e-Learning 4

How to say the Japanese calendar and numbers

Reference from the Japan Foundation

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There are many things that use numbers. Each one has a different way of saying it, so pay attention and learn along with me!

How to count numbers in Japanese

0 zero:ぜろ・れい zero・rei 
1 one:いち ichi
2 two:に ni
3 three:さん san
4 four:よん・し yon・shi
5 five:ご go
6 six:ろく roku
7 seven:なな・しち nana・sichi
8 eight:はち hachi
9 nine:きゅう・く kyuu・ku
10 ten:じゅう juu
11 eleven:じゅういち juuichi
12 twelve:じゅうに juuni
20 twenty:にじゅう nijuu
21 Twenty one:にじゅういち nijuichi
100 a hundred:ひゃく hyaku
1000 a thousand:せん sen
10000 ten thousand:まん man

Some numbers have two ways of saying the same thing

In Japanese, when counting the number of things The way of counting numbers changes.

one 一つ:ひとつ hitotsu
two 二つ:ふたつ futatsu
three 三つ:みっつ mittus
four 四つ:よっつ yottsu
five 五つ:いつつ itsutsu
six 六つ:むっつ muttsu
seven 七つ:ななつ nanatsu
eight 八つ:やっつ yattsu
nine 九つ:ここのつ kokonotsu
ten 十:とお tou

How to say your age

Now let’s move on to saying your age!
The year is expressed as “-sai (歳)”.

1 year old 1歳:いっさい (×いちさい) issai
2 years old 2歳:にさい nisai
3 years old 3歳:さんさい sansai
4 years old 4歳:よんさい (×しさい) yonsai
5 years old 5歳:ごさい gosai
6 years old 6歳:ろくさい rokusai
7 years old 7歳:ななさい (×しちさい) nanasai
8 years old 8歳:はっさい (×はちさい) hassai
9 years old 9歳:きゅうさい(×くさい)kyusai
10 years old 10歳:じゅっさい(×じゅうさい)jussai
11 years old 11歳:じゅういっさい juuissai
12 years old 12歳:じゅうにさい juunisai
20 years old 20歳:はたち・にじゅっさい hatachi・nijussai
21 years old 21歳:にじゅういっさい nijuuissai

In Japan, the special term “hatachi” is used because it was defined as the age of adulthood at 20.”
From April 2022, the age of 18 has been changed to the age of adulthood.

Let’s learn how to say dates!

Year is “~nen”.
Month is “~gatsu”.
Hi is “~nichi” Day is “~nichi

一月     いちがつ     ichi gatsu     January
二月     にがつ     ni gatsu     February
三月     さんがつ     san gatsu     March
四月 しがつ shi gatsu    April
五月 ごがつ    go gatsu May
六月 ろくがつ    roku gatsu    June

七月 しちがつ shichi gatsu    July
八月 はちがつ hati gatu    August
九月 くがつ ku gatsu    September
十月 じゅうがつ juu gatsu    October
十一月 じゅういちがつ juuichi gatsu    November
十二月 じゅうにがつ juuni gatsu    December

The day will be said in a different way.

Day 1 1日:ついたち tuitachi
2nd 2日:ふつか futsuka
3rd 3日:みっか mikka
4th 4日:よっか yokka
5th 5日:いつか itsuka
6th 6日:むいか muika
7th 7日:なのか nanoka
8th 8日:ようか youka
9th 9日:ここのか kokonoka
10th 10日:とおか touka
11th 11日:じゅういちにち juuichinichi
12th 12日:じゅうににち juuninichi
13th 13日:じゅうさんにち juusannichi
14th 14日:じゅうよっか juuyokka
15th 15日:じゅうごにち juugonichi
16th 16日:じゅうろくにち juurokunichi
17th 17日:じゅうななにち・じゅうしちにち juunananichi・juushichinichi
18th 18日:じゅうはちにち juuhachinichi
19th 19日:じゅうくにち juukunichi
20th 20日:はつか hatsuka
21st 21日:にじゅういちにち nijuuichinichi
It’s hard, but we’ll learn it together!

How to say day and year

Japanese days of the week don’t follow such an easy pattern, but here they are anyway, along with some other time-related words.

今日     きょう     kyou     Today

明日     あした     ashita     Tomorrow
昨日     きのう     kinou     Yesterday
一昨日  おととい ototoi     The day before yesterday
明後日   あさって asatte     The day after tomorrow
今朝     けさ      kesa       This morning
今晩     こんばん  konban  This evening
今      いま         ima        Now
今年 ことし kotoshi  This year
去年 きょねん kyonen Last year
来年 らいねん Rainen  Next year
再来年 さらいねん Sarainen   year after next

How to say time

Time is said using “~hour (ji)” and “~minute (fn/pun)”.

1 o’clock 1時:いちじ ichiji
2 o’clock 2時:にじ niji
3 o’clock 3時:さんじ sanji

4 o’clock 4時:よじ yoji
5 o’clock 5時:ごじ goji
6 o’clock 6時:ろくじ rokuji
7 o’clock 7時:しちじ shichiji
8 o’clock 8時:はちじ hachiji
9 o’clock 9時:くじ kuji
10 o’clock 10時:じゅうじ juuji

Note that only 4:00 and 9:00 are said differently.

1 minute 1分:いっぷん ippun
2 minutes 2分:にふん nifun
3 minutes 3分:さんぷん sanfun
4 minutes 4分:よんぷん yonfun
5 minutes 5分:ごふん gofun
6 minutes 6分:ろっぷん roppun
7 minutes 7分:ななふん nanafun
8 minutes 8分:はっぷん happun
9 minutes 9分:きゅうふん kyufun
10 minutes 10分:じゅっぷん・じっぷん juppun・jippun
11 minutes 11分:じゅういっぷん juuippun
30 minutes 30分:はん・さんじゅっぷん han・sanjuppun

A half hour is called “han”.
For example, 4:30 is called “yoji-han”.


Discover the richness of the Japanese language and immerse yourself in the tapestry of Japanese culture. Our e-learning platform offers learners at all levels, from school to university, an unparalleled opportunity to explore unique aspects of Japan’s international appeal through our meticulously curated courses. Whether you are a language enthusiast seeking to deepen your understanding, an international student preparing to live in Japan, or simply curious about the rhythms of Japanese life, our materials are customized to your needs.

Our detailed explanations of how to read and understand the Japanese calendar will help you get in touch with the essence of Japanese traditions. Informative and free to access, our content is designed to enhance the learning experience, making mastery of these concepts as engaging as it is informative. From traditional festivals to contemporary applications, our courses bridge the gap between culture and education and provide a unique perspective on Japanese society.


Just put the character for “moon month” after the number of the month, and you have the name of each month.


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In Japan, the lunar calendar was used until 1872.

The lunar calendar uses Japanese names for the seasons and events of the month, which are sometimes used in the current calendar.

List of the lunar calendar

一月:睦月(むつき) 仲睦まじい月


January: Mutsuki: The month of friendship
January is a time of many events as it marks the beginning of the year, and it is meant to be an opportunity to deepen friendship and get to know each other.

二月:如月(きさらぎ) 草木が発芽する月


February: Kisaragi: The month of budding plants and trees
“There is a theory that this is the month when plants and trees sprout, just like the birth of a child.

三月:弥生(やよい) 草木が生い茂る月


March: Yayoi: The month when plants and trees grow thickly
This is the time of year when plants and trees grow rapidly in spring.

四月:卯月(うづき) 卯の花の咲く月


April: Uzuki: The month when rabbit flowers bloom
It is said that it came from the “fourth month” because the zodiac rabbit came fourth.

五月:皐月(さつき) 稲の苗を作る早苗月


May: Satsuki: The month of early rice planting
This is the season for planting rice in honor of the god of rice fields.

六月:水無月(みなづき) 水が無くなる月


June:Minazuki: The month when there is no more water
This is the season when water is important for planting rice, and also the rainy season. There is a theory that this month comes from “Mizunazuki,” the month when there is no more water due to the drawing of water in the rice fields here and there, and also due to the severe heat.

七月:文月(ふみづき) 文を書く月


July: Fumiduki: The month of writing
This month is said to have originated from the time when people wrote poems and offered them to the gods, likening them to the stars Altair and Orihime.

八月:葉月(はづき) 葉っぱが美しい月


August: Haduki: A month of beautiful leaves
It is said that the name comes from the fact that this is the month when broad-leafed trees begin to change color and become more and more beautiful.

九月:長月(ながつき) 月が長く見られる月


September: Nagatsuki: The month when the moon can be seen for a long time
It is said that this is the month when autumn begins to deepen and the night becomes longer.

十月:神無月(かんなずき) 神がい無くなる月


October: Kannazuki: The month when the gods disappear
This month is said to be the month when the gods from all over the country gather in Izumo and the gods disappear from the land.

十一月:霜月(しもつき)  霜が降りる頃の月


November: Shimotsuki: The month when the frosts begin to fall.
It is said that this month represents the deepening of autumn and the onset of morning frost in some places.

十二月:師走(しわす) 師僧も走る多忙な月


December: Shiwasu: The busy month when even priests run
This is the time of year when everyone is busy and hectic, and even the priests who are standing tall and reading sutras are said to be so busy that they feel they have to run around.