Are you planning a night out in Japan? Here are some useful Japanese phrases for drinking on your night out! Even if you don’t speak Japanese, you can use these phrases to help you navigate around!
Find out more about the different Japanese drinks, Japanese beers, the special strong zero you can get in Japan and how to prepare for a night out in Tokyo. Want to check out more bar recommendations in Shinjuku, Shibuya, Roppongi, Akihabara, Asakusa, Nakano, Shimokitazawa and Koenji.
One of the best ways to explore Tokyo is to visit the local areas and immerse yourself in the local culture. If you want to explore local areas, we have created scavenger hunt adventures personalised to your interests, filled with fun facts, clues and puzzles. If you’re curious, you can check out the games here!
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Japanese Phrases for Drinking in Japan
I-za-ka-ya (居酒屋)= Traditional Japanese pub
An izakaya is a place where you can drink and eat tapas-style snacks. They tend to be pretty cozy, so you will definitely get to know the quirks of the owner and your fellow clientele. A definite must-visit if you’re in Tokyo!
O-tou-shi (お通し) = Appetiser/ Table charge
A lot of Japanese bars and izakayas will charge you an ‘otōshi’ to drink there. Food and drink are traditionally served together, so ‘otōshi’ also means a little bowl of food they’ll serve you with your first drink. Neat!
Su-mi-ma-sen (すみません) = Excuse me!
Can’t see the bartender? After another round of Moscow Mules? Just shout ‘sumimasen’ to get their attention. This useful Japanese phrase will come in very handy.
Su-mi-ma-seMou-i-ppai ku-da-sai (もう一杯ください)= Another drink, please! (すみません) = Excuse me!
Use this phrase if you can’t remember the name of that delicious plum wine you’re drinking in the izakaya, but you want another!
O-kai-ke (おかいけ) = The bill
The bartender will probably understand ‘check’, but why not bust out this word?
Tsu-yo-meh (強め)= a little stronger
Feel like your mojito isn’t very strong? ‘Tsuyome’ literally means ‘stronger’, so hopefully they’ll give you another shot!
Yo-wa-meh (弱め) = a little weaker
Feel like your mojito is way too strong? ‘Yowame’ literally means ‘weaker’ and is a helpful phrase if you’re looking to not get too smashed.
Dai-jou-bu de-su (大丈夫)= it’s okay/I’m fine
If you don’t want another drink or you’re still on your first one, just whip out this bad boy if they ask you if you want another. But be careful — some bars will get annoyed if you stick around too long not drinking!
I-ta-da-ki-masu (いただきます) = a phrase to say before you tuck into your meal
It’s a Japanese phrase used kind of like saying grace anywhere else. If you’re in a group, say this before you tuck in.
Kam-pai (カンパイ)= Cheers!
If you’re getting in a round with some new Japanese pals.
Eh-ki wa, do-ko de-su-ka? (駅はどこですか) = Where’s the station?
End of the night on your night out and ready to head back to the Airbnb? ‘eh-ki’ means station. Hopefully, someone will be able to help you! If you need your drunk food before wrapping your night up, check out these options!
And there you have it — some super easy Japanese phrases to make your night out in Tokyo run a little smoother! Even if you don’t speak Japanese, you don’t have to worry! Have fun!
Find out more about all the different Japanese food, different types of ramen, ramen chains in Japan. For drinks, check out the different Japanese drinks, Japanese beers, the special strong zero you can get in Japan and how to prepare for a night out in Tokyo.