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Some Occasional Greetings in Japanese

While planning to go for a trip to some country, it is very common to learn some important phrases or words that might be helpful. I think almost all travelers coming to Japan are a little frightened about the language barrier they have to overcome. The usual wishes like Konnichiwa, Ohayou, Arigatou are some of the basic Japanese phrases with which a simple tourist cares about. If you are staying here in Japan for long, it is very much essential to learn some more phrases to survive in the society. When we check any Japanese wishes, they have two different ways of usage: formal and informal (casual). The casual greeting words could be used to wish friends and other highly related persons. While the formal one could be used in all other situations.

New Year greetings: Happy New Year!

It’s the time to welcome the New Year. If this is your first New Year's in Japan, these greeting words should really help. You may wish your friends and colleagues with a ‘Happy New Year’ in Japanese. There are two different greetings that Japanese used to wish a New Year. By the end of an Year, that is, during the last days of December, people exchange greetings saying ‘Have a good year ahead’.

Happy New Year, 2017!

Happy New Year, 2017!

Photo: Hideya HAMANO on Flickr

  • Formal: Yoi otoshi wo omukae kudasai  (よい おとしを おむかえ ください)
  • Informal: Yoi otoshi wo (よい おとしを).

A very common greeting during New Year is ‘Happy New Year’ which could be said in these ways.

  • Formal: Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu. (あけまして おめだとう ございます)
  • Informal: Akemashite omedetou. (あけまして おめだとう)


Congratulation is a word that is used in many situations.



Photo: Tiffany Key on Flickr

1. Congratulations

  • Formal: Omedetou gozaimasu (おめだとう ございます).
  • Informal: Omedetou (おめだとう).

This word could be used in other situations also, like during weddings, birthdays etc.

2. Happy birthday

  • Formal: O-tanjoubi omedetou gozaimasu ( おたんじょうび おめだとう ございます).
  • Informal: Tanjoubi omedetou ( たんじょうび おめだとう).
Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

Photo: Ippei Suzuki on Flickr

3. Congrats on getting married

  • Formal: Kekkon omedetou gozaimasu (けっこん おめだとう ございます).
  • Informal: Kekkon omedetou (けっこんおめだとう).

Take care!

Take care is a commonly used greeting word. When we meet someone with health problems its common to say ‘Please take care of your health’ or ‘I wish you will recover soon’. The Japanese way of wishing the same is as follows.

  • Formal: Odaiji ni kudasai (おだいじに ください).
  • Informal: Odaiji ni (おだいじに).
Odaiji ni!

Odaiji ni!

Photo: Laura Manning on Flickr

If you are happened to go to some clinic or hospitals while in Japan, you must hear these words many times. Everyone in the hospital like the doctor, nurse, at the billing section, staff at the drug store, information counter etc. will wish you ‘Odaiji ni kudasai’.

Japanese used to exchange greeting words in everyday life and of course during various occasions. Even if you are a stranger, they will take care about it. Be one among them by exchanging such occasional greetings in their language itself.

Wishing you a good year ahead!

Yoi otoshi wo!!

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