Japanese Numbers // Your Complete Guide (With Quiz Included)

Learn How To Count in Japanese 🔢 Your Guide to Japanese Numbers

Once you have learned the three Japanese alphabets, your next challenge is to learn Japanese numbers!

Japanese Numbers

DO NOT WORRY – learning Japanese numbers is not so difficult. Learning the numbers in Japanese can also open up some unexpected doors.

DID YOU KNOW – when you’ve learned the Japanese numbers you essentially know the months of the year in Japanese!

Unlike in English where each month is a completely different word, in Japanese months follow the numbers from 1 to 12, with an additional word to denote the month at the end.

Anyway we’ll reveal more about that later on!

Japanese Numbers – AN IMPORTANT NOTE TO START

Japanese Numbers – 1-10

Japanese Numbers – 11-20

Japanese Numbers – 21-100

Japanese Numbers – Above 100

Japanese Numbers – Above 1,000

Japanese Numbers – Months in Japanese

BONUS FREEBIE – FREE QUIZ

Japanese Numbers – FAQ’s

Japanese Numbers – AN IMPORTANT NOTE

First of all, you should know that there are two ways to write number in Japanese.

Of course, the numbers you know and love already are the most typical. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and so on!

HOWEVER – there are also Kanji (一, 二, 三…) that are applicable for every number.

So essentially the number one can be written as 1 or 一 (think of when you write “one” out using the English alphabet – that’s the same as using Kanji!

While standard numbers are basically used to count something, like “100円” (hyaku-en = 100yen) and “5歳” (go-sai = 5 years old), Kanji numbers are used mainly for nouns and idioms that include numbers partly, like “四国” (shi-koku = one of the regions in western Japan) and “一部” (ichi-bu = a part).

In addition, in terms of big numbers, Kanji numbers are so convenient.

Why?

Think about when you want to write a big number like ONE BILLION, that would be 1,000,000,000. That’s a lot of zeroes!

Instead you can write 10億 / 十億. That’s much easier right?!

In Kanji you can save your energy and forget about writing lots of long numbers.

Anyway big numbers are coming later. For now let’s focus on the basics of Japanese numbers.

Japanese Numbers – 1 to 10

Here are the Japanese numbers from 1-10.

DID YOU KNOW – if you already know Mandarin Chinese, the numbers in Kanji are EXACTLY the same. Lucky you!

Just remember the pronunciation differs across both languages (apart from the number 3 which is the same)!

NumberKanjiPronunciation
0rei, zero, maru
1ichi
2ni
3san
4shi / yon
5go
6roku
7shichi / nana
8hachi
9kyuu / ku
10juu

As you see, some of them have multiple pronunciations.

In some situations, either one is correct, but in many situations, only one of them is applicable. We’ll come to that more shortly.

The best way to remember those correctly is… to practice, practice, and practice. 

Those second pronunciations were created because of “avoided words” that sound like something unfortunate.

For example originally, 4 was pronounced as (shi).

However, there is another word in Japanese that is 死 (shi).

This word means death, very similar to Chinese.  7 (shichi) also sounds similar to death, and 9 (ku) sounds like 苦 (ku) that means suffering.

Therefore, people preferred to use an alternate pronunciation.

Usually people do not hesitate to pronounce those avoided numbers, but still, most hotels and apartments in Japan do not have room numbers ending with 4 and 9 because of that traditional reason.

Learn Japanese Online

Japanese Numbers – 11 to 20

Now let’s start to see the patterns developing within the Japanese numbers. You’ll discover it’s not all that hard at all.

There are no teens in Japanese like in English so 11-20 is very similar to 1-10.

Here is 11-20 in Japanese.

NumberKanjiPronunciation
11十一juu-ichi
12十二juu-ni
13十三juu-san
14十四juu-shi / juu-yon
15十五juu-go
16十六juu-roku
17十七juu-shichi / juu-nana
18十八juu-hachi
19十九juu-ku / juu-kyuu
20二十ni-juu

Japanese Numbers – 21 to 100

All the way up to 100, the story remains similar. Once you know 1-10 in Japanese numbers, the rest is rinse and repeat.

Here are the Japanese numbers from 21-100.

IMPORTANT – you’ll have noticed the numbers 4, 7 and 9 have two different pronunciations. Which should you use when counting?

  • 4 | yon takes preference
  • 7 | nana takes preference
  • 9 | kyuu takes preference
NumberKanjiPronunciation
21二十一ni-juu-ichi
22二十二ni-juu-ni
23二十三ni-juu-san
24二十四ni-juu-shi / ni-juu-yon
25二十五ni-juu-go
26二十六ni-juu-roku
27二十七ni-juu-shichi / ni-juu-nana
28二十八ni-juu-hachi
29二十九ni-juu-ku / ni-juu-kyuu
30三十san-juu
31三十一san-juu-ichi
32三十二san-juu-ni
33三十三san-juu-san
34三十四san-juu-shi / san-juu-yon
35三十五san-juu-go
36三十六san-juu-roku
37三十七san-juu-shichi / san-juu-nana
38三十八san-juu-hachi
39三十九san-juu-ku / san-juu-kyuu
40四十shi-juu / yon-juu
41四十一yon-juu-ichi
42四十二yon-juu-ni
43四十三yon-juu-san
44四十四yon-juu-yon
45四十五yon-juu-go
46四十六yon-juu-roku
47四十七yon-juu-shichi / yon-juu-nana
48四十八yon-juu-hachi
49四十九yon-juu-ku / yon-juu-kyuu
50五十go-juu
51五十一go-juu-ichi
52五十二go-juu-ni
53五十三go-juu-san
54五十四go-juu-yon / go-juu-shi
55五十五go-juu-go
56五十六go-juu-roku
57五十七go-juu-shichi / go-juu-nana
58五十八go-juu-hachi
59五十九go-juu-ku / go-juu-kyuu
60六十roku-juu
61六十一roku-juu-ichi
62六十二roku-juu-ni
63六十三roku-juu-san
64六十四roku-juu-yon / roku-juu-shi
65六十五roku-juu-go
66六十六roku-juu-roku
67六十七roku-juu-shichi / roku-juu-nana
68六十八roku-juu-hachi
69六十九roku-juu-ku / roku-juu-kyuu
70七十shichi-juu / nana-juu
71七十一nana-juu-ichi
72七十二nana-juu-ni
73七十三nana-juu-san
74七十四nana-juu-yon / nana-juu-shi
75七十五nana-juu-go
76七十六nana-juu-roku
77七十七nana-juu-nana
78七十八nana-juu-hachi
79七十九nana-juu-ku / nana-juu-kyuu
80八十hachi-juu
81八十一hachi-juu-ichi
82八十二hachi-juu-ni
83八十三hachi-juu-san
84八十四hachi-juu-yon / hachi-juu-shi
85八十五hachi-juu-go
86八十六hachi-juu-roku
87八十七hachi-juu-nana / hachi-juu-shichi
88八十八hachi-juu-hachi
89八十九hachi-juu-ku / hachi-juu-kyuu
90九十kyuu-juu
91九十一kyuu-juu-ichi
92九十二kyuu-juu-ni
93九十三kyuu-juu-san
94九十四kyuu-juu-yon / kyuu-juu-shi
95九十五kyuu-juu-go
96九十六kyuu-juu-roku
97九十七kyuu-juu-nana / kyuu-juu-shichi
98九十八kyuu-juu-hachi
99九十九kyuu-juu-ku / kyuu-juu-kyuu
100hyaku
Learn Japanese Numbers

So you can see Japanese numbers from 1-100 really are not too hard.

You just need your first number, the multiple of ten, then the singular number all pushed together!

Even with bigger numbers in Japanese, it’s not all that bad either.

We’ll come to that shortly.

Japanese Numbers – Above 100

The theme is very much the same and not too taxing.

There are just a few pronunciation differentials to be aware of now, but otherwise you can continue to build Japanese numbers very easily, even over 100.

NumberKanjiPronunciation
101百一hyaku-ichi
110百十hyaku-juu
111百十一hyaku-juu-ichi
120百二十hyaku-ni-juu
130百三十hyaku-san-juu
200二百ni-hyaku
300三百san-byaku
400四百yon-hyaku
500五百go-hyaku
600六百ropp-yaku
700七百nana-hyaku
800八百happ-yaku
900九百kyuu-hyaku
1,000sen
Japanese Numbers

So we mentioned some slight kinks in the pronunciation above.

In the table we highlighted them for you but here is a summary:

  • 300 in Japanese would not read as san-hyaku, but san-byaku.
  • 600 in Japanese would not read as roku-hyaku but ropp-yaku.
  • 800 in Japanese would not read hachi-hyaku or shichi-hyaku but happ-yaku.

The idea is that pronunciation is a little easier this way. If you look at the incorrect versions, they are a little bit of a mouthful

How To Learn Katakana (カタカナ) // Essential Things To Know Thumbnail

How To Learn Katakana (カタカナ) // Essential Things To Know

How to Learn Katakana? | Katakana is one of Japanese’s three alphabets. Katakana are generally more angular looking than Hiragana and focuses on loanwords.

Japanese Numbers – Above 1,000

For those of you who love their numbers, we dedicate this section to you… as we go into the crazy realms of BIG JAPANESE NUMBERS!

We’ll be honest, most of us struggled with the English for some of these!

NumberKanjiPronunciation
1,001千一sen-ichi
1,100千百sen-hyaku
2,000二千ni-sen
10,000一万ichi-man
100,000十万juu-man
1,000,000百万hyaku-man
10,000,000千万sen-man
100,000,000一億ichi-oku
1,000,000,000 (One Billion)十億juu-oku
10,000,000,000 (Ten Billion)百億kyaku-oku
100,000,000,000 (A Hundred Billion)千億sen-oku
1,000,000,000,000 (A Trillion)一兆ic-chou
Big Japanese Numbers

I think you’ll never need to exceed a trillion in Japanese numbers but if you do, you certainly know the formula!

There are some important things to understand when numbers in Japanese get large though.

In Japanese, the way to divide numbers from 10,000 are a little bit different from in English.

EXAMPLE – Let’s take 10,000. In Japanese this is read as ichi-man.

What can we deduce from this?

One Trillion in Japanese
  • ichi means 1
  • man means 10,000

Now in English we say ten thousand – essentially ten of a thousand.

In Japanese however, the same with Chinese by the way, numbers are divided not by 3 commas per “measure word” but by four commas.

What do we mean by measure words? Look at it this way… In English we use:

  • Tens
  • Hundreds
  • Thousands
  • Millions etc

In Japanese though, we also have our own measure word for one ten thousand which is 万 (man).

This means when we read 10,000 it’s actually 1 man or ichi-man and not juu-sen (ten thousands). This doesn’t exist.

It might seem complex and rather odd at first but it’s really quite easy once you understand it and practice some examples.

FOR EXAMPLE – 100,000 in English is one hundred x thousands… but in Japanese because we have the 10,000 measure word 万 (man) we can use this and make the word juu-man (ten x ten thousands).

One million in English is read as a hundred ten thousands in Japanese… and so on.

NOTE – that doesn’t mean we write numbers with 4 comma spaces. As 3 comma spaces is the international standard, we still adhere to this in Japanese.

Japanese Numbers – Months in Japanese

Now whilst you’d think months and numbers wouldn’t be related in words (think most other languages, there is no relation). Yet oddly enough, in many Asian languages there is a clear correlation.

This is what makes things like months of the year in Japanese really easy to learn.

If you know 1-12 you inexplicably already know the months!

How? Let’s show you now.

First we need to teach you the word 月 gatsu which means month in Japanese.

Now we are ready:

MonthJapaneseCharacters
Januaryichi-gatsu一月
Februaryni-gatsu二月
Marchsan-gatsu三月
Aprilshi-gatsu四月
Maygo-gatsu五月
Juneroku-gatsu六月
Julyshichi-gatsu七月
Augusthachi-gatsu八月
Septemberku-gatsu九月
Octoberjuu-gatsu十月
Novemberjuuichi-gatsu十一月
Decemberjuuni-gatsu十二月

How easy is that? The months in Japanese are essentially the Japanese numbers 1-12 with gatsu added onto the end.

Whilst Japanese is undoubtably difficult for many westerners to learn it’s lessons like these which can make the mental challenge of the language feel far lighter.

There are many elements of Japanese that acquire this sort of logic.

Whilst we have drawn many comparisons to Chinese Mandarin so far today (the months again are the same in Mandarin) unfortunately the days of the week do not follow suit!

In Mandarin Chinese the days follow a similar pattern – using the numbers 1-7 and then adding on the word for day.

Interestingly in Japanese the elements are used (think water, fire and metal)…! It’s actually very intriguing to learn but that lesson is for another day!

DID YOU KNOW – Originally, Japanese also had unique names for every month like in English, but today most Japanese people do not use them at all. 


Even though the Japanese language is thought as one of the most difficult languages in the world, it is not in terms of numbers.

As long as you know the Japanese numbers, you can order at a restaurant and enjoy shopping even without using some other complicated phrases.

Learning Japanese numbers is a little step, that yields great rewards…

If numbers and Asian languages are your thing why not check out our super guide on Chinese numbers also, you’ll be surprised how much the two cross over.

Now it’s time to put you to the test!

Japanese Numbers – FREE QUIZ

Feeling brave enough to test out your Japanese number skills?

We’ve prepared a quick-fire 20 question quiz for you to try.

Don’t worry it’s super quick, every question is multiple choice, and results are instantly delivered on this page!

Can you nail the full 20? Good luck and share your results in the comments if you wish!

Welcome to your Japanese Numbers Quiz! Let's get going...

First Name
Email
What number is "ropp-yaku" in Japanese?

What is 十億?

What number is this 十一?

What is 100 in Japanese?

What is 50 in Japanese?

What is 10 in Japanese?

What number is this 三十五?

What is 50,000 in Japanese?

What is 5 in Japanese?

What is 5,000 in Japanese?

What is 1,000 in Japanese?

How do you pronounce 200 in Japanese?

What is 99 in Japanese?

How do you pronounce 100 in Japanese?

What is 1 in Japanese?

What number is this 八十四?

What is 0 in Japanese?

What number is this 二十?

What is 一兆?

What is 10,000 in Japanese?


If you love the wonderful world of numbers like we do, why not check out our guides on Chinese numbers, Korean numbers, Russian numbers and Vietnamese numbers also?

Japanese Numbers – FAQ’s

What is 1, 2, 3 in Japanese?

The written Kanji for 1, 2 and 3 in Japanese couldn’t be simpler! The pronunciation is in brackets

1 /一【ichi】

2/二【ni】

3/三【san】

Interestingly the numbers in Japanese mirror that of Chinese Mandarin.

Why do some Japanese numbers have two pronunciations?

Those second pronunciations were created because of “avoided words” that sound like something unfortunate.

For example originally, 4 was pronounced as【shi】.

However, there is another word in Japanese that is 死【shi】.

This word means death, very similar to Chinese.  7【shichi】also sounds similar, and 9【ku】sounds like 苦【ku】that means suffering.

Therefore, people preferred to use an alternate pronunciation.

Usually people do not hesitate to pronounce those avoided numbers, but still, most hotels and apartments in Japan do not have room numbers ending with 4 and 9 because of that traditional reason.

What is 100 in Japanese?

100 in Japanese is which is spoken as hyaku.

What is 10 in Japanese?

10 in Japanese is which is spoken as juu.

Are there any Japanese numbers with irregular pronunciation?

Not many but there are some to note which include:

300 in Japanese would not read as san-hyaku, but san-byaku.

600 in Japanese would not read as roku-hyaku but ropp-yaku.

800 in Japanese would not read hachi-hyaku or shichi-hyaku but happ-yaku.

What are the two ways of pronouncing the number 4 in Japanese?

The number four in Japanese can be spoken as shi or yon.

Generally if one takes a preference it’d be the latter, yon.

What are the two ways of pronouncing the number 7 in Japanese?

7 can be spoken as shichi or nana in Japanese.

nana takes preference generally.

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8 comments

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  1. Alisha
    Reply

    一 二 三

    so easy!

    1. Max Hobbs

      Right!!

  2. Gerard
    Reply

    That's a great guide. I got 100% in the quiz!!

    1. LTL Team HQ

      Wow, nailed it Gerard!

  3. Great guide, funny it's the same as Chinese with the Hanzi but spoken so differently

    1. Max Hobbs

      一二三四。。。!

  4. Big Tony
    Reply

    You accidentally put 500 down as "juu-ku / juu-kyuu"

    1. Marine Colliot

      Great spot, fixed!