Useful Japanese Phrases to Use when Shopping

Japanese conversation when shopping

shopping title

Going shopping is one of the exciting things to do when visiting a foreign country, and Japan is no exception.

In many cases, you won’t need to have that much interaction with a shop employee. But depending on what you’re buying, you may want to ask questions regarding what you’re looking for.

To avoid any sort of panic due to an unexpected Japanese question from a shop employee, I have listed some of the main things a shop employee may ask you when you go shopping at a store.

Knowing basic Japanese conversation will make your shopping experience a much more enjoyable one.

I also included how you could answer these questions and other useful phrases that may help you communicate better with the shop employee.

I hope this helps you.


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Phrases the employee might say (and how to respond)

shopping couple1. “Irasshaimase!” (いらっしゃいませ!)

“Welcome!”

This is the first thing you will hear when you enter a shop. You don’t need to answer or say anything. If you notice the employee is smiling at you, you may slightly nod.

2. “Nanika osagashi desuka?” (何かお探しですか?)

“Are you looking for something in particular?”

As in pretty much every shop in the world, this is the first thing they will ask you.

To answer, if you’re actually looking for something, you can say “Hai” (はい) which means “Yes” followed by “〇〇 wa arimasuka?” (〇〇はありますか?) which means “Do you have 〇〇?”.

Or, if you’re not looking for something in particular, then say “Mite iru dake desu, arigatou” (見ているだけです、ありがとう) which means ” I’m just looking around, thanks”.

3. “Goshichaku nasai masuka?” (ご試着なさいますか?)

“Would you like to try it on?”

If you’re at a clothing shop, it is very likely that they will ask you this when you seem interested in an item.

If the answer is “yes” then say “Hai, onegaishimasu” (はい、お願いします) which means “Yes, please”. Or if you’re not interested, you can just say “Daijoubu desu” (大丈夫です) whcih means “No, thank you”.

4. “Hoka ni osagashi no mono wa arimasuka?” (他にお探しのものはありますか?)

“Are you looking for anything else?”

Let’s say you were asking the shop person about a product, and you decide to purchase it. It is very probable that they will ask you this.

If the answer is “yes”, you can say “Hai” (はい) followed by “〇〇 wa arimasuka?” (〇〇はありますか?) which means “Do you have 〇〇?”. Or, if you’re set you can say “Soredake desu. arigatou” (それだけです、ありがとう) which means “That’s all, thank you”.

5. “Pointo ka-do wa omochi desuka?” (ポイントカードはお持ちですか? )

“Do you have a point card? “

Many shops and stores have their own kind of point card which you can gain points by each purchase.

Another way they could ask this same question is “Pointo ko-do wa yoroshii desuka?” (ポイントカードは宜しいですか?).

If you’re just traveling, I’d imagine you don’t have a point card. In that case you can just answer “Nai desu” (ないです) which means “No, I don’t.”.

Or, if you live in Japan and happen to have a point card, then your answer would be “Hai, mottemasu” (はい、持ってます) which means “Yes, I do have”, and you can give the employee the point card in that moment.

6. “Fukuro ni oire shimasu ka?” (袋にお入れしますか?)

“Would you like a bag?”

They will ask you this if you are buying only one or two items.

To answer yes, then say “Hai, onegaishimasu” (はい、おねがいします) Which means “Yes, please”. And to answer no, then say “Daijobu desu” (大丈夫です) which means “No, thank you”.

7. “Ichiman-en kara de yoroshii desuka?” (一万円からでよろしいですか?)

“You’re paying with a 10,000 Yen bill. Is this correct?”

Say, if you buy something that costs under 1,000 Yen and you pay with a 10,000 Yen bill. Usually, there is no problem with that in Japan, but the cashier might ask you just to make sure you’re not mistaking it with a 1,000 yen bill.

To answer yes, you can just say “Hai” (はい). And if you actually made a mistake and want to pay with a 1,000 yen bill, then you can say “Suimasen, machigaemashita” (すいません、間違えました) which means “I’m sorry, I made a mistake”. The cashier will return the 10,000 yen bill.

8. “Mamonaku heiten no jikan desu” (まもなく閉店の時間です)

“We are colsing soon.”

This is what shop employees will say when they’re about to close the store for the day. It is a kind way of saying “please leave the shop”. If it’s a big shop, you may hear an announcement saying this as opposed to someone telling you personally if it’s a small shop.

Another thing that big shops do sometimes is that they will put on music to let the customers that the shop will soon close.

Useful Phrases (How to say 〇〇)

shopping dress

When you’re at a shop and want to ask something to the employee, you can just say “Suimasen” which means “excuse me”.

1. How to say “where can I find 〇〇?”

” 〇〇 wa doko ni arimasuka?” (〇〇はどこにありますか?)

As I mentioned before, when you enter a shop, it is most likely that the employee will ask you “Nanika osagashi desuka?” which means “Are you looking for something in particular?”. This is when this phrase comes perfectly into action.

If the shop employee doesn’t ask you anything, you can still approach an employee and say “suimasen” before asking.

You can also use this phrese to ask where is the bathroom. Just replace the 〇〇 with “Otoire”(おトイレ).

2. How to say “How much is this?”

“Kore wa ikura desuka?” (これはいくらですか?)

Not all shops will have price tags on every item. If there’s something you’re interested in but don’t know the price, use this phrase.

3. How to say “Do you have it in another color?”

“Hoka no iro wa arimasu ka?” (他の色はありますか?)

When shopping for clothes, shoes, or maybe headphones. Sometimes you’ll find something you like but would like it in another color.

If you would like to ask for a specific color, you can replace the “Hoka no iro” with the color name. Here are some examples.

  • “Shiro” (白): White
  • “Kuro” (黒): Black
  • “Gurei” (グレイ): Grey
  • “Chairo” (茶色): Brown
  • “Aka” (赤): Red
  • “Ao” (青): Blue
  • “Kiiro” (黄色): Yellow
  • “Midori” (緑): Green
  • “Murasaki” (紫):  Purple

4. How to say “Do you have it in 〇〇 size?”

“〇〇 saizu wa arimasuka?” (〇〇サイズはありますか?)

Let’s say you found a piece of clothing you liked, but it is clearly not your size. You can use this phrase to ask for a specific size or just a bigger/smaller size. Replace the 〇〇 with the following.

  • “Esu”: S
  • “Emu”: M
  • “Eru”: L
  • “Ekkusu eru”: XL
  • “Ookii” (大きいサイズ): Big(ger)
  • “Chiisai” (小さいサイズ): Small(er)

5. How to say “I want two of these”

“Kore wo futatsu kudasai” (これを2つください)

When you found something you liked but would like more of it, you can use this phrase. If you want more than two, just replace the “futatsu” with the following.

  • “Hitotsu” (一つ): One of those
  • “Futatsu” (二つ): Two of those
  • “Mittsu” (三つ): Three of those
  • “Yottsu” (四つ): Four of those
  • “Itsutsu” (五つ): Five of those

※note: Actually, the way you count changes depending on the thing, so depending on what you’re buying, it may be grammatically incorrect, but the employee will understand, so no worries.

6. How to say “may I see that one?”

“Are wo mitemo ii desuka?” (あれを見てもいいですか?)

If there’s something out of your reach but want to see it up close, you can use this phrase.

7. How to say “Can I try it on?”

“Shichaku shitemo ii desu ka?” (試着してもいいですか?)

At a shoe shop or clothing shop, in most cases, if you seem interested in something the shop employee will ask you if you’d like to try it on. But maybe the shop is kind of busy at the moment and no one comes to ask. In this case, you can approach a shop employee by saying “suimasen” and then use this phrase.

8. How to say “Could you gift-wrap it, please?”

“Rappingu shite itadakemasu ka?” (ラッピングして頂けますか?)

If you’re buying a gift, you can ask this at the cash register before you pay. Sometimes gift-wrapping might cost you a little extra something.

9. How to say “Do you take credit cards?”

“kurejitto ka-do wa tsukaemasuka?” (クレジットカードは使えますか?)

Nowadays, it is rare to see a shop that doesn’t accept credit cards, but if you’re not sure, it is polite to ask.

10. How to say “Are you open now?”

“Ima aitemasuka?” (今開いてますか?)

Sometimes, you might walk by a shop but won’t be sure if it’s open. This is how you ask if it’s open at that moment.

11. How to say “Until what time are you open?”

“Nanji made aitemasuka?” (何時まで開いてますか?)

If you pass by a shop and it doesn’t say until what time they are open, then this is how you can ask.

“Yes” and “No”

shopping paying

There are many ways you can answer to the shop employee, but these are the most common and safe ways to say either “yes” or “no”.

“Hai, onegai shimasu” (はい、お願いします): Yes, please.

If they’re offering something(e.g. offering to try a different size), then this is how you respond. But if the question is something you can simply answer with “yes” (e.g. confirming what you’re looking for), then you can simply say “Hai”.

“Daijobu desu” (大丈夫です): No, thank you.

If they’re offering something(e.g. offering to try a different size), then this is how you respond. But if the question is something you can simply answer with “no” (e.g. confirming what you’re looking for), then you can simply say “iie”.

Shopping Vocabulary Recap

shopping shues

  • “Esu saizu” (Sサイズ): S size
  • “Emu saizu” (Mサイズ): M size
  • “Eru saizu” (Lサイズ): L size
  • “Ekkusu eru saizu” (XLサイズ): XL size
  • “Ookii saizu” (大きいサイズ): Big(ger) size
  • “Chiisai saizu” (小さいサイズ): Small(er) size
  • “Betsu no iro” (別の色): Another color
  • “Shiro” (白): White
  • “Kuro” (黒): Black
  • “Gurei” (グレイ): Grey
  • “Chairo” (茶色): Brown
  • “Aka” (赤): Red
  • “Ao” (青): Blue
  • “Kiiro” (黄色): Yellow
  • “Midori” (緑): Green
  • “Murasaki” (紫):  Purple
  • “Hitotsu” (一つ): One of those
  • “Futatsu” (二つ): Two of those
  • “Mittsu” (三つ): Three of those
  • “Yottsu” (四つ): Four of those
  • “Itsutsu” (五つ): Five of those

I hope this article helps you when you come to visit Japan or if you are planning on living in Japan in the near future.

Want to know more tips for living in Japan? Check out the following articles!

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