The Days of the Month in Japanese

When making plans or discussing future events in Japanese, the ability to say the days of the month is a necessity. These days of the month can be tricky, but we’ll break it down step-by-step so you can learn them as easily as possible.  Before we break all of the days down, let’s look at all of the days of the month in Japanese. Also, check out our days of the week lesson if you want to learn more!

1st
一日
ついたち
(tsuitachi)
2nd
二日
ふつか
(futsuka)
3rd
三日
みっか
(mikka)
4th
四日
よっか
(yokka)
5th
五日
いつか
(itsuka)
6th
六日
むいか
(muika)
7th
七日
なのか
(nanoka)
8th
八日
ようか
(yōka)
9th
九日
ここのか
(kokonoka)
10th
十日
とおか
(tōka)
11th
十一日
じゅういちにち
(jū ichi nichi)
12th
十二日
じゅうににち
(jū ni nichi)
13th
十三日
じゅうさんにち
(jū san nichi)
14th
十四日
じゅうよっか
(jū yokka)
15th
十五日
じゅうごにち
(jū go nichi)
16th
十六日
じゅうろくにち
(jū roku nichi)
17th
十七日
じゅうしちにち
(jū shichi nichi)
18th
十八日
じゅうはちにち
(jū hachi nichi)
19th
十九日
じゅうくにち
(jū ku nichi)
20th
二十日
はつか
(hatsuka)
21st
二十一日
にじゅういちにち
(ni jū ichi nichi)
22nd
二十二日
にじゅうににち
(ni jū ni nichi)
23rd
二十三日
にじゅうさんにち
(ni jū san nichi)
24th
二十四日
にじゅうよっか
(ni jū yokka)
25th
二十五日
にじゅうごにち
(ni jū go nichi)
26th
二十六日
にじゅうろくにち
(ni jū roku nichi)
27th
二十七日
にじゅうしちにち
(ni jū shichi nichi)
28th
二十八日
にじゅうはちにち
(ni jū hachi nichi)
29th
二十九日
にじゅうくにち
(ni jū ku nichi)
30th
三十日
さんじゅうにち
(san jū nichi)
31st
三十一日
さんじゅういちにち
(san jū ichi nichi)

Days 1-10

To start, let’s discuss the different ways to write the names of the 1st through the 10th in Japanese. Take a look at the table below for a breakdown of each day in kanji, hiragana, and romaji.             

 1st2nd3rd4th5th
Kanji一日二日三日四日五日
Hiraganaついたちふつかみっかよっかいつか
Romajitsuitachifutsukamikkayokkaitsuka
 6th7th8th9th10th
Kanji六日七日八日九日十日
Hiraganaむいかなのかようかここのかとおか
Romajimuikananokayōkakokonokatōka

The kanji used for the days of the month is very simple: as in English, the kanji for the number is used, followed by the kanji for day, 日 (にち, nichi). However, the reading of the kanji can follow different patterns.  

Let’s take a look at the reading for the first 10 days of the month. Except for the 1st, all of the names for the first 10 days of the month end in か (ka). 

In addition, these names use the Japanese names for numbers. The 1st is unique because it is the only day of the month that uses たち (tachi). This means that it needs to be memorized separately.

Days 11 – 20

While the first 10 days of the month follow the pattern above, the 11th onward follow a different pattern; take note of the difference when reading through the names.

 11th12th13th14th15th
Kanji十一日十二日十三日十四日十五日
Hiraganaじゅういちにちじゅうににちじゅうさんにちじゅうよっかじゅうごにち
Romajijū ichi nichijū ni nichijū san nichijū yokkajū go nichi
 16th17th18th19th20th
Kanji十六日十七日十八日十九日二十日
Hiraganaじゅうろくにちじゅうしちにち*じゅうはちにちじゅうくにちはつか
Romajijū roku nichijū shichi nichi*jū hachi nichijū ku nichihatsuka

*Note:  十七日 can also be read as じゅうななにち (jūnananichi). Some people do say this, but the more common (and more correct) reading is じゅうしちにち (jūshichinichi).  

Instead of the か ending in the first 10 days, the 11th through the 20th uses にち (nichi).  Nichi is one of the standard readings of the kanji “日.” However, as you may have noticed, there are two exceptions within these two days: the 14th and the 20th. 

The 14th follows the pattern of the first ten days of the month, ending in か rather than にち. In addition, while the 11th through the 13th and the 15th through the 19th use the Chinese names for the numbers, the 14th goes back to the Japanese reading, resulting in よっか.

The 20th is also a unique date because while it ends in か, it also uses a special reading of 二十, はつ (hatsu). 

Days 21 – 31

Lastly, we have the days of the month from the 21st through the 31st. Japanese months follow the same calendar as the international standard, so not all months have 31 days, but knowing how to say the 31st in Japanese is valuable. Take a look at the following table for each name’s breakdown.

 21st22nd23rd24th25th
Kanji二十一日二十二日二十三日二十四日二十五日
Hiraganaにじゅういちにちにじゅうににちにじゅうさんにちにじゅうよっかにじゅうごにち
Romajini jū ichi nichini jū ni nichini jū san nichini jū yokkani jū go nichi
 26th27th28th29th30th31st
Kanji二十六日二十七日二十八日二十九日三十日三十一日
Hiraganaにじゅうろくにちにじゅうしちにち**にじゅうはちにちにじゅうくにちさんじゅうにちさんじゅういちにち
Romajini jū roku nichini jū shichi nichi**ni jū hachi nichini jū ku nichisan jū nichisan jū ichi nichi

**Note:  二十七日 can also be read as にじゅうななにち (ni jū nana nichi), but にじゅうしちにち (ni jū shichi nichi) is more common and more “correct.”

Following the pattern of the 11th through the 20th, days 21 through 31 end in にち, with one exception; the 24th. As you may be able to guess, any day of the month ending in 4 will always use か instead of にち.

Using the Days of the Month in a Sentence

While the above tables break down the names of all the days of the month, let’s look at examples of how to use them in sentences. The following sentences show how to use the day of the month in a question and a response.

Example 1

The first example uses a day of the month in a question. Pay close attention to the particle used with this day.

十八日は予定がありませんか。
(jū hachi nichi wa yotei ga arimasen ka)
Do you have any plans on the 18th?

In this case, the day of the month, 十八日, is the subject, so the particle は (wa) is used as the subject marker. However, when the day of the month is not the subject of the sentence (and is a casual conversation), no particle can be used.

Example 2

五日、友達と一緒に海に行くよ。
(itsuka, tomodachi to issho ni umi ni iku yo)
On the fifth, I am going to the ocean with my friends.

Example 3

The days of the month can also be used to describe events related to time.

会社全体の会議は今月の二十日です。
(kaisha zentai no kaigi wa kongetsu no hatsuka desu)
The company-wide meeting is on the 20th of this month.

Knowing how to say the days of the month in Japanese can help you make plans, confirm events, and keep track of information the next time you’re in Japan. Remember to memorize the different patterns, and try them out next time you want to invite your friends to grab a coffee!

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