How to Say “I went to Japan _ years ago.” in Japanese

How do you say “I went to Japan 5 years ago.” in Japanese?

Today’s phrase is :

I went to Japan _ years ago.

_ 年前日本に行ったよ。

 _ nenmae nihonni ittayo

If you want to speak politely, you can say :

_ 年前日本に行きました。

 _ nenmae nihonni ikimashita

When you want to say “I went to Japan _ years ago.”, put the number of years passed just before “年前 nenmae”.

“年前” means “year(s) ago”.

  • a year ago = 1年前 ichinenmae OR 去年 kyonen*
  • 2 years ago = 2年前 ninenmae
  • 3 years ago = 3年前 sannenmae
  • 5 years ago = 5年前 gonenmae
  • 10 years ago = 10年前 juunenmae
  • 15 years ago = 15年前 juugonenmae

*We usually say “去年 kyonen” for “a year ago” rather than “1年前”.

For example, if you want to say “I went to Japan 5 years ago.”, you can say like this :


 gonenmae nihonni ittayo

Or politely :


 gonenmae nihonni ikimashita

  • I went to … = わたしは … に行きました watashiwa … ni ikimashita
  • Japan = 日本 nihon
  • … year(s) ago = … 年前 nenmae

We do not usually say “わたしは watashiwa (= I)” in everyday conversation.

5 years ago

to Japan

わたしは 行きました
I went