Simple Yet Convenient Japanese Phrases and Greetings

While Japanese may seem difficult, greetings and convenient phrases are actually pretty simple! Please use these basic phrases in various situations!


Japanese Culture

Please read this article to understand more about the phrases and greetings used in the video.

Ohayo/Good Morning

A general greeting for people you meet in the morning.

Ohayo Gozaimasu/Good Morning

This is also "good morning," but this is a more polite version than just "ohayo."

Konnichiwa/Good Afternoon

A general greeting for people you meet in the daytime.

Konbanwa/Good Evening

A general greeting for people you meet in the evening.


A word to convey gratitude.

Arigatou Gozaimasu/Thank You

This is a politer way to say thank you than just "arigatou."


This can be used to mean both "excuse me" or "I'm sorry," but also "thank you" (in the sense of "sorry for bothering you!"). For example, you can use it at the beginning of the sentence when you're asking people a question so it becomes more polite, such as if you're asking for directions. "Sumimasen" also works if you've bumped into somebody on the street and want to apologize. Also, if you say "sumimasen" out loud in a restaurant, the waiter will come to your table. If you learn just "sumimasen," you can use it in all sorts of situations, making it a very convenient word!


You can use this word when discussing your meal with friends or even with the restaurant staff.


This is a pretty famous word due to "kawaii" culture becoming popular overseas. You can use it for things (or people) you find cute! (In case you're interested, the kanji characters that make up "kawaii" mean "loveable.") It's a common go-to word while you're shopping: "that blouse is so kawaii!"


This can refer to anything that looks pleasant to the eye, such as a good design pattern. This is a word that can be used for both people or things, and can be used in almost any situation. It is a colloquial abbreviation for "kakkō ii," meaning "good form" or "good appearance."


Refers to anything that you're drawn or attracted to, and can mean "excellent" or "wonderful."


This word is especially used towards items or designs that are gorgeous and/or flashy.

Before words like "oishii," "kawaii," "kakkoii," "suteki," and "kirei," you can add "totemo" or "sugoku" before them, such as in phrases like "sugoku kawaii" or "totemo kirei". These words mean "very" and will make your opinion even clearer to those around you!

Japanese may seem like a difficult language, but many phrases are actually pretty simple. Please use these words and phrases to enjoy communicating with people during your trip!

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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