road sign pointing different directions with names of the days of the week

Days of the Week in Japanese and Their Etymology [plus Pronunciation]

Knowing the days of the week in Japanese is a key part of building your core vocabulary. 

Without the days of the week you would have a hard time talking about any kind of past, present or future event

Lucky for you, this guide will help you to memorize how to spell and write the days of the week in Japanese and will provide useful resources to practice your skills. 


Days of the Week in Japanese

WednesdaySuiyoubi 水曜日すいようび
ThursdayMokuyoubi木曜日 もくようび
SundayNichiyoubi 日曜日にちようび

月曜日 (げつようび) — Monday

In Japanese, Monday is written as 月曜日, which translates to “Moon Day” in English.

火曜日 (かようび) — Tuesday

In Japanese, Tuesday’s name is 火曜日, which means “Fire Day” in English.

Each day of the week corresponds to a celestial body, so Tuesday corresponds with Mars. 

水曜日 (すいようび) — Wednesday

In Japanese, Wednesday is written as 水曜日, which means “Water Day“ in English.

The celestial body corresponding to this day is Mercury or 水星 (すいせい).

木曜日 (もくようび) — Thursday

In Japanese, Thursday is written as 木曜日, which translates to “Wood Day.”

Thursday got its Japanese name from the word 木星 (もくせい), which means Jupiter.

金曜日 (きんようび) — Friday

Friday is written as 金曜日, which appropriately means the “Gold Day.”

This beautiful name comes from the goddess Venus, 金星 (きんせい).

曜日 (どようび) — Saturday

Saturday in Japanese is 土曜日, which means “Ground Day” in English.

It got its Japanese name just like it got its English name, from Saturn, 土星 (どせい).

日曜日 (にちようび) — Sunday

Sunday is written as 日曜日, which means “Sun Day.” It’s identical to Sunday in English, it’s just in Japanese!

More About the Japanese Days of the Week

The names of the individual days in Japanese can be split into two parts.

The beginning of the word is different for each day, while the end part remains identical no matter what day of the week.

Every day ends in 曜日 (ようび), which basically means “day.” 

When writing the days of the week in Japanese, it’s common to just write the first kanji, the part that describes the day.

Instead of writing out the whole word for “Monday,” 月曜日 (げつようび), you can write just 月.

If you want to learn the days of the week quickly, you can watch this video that will guide you through the pronunciation. 

If you better memorize words with cute music, you can watch this video where Cyber Bunny sings the ‘Days of the Week’ song:

You can also use native content like movies, books and music to see how native speakers pronounce the days of the week. 


FluentU is a great resource for this as well since it teaches you Japanese through authentic video clips with real Japanese native speakers. All of these have interactive subtitles and other learning tools to help solidify your understanding. 

Aside from web, you can find FluentU on iOS and Android

Other Words for Days of the Week

Before we part ways, check out these useful Japanese words that refer to days of the week without using their names.

一昨日 (おととい) — The day before yesterday

昨日 (きのう) — Yesterday

今日 本日 (きょう/ほんじつ) — Today

明日 (あした/あす) — Tomorrow

明後日 (あさって) — The day after tomorrow

先週 (せんしゅう) — Last week

今週 (こんしゅう) — This week

来週 (らいしゅう) — Next week


From meeting dates, to vacation, to birthdays, now you can communicate using the Japanese days of the week!

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