Where Something is Located vs. How to Get There


#1

To ask where something is, for example, the police station, one might ask,"警察署をどちらですか。If, however, you need directions on how to get there, how do you express this in Japanese? That is, how do I ask, “How do I get to the police station?”


#2

[location] へはどう行くのですか?
–>“How do I get to [location]?”

So for your specific question:

  • “How do I get to the police station?” --> 「警察署へはどう行くのですか?」

#3

Careful with the particle. It’s 警察署はどちらですか(どこにありますか?)。Not 警察署を。

Also, while 警察署 is indeed “police station”, a 交番 is a more common fixture in the community (basically a mini police station). Just a cultural note.

To say “How do I get to the police station?” I would say:

警察署/交番にどうやって行きますか?

the particle に can also be replaced by まで or へ。


#4

Aye. Anywhere you go in a major city, you’ll probably be within a few minutes’ walk of a 交番, but there’s probably only one 警察署 in the whole district.

If you wanted to ask how to get somewhere much further away, though, you could also use どうやって = how in the sense of “by what means” (i.e. should I go by bus or train, which train should I take).

秋葉原にどうやって行きますか


#5

I’m sure if I ever needed directions I would just cramp up and go completely basic: place/thing + は どこ?
Nothing else =P
I don’t recommend this approach (follow the GOOD suggestions given :wink: ) but I would probably be too nervous to think :wink:


#6

marimorimo–Thanks for the thoughtful response to my query.


#7

Belthazar: Thanks for your helpful response.