Days of the Week in Japanese – Your Complete Guide

We’ll be teaching everything you need to know about days of the week in Japanese.

You’ll definitely find it useful to learn the days of the week, especially if you’re living in Japan or are interested in Japanese culture.

Days of the Week in Japanese

Japanese Days of the Week

You’d be surprised how often it pops up in conversation! Maybe you want to set up plans to hang with friends in Japan or make a reservation at a restaurant. Or perhaps you want to book a room in a hotel or double-check when the next meeting is at work. Knowing the days of the week in Japanese is essential for these situations!

Once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll soon be able to progress on to more advanced topics and be able to talk about past, current, or upcoming events in your life.

Let’s dive in!

Days of the Week in Japanese

Don’t worry if you can’t read Hiragana or Kanji yet. Head over to our handy guide that will walk you through the basic essentials of the Japanese writing systems (Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji).

It really isn’t as hard as it looks! Check out our mnemonics below to help you remember the days of the week in no time.

Click the Japanese word to hear the correct pronunciation.

EnglishJapanese KanjiJapanese HiraganaRomaji
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kinyoubi
Saturday土曜日どようびdoyoubi
Sunday日曜日にちようびnichiyoubi

Did you notice a pattern? Just like in English, the word for each day of the week ends with dayようび(youbi). If you’re a beginner and you hear “youbi”, then you know that whoever is talking said something about a day of the week in Japanese.

Days in Japanese

The English word “day” is expressed with the Japanese wordようび (youbi/ yōbi). It comes from the Chinese character 曜日. The word ようび (youbi/ yōbi) is always attached to the words indicating the days of the week.

How to Remember the Days of the Week in Japanese

Even the most talented language learner would have a hard time learning new vocabulary from just looking at a list of words. But we’ve broken it down for you with a short explanation behind the meaning of each day to help you remember the days of the week.

Each day of the week is named after a combination of Chinese philosophies of yin-yang and the 5 Taoist elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water).

Monday in Japanese

Monday in Japanese is げつようび (getsuyoubi). It is written as 月曜日 in Kanji, which translates to “Moon Day” in English. This day’s name is pretty similar in English and Japanese, don’t you think?

The Chinese character 月 (げつ/ getsu) means “moon” as it represents the picture of a crescent moon. This is also the same character you’ll see with months in Japanese.

You can also remember this word by thinking of Monday as the day that “gets” you up and ready for the week!

Japanese Getsu
Source: https://cosmosjapaneselanguageschool.files.wordpress.com

Tuesday in Japanese

Tuesday in Japanese is かようび (kayoubi). It is written as 火曜日, which means “Fire Day” in English. To remember this day, think of Monday as your “warm-up day”. Once you’re all warmed up, you’re ready and fired up to go by Tuesday!

The Chinese character (か / ka) represents a picture of the flames of a burning fire with sparks. This philosophy gives the meaning “Fire Day” to 火曜日 (かようび / kayoubi).

Japanese Ka
Source: https://cosmosjapaneselanguageschool.com/

Wednesday in Japanese

Wednesday in Japanese is すいようび  (suiyoubi). It is written as 水曜日, which means “Water Day”. You can remember this day by imagining you’re putting out Tuesday’s fire with water on Wednesday.

The Chinese character 水 (すい / sui) looks like a picture of flowing water. This gives 水曜日 (すいようび / suiyoubi) the meaning “water day”.

Source: https://hire39.com/

Thursday in Japanese

Thursday is もくようび (mokuyoubi). It is written as 木曜日, which means “Wood Day”. You can remember this day as it “mocks” you with the weekend being so close!

The Chinese character 木 (もく / moku) in 木曜日 (もくようび / mokuyoubi) is like a picture of a tree and they give us wood.

Japanese Moku
Source: https://cosmosjapaneselanguageschool.com/

Friday in Japanese

Friday is きんようび (kinyoubi). It is written as 金曜日, and which means “Gold Day”. This day is easy to remember since Friday is the golden day we all wait for every week!

The philosophy behind the Chinese character 金 (きん / kin) in 金曜日 (きんようび / kinyoubi) is that there’s a metal hidden in the earth that shines upon discovery. This means gold or metal.

Japanese Kin
Source: https://hire39.com/

Saturday in Japanese

Saturday in Japanese is どようび  (doyoubi). It is written as 土曜日 in Kanji, which means “Ground Day”. Don’t go too crazy on Saturday or your parents might “ground” you!

For the Japanese word for Saturday, the Chinese character 土 (ど / do) in 土曜日 (どようび / doyoubi) signifies a picture of a mound of earth which was worshipped as the source of life in ancient times.

Japanese Do
Source: https://cosmosjapaneselanguageschool.com/

Sunday in Japanese

Last, but not least is Sunday! Sunday in Japanese is にちようび (nichiyoubi). It’s written as 日曜日 in Kanji, which translates to “Sun Day”. You’ll have no trouble memorizing this day since it’s identical to Sunday in English.

The Chinese character 日(にち / nichi) in 日曜日 (にちようび / nichiyoubi) means sun.

Japanese Nichi
Source: https://hire39.com/

Days of the week in Kanji

In Japanese, there are three writing systems used. In this section, you’ll learn about what are the days of the week in Kanji.

EnglishKanjiRomaji
Monday月曜日getsuyoubi
Tuesday火曜日kayoubi
Wednesday水曜日suiyoubi
Thursday木曜日mokuyoubi
Friday金曜日kinyoubi
Saturday土曜日doyoubi
Sunday日曜日nichiyoubi

Days of the week in Hiragana

The days of the week in Japanese are mostly and usually written in Kanji. But as you start learning the language, you can learn the days of the week in Hiragana.  Below is the list of the days of the week in Hiragana.

EnglishHiraganaRomaji
Mondayげつようびgetsuyoubi
Tuesdayかようびkayoubi
Wednesdayすいようびsuiyoubi
Thursdayもくようびmokuyoubi
Fridayきんようびkinyoubi
Saturdayどようびdoyoubi
Sundayにちようびnichiyoubi

How to remember the Japanese Days of the Week

Follow these simple steps to learn and remember the days of the week in Japanese:

  1. Get familiar with the pattern: element + day
  2. Try to remember the Kanji, you’ll often see the days of the week written in Kanji
  3. Once you’re familiar with each day of the week, change it up and say them in the reverse order
  4. When you’re confident with the reversal method, try saying the days randomly (of course understand which day you’re saying!)
  5. Challenge yourself and learn to write them down in Hiragana or in Kanji

Useful Words Related to the Days of the Week

Of course, knowing the days of the week is essential for everyday Japanese, but you’ll often come across these words in daily conversation, too!

EnglishJapanese KanjiJapanese HiraganaRomaji
Today今日きょうkyou
Tomorrow明日あしたashita
Yesterday昨日きのうkinou
The day after tomorrow明後日あさってasatte
The day before yesterday一昨日おとといototoi
This week今週こんしゅうkonshuu
Next week来週らいしゅうraishuu
Last week先週せんしゅうsenshuu
The weekend週末しゅうまつshuumatsu
3-day weekend三連休さんれんきゅうsanrenkyuu
Everyday毎日まいにちmainichi

How do I write the day of the week in Japanese?

In everyday Japanese, it’s more common to just write the first kanji to refer to the day of the week. So for Monday, instead of writing down as 月曜日(getsuyoubi), you can just write 月.

Are Saturdays counted as workdays in Japan?

Saturdays are considered to be workdays in Japan, so if a national holiday falls on a Saturday unfortunately, it DOES NOT get moved to a Monday.

How often are there national holidays in Japan?

The Japanese are notoriously hard-workers and will often willingly work overtime – Crazy much? To combat this, the Japanese government created extra-national holidays alongside traditional holidays (such as Obon and Japanese New Years’) and spaced them out so that there’s at least one per month. Hooray!

What to Learn Next?

So you’ve got the days of the week down? Great! Now, what’s next? We suggest moving forward and learning the Months of the year and Days in a Month (which are different from the Days of the Week). Keep going! You’ve got this!

    6 replies to "Days of the Week in Japanese – Your Complete Guide"

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