Act like a local
In contrast to the simple handshake employed in most Western countries, Japanese greet each other by bowing. There are different types of bowing, from a slight nod to a low 90-degree bow. Bowing or nodding your head is also done when apologizing or thanking someone. Since you are not Japanese, a nod of your head is usually enough when you greet someone.
Japanese commonly address each other by using their family name together with a title, the most common being -san. For example, the actor Ken Watanabe would be addressed as Watanabe-san. Only close friends and children refer to each other with their given name. Also, you never refer to yourself using the title ‘san’ as this title is only used when referring to other people.
When you introduce yourself you bow or nod your head and say ‘hajimemashite’ (ha-ji-may-ma-she-tay), which means ‘nice to meet you’, or literally ‘this is our first meeting’. Next, you introduce yourself by saying your last name followed by the word ‘desu’ (dess) or ‘I am’. Putting it all together: ‘Hajimemashite, (your family name) desu’.
Like anything new, it takes some practice but it is also a lot of fun, and as you meet and interact with the Japanese they will be thrilled you took the time and effort to learn their most basic social custom.
* It’s nice to meet you. My name is… – Hajimemashite (“ha-ji-may-ma-she-tay”) (your name) Desu (“dess”).
* Yes – Hai
* No – Iie (“E-ay”)
* Good Morning – Ohayo Gozaimasu (“O-hi-yo Go-zai-mass”)
* Good Afternoon – Konnichiwa (“Kon-ni-chi-wa”)
* Good Evening – Konbanwa (“Kon-ban-wa”)
* Good Night (before going to bed) – Oyasuminasai (“Oya-su-me-na-sigh”)
* Goodbye – Sayonara (“Sa-yo-na-ra”)
* Excuse Me/ Pardon Me/ I’m Sorry – Sumimasen (“Su-me-ma-sen”)
* Please (when offering something) – Dozo
* After You (when telling someone to go ahead of you) – Dozo
* Please (when requesting something) – Kudasai (“Ku-da-sigh”)
* Thank You – Doumo Arigatou (“Dough-mo Areh-ga-toe”)
* You’re Welcome – Douitashimashite (“Dough-ita-shi-ma-she-tay”)
Rediscover Tours arranges amazing trips whether you are traveling with your family, on your honeymoon, as a couple or as a group of friends. We work with you to make sure everything is exactly as you want it.
If none of our tours match exactly what you have in mind that is OK. Just let us know what destinations you like or what kinds of sights or activities you enjoy. We will create a custom tour just for you.
A group composed of people you already know. Planning a corporate trip, an adventure for your sport club or simply for a group of friends these customizable tours are for you.
The tours featured throughout our website are intended to give you ideas for what's possible when you travel with us. Treat them simply as inspiration, because your trip will be created individually by one of our specialists to match your tastes and budget.
It was our first trip to Japan. Working with Jeff was a pleasure. His knowledge of the country and local contacts were very helpful. Choice...
Working with Jeff at Rediscover Tours was a wonderful experience. He helped me plan a 10 day trip of a lifetime to Japan with my mother...
I would like to take this opportunity to commend and thank you for the marvelous vacation we recently enjoyed in Japan. The entire experience exceeded...
Our team of Japan experts have all lived in Japan for years and know its the hidden treasures. Our team is here to answer all your questions and to build your tour just the way you want it.
Jeff was born in a south suburb of Chicago named South Holland and lived in Japan for 14 years. He now lives in Commerce Township, Michigan with his wife Yoshimi, son Shota, and daughter Mina. He enjoys playing with his kids, volunteering with his daughter’s marching band, cycling and training and teaching Aikido.
Michiyo was born in Noboribetsu, Hokkaido Prefecture though currently lives in Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture. Her main passions in life is traveling all around the world and enjoying their cultures.
Izumi has spent most of her life in the Kansai region, except for the 10 years that she enjoyed in the UK. Living abroad has made her appreciate her own culture and local beauty even more. She currently lives in Osaka with her family, including two cats and two dogs.
Great trips don't just happen; it takes expert knowledge and years of experience to create a truly memorable holiday. You can rely on Rediscover Tours to make your perfect Japanese experience. Our dedication to excellence makes the difference.
Your Japan travel expert will create your trip just for you
Your interests and travel style will be front and center when designing your tour
Accommodations will be selected based on your style and we will inform them of all your special meal and physical requirements
Your Japan expert has lived in Japan or is Japanese
They know the hidden treasures of Japan that you will love and most tourists miss
Most of our team lives in Japan giving them first hand knowledge of the latest trends and experiences for you to enjoy
Private local guides add a whole new depth to your Japanese tour
We only hire the best guides and review each trip with them insuring excellent experience
Your private guide will listen to you, show you sights of interest and will make on the fly changes to match the weather and crowds
Our office in Japan is here to assist and support you
Rediscover Tours has been organizing travel to Japan since 2000
You will arrive comfortable in the knowledge that all details are taken care of and that our Japan office is just a call away