How to Say Envelope in Japan: Formal and Informal Ways

Greetings! If you’re interested in finding out how to say “envelope” in Japan, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll explore both formal and informal ways to refer to this handy item. We’ll also provide you with some useful tips and examples along the way. So without further ado, let’s dive into the fascinating world of envelopes in Japanese culture!

Formal Ways to Say Envelope

When it comes to addressing envelopes in a formal context, Japanese has specific terminology. Here are two common ways to express this word formally:

  • 1. 封筒 (ふうとう) – This is the most common and generic term used for envelopes in Japan. It is used in both formal and informal settings.
  • 2. 便箋封筒 (びんせんふうとう) – This term refers to envelopes specifically designed to match stationery sets, often used for formal letters, invitations, or business correspondence.

Informal Ways to Say Envelope

For more casual situations or everyday conversations, there are a few informal alternatives to choose from. Here are some commonly used terms:

  • 1. 封 (ふう) – This is a shortened and more colloquial form of “封筒.” It’s commonly used amongst friends and peers.
  • 2. ぽち袋 (ぽちぶくろ) – This term refers to small envelopes often used for monetary gifts or donations. They are also known as “money envelopes.”

Additional Tips and Examples

Now that you’re familiar with the various ways to say “envelope” in Japanese, here are some helpful tips and examples to further enhance your understanding:


  • When addressing envelopes for business or formal occasions, it’s customary to write the recipient’s address vertically on the front side.
  • If you’re unsure about the appropriate way to address an envelope, it’s always safe to use 封筒 (ふうとう) as a general term.
  • Remember to be mindful of the different sizes and designs of envelopes, as the appropriate terminology may vary based on their purpose.


  • Formal Example: お世話になった方へのお礼の手紙を封筒に入れて送ります。(I will send a thank-you letter to the person who has taken care of me in an envelope.)
  • Informal Example: 今度の誕生日プレゼント、封を開けるのが楽しみだよ!(I’m looking forward to opening the envelope for your upcoming birthday present!)

“In Japanese culture, envelopes hold a significant role beyond their functional purpose. They symbolize respect, gratitude, and express a sense of formality in communication.”

While the terms mentioned above are commonly used throughout Japan, it’s important to note that regional variations may exist. For instance, some areas may have unique local dialects, and alternative phrases might be in use. However, for practical purposes, the terms and examples provided in this guide should serve you well in most situations.

Remember, the key to effective communication lies in understanding cultural nuances, and the appropriate use of words can greatly enhance your interactions. So armed with your newfound knowledge, embrace the beauty of envelopes in Japanese culture, and may your formal and informal correspondence flourish!

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