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Shopping at Department Store
Related Resources
Phrases for Shopping
Lesson: Shopping
Audio Phrasebook
Basic Lessons
Grammar/Expressions

From Other Guides
Shopping in Japan
Shopping Guide in Tokyo

Japanese department stores are much bigger than their North American counterparts. Many of them have five to seven, or even more floors, and you can buy almost anything there. Department stores used to be called "hyakkaten (百貨店)," but the term "depaato (デパート)" is more common today.

At the Sales Counter

Department store clerks use very polite expressions to customers. Here are some expressions you are likely to hear.

Irasshaimase.
いらっしゃいませ。
Welcome.
Nanika osagashi desu ka.
何かお探しですか。
May I help you?
(Literally means,
"Are you looking for something?")
Ikaga desu ka.
いかがですか。
How do you like it?
Kashikomarimashita.
かしこまりました。
Certainly.
Omatase itashimashita.
お待たせいたしました。
Sorry to have kept you waiting.

Here are some useful expressions for shopping.

Kore wa ikura desu ka.
これはいくらですか。
How much is this?
Mite mo ii desu ka.
見てもいいですか。
Can I look at it?
~ wa doko ni arimasu ka.
~はどこにありますか。
Where is ~?
~ (ga) arimasu ka.
~ (が) ありますか。
Do you have ~?
~ o misete kudasai.
~を見せてください。
Please show me ~.
Kore ni shimasu.
これにします。
I'll take it.
Miteiru dake desu.
見ているだけです。
I'm just looking.

How to Ask for Advice

[Noun] wa watashi ni wa [Adjective] kana/kashira/deshou ka.
(I wonder if [Noun] is too [Adjective] for me.)

Kore wa watashi ni wa
ookii kana.
これは私には大きいかな。
I wonder if this is too big for me.
Kono iro watashi ni wa
hade kashira.
この色私には派手かしら。
Is this color too loud for me?

"~ kashira (~かしら)" is used only by female speakers.

Dochira ga ii to omoimasu ka.
どちらがいいと思いますか。
Which do you think is better?
Kono naka de dore ga
ichiban ii kana.
この中でどれが一番いいかな。
Which one is the best among these?
Donna no ga ii deshou ka.
どんなのがいいでしょうか。
What do you think is suitable?

How to Decline Politely

~ no hou ga ii n desu kedo.
~のほうがいいんですけど。
I prefer ~.
Sumimasen kedo,
mata ni shimasu.
すみませんけど、またにします。
I'm sorry, but some other time.

How to Exchange or Return of a Purchase

Saizu ga awanai node,
torikaete moraemasu ka.
サイズが合わないので、
取り替えてもらえますか。
The size is not right.
Can I exchange it?
Henpin suru koto ga
dekimasu ka.
返品することができますか。
Can I return it?

Where Do I Begin?

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