shopping in japanese

Japanese for Shopping: 59 Essential Words and Expressions for Buying What You Want

Japan is famous world-over for its wild, over-the-top fashion sense.

Even if you don’t necessarily want to buy clothes, traveling screws with your plans—you may need to buy a new shirt or some socks in a pinch.

Don’t forget to learn some shopping vocabulary before you head to Japan!

This guide will take you through important shopping expressions in Japanese, from asking questions to paying and getting a refund.


Shopping Verbs in Japanese

Where You Go Shopping in Japanese

Important Japanese Payment Words

Discussing Shopping Items in Japanese

To remember these vocabulary, try listening to the audio first then repeating it or even making flashcards.

For instance, FluentU’s Japanese learning program lets you create interactive flashcards for shopping words and expressions from short videos.

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.

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The words above are used frequently, so they’re definitely worth learning—you’ll hear them over and over, whether you’re studying the language or staying in Japan!

What to Expect at the Shop

When entering any shop or place of business in Japan, you’ll often be greeted with “Welcome!” or いらっしゃいませ !

The shop assistant might also ask:

何をお探しですか? (なにをおさがしですか?)
Are you looking for anything in particular?

You can then specify what you are looking for, such as 帽子です  (hats).

Alternatively you can say:

いえ、見ているだけです。 (いえ、みているだけです。)
No, I am just looking.

Going to a Particular Clothes Section

If you’re in a department store and you’re looking for the female clothing section, you can use any of these questions:

婦人服売り場はどちらですか? (ふじんふくうりばは どちらですか?)
Where is the female clothing section? 

You can replace 婦人服売り場 with 紳士服売り場 for men’s clothing. 

In other types of stores, you can use these vocabulary for the clothes sections instead:

Looking for Clothes

Once you know the size or color of clothes you want, it is relatively simple to ask for it. For example:

この服のMサイズはありますか? (このふくの えむさいずは ありますか?)
Do you have this in medium?

この色違いで、赤はありますか? (このいろちがいで、あかはありますか?)
Do you have this in red?

Sometimes our particular size or the color we want isn’t available, and the assistant will say:

申し訳ございません。ただいま売り切れております。 (もうしわけございません。ただいまうりきれております。) 
I’m really sorry, but it’s currently out of stock.

こちらの店舗では売りきれておりますが、別の近くの店舗にはございます。 (こちらのてんぽでは うりきれておりますが、べつのちかくの てんぽには ございます。)
This is out of stock in our shop, but it is still in stock at a nearby shop.

Trying On Clothes

Once you find clothes you like, you can check their fit by asking:

Afterwards, the sales assistant might call out and ask you:

How is it?

サイズの方はいかがですか? (さいずのほうはいかがですか?)
How is the size?

If you need a different size you can use the sentence we already know about asking for particular sizes. The assistant will then reply:

ただいま、お持ち致します。 (ただいま、おもちいたします。)
Wait a moment and I will bring it for you.

Asking Questions About Clothes

Japanese Phrases for Paying

When you take your clothes to the cashier she will scan them and give you the total amount. For example:

一万円になります。 (いちまんえんになります。)
That will be 10,000 yen please.

In reply to this you can say:

ありがとうございます。カードで払っていいですか? (ありがとうございます。かーどで はらって いいですか?)
Thank you, it is okay to pay by card?

Or alternatively:

ありがとうございます。現金で払っていいですか? (ありがとうございます。げんきんで はらって いいですか?)
Thank you, it is okay to pay by cash?

Coming Back for a Refund

The sales assistant will simply reply:

Okay, I understand.


Once you have been shopping a few times, and have used the guide above, you will quickly become a master at clothes shopping and will have developed your Japanese in a key area which is essential for daily life in Japan!

And One More Thing...

If you love learning Japanese with authentic materials, then I should also tell you more about FluentU.

FluentU naturally and gradually eases you into learning Japanese language and culture. You'll learn real Japanese as it's spoken in real life.

FluentU has a broad range of contemporary videos as you'll see below:


FluentU makes these native Japanese videos approachable through interactive transcripts. Tap on any word to look it up instantly.


All definitions have multiple examples, and they're written for Japanese learners like you. Tap to add words you'd like to review to a vocab list.


And FluentU has a learn mode which turns every video into a language learning lesson. You can always swipe left or right to see more examples.


The best part? FluentU keeps track of your vocabulary, and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You'll have a 100% personalized experience.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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