Going to a Restaurant

You have arrived in the downtown and now are looking for food.

Shioji Seafood Restaurant Iyo Ehime

Shioji Kaisen Restaurant - Ehime

First, go to JapanTourist.jp or our sister site Metrodining.jp to choose a restaurant near you.

How many are you?

“Nan mei sama desuka?” 何名さまですか? なんめいさまですか?

  • One (person) “Hitori” 一人 ひとり
  • Two (people) “Futari” 2人 ふたり
  • Three (people) “San nin” 3人 さんにん
  • Four (people) “Yon nin” 4人 よんにん

Smoking or non smoking

“Kien mata wa kitsuen” 禁煙または喫煙 きんえんまたはきつえん

Menu please

“Menu onegaishimasu.” メニューお願いします。 めにゅーおねがいします。

Many Japanese restaurants do not have individual menus but instead post their dishes and cost on the wall. Also in the entrance, they will have plastic replicas of their dishes which can help you decide even before you go in. If you are not sure what to order, ask for recommendations.

What do you recommend?

“Osusume wa nandesuka” おすすめは何ですか? おすすめはなんですか?

When you want to get attention to a server in a restaurant say:

“sumimasen” すみません This means “Excuse me”.

May I have your order?

“Gochumon wa” ご注文は ごちゅうもんは

What would you like to drink?

“Onomimono wa nani ni shimasuka?” お飲物は何にしますか? おのみものはなににしますか?

Matcha and Sakura Mochi

Matcha and Sakura Mochi at Kamakura’s Hato-koji Tearoom


“(drink) Onegaishimasu” お願いします おねがいします

  • Cola “koora” コラ
  • Beer “biru” ビール
  • Water “Mizu” 水 みず
  • Orange Juice “juusu” ジュース じゅーす
  • Tomato Juice “tomatojuusu” トマトジュース とまとじゅーす
  • Lemon Juice “remonjuusu” レモンジュース れんじゅーす
  • Green tea “Ocha” お茶 おちゃ
  • Tea “kocha” 紅茶 こうちゃ
  • Hot Coffee “hottokoohii” ホットコーヒー ほっとこーひー
  • Iced Coffee “aisukoohii” アイスコーヒー あいすこーひー
  • Sake (alcohol) “osake” お酒 おさけ
  • Milk tea “mirukutii” ミルクティー みるくてぃー
  • Lemon tea “remontii” レモンティー れもんてぃー
  • Milk “gyunyu” 牛乳 ぎゅうにゅう
Matsuzaka Steak

One of Japan's best beef: Matsusaka Beef

Some food words

  • meat “niku” 肉 にく
  • fish “sakana” 魚 さかな
  • egg “tamago” たまご
  • vegetables “yasai” 野菜 やさい
  • fruit “kudamono” くだもの
  • bread “pan” パン
  • rice “gohan” ご飯 ごはん
  • ice cream “aisukuriimu” アイスクリーム あいすくりーむ
  • salad “sarada” サラダ さらだ
  • curry rice “kareeraisu” カレーライス かれーらいす
  • tempura “tenpura” 天ぷら てんぷら
  • steak “suteeki” ステーキ すてーき
  • Set meal “teishoku” 定食 ていしょく


  • breakfast “asagohan” 朝ご飯 あさごはん
  • lunch “hirugohan” 昼ご飯 ひるごはん
  • dinner “bangohan” 晩ご飯 ばんごはん

Asking for the bill

“okanjo kudasai” お勘定ください。おかんじょうください。

Are you paying together?

“goisho desuka” ごいっしょですか?

Are you paying separately?

“betsubetsu desuka?” べつべつですか?

If you have any questions about language for visiting a restaurant, let us know. Ask on twitter using #JPTphrase or below.

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Getting around

N700 Shinkansen

The N700 Shinkansen at Nagoya

So you have arrived in Japan. You can greet people and make some friends. Next, let’s get you out of the airport and to your hotel.

Where is the …?
“…wa doko desuka?”
What you are saying is “place where

? ”

Here are some place names to help you out

  • Train station “Eki” えき 駅。
  • Bus stop “bus te” バス停 [ばす てい]。
  • Port “minato” 港 [みなと]。
  • Taxi stand “takushi noriba” タクシーのりば”。
  • Toilet “Toire” トイレ
  • Convenience store “Konbini” コンビニ。
  • Hospital “Byoin” 病院 [びょういん]。
  • Hotel “Hoteru” ホテル

I’d like a ticket to Kyoto Station, please.
“Kyoto eki yuki no kippu kudasai”
京都駅行きのきっぷください。きょうとえき ゆき  のきっぷ ください。

How much is a ticket to Tokyo Station?
“Tokyo Eki made wa ikura desuka”
東京駅まではいくらですか?とうきょう えき まで はいくらですか?

How long does it take to get to Tokyo Station?
“Tokyo eki made ni doregurai kakarimasuka?
東京駅とうきょうえきまでにどれぐらいかかりますか?とうきょう えき までに どれぐらいかかりますか?

Please take me to the Sheraton Miyako Hotel?
“Sheraton Miyako Hoteru made onegaishimasu.”

But do you understand them?

  • I don’t understand Japanese. “Nihongo ga wakarimasen.” 日本語が分かりません。
  • Do you understand English? “Eigo ga wakarimasuka?” 英語がわかりますか?
  • Do you speak English? “Eigo wo hanashimasuka?” 英語を話しますか?
  • Yes, I do. (They might just respond in English but just in case.) hai, hanashimasu. はい、話します。
  • No, I don’t. Iie hanashimasen. いいえ、はなしません。

Let us help you get around Japan!

Nagoya to Kyoto by Train & Sheraton Miyako Hotel – Tokyo By Bonson Lam

Matsuyama-Hiroshima Super Jet Passenger Ferry & Matsuyama – Kokura Overnight Car Ferry Rod Walters

Getting down in Nagoya; Higashiyama Subway & Nagoya Underground; Tsuruma Line Subway by Chris Glenn

Kyoto Sightseeing with English-speaking KOHNO JUMBO TAXI By  JapanTourist Staff (Sponsored Article)


Submitted By Justin Dart

Categories: Directions, Language | Leave a comment


One of the best ways to break the ice is simply knowing your greetings. So here are the basic greetings for each part of the day and some of the meanings of these phrases beyond just what they mean in English.

Kiyomizu Temple Fukuoka

  • Good Morning “Ohayo Gozaimasu” おはようございます。
    There is no dedicated time frame for the usage but maybe until 10:00 or 11:00. Every Japanese I spoke with had a different answer.
  • Hello “Konnichiwa” こんにちは。
    This can be used any time of the day.
  • Good Evening “Konbanwa” こんばんは。
    Again when to start using this is hard to determine. Some say 5:00pm others say 6:00pm.
  • Good Night “Oyasuminasai” おやすみなさい。
    Yasumi is to rest. Put the “O” in front and it makes it a little more …friendly. Put “~nasai” at the end makes it more formal. I guess you could translate it to literally mean “Have a good rest”.
  • Before you eat say “Itadakimasu” いただきます。
    A friend described this as meaning “partake”. The idea is that you are thanking the farmer for their work, the animal for their sacrifice and all the people involved in the preparation. You “Itadaiku” or partake in the life force of plants and animals and you thank the preparers for their work.
  • After you eat say “Gochisosamadeshita” ごちそうさまでした。
    The word “Gochiso” sometimes refers to a “wonderful meal”. In one town in Gifu prefecture, they do not say “Gochisosamadeshita” after most meals. They say “Itadakimashita” the past tense of Itadakimasu. So they are saying “I partook of the life force of the plant or animal and thanks to the preparer of their work”. To these people Gochiso means feast. So that phrases is used more often with large meals. But in most parts of Japan, “Gochisosamadeshita” is the norm.
  • Goodbye “Sayonara” さようなら。
    This can be used at anytime of the day.

We repost these one at a time on our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

If there is a phrase you would like to know, ask us. We will be happy to teach you.

Next plan your trip to Japan so you can use these phrases with JapanTourist.jp.

Categories: Language | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome to the JapanTourist Travel Phrases Blog

If you are traveling to Japan, it is always good to know some phrases. Though Japanese study English for many years, many people are shy to use or are ill prepared to use it outside the classroom. Learning a few words can help you break the ice and create a comfortable environment for exploring this country.

If there is a phrase you would like to know, ask us. We will be happy to teach you.

We repost these one at a time on our Facebook and JapanTourist Twitter feeds.

Next plan your trip to Japan so you can use these phrases with JapanTourist.jp.

Categories: Language | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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