Languages › Japanese Translation and Characters of the Japanese Word "Atari" Share Flipboard Email Print Ramberg/Getty Images Japanese Essential Japanese Vocabulary History & Culture Japanese Grammar By Namiko Abe Japanese Language Expert B.A., Kwansei Gakuin University Namiko Abe is a Japanese language teacher and translator, as well as a Japanese calligraphy expert. She has been a freelance writer for nearly 20 years. our editorial process Namiko Abe Updated April 04, 2019 You probably recognize the Japanese word atari, particularly if you grew up playing on the popular gaming system of the same name. But the word actually means "neighborhood", or "in the same vicinity as", or "the surroundings". Pronounced just as it is spelled, the context of the word helps to define its specific meaning. Japanese Characters あたり Example Atari niwa fukai kiri ga tachikometeita.あたりには深い霧が立ちこめていた。 Translation: A dense fog lay all around.