How To Say The Months And Days Of The Week In Japanese

01 October 2022
By Sarah Angela Almaden
Japanese Train

Unsplash: Alexander Schimmeck

Do you know what month it is right now? Do you also happen to know what day it is today?

Whatever month and day it is today, happy birthday! Even if today isn’t your birthday, it is still important to know how to tell the month and day of the week, because there’s always something special going on each month in Japan. If you think about it, January is associated with the Japanese New Year and the Coming of Age Ceremony. Then, March is associated with Hinamatsuri or Doll’s Festival. There’s also July which is associated with the Obon Festival and the Tanabata. October is known as the month of the Sports Festival. The list goes on and on, but you get the idea.

BTW, you can read about these different Japanese festivals with Beelinguapp while learning a new language. Get it now on Google Play or the App Store.

The way the days of the week are written in Japanese is not as scary as Sadako. So you can relax and take a few deep breaths. The days of the week vocabulary are all named after the elements of nature and they end in the word -youbi, pronounced as yoh-bee.

How To Write The Months

In order to write the months in Japanese, you must first write the number (1–12) corresponding to the month, and then the word -gatsu 月.

  • January would be 1月 ichi-gatsu
  • October would be 10 月 jû-gatsu
  • December would be 12 月 jûni-gatsu
January 一月 ( 1月 ) いちがつ(1 がつ) ichi-gatsu
February 二月 ( 2月 ) にがつ(2がつ) ni-gatsu
March 三月 ( 3月 ) さんがつ(3がつ) san-gatsu
April 四月 ( 4月 ) しがつ(4がつ) shi-gatsu
May 五月 ( 5月 ) ごがつ(5がつ) go-gatsu
June 六月 ( 6月 ) ろくがつ(6 がつ) roku-gatsu
July 七月 ( 7月 ) しちがつ(7 がつ) shi-chi-gatsu
August 八月 ( 8月 ) はちがつ(8 がつ) hachi-gatsu
September 九月 ( 9月 ) くがつ(9 がつ) ku-gatsu
October 十月 ( 10月 ) じゅうがつ(10 がつ) uu-gatsu
November 十一月 ( 11月 ) じゅういちがつ(11 がつ) juuichi-gatsu
December 十二月 ( 12月 ) じゅうにがつ(12 がつ) juuni-gatsu

How To Write The Days of the Week

In Japan, Saturdays are recognized as work days. The first day of the week always begins on a Sunday and it ends with the word -youbi 曜日.

  • Sunday would be 日曜日 (Kanji) and にちようび (Hiragana), aka nichiyoubi
  • Wednesday would be 水曜日 (Kanji) and すいようび (Hiragana), aka suiyoubi
  • Thursday would be 木曜日 (Kanji) and もくようび (Hiragana), aka mokuyoubi

Writing tip: The first kanji that refers to the day is more commonly written for the days of the week than the complete word.

  • 日曜日 (Sunday) can be written as 日
  • 月曜日 (Monday) can be written as 月
Days Of The Week
Element Name
Sunday 日曜日 にちようび nichiyoubi 日 (sun day)
Monday 月曜日 げつようび getsuyoubi 月 (moon day)
Tuesday 火曜日 かようび kayoubi 火 (fire day)
Wednesday 水曜日 すいようび suiyoubi 水 (water day)
Thursday 木曜日 もくようび mokuyoubi 木 (wood day)
Friday 金曜日 きんようび kinyoubi 金 (gold day)
Saturday 土曜日 どようび doyoubi 土 (earth day)

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