Japanese cardinal points, directions and locations

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Have you ever wondered how you speak north, south, east and west in the Japanese language? In this article, you will increase your Japanese vocabulary, knowing the directions, cardinal and relative points. Japanese direction is called houkou [方向].

Cardinal directions and points in Japanese

Northきた / ほくkita / hoku
(N) eastひがしhigashi
(N) South, Proceeding south (P)みなみminami
(N) west西にしnishi
northeast (Direction)北東ほくとうhokutou
Northeast (Region)東北とうほくtōhoku
northwest (Direction)北西ほくせいhokusei
northwest (Region)西北せいほくseihoku
southeast (Direction)南東 なんとうnantou
southeast (Region)東南とうなんtounan
southwest (Direction)南西 なんせいI didn't
southwest (Region)西南せいなんseinan

You may also be interested in reading about the regions of Japan. Learning the regions of Japan will help you not to be lost when looking for some direction. For example, we have Hokkaido, a region that is north of Japan.


  • Kitamuki [北向き] - Facing north;
  • Kitakaze [北風] - North wind;
  • Kitanihon [北日本] - Northern Japan;

He also noted that to change a direction for region just flip the kanji.

Cardinal points, directions and locations in Japanese

Relative Directions and Locations 

Below we will study the directions in Japanese like left and right and some relative locations like corners, inside outside and others. You may also be interested in reading about japanese numbers.

(A) to the leftひだり hidari
(On the rightみぎ migi
aboveうえ huh
lowした shita
top left左上ひだりうえ hidariue
bottom left左下ひだりした hidarishita
top right corner右上みぎうえ migiue
bottom right右下みぎした migishita
fowardまえ mother
back後ろうしろ ushiru
In a straight line真っ直ぐまっすぐ massugu
verticalたて tate
horizontal / Side / Sideよこ Yoko
diagonal斜めななめ naname
4 Directions東西南北とうざいなんぼく touzainanboku
Close近くちかく chikaku
Far遠いとおい tooi
Far離れて はなれて hanarete
Next, next 隣 となり Tonari
Next  そばに soba ni
Before, In front 前 まえ mother
After  あと Ato
Inside, in the middle なか naka
Among the間に あいだに aidani
Outside 外そと soto
Climb上がりあがり agari
Descent下りくだり kudari
Around まわり mawari

[真っ直ぐ] is usually written [真っすぐ];


  • Migite [右手 [- Right hand;
  • Nishikaigan [西海岸] - West coast;
  • Ienosoto [家の外] - Away from home;

Example sentences in Japanese

Below are some example sentences for you to study cardinal points and directions in Japanese:

It's straight.Massugu desu.ぐです.
This city is like thisSleep michi ni sotte itte kudasai.その 沿ってって さい.
Go right to reach the city.Machi o sotte massugu itte kudasai.沿ってって さい.
Please go to the city.Machi ni itte kudasai.ってさい.
Turn left.Hidari ni Magatte kudasai.がってさい.
Turn to the right.Migi ni Magatte kudasai.がってさい.
It is in front of the bank.Ginkou no mukai desu.銀行かいです.
It is next to the bank.Ginkou no tonari desu.銀行の隣です.
It is located on the opposite side.Hantai-gawa desu.反対側です.

Japanese Directions Videos

To conclude the article we will leave some videos that talk more about the cardinal points and directions In japanese.

I hope this article has helped you understand directions in Japanese. If you liked it don't forget to share and leave your comments.

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