Directions in Japanese – How to say Up, Down, Left and Right in Japanese?

Posted by on June 14, 2019 – Japanese Study

Do you know how to describe the position of something in Japanese using directions?

Today, you will learn 10 Japanese positioning words that describe where something is.

 

Contents:

Level 1: Above, Below, Left, Right

 

Directions in Japanese, image, photo, picture, illustration

Directions in Japanese

 

To describe the position of something or someone, you can use these 2 sentence patterns:

1. ~(noun)は~(noun)の~(position)にあります/います

(~ wa ~ no ~ ni arimasu/imasu) 

For example:

上: Above/on

Above in Japanese, image, photo, picture, illustration

Above in Japanese

かばんいすにあります

kabanwa isuno ueni arimasu

The bag is on the chair

下: Below/under

Below/Under in Japanese, image, photo, picture, illustration

Below/Under in Japanese

(き)のにいます

ikuwa kino shitani arimasu

The dog is under the tree.

2. ~(noun)の~(position)に~(noun)があります/います

(~ no ~ ni ~ ga arimasu/imasu)

For example:

左: Left 

Left in Japanese, image, photo, picture, illustration

Left in Japanese

ペン携帯(けいたい)があります

Penno hidarini keitaiga arimasu

There is a phone on the left side of the pen.

右: Right

Right in Japanese, image, photo, picture, illustration

Right in Japanese

私(わたし)先生(せんせい)がいます

Watashino migini senseiga imasu

There is a teacher on my right.

 

Level 2: inside, outside, behind, and in front of

 

Inside, Outside, Front and Back in Japanese, image, photo, picture, illustration

Inside, Outside, Front and Back in Japanese

Vocabulary list

Inside/in: 中 (なか naka )

Outside: 外 (そと soto)

In front: 前 (まえ mae)

Behind: 後ろ (うしろ ushiro)

You can also use the 2 sentence patterns above to form a sentence

For example

中: Inside

Inside in Japanese, image, photo, illustration, picture

Inside in Japanese

りんごはバスケットの中にあります。

Ringowa basukettono nakani arimasu

The apples are in the basket.

外: Outside

Outside in Japanese, image, photo, picture, illustration

Outside in Japanese

家(いえ)の外に自転車(じでんしゃ)があります。

Ieno sotoni jidenshaga arimasu

There is a bike outside my house.

前: In front

In Front in Japanese, image, photo, picture, illustration

In Front in Japanese

テレビの前にボールがあります。

Terebino maeni bouruga arimasu

There is a ball in front of the TV.

後ろ: Behind

Behind in Japanese, image, photo, picture, illustration

Behind in Japanese

子供(こども)の後ろ(うしろ)にねこがいます。

Kodomono ushironi nekoga imasu

There is a cat behind the kid.

Level 3: Beside, Nearby

 

The 3rd level of Japanese Position words are隣(となり tonari)  近く(ちかく chikaku)

隣 means “beside something” and 近くmeans “nearby something”

Let’s look at some example sentences.

隣(となり): Beside something

Beside in Japanese, image, photo, picture, illustration

Beside in Japanese

病院の隣にコンビニがあります。

Byouinno tonarini connbiniga arimasu

There is a convenience store beside the hospital.

 

近く: Nearby something

Nearby in Japanese, image, photo, picture, illustration

Nearby in Japanese

この近くに銀行があります。

Konochikakuni ginkouga arimasu

There is a bank nearby.

 

List of Vocabulary

 

Japanese  Pronunciation  Meaning
Ue Above/ on
Shita Below/ under
Hidari Left
Migi Right
Naka Inside
Soto Outside
Mae In Front of
後ろ Ushito Behind
Tonari Beside
近く Chikaku Nearby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now you know the 10 common Japanese positioning words, do you know how to ask for directions in Japanese?

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