Guide: How to Say “Going To” in Japanese

Are you planning a trip to Japan or interested in learning Japanese? Understanding how to express “going to” in Japanese is essential for everyday conversations. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore both formal and informal ways to express this concept, providing tips, examples, and even a few regional variations. Let’s dive in and expand our Japanese language skills together!

Formal Ways to Say “Going To” in Japanese

In formal settings, such as business meetings or when speaking with people of higher social status, it’s important to use respectful language. The formal way to say “going to” in Japanese is by using the verb “ikimasu” (行きます). Here are a few examples:

  • Watashi wa Tōkyō e ikimasu. (私は東京へ行きます。) – I am going to Tokyo.
  • Kare wa Kyōto ni ikimasu. (彼は京都に行きます。) – He is going to Kyoto.
  • Kanojo wa Kaigai ni ikimasu. (彼女は海外に行きます。) – She is going overseas.

It is important to note that the particle “e” (へ) is used to indicate the destination in these sentences. This particle is preferred over “ni” (に) in formal contexts.

Informal Ways to Say “Going To” in Japanese

In casual conversations with friends, family, or peers, it is common to use informal language. When expressing “going to” informally, you can use the verb “iku” (行く) by itself. Here are some examples:

  • Watashi wa Tōkyō ni iku yo. (私は東京に行くよ。) – I’m gonna go to Tokyo.
  • Kare wa Kyōto ni iku ne. (彼は京都に行くね。) – He’s gonna go to Kyoto.
  • Kanojo wa Kaigai ni iku yo. (彼女は海外に行くよ。) – She’s gonna go overseas.

Note that in informal language, particles like “yo” (よ) and “ne” (ね) are commonly used to add emphasis or seek confirmation from the listener.

Regional Variations

While Japanese is primarily spoken throughout Japan, different regions may have regional variations in vocabulary or pronunciation. However, when it comes to expressing “going to,” the formal and informal ways remain largely consistent across the country. Nevertheless, there are a few regional variations worth mentioning:

In some areas of Western Japan, such as Osaka or Kyoto, locals may use the phrase “ikiyō” (行こう) instead of “ikimasu” (行きます) in formal or informal contexts.

Additional Tips for Using “Going To” in Japanese

To further enhance your understanding and usage of “going to” in Japanese, here are a few additional tips:

  1. Context Matters: When using “going to” in Japanese, make sure to provide enough context to avoid confusion. Include specific destinations or intentions in your sentences.
  2. Verb Conjugation: In Japanese, verbs change based on tense, formality, and other factors. Practice verb conjugation to correctly express “going to” in various situations.
  3. Active Listening: Pay attention to how native speakers use “going to” in conversations or media. This will help you develop a natural intuition for when and how to use it yourself.
  4. Learn Vocabulary: Expand your vocabulary related to travel and destinations. Knowing the names of cities, countries, and landmarks will greatly enhance your ability to express your plans or intentions.


Now that you have learned both formal and informal ways to say “going to” in Japanese, as well as some regional variations and additional tips, you are well-equipped to engage in meaningful conversations and plan your adventures while visiting Japan or interacting with Japanese speakers. Practice these phrases and continue expanding your knowledge of the Japanese language. Ganbatte kudasai! (頑張ってください! – Good luck!)

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Written by Ryan Melvin

Konnichiwa! I'm Ryan (ライアン), your friendly linguistics enthusiast. I obsess about Japan, and love guiding people on the precision and beauty of the Japanese language. Besides crafting comprehensive guides on saying different words and phrases in Japanese, I spend my time practicing Hiragana, watching anime, and rooting for my favorite baseball team. Understanding the culture and nuances behind the language makes me appreciate Japanese arts, and anime figurines are my guilty pleasure! Let's explore the world of Nihongo together, one word at a time. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!

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