How to Say “Open” in Japanese: A Comprehensive Guide

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to say “open” in Japanese! Whether you are a language enthusiast, a traveler, or simply curious about the Japanese language and culture, this guide will provide you with valuable insights into expressing the concept of “open” in various contexts. In this guide, we will explore both formal and informal ways to say “open” in Japanese, highlighting any regional variations as necessary. So, let’s dive in!

Formal Ways to Say “Open” in Japanese

When it comes to formal usage, expressing the word “open” in Japanese can vary based on the context. Here are some formal expressions:

1. 開いている (あいている, aite iru)

One common way to say “open” in a formal context is “開いている” (あいている, aite iru). This phrase is typically used to describe something that is physically open, like a door or a window. For example:


(Doa wa aite imasu.)

The door is open.

2. 営業中 (えいぎょうちゅう, eigyōchū)

When referring to a business being open, you can use the phrase “営業中” (えいぎょうちゅう, eigyōchū), which literally means “in business.” It is often seen on signs or in advertisements. For instance:


(Kono resutoran wa eigyōchū desu.)

This restaurant is open for business.

Informal Ways to Say “Open” in Japanese

In informal settings, such as casual conversations with friends or peers, the ways to express “open” can slightly differ. Let’s explore some informal expressions:

1. 開いてる (あいてる, aiteru)

An informal alternative to “開いている” is “開いてる” (あいてる, aiteru). It is a shortened form commonly used in everyday conversational Japanese. For example:


(Kono doa wa aiteru yo.)

This door is open.

2. ビジー (bijī)

In more casual contexts, especially among younger individuals, the English loanword “ビジー” (bijī) is sometimes used. This term comes from the English word “busy” but is used to mean “open.” For instance:


(Ano mise, ima bijī da yo.)

That store is open right now.

Regional Variations

Although there are no major regional variations in expressing “open” in Japanese, there are certain dialectal differences that add flavor to the language. Here’s an example from the Kansai dialect:

1. ひらいどる (hiraidoru)

In the Kansai region, particularly in and around Osaka, the phrase “ひらいどる” (hiraidoru) is commonly used instead of “開いている” (あいている, aite iru). For instance:


(Kono mado, hiraidoru.)

This window is open.

Tips for Using “Open” in Japanese

1. Pay Attention to Politeness Levels

Remember that the formal expressions, such as “開いている” (aite iru) and “営業中” (eigyōchū), are considered more polite and suitable for formal occasions. In informal settings, feel free to use the casual alternatives mentioned earlier, like “開いてる” (aiteru) and “ビジー” (bijī).

2. Consider Non-Verbal Cues

Keep in mind that non-verbal cues, such as body language and gestures, can also convey the meaning of “open” in Japanese. Pointing towards an open door or using a hand motion to replicate opening something can aid in clarification, especially when the context is ambiguous.


In conclusion, expressing the concept of “open” in Japanese can be done formally or informally, depending on the situation and your relationship with the person you are interacting with. In formal contexts, “開いている” (aite iru) or “営業中” (eigyōchū) are commonly used, while in informal settings, “開いてる” (aiteru) and sometimes even the English loanword “ビジー” (bijī) come into play. Regional variations, such as “ひらいどる” (hiraidoru) in the Kansai dialect, add further diversity to the language.

Remember to consider politeness levels and non-verbal cues when using these expressions, and always adapt your language to suit the context. With these tips and examples, you are now well-equipped to confidently express the concept of “open” in Japanese!

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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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