Learning Japanese: This Japanese article is exactly what you need


Learn Japanese Fast! Nothing’s worse than being late to an important meeting or event. That’s why it’s important for you to understand how to talk about durations of time in Japanese. Whether you need to talk about minutes or hours, or ask someone how long it’ll be until an event starts, you’ll find it here.

This Newbie Japanese article is designed to teach you about durations of time. You’ll find a counter for minutes and hours, and you’ll discover how to tell people how long it takes to get from one place to another.

With helpful charts and plenty of example sentences, this Japanese article is exactly what you need.

Vocabulary: In this article, you’ll learn the following words and phrases:

  • yakkyoku – “pharmacy, drugstore”
  • kusuri – “medicine”
  • shohoosen– “prescription”
  • dono kurai – “how long, how much”
  • kakarimasu – “to cost, to take” (masu form)
  • o-kane – “money”
  • jikan – “time”
  • kurai/gurai – “approximately, about”
  • koko – “here, this place”
  • manga kissa – “comic cafe”

Grammar: In this article, you’ll learn the following words and phrases:

Useful Vocabulary and Phrases at a Hospital

kakarimasu – “to take, to cost”

Kakarimasu is the –masu form of the verb kakaruKakaru conveys the meaning that something takes time/money.

Sentence Structure


Amount of Money or Duration of Time / kakarimasu / “English”

  • Sen-en / kakarimasu. / “It costs one thousand yen.”
  • Ichi-jikan / kakarimasu. / “It takes an hour.”


Dono kurai or Dono gurai / kakarimasu ka. / “English”

Dono kurai / kakarimasu ka. / “How long does it take?” or “How much does it cost?”

*Since we can use kakarimasu with both time and money, there is a good possibility there will be confusion if you don’t specify the subject.

kurai gurai – “about”

Kurai or gurai expresses approximation. Please notice that the word order is different from English.

“About 1000 yen”

Correct: sen-en kurai

Incorrect: kurai sen-en

dono kurai – “how long, how much”

We can use dono kuraidono guraidore kurai and dore gurai interchangeably.

“How long does it take?” / “How much does it cost?”

  1. Dono kurai kakarimasu ka.
  2. Dono gurai kakarimasu ka.
  3. Dore kurai kakarimasu ka.
  4. Dore gurai kakarimasu ka.

Grammar Point

In this article, you will learn to talk about durations of time.

Hours and Minutes

  • Counter for hours: –jikan
  • Counter for minutes: –fun kan or –fun


“English” / Japanese

  • 1 hour / ichi-jikan
  • 2 hours / ni-jikan
  • 3 hours / san-jikan
  • 4 hours / yo-jikan
  • 5 hours / go-jikan
  • 6 hours / roku-jikan
  • 7 hours / nana-jikan or shichi-jikan
  • 8 hours / hachi-jikan
  • 9 hours / ku-jikan
  • 10 hours / juu-jikan
  • “How many hours?” / nan-jikan

Minutes“English” / Japanese

  • 1 minute / ippun ( kan)
  • 2 minutes / ni-fun ( kan)
  • 3 minutes / san-pun ( kan)
  • 4 minutes / yon-fun(kan) or yon-pun (kan)
  • 5 minutes / go-fun kan)
  • 6 minutes / roppun kan)
  • 7 minutes / nana-fun ( kan)
  • 8 minutes / happun kan)
  • 9 minutes / kyuu-fun kan)
  • 10 minutes / juppun kan)
  • “How many minutes?” / nan-pun kan)
  • *For “half an hour,”it’s sanjuppun (kan), but NOT hankan.
  • *For an “hour and a half,” it’s ichi-jikan han, but NOT ichi-jikan hankan or ichiji-hankan.


  1. Uchi kara daigaku made juppun kakarimasu. “It takes ten minutes to get to the university from my home.”
  2. Rondon kara Pari made ni-jikan juugo fun kakarimasu. “It takes two hours and fifteen minutes to go from London to Paris.”


  1. ni-ji gojuppun = 2:50
  2. ni-jikan gojuppun = two hours and 50 minutes
  3. go-ji han = half past five
  4. go-jikan han = five hours and a half


Please answer the following questions in Japanese.

  1. How long does it take to get to the nearest train station? ____ kakarimasu.
  2. How long does it take to get to the nearest airport? _____ kakarimasu.
  3. How long does it take to get to the nearest department store? ______ kakarimasu.
  4. How long does it take to come to Tokyo? ________ kakarimasu.

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