Japanese Numbers: Let’s Master the Basic Japanese Numbers! - JapanesePod101.com Blog (2024)

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

Japanese Numbers: Let’s Master the Basic Japanese Numbers! - JapanesePod101.com Blog (2)

1. Counting in Japanese: Numbers 0-9

漢字 Kanjiひらがな HiraganaReading

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 circ*mstances, 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 HiraganaReadingLiteral reading in Japanese
11十一じゅういちjū-ichi10, 1
12十二じゅうにjū-ni10, 2
13十三じゅうさんjū-san10, 3
14十四じゅうし/よんjū-shi/yon10, 4
15十五じゅうごjū-go10, 5
16十六じゅうろくjū-roku10, 6
17十七じゅうしち/ななjū-shichi/nana10, 7
18十八じゅうはちjū-hachi10, 8
19十九じゅうく/きゅうjū kyū/ku10, 9
20二十にじゅうni-jū2, 10
21二十一にじゅういちni-jū ichi2, 10, 1
30三十さんじゅうsan-jū3, 10
40四十よんじゅうyon-jū4, 10
50五十ごじゅうgo-jū5, 10
60六十ろくじゅうroku-jū6, 10
70七十ななじゅうnana-jū7, 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 circ*mstances. 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.

3. Counting in Japanese: Numbers up to 1000

漢字 Kanjiひらがな HiraganaReadingLiteral reading in Japanese
200二百にひゃくni-hyaku2, 100
300三百さんびゃくsan-byaku3, 100
400四百よんひゃくyon-hyaku4, 100
500五百ごひゃくgo-hyaku5, 100
600六百ろっぴゃくroppyaku6, 100
700七百ななひゃくnana-hyaku7, 100
800八百はっぴゃくhappyaku8, 100
900九百きゅうひゃくkyū-hyaku9, 100
1100千百せんひゃくsen hyaku1000, 100
110百十ひゃくじゅうhyaku jū100, 10
111百十一ひゃくじゅういちhyaku jū-ichi100, 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 HiraganaReadingLiteral reading in Japanese
100,000十万じゅうまんjū-man10, 10000
1,000,000百万ひゃくまんhyaku-man100, 10000
10,000,000千万せんまんsen-man1000, 10000

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.

5. Decimal Fraction / Fraction Numbers in Japanese

1- Decimal Fractions

ひらがな HiraganaReading
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 HiraganaReading
1/22分の1にぶんのいちni bun no ichi
4/77分の4ななぶんのよんnana bun no yon
3/1010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 HiraganaReading
1 Yen1円いちえんichi-en
5 Yen5円ごえんgo-en
10 Yen10円じゅうえんjū-en
100 Yen100円ひゃくえんhyaku-en
1000 Yen1000円せんえんsen-en
5000 Yen5000円ごせんえんgo-sen-en
10000 Yen10000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.

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?

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.


  • 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: 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!

Japanese Numbers: Let’s Master the Basic Japanese Numbers! - JapanesePod101.com Blog (8)

Japanese Numbers: Let’s Master the Basic Japanese Numbers! - JapanesePod101.com Blog (2024)


How do you say 1 2 3 4 5 in Japanese? ›

When counting up (0 to 10)
  1. いち (ichi)
  2. に (ni)
  3. さん (san)
  4. し (shi)
  5. ご (go)
  6. ろく (roku)
  7. しち (shichi)
  8. はち (hachi)
May 28, 2022

How do you say 1000 in Japanese? ›

Starting at 万 (10,000), numbers begin with 一 (ichi) if no digit would otherwise precede. That is, 100 is just 百 hyaku, and 1000 is just 千 sen, but 10,000 is 一万 ichiman, not just *man.

What are the numbers 1 to 10 in Japanese? ›

Native Japanese counting: “hitotsu” (1), “futatsu” (2), “mittsu” (3), “yottsu” (4), “itsutsu” (5), “muttsu” (6), “nanatsu” (7), “yattsu” (8), “kokonotsu” (9), and “tou” (10). Sino-Japanese reading can be found in the table below under “English pronunciation.” It has two reading options for numbers 4, 7, and 9.

Is 4 in Japanese Yon or Shi? ›

The number four (4) is called either “yon” or “shi” in Japanese. In the case of four you can say any of those. But for other words, like “death” (死)that is also pronounced “shi”, you can't change it for “yon”. In other words, “shi” and “yon” are both words that represents the number four.

Is 3 a lucky number in Japan? ›

It is known that Japanese tend to be superstitious. There are certain things or circ*mstances that are uniquely explained sometimes through superstitious beliefs. One of those things are the concept about Lucky Numbers! Did you know that the number 3 is considered as one of the lucky numbers in Japan?

What is 111 in Japanese? ›

3. Counting in Japanese: Numbers up to 1000
漢字 Kanjiひらがな Hiragana
9 more rows
Oct 24, 2019

Is 88 a lucky number in Japan? ›

One explanation is that 88 is a lucky number, and believe me, luck is a necessary blessing on this pilgrimage. Earlier than 1689, it was mentioned although briefly in Murasaki Shikibu's Tales of Genji around the 11th century.

How do you read 100,000,000? ›

100,000,000 (one hundred million) is the natural number following 99,999,999 and preceding 100,000,001.

What is 10000 100000 in Japanese? ›

They continue as follows: 10,000: ichi-man 「1万」 100,000: juu-man 「10万」 1,000,000: hyaku-man (one million) 「100万」

What is #1 in Japanese? ›

One (1) is 一 (ichi, pronounced "ee-chee"). Two (2) is 二 (ni, pronounced "nee"). Three (3) is 三 (san, pronounced "sahn"). Four (4) is 四 (shi, pronounced "shee").

Is number 10 lucky in Japan? ›

Shichi-Go-San, Seven-Five-Three is a kids festival day for three- and seven-year-old girls and three- and five-year-old boys. In general, odd numbers (except 9) are lucky. The numbers 8, and 10 are lucky too. The word for ten is sometimes lucky because it sounds like the word for “enough”.

Why is 4 not used in Japan? ›

Traditionally, 4 is unlucky because it is sometimes pronounced shi, which is the word for death. Sometimes levels or rooms with 4 do not exist in hospitals or hotels. Particularly in the maternity section of a hospital, the room number 43 is avoided because it can literally mean "stillbirth".

What does Chi mean in Japanese? ›

One meaning for chi in Japanese is “Earth.” There are a lot of ways to examine the meaning of this word, be it for martial arts, meditation, or just looking at the Earth beneath your feet. One of the ways for martial artist to examine chi is to focus on grounding.

What is shi in Japan? ›

Very simply SHI means "AND". It is used to connect sentences in and is VERY VERY VERY often used in Japan.

What are the Japanese numbers from 1 to 5? ›

To say numbers in Japanese, start by learning the numbers up to 10: ichi (1), ni (2), san (3), yon (4), go (5), roku (6), nana (7), hatchi (8), kyu (9) and juu (10).

How do you say 1st 2nd 3rd in Japanese? ›

Start with the numbers from 1 to 5.

If you already know how to read hiragana, you can sound out the words. One (1) is ひとつ (hitotsu, pronounced "hee-toh-tsoo"). Two (2) is ふたつ (futatsu, pronounced "foo-tah-tsoo"). Three (3) is みっつ (mittsu, pronounced "mee-tsoo." Pause a beat between the two syllables).

What are the numbers 1 3 in Japanese? ›

Japanese numbers: 1 to 10
し / よんfourshi / yon
6 more rows

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