The word for day in Japanese is nichi/hi (日). It is pronounced different ways depending on what you are speaking about. In this lesson we will cover a lot of information and the vocabulary you learn will be repeated in other lessons so don't worry if you find it hard to remember all the vocabulary in this lesson.

   Today = kyou (今日)
(formal) = honjisu (本日)

   Tomorrow = ashita/asu (明日)

   Yesterday = kinou (昨日)

Days of week

Sunday日曜日 (にちようび)nichiyoubi
Monday月曜日 (げつようび)getsuyoubi
Tuesday火曜日 (かようび)kayoubi
Wednesday水曜日 (すいようび)suiyoubi
Thursday木曜日 (もくようび)mokuyoubi
Friday金曜日 (きんようび)kin'youbi
Saturday土曜日 (どようび)doyoubi

   Today is Monday = kyou wa getsuyoubi (今日は月曜日)

   Yesterday was Saturday = kinou wa doyoubi datta

   Tomorrow is Thursday = ashita wa mokuyoubi desu


   The days of the month in Japanese are easy to remember if you know the numbers. Unlike other Japanese numbers there is only 1 way to say April, July and September.

January1月 (いちがつ)ichigatsu
Febuary2月 (にがつ)nigatsu
March3月 (さんがつ)sangatsu
April4月 (しがつ)shigatsu
May5月 (ごがつ)gogatsu
June6月 (ろくがつ)rokugatsu
July7月 (しちがつ)shichigatsu
August8月 (はちがつ)hachigatsu
September9月 (くがつ)kugatsu
October10月 (じゅうがつ)juugatsu
November11月 (じゅういちがつ)juuichigatsu
December12月 (じゅうにがつ)juunigatsu

Days of month

   For each day of the month there is a different name. There is no general pattern so memorizing them is necessary. The numbers are usually written in Arabic numerals instead of kanji. The first 10 numbers follow a very unique pattern.

1st1日 (ついたち)tsuitachi
2nd2日 (ふつか)futsuka
3rd3日 (みっか)mikka
4th4日 (よっか)yokka
5th5日 (いつか)itsuka
6th6日 (むいか)muika
7th7日 (なのか)nanoka
8th8日 (ようか)youka
9th9日 (ここのか)kokonoka
10th10日 (とおか)tooka

   The other days of the month use the pronunciation nichi at the end except for a few exceptions.

11th11日 (じゅういちにち)juuichi nichi
12th12日 (じゅうににち)juuni nichi
13th13日 (じゅうさんにち)juusan nichi
14th14日 (じゅうよっか)juu yokka
15th15日 (じゅうごにち)juugo nichi
16th16日 (じゅうろくにち)juuroku nichi
17th17日 (じゅうしちにち)juushichi nichi
18th18日 (じゅうはちにち)juuhachi nichi
19th19日 (じゅうくにち)juuku nichi
20th20日 (はつか)hatsuka
21st21日 (にじゅういちにち)nijuu ichi nichi
22nd22日 (にじゅうににち)nijuu ni nichi
23rd23日 (にじゅうさんにち)nijuu san nichi
24th24日 (にじゅうよっか)nijuu yokka
25th25日 (にじゅうごにち)nijuu go nichi
26th26日 (にじゅうろくにち)nijuu roku nichi
27th27日 (にじゅうしちにち)nijuu shichi nichi
28th28日 (にじゅうはちにち)nijuu hachi nichi
29th29日 (にじゅうくにち)nijuu ku nichi
30th30日 (さんじゅうにち)sanjuu nichi
31st31日 (さんじゅういちにち)sanjuu ichi nichi

   Today is the 20th = kyou wa hatsuka desu (今日は20日です)

   Today is January 5th, Friday = kyou wa ichigatsu itsuka kin'youbi desu (今日は1月5日金曜日です)


   Today in Japan they use the same method to date as they do in western cultures. On offical documentation they use a different way to track years, but we will learn that in another lesson. To say what year it is, say the number followed by the counter for year, which is nen (年).

   Year 2008 = nisen hachi nen (2008年)

   Year 1995 = sen kyuuhyaku kyuujuugo nen (1995年)