“Let’s Go” in Japanese – Learn the many ways to say it

In this lesson, we will learn how to say “Let’s go” in Japanese and other expressions that come in handy for your everyday life.

A cheering girl with her arm raised

“Let’s go” vocabulary covers a wide range of situations, including when you want to invite your friend to a party or suggest a plan for what to do next. So, let’s get started! それでは、はじめましょう!(Soredewa hajime mashou! | それでは、始めましょう!)

How to say “Let’s Go” in Japanese

The English set phrase “Let’s go” (yes, it’s what you also hear in a Mario game) is used for a wish, request, or suggestion to depart in daily conversations. The basic idea is almost equivalent in Japanese, and the related phrases are simple and short.

You can memorize them in no time and use them for various situations.

The following two expressions are the dictionary form of “Let’s go” in Japanese.

  • いこう (Ikou | 行こう | a casual way to say “Let’s go”)
  • いきましょう (Ikimashou | 行きましょう | a formal way to say “Let’s go”)

Casual ways to say “Let’s go” in Japanese

The volitional form to invite someone or suggest something to someone has some variety in Japanese. Let’s take a look at other ways of saying “Let’s go” in Japanese.

  • ~いかない? (~ Ikanai? | How about going~?, Shall we go ~?)
  • ~どう? (~ Dou? | How about going~?)
  • ~しません? (~ Shimasen? | Shall we ~?)
  • ~してみませんか? (~Shite mimasen ka? | Shall we ~?, Why don’t you ~?)
  • ~いかがですか? (~ Ikaga desu ka? | How about ~?, Would you like ~?)

For example:

  • またいっしょにキャンプに行かない? (Mata issho ni kyanpu ni ikanai? | また一緒にキャンプに行かない?| Shall we go camping together again? )
  • このあとカラオケにいくのはどう? (Kono ato karaoke ni iku no wa dou? | この後カラオケに行くのはどう? | How about going to karaoke after this?)
  • こんどのみにいきません? (Kondo nomi ni ikimasen? | 今度飲みに行きません? | Shall we have a drinking party next time?)
  • このまえはなしたみせによってみませんか? (Kono mae hanashita mise ni yotte mimasen ka? | この前話した店に寄ってみませんか? | Why don’t we stop by the store I talked about last time?)
  • もういっけんいかがですか? (Mou ikken ikagadesu ka? | もう一軒いかがですか? | How about going to the next bar?)

Formal ways to say “Let’s go” in Japanese

Other expressions that work likewise to “Let’s go” using ましょう (Mashou) and ませんか (Masenka) are common in the Japanese language. Some sentences sound identical or very similar to one another but hold slightly different meanings.

1: Expressions that unilaterally represent the speaker’s feelings on the premise that the listener has the same intention as the speaker.

  • いきましょう (Ikimashou | 行きましょう | Let’s go)
  • いきましょうか? (Ikimashou ka? | 行きましょうか? | Shall we go?)

2: Expressions to ask the listener’s intentions gently.

  • いきませんか? (Ikimasen ka? | 行きませんか? | Would you like to go?)
  • いってみませんか? (Itte mimasen ka? | 行ってみませんか? | Would you like to go?)

3: Expressions that give mild instructions while showing an attitude of requesting.

  • いってみましょう (Itte mimashou | 行ってみましょう | Let’s go and see)
  • おうだんほどうをわたっていきましょう (Oudan hodou wo watatte ikimashou | 横断歩道を渡って行きましょう | Let’s go via the pedestrian crossing)

More Formal forms to say “Let’s go” in Japanese

The two words いこう (Ikou | 行こう) and いきましょう (Ikimashou | 行きましょう) are a rather casual and more direct way of inviting someone in the Japanese language. The first word is too casual, and the second word is not polite enough on some occasions.

Therefore, native speakers use a more polite way by using the honorific forms of the verb “to go” いく (Iku | 行く), when speaking formally to an older person or work-related person with social status.

The formal versions of いく (Iku | 行く | to go)

  • いかれる (Ikareru | 行かれる)
  • いらっしゃる (Irassharu)
  • おいでになる (Oide ni naru)
  • まいる (Mairu | 参る)
  • うかがう (Ukagau)

However, not all honorific words are suitable to mean “Let’s go.” These are the new vocabulary as replacements.

  • まいりましょう (Mairi mashou | 参りましょう | Let’s go)
  • ごいっしょします (Go issho shimasu | ご一緒します | Let’s go together, I will accompany you)
  • おともします (O tomo shimasu | お供します | Let’s go together, I will accompany you)
  • おでかけになりませんか? (O dekake ni narimasen ka? | お出かけになりませんか? | Let’s go, Would you like to go out?)

Other ways to say “Let’s go” in Japanese

The Japanese verb いく (Iku | 行く | to go) becomes the conjugated verb いこう (Ikou | 行こう) and いきましょう (Ikimashou | 行きましょう) in “Let’s go” phrases. These transformed versions are called いこうけい (Ikoukei | 意向形 | volitional form) in Japanese.

Here is the list of commonly used other expressions with a volitional form.

“Let’s go”/ “Let’s leave” in Japanese

As mentioned above, here are the words you can use to say “Let’s go” in Japanese. These can also mean “Let’s leave” in Japanese.

  • いく (Iku | 行く | to go) → いこう (Ikou | 行こう)
  • いきます (Ikimasu | 行きます | to go) → いきましょう (Ikimashou | 行きましょう)

“Let’s go out” in Japanese

If you’re indoors or at home and you want to go out, here’s what you can say in Japanese. Perhaps you’d like to go out and check out some tourist spots in Japan.

  • でかける (Dekakeru | 出かける | to go out ) → でかけよう (Dekakeyou | 出かけよう)
  • でかけます (Dekakemasu | 出かけます | to go out) → でかけましょう (Dekakemashou | 出掛けましょう)

“Let’s go through” in Japanese

If you need to pass or go through somewhere, here are the words to use. It can be somewhere like a certain road or the next intersection you should pass through.

  • とおる (Tooru | 通る | to go through) → とおろう (Toorou | 通ろう)
  • とおります (Toorimau | 通ります | to go through) → とおりましょう (Toorimashou | 通りましょう)

“Let’s go back” in Japanese

If you’re referring to “Let’s go back” in Japanese, you can use the words below. The term 戻る (modoru) also often refers to “back” which you can find in your electronic devices.

  • もどる (Modoru | 戻る | to go back) → もどろう (Modorou | 戻ろう)
  • もどります (Modorimasu | 戻ります | to go back) → もどりましょう (Modorimashou | 戻りましょう)

“Let’s go home” in Japanese

If you’re outdoors and you’d like to go home, then you can tell your companion, “let’s go home,” using the words below.

  • かえる (Kaeru | 帰る | to return, to go home) → かえろう (Kaerou | 帰ろう)
  • かえります (Kaerimasu | 帰ります | to return, to go home) → かえりましょう (Kaerimashou | 帰りましょう)

“Let’s do our best”/”Keep it up” in Japanese

“Let’s go” can also refer to a way of encouraging someone with what they’re doing. In this case, you can use this to mean “Let’s do our best” or “Keep it up” using these phrases.

  • がんばっていく (Ganbatte iku | 頑張って行く | to do our best) → がんばっていこう (Ganbatte ikou | 頑張って行こう)
  • がんばっていきます (Ganbatte ikimasu | 頑張って行きます | to do our best) → がんばっていきましょう (Ganbatte ikimashou | 頑張って行きましょう)

How to use “Let’s go” in verb + verb sentence in Japanese

We use a lot of double-verb sentences every day.

In this chapter, we will learn Japanese verb conjugations and a particle indicating purpose or intent with a verb. に (ni) is the particle, and it works similarly to English “for” or “to.”

“Let’s go to see”/”Let’s go to watch” in Japanese

If you’re specifically going somewhere to watch or see something, the main words to be used are みる (miru) and みます (mimasu). Here’s how you can conjugate them.

  • みる (Miru | 見る | to see) → みにいく (Mi ni iku | 見に行く | to go to see) → みにいこう (Mi ni ikou | 見に行こう | Let’s go to see)
  • みます (Mimasu | 見ます | to see) → みにいきます (Mi ni ikimasu | 見に行きます | to go to see) → 見に行きましょう (Mi ni ikimashou | 見に行きましょう | Let’s go to see)

“Let’s go to eat” in Japanese

If you’re inviting someone to eat, then you can say, “Let’s go to eat” by using the phrase below. However, if you want to directly say “Let’s eat” in Japanese, you can read this separate article.

  • たべる (Taberu | 食べる | to eat) → たべにいく (Tabe ni iku | 食べに行く | to go to eat) → たべにいこう (Tabe ni ikou | 食べに行こう | Let’s go to eat)
  • たべます (Tabemasu | 食べます | to eat) → たべにいきます (Tabe ni ikimasu | 食べに行きます | to go to eat) → たべにいきましょう (Tabe ni ikimashou | 食べに行きましょう | Let’s go to eat)

“Let’s go to meet”/Let’s go to see” in Japanese

If you intend to meet someone or see something, you can use the specific phrases below.

  • あう (Au | 会う | to meet, to see) → あいにいく (Ai ni iku | 会いに行く | to go to meet, to go to see) → あいにいこう (Ai ni ikou | 会いに行こう | Let’s go to meet, Let’s go to see)
  • あいます (Aimasu | 会います | to meet, to see) → あいにいきます (Ai ni ikimasu | 会いに行きます | to go to meet, to go to see) → あいにいきましょう (Ai ni ikimashou | 会いに行きましょう | Let’s go to meet, Let’s go to see)

“Let’s go to do something” in Japanese

If you want to do something in general, you can let your Japanese friends know by saying either of the phrases below.

  • する (Suru | to do) →なにかをしにいく (Nanika wo shi ni iku | 何かをしに行く | to go to do something) → なにかをしにいこう (Nanika wo shi ni ikou | 何かをしに行こう | Let’s go to do something)
  • します (Shimasu | to do) →なにかをしにいきます (Nanika wo shi ni ikimasu | 何かをしに行きます | to go to do something) → なにかをしに行きましょう (Nanika wo shi ni ikimashou | 何かをしに行きましょう | Let’s go to do something)

How to use “Let’s go” in conversations

In this chapter, we focus on how to use certain words in the Japanese “Let’s go” sentence. When you want to add more information to the context, use the following tips.

How to say “Let’s go” (to a place)?

By adding the place name and Japanese particle に (ni) or へ (e, he), you can change the sentence that literally means “Let’s go (to a place)” in Japanese.

  1. に (ni): a case particle for location and direction. It focuses on the destination.
  2. へ (e, he): a case particle for orientation. It focuses on a broader area, the destination, along with the path or direction to it.

Sentence examples:

  • がっこうにいこう (Gakkou ni ikou | 学校に行こう | Let’s go to school)
  • どこか、こうえんにいきましょう(Dokoka, kouen ni ikimashou | どこか、公園に行きましょう | Let’s go to the park somewhere)
  • さっきとおったみちへいこう (Sakki tootta michi e ikou | さっき通った道へ行こう | Let’s go to the road we passed moment ago)
  • もりへいきましょう (Mori e ikimashou | 森へ行きましょう | Let’s go to the forest)

How to say “Let’s go (at a time)” in Japanese?

To say “Let’s go (at a time)” in Japanese, use に (ni) with the time suggestion. Instead of giving a definite time, you can also use time words. This form is practical in one’s life to remember.

  1. に (ni): a particle indicating a point in time.
  2. time-related words: “soon,” “later,” “next week,” and so on.

Our article on Telling time in Japanese can help you identify and use different Japanese words related to time.

Sentence examples:

  • 10じにいこう (Juu ji ni ikou | 10時に行こう | Let’s go at 10 o’clock)
  • おひるになったらいきましょう (Ohiru ni nattara ikimashou | お昼になったら行きましょう | Let’s go when it’s noon)
  • そろそろ、いきましょう (Sorosoro, ikimashou | そろそろ、行きましょう | Let’s go soon)
  • らいしゅういっしょにいこうよ (Raishuu issho ni ikou yo | 来週一緒に行こうよ | Let’s go together next week)

“Let’s go” with an extra word

Like in English, it’s typical to have an interjection word in a “Let’s go” phrase.

In addition to that, having a particle at the end of the verb is commonly heard in Japan. It doesn’t add a particular meaning, but the extra sound gives a male or female voice to the sentence.

Sentence examples:

  • さあ、いこう (Saa, ikou ka | さあ、行こうか | Come on, let’s go. Alright, let’s go) *slight male tone
  • よし、いく (Yoshi, ikuzo | よし、行くぞ | OK, Let’s go) *male tone
  • じゃあ、いこう (Jaa, ikou ze | じゃあ、行こうぜ | Well, let’s go) *male tone
  • ほら、いっしょにいきましょう (Hora, isshoni ikimashou yo | ほら、一緒に行きましょうよ | Come on, Let’s go together) *female tone
  • いそげ!いこう! (Isoge! Ikou! | 急げ!行こう! | Hurry! Let’s go!)

*Underlined words are the sentence ending particles that add a male/female tone.

Sentences that sound like Let’s go but mean something else

The sentence ending しょう (Shou) and しょうか (Shou ka) are not only used for いきましょう (Ikimashou | 行きましょう | Let’s go) and いきましょうか? (Ikimashou ka? | 行きましょうか? | Shall we go?) expressions in the Japanese language.

Expressions like “I will,” “You will,” “Shall I,” and “Would you” similarly require them and provide different meanings depending on the context.

1: Speculation

This is a little old-fashioned way to mention the speculation. There is no restriction on the subject.

  • きっとりょうしんもいくでしょう (Kitto ryoushin mo iku deshou | きっと両親も行くでしょう | Surely my parents will go too)
  • おそらくうまくいきましょう (Osoraku umaku ikimashou | おそらく上手く行きましょう | It will probably go well)

2: Intention and offer

It expresses the intention of the speaker or an offer to the listener. The subject is the speaker.

  • あとでいくことにしましょう (Ato de iku koto ni shimashou | 後で行くことにしましょう | I will go later)
  • わたしがいきましょう (Watashi ga ikimashou | 私が行きましょう | I will go, Let me go)
  • かわりにいきましょうか? (Kawari ni ikimashou ka? | 代わりに行きましょうか? | Shall I go instead?)

3: Invitation, advice, recommendation, and direction

The subject is both the speaker and the listener, several unspecified people, or the listener alone.

  • せっきょくてきにいきましょう (Sekkyokuteki ni ikimashou | 積極的に生きましょう | Let’s live positively)
  • では、がんばっていきましょうか? (Dewa, ganbatte ikimashou ka? | では、頑張って行きましょうか? | Let’s do our best, shall we?)

Is there slang for “Let’s go” in the Japanese language?

The “Let’s go” in Japanese slang does exist. It tends to sound shorter than the initial casual form, but it’s just a colloquially abbreviated version.

  • あとでいこっか (Ato de ikokka | 後で行こっか | Let’s go later): This was originally あとでいこうか (Ato de ikouka | 後で行こうか | Let’s go later).
  • もちいくっしょ? (Mochi ikussho? | もち行くっしょ? | Let’s go, Of course you’re going, right?): This was originally もちろんいくでしょう?(Mochiron ikudeshou? | もちろん行くでしょう? | Let’s go, Of course you’re going, right?).

Let’s go and more? English phrases transformed into Japanese words

Following the examples above, did you know that Japanese people use the direct translation of some English phrases, such as “Let’s go” and “Come on,” as slang?

You might find it difficult to recognize them at first when hearing them. The original pronunciation of the words is not there anymore. It adapts the Japanese pronunciation, and the Japanese people write them in カタカナ (katakana | 片仮名) instead of the hiragana. So, let’s check them as new vocabulary here.

  • レッツゴー (Rettsu goo | Let’s go)
  • レッツラゴー (Rettsu ra goo | Let’s go) *It’s believed that “ラ (ra)” was coming from “us”
  • ゴーゴー (Goo goo | Go Go)
  • カモン (Kamon | Come on)
  • オーライ (Oorai | All right)
  • オーケー (Ookei | OK, Okay)
  • オーマイゴッド (Oo mai goddo | Oh my God)

We also have a separate article that covers Japanese slang.

Wrap Up

And that’s it for how to say “let’s go” in Japanese. Who knew that there are situation-specific and basic ways to say this Japanese word? We hope you found this lesson interesting.

If you’d like to learn more words in Japanese, how about learning Japanese greetings next? You’ll impress your Japanese friends, for sure!

Let’s go and learn!

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