Shopping in Japanese is called kaimono (買い物). Many Japanese people love to go shopping. When you enter any type of shop in Japan you will often be greeted with the word irasshaimase (いらっしゃいませ). Staff will often repeat this to every customer who comes in the store. This phrase means welcome and is used to greet customers.

   Customer in Japanese is kyaku (客). When staff are speaking to you they will call you either okyakusan (お客さん) or okyakusama (お客様). This word is also used as a polite way to refer to a guest. Japan is big on customer service. Staff are taught that okyakusama wa kamisama (the customer is god).

   Bowing is a big part of Japanese custom to give respect to someone. In any type of business a representative may bow to you to thank you for your business with them.


   The verb to buy is kau (買う). The verb for to sell is uru (売る).

   Do you sell eggs? = tamago o utte imasu ka (卵を売っていますか)

   (I) sold (my) bike = jitensha o utta (自転車を売った)

   (I) want to buy these shoes = kono kutsu o kaitai (この靴を買いたい)

   Buy (it) please = katte kudasai (買ってください)







   The suffix ya (屋) will often be found at the end of many different words to mean that type of store. The Japanese word for store is mise (店). Below are the common names for various stores you will find in Japan.

   Grocery store = suupaa (スーパー)
   Drug store = kusuriya (薬屋)
   Bakery = panya (パン屋)
   Clothing store = fukuya (服屋)
   Furnature store = kaguya (家具屋)
   Book store = honya (本屋)
   Department store = depaato (デパート)
   Convenience store = konbini (コンビニ)
   Gas station = gasorin sutando (ガソリンスタンド)

   Bought it at the Grocery store = suupaa de katta (スーパーで買った)