Ginza, Tokyo  

Some readers requested me to post some information about places of interest, happenings, etc in Japan instead of just Japanese Lessons. Thought about it and why not? So once in a while, I will post some information related to Japan in Japan Tour Guide Section

Ginza is Tokyo’s most famous upmarket shopping, dining and entertainment district, featuring numerous department stores, boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, night clubs and cafes.

One square meter of land in the district’s center is worth more than ten million yen (more than 100,000 US dollars), making it the most expensive real estate in Japan. It is where you can find the infamous $10 cups of coffee and where virtually every leading brand name in fashion and cosmetics has a presence.

From 1612 to 1800, today’s Ginza district was the site of a silver coin mint (Japanese: ginza), after which the district was eventually named. The Ginza evolved as an upmarket shopping district following the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake.

A visit to the Ginza is most pleasant on a weekend afternoon, when the central Chuo Dori gets closed to traffic and become a large pedestrian zone. At Ginza, it’s merely a Shopping Paradise and of course the price tag is heavy too.

Places of interest in Ginza : Ginza Wako, Sony Building & Kabukiza Theater

Time & Day  

Once you have master the pronunciation of Numbers that I have covered earlier, this section will be easy for you.

12.00 – Juuni ji
12.30 – Juuni ji han
12.45 – Juuni ji yonjuu go fun
Meaning : Ji (o’clock), Fun (Minute), Byou (Second)

1 minute – ippun
2 minute – nifun
3 minute – sanbun
4 minute – yonfun
5 minute – gofun
6 minute – roppun
7 minute – nanafun
8 minute – happun
9 minute – kyuufun
10 minute – juppun

On date, we use Nichi (Date aka Day), Getsu / Gatsu (Month), Nen (Year) & Youbi (Day). For Western, they use Month-Day-Year or Day-Month-Year but for Japanese, they use Year-Month-Day.
19th December 2005 – 2005 nen juuni gatsu juukyuu nichi desu

For Day (Youbi), Japanese uses Moon (mon), Fire (tue), Water (wed), Wood (thur), Gold (fri), Earth (sat) and Sun (sun).
Monday – Getsu youbi
Tuesday – Ka youbi
Wednesday – Sui youbi
Thursday – Moku youbi
Friday – Kin youbi
Saturday – Do youbi
Sunday – Nichi youbi

Day after Tomorrow – Asatte
Tomorrow – Ashita
Today – Kyou
Yesterday – Kinou
Day before Yesterday – Ototoi

This Week – Konshuu, This Month (Kon getsu)
Next Week – Raishuu, Next Month (Rai getsu)
Last Week – Senshuu, Last Month (Sen getsu)

Let’s go for some conversation lesson :
Today is Monday – Kyou wa getsu youbi desu
What time we / you are going? – Nanji ni ikimasu ka?
Go at 3 o’clock – Sanji ni ikimasu
When is our meeting? – Kaigi wa itsu shimasu ka?


Today, I will cover on the position of something.

The bank is next to the bookstore – Ginko wa honya no tonari ni arimasu
「ぎんこ は ほんや の となり に あります」

The Post Office is located between the pharmacy and clinic – Yuubinkyoku wa kusuriya to shinryoujo no aida ni arimasu
「ゆうびんきょく は くすりや と しんりょうじょ の あいだ に あります」

The bookstore is near the train station – Honya wa eki no soba ni arimasu
「ほんや は えき の そば に あります」

The Clinic is in front of the department store – Shinryoujo wa depa-to no mae ni arimasu
「しんりょうじょ は デパート の まえ に あります」

The department store is on the left side – Depa-to wa hidari gawa ni arimasu
「デパート は ひだりがわ に あります」

Other Direction
Right – Migi
Right Side – Migi gawa
Beside – Yoko
Opposite – Hantai
Opposite Direction – Hantai gawa
Behind – Ushiro

Question & Answer Conversation
Q : Where is the school? – Gakkou wa doko ni arimasu ka?
「がっこう は どこ に あります か」
A : The school is next to the post office – Gakkou wa yuubinkyoku no tonari ni arimasu
「がっこう は ゆうびんきょく の となり に あります」

Q : Is the Hotel located beside the station? – Hoteru wa eki no yoko ni arimasu ka?
「ホテル は えき の よこ に あります か」
A : Yes, it is beside the station. – Hai, yoko ni arimasu.
「はい、よこ に あります」
A : Iie, it is not beside the station. – Iie, yoko ni wa arimasen
「いいえ、よこ に は ありません」


The other day, I have posted a lesson on “Arimaus” where it is use for non living things. “Imasu” is use for living things such as human and animals. Remember, when you want to say “Is Tony around”, do not use “arimasu” (ie. Tony-san ga arimasu ka). If you use arimasu, that means Tony-san is not a living things 😀

Here’s some example on how to use “Imasu”
Q : Is Tony’s father around – Tony-san no otousan ga imasu ka? 「トニさん の おとうさん が います か」
A : Yes, he is around – Hai, Imasu (Positive) 「はい、います」
A : No, he is not around – Iie, Imasen (Negative) 「いいえ、いません」

Q : Is your dog at home? – Inu ga uchi ni imasu ka? 「いぬ が うち に います か」
A : Yes, it is at home – Hai, uchi ni Imasu 「はい、うち に います」

Q : Is your manager in the office? – Buchou ga jimusho ni imasu ka? 「ぶちょ が じむしょ に います か」
A : Yes, he / she is in the office – Hai, jimusho ni imasu 「はい、じむしょ に います」

Meaning : Inu (Dog), Buchou (Department Head), Jimusho (Office), Uchi (Home)

Other places
School – Gakkou 「がっこう(学校)」
Clinic – Shinryoujo 「しんりょうじょ(診療所)」
Classroom – Kyoushitsu 「きょうしつ(教室)」
Room – Heya 「へや(部屋)」
Meeting Room – Kaigishitsu 「かいぎしつ(会議室)」
Pharmacy – Kusuri Ya 「くすりや(薬屋)」
Cofee Shop – Kissaten 「きっさてん(喫茶店)」
Hotel – Hoteru 「ホテル」
Kitchen – Daidokoro 「だいどころ(台所)」
Park – Kooen 「こうえん(公園)」
Garden / Yard – Niwa 「にわ(庭)」
Roof – Yane 「やね(屋根)」
Bank – Ginkou 「ぎんこう(銀行)」
Police Stand – Kouban 「こうばん(交番)」
Greengrocer – Yao Ya 「やおや(八百屋)」
Fish Shop – Sakana Ya 「さかなや(魚屋)」
Book Store – Hon Ya 「ほんや(本屋)」
Department Store – Depa-to 「デパート」
Hospital – Byouin 「びょういん(病院)」
Company – Kaisha 「かいしゃ(会社)」
Train Station – Eki 「えき(駅)」
Theatre / Cinema – Eigakan 「えいがかん(映画館)」
Post Office – Yuubinkyoku 「ゆうびんきょく(郵便局)」
Motel (Japanese Style) – Ryokan 「りょかん(旅館)」

On, Under, In  

Today I will show you how to say “something in on something”

The book is on the table – Hon ga tsukue no ue ni arimasu
「ほん が つくえ の うえ に あります」

The pen is under the chair – Pen ga isu no shita ni arimasu
「ペン が いす の した に あります」

The pen is inside / in the drawer – Pen ga hikidashi no naka ni arimasu
「ペン が ひきだし の なか に あります」

Meaning : Tsukue (Table), Ue (up), Ue ni (on / on top), Isu (Chair), Shita (Down), Shita ni (under / at the bottom), Hikidashi (Drawer), Naka / Naka ni (Inside / In)

The particle “ni” is translated as “in, at, on”. It is also normally use for questions such as Where (direction), What (time), etc. For example :
Q : Where is my pen – Watashi no pen ga doko ni arimasu ka? 「わたし の ペン が どこ に あります か」
A : Your pen is in the drawer – Anata no pen ga hikidashi no naka ni arimasu. 
「あなた の ペン が ひきだし の なか に あります」


“Sorekara” can be translated as “And”, “Then”, “And Also”. Look at the examples below:

Q : Do you have books? – Hon ga arimasu ka? 「ほん が あります か」
A : Yes, I have books and also a dictionary. – Hai, hon ga arimasu, sorekara jisho mo arimasu. 「はい、ほん が あります。それから、じしょ も あります」
Meaning : Jisho (Dictionary), Mo (Too)

You can also use 2 “mo” in one sentence. Example :
Q : Do you have cheap TV? – Yasui terebi ga arimasu ka? 「やすい テレビ が あります か」
A : Yes, we have. And also good cameras as well as cheap telephones too – Hai, arimasu. Sorekara, ii kamera mo yasui denwa mo arimasu  「はい、あります。それから、いい カメラ も やすい でんわ も あります」
Meaning : Terebi (TV), Denwa (Telephone)

Another usage is :
Q : Do you have Sony’s Camera? – Soni kamera ga arimasu ka? 「ソニ カメラ が あります か」
A : Yes, we have Sony as well as Panasonic cameras – Hai, Soni kamera ga arimasu. Sorekara, Panasonikku kamera mo arimasu. 「はい、ソニ カメラ が あります。それから、パナソニック カメラ も あります」

To simplify the answer, we use :
A : Hai, Soni kamera ga arimasu. Sorekara, Panasonikku no mo arimasu.
「はい、ソニ カメラ が あります。それから、パナソニック の も あります」

As you know, “no” means “belongs to” something or someone. So without mentioning camera again in the sentence, we can use “no mo”.

Difference between “wa” and “ga”  

As promise, today I will explain one of the most confusing particles faced by most Japanese Learning Students.

1. Mr. Tony eats bread. – Toni-san wa pan o tabemasu.
2. Mr. Tony eats bread. – Pan wa Toni-san ga tabemasu.

The difference of the above two sentences is that (1) is talking about “Toni-san” and (2) is about “pan (bread)”. In another words, (1) is answering a question such as “What Toni-san eats?” and (2) such as “Who eat bread?”.

Either sentence does not necessarily need a question, but the main interest is “Toni-san” in (1), and “pan” in (2). The essential difference of (1) and (2) is the topic. The topic in (1) is “Toni-san”, and “pan” in (2).

The expression “Toni-san wa…” in (1) indicates that “Toni-san” is the topic, so the speaker is talking about or making question about “Toni-san”, and this is the function of “wa”. You can let the people know that you are talking about X by saying “X wa…”, and this function is called topic marker in the field of linguistics.

In other words, “wa” is a topic marker and “ga” is a subject marker.

Another example will be the combination of “wa” and “ga” in one sentences
Mr. Tony is staying in this house. Mr. Tony is a teacher.
Toni-san ga kono ie ni sunde imasu. Toni-san wa sensei desu.

In the above example, “Toni-san” is mentioned first as a “subject”. The second sentence is about “Toni-san” that is mentioned earlier and now “Toni-san” becomes a “topic”, “wa” is used instead of “ga.”

Almost all future lessons will be using “wa” and “ga”. So the more you read , the more you will understand. Stay Tune !!!


Today I will cover a new topic on “Arimasu (Have)”. When using “Arimasu”, the sentence will be a little different when translating them into English.

Here we go
Q : Do you have books? – Hon ga arimasu ka? 「ほん が あります か?」
A : Yes, I have books – Hai, hon ga arimasu 「はい、ほん が あります」

Notice that there isn’t any you (anata) or I (watashi) in the sentences when we use Japanese. This is because we are asking some one a question whether they have books or not. So Japanese will skip or in fact we cannot use the “Anata or Watashi” in the sentence. In English, it is a little funny if we skip the “You” and will end up something like “Have Books?”.

You may also notice the “ga” as all the lessons I have posted before are using “wa”. Many people who study Japanese confuse about the usage of “wa” and “ga” and I will explain on the proper usage of these 2 particles tomorrow.

Q : Do you have a camera? – Kamera ga arimasu ka? 「カメラ が あります か?」
A : No, I don’t have a camera. – Iie, kamera wa arimasen. 「いいえ、カメラ は ありません」

In the above example, you may notice the question is using “ga” and answer is “wa”. When a question word such as “who” and “what” is the subject of a sentence, it is always followed by “ga”, never by “wa”. To answer the question, it also has to be followed by “ga” if it is positive. If the answer is negative, then we must change the “ga” to “wa”.

Q : What do you have? – Nani ga arimasu ka? 「なに が あります か」
A : I have a ticket. – Kippu ga arimasu 「きっぷ が あります」
Meaning : Kamera (Camera), Nani (What), Kippu (Ticket)

Stay tune for tomorrow lesson on the use of “ga” and “wa” which is one of the most important and confusing particles use in Japanese Language.

How Much & Colors  

Today I will show you how to use “How Much” which will be commonly use when you visit Japan. I will also show you the pronunciation of each color.

Here we go :
Q : How much is this black shoe? – Kono kuroi kutsu wa ikura desu ka?
「この くろい くつ は いくら です か?」
A : This black shoe is 5,000 yen. – Kono kuroi kutsu wa gosen en desu.
「この くろい くつ は ごせん えん です」

Q : How much is that wallet? – Sono saifu wa ikura desu ka?
「その さいふ は いくら です か?」
A : Which wallet? – Dono saifu desu ka? 「どの さいふ です か?」
Q : The blue one. – Aoi no desu. 「あおい の です」
A : 3,000 yen. – Sansen en desu 「さんせん えん です」

A simple way of asking how much is point to the item and say
Q : How much? – Ikura desu ka? 「いくら です か?」
A : 4,000 yen – Yonsen en desu. 「よんせん えん です」

Meaning : Ikura (How Much), Kuroi (Black), Kutsu (Shoe), En (Yen), Aoi (Blue) , Saifu (Wallet)

Colors (Iro)
Red – Akai 「あかい」
White – Shiroi 「しろい」
Yellow – Kiiroi 「きいろい」
Brown – Chairoi 「ちゃいろい」
Green – Midori Iro 「みどりいろ」
Grey – Hai Iro 「はいいろ」
Purple – Murasaki Iro 「むらさきいろ」

For those colors which end with “i”, you may use “kuroi kutsu (black shoe)” but for those without ending with an “i”, you have to use “midori iro no kutsu (Green Shoe)”

Hope today’s lesson helps you buying something in Japanese shop.

This & That – Part 3  

We have learned “This is” & “That is” previously. Today I will show you another different way of using this & that.

If you follow what we have learned earlier, “This is” translated as “Kore wa” but what about “This car”. Can we use “Kore kuruma”? Of course not if you do not want the Japanese to laugh at you.

When we use “This car”, it’s no longer use “Kore” but to use “Kono”.

Q : Is this pencil long? – Kono enpitsu wa nagai desu ka? 
「この えんぴつ は ながい です か?」
A : Yes, this pencil is long. – Hai, kono enpitsu wa nagai desu. 
「はい、この えんぴつ は ながい です」

Q : Is that calculation difficult? – Sono keisan wa muzukashii desu ka? 
「その けいさん は むずかしい です か?」
A : No, that calculation is not difficult. – Iie, sono keisan wa muzukashiku arimasen.
「いいえ、その けいさん は むずかしく ありません」

Q : Is that small bag light? – Ano chiisai kaban wa karui desu ka?
「あの ちいさい かばん は かるい です か?」
A : Yes, that small bag is light. – Hai, ano chiisai kaban wa karui desu.
「はい、その ちいさい かばん は かるい です」

Q : Is that book interesting? – Sono hon wa omoshiroi desu ka?
「その ほん は おもしろい です か?」
A : Which book? – Dono hon desu ka?
「どの ほん です か?」
Q : This book – Kono hon desu.
「この ほん です」
A : This book is interesting – Kono hon wa omoshiroi desu.
「この ほん は おもしろい です」
Meaning : Enpitsu (Pencil), Nagai (Long), Kono Enpitsu (This Pencil), Keisan (Calculation), Muzukashii (Difficult), Chiisai (Small), Kaban (Bag), Karui (Light Weight), Omoshiroi (Interesting)

Kore – Kono (This)
Sore – Sono (That)
Are – Ano (That – very far)
Dore – Dono (Which)

Stay Tune !!! More to come.

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