150+ Useful words and phrases for daily life in Japan

Mamechishiki Blog

If you are learning Japanese from anime or music, you may have learnt some mimics and vocabulary quite naturally. This is very useful indeed, if you are willing to increase your comprehension skills. However, could you really understand and use the everyday life’s words ?

This article provides the most essential words, adjectives and verbs that will enrich your conversational skills and help you to survive to any basic situations when coming to Japan.

There are more than 150 words, classified in several categories such as the vocabulary of the house, food and beverage or even the most used adjectives.

Memorizing 150 words of the everyday life may be a huge challenge. But it is not impossible ! You could for example start with 10 words a day. 🙂

Vocabulary of the house

Learning basic words such as ‘the fridge’ or ‘the bathroom’ can be useful if you intend to stay at the hotel or if you are willing to do a homestay. Knowing these basics may provide you more confidence and could potentially be interpreted as a form of politeness towards Japanese people around you that may not speak your mother tongue.

Describing the different rooms in the house

WordKanjiHiragana/KatakanaRomaji
Houseいえie
Apartmentアパートアパートapaato
Entrance玄関げんかんgenkan
Corridor廊下ろうかrouka
Living roomリビングリビングribingu
Kitchenキッチンキッチンkicchin
Bathroom浴室よくしつyokushitsu
Toiletsトイレトイレtoire
Bedroom寝室しんしつshinshitsu
Gardenにわniwa
Balconyバルコニーバルコニーbarukonii
Terraceテラステラスterasu

Describing furnitures

It is always nice to be able to describe what is around us.

WordKanjiHiragana/KatakanaRomaji
Fridge冷蔵庫れいぞうこreizouko
Freezer冷凍庫れいとうこreitouko
Televisionテレビテレビterebi
Radioラジオラジオrajio
Tableテーブルテーブルteeburu
Chair椅子いすisu
Washing machine洗濯機せんたくきsentakuki
Bedベッドベッドbeddo
Sofaソファソファsofa
Futon布団ふとんfuton
Shelfたなtana
Bookshelf本棚ほんだなhondana
TV standsテレビ台テレビだいterebidai
Storage (for clothes)収納しゅうのうshuunou

Daily necessities

You certainly don’t want to forget those when coming to Japan 😀 !

WordKanjiHiragana/KatakanaRomaji
Toothbrush歯ブラシはブラシhaburashi
Toothpaste歯磨き粉はみがきこhamigakiko
Hairdryerドライヤードライヤーdoraiyaa
Ironアイロンアイロンairon
Hair ironヘアアイロンヘアアイロンheaairon
Body soapボディーソープボディーソープbodiisoopu
Shampooシャンプーシャンプーshampuu
Hair conditionnerコンディショナーコンディショナーcondishonaa
Hair sprayヘアスプレーヘアスプレーheasupuree
Hair waxヘアワックスヘアワックスheawakkusu
Towelタオルタオルtaoru
Make-up化粧品けしょうひんkeshouhin
Perfume香水こうすいkousui
Toilet paperトイレットペーパートイレットペーパーtoirettopeepaa
Hygiene products (for women)生理用品せいりようひんseiriyouhin

Handy conversational words to use everyday

WordKanjiHiragana/KatakanaRomaji
Good morningおはようございますおはようございますohayougozaimasu
Helloこんにちはこんにちはkonnichiha
Good eveningこんばんはこんばんはkonbanha
Good nightおやすみなさいおやすみなさいoyasuminasai
Bon appétitいただきますいただきますitadakimasu
Thank you for the mealごちそうさまですごちそうさまですgochisousamadesu
I am going out !行ってきます!いってきます!ittekimasu
I came back !ただいま!ただいま!tadaima
Welcome back !お帰りなさい!おかえりなさい!okaerinasai
Thanks for your effortsお疲れ様ですおつかれさまですotsukaresamadesu
I am starvingお腹がすいたおなかがすいたonakagasuita
I am thirsty 喉が渇いたのどがかわいたnodogakawaita
Cheers !乾杯!かんぱい!kanpai
How are you ?お元気ですか?おげんきですか?ogenkidesuka
I am fine.元気です。げんきです。genkidesu
It has been a while ! お久しぶりです!おひさしぶりです!ohisashiburidesu

15 must-know useful places

Try to memorize at least places that are relevant to your daily life.

WordKanjiHiragana/KatakanaRomaji
Post office郵便局ゆうびんきょくyuubinkyoku
Police station交番こうばんkouban
Cinema映画館えいがかんeigakan
Hospital病院びょういんbyouin
Supermarketスーパースーパーsuupaa
Department storeデパートデパートdepaato
Convenience storeコンビニコンビニkonbini
100yen shop百円ショップひゃくえんショップhyakuenshoppu
City office市役所しやくしょshiyakusho
Dermatology clinic皮膚科クリニックひふかクリニックhifukakurinikku
Ophthalmology clinic眼科クリニックがんかクリニックgankakurinikku
Train stationえきeki
Bus stopバス停バスていbasutei
Taxi stationタクシー乗り場タクシーのりばtakushiinoriba
Cafeカフェカフェkafe

Food and beverages

You may get hungry while reading this list. That is one of the side effects of learning Japanese 😀 !

Food

WordKanjiHiragana/KatakanaRomaji
Bentoお弁当おべんとうobentou
Riceお米おこめokome
Vegetables野菜やさいyasai
Fruits果物くだものkudamono
Meatお肉おにくoniku
Beef meat牛肉ぎゅうにくgyuuniku
Pork meat豚肉ぶたにくbutaniku
Duck meat鴨肉かもにくkamoniku
Chicken meat鶏肉とりにくtoriniku
Fishさかなsakana
Eggたまごtamago
Milkミルクミルクmiruku
Soy milk豆乳とうにゅうtounyuu
Breadパンパンpan
Pastaパスタパスタpasuta
Potatoポテトポテトpoteto
Carrot人参にんじんninjin
Onion玉ねぎたまねぎtamanegi
Pepperピーマンピーマンpiiman
Eggplantナスナスnasu
Tomatoトマトトマトtomato
Garlicニンニクニンニクninniku
Ginger生姜しょうがshouga
Saladサラダサラダsarada
Mushroomキノコキノコkinoko
Butterバターバターbataa
Olive oilオリーブオイルオリーブオイルoriibuoiru
Baconベーコンベーコンbeekon
Cheeseチーズチーズchiizu

Beverages

WordKanjiHiragana/KatakanaRomaji
Waterお水おみずomizu
Sparkling water炭酸水たんさんすいtansansui
Sodaソーダーソーダーsoodaa
Wineワインワインwain
White wine白ワインしろワインshirowain
Red whine赤ワインあかワインakawain
Champagneシャンパンシャンパンshanpan
Orange juiceオレンジジュースオレンジジュースorenjijuusu
Apple juiceアップルジュースアップルジュースappurujuusu
Guava juiceグアバジュースグアバジュースguabajuusu
Grapefruit juiceグレープフルーツジュースグレープフルーツジュースgureepufuruutsujuusu

Dietary restrictions and special menus

WordKanjiHiragana/KatakanaRomaji
Veganビーガンビーガンbiigan
Gluten-freeグルテンフリーグルテンフリーgurutenfurii
Vegetarianベジタリアンベジタリアンbejitarian
Dairy-free乳製品なしにゅうせいひんなしnyuuseihinnashi
Salt-free/Low sodium menu無塩メニューむえんメニューmuenmenyuu
Halalハラルハラルhararu
Louis
Louis

If you follow one or several dietary restrictions, you could use the below handy question in any restaurant in order to ask if something from the menu fit your alimentation choice.

  • Japanese
    私はベジタリアンですが、この食べ物は食べられますか?
  • Hiragana/Katakana
    わたしはベジタリアンですが、このたべものはたべられますか?
  • Romaji
    watashi ha bejitarian desu ga, kono tabemono ha taberaremasu ka ?
  • Meaning
    Can I eat this if I am vegetarian ?

15+ basic verbs to enrich your daily conversations

It may be hard to memorize all of it but knowing at least a part of it would ease your communication with local people.

WordKanjiHiragana/KatakanaRomaji
To eat食べるたべるtaberu
To drink飲むのむnomu
To sleep寝るねるneru
To wash (oneself)体を洗うからだをあらうkarada wo arau
To take a showerシャワーを浴びるシャワーをあびるshawaa wo abiru
To speak話すはなすhanasu
To say言ういうiu
To read読むよむyomu
To write書くかくkaku
To walk歩くあるくaruku
To run走るはしるhashiru
To sit座るすわるsuwaru
To stand立つたつtatsu
To see見るみるmiru
To watch観るみるmiru
To listen聞くきくkiku

20+ adjectives easy to use everyday

Mastering these adjectives will increase your basic communication skills in Japanese. Note that you could use those in many kind of situations : at the restaurant, at the hotel, in a shop, etc..

WordKanjiHiragana/KatakanaRomaji
Delicious美味しいおいしいoishii
Disgusting不味いまずいmazui
Happy楽しいたのしいtanoshii
Boring面倒臭いめんどうくさいmendoukusai
Hot暑いあついatsui
Warm暖かいあたたかいatatakai
Cold寒いさむいsamui
Sweet甘いあまいamai
Spicy辛いからいkarai
Salty塩っぱいしょっぱいshoppai
Sour酸っぱいすっぱいsuppai
Quick/early早いはやいhayai
Slow/late遅いおそいosoi
Free無料むりょうmuryou
Cheap安いやすいyasui
Expensive高いたかいtakai
Big大きいおおきいookii
Small小さいちいさいchiisai
Busy忙しいいそがしいisogashii
Availableひまhima
Funny面白いおもしろいomoshiroi

In this article, I tried to share with you more than 150 useful words that you could use in your everyday life in Japan. Of course, this list is only one small part of the whole puzzle but mastering these basics can help you enriching your Japanese conversational and comprehension skills.

Louis
Louis

If you need any additional word or list of words, please feel free to request it in the comment part of the article 🙂 !

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