Japanese Shopping Phrases: Make Your Payment Smooth

Japan, a land of rich culture, captivating cuisine, and technological advancements, is also a haven for shopping enthusiasts. From bustling department stores to quaint local markets, Japan offers a diverse array of shopping experiences. However, for non-Japanese speakers, navigating the language of payments can be a daunting task. Fear not, as this comprehensive guide will equip you with essential Japanese payment phrases to enhance your shopping experience in the Land of the Rising Sun. We also have a mini quiz at the end of the blog to test your knowledge so make sure to scroll until the end!

Payment Methods and Corresponding Phrases

While there are many payment methods that you can use when shopping in Japan, the phrases that you can use to convey your payment method are very similar. The basic pattern is: (Payment method) de onegai shimasu (〜でお願いします). Below are the most common payment methods in Japan and their corresponding phrases that you can use!

Vocabulary Table

Word/PhrasePronunciationMeaning
Cash “Genkin” (現金)Money in the form of physical currency.
Credit Card“Kureditto kādo” (クレジットカード)A credit card, used for making purchases on credit.
Debit Card “Debitto kādo” (デビットカード)A debit card, used for making purchases with funds directly from a bank account.
IC Card“IC kādo” (ICカード)Cards equipped with integrated circuits, often used for contactless payments or transportation cards.
Suica“Suica” (スイカ)A popular IC card used for transportation and payments in Japan.
Pasmo“Pasumo” (パスモ)Another popular IC card used for transportation and payments in Japan.
Top-Up / Charge “Chāji” (チャージ)The act of adding credit or funds to an IC card or digital wallet.
Currency Exchange “Ryōgae” (両替)The process of exchanging one currency for another.
Receipt “Reshiito” (レシート)A document providing proof of a financial transaction.
Please (in a polite request)“Onegaishimasu” (お願いします)A polite phrase used to make requests or ask for something.
To Pay (in a polite context)”Shiharaimasu” (支払います)A polite phrase indicating the action of making a payment.

Cash (現金)

  • Genkin de onegai shimasu” (現金でお願いします)
    This phrase indicates that you want to pay with cash. It translates to “I will pay by cash.”

Credit and Debit Cards (クレジットカード/デビットカード)

  • Kādo de onegai shimasu” (カードでお願いします)
    This phrase indicates that you want to pay by credit card. It translates to “I will pay by (credit / debit) card.”
  • Kureditto kādo de shiharai masu” (クレジットカードで支払います)
    This phrase is another way to say “I will pay by credit card.”
  • Debitto kādo de shiharai masu” (デビットカードで支払います)
    This phrase is another way to say “I will pay by debit card.”

IC Cards (ICカード)

  • IC kādo de onegai shimasu” (ICカードでお願いします)
    This phrase indicates that you want to pay with an IC card. It translates to “I will pay using an IC card.”
  • Suica de onegai shimasu” (スイカでお願いします)
    This phrase is another way to say “I will pay using Suica.”
  • Pasumo de onegai shimasu” (パスモでお願いします)
    This phrase is another way to say “I will pay using PASMO.”

Additional Phrases for Payment Situations

  • Chāji o onegai shimasu” (チャージをお願いします)
    This phrase is used to request a top-up for your IC card or digital wallet. It translates to “Please top-up my card/wallet.”
  • Ryōgae o onegai shimasu” (両替をお願いします)
    This phrase is used to request currency exchange. It translates to “Please exchange my currency.”
  • Reshiito o onegai shimasu” (レシートをお願いします)
    This phrase is used to request a receipt. It translates to “Please give me a receipt.”

Tips for Navigating Payments in Japan

  • Learn the basic payment phrases in Japanese. This will help you communicate your payment intentions clearly and confidently.
  • Familiarize yourself with the different payment methods accepted in Japan. This will save you time and hassle when making payments.
  • Have a variety of payment options available. This will ensure that you can always make a payment, even if one method is not accepted.
  • Be patient and understanding. Not all cashiers or store personnel may be fluent in English, so be patient and understanding if there is any confusion.

A little preparation can go a long way in making your shopping experience in Japan smooth and enjoyable! By learning these basic Japanese payment phrases, you can navigate the shops and purchase confidently. So next time you’re in Japan, whether it’s a convenience store or a restaurant, you know how to make payments confidently! 

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Japanese Shopping Phrases

Let’s Test Your Ability!

How do you say “I’ll pay by card” when making a payment in Japanese?

(a) カードでお願いします (Kādo de onegaishimasu)

(b) 現金でお願いします (Genkin de onegaishimasu)

(c) パスモでお願いします (Pasumo de onegaishimasu)

The answer is (a).

Which phrase is used when making a payment with an IC card?

(a) カードでお願いします (Kādo de onegaishimasu)

(b) 現金でお願いします (Genkin de onegaishimasu)

(c) パスモでお願いします (Pasumo de onegaishimasu)

The answer is (c).

How do you say “I’ll pay by cash” when making a payment in Japanese?

(a) カードでお願いします (Kādo de onegaishimasu)

(b) 現金でお願いします (Genkin de onegaishimasu)

(c) パスモでお願いします (Pasumo de onegaishimasu)

The answer is (b).


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