Using 「方」(かた) for directions

In the last section, we learned how to use 「方」 to make comparison. We can also use 「方」 to describe how to do something. This is done by attaching 「方」 to the verb stem. However, in this usage, the reading is 「かた」 not 「ほう」. The result is used as a regular noun (it may help to translate it as “way of doing…”).

In addition, 「方」(かた) is also used to refer to a person politely.


  1. 方 【かた】 – person (honorific)
  2. ~方 【~かた】 – way of doing ~
  3. ホテル – hotel
  4. 教える 【おし・える】 (ru-verb) – to teach; to inform
  5. 駅 【えき】 – (train) station
  6. 分かる 【わ・かる】 (u-verb) – to understand
  7. (お)すし – sushi
  8. 中華料理 【ちゅう・か・りょう・り】 – Chinese food
  9. はやる (u-verb) – to be popular, to come into fashion;
  10. 今 【いま】 – now
  11. (お)はし – chopsticks
  12. 使う 【つか・う】 (u-verb) – to use
  13. アメリカ人 【あめりか・じん】 – American (person)
  14. 少ない 【すく・ない】 (i-adj) – few (in numbers)
  1. あの方にホテルの行き方を教えないんですか。
    (Are you) not going to teach (tell) that person the way to go to the hotel?
  2. 駅までの行き方は分かりますか。
    Do (you) know the way to the train station?
  3. おすしや中華料理がはやっている今では、おはしの使い方が分かるアメリカ人は少なくない。
    Given now where things like sushi and Chinese food is common, Americans who know how to use chopsticks is not few (in number).

Using 「どうやって」 for instructions

Another way to describe how to do something is by using the phrase 「どうやって」. 「やる」 is a more casual version of the verb 「する」 (“to do”) so the phrase literally means “how do and”. It’s used just like the regular te-form to express a sequence of actions as we learned in the last chapter. Because 「どうして」 also means “why”, 「どうやって」 is more common.


  1. カレーはどうやって作りますか。
    How do (you) go about making curry?
    (lit: You do curry how and then make?)
  2. 日本の住所はどうやって書きますか。
    How do (you) write (a) Japanese address?
  3. 東京駅から新宿駅までどうやって行きますか。
    How do (you) go from Tokyo station to Shinjuku station?

Comic 10: 日本語でも大丈夫です

  1. すみません – sorry; pardon me
  2. ここ – here
  3. 一番 【いち・ばん】 – the best; no. 1
  4. 近い 【ちか・い】(i-adj) – close
  5. 駅 【えき】 – train station
  6. 行く 【い・く】(u-verb) – to go
  7. ~方 【~かた】 – way of doing ~
  8. 分かる 【わ・かる】(u-verb) – to understand
  9. 日本人 【に・ほん・じん】 – Japanese (person)
  10. 日本語 【に・ほん・ご】 – Japanese (language)
  11. 大丈夫 【だい・じょう・ぶ】(na-adj) – ok
  12. この – this (abbr. of これの)
  13. 地図 【ち・ず】 – map
  14. ~ヶ所 【~か・しょ】 – counter for number of places
  15. ある (u-verb) – to exist (inanimate)
  16. どちら – which way
  17. 方 【ほう】 – direction
  18. 発音 【はつ・おん】 – pronunciation
  19. 悪い 【わる・い】(i-adj) – bad

John: Excuse me, do you know the way to go to (the) station closest from here?

Japanese person: Sorry, no English

John: Japanese is ok so there’s two train stations on this map, right? Which is closer?

Japanese person: I’m sorry.

John: (I) wonder, is my pronunciation bad?


Alice: Teacher, (I) heard that in Japan street(s) don’t have street names attached but is (it) true?

Teacher: Yes. In Japan, only large roads have names attached (to them).

Alice: With that, how do (you) find (an) address?

Teacher: Most people use (places like) train station(s) and convenience store(s), make places that become landmark(s) into clue(s) and find (it).

Alice: With that way of doing (things), don’t (you) get lost a lot?

Teacher: (You’ll) soon get used to (it), so (it’s) ok.

Alice: (By) saying “get used to”, (you mean) to what?

Teacher: To getting lost.

Alice: Huh?

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