Mastering Let’s Go in Japanese: Your Language Guide

If you’re interested in learning Japanese or planning a trip to Japan, one of the first phrases you should aim to master is “let’s go.” This simple phrase can be used in a variety of contexts, from inviting friends to go out to encouraging colleagues or teammates to take action. In this guide, we will provide an overview of the most commonly used expressions for saying “let’s go” in Japanese, as well as pronunciation tips and cultural insights that will help you better understand the phrase.

By the end of this guide, you’ll feel confident in your ability to express the concept of “let’s go” in a natural and appropriate way. So, let’s get started!

Understanding the Basic Phrase

Now that you know why saying “let’s go” in Japanese is important, let’s break down the basic phrase. The most common phrase for “let’s go” in Japanese is 「行こう」 (ikou). This phrase is made up of two parts:

Japanese Romaji Meaning
行こう ikou Let’s go

“行こう” consists of the kanji character “行” which means “go” and the hiragana character “こう” which means “let’s.” Together, the phrase means “let’s go.”

It’s important to note that the “kou” part of “ikou” is an invitation or a suggestion, rather than a command. Therefore, the phrase is used as a suggestion to do something together.

Other variations of the phrase include “行きましょう” (ikimashou) which is a more polite version of “ikou,” and “行こうか” (ikou ka) which adds a question particle to the end to ask someone if they would like to come along.

Pronunciation Tips

When saying “ikou”, the “i” is pronounced like the “ee” in “beet,” the “ko” is pronounced like “co” in “coat,” and the “u” is silent.

Overall, the phrase is pronounced as “ee-koh.”

Translating “Let’s Go” into Japanese

If you want to learn basic Japanese phrases, knowing how to say “let’s go” is a great place to start. Saying “let’s go” in Japanese will not only make you sound more fluent, but it will also help improve your communication with Japanese speakers. So, how do you say “let’s go” in Japanese?

The most common Japanese phrase for “let’s go” is “ikimashou” (行きましょう). The word “ikimashou” is a combination of the verb “iku” (to go) and the auxiliary verb “mashou,” which is used to suggest doing something together or to suggest a course of action.

Here is an example conversation:

English Japanese
Shall we go to the park? Kouen ni ikimashou ka? (公園に行きましょうか?)
Sure, let’s go! Hai, ikimashou! (はい、行きましょう!)

Another phrase you can use for “let’s go” is “ikou” (行こう), which is similar to “ikimashou.” The difference is that “ikou” is more casual and often used between friends or family members. “Ikimashou,” on the other hand, is a formal and polite way of suggesting to go somewhere.

Here is an example conversation:

English Japanese
Let’s go see a movie! Eiga wo mi ni ikou! (映画を見に行こう!)
Good idea, let’s go! Ii ne, ikou! (いいね、行こう!)

Now that you know the most common phrases for “let’s go” in Japanese, you can confidently suggest activities and make plans with Japanese friends or colleagues.

Pronunciation Tips

Now that you understand the basic phrase for saying “let’s go” in Japanese, it’s important to focus on the correct pronunciation. Japanese pronunciation can be tricky, but with a little practice, you’ll be able to say “let’s go” confidently.

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The phrase “let’s go” in Japanese is pronounced as “ikimashou” (行きましょう). It’s a combination of three syllables, “i”, “ki”, and “ma”. The emphasis is on the second syllable, “ki”. To pronounce each syllable correctly, follow the guide below:

Syllable Pronunciation
i As in the word “in”.
ki Start with a hard “k” sound, then move your tongue quickly to the “i” sound. It should sound like “kee”.
ma As in the word “mom”.

When saying the phrase, make sure to say it quickly and with enthusiasm. This will make you sound more natural and confident.

Remember to practice saying “let’s go” in Japanese regularly to improve your pronunciation and accuracy.

Common Situations to Use “Let’s Go” in Japanese

If you’re learning Japanese, it’s essential to understand the various situations where you can use the phrase “let’s go.” Here are some of the most common contexts:

Inviting Friends to Go Out

One of the most common situations to use “let’s go” in Japanese is when you’re inviting friends to go out. The phrase to use is “ikimashou” (行きましょう), which literally translates to “let’s go.” For example, you could say:

Japanese English Translation
友達と遊びに行きましょう。 Let’s go hang out with friends.
美術館へ行きましょう。 Let’s go to the art museum.

Encouraging Teamwork

“Let’s go” is also commonly used in Japan to encourage teamwork. In business settings, you might hear the phrase “ganbarou” (頑張ろう), which means “let’s do our best together.” In sports, the phrase “tsuyoku narou” (強くなろう) is often used, which means “let’s become stronger together.”

Starting a Journey

If you’re about to embark on a journey, you can use the phrase “tabi ni ikou” (旅に行こう), which translates to “let’s go on a journey.” This phrase has a sense of adventure and excitement built into it, making it perfect for starting a new trip or adventure.

These are just a few examples of the common situations where you can use “let’s go” in Japanese. By mastering the phrase and using it appropriately, you’ll be able to communicate effectively with native Japanese speakers and deepen your understanding of the language and culture.

Alternative Expressions for “Let’s Go”

While “ikimashou” is the most common way to say “let’s go” in Japanese, there are several alternative expressions you can use to convey a similar meaning. Here are some examples:

Phrase Meaning
yukou “Let’s go” or “Shall we go?”
ikou “Let’s go” or “Shall we go?”
tsureteitte “Come with me”
essen ni ikou “Let’s go to a party”
ashita de ii? “How about tomorrow?”

By using these alternative expressions, you’ll be able to communicate your intention to “go” in different ways. It’s important to note that the appropriate expression depends on the context and the relationship between the speaker and the listener.

Pro Tip:

If you’re unsure which expression to use, it’s always safe to start with “ikimashou” and gauge the reaction of the person you’re speaking with. This will help you determine if the situation calls for a more casual or formal expression.

Cultural Significance of “Let’s Go” in Japan

The phrase “let’s go” is not just a simple expression in Japanese language, but also carries cultural significance. In Japanese culture, group harmony and collective action are highly valued, and this phrase reflects those values.

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When you say “let’s go” in Japanese, it implies that you are inviting others to join you and work towards a common goal. Whether it’s a group of friends planning a night out or coworkers preparing for a project, using this phrase shows that you are willing to work together and support each other.

Additionally, the Japanese language has different variations of the phrase “let’s go” that are used in different contexts. For example, “ikou” is commonly used when going out with friends, while “ikimashou” is more formal and used in professional settings.

Understanding the cultural significance of “let’s go” in Japan is important for effective communication and building relationships with Japanese speakers. By using this phrase appropriately, you can demonstrate your respect for Japanese culture and values.


Congratulations! You’ve now mastered the phrase “let’s go” in Japanese. By using the guide we’ve provided, you’ll be able to confidently say this phrase in various situations and impress your Japanese friends.

Remember, the basic phrase for “let’s go” in Japanese is “ikimashou.” Pronouncing it correctly is essential, so make sure to practice the correct accent for each syllable. Additionally, you can use alternative expressions like “ikou” or “yukou” to convey the same meaning.

It’s also important to understand the cultural significance of “let’s go” in Japan. The phrase reflects the Japanese value of group harmony and collective action. Using it appropriately in social situations will display your respect for Japanese culture.

So, next time you want to invite someone to go out or encourage teamwork, use the phrase “ikimashou” or one of its alternatives. With this simple phrase, you’ll be able to connect with Japanese people on a deeper cultural level.

Thank you for using our language guide on how to say “let’s go” in Japanese. We hope it has been helpful and wish you the best in your language learning journey.


Q: What are some common phrases to say “let’s go” in Japanese?

A: Some common phrases to say “let’s go” in Japanese include “ikimashou” (行きましょう), “iyou” (行こう), and “ikou” (行こう).

Q: How do you pronounce “let’s go” in Japanese?

A: The pronunciation of “let’s go” in Japanese can be broken down as follows: “ikimashou” (ee-kee-mah-show), “iyou” (ee-yoh), and “ikou” (ee-koh).

Q: Are there any cultural nuances related to saying “let’s go” in Japanese?

A: Yes, in Japanese culture, the concept of group harmony and collective action is highly valued. So when you say “let’s go,” it reflects a cooperative mindset and a desire to act together as a group.

Q: When should I use the phrase “let’s go” in Japanese?

A: You can use the phrase “let’s go” in Japanese in various situations, such as inviting friends to go out, encouraging teamwork, or initiating a group activity.

Q: Are there any alternative expressions for “let’s go” in Japanese?

A: Yes, there are alternative expressions that convey the same meaning as “let’s go” in Japanese, such as “mairimashou” (参りましょう) and “yukkuri ikimashou” (ゆっくり行きましょう).

Q: What is the cultural significance of the phrase “let’s go” in Japan?

A: In Japan, the phrase “let’s go” reflects the value of group harmony and collective action. It emphasizes the importance of acting together as a community or team.

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