Where art thou? How to use “Where(Doko どこ)” in Japanese : Hey Everyone, welcome to today’s online Japanese lesson. We hope you are all fired up to learn Japanese and learn something new today.

Learn Japanese – 5W1H – Japanese Question Words – What,Where,When,Who,Why,How
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How to use「どこ」in Japanese: A guide to mastering the big W questions.

In our continuing series of the big “W” questions we today come to the wonderful “Where(Doko どこ)” instalment. Where are you going? Where is the train station? Where can I find the best taco’s in town? These are all the essential questions you could be asking by the end of this lesson. In Japanese we say どこ “doko” to indicate “where”. It will come in really handy for daily conversations and may even end up saving your life. Where is the hospital? Where is the bathroom? Where can I find the police station? These questions are super essential when it comes to learning any language, especially if you are going there.

You are going to learn all these integral structures today so grab your notepad and get ready to learn! We will first start by looking at some really simple structure to as “where” something is.

Where(Doko どこ): A basic overview.

So, let’s start with the basics. We will first look at the simplest sentence we can form with どこ which is … “どこ” If someone says to you “look at that crazy monster over there” you can simply say “doko” where? It’s quite casual to use it this way and is really common. You will have no problems using this across a multitude of informal scenarios with your friends and family.

If you want to make this more formal you can add “desu ka” to the ending to create “どこですか” You can use this with strangers, teachers and just about anyone as it is much more respectful. You can also add でしたか instead of ですか to make the past form, “where was it”. So this is the basic set up for asking the “where” questions and will definitely cover you for a multitude of situations. However, this is just basic, and we will now expand this into more complex sentences. It’s going to get harder from here guys so make sure you are super focussed and using full concentration. You are not going to want to miss this.

More Complex “Where(Doko どこ)” Structures

Let’s now have a look at some more complex “where” structures. This will be everything from asking where something is specifically to asking where you can find a good place to eat.

Ken san wa doko desu ka?
Where is ken?

Here you can see that by using the は particle we can ask where someone or something is specifically. Lets see this again, this time with an object.

Watashi no hon ha doko desu ka
Where is my book?

It’s a really useful sentence pattern to use when asking where something or someone is specifically.

Here is a pattern that is slightly different.  

Karada no doko desu ka
Where on your body?

Perhaps some one has asked where you tattoo is on your body. Noun + の + Doko creates the meaning of where specifically in/on the noun. Let’s look at another example of this.

Igirisu no doko kara kimashita ka
Where in England do you come from?

This is an extremely useful pattern when you want to find out where something is specifically. It would be a great idea to come up with as many of your own examples as possible to help retain the pattern. Go ahead and take a small break from this article to try it now. This is most definitely the best way to make sure the info sticks. 

Lastly, we are now going to look at adding も, か and でも to どこ. This is extremely useful to know and will help take your understanding and ability to use doko to the next level.

Much like with itsu and nani, adding these bits to the end of “Where(Doko どこ) “changes the meaning.

  • どこか Somewhere
  • どこも Nowhere
  • どこでも Anywhere

A popular phrase to use is, どこでもいい “anywhere is fine”

You should practice with these daily to help cement them into your mind as they are super useful in a variety of everyday situations.


Okay guys, that’s all we have time for in today’s online Japanese lesson, we hope you have taken a lot from this and learnt something new. This is the last in our series of “WH” words so if you haven’t yet mastered them all, its really important that you go back and do so. If you have any more ideas for content, please let us know so we can create the content that you are interested in.

Have a great day everyone and we will see you in the next exciting online Japanese lesson.

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