Survival Japanese: Numbers | LIVE JAPAN travel guide (2024)

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Survival Japanese: Numbers | LIVE JAPAN travel guide (1)

Learning to count in Japanese is as simple as “ichi, ni, san”! If you know how to say the basic numbers in Japanese you will have a much easier time doing various things in Japan such as shopping, visiting restaurants, and reserving a karaoke room! Use this handy number reference guide whenever you are in Japan.

The Basics: 1 to 10

Examples of ...

一 (ichi)
二 (ni)
三 (san)
四 (shi, yon)
五 (go)
六 (roku)
七 (shichi, nana)
八 (hachi)
九 (kyū)
十 (jū)

The Big Numbers

Survival Japanese: Numbers | LIVE JAPAN travel guide (2)

To say higher numbers such as 20, 30, 40, and so on, simply combine the numbers above.
For example, 20 is nijū, 二十 (2 and 10), 30 is sanjū, 三十, (3 and 10), 85 is hachi jū go, 八十五 (8 and 10 and 5), etc.
Note: 40 (四十) is always pronounced yonjū. 70 (七十) is always pronounced nanajū.

百 (hyaku)
三百 (san byaku)
六百 (roppyaku)
八百 (happyaku)
千 (sen)
一万 (ichi man)
二万 (ni man)
十万 (jū man)
1 million
百万 (hyaku man)
10 million
千万 (sen man)
100 million
一億 (ichi oku)
1 trillion
一兆 (icchou)
10 trillion
十兆 (jū chou)

The same rule stated above also applies to larger numbers. The number 473 would is yon hyaku nanajū san 四百七十三 ( 4 and 100 and 70 and 3). The number 500,000 is go jū man 五十万 (5 and 10 and 10,000), and so on.

Once you get a hang of the basics of numbers in Japanese, feel free to take it to the next level. Infinity is your limit!

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

Survival Japanese: Numbers | LIVE JAPAN travel guide (2024)


What numbers are considered lucky in Japan? ›

7 is an important number in Buddhism, and is also considered lucky. 8 is considered a lucky number due to its shape.

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

Why is 4 in Japanese Yon or Shi? ›

As noted above, yon (4) and nana (7) are preferred to shi and shichi. It is purported that this is because shi is also the reading of the word death (死), which makes it an unlucky reading (see tetraphobia); while shichi may sound too similar to ichi (1), shi or hachi (8).

What does 11 look like in Japanese? ›

So 11 in Japanese is “10-1”, or juu-ichi / じゅういち.

What is the 3 second rule in Japan? ›

The 3 – second rule (さんびょうルール)

This is a rule that distinguishes the dropped food in Japan. Take for instance, when you are eating a candy or a snack, then, you suddenly dropped the food. They said that if there is no visible stain or dirt on the ground, the food is still free from bacteria within 3 seconds.

Is the number 7 important in Japan? ›

During the course of their history, the mutual influence between gods has created confusion about which of them was the patron of certain professions. The worship of this group of gods is also due to the importance of the number seven in Japan, supposedly a signifier of good luck.

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

What is 3.11 in Japanese? ›

It is sometimes known in Japan as the "Great East Japan Earthquake" (東日本大震災, Higashi nihon daishinsai), among other names. The disaster is often referred to by its numerical date, 3.11 (read san ten ichi-ichi in Japanese).

How to save 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).

Is Nana 7 in Japanese? ›

“Ichi, ni, san, yon... (or is it shi?), go, roku, nana (or shichi), hachi, kyuu (but sometimes ku)...” Oh, yeah...Japanese has multiple words for the same number! Seven can be either "nana" or "shichi", for example.

How do you say 1 2 3 4 in Japanese? ›

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). Four (4) is よっつ (yottsu, pronounced "yoh-tsoo").

Why do the Japanese dislike the numbers 4 and 9? ›

The reason for the dislike for the numbers 4 and 9 derives from its pronunciation. Four is pronounced shi which is associated with death pronounced the same way. Nine is pronounced ku which is associated with agony or torture pronounced the same way.

Why does Japan love 7 11? ›

First of all, 7-Elevens are convenient. Japan has a fast-paced lifestyle and long working hours, and since 7-Elevens are open 24/7, it makes it an easy place to grab a quick bite to eat, Sugoi Mart reports. The quality food has also contributed to its popularity, according to the Los Angeles Times.

What does pon mean in Japanese? ›

The term ''Pons'' is used in The Man in the High Castle. It is a derogatory term for Japanese people based on the word ''Nippon,'' which is one of the Japanese words for Japan.

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.

Why is the number 8 so important in Japan? ›

Eight (八, hachi, ya) is also considered a lucky number in Japan, but the reason is different from that in Chinese culture. Eight gives an idea of growing prosperous, because the letter (八) broadens gradually. The Japanese thought of eight (や, ya) as a holy number in the ancient times.

What number is sacred in Japan? ›

For Japanese people, since ancient times the number eight has been sacred. They believed that the number had special powers.

What does 33 mean in Japan? ›

The numeral 33, for example, can be pronounced sanzan, which may mean either "troublesome" or "birth difficulty," the numeral 42 can be pronounced shi ni, meaning "to death," and the number 19 can be pronounced jū ku, meaning "intense suffering." In 1955, the anthropologist Edward Norbeck dismissed such explanations as ...

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”.

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