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12 Simple Japanese Phrases For Supermarkets And Convenience Stores

12 Simple Japanese Phrases For Supermarkets And Convenience Stores

2018.12.10 Bookmark

Supermarkets and convenience stores sell food, daily essentials, and souvenirs! Here are twelve Japanese phrases that you'll find helpful when shopping!

Translated by Lester Somera

Written by Kobayashi

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Go Shopping! Visit A Supermarket or Convenience Store

Supermarkets and convenience stores are very handy for when you've forgotten something, are feeling hungry, and if you want to buy some souvenirs. However, it may be difficult at times to find what you’re looking for or to figure out the price of an item. You may also encounter other problems.

We’ve compiled 12 Japanese phrases to use to communicate with store employees during these moments! These phrases are presented in order of how often customers use them, and we hope you try them for yourself.

*For help with the pronunciation in brackets, read Japanese Pronunciation and Polite Speech.

General Expressions

1. ”◯◯ wa doko desu ka?”

[◯◯wa dokodeska]

This means “Where is ◯◯?” Use this to find the item you’re looking for.

Example
“Nominono wa doko desu ka?”
[nomimonowa dokodeska]

“Where are the drinks?”

“Okashi wa doko desu ka?”
[okashiwa dokodeska]

“Where are the sweets?”

2. “◯ko hoshii desu.”

[◯ko hoshi:des]

Use this phrase to explain how many of something you want. You can also use this at restaurants and other places. The counter words are as follows.

1- Ikko [ikko], 2 - Nikko [niko], 3 - Sanko [sanko], 4 - Yonko [yonko], 5 - Goko [goko]

Example
“Goko hoshii desu.”
[goko hoshi:des]

“I’d like five.”

3. “Ikura desu ka?”

[ikuradeska]

“How much (is this)?”

Use this phrase to ask about prices. You can use this in many situations, so it’s a convenient phrase to remember.

4. “Kaado wa tsukaemasu ka?”

[ka:dowa tsukaemaska]

“Can I pay by card?”

Use this to ask if you can use your credit or debit card. You can pay by card at many supermarkets and convenience stores in Japan. However, you may not be able to do so at privately owned stores, so we recommend you confirm this by asking the cashier.

Practical Expressions: Asking for More Information

5. “O-susume wa arimasu ka?”

[osusumewa arimaska]

If you’re at a restaurant or store for the first time, you can use this phrase to ask the employees for their recommendation.

6. “Ninki wa dore desu ka?”

[ninkiwa doredeska]


“Which item is popular?”

If you’re trying to decide between items when shopping, use this phrase. You can be confident with your purchase knowing other customers like it as well.

7. “Chigau shurui arimasu ka?”

[chigau shuruiwa arimaska]

“Is there another type (of this item) available?”

Use this phrase if you want something that’s not openly displayed in the store.

8. “Chiisai / ookii saizu wa arimasu ka?”

[chi:saisaizuwa arimaska]

“Do you have a smaller size?”

[o:ki:saizuwa arimaska]

“Do you have a bigger size?”

Use this to check if the shop has a smaller or larger size of item available.

9. “ATM wa arimasu ka?”

[ATM wa arimaska]

“Is there an ATM?”

Use this phrase to find out if there is an ATM on the store premises.

Expressions You Can Use at the Register

10. “〇〇 kudasai.”

[〇〇 kudasai]
“〇〇, please.”

You should receive chopsticks, a spoon, a fork, a straw, or other utensils for free when you make a food or drink purchase. However, if you don’t receive what you need, use this phrase to ask.

Example
“Ohashi kudasai.”
[ohashikudasai]

“Chopsticks, please.”

“Oshibori kudasai.”
[oshiborikudasai]

“A hand wipe, please.”

11. “O-yu wa arimasu ka?”

[oyuwa arimaska]

“Do you have hot water?”

Use this phrase when you buy instant ramen, miso soup, or other food items that need to be rehydrated.

12. “Atatamete kudasai.”

[atatamete kudasai]

If you buy something like a bento box, use this phrase to ask the employee to warm it up for you. Depending on where you are, some stores will have microwaves available, and employees may ask you to warm up your food yourself. However, you can use this phrase if you don't know how to use the microwave.

Review

Can you remember what each phrase means?

1. “Nomimono wa doko desu ka?”
[nomimonowa dokodeska]

2. “Goko hoshii desu.”
[goko hoshi:des]

3. “Ikura desu ka?”
[ikuradeska]

4. “Kaado wa tsukaemasu ka?”
[ka:dowa tsukaemaska]

5. “O-susume wa arimasu ka?”
[osusumewa arimaska]

6. “Ninki wa dore desu ka?”
[ninkiwa doredeska]

7. “Chigau shurui wa arimasu ka?”
[chigaushuruiwa arimaska]

8. “Chiisai / ookii saizu wa arimasu ka?”
[chi:sai/o:ki:saizuwa arimaska]

9. “ATM wa arimasu ka?”
[ATMwa arimaska]

10. “Ohashi (supu-n / fo-ku / sutoro-) kudasai.”
[ohashi/supu:n/fo:ku/sutoro: kudasai]

11. “O-yu wa arimasu ka?”
[oyuwa arimaska]

12. “Atatamete kudasai.”
[atatamete kudasai]

Was this article helpful? Use the 12 phrases you’ve learned and have fun shopping at convenience stores and supermarkets.

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.

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