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Japanese restaurant phrases – A Beginner’s Guide

Written by Kaori sensei

If you’re an English speaker visiting Japan and want to experience the rich and diverse world of Japanese cuisine, you’ll need to know Japanese restaurant phrases. Don’t worry if you’re new to the Japanese language; this blog post will provide you with a simple guide for ordering food in Japanese restaurants. Audio is also included and may be played in restaurants to help you order.


When you enter a Japanese restaurant, you’ll usually be greeted with a warm,

いらっしゃいませ。 (irasshaimase),

-Welcome! : which is a polite way of welcoming customers.

You can respond with a friendly “こんにちは” (konnichiwa) for “hello” or “こんばんは” (konbanwa) for “good evening.”

Requesting a Table

If you can be guided right away, they then say

なんめいさまですか。(nanmei sama desu ka)

– How many people? : They ask how many in your group.

Let’s try to answer the number of people according to the following table.

ふたりです。(Futari desu)

– 2 people.
the number of peopleRomajiJapanese
3san ninさんにん
4yo ninよにん
5go ninごにん
6roku ninろくにん
7nana ninななにん
8hachi ninはちにん
9kyuu ninきゅうにん
10juu ninじゅうにん
Add “desu” after the number of the people.

If the restaurant is busy, you will be asked to wait.

しょうしょう おまちください。(shoushou omachi kudasai)

-Please wait a moment.

Japanese restaurant phrases

Select a menu

Now comes the exciting part – ordering your meal.

Maybe there is a menu in English.

えいご のメニューがありますか。(eigo no menyuu arimasuka)

-Do you have a menu in English?

You can also translate Google images.

If you want to ask about the menu about the menu, call the waiter.


-Excuse me.

Japanese restaurants offer rich seasonal cuisine. Ask for seasonal recommendations as well as the standard menu.

おすすめは なんですか。(osusume wa nan desuka)

-What do you reccomend?

If you don’t know what it is by looking at the pictures or looking at the translations, ask the staf

これはなんですか。(kore wa nan desuka)

-What is this?: To inquery about specific ingredients.

When you finally decide to order, say to the staff at the restaurant

ちゅうもん、おねがいします。(chuumon onegai shimasu)

-Order, please.

“Onegaishimasu” (please) is a phrase often used when you want to ask for something, so it is important to remember it.

If you want to reserve a restaurant in advance, please use this Virttual assistant service from Linkup Nippon Agency.
We will support your trip.

Order food and drinks

First, I will teach you the simplest Japanese restaurant phrase. Just point to the menu and say. You do not have to say the menu.

これを ください。(Kore o kudasai)

Can I have this one, please?

You there who want to try a little harder! Let’s add numbers and menus.

これを {2つ} ください。(kore o {futatsu} kudasai)

I’ll take two of these, please.

Replace the brackets with other numbers.Check out the other numbers in the table below.

Number of dishesRomajiJapanese
1hito tsuひとつ
2futa tsuふたつ
5itsu tsuいつつ
7nana tsuななつ
9kokono tsuここのつ

Now, let’s try ordering at a sushi restaurant! Let’s order one tuna.

まぐろ を {1つ} ください。(maguro o {hitotsu} kudasai)

Please give me one tuna.

Next, let’s order several things. ”と(to)” means and. So you can connect your dishes with using ”と(to)”.

まぐろ を {1つ} と えびを{1つ} ください。(maguro o {hitotsu} to ebi o {hitotsu} kudasai)

Please give me one tuna and one shrimp.

Other helpful phrases

Inform the staff at the restaurant if you are allergic to any of these foods.

{ ピーナッツ } のアレルギーがあります。({piinattsu} no arerugi ga arimasu)

-I have a peanut allergy.

{おみず} 、おねがいします。 ({omizu}, onegai shimasu)

-{ water }, please.

Other Words of Service for { }

  • おさら(osara): dish
  • フォーク(fooku): Fork
  • スプーン(spuun): Spoon
  • おかいけい(okaikei): check
  • おちゃ(ocha): tea

In Japan, water and hot tea in restaurants are free. If you ask for bottled water, you will not get it. Tap water in Japan is safe and tasty, so please feel free to drink it.
Also, with the exception of izakaya (Japanese style pubs), you do not have to ask for drinks at restaurants.

おいしいです。(oishii desu)

-It is delicious.

If it tastes good, let’s tell the restaurant!

ごちそうさまでした。(gochisou sama deshita)

-Thank you for the delicious meal

This will make the restaurant happy if you tell them when you pay.

クレジットカードで おねがいします。(kurejitto kaado de onegaishimasu)

– Credit card, please.

Finally, there is the matter of payment.
Many stores nowadays accept credit cards, but some small, privately owned stores may not accept credit cards.
Therefore, if you want to pay by credit card at the cash register, please let them know.



And we do not have a tipping culture. Please note that service charges are sometimes included in bars.

Since you are traveling, it would be a great experience if you could communicate using the language of that culture.

If you want to know other phrases, ask me in the comments section. Enjoy your trip.

READY TO TRAVEL? CHECK Travel Items for Japan!

TESSAN US to Japan Plug Adapter

The voltage in Japan is 100 volts (95 volts in some regions) at a frequency of 50 Hertz, while in the United States, it’s typically 120 volts (or 110 volts in certain areas) at a frequency of 60 Hertz. Due to these voltage and frequency differences, it’s essential to exercise caution when using electronic devices or appliances. Always check the specifications of your devices and, if necessary, use voltage converters or adapters to ensure compatibility.

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The journey to Japan is a long one.It is also convenient for airplanes and travel within Japan by shinkansen.

About the author

Kaori sensei

Japanese online teacher, live in Kamakura, Japan. She is currently working as a language teacher and online Japanese experience host to introduce Japanese culture to the world. She originally worked as an engineer at a Japanese company, so she is familiar with Japanese business culture too.

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