Languages › Japanese Japanese Vocabulary: Shopping and Prices Know how to ask "how much does this cost" before you shop Share Flipboard Email Print Japanese Japanese Grammar History & Culture Essential Japanese Vocabulary 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 January 27, 2019 Japanese department stores tend to be much bigger than their North American counterparts. Many of them have several floors, and shoppers can buy a wide variety of things there. Department stores used to be called "hyakkaten (百貨店）," but the term "depaato （デパート）" is more common today. Before you begin your shopping spree, be sure to familiarize yourself with the customs of Japanese shopping so you know what to expect. For instance, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization, there are very few circumstances where bargaining or haggling over a price is expected or even encouraged. Get to know when off-season prices are in effect so you're not paying top dollar (or yen) for something that may be on sale next week. And when you want to try on an item of clothing, it's customary to seek help from a store clerk before entering the dressing room. In Japan, department store clerks use very polite expressions when dealing with customers. Here are some expressions you are likely to hear in a Japanese department store. Irasshaimase.いらっしゃいませ。 Welcome. Nanika osagashi desu ka.何かお探しですか。 May I help you?(Literally means, "Are you looking for something?") Ikaga desu ka.いかがですか。 How do you like it? Kashikomarimashita.かしこまりました。 Certainly. Omatase itashimashita.お待たせいたしました。 Sorry to have kept you waiting. "Irasshaimase(いらっしゃいませ)" is a greeting to customers in stores or restaurants. It literally means "welcome." You, as the customer, are not expected to answer this greeting. Kore（これ）" means "this." Sore（それ） means "that." English has only "this" and "that, but Japanese has three separate indicators. Are（あれ） means "that over there." koreこれ something near the speaker sore それ something near the person spoken to areあれ something not near either person To reply to a "what" question, simply substitute the answer for "nan(何)". Just remember to change "kore（これ）," "sore（それ）" or "are（あれ）" depending on where the object is in relation to you. Don't forget to take the "ka（か）" (question marker) off. Q. Kore wa nan desu ka. (これは何ですか。) A. Sore wa obi desu. (それは帯です。) "Ikura（いくら）" means "how much." Useful Expressions for Shopping Kore wa ikura desu ka.これはいくらですか。 How much is this? Mite mo ii desu ka.見てもいいですか。 Can I look at it? ~ wa doko ni arimasu ka.～はどこにありますか。 Where is ~? ~ (ga) arimasu ka.～ (が) ありますか。 Do you have ~? ~ o misete kudasai.～を見せてください。 Please show me ~. Kore ni shimasu.これにします。 I'll take it. Miteiru dake desu.見ているだけです。 I'm just looking. Japanese Numbers It's also very useful to know Japanese numbers when shopping in a department store or anywhere else for that matter. Tourists in Japan should also take care to know what the current exchange rates are, in order to have a clear picture of how much things cost in dollars (or whatever your home currency is). 100 hyaku 百 1000 sen千 200 nihyaku 二百 2000 nisen二千 300 sanbyaku三百 3000 sanzen三千 400 yonhyaku 四百 4000 yonsen四千 500 gohyaku 五百 5000 gosen五千 600 roppyaku 六百 6000 rokusen六千 700 nanahyaku 七百 7000 nanasen七千 800 happyaku 八百 8000 hassen八千 900 kyuuhyaku 九百 9000 kyuusen九千 "Kudasai（ください）" means "please give me". This follows the particle "o" (object marker). Conversation in the Store Here's a sample conversation that might take place between a Japanese store clerk and a customer (in this case, named Paul). 店員: いらっしゃいませ。Store Clerk: May I help you?ポール: これは何ですか。Paul: What is this?店員: それは帯です。Store Clerk: That is an obiポール: いくらですか。Paul: How much is it? 店員: 五千円です。Store Clerk: It is 5000 yen.ポール: それはいくらですか。Paul: How much is that one?店員: 二千五百円です。Store Clerk: It is 2500 yen.ポール: じゃ、それをください。 Paul: Well then, please give me that one. Learn Basic Japanese Needed for Ordering at a Restaurant Umi no mizu wa naze karai - Learn from a Story Useful Japanese Expressions Expressions Used in Japanese Letters Japanese for Travelers: Getting Around Talking on the Phone Ordering at Fast-Food Restaurants With Basic Japanese Learn Difference Between Japanese Words "Kudasai" and "Onegaishimasu" Celebrating Father's Day in Japanese Culture How Do You Use the Japanese Verb "Te" Use These Useful Expressions When Shopping in Japan How to Say the Months, Days, and Seasons in Japanese Exams, Superstitions, and Kit Kat Bars What's the Meaning of 'nani' in Japanese? Japanese Tanabata Festival of the Stars Do You Know the Many Usages of "O" and "No" in Japanese?