How do you say I love you in Japanese?
There are many ways. The easiest ones are “aishiteru” and “suki!” If those are the words you needed to know, you can stop here.
But… if you want to learn Japanese, speak Japanese… and know more phrases, then, keep reading. This is what this Japanese guide is all about. You’ll learn all the fun ways to say I love you in Japanese and express your feelings.
Ready? Let’s go.
1) 愛してる。I love you in Japanese.
- I love you.
One of the strongest ways to say I love you in Japanese is by saying aishiteru. In Japanese culture, it’s not common for couples, friends, and family to say “I love you” to each other. So, save this phrase for the right moment, and don’t say it too casually. Keep in mind that you will rarely hear this phrase in public. Married couples don’t even say it. This is something that means something deep and profound for Japanese people.
2) _____が好き！I like (love) _____!
- _____ ga suki!
- I like (love) _____!
This is another common way to say I love you in Japanese, and one of the common Japanese words for love.
Since Japanese people rarely tell each other “I love you!”, it’s more common to say “I like you!” You can put the person you love’s name in the blank. This is used in romantic relationships and it would be weird for platonic friendships or with family. In general, 好き (suki) or “like” is the word that is closest to the way that the word “love” is used in English.
3) _____ が気になる。I have feelings for _____.
- _____ ga kininaru.
- I have feelings for _____.
This phrase works perfectly if you’re still not completely sure if what you’re feeling is “love”. If you have some romantic feelings for someone you can say this phrase with the person’s name. This is a great way to convey to other people or to your potential love interest where you are with your feelings.
4) 大好き! I really like you!
- I really like you!
This is another way to say I love you in Japanese, and is one of the common Japanese words for love.
You can add a stronger emphasis on the word suki meaning “like” by adding dai. As explained earlier, the word for “like” is used more often than the word “love” in Japanese. You can use this phrase casually with someone you have a romantic relationship with.
5) いつもありがとう。I appreciate you.
- Itsumo arigatou.
- I appreciate you.
- Literal translation: Thank you always.
This phrase works well for expressing “love” in both a romantic or a non-romantic way. In Japan, showing appreciation and feeling grateful for someone is a sign that you “love” that person. Next time you see someone who has been there for you throughout the years, try saying this phrase to convey your feelings.
6) あなたが一番大事。You are the most important person to me.
- Anata ga ichiban daiji.
- You are the most important person to me.
Anata ga ichiban daiji can be said to a romantic partner to show them that they are the most important person to you. If the other person is doubting whether you are prioritizing them, this can be a reassuring phrase to say. It’s not as casual as other phrases showing love, so it’s important to say this when you really mean it.
7) 大切に思ってるよ。I really care for you.
- Taisetsu ni omotteru yo.
- I really care for you.
Taisetsu in Japanese means something “precious” or “important” to you. In this phrase it can mean that you truly care for the other person. This phrase is an expression of romantic love that can convey that you’ll always treat the other person well and care for them.
8) 一緒にいると幸せ。I’m happy when I’m with you.
- Issho ni iru to shiawase.
- I’m happy when I’m with you.
In Japan, romantic relationships are seen as a way to reach a state of happiness. During a wedding, families and friends will tell the newlyweds お幸せに (oshiawase ni), which means “we wish for your happiness”. In this phrase, you can tell your romantic partner how much they make you happy and tell them indirectly that you love them.
9) いつもあなたを思っている。I’m always thinking of you.
- Itsumo anata o omotteru.
- I’m always thinking of you.
When you’re feeling in love, you usually can’t stop thinking about the other person. This phrase can be the perfect way to tell your special someone that they are constantly in your thoughts. However, make sure you have mutual feelings first. Saying this could be surprising or even creepy if the other person doesn’t feel the same way.
10) ずっと一緒にいよう。Let’s be together forever.
- Zutto issho ni iyou.
- Let’s be together forever.
If you enjoy spending time with your romantic partner, you can tell them this phrase. It can have a strong meaning, so you should say it when you feel the moment is right. Keep in mind that it is possible that it could sound like a marriage proposal. It’s important that you are serious about your commitment and love to the other person.
11) 結婚してください。Please marry me.
- Kekkon shite kudasai.
- Please marry me.
The ultimate way to express your love and commitment is to propose to someone. In Japan, you should propose using formal language to show that you are serious. This applies even if you’re completely comfortable and normally use casual speech with the other person. Proposals are often similar to ones in English speaking countries, but in some traditional families they may have a yuino (traditional engagement ceremony) where both families meet to make things official.
12) あなたといると時間を忘れる。I lose track of time when I’m with you.
- Anata to iru to jikan o wasureru.
- I lose track of time when I’m with you.
When you’re in a relationship, it’s common to lose track of time and spend as much time as possible with your significant other. This phrase expresses the feelings of love where you enjoy your time together to the point where you forget everything else. This is a very romantic way to express your love to someone in Japanese.
13) 君を守りたい。I want to protect you.
- Kimi o mamoritai.
- I want to protect you.
In Japan, relationships can be quite traditional since men are often considered to be a protector. This phrase is used by men to express their deep care and love for someone. It’s not common for men to show affection and share their feelings in Japan, so saying that you want to protect someone can be the equivalent of saying “I love you”.
Now, you know all the fun ways to say I love you in Japanese. And also how to say I like you in Japanese
If you want to remember these phrases, print out this page.
If you have a favorite Japanese love phrase, leave a comment.
If you want to know how to say some other phrase, leave a comment.
I read ’em all.
– The Main Lingua Junkie