【MOVIE】Survival Japanese: In a Restaurant

【MOVIE】Survival Japanese: In a Restaurant

Update: 26 April 2017

Japanese is known for being one of the most challenging languages to learn. However, even if you have never spoken a word of Japanese, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy all that Japan has to offer, especially not the many delicious restaurants! To make your next visit even smoother, we’ve made a list of some common words and phrases you can use at a restaurant in Japan. So, ‘itadakimasu!’ In other words, let’s eat–in Japan!

*Please note that although the character "は" is romanized as "ha", it is pronounced as "wa" when used as a particle.

During your stay in Japan you will, of course, be faced with situations where you will have to interact with staff from either restaurants hotels, or shops. Staff members will usually use the most polite form of Japanese, called keigo, when interacting with customers. However, it is not expected that customers use keigo.

Restaurant: Before Sitting Down

Restaurant: Before Sitting Down

Before you can indulge in a delicious meal, you’ll need to get a table first. Here are some phrases to get you started.

Are there any tables free?
席はありますか。(seki wa arimasu ka?)

May I / we sit down?
座っていいですか。(suwatte ii desu ka?)

Can I have a seat by the window, please?
窓際の席をお願いします。(madogiwa no seki o onegai shimasu.)

I'd like to make a reservation.
予約をお願いします。(yoyaku o onegai shimasu.)


Smoking section
喫煙席 (kitsuen seki)

Non-smoking section
禁煙席 (kinen seki)

How many people (in your party)?
何名様ですか。(nanmei sama desu ka?)

Two people (in our party).
2名です。(ni mei desu.)

Is there a table charge?
テーブルチャージはありますか。(tēburu chāji wa arimasu ka?)

Do you take credit cards?
クレジットカードは使えますか。(kurejitto kādo wa tsukaemasu ka?)

How long will it take?
どのくらい時間がかかりますか。(donokurai jikan ga kakarimasu ka?)

From (7 p.m.), please.
(7時)からお願いします。(shichi-ji) kara onegai shimasu.)

We are fully booked.
すみません、満席です。(sumimasen, manseki desu.)

Ordering

Ordering

Whether you dine in a restaurant or at home, there are two key phrases used while eating in Japan:

• Itadakimasu (いただきます): This phrase is spoken just before eating, as an expression of gratitude. A slight bow of the head and pressing of palms together is the customary action to go along with this phrase.
• Gochisōsama deshita (ごちそうさまでした): This is the phrase that indicates you have finished your meal. It is another expression that indicates your appreciation for the meal.

Excuse me. (Say this to call wait staff to your table.)
すみません。(sumimasen.)

A menu, please.
メニューお願いします。(menyū onegai shimasu.)

I'll have the _____.
_____ をお願いします。(_____ o onegai shimasu.)

What do you recommend?
お勧めは何ですか。(osusume wa nan desu ka?)


Let's eat.* (Spoken before meals. Refer to above explanation.)
いただきます。(itadakimasu.)

It's delicious.
美味しいです。(oishii desu.)

It was delicious.
美味しかったです。(oishikatta desu.)

That was a good meal.* (Spoken after meals. Refer to above explanation.)
ごちそうさまでした。(gochisousama deshita.)

Where is the restroom?
トイレはどこですか。(toire wa doko desu ka?)

May I smoke here?
タバコは吸えますか。(tabako wa suemasu ka?)

This is not what I ordered.
注文したものと違います。(chūmon shita mono to chigaimasu.)

I'm a vegetarian.
私はベジタリアンです。(watashi wa begitarian desu.)

I’m vegan.
完全菜食主義者です。・ビーガンです。(kanzen-saishoku-shugisha desu. / bīgan desu.)

I have a _____ allergy.
_____アレルギーがあります。(_____ arerugī ga arimasu.)

I have a lactose intolerance.
乳糖不耐性があります。(nyūtō futaisei ga arimasu.)

I don't eat _____.
私は_____を食べません。(watashi wa _____ o tabemasen.)

Does this contain _____?
これは_____が入っていますか。(kore wa _____ haitte imasu ka?)

Without _____, please.
_____抜きでお願いします。(_____ nuki de onegai shimasu.)

Is this dish kosher?
この料理はコーシャですか。(kono ryōri wa kōsha desu ka?)

Is this dish halal?
この料理はハラールですか。(kono ryōri wa harāru desu ka?)

Paying

Paying

When you finish your meal, you’ll need to know how to pay! You can use the following phrases:

Check, please.
お会計お願いします。(okaikei o onegai shimasu.)

Do you take credit cards?
クレジットカードは使えますか。(kurejitto kādo wa tsukaemasu ka?)

Cash
現金 (genkin)

Change
御釣り (otsuri)


We'd like to split the bill.
別々でお願いします。(betsu betsu de onegai shimasu.)

Note: You may also make an "X" with your index fingers to signal to the wait staff that you'd like the check.

Food and Drink

Food and Drink

Next are the names of some common foods and drink you’ll find on the menu.

Food

food
食べ物 (tabemono)

cuisine
料理 (ryōri)

meat
肉 (niku)

chicken
鶏肉 (toriniku)


beef
牛肉 (gyūniku)


pork
豚肉 (butaniku)


vegetables
野菜 (yasai)


fruit
フルーツ・果物 (furūtsu / kudamono)


tofu
豆腐 (tōfu)


fish
魚 (sakana)


rice
ライス・ご飯 (raisu / gohan)


gluten
グルテン (guruten)


egg
卵 (tamago)


nuts
ナッツ (nattsu)


bread
パン (pan)


dessert
デザート (dezāto)

Drink

drink
ドリンク・飲み物 (dorinku / nomimono)

water (cold)
お水 (o-mizu)

water (hot)
お湯 (o-yu)

coffee
コーヒー (kōhī)


milk
ミルク・牛乳 (miruku / gyūnyū)


soy milk
豆乳 (tōnyū)


green tea
お茶 (ocha)


black tea
紅茶 (kōcha)


iced tea (black)
アイスティー (aisu tī)


soft drink
ソフトドリンク (sofuto dorinku)


beer
ビール (bīru)


white wine
白ワイン (shiro wain)


red wine
赤ワイン (aka wain)


chilled wine
冷えたワイン (hieta wain)


Can I have it at room temperature?
常温でもらえますか。(jō’on de moraemasu ka?)


ice
氷 (kōri)

Utensils, Condiments, and Other Restaurant Items

Utensils, Condiments, and Other Restaurant Items

Lastly, if you want need some extra utensils, or would like to add a little something to your meal, these words are a must!

chopsticks
(お)箸 (o-)hashi)

fork
フォーク (fōku)

spoon
スプーン (supūn)

knife
ナイフ (naifu)


napkin
ナプキン (napukin)


ashtray
灰皿 (haizara)


salt
塩・食塩 (shio / shokuen)


black pepper
コショウ・ブラックペッパー (koshō / burakku peppā)


sugar
砂糖 (satō)


ketchup
ケチャップ (kechappu)


mayonnaise
マヨネーズ (mayonēzu)
*This information is from the time of this article's publication.

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