All About Japan

'Itadakimasu!' Basic Japanese for Dining Out

Restaurants Learning Japanese First Time in Japan Life in Japan

One of the benefits to being in Japan is the overwhelming amount of delicious food available. Although some places have menus in English and other languages, and places like ramen shops require minimal interaction due to technology, there are still a few simple Japanese phrases that are helpful to know when dining out.

Getting Seated

Getting Seated

When you enter the restaurant or bar, you will be asked by one of the staff members how many diners are in your party, generally with the question “Nan mei sama desu ka?” (何名様ですか?). If it’s two of you, the answer is “Ni mei desu,” (二名です)and you can change it by putting in whatever number in Japanese at the beginning. If all else fails, you can hold up your fingers—as long as there aren't more than ten people! Depending on when you go, the waiting time to be seated can vary. If there is a long list of names that have not been crossed off or staff tells you that the wait will be longer than you're comfortable with, it isn't bad form to change your mind and go somewhere else.

For more helpful tips in navigating the delicious world of dining in Japan, read the full article from Tokyo Girls' Update via the link below!