Quick Guide: Survival Restaurant Japanese for Families

Survival restaurant japaneseHere is our quick Guide to Survival Restaurant Japanese for Families.

Apprehensive about dining in a Japanese restaurant? No worries! Here are some useful phrases to use when dining out.

*** Quick Guide: Survival Restaurant Japanese for Families ***

When you walk into a restaurant you will be greeted with “irasshai mase!” which means “Welcome!” You`ll also hear this greeting at cafes, boutiques, convenient stores, etc.  They will then ask “nan mei sama desu ka” (How many people) and “kitsuen desu ka, kinnen desu ka” (smoking /non-smoking)? To which you will reply your choice of a smoking/non-smoking section and number of people (e.g. kinnnen seki (non-smoking seat), yo nin desu (4 people). To simplify restaurant conversation take a look at the chart below. It follows a basic conversation that usually occurs with the restaurant staff (People counter located in a separate chart further down the post).  * If you can`t remember people counting terms raise your hand with the number of people in your party. The staff will understand.

*S: Restaurant Staff       C: Customer

Restaurant Entrance

Japanese Hiragana Romanji English
いらっしゃいませ。 S: irasshai mase S: Welcome!
何名様ですか なんめいさまですか? S: nan mei sama desu ka S: How many people?
四人です よにんです C: yo nin desu C: Four people
喫煙席ですか、禁煙席ですか きつえんせきですか、きんねんせきですか S: kitsuenseki desu ka, kinnenseki desu ka? S: Smoking section / Non-smoking section?
禁煙席をお願いします。 きんねんせきをおねがいします。 C: kinnenseki wo onegai shimasu.  C: Non-smoking section, please.
こちらへどうぞ 。 S: kochira e douzo S: This way, please.

People Counter

Japanese Hiragana Romanji English
一人 ひとり hitori one person
二人 ふたり futari two people
三人 さんにん san nin three people
四人 よにん yo nin four people
五人 ごにん go nin five people
Japanese Hiragana Romanji English
六人 ろくにん roku nin six people
七人 ななにん nana nin seven people
八人 はちにん hachi nin eight people
九人 きゅうにん kyuu nin nine people
十人 じゅうにん jyuu nin ten people






*** Quick Guide: Survival Restaurant Japanese for Families ***

Basic Questions

Some basic questions families might ask are “Where is the toilet?”, “Do you have a high chair?”, “Can I have another wet hand towel?” My kids are messy eaters so I always carry wet tissue, but there are occasions where I`ll need a wet hand towel for big spills. Here are some basic questions to ask when dining with young children.

Japanese Hiragana Romanji English
お子様メニューがありますか? おこさまめにゅーがありますか? okosama no menyuu ga arimasu ka? Do you have a children`s menu?
ベジタリアンメニューはありますか べじたりあんめにゅーはありますか? bejitarian menyuu wa arimasu ka Do you have a vegetarian menu?
ベビーチェアありますか?  べびーちぇあありますか be-bi che-a arimasuka Do you have a baby chair/high chair?
子供のスプーンとフォークありますか? こどものすぷーんとふぉーくありますか? kodomo no supu-n to fo-ku arimasuka? Do you have kid`s forks and spoons?
お水をください おみずをください o mizu wo kudasai Water please
お絞りください おしぼりください oshiburi kudasai Wet hand towel please
トイレはどこですか? といれはどこですか? toire wa doko desu ka Where is the toilet/restroom?
すみません sumimasen Excuse me /I`m sorry / Thank you

*** Quick Guide: Survival Restaurant Japanese for Families ***

Survival restaurant japaneseOrdering

If you`re at a Japanese restaurant with food photos ordering should be a breeze; point to the photo and say “kore kudasai” (This please). If you want more than one of that item use the “tsu” counter as it`s the most commonly used “kore wo futastu kudasai” (Two of these please). If you want to learn about the Japanese counting system which has a different counter for people, animals and different types of objects read this guide to Japanese numbers and counting. Otherwise using “tsu” counter will suffice. “tsu” counter below.


Japanese Hiragana Romanji English
英語のメニューがありますか? えいごのめにゅーがありますか? C: eigo no menyuu ga arimasu ka? C: Do you have an English menu?
ご注文よろしいですか? ごちゅうもんよろしいですか? S: Gochumon yoroshii desuka? S: Are you ready to order?
はい / いいえ C: hai / iie C: Yes / No
オーダーお願いします おーだーおねがいします C: O-da- onegai shimasu C: I`m ready to order. / Please take my order.
これ下さい。 これください。 C: kore kudasai C: This please. (point to menu item)
それ下さい。 それください。 C: sore kudasai C: That please. (point to meal item at another table)
生ビールください。 なまびーるください。 C: nama biru kudasai C: Draft Beer Please (nama means fresh)
赤ワインください。/ 白ワインください。 あかわいんください。/ しろわいんください。 C: aka wain kudasai. / shiro wain kudasai C: Red Wine Please. / White Wine Please
彼はピーナッツアレルギーがあります。この中にピーナッツはいってますか? かれはピーナッツあれるぎーがあります。このなかにピーナッツはいってますか? C: kare wa pi-natsu arerugi ga arimasu. kono naka ni pi-natsu haittemasuka? C: He has a peanut allergy. Are there peanuts in this?
生卵抜き下さい。 なまたまごぬきください。 C: nama tamago nuki kudasai C: Without Raw Egg Please.
とりあえず C: toriaezu C: I`m done ordering “for now”.
以上です いじょうです C: ijo desu C: That is all. / I`ve finished ordering.
お代わりください おかわりください C: okawari kudasai C: Refill please / Second helping please

Basic Food Counter using “tsu”.

Japanese Hiragana Romanji English
一つ ひとつ hitotsu one
二つ ふたつ futatsu two
三つ みっつ mittsu three
四つ よっつ yottsu four
五つ いつつ itsutsu five
Japanese Hiragana Romanji English
六つ むっつ muttsu six
七つ ななつ nanattsu seven
八つ やっつ yattsu eight
九つ ここのつ kokonotsu nine
とお to-o ten






*** Quick Guide: Survival Restaurant Japanese for Families ***

Survival restaurant japaneseFinishing your Meal

Near the end of your meal a bill may be placed at your table. Take the bill and pay at the register. If no bill has been left at the table call your wait staff and say “o kaikei onegaishimasu / o kanjo onegaishimasu” (check please) to request your check. Before leaving the restaurant it is polite to say “gochisou sama deshita” (thank you for the meal).

Japanese Hiragana Romanji English
お会計お願いします おかいけいおねがいします C: o kaikei onegaishimasu C: Check Please
別々にお願いします べつ べつ に お願いします C: Betsu betsu ni onegaishimasu C: We will pay separately
すみません、カードでのお支払は承っておりません。 すみません、かーどでのおしはらいはうけたまわっておりません。 S: Sumimasen, card deno Oshiharai wa uketamawatte ori masen. S: Sorry, we don’t accept payments by credit card.
分かりました。現金で払います。 わかりました。げんきんではらいます。 C: Wakarimashita. Genkin de harai masu. C: OK, I will pay by cash.
ごちそうさまでしたー C: gochisou sama deshita C: Thank you for the meal.
ありがとうございます C: arigatou gozaimasu C: Thank you

Wondering how to ask another question? Let us know in the comment section below.

P.S. Check out our How To Guides for Living in Japan. 

Family Tokyo Bucket List – One Week Visit or One Year Stay – See, Eat, Play


Quick Guide: Survival Restaurant Japanese for Families


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