Guide: How to Say Tram in Japanese

When traveling to Japan, it can be helpful to know how to say basic transportation terms in the local language. If you’re looking to learn how to say “tram” in Japanese, you’ve come to the right place! In this guide, we’ll cover both formal and informal ways to say “tram.” Let’s get started!

1. Formal Ways to Say Tram

When speaking in formal situations, such as when addressing someone older or in professional settings, you can use the word “densha” (電車) to refer to a tram. It is the most common and widely understood term for a tram in Japan.


Sumimasen, kono chikatetsu wa densha desu ka? (すみません、この地下鉄は電車ですか?)
Excuse me, is this subway a tram?

2. Informal Ways to Say Tram

Informally, you can use the word “toram” (トラム) to refer to a tram. It is a loanword derived from the English term and is commonly used, especially among the younger generation in casual conversations.


Kore wa totemo kawaii toram da ne! (これはとてもかわいいトラムだね!)
This tram is so cute, isn’t it!

3. Regional Variations

While “densha” and “toram” are widely understood in most regions of Japan, there are a few regional variations worth mentioning:

  • Kansai Dialect: In the Kansai area, including major cities like Osaka and Kyoto, people often use the word “tetsudo” (鉄道) instead of “densha” to refer to a tram.
  • Hiroshima Dialect: In Hiroshima, the word “gurutram” (グルトラム) is used to refer to a tram. It’s a playful combination of “guruguru” meaning “round and round” and “tram.”


Kansai Dialect: O-kaeri nasai! Kore wa mukae ni kita tetsudo desu yo! (お帰りなさい!これは迎えに来た鉄道ですよ!)
Welcome back! This is the tram that came to pick you up! (Kansai Dialect)

Hiroshima Dialect: Ano gurutram no akarui iro ga totemo kawaii desu ne! (あのグルトラムの明るい色がとてもかわいいですね!)
The bright color of that round and round tram is so cute! (Hiroshima Dialect)

4. Additional Tips

Here are some additional tips to help you navigate conversations about trams in Japanese:

  1. Context is key: Make sure to use the appropriate term based on the situation, formal or informal, and consider the region you are in.
  2. Active listening: Pay attention to the words used by the person you are speaking with. If they use a specific word for “tram,” try to mimic their language to establish rapport.
  3. Politeness: When in doubt, it’s always safe to use the formal term “densha,” as it is widely understood and considered appropriate in most situations.
  4. Practice pronunciation: Japanese pronunciation can be challenging, so practice saying “densha” or “toram” to ensure clarity when communicating.

By using the appropriate terms and keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be able to confidently talk about trams in Japanese in various scenarios!

We hope this guide has been helpful in teaching you how to say “tram” in Japanese. Have a fantastic time exploring Japan’s amazing public transportation system, including its trams!

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