Directions in Japanese


Simple things like directions in Japanese may seem simple enough for anyone, especially with the use of gestures. However, if you simply know the correct words for the corresponding direction, this can ensure you prevent any confusion. In addition, it can also go some way to improving your ability to understand any directions a person may give you.

Situations that may arise are as simple as reading a map, asking for directions to a restaurant or cafe, inquiring about the location of the toilet, trying to communicate to a taxi driver or even asking for the location of an office or department within a building. Learning at least some of the basic language for getting around may help enormously.

In this post, we will explore some of the simple words that relate to directions, in terms of straight, back, left and right,  North, South, East and West. You may also like to brush up on the Kanji (Chinese characters) as these also relate to some exits, especially used in various train stations and buildings. Don’t get lost now!


真直 (Masagu) – Straight ahead/ストレート (Sutoreeto) – Straight

バック (Bakku) – Back

戻る (Modoru) – Go back/Return (verb)

左 (Hidari) – Left

右 (Migi) – Right

北 (Kita) – North

南 (Minami) – South

西 (Nishi) – West

東 (Higashi) – East

行く (Iku) – to go

曲がる (Magaru) – to turn

Sample Phrases

真直行ってください (Masugu itte kudasai) – Please go straight

左に曲がってください (Hidari ni magatte kudasai) – Please turn left

戻ってください (Modotte kudasai) – Please go back





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