? (Where is the supermarket?)

Here’s a video on how it sounds:

To help you further, here a few place names that would handy to know:

  • Train Station – Eki
  • Subway – Chika-tetsu
  • Taxi – Takushi
  • Train – Densha
  • Bank – Gingkoo
  • Post Office – Yuubin kyoku
  • Bathroom – Toire
  • Hospital – Byooin
  • Telephone – Denwa

Photo Credits: Splash picture by – Pink emmie bat, Woman getting directions by – Evan Williams

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