Japanese Decoded: Using An Air Conditioner

How To Tackle The Japanese Air Conditioning

By The Savvy Team
June 11, 2020

It's getting hot in there... Summer is on its way and it's time to face the much dreaded Japanese remote of your A/C—with its way too many options. From cooling to dehumidifying, today we master them all.

There is no shame in trying all the buttons of your air conditioner remote, hoping it will get to the result you are expecting—we have been there. For those of us who don’t read all the kanji of our A/C (エアコン, eakon), we gathered a Japanese cheat sheet that will allow you to control the temperature and humidity of your room without even thinking about it.

Temperature control

There is plenty of options on most Japanese air conditioners but the basics will always be temperature control! When selecting the heating or cooling mode, just hit the arrow buttons to increase or decrease desired temperature.

Japanese Rōmaji English
温度 ondō Temperature
暖房 danbō Heating/warm
冷房 reibō  Cooling/cold

Mastering the modes of your A/C

Reducing your air conditioner to only temperature control would be a shame—as it’s not only temperatures that make Japanese summer a hot season, the high humidity is also to blame and there is a button for that on your dear remote.

Japanese Rōmaji English
切替/運転切替 kirikae/unten kirikae On/Change operating mode
運転切換 unten kirikae Change operating mode (using another kanji)
自動 jidō Automatic—when you want to leave it to AI!
省エネ shōene Energy saving
ドライ dorai Dry (cool) air
送風 sōfū Ventilate
除湿 joshitsu Dehumidify
空清/空気清浄 kūsei/kūki seijō Clean/filter air
気流 kiryū Take in outside air
フルパワー furu pawaa Full Power
停止 teishi Off

When you need to vent

Not everyone is a big fan of the “full power” cold wind blast. If that gives you horrendous headaches, try playing with wind settings.

Japanese Rōmaji English
風量 fūryō Wind speed
yowa Gentle/weak
tsuyo Strong
風向 fūkō  Airflow direction

You should now be armed against all the kanji on your remote, if your air conditioner is not the only appliance to scare you when it comes to kanji, we also gathered some useful words to check when using general appliances!


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