All About Japan

10 Easy Phrases for Shopping in Japan!

Shopping Learning Japanese Holiday Shopping Life in Japan
10 Easy Phrases for Shopping in Japan!

Reviewing these 10 phrases can make your Japan shopping excursion that much easier! We've gone with the phonetic reading to make things simple, but just remember that verbs ending in dess or mass should formally be written as desu or masu. Now read up and get ready to hit the shops!

① I'm just looking.
Pronunciation: Chotto miru dake dess. (lit. "I just look a little")
Japanese: ちょっと見るだけです。

Retail staff in Japan will often come right up to you when you enter. Use this phrase if you'd like some time to yourself first.

② How much is this?
Pronunciation: Kore wa ikura dess-ka?
Japanese: これはいくらですか?

③ Where are the sale items?
Pronunciation: Seh-ru shoh-hin wa doko ni arimass-ka?
Japanese: セール商品はどこにありますか?

④ Can you make this duty-free here?
Pronunciation: Koko wa menzei ni dekimass-ka?
Japanese: ここは免税にできますか?

Japan has an increasing number of duty-free shops, but if you're in a larger store, it may depend on the counter you go to. Check before you buy!

⑤ I'd like this, please.
Pronunciation: Kore wo kuda-sai.
Japanese: これをください。

This is how you can let retail staff know when you've decided what you'd like to purchase.

⑥ I'd like a receipt, please.
Pronunciation: Reshiito wo kuda-sai.
Japanese: レシートをください。

You'll usually get a receipt automatically, but just in case. It's always good to keep the receipt just in case you discover a problem with your purchase later.

⑦ What's the best-before date?
Pronunciation: Shomi kigen wa itsu made dess-ka?
(lit. "Until when is the best-before period?")
Japanese: 賞味期限はいつまでですか?

When buying fruit or snacks as a gift for people back home, it's best to check the shelf life. This will often be stamped on the outside of the package as well.

⑧ Can I try it on?
Pronunciation: Shi-chaku dekimass-ka?
Japanese: 試着できますか?

It's always best to make sure you've got the right size—sizes in Japan may not be what you're used to!

⑨ Is this made in Japan?
Pronunciation: Kore wa nihon-sei dess-ka?
Japanese: これは日本製ですか?

If you've gone to the trouble of coming all the way to Japan, you may want to make sure you're buying something actually locally made.

⑩ Are there English instructions?
Pronunciation: Eigo no setsumei-sho wa arimass-ka?
Japanese: 英語の説明書はありますか?

If you're buying an electrical appliance, this could be more than a little important!

That's a start! And if there's anything else you need, gestures go a long way. And if you want to learn some more helpful Japanese phrases, take a look here!