22 Ways to Say “I Miss You” in Japanese: Aitai, Sabishii, Koishii and More

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. That’s where there are so many different levels of expressing that you miss someone!

Whether it’s a simple longing for a friend’s presence or a heartfelt expression to reunite with your significant other, learn how to say “I miss you” in Japanese.

Let’s learn 22 very useful words and expressions for expressing your longing for someone in Japanese.


Saying “I Miss You” with 会いたい (Aitai)

Aitai is a straightforward way to say “I want to see you” or “I want to meet.” It’s a common and direct way to convey the feeling of missing someone. Here are some variations on how to use it:

Saying “I Miss You” with 寂しい (Sabishii)

Sabishii literally translates to “lonely.” While not an explicit way to say “I miss you,” it conveys the feeling of missing someone by expressing a sense of loneliness.

Saying “I Miss You” with 恋しい (Koishii)

Koishii conveys a deep longing or yearning for someone who is loved or missed. It’s commonly translated to “yearning” or “longing” and is often associated with a deep emotional connection or attachment.

  • 君のことが恋しい (Kimi no koto ga koishii) — “I long for you”

    This phrase emphasizes the specific person being missed.

  • 恋しくてたまらない (Koishikute tamaranai) — “I miss you so much it’s unbearable”
  • あなたの存在が恋しい (Anata no sonzai ga koishii) — “I miss your presence”

    This phrase goes beyond missing the person themselves and highlights the longing for their very being or their role in your life.

  • 君が恋しい (Kimi ga koishii) — “I long for you”

    Expresses a deep yearning for someone. It’s more romantic and emotionally charged, often used in relationships to convey a strong feeling of missing the person.

  • 恋しい気持ち (Koishii kimochi) — “Feelings of missing you” / “longing emotions”

More Expressions for Saying “I Miss You”

There are a couple of ways to say you miss someone in Japanese without using the main three vocabulary words:

To see these expressions used in action, you could try the language learning program FluentU.

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

P.S. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

  FluentU Ad

Cultural Context

In Japanese culture, expressing deep emotions like “I miss you” is often nuanced and can vary significantly based on your relationship and the context. There are a couple of cultural aspects to keep in mind before you shower your loved ones with these heartfelt expressions:

  • Indirectness: Japanese culture traditionally values indirect communication, especially regarding emotions. Expressing “I miss you” directly might not be as common as in some Western cultures. Instead, individuals might convey this feeling through actions, gestures or non-verbal cues.
  • Intimacy: Expressing deep emotions is typically reserved for more intimate relationships or private settings. Japanese society often places a high value on subtlety and restraint in public or formal interactions.
  • Relationship dynamics: Politeness and respect are integral to Japanese communication. The context of the relationship greatly influences how you might express missing someone. For example, between friends or family, a more casual phrase might be used, whereas in romantic relationships, more intimate or emotionally charged expressions might be common.


So how much do you miss your friends and loved ones? Now you have all the vocabulary you need to tell anyone you miss them in Japanese!

Enter your e-mail address to get your free PDF!

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe