You need some cool vocabulary for the cold Winter season. Especially, as the lonely mountains gather a new white glow, the ski resorts begin to gain momentum and the rental shop’s activity grows. This is the sign of the beginning of the snow season.
So, here is our list of basic words to help guide you through the cold season more easily. Particularly, you will find a lot of the terms are not so difficult, as they are loan words from English.
General Weather Terms
You can generally tell when Japan hits its winter season. In some areas, it experiences large amounts of snowfall, while others may receive little to none. Yet, Japan is definitely cold during the winter months, especially with its strong wind chills, even in the larger cities. Here are some important words for the cold season.
冬 (ふゆ or fuyu) – winter
季節 (きせつ or kisetsu) – season
四季 (しき or shiki) – four seasons. Japan is well known for its beauty throughout the its distinct four seasons.
気温 (きおん or kion) – temperature.
真冬日 (まふゆび or mafuyubi) means days which experience 0º Celsius.
寒い (さむい or samui) – cold, usually used to describe the weather. It shouldn’t be confused with the other cold 冷たい (つめたい or tsumetai) also meaning cold (to touch). For example, a cold beer.
暖かい (あたたかい or atatakai) – warm climate, or warm weather. It is easily confused with the same word 温かい (あたたかい or atatakai) which is used for feelings or emotions. For instance, a warm heart.
天気 (てんき or tenki) – weather
天気予報 (てんきよほう or tenki yohou) – weather forecast
雲 (くも or kumo) – cloud
曇り (くもり or kumori) – cloudy or cloudy weather
雪 (ゆき or yuki) – snow
大雪 (おおゆき or ooyuki) – heavy snow
吹雪 (ふぶき or fubuki) – means blizzard or snow storm
霙 (みぞれ or mizore) – sleet, a combination of rain and snow
細雪 (ささめゆき or sasame yuki) – snowflake
パウダースノー (ぱうだーすのー or paudaa sunoo) – powder snow
霧 (きり or kiri) – fog or mist
濃霧 (のうむ or noumu) – heavy fog or mist
風 (かぜ or kaze) – wind. It is easily confused with the same word 風邪 (かぜ or kaze) meaning cold, as in sickness. For example, the common cold.
In Japan, winter is the time for winter sports, farewelling the old year and welcoming in the new year. Skiing and snowboarding are the most popular activities, as people carve up the powder snow. It has even played host to the Winter Olympic games and continues to provide world-class resorts across the country. Here are some snow activity related vocabulary.
スキー (すきー or skii) – ski
アルパイン (あるぱいん or arupain) – alpine skiing
アルペン (あるぺん or arupen) – alpine skiing
クロスカントリー (くろすかんとりー or kurosutantorii) – cross country skiing
スノボー (すのぼー or Sunoboo) – snowboard
スノーボード (すのーぼーど or sunoo boodo) – snowboard
スノーボーダー (すのーぼーだー or sunoo boodaa) – snow boarder
アイススケート (あいすすけーと or aisu sukeeto) – ice skates
トボガン (とぼがん or tobogan) – toboggan
そり (そり or sori) – sled or sleigh
If you are travelling throughout Japan in the winter season, you may need some gear for the colder weather. Either that or you may want to rent some gear for your ski or snowboarding adventures. Here is a list of the most common clothing you will use during the colder months.
セーター (せーたー or seetaa) – sweater
コート (こーと or kooto) – coat
ジャケット (じゃけっと or jyaketto) – jacket
レインコート (れいんこーと or reinkooto) – raincoat
パーカー (ぱーかー paakaa) – parker or hoodie
手袋 (てぶくろ or tebukuro) – gloves
マフラー (まふらー or mufuraa) – muffler or scarf
ブーツ (ぶーつ or buutsu) – boots.
スキーブーツ (スキーブーツ or skii buutsu) – ski boots
スノーブーツ (すのーぶーつ or sunoo buutsu) – snow boots
Miscellaneous Winter Terms
The following is a list of other general terms commonly related to the coldest season in Japan.
スノーボール (すのーぼーる or sunoo booru) – snowball
雪玉 (ゆきだま or yukidama) – snowball
雪だるま (ゆきだるま or yuki daruma) – snow man
スノーマン (すのーまん or sunoo man) – snow man
雪崩 (なだれ or nadare) – avalanche or snowslide
氷 (こおり or koori) – ice
木 (き or ki) – tree
傘 (かさ or kasa) – umbrella
If you’re planning your travels in Japan, we invite you to join our rapidly expanding Travel in Japan Discussion Group via facebook.