Japanese Place - Difference between Basho and Tokoro

Both the words basho [場所] and tokoro [所] are nouns and both mean place. Is there a difference between these two words? When to use each one? Are there similar words? We will answer these and other Japanese questions in this article.

There are several situations where it doesn't matter which of the two words you use in the sentence. There are also other Japanese words that mean place. Before we understand the differences between basho and tokoro I wanted to quote them quickly:

位置 - Ichi means place, situation, position and location. This word is often used to refer to the location on a map, the position of some country or something like that.

余地 - Yochi it can also refer to a place or quart, but its use usually indicates a space, margin, or scope. For example, you can use yochi when does it mean they don't exist excuses for your delay.

Understanding the meaning of Basho [場所]

Basho is a Chinese word [場所] that also uses the character of tokoro. This word is usually more specific and concrete than tokoro [所] which is a Japanese word. Basho can be used for place, location, position, room and space.

Basho is often used to show the exact location. For example:

Jiko ga okita basho
accident site

Basho can be used to talk about a construction site, a movie location, and many other examples.

We also find situations where the BA [場] finds himself alone. This ideogram alone can refer to a situation, placement, scene, session, round, field and other situations.

Japanese place - what's the difference between basho and tokoro?
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Understanding the meaning of Tokoro [所]

already the word Tokoro [所] is often much broader than basho. Tokoro may refer to a place, scene, address, area, locality, district, house, point, aspect, facet, passage, part, space, thing, issue, and others.

Tokoro can refer to a physical location just like basho, but is often used abstractly. For example, you can use tokoro to refer to a piece of lyrics in a song. See some examples:

Kono uta no tokoro ga ichiban sukito omoimasu.
I like that part of the song, it's the best!
Koko ga mottomo jūyōna tokoroda
That's the most important part
Tokoro kawaredo hito kawarazu
No matter where you go, people don't change;

Tokoro has several other interesting functions, see some combinations with particles:

  • Tokoroga [所が] – It means even so, however, still, even if, on the contrary, in fact, despite ..;
  • Tokorode [所で] – It means by the way, incidentally or it doesn't matter (where, when, why, how).
  • Tokoroka [所か] – Means far from, nothing, leave it alone, not talking about…
  • Issho [一所] – Means a place, same place, a person and together (archaic version of [一緒]).

Simply put basho is literally a place and tokoro it is literally a place. Just don't consider this previous sentence as something absolute. Japanese is simple but sometimes full of confusing things, just living and using it everyday to make sense.

Words Related to Basho and Tokoro

To end the article, I will share a list of words related to places in Japanese. The list below contains words related to the place ideograms [場] and [所]. Perhaps these words will help you to understand the differences!

Hope you enjoyed the article. Thanks for the comments and shares...

Responsive Table: Scroll the table sideways with your finger >>
Here and there, various placestokorodokoro所々
income, salaryshotoku所得
view, opinionshock所見
case, situationbaai場合
off sitejyougai場外

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