Restaurant Phrases?

I’ve been to Japan many times but I’m usually with people who are more fluent them me and have lived or have more “life” experience in Japan. (Especially in the Tokyo area)
Anyway, I was hoping i can get some help on a few “phrases” one might need to know when eating at a restaurant.

May i have some water?
How do i order a side of rice? Is it "ご飯”、”ライス”、”白ごはん”?
How do I get the check (bill)?

Any other basic phrases that are useful?


Looks like a work for Millie Sensei (<3)

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Other than “Water, please.” ( 水をください。 「みずくをください」 ) I can’t help you.

However, this will get lost in the Campfire section. Do you mind if I move it to the Japanese area? You’ll likely find more answers there. Some people stay completely out of Campfire.

EDIT: Done! : D

yes no problem! please move it to the Japanese area :slight_smile:

Ok so my Japanese is suuuuper basic, but I do live in Fukuoka and the phrases I use most often at restaurants are:

*おすすめはなんですか。= “What do you recommend?”

*おかいけいをおねがいします。= “Check, please.” <-- Note that they might just direct you up to the front cash register when you say this; not all restaurants bring a bill to the table

*いじょうです。= “That’s all (for now).” <-- useful for letting them know you’re done ordering

Oh, also – when paying, べつべつ = separate and いっしょに = together. They may ask you something like this if you’re with another person and paying at the register. It’s very easy for them to split it if you got a quick ramen lunch, etc. with one or two other people. If you’re in a large group, though, or have a lot of drinks/items on the bill, prepare to pay all together and work out the split amongst yourselves later; they will not be offering separate checks.

  • すみません!- This is the most important phrase; waiters don’t check in on you as much as they do in other countries, but it’s perfectly fine to scream out across the restaurant when you need something, at least if there’s no button to call someone over.
  • you might get asked ご注文を決まりですか [ごちゅうもんおきまりですか] - have you decided on your order?
  • お冷ください 「おひやください」- this is actually how you order water, I’ve never heard a Japanese person ask for みず. Note, this is cold water, for hot water it’s お湯「おゆ」
  • sometimes it’s ライス sometimes ご飯 you’ll probably have to look at the menu, but either way you’ll be understood.
  • お会計ください 「おかいけいください」 - “check please”, once they bring you the check, you walk up to the front to pay. Sometimes they might not bring you the check, and you can just walk to the front to pay, but that’s more rare. Though sometimes they will slip the bill onto the table and you might not even notice. That happened to me plenty of times. I’d ask for the bill and they would just point at the thing sitting on the table. Because you don’t pay at the table, it will often come vertically in a glass or in a little cylinder.

- ごちそうさまでしたー say this as you’re leaving. literally it means “it was a feast” but Japanese people say it at the end of a meal, it’s also a way of saying thank you to the restaurant staff.


@aga077a Where are you in Fukuoka? I was in Saga for a number of years, and spent plenty of time in and around Fukuoka.

I live a bit northeast of Fukuoka City – just a 10-15 min train ride from Hakata Station. I love it here! The food scene is pretty great, and the city has lots to do but isn’t overwhelming. Because it’s a little more international, I do get away with not using much Japanese, which has not been great for practicing…

I haven’t been to Saga yet – I hear it’s a bit inaka but really beautiful!

お冷ください 「おひやください」- this is actually how you order water, I’ve never heard a Japanese person ask for みず.

This is exactly what I hear someone say and confused me! Ordering rice is another good one!
Thank you!!!

Are there more?

Nice, I spent a lot of time in that area, and also up in Kitakyushu. I went diving out on Shikanoshima in the summers, and often hung out with (crashed with) my friend who lived in Tenjin. So much good food in the city. I recommend checking out the mongolian place Genghis Kahn with a group of friends if you want an adventurous evening.

Saga has some interesting places, but it’s basically just there. Arita has great porcelain, and there are amazing onsen all over the prefecture. I had my rice paddies outside my back door, it was quaint.

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To ask for the check, I’m always using お勘定 をおねがいしますね。
I’m actually not certain what the difference is with お会計, but a sushi chef once complimented me on using this phrase and told me that it’s the only correct way to ask for it.
Perhaps someone here can explain the difference?

I know one works every time…

Domo arigato madafuka

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