Days And Months In Japanese (How To Tell The Date)

avatarMille Larsen
3 mins read

The word for day in Japanese is nichi/hi (日).

It is pronounced differently depending on what you are speaking about.

  • Today = kyou (今日)
  • Today (formal) = honjisu (本日)
  • Tomorrow = ashita/asu (明日)
  • Yesterday = kinou (昨日)

Days of the week

English Japanese Romaji
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


kyou wa getsuyoubi
Today is Monday


kinou wa doyoubi datta
Yesterday was Saturday


ashita wa mokuyoubi desu
Tomorrow is Thursday


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.

English Japanese Romaji
January 1月 (いちがつ) ichigatsu
Febuary 2月 (にがつ) nigatsu
March 3月 (さんがつ) sangatsu
April 4月 (しがつ) shigatsu
May 5月 (ごがつ) gogatsu
June 6月 (ろくがつ) rokugatsu
July 7月 (しちがつ) shichigatsu
August 8月 (はちがつ) hachigatsu
September 9月 (くがつ) kugatsu
October 10月 (じゅうがつ) juugatsu
November 11月 (じゅういちがつ) juuichigatsu
December 12月 (じゅうにがつ) juunigatsu

Days of the month

For each day of the month there's a different name.

There's no general pattern so memorizing them is necessary.

The numbers are usually written using Arabic numerals instead of kanji.

The first 10 numbers follow a very unique pattern:

English Japanese Romaji
1st 1日 (ついたち) tsuitachi
2nd 2日 (ふつか) futsuka
3rd 3日 (みっか) mikka
4th 4日 (よっか) yokka
5th 5日 (いつか) itsuka
6th 6日 (むいか) muika
7th 7日 (なのか) nanoka
8th 8日 (ようか) youka
9th 9日 (ここのか) kokonoka
10th 10日 (とおか) tooka

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

English Japanese Romaji
11th 11日 (じゅういちにち) juuichi nichi
12th 12日 (じゅうににち) juuni nichi
13th 13日 (じゅうさんにち) juusan nichi
14th 14日 (じゅうよっか) juu yokka
15th 15日 (じゅうごにち) juugo nichi
16th 16日 (じゅうろくにち) juuroku nichi
17th 17日 (じゅうしちにち) juushichi nichi
18th 18日 (じゅうはちにち) juuhachi nichi
19th 19日 (じゅうくにち) juuku nichi
20th 20日 (はつか) hatsuka
21st 21日 (にじゅういちにち) nijuu ichi nichi
22nd 22日 (にじゅうににち) nijuu ni nichi
23rd 23日 (にじゅうさんにち) nijuu san nichi
24th 24日 (にじゅうよっか) nijuu yokka
25th 25日 (にじゅうごにち) nijuu go nichi
26th 26日 (にじゅうろくにち) nijuu roku nichi
27th 27日 (にじゅうしちにち) nijuu shichi nichi
28th 28日 (にじゅうはちにち) nijuu hachi nichi
29th 29日 (にじゅうくにち) nijuu ku nichi
30th 30日 (さんじゅうにち) sanjuu nichi
31st 31日 (さんじゅういちにち) sanjuu ichi nichi


kyou wa hatsuka desu
Today is the 20th


kyou wa ichigatsu itsuka kin'youbi desu
Today is January 5th, Friday


In Japanese, we use the same method to date as we do in English. On offical documentation they use a different way to track years, but I won't cover that here.

To say what the year is, say the number followed by the counter for year, which is nen (年).


nisen hachi nen
Year 2008


sen kyuuhyaku kyuujuugo nen
Year 1995