Visitor Information & Insider's Travel Tips

Greetings in Japanese Language

Greetings in Japanese Language

The writer of Tokyo Direct Guide is a native Japanese speaker and a local who experienced international travels.
Bookmark this page for friendly communications and eliminating troubles!

 

Simple Greetings in Japanese

English

Japanese

Hello. Konnichiwa.
Good-bye. Sayonara.
Thank you. Arigato.
You're welcome. Do-itashimashite.

 

One Point Advice

"Konnichiwa" and "Sayonara" are used both casually and politely. You can say it in formal situations such as business conferences and very casual conversations.
If you want to express "Arigato" politely, add "Gozaimasu." It will be "Arigato-Gozaimasu."
"Do-itashimashite" is polite. It is not used very often in Japanese language, but people will feel fine to be said so.

 

Basic and/or Survival Phrases in Japanese

English

Japanese

Yes. Hai.
No. Iie.

 

One Point Advice

Same to most languages, nodding means "yes," shaking one's head means "no."

English

Japanese

Please. Onegai-shimasu.
Excuse me. Sumimasen.
I'm sorry. Gomen-nasai.

 

One Point Advice

You can say "Sumimasen" when you call after shop crews, hotel clerks etc, instead of "Hello". For example, "Sumimasen, I have a question about hotel restaurants./ I take this one."

 

English

Japanese

Can you speak English? Eigo-Hanase-masuka?

 

One Point Advice

"Eigo" means "English". In the places where many international people visit, such as hotels, there are English speakers.

 

If you have a situation to say this and the person who you talk to is not an English speaker unfortunately, he or she will bring someone to speak English. Japanese people are known to be poor at speaking English. Even if the non-English-speaking person looks perplexed, it just means he or she is too shy and nervous. Please don't take it seriously as he or she is exclusive enough to hate you. Just smile with saying "Thank you," and he or she will be relieved and happy.

 

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