Survival Japanese – shopping

Japan is one of the greatest (but expensive) places for shopping in the world. The mix of traditional and contemporary culture is fantastic and especially Tokyo offers so many shopping districts and high class malls. Since most shop clerks do not speak English it is very useful to know a few sentences in Japanese to get what you want.

With the exception of western Japan (Osaka) it is not common to negotiate prices. However, you can always try and as a foreigner you sometimes can get some discount.

English Romaji Furigana
How much is it? ikura desuka? いくらですか? いくらですか?
I will take this. kore kudasai. これください。 これ下さい。
Do you take credit cards? kaado de ii desuka? カードでいいですか? カードでいいですか?
Is there a bigger size? ookii no arimasuka? おおきいのありますか? 大きいのありますか?
Is there a smaller size? chiisai no arimasuka? ちいさいのありますか? 小さいのありますか?
Can I have a discount? waribiki onegai shimasu. わりびきおねがいします。 割引お願いします。

What are you looking for when you go shopping in Japan?


  1. How can I say: can I try this? ^O^

  2. Nicolas says:

    Alice, this is a very good question.

    shichaku dekimasuka?
    Can I try this (cloth) on?

    I will also add it into the post. Credit to Alice for pointing this out.

  3. Some good tips there 🙂

    Japan Australia

  4. Hi! I was wondering….How can I get the attention of the seller? For example if I want to ask for a bigger size I say: Sumimasen, shichaku dekimasuka? Is that ok or there’s another way?

  5. Sorry, I mean if i ask to try something on not a bigger size xD

  6. norcalgal4 says:

    How can I ask if I may return something I previously bought but do longer need or want – it’s too small, it’s the wrong size or thing, wrong color, etc? How would I say that I have the receipt? Thank you very much for your help. Happy New Year!

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