How to Express Excitement in Japanese – 10 Words & Phrases

How to Express Excitement in Japanese - 10 Words and Phrases ワクワクする 楽しみにする

A few days ago one of my friends asked me how to sayI’m excited” in Japanese. Even though I knew the answer I decided to dig a bit deeper and I learned so many more useful words and phrases that you can use to express your excitement in Japanese. So I have decided to write this blog post and share them with you. Let’s start with the phrases I already knew and I always use when I am excited about something.

“Waku waku” (ワクワク) and “Waku waku suru” (ワクワクする) both mean “I’m excited” or “I’m thrilled” and are commonly used to express excitement in Japanese. Another popular phrase is “Sugoku tanoshimi ni shiteiru” (すごく楽しみにしている) which translates as “I’m so looking forward to it” or “I’m so excited about it”.

If you are interested in learning more about the expressions I have just told you and if you want to take a look at all 10 useful words and phrases to express your excitement in Japanese please read on. All phrases come with explanations and a bunch of example sentences so that you can use them right away!

1. Waku Waku Suru – I’m Excited, I’m Thrilled

Waku waku can either be written in Hiragana わくわく or in Katakana ワクワク and translates as “excited“, “thrilled“, “trembling” or “getting nervous” (source). As with other onomatopoeia, you can just say waku waku (ワクワク or わくわく) to express “I’m excited” or you can add the verb “suru” and express the same with waku waku suru (ワクワクする or わくわくする).

If you want to say that you are excited about something you can use the phrase ~ni waku waku suru (〜にわくわくする). Here are a few examples: “Ryokou ni waku waku suru” (旅行にわくわくする) means “I’m excited about the trip” and “Raibu ni waku waku shiteru” (ライブわくわくしてる) translates as “I’m excited about the concert“.

You can even add more emphasis by adding the word totemo (とても) which means “very“, “extremely“, or “so“. “I’m so excited” is “Totemo waku waku suru” (とてもワクワクする) in Japanese.

Another very similar phrase with a similar meaning is “doki doki” (ドキドキ, どきどき) by the way.

Waku waku
I’m excited.
Waku waku suru
I’m excited.
Waku waku shiteiru
I’m excited (right now).
Totemo waku waku shiteimasu
I’m so excited right now. (polite)
____ ni waku waku suru
I’m excited about ____.
Waku waku (suru) – “I’m Excited” or “I’m Thrilled”

2. Tanoshimi ni Shiteiru – I’m Looking Forward to it

Next, we have the phrase tanoshimi ni suru (楽しみにする) which means “to look forward to something” or also “to be excited about something” in English. To say “I’m looking forward to it” you can either use the polite tanoshimi ni shiteimasu (楽しみにしています) or the more casual tanoshimi ni shiteiru (楽しみにしている).

When you want to express your excitement about something specific you can use the phrase ~o tanoshimi ni shiteiru (〜を楽しみにしている). So “I’m looking forward to Sunday“, for example, would be “Nichiyoubi o tanoshimi ni shiteiru” (日曜日を楽しみにしている).

Instead of “tanoshimi ni suru” you can also say tanoshimi da (楽しみだ) or its politer version tanoshimi desu (楽しみです). They mean exactly the same. “Tanjoubi ga tanoshimi da” (誕生日が楽しみだ), for example, means “I’m looking forward to my birthday“.

Tanoshimi ni suru
to look forward to something
Tanoshimi ni shiteiru
I’m looking forward to it.
Totemo tanoshimi ni shiteiru
I’m really looking forward to it.
___ o tanoshimi ni shiteiru
I’m looking forward to ___.
___ ga tanoshimi desu
I’m looking forward to ___.
Tanoshimi ni suru – “to look forward to something”

3. Waa Sugoi – “How Exciting”, “Amazing!”

Sugoi (凄い or すごい) is such a useful word that can be used in many different ways to express excitement. It can be translated as “amazing“, “great“, “wonderful“, or “terrific“. When someone says something awesome or tells you exciting news you can reply with “Sugoi!” or “Sugoi na!” which means “(That’s) amazing!“.

The Japanese word waa (わあー) means “Wow!“, “Yeah!“, or “Hurray!“. So if you combine them and say “Waa sugoi!” (わあーすごい) you get “How exciting!“, “Wow! Amazing!“, or “Wow! That’s amazing!”. Just note that “waa~” sounds rather feminine so if you are a guy I recommend you to stick to “Sugoi” or the more casual Sugee (すげー).

Just like totemo (とても), “sugoi” or its adverbial form sugoku (すごく) can be used to say something is “very…“, “really….“, or “so…“. Here are a few examples: “Sugoku kawaii” means “So cute” or “Really cute” and “Sugoku tanoshimi ni shiteiru” (すごく楽しみにしている) means “I’m really looking foward to it” or “I’m so looking forward to it“.

(That’s) amazing!
Waa sugoi~
How exciting! (a bit feminine)
Amazing! (more masculine)
Sugoku tanoshimi ni shiteiru
I’m so looking forward to it!
Waa Sugoi – “How Exciting” or “Amazing”

4. Iei – Yay!

This is a very easy word to remember because it sounds so similar to its counterpart in English. Iei (イェイ) means “Yay!“, but it is pronounced “e-yay” (e as in ‘eat’). Compared to the previous phrases iei sounds a bit less enthusiastic in my opinion. It’s more a “Yay!” than a “Yaaaaaaay!!!”.

Sometimes it is also written in Hiragana いぇい or like this イェーイ (ieei).

Iei – “Yay”

5. Yatta – “I did it!”, “I made it!”, “Hooray”

When you are excited because you accomplished something and you feel joy, victory, or success you can use the Japanese expression yatta (やった). The word itself translates as “Hooray“, “Yay” or “Whoopee” and it is also often translated as “I did it!” or “I made it!”. It usually suggests that you worked really hard and put in a lot of effort and so you “Finally did it!”.

I did it!
Yatta – “I did it!”, “I made it”, “Hooray”

6. Sugoku Ureshii – I’m so Happy

Ureshii (嬉しい or うれしい) means “happy“, “glad“, “delighted“, or “overjoyed” and is one of the most frequently used words to express feelings of happiness and joy. To make you sound even more excited or happy you can add emphasis by using the words sugoku (すごく) or totemo (とても). Sugoku ureshii (すごくうれしい) translates as “I’m so happy“, “I’m really happy“, “I’m extremely happy“, etc.

In order to express your happiness about something you do or will do you can use the sentence pattern ~te ureshii (~てうれしい). The only thing is that you have to know the te-form of the verb you want to use. Here are a few examples: “I’m happy to see you” is “Aete ureshii” (会えてうれしい), “I’m happy that we are friends” is “Tomodachi ni narete ureshii” (友達になれて嬉しい).

Expressing your happiness and/or excitement about something is a little bit easier because you don’t have to conjugate the verb. “___ga ureshii” (___がうれしい) means “I’m happy about ___“. So you can say things like “I’m happy about the letter from you” which is “Anata kara no tegami ga ureshii” (あなたからの手紙がうれしい).

I’m happy!
Sugoku ureshii
I’m so happy!
___te ureshii
I’m happy to ___.
___ga ureshii
I’m happy about ___.
Sugoku Ureshii – “I’m so Happy”

7. Koufun Shiteiru – To Feel Excited

Next on the list, we have koufun suru (興奮する). Koufun (興奮) translates as “excitement“, “stimulation“, “agitation“, or “arousal“. It is very similar to “waku waku suru” but my friends seem to use it less often. Just as before you can use koufun suru (興奮する), koufun shiteiru (興奮している), or the politer koufun shiteimasu (興奮しています) to say “I’m excited“.

~ni koufu suru (〜に興奮する) is the sentence structure you should use to express “I’m excited about ___” or “I’m excited for ___“. “Eiga ni koufun shiteiru” (映画に興奮している) means “I am excited about the movie“.

Koufun suru
to feel excited
Koufun shiteiru
I’m excited (right now).
Totemo koufun shiteita
I was very excited!
Sugoku koufun shiteru yo
I’m so excited!
Dandan koufun shite kita
I got more and more excited.
___ni koufun suru
I’m excited about/for/by ____.
Koufun Suru – To Feel Excited

8. Tenshon Agaru – “Getting Excited”, “I’m Psyched”

Tenshon (テンション) is the English loanword for “tension”, however, it usually has a positive meaning in Japanese and translates as “highness of spirits“, “good mood“, or “excitement“. It is often used in the phrase tenshon ga agaru (テンションが上がる) or just tenshon agaru (テンション上がる) which means “to get excited“, “to be in high spirits“, or “to be psyched“.

The easiest phrase to remember is “Tenshon agatteiru” (テンション上がっている) which means “I’m (getting) excited” or “I’m psyched“. In a longer sentence, you can express your excitement like this: “Ongaku o kiku to tenshon ga agarimasu” (音楽を聞くとテンション上がります) which means “I’m getting excited when I listen to music“.

Tenshon agaru
to get excited
Tenshon agatteiru
I’m psyched.
Tenshon ga agatteiru
I’m psyched.
Tenshon Agatteiru – “I’m Psyched”, “I’m in High Spirits”

9. Moriagatte Kita – “It’s Getting Exciting”

This phrase consists of two words moriagatte (盛り上がって) which is the te-form of moriagaru (盛り上がる) and means “to get excited“, “to swell“, or “to heat up“. And then we have kita (来た or きた) which is the past tense form of the verb kuru (来る). After the te-form of a verb, it means “to come to be“, “to become“, “to get“, or “to grow“.

You can just say “Moriagatteiru” (盛り上がっている) to express that “It is (getting) exciting” or “I’m excited“. Or you can use the longer “Moriagatte kita” (盛り上がって来た) or its polite version “Moriagatte kimashita” (盛り上がって来ました) to emphasize that “It’s getting exciting” or “I’m getting more and more excited“.

If you are interested in more advanced sentences here are two examples. “Sakkaa shiai wa moriagatteiru” (サッカー試合は盛り上がっている) means “The soccer game is getting exciting“. And “Paatii wa moriagattekita” (パーティーは盛り上がってきた) translates as “The party is getting more and more exciting“.

It is exciting.
(or: I’m excited.)
Moriagatte kita
It’s getting exciting.
(or: I’m getting more and more excited.)
Moriagatte kimashita
It’s getting exciting. (polite)
(or: I’m getting more and more excited.)
Moriagate Kimashita – “It’s Getting Exciting”

10. Kokoro ga Odoru – to be thrilled, to be excited

Our last expression for today has a very nice literal translation. Kokoro (心) means “heart” in English and odoru (踊る) means “to dance“. So while it actually means “I’m thrilled” or “I’m excited“, the phrase literally translates as “(My) heart is dancing“. So far I have only seen the phrase in lyrics, though. None of my friends has ever used it in a conversation.

Nevertheless, you could express your excitement for your summer vacation with “Natsu yasumi no koto o kanageru to kokoro ga odoru” (夏休みのことを考えると心が躍る). In English, the sentence would be “I’m getting so excited when I think about my summer vacation“.

Kokoro ga odoru
I’m excited
(or: I get so excited)
Kokoro ga Odoru – to be thrilled, to be excited
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Alex (RockinJapanese)

おはよう. I'm Alex. I have started studying Japanese when I was still a high school student and I have been living and working in Japan since 2015. I'm still learning new Japanese phrases and words every day and I thought that publishing them online will be useful for you, too. Hopefully, my study notes and free Japanese lessons will help you to reach the Japanese level you want to have! If you have any questions feel free to contact me anytime! Alex

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