Days of the Week in Japanese - Your Complete Guide - 90 Day Japanese (2023)

We’ll be teaching everything you need to know about days of the week in Japanese.

You’ll definitely find it useful to learn the Japanese words for the days of the week, especially if you’re living in Japan or are interested in Japanese culture.

Days of the Week in Japanese - Your Complete Guide - 90 Day Japanese (1)

Get Free "Days of the Week" PDF


  • 1 Japanese Days of the Week
  • 2 Days of the Week in Japanese
  • 3 Days in Japanese
  • 4 How to Remember the Days of the Week in Japanese
    • 4.1 Monday in Japanese
    • 4.2 Tuesday in Japanese
    • 4.3 Wednesday in Japanese
    • 4.4 Thursday in Japanese
    • 4.5 Friday in Japanese
    • 4.6 Saturday in Japanese
    • 4.7 Sunday in Japanese
  • 5 Days of the week in Kanji
  • 6 Days of the week in Hiragana
  • 7 How to remember the Japanese Days of the Week
  • 8 Useful Words Related to the Days of the Week
  • 9 How do I write the day of the week in Japanese?
  • 10 Are Saturdays counted as workdays in Japan?
  • 11 How often are there national holidays in Japan?
  • 12 What to Learn Next?

Japanese Days of the Week

You’d be surprised how often it pops up in conversation! Maybe you want to set up plans to hang with friends in Japan or make a reservation at a restaurant. Or perhaps you want to book a room in a hotel or double-check when the next meeting is at work. Knowing the days of the week in Japanese is essential for these situations!

Once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll soon be able to progress to more advanced topics and be able to talk about past, current, or upcoming events in your life.

Let’s dive in!

Days of the Week in Japanese

Don’t worry if you can’t read Hiragana or Kanji yet. Head over to our handy guide, which will walk you through the basic essentials of the Japanese writing systems (Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji).

It really isn’t as hard as it looks! Check out our mnemonics below to help you remember the days of the week in no time.

Click the Japanese word to hear the correct pronunciation.

EnglishJapanese KanjiJapanese HiraganaRomaji

Did you notice a pattern? Just like in English, the word for each day of the week ends with dayようび(youbi). If you’re a beginner and you hear “youbi,” then you know that whoever is talking said something about a day of the week in Japanese.

Days in Japanese

The English word “day” is expressed with the Japanese wordようび (youbi/ yōbi). It comes from the Chinese character 曜日. The word ようび (youbi/ yōbi) is always attached to the words indicating the days of the week.

How to Remember the Days of the Week in Japanese

Even the most talented language learner would have a hard time learning new vocabulary from just looking at a list of words. But we’ve broken it down for you with a short explanation behind the meaning of each day to help you remember the days of the week.

Each day of the week is named after a combination of Chinese philosophies of yin-yang and the 5 Taoist elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water).

Monday in Japanese

Monday in Japanese is げつようび (getsuyoubi). It is written as 月曜日 in Kanji, which translates to “Moon Day” in English. This day’s name is pretty similar in English and Japanese, don’t you think?

The Chinese character (げつ/ getsu) means “moon,” as it represents the picture of a crescent moon. This is also the same character you’ll see with months in Japanese.

The character 曜日 (ようび/ youbi) means “day.” Putting both characters 月 and 曜日 gives you “moon day.”

You can also remember this word by thinking of Monday as the day that “gets” you up and ready for the week!

Days of the Week in Japanese - Your Complete Guide - 90 Day Japanese (2)

Tuesday in Japanese

Tuesday in Japanese is かようび (kayoubi). It is written as 火曜日, which means “Fire Day” in English. To remember this day, think of Monday as your “warm-up day.” Once you’re all warmed up, you’re ready and fired up to go by Tuesday!

The Chinese character (か / ka) represents a picture of the flames of a burning fire with sparks. This philosophy gives the meaning “Fire Day” to 火曜日 (かようび / kayoubi).

Days of the Week in Japanese - Your Complete Guide - 90 Day Japanese (3)

Get Free "Days of the Week" PDF

Wednesday in Japanese

Wednesday in Japanese is すいようび (suiyoubi). It is written as 水曜日, which means “Water Day”. You can remember this day by imagining you’re putting out Tuesday’s fire with water on Wednesday.

The Chinese character (すい / sui) looks like a picture of flowing water. This gives 水曜日 (すいようび / suiyoubi) the meaning “water day.”

Days of the Week in Japanese - Your Complete Guide - 90 Day Japanese (4)

Thursday in Japanese

Thursday is もくようび (mokuyoubi). It is written as 木曜日, which means “Wood Day.” You can remember this day as it “mocks” you with the weekend being so close!

The Chinese character (もく / moku) in 木曜日 (もくようび / mokuyoubi) is like a picture of a tree and they give us wood.

Days of the Week in Japanese - Your Complete Guide - 90 Day Japanese (5)

Friday in Japanese

Friday is きんようび (kinyoubi). It is written as 金曜日, which means “Gold Day.” This day is easy to remember since Friday is the golden day we all wait for every week!

The philosophy behind the Chinese character (きん / kin) in 金曜日 (きんようび / kinyoubi) is that there’s a metal hidden in the earth that shines upon discovery. This means gold or metal.

Days of the Week in Japanese - Your Complete Guide - 90 Day Japanese (6)

Saturday in Japanese

Saturday in Japanese is どようび (doyoubi). It is written as 土曜日 in Kanji, which means “Ground Day.” Don’t go too crazy on Saturday, or your parents might “ground” you!

For the Japanese word for Saturday, the Chinese character (ど / do) in 土曜日 (どようび / doyoubi) signifies a picture of a mound of earth which was worshipped as the source of life in ancient times.

Days of the Week in Japanese - Your Complete Guide - 90 Day Japanese (7)

Sunday in Japanese

Last but not least is Sunday! Sunday in Japanese is にちようび (nichiyoubi). It’s written as 日曜日 in Kanji, which translates to “Sun Day.” You’ll have no trouble memorizing this day since it’s identical to Sunday in English.

The Chinese character (にち / nichi) in 日曜日 (にちようび / nichiyoubi) means sun. Combine 日 (にち / nichi) with 曜日 (ようび/ youbi), which means “day” gives you “sun day.”

Days of the Week in Japanese - Your Complete Guide - 90 Day Japanese (8)

Get Free "Days of the Week" PDF

Days of the week in Kanji

In Japanese, there are three writing systems used. In this section, you’ll learn about what are the days of the week in Kanji.


Days of the week in Hiragana

The days of the week in Japanese are mostly and usually written in Kanji. But as you start learning the language, you can learn the days of the week in Hiragana.

Below is the list of the days of the week in Hiragana.


How to remember the Japanese Days of the Week

Follow these simple steps to learn and remember the days of the week in Japanese:

  1. Get familiar with the pattern: element + day
  2. Try to remember the Kanji. You’ll often see the days of the week written in Kanji
  3. Once you’re familiar with each day of the week, change it up and say them in the reverse order
  4. When you’re confident with the reversal method, try saying the days randomly (of course, understand which day you’re saying!)
  5. Challenge yourself and learn to write them down in Hiragana or in Kanji

Useful Words Related to the Days of the Week

Of course, knowing the days of the week is essential for everyday Japanese, but you’ll often come across these words in daily conversation, too!

EnglishJapanese KanjiJapanese HiraganaRomaji
The day after tomorrow明後日あさってasatte
The day before yesterday一昨日おとといototoi
This week今週こんしゅうkonshuu
Next week来週らいしゅうraishuu
Last week先週せんしゅうsenshuu
The weekend週末しゅうまつshuumatsu
3-day weekend三連休さんれんきゅうsanrenkyuu

How do I write the day of the week in Japanese?

In everyday Japanese, it’s more common to just write the first kanji to refer to the day of the week. So for Monday, instead of writing down as 月曜日(getsuyoubi), you can just write the Kanji character 月.

Are Saturdays counted as workdays in Japan?

Saturdays are considered to be workdays in Japan, so if a national holiday falls on a Saturday, unfortunately, it DOES NOT get moved to a Monday.

How often are there national holidays in Japan?

The Japanese are notoriously hard workers and will often willingly work overtime – Crazy much? To combat this, the Japanese government created extra-national holidays alongside traditional holidays (such as Obon and Japanese New Year’s) and spaced them out so that there’s at least one per month. Hooray!

What to Learn Next?

So you’ve got the days of the week down? Great! Now, what’s next? We suggest moving forward and learning the Months of the year and Days in a Month (which are different from the Days of the Week). Keep going! You’ve got this!

Get Free "Days of the Week" PDF


How do you memorize days of the week in Japanese? ›

How to Remember the Days of the Week in Japanese
  1. Nichiyoubi (Sunday) – Literally a Sun Day. ...
  2. Getsuyoubi (Monday) – The Moon Follows the Sun. ...
  3. Kayoubi (Tuesday) – A Fiery Day. ...
  4. Suiyoubi (Wednesday) – The Wave's Crest. ...
  5. Mokuyoubi (Thursday) – A Tree in the Week. ...
  6. Kinyoubi (Friday) – A Golden Day Before the Weekend.
Feb 22, 2022

What does Mokuyobi mean? ›

Mokuyobi means Thursday in Japanese. To us, Thursday is the best day of the week.

Do Japanese work 7 days a week? ›

The basic working hours are 7 or 8 hours from 9 am to 5 pm or 6 pm, for 5 (or 6) days per week. However, many workers stay in the office until much later, for example until 9 pm to 10 pm.

Is Japanese school 7 days a week? ›

The school year in Japan begins in April and classes are held from Monday to either Friday or Saturday, depending on the school. The school year consists of two or three terms, which are separated by short holidays in spring and winter, and a six-week-long summer break.

How many minutes to learn Japanese? ›

How Long Does it Take to Learn Japanese on Average? With consistent studying and speaking, for about 30 minutes to an hour a day, you could speak at a conversational level in Japanese in about 3 months.

Can I learn Japanese in 2 weeks? ›

It is not easy, but it certainly possible. My biggest recommendation is to tailor your study to your abilities as a learner. In the process of studying Japanese, I learned that I am very much a visual learner.

What is LJK in Japan? ›

Noun. LJK エルジェーケー • (erujēkē) twelfth-grade female student.

What does Nande Monai mean in Japanese? ›

A: Nandemonai.(I am OK) Helpful(3)

What does OJU mean in Japanese? ›

“Oju (お重)” is a Bento box for the new year special cuisine and also means “something precious and heavy things piled.”

How long to remember 2,000 kanji? ›

Realistic: Learning 2,000 kanji in one week is stretching it, but 3 months is a very doable timeframe if you are consistent.

How do you say your birthday in Japanese? ›

Tanjoobi wa itsu desu ka? When is [your] birthday? Hachigatsu yokka desu.

How do you say who in Japan? ›

The word 誰 (だれ, Dare), can more commonly be used in the Japanese language to express “Who”.

Is it cheaper to live in America or Japan? ›

In the US, the average price per square foot to buy a residence in the city center is around $335, whereas in Japan a comparable figure is $760. This is an approximate 57% increase. However, on the whole, house prices are generally lower in Japan than the US, especially since the Covid pandemic.

How many hours do Japanese sleep? ›

According to a 2021 survey by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Japanese sleep an average of seven hours and 22 minutes. This is the shortest duration among the member countries and almost an hour less than the OECD average of 8 hours and 24 minutes.

Do Japanese take naps at work? ›

Inemuri is the Japanese practice of sleeping at work. This can be in a meeting, on the way home or even waiting for the train after a big night out. Inemuri is a fascinating phenomenon found only in Japan. Viewed by outsiders, it might be taken as laziness or poor work ethic, but that is far from the truth.

Do kids in Japan go to school 6 days? ›

Public schools in Japan have classes five days a week, from Monday to Friday. There are also schools that have classes on Saturday. In junior high and high schools, there are six class periods each day, typically lasting 50 minutes for each.

Is Japanese school 6 days a week? ›

The school week spans from Monday to Friday, but many schools also offer optional classes on Saturdays. Because the pressure to achieve academically is so important in Japan, many Japanese students attend Saturday classes, which gives the impression that the school week is six days long.

How long is Japanese school break? ›

Japanese schools have three semesters, separated by vacations. At most schools, summer vacation covers the 40-odd days from July 20 to August 31; winter and spring vacation both last around 10 days, from December 26 to around January 6 and March 25 to around April 5, respectively.

Is 30 too late to learn Japanese? ›

Age is just a number

Other than that, applying to study in Japan when you're over 30 is very much the same as for anyone else. The slightly stricter requirements shouldn't put anyone off, if it is something they want to pursue. Studying abroad when you're a bit older is incredibly fulfilling.

Is 2 Years enough to learn Japanese? ›

The average length of time to learn advanced Japanese is 2-3 years. At the intermediate level, you can understand most of what your teacher says, and you can follow along with TV programs. When it comes to using the language with other Japanese speakers, however, you still have some limitations.

Is 1 year enough to learn Japanese? ›

In fact, Japanese is one of the most difficult languages to learn for a native English speaker. If you want to speak enough Japanese to make friends in Japan and carry on simple conversations, you can master casual Japanese in under a year, especially if you are skipping over hiragana and katakana.

What is the hardest language to learn? ›

Across multiple sources, Mandarin Chinese is the number one language listed as the most challenging to learn. The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center puts Mandarin in Category IV, which is the list of the most difficult languages to learn for English speakers.

Which is easier hiragana or kanji? ›

Hiragana, though, are much simpler in both form and function. They take fewer strokes to write than all but the simplest kanji, and instead of representing concepts, hiragana are used for writing phonetically.

Why is katakana so hard to memorize? ›

Katakana is significantly tougher to master compared to Hiragana because it is only used for certain words and you don't get nearly as much practice as you do with Hiragana. To learn the proper stroke order (and yes, you need to), here is a link to practice sheets for Katakana.

How long is realistic to learn Japanese? ›

Japanese is one of the most difficult languages for English natives to master. This is because it does not have a lot of likeness in structure to English. Approximately it will take 88 weeks, or 2200 hours of studying, to become fluent. But this article shows tips and tools to expedite and make the process easier.

What is the shortest time to learn Japanese? ›

However, many experts believe it takes between 4 to 6 months of dedicated study to reach a beginner level. On the other hand, you can expect to spend at least 3 years studying to become fluent in Japanese with near-native level accuracy.

How long can I fluent Japanese? ›

Learning Japanese isn't easy and it will take time. It's probably fair to say that you can expect a commitment of at least three years in order to achieve something resembling fluency. The average learner gets to the advanced level in three or four years.

What is f in Japan? ›

fuka (不可) Unacceptable, failed. F (0–59% or 0–49%) F (0–59% or 0–49%) Education in Japan has many different ways of approaching their grading system.

Why do Japanese say www? ›

The use of wwww to represent laughing comes from the Japanese wara (笑), “to laugh.” With the rise of text-messaging and the internet in the 1990s–2000s, Japanese users adapted the kanji 笑 to denote laughter, similar to LOL. People eventually found it easier, though, to use the letter w, from the romaji of 笑, wara.

What is Tokyo stand for? ›

The city was renamed Tokyo, meaning “eastern capital.” Edo had been Japan's largest city since the 17th century. Tokyo's population exceeded one million in the late 19th century, and as Japan's political, economic, and cultural centre it became one of the world's most populous cities in the 20th century.

What is Kare O in Japanese? ›

Kare in Old Japanese, was the demonstrative pronoun instead of あれ which was a first person pronoun. Literal translation of "she". It can also mean girlfriend. Used when representing one's own company.

What is the Japanese no waste word? ›

The Japanese have a word for the sense of regret they feel when something valuable is wasted: 'mottainai' (もったいない). It can be translated as “don't waste anything worthy” or “what a waste”, and has come to represent the island nation's environmental awareness.

What does o genki desu ka mean in Japanese? ›

In OGENKI DESU KA (Are you fine?), OGENKI is an adjective GENKI (fine, healthy) with an honorific O before it. If you answer, “Yes, I'm fine,” you say HAI, GENKI DESU.

What is Haha Oya in Japanese? ›

Haha oya. This Japanese word for mother refers to any female who has a child. Haha oya (母親 / ははおや) literally means 'mother-parent'. The word itself is used when talking about mothers in general.

What does Yokka mean in Japanese? ›

Days of the Month in Japanese
Japanese Dates
9 more rows
Mar 8, 2019

What does Achoo mean in Japanese? ›

sneeze) ハクション {interj.} ( also: atishoo!, sneeze)

Is Japanese hard for English speakers? ›

The Japanese language is considered one of the most difficult to learn by many English speakers. With three separate writing systems, an opposite sentence structure to English, and a complicated hierarchy of politeness, it's decidedly complex.

How many kanji exist? ›

There are more than 10,000 characters listed as kanji, which can be discouraging when thinking about learning Japanese. Yet in reality only around 2,000 kanji are used in everyday life.

What is the hardest kanji test? ›

The kanji Kentei test is the ultimate kanji test. It's made for native Japanese speakers (that means it's tough) and has ten different levels, where level 10 is the easiest, and level 1 is the hardest. Here's a few interesting stat-shots regarding the Kanji Kentei test. Native speakers pass levels 10-7 at an 80% rate.

What is 88 years old in Japanese? ›

米寿(beiju)- The “Rice” Birthday

Turning 88 in Japan gives one the chance to celebrate 米寿(beiju), or the rice year. Rice, associated with wealth and material fortune in old Japan, can be created by combining the kanji for 88 (八十八).

What is your age Japanese? ›

To ask someone "how old are you?," you can say: Nan sai desu ka (何歳ですか); Or in a more formal way, O ikutsu desu ka (おいくつですか).

What are big birthdays in Japan? ›

Some particularly important Japanese birthdays are 60, 70, 77, 80, 88, 90, and 120. There are special colors, symbols, and meanings behind each of the ages, much like the way wedding anniversaries are marked in western cultures.

Do they say oi in Japan? ›

Oi – オイ – This is a highly informal way in the Japanese culture to get someone's attention. A lot like the English version of, “Hey!” – But even less polite. Osu – オス – This is an informal way of greeting someone in Japanese, normally used between good friends.

What is Moshi Moshi? ›

Moshi moshi, or もしもし, is a common Japanese phrase that Japanese people use when picking up the phone. It's a casual greeting used for friends and family, like a “hello”, but in fact means something entirely different! In English, it literally means something more like, “to say to say”, or “I speak I speak”.

Does Japan work 4 days a week? ›

Japan. In 2021, the Japanese government's annual economic policy guidelines included a recommendation that companies let employees opt for a four-day workweek and, by extension, a 3-day weekend.

Is there a 4 day work week in Japan? ›

4 Day Work Week in Japan

However, the Covid-19 pandemic and a labor shortage in the country moved the government to promote it as a nation-wide guideline. The goal of the 4 day work week guideline is to support employee wellness, family time and social life, and help with the country's labor shortage.

Why does Japan have a 7 day week? ›

Surviving diaries of the Japanese statesman Fujiwara Michinaga show the seven-day system in use in Heian Period Japan as early as 1007. In Japan, the seven-day system was kept in use for astrological purposes until its promotion to a full-fledged Western-style calendrical basis during the Meiji Period (1868–1912).

Do Japanese people take days off? ›

Full-time workers get ten to twenty leave days based on how long they have worked in the company. Besides the length of service, annual leave for part-time workers is also determined by how many days they work per week. For example, part-time employees that work 4 days a week get seven to fifteen leave days.

Is 2 weeks in Japan enough? ›

Is two weeks in Japan enough? Two weeks is definitely enough time to see some of Japan's main highlights. In this two week Japan itinerary, you'll visit Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Osaka, Nara and Kobe – it's the perfect amount of time when you're visiting Japan for the first time.

Is 3 weeks in Japan enough? ›

Japan is an amazing country where ancient traditions and modern customs go hand in hand. If you think 3 weeks is too long for Japan, think again. It's easy to travel for 3 weeks in Japan without getting bored. You need three weeks in Japan just to visit the highlights.

Is 1 week enough for Japan? ›

Of course, there is so much to see in Japan, but if you have a limited time frame for your Japan itinerary, seven days is a really good amount of time to get to know a few places in the country. Plus, even if you can't see everything, one week in Japan is going to be magical regardless!

Do Japanese work 12 hours a day? ›

According to the Japanese Labor Law, only 8 hours a day, or 40 hours a week, are allowed. If Japanese companies wish to extend their employee's working hours, they must first conclude special treaties to get acceptance from the government, per Labor Standards Act No. 36.

How many days a week do Japanese go to work? ›

Designated Work Hours in a Week in Japan

This is known as statutory working hours usually observed in the Fixed System or your normal 8-to-5 job in a 5-day workweek. It includes, of course, the mandatory 1 hour long break you earn for working 8 hours (45 minutes break if you work 6 hours).

What is 7 5 3 day in Japan? ›

There is even a festival every November 15th called “Shichi-go-san”; literally 7 (shichi) 5 (go) and 3 (san) in Japanese. This is the day when parents celebrate the growth of their children and many families visit their local shrine or temple to pray for the health of their children and family.

Do Japanese have a weekend? ›

In Japan, most organization regards “Monday to Friday” as “Weekdays”, and Saturdays and Sundays as holidays.

Why is 7 important in Japan? ›

Seven is an important number in Buddhism. Japanese Buddhists celebrate a baby's seventh day and mourn the seventh day after a person dies when the soul is said to cross over. Do you know your math in Japanese? In Japanese folklore there are the Shichifukuin (七福神 – the Seven Gods of Luck).

How long are Japanese breaks? ›

Japanese schools have three semesters, separated by vacations. At most schools, summer vacation covers the 40-odd days from July 20 to August 31; winter and spring vacation both last around 10 days, from December 26 to around January 6 and March 25 to around April 5, respectively.

Why do Japanese work so much? ›

Japan has some of the longest working hours in the world. Nearly a quarter of Japanese companies have their employees work more than 80 hours overtime per month. Those extra hours are often unpaid. Today, Japan's corporate culture is driven by the so-called salary man.

Do they have 6 days of school in Japan? ›

Public schools in Japan have classes five days a week, from Monday to Friday. There are also schools that have classes on Saturday. In junior high and high schools, there are six class periods each day, typically lasting 50 minutes for each.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Barbera Armstrong

Last Updated: 12/16/2023

Views: 5328

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (59 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Barbera Armstrong

Birthday: 1992-09-12

Address: Suite 993 99852 Daugherty Causeway, Ritchiehaven, VT 49630

Phone: +5026838435397

Job: National Engineer

Hobby: Listening to music, Board games, Photography, Ice skating, LARPing, Kite flying, Rugby

Introduction: My name is Barbera Armstrong, I am a lovely, delightful, cooperative, funny, enchanting, vivacious, tender person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.