Let’s study the Hiragana & Katakana Lists with easy to understand pictures!

Japanese letters

Japanese language is written using three types of letters below.

  1. Hiragana (phonetic sounds) only represent sounds and used for particles, words and parts of words.
  2. katakana (phonetic sounds) are only represent sounds and used to describe foreign words.
  3. Kanji (Chinese characters) have their own meanings.

Here we will learn Hiragana and Katakana.

See Japanese special pronunciation

Hiragana List with Romaji

Hiragana is called Man’yogana and began to be used to describe the sounds of kanji around the 5th century in Japan.

あ行 (A column)

HiraganaRomajiExamples
a 
ame
(ame / Rain)
u
ie
(家 ie/ Home)
u
umi
(umi / Sea)
e
eki
(駅 eki/ Station)
o
osake
(お酒 osake/ Sake)

か行 (Ka column)

HiraganaRomajiExamples
kakasa
kasa
(kasa / Umbrella)
kiki
ki
(木 ki/ Tree)
kukusuri
kusuri
(kusuri / Medicine)
kekekkon
kekkon
(結婚 kekkon/ Marriage)
kokouen
kouen
(公園 kouen/ Park)
HiraganaRomajiExamples
gagakko
gakkou 
(学校gakkou / School)
giginko
ginkou
(銀行 ginkou/ Bank)
gusaikoro
guusuu
(偶数guusuu / Even number)
getsuki
getsuyoubi 
(月曜日 getsuyoubi/ Monday)
gogohan
gohan
(ご飯 han/ Rice)
HiraganaRomajiExamples
きゃkyahanasu hito
きゃkyaku
(kyaku / Client)
きゅkyukyuri
きゅkyuuri
(キュウリ kyuuri/ Cucumber)
きょkyoclass
きょkyoushitsu
(教室kyoushitu / Classroom)
HiraganaRomajiExamples
ぎゃgyanami
ぎゃgyakuりゅryuu
(逆流gyakuryuu / Back flow)
ぎゅgyugyunyu
ぎゅgyuuにゅnyuu
(牛乳 gyuunyuu/ Milk)
ぎょgyomatsuri
ぎょgyouji
(行事gyouji / Event)

さ行 (Sa column)

HiraganaRomajiExamples
sa sakana
sakana
(sakana / Fish)
shishigoto
shigoto
(仕事 shigoto/ Work)
suheart
suki
(好きsu / Like)
sesentaku
sentaku
(洗濯 sentaku/ Washing)
sogomisute
souji
(掃除 souji/ Clean up)
HiraganaRomajiExamples
zazasshi
zasshi
(雑誌zasshi / Magazine)
ji(zi)jitensha
jitenしゃsha
(自転車 jitensha/ Cycle)
zumaruhoshi
zukei
(図形zukei / Shape)
zeokane
zei
(税 zei/ Tax)
zozou2
zou
(象 zou/ Elephant)
HiraganaRomajiExamples
しゃshashashin
しゃshashin
(写真shashin / Photo)
しゅshukaku
しゅshukudai
(宿題 shukudai/ Homework)
しょshoshoyu
しょshouyu
(醤油shouyu / Soy sauce)
HiraganaRomajiExamples
じゃjajagaimo
じゃjagaimo
(じゃが芋jagaimo / Potato)
じゅjujyutaku
じゅjuutaku
(住宅 jutaku/ Housing)
じょjojoou
じょjoou
(女王joou / Queen)

た行 (Ta column)

HiraganaRomajiExamples
take-ki
tanじょjoubi
(誕生日tanjoubi / Birthday)
ti(chi)chizu
chizu
(地図chizu / Map)
tsutsukue
tsukue
(tsukue / Desk)
tete
te
(手 te/ Hand)
totori
tori
(鳥 torii/ Bird)

To type, press di for “ぢ” and du for “づ”.

HiraganaRomajiExamples
dahito
dare
(dare / Who)
zi(di)daisho
chidimu
(縮む chiji/ Shrink)
Many of the words with “ぢ””ヂ”
are now replaced by “じ””ジ”,
in the following cases, “ぢ””ヂ” is used.
When the same “ち(chi)” sound continues: “ちぢむ” (shrink)
When two words stick together and the sound becomes muddy: “まぢか” (
間近madika / near)
Proper noun: Bridgestone Corporation
Foreign language: “チヂミ” (Korean pancake)
zu(du)keito
tedukuri
(手作りtezukuri / Handmade)
dedenwa
denwa 
(電話 denwa/ Telephone)
dokuma
doubutsu
(動物 doubutsu/ Animal)
HiraganaRomajiExamples
ちゃchahappa
ちゃcha 
(cha / Tea)
ちゅchuchuui
ちゅchuui
(注意 chuui/ Alert)
ちょchochocho
ちょchou
(chou / Butterfly)

In modern kana usage,
“ぢゃ”, “ぢゅ”, and “ぢょ” are supposed to be written as “じゃ”, “じゅ”, and “じょ”.
To type, press dya for “ぢゃ”, dyu for “ぢゅ”, and dyo for “ぢょ”.

な行 (Na column)

HiraganaRomajiExamples
nanabe
nabe
(nabe / Hot pot)
nininjin
ninjin (人参 ninjin/ Carrot)
nunuru
nuru
(塗るnu / Paint)
neneko
neko
(猫 neko/ Cat)
nonomimono
nomimono
(nomono / Beverage)
HiraganaRomajiExamples
にゃnyaneko
にゃnya 
(ニャーnyaa / Meow)
にゅnyunyuon
にゅnyuuin
(入院 nyuuin/
Hospitalization)
にょnyotennyo
tenにょnyo 
(天女tennyo /
Heavenly maiden)

は行 (Ha column)

HiraganaRomajiExamples
haha
ha
(ha / Tooth)
hihikoki
hikouki (飛行機 hikouki/ Airplane)
hut-shirt
fuku
(fuku / Cloths)
hehebi
hebi
(蛇 hebi/ Snake)
hohon
hon
(hon/ Book)
HiraganaRomajiExamples
bagohan
bangohan
(晩御飯bangohan / Dinner)
bibiyouin
biyouin
(美容院 biyouin/ Beauty salon)
bubuta
buta
(buta / Pig)
bekaku
benきょkyou
(勉強 benkyou/ Study)
boboushi
boushi
(帽子boushi/ Hat)
HiraganaRomajiExamples
papan
pan 
(パンpan / Bread)
pipiman
piman
(ピーマン pi-man/
Green pepper)
puoyogu
puru
(プールpu-ru / Pool)
pepen
pen
(ペン pen/ Pen)
popost
posuto
(ポストposuto/ Postbox)
HiraganaRomajiExamples
ひゃhyakeisatsu
ひゃhyakutooban (110番hyakutooban /
Japanese emergency police
ひゅhyukaze
ひゅhyu
(ヒューhyu-/ The sound
of a strong wind)
ひょhyohyoushiki
ひょhyoushiki 
(標識hyoushiki / Sign)
HiraganaRomajiExamples
びゃbyakitsune
びゃbyakko
(白狐byakko / White fox)
びゅbyusushipudding
びゅbyufふぇfe
(ビュッフェbyuffe/ Buffet)
びょbyobyouin
びょbyouin 
(病院byouin / Hospital)
HiraganaRomajiExamples
ぴゃpya800
hapぴゃpyaku 
(八百happyaku / Eight hundred)
ぴゅpyupyuma
びゅpyuma
(ピューマpyu-ma/ Puma)
ぴょpyopresentation
hapぴょpyou 
(発表happyou / Presentation)

ま行 (Ma column)

HiraganaRomajiExamples
mamado
mado
(mado / Window)
mimimi
mimi
(耳 mimi/ Ear)
mu6
muttsu
(六つmuttsu / Six)
meme
me
(目 me/ Eye)
momon
mon
(mon / Gate)
HiraganaRomajiExamples
みゃmyasanmyaku
sanみゃmyaku
(山脈sanmyaku /
Mountain range)
みゅmyubijutsukan
みゅmyujiamu (ミュージアムmyu-jiamu/
Museum)
みょmyotaiyou
みょmyouちょchou
(明朝myouchoui /
tomorrow morning)

や行 (Ya column)

HiraganaRomajiExamples
yafujisan
yama
(yama / Mountain)
yuyuki
yuki
(雪 yuki/ Snow)
yotsukihoshi
yoru
(yoru / Night)

ら行 (Ra column)

HiraganaRomajiExamples
rakarenda
rainen
(来年rainen / Next year)
riringo
ringo
(林檎 ringo/ Apple)
rudenwa
rusubandenwa (留守番電話rusuban denwa /
Answering machine)
rereizouko
reizouko
(冷蔵庫 reizouko/
Refrigerator)
ro6
roku
(roku / Six)
HiraganaRomajiExamples
りゃryachizu
りゃryakuzu
(略図ryakuzu / Rough map)
りゅryuryu
りゅryuu
(ryuu/ Dragon)
りょryokaban
りょryokou
(旅行ryokou / Travel)

わ行 (Wa column)

HiraganaRomajiExamples
waonnanohito
watashi
(watashi / I, Me)
wonomu
mizuwonomu
(drink water)
“を” or “ヲ” is used in
sentences or in conversation,
not as a single word. 
nshinbun
shinbun
(新聞 shinbun/ Newspaper)

Katakana List with Romaji

Katakana characters are used for the following;

  • Japanese loan words such as テレビ(television), カメラ(camera), コンビニ(convenience store) and so on
  • Proprietary nouns such as foreign names and place names

ア行 (A column)

KatakanaRomajiExamples
abiru
apato
(Apartment)
iigirisu
igirisu
(England)
uhitsuji
uru
(Wool)
eerebe-ta
erebeta
(Elevator)
oaustralia
osutoraria (Australia)

カ行 (Ka column)

KatakanaRomajiExamples
kacamera
kamera
(Camera)
kiou
kingu 
(King)
kuclass
kurasu
(Class)
kecake
keki
(Cake)
kocoffee
kohi
(Coffee)
KatakanaRomajiExamples
ganinniku
garikku
(Garlic)
gigita-
gita
(Guitar)
gubudou
gurepu
(Grape)
gegame
gemu
(Game)
gogorira
gorira
(Gorilla)
KatakanaRomajiExamples
キャkyacamel
キャkyameru
(Camel)
キュkyucube
キュkyubu
(cube)
キョkyokyonshi
キョkyonshi
(Chinese hopping vampire)
KatakanaRomajiExamples
ギャgyae
ギャgyarari
(Gallery)
ギュgyuushi
suiギュgyuu
(Asian buffalo)
ギョgyokingyo
kinギョgyo 
(Goldfish)

サ行 (Sa column)

KatakanaRomajiExamples
sasanta
santa
(Santa Claus)
shieigakan
shinema
(Cinema)
suspoon
supun
(Spoon)
sesweater
seta
(Sweater)
sosausage
soseji
(Sausage)
KatakanaRomajiExamples
zataiyouame
ueza
(Weather)
ji(zi)gym
jimu
(Gym)
zupants
zubon
(Pants)
ze0
zero
(Zero)
zokame
zougame
(Giant tortoise)
KatakanaRomajiExamples
シャshashirts
シャshatsu
(Shirt)
シュshucube
シュshuga
(Sugar)
ショshoomise
ショshoppu
(Shop)
KatakanaRomajiExamples
ジャjajam
ジャjamu
(Jam)
ジュjunomimono
ジュjusu
(Juice)
ジョjojog
ジョjogu
(Jog)

タ行 (Ta column)

KatakanaRomajiExamples
tatako
tako
(Octopus)
ti(chi)tori
chikin
(Chicken)
tsutsutankamen
tsutankamen (Tutankhamen)
tetento
tento
(Tent)
totomato
tomato
(Tomato)
KatakanaRomajiExamples
daBracelets
daiyamondo (Diamond)
ji(di)pancake
chidimi
(Korean pancake)
Many of the words with “ヂ”
are now replaced by “ジ”,
in the following cases, “ぢ””ヂ” is used.
1. When the same “ち(chi)” sound continues: “ちぢむ” (shrink)
2. When two words stick together and the sound becomes muddy: “まぢか” (間近 / near)
3. Proper noun: Bridgestone Corporation
4. Foreign language: “チヂミ” (Korean pancake)
zu(du)flamingo
benizuru
(beniduru / Flamingo’ s Japanese name)
dekaede
kaede
(kaede / Maple)
dodoor
doa
(Door)
KatakanaRomajiExamples
チャchazipper
チャchakku 
(Zipper)
チョchuchurippu
チュchurippu
(Tulip)
チョchochocolate
チョchokoreto (Chocolate)

In modern kana usage,
“ヂャ”, “ヂュ”, and “ヂョ” are supposed to be written as “ジャ”, “ジュ”, and “ジョ”.
To type, press dya for “ヂャ”, dyu for “ヂュ”, and dyo for “ヂョ”.

ナ行 (Na column)

KatakanaRomajiExamples
naknight
naito
(Knight)
nikani
kani 
(Crab)
nunoodle
nudoru
(Noodles)
nenecktie
nekutai
(Tie)
nonote-pasokon
notopasokon
(Laptop)
KatakanaRomajiExamples
ニャnyaneko
ニャnyanko
(Cat)
ニュnyumegami-sama
ニュnyuyoku
(New York)
ニョnyosenyo-ru
seニョnyoru 
(Spanish; Señor)

ハ行 (Ha column)

KatakanaRomajiExamples
haboushi
hatto
(Hat)
hikaba
hippo
(Hippo)
hu (fu)fukuro
hukurou
(Owl)
heheri
herikoputa (Helicopter)
hopancake
hottokeki
(Pancake)
KatakanaRomajiExamples
babus
basu
(Bus)
bibeach
bichi
(Beach)
bublock
burokku
(Block)
bebell
beru
(Bell)
bobottle
botoru
(Bottle)
KatakanaRomajiExamples
pakouen
paku 
(Park)
pi