Say Hello in Japanese: 24 Easy Phrases (Audio Inside) (2023)

Want to say hello in Japanese?

Good! Greetings are the first thing you should KNOW if you’re learning Japanese. And if you’re not learning… leave!

So, today, you get a big Japanese greetings list with 24 ways to say Hello in Japanese and explanations for each one.

So, let’s get into all the Japanese words for hello.

1. Good Morning. おはよう

Okay, let’s start with the morning. You’re awake somewhere between 6AM and 10:59AM. And you see a friend. How do you greet them? Here’s how:

  • おはよう
  • Ohayou
  • Good morning (casual)

By the way, you should also hear real Japanese and how it sounds.

So, if you’re interested, here’s a quick lesson greetings (a Japanese learning app).

Just press the play button on the player below to listen and learn to say hello in Japanese with the audio lesson.

(Video) Learn Japanese for kids with 10 Basic words for Beginners!

2. Good Morning (polite) Ohayou gozaimasu

Now, there’s a polite way to say good morning in Japanese. You simply take the phrase above and add “gozaimasu.” Pretty much pronounced “go-zai-mas” (zai rhymes with eye). Use this for strangers and people of higher rank.

  • おはようございます
  • Ohayou gozaimasu
  • Good morning (formal)
Say Hello in Japanese: 24 Easy Phrases (Audio Inside) (1)Want to learn how to write in Japanese? Download your FREE Japanese Alphabet eBook here.

3. Hello or Good Day. こんにちは

So after morning is over… which is when? 11:00AM? Yes, after morning’s over, you should say “Hello” or “Good Day.” That’s where “konnichiwa” comes in. It’s one of the most recognized words and a super common Japanese greeting. For many learners, “konnichiwa” is their very first word.

But remember, it’s for the daytime.

  • こんにちは
  • Konnichiwa
  • Hello (Good day)

4. Good Evening. こんばんは

When’s evening start? Let’s say 6PM. So after 6PM, you shouldn’t say “konnichiwa” anymore. We switch over to a good evening greeting. That’s the proper way of saying hello in Japanese at night.

  • こんばんは
  • Konbanwa
  • Good evening

5. “Yo!” よぉ!

Now this is super casual way to say hello in Japanese among young guys. That’s right, you probably use “yo” in English in the same way. Well, you can do it in Japanese. Not much of a pronunciation difference.

  • よぉ
  • Yoo!
  • Yo!

6. Yahho~ やっほ~

Girls only say this. There’s no special meaning and it’s not directly translatable. It’s just “hi” but it’s a cute way to say hello in Japanese. However, knowing Japanese how Japanese works – they probably took a longer word and shortened or switched it around.

  • やっほ~
  • Yahho~
  • Hi!

7. Hello (on the phone). もしもし

Yes, this is a way to say hello in Japanese. However, it’s only used for answering the phone. Nothing else.

Do you pronounce this as “mooshy mooshy”? Please don’t. The “mo” is like mo in morning. And more often then not, it’s said as “moshi mosh” where the “i” in the second word is not pronounced.

  • もしもし
  • Moshi moshi
  • Hello (when on the phone)

8. Ossu! おっす!

This is another young-guy way to say “hey” or hello in Japanese. The “U” is silent in this word.

  • おっす!
  • Ossu!
  • Hey!

Where does “Ossu” come from? Well, it comes from pre-occupied Japan times from Kyoto and more specifically from martial arts students. They went from greeting each other with “ohayo gozaimasu” to “ohayo-ssu” and eventually brought it down to “ossu.” That’s why it’s also commonly used with anyone studying Japanese martial arts.

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9. It’s been a while. 久しぶり

This does NOT literally mean hello in Japanese. But, it’s most definitely used as a greeting, in place of hello. And it’s used when you haven’t seen a person in a while. So, yes, this is the first word you can say when you meet someone to greet them.

  • 久しぶり
  • Hisashiburi
  • It’s been a while

10. I’m home! I’m back! ただいま!

Yes, this can be used to say hello in Japanese. It’s what you say when you come back home. It’s like a “Hello!” or “I’m back” or “I’m home,” and is overall a greeting for when you return home. That’s it. This is one of many Japanese common set-phrases that you should know.

  • ただいま!
  • Tadaima!
  • I’m back!

As a bonus, if you come back home and say “tadaima” whoever is greeting you back needs to say “okaeri” or “welcome back.”

11. How’s it going in Japanese – Dou yo?

  • どうよ?
  • Dou yo?
  • How’s it going?

You know thatdou meanshow so here you’re just asking “how things are?” But remember, Japanese language relieson context. If you and someone just took a test together and are talking about it – the listener will think you’re talking about the test.

12. Heeey! おーい!

  • おーい!
  • Ōi!
  • Hey!

It’s like Australian “Oy!” It’s one of those ways to say hello in Japanese… especially when yelling from across the street. Good way to get a friend’s attention.

13. How was your day? 今日は、どんな感じ?

  • 今日は、どんな感じ?
  • Kyou wa donna kanji?
  • How’s your day?

Kyou meaning today, donna meaning how/what kind and kanji is feeling/state/overall condition. Kanji is a pretty versatile word because you can use it in many contexts — like the condition of your day, the taste of some drink, the atmosphere of a tough meeting, and so on. Replace “kyou” with some other subject like … test, wine, person’s name and it will work.

14. It’s nice to meet you. お会いできて光栄です。

  • お会いできて光栄です。
  • Oai dekite kouei desu.
  • It’s nice to meet you.

NO, this is not a substitute for “Hajimemashite.” Just a phrase to say to someone you meet again.. because it’s nice to meet them. Now this phrase is formal. How can you tell? It starts with the “O” in front of the noun Ai (meeting).

15. How have you been? いかがお過ごしですか。

  • いかがお過ごしですか。
  • Ikaga o-sugoshi desu ka.
  • How have you been?

Again, another formal phrase so don’t use it with friends but perhaps superiors.Ikaga is a very formal way to sayhow and as you can see, sugoshi (meaning time spent) begins with an o meaning it’s formal.

16. How are you? お元気ですか。

  • お元気ですか。
  • O-genki desu ka.
  • How are you?

Yes, you’re right. “How are you” is not a PURE way to say Hello in Japanese but… people use it as a greeting, right? Then, it’s okay. If “How are you” are the first words to come out of your mouth when meeting a friend in English, it’s the same for Japanese.

Also, this is formal. Drop the O from O-genki and turn it into a casual phrase:

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  • 元気ですか。
  • genki desu ka.
  • How are you?

17. Hello. ハロー

  • ハロー
  • harou
  • Hello

Yes, this is the English “Hello.” You can indeed use it in Japanese though it’s super casual. Kids may use it. Adults, maybe not so much unless they’re being super friendly or joking.

18. What’s new? 最近どう

  • 最近どう
  • Saikin dou?
  • What’s new?

“Saikin” means recently. And “dou” means “How?” But, this is just another one of many ways of saying “what’s up” or “what’s new” or “what’s recent?”

19. Welcome! いらっしゃいませ

  • いらっしゃいませ
  • Irasshaimase
  • Welcome!

If you enter a store or a business in Japan, they will yell this out. Take it as a “welcome” or a “Come in!” Sometimes, shop staff will yell “irrashaimase” not only to entrants but to people walking by in order to get them to come in. In that case, it’s more of a “Come in!”

20. Anything happen!? なんかあった?

  • なんかあった?
  • Nanka atta?

“Nanka” is a shortened version of “nani ka” which means “something” or “anything.” And “Atta” is the past form of the verb “aru” which means to have, be, or happen. So, it is quite literally asking, “did anything happen?”

21. (X) says “Hello” (X) がよろしくって

  • (X) がよろしくって
  • (X) ga yoroshiku tte
  • (X) says “Hello”

Want to tell someone that someone else said hi to them? Like, oh, “hey, John-san says hello to you.” This is how you do it:John-sanがよろしくって. (casual).

21. Hey. どうも

  • どうも
  • Doumo
  • Hey.

Doumo is a very versatile word. You can use it to say thanks. You can also use it to say hello in Japanese. This word is a shortened version of long greetings used back in the Edo period. It’s very casual so use only with friends.

22. Anything changed? 変わったことある?

  • 変わったことある?
  • Kawatta koto aru?
  • Anything changed?

Yes, this is another way of saying “what’s up” or “what’s new?”

23. Tell X I said Hello. (X) に よろしく言っておいて

  • (X) に よろしく言っておいて
  • X ni yoroshiku itte oite
  • Tell X I said Hello.

Just in case you’d like to pass a hello to someone. (Casual).

24. Tell everyone i said hello. 皆さんに、よろしくお伝え下さい.

  • 皆さんに、よろしくお伝え下さい
  • Minasan ni, yoroshiku otsutae kudasai
  • Tell everyone i said hello

Just in case you want to say hello in Japanese… to everyone! (Formal)

Conclusion: How to Say Hello in Japanese

Now you know all the fun Japanese greetings.

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Now that’ you’re here, how about a quick review, eh?

Take this survey and pick the most important phrase. Doing so will help it stick a bit better.

As a quick review, here are the ways to say hello in Japanese upfront. Check out the image below.

Say Hello in Japanese: 24 Easy Phrases (Audio Inside) (2)

Do you know of other unique ways to say Hello in Japanese?

Leave a comment below and I’ll add it to this list.

I read all the comments!

What’s next?

  • Next Article: Say BYE in Japanese


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– The Main Junkie

P.S. I recommend this for Japanese learners. If you REALLY want to learn to Japanese with effective lessons by real teachers – Sign up for free at JapanesePod101 (click here) and start learning!
Say Hello in Japanese: 24 Easy Phrases (Audio Inside) (3)


How do you say hello in Japanese sound? ›

How to say Hello in Japanese - Useful Japanese for Conversation

What is HI in anime? ›

If you ever watched at least one anime series, you probably already know this: “hello” in Japanese is Konnichiwa.

How do Japanese girls say hi? ›

Konnichiwa / Hello or good afternoon (こんにちは)

Konnichiwa is the most common way to say hello in Japanese. You can use it to greet Japanese people in semi-formal situations, regardless of their social status.

What Moshi Moshi means? ›

Moshi moshi, or もしもし, is a common Japanese phrase that Japanese people use when picking up the phone. It's a casual greeting used for friends and family, like a “hello”, but in fact means something entirely different! In English, it literally means something more like, “to say to say”, or “I speak I speak”.

What is OK in Japan? ›

The best way to say “Okay” in Japanese to express your acknowledgement of something is to say わかった (wakatta). If you need to speak formally you can use わかりました (wakarimashita).

Is anime a Japanese word? ›

Etymology 1

Borrowed from Japanese アニメ (anime), an abbreviation of アニメーション (animēshon), ultimately from English animation.

Are you OK in Japanese casual? ›

大丈夫?(Daijōbu?): “Are You Okay?” in Casual Japanese

A casual way of asking someone if they are okay is to just say 大丈夫? (daijōbu?) with a raising intonation to turn it into a question. The English equivalent would be something like, “you okay?”.

What do anime people say? ›

The Top 10 Words You'll Hear In Anime!
  • Hey Listeners!
  • Kawaii (かわいい) Definition: Cute, Adorable.
  • Sugoi (すごい) Definition: Amazing, great.
  • Baka (ばか) Definition: Idiot, stupid.
  • Oniisan (お兄さん) Definition: Older brother.
  • Daijōbu (大丈夫) Definition: Okay, good.
  • Imōto (妹) Definition: Younger sister.
  • Ureshiii (嬉しい)
Apr 11, 2016

How do Japanese people say hi in text? ›

“Hi” in Japanese – やあ!

A super simple greeting to start off with! やあ is used casually between friends. It's more of an exclamation to grab attention. In Japanese, it's common to greet your friends and coworkers with a やあ, or just あー (Aah-), followed by their name.

How old are you Japanese? ›

It can be written with two different kanji: the traditional 歳 and the simplified and most commonly used 才. To ask someone "how old are you?," you can say: Nan sai desu ka (何歳ですか); Or in a more formal way, O ikutsu desu ka (おいくつですか).

What does Ohio mean in Japan? ›

Ohayo (おはよう, ohayō) is a colloquial term meaning good morning in Japanese. Ohayo may also refer to: Good Morning (1959 film), 1959 Japanese comedy film by director Yasujirō Ozu. Ohayo Mountain, Catskill Mountains, New York, US. A misspelling of Ohio, a U.S. state.

What are the 100 most common words in Japanese? ›

Common Japanese Phrases for Beginners
  • はい (hai) – Yes.
  • いいえ (iie) - No.
  • わかりません (wakarimasen) – I don't understand.
  • わすれました (wasuremashita) – I forgot.
  • しりません (shirimasen) – I don't know.
  • たぶん (tabun) – Maybe.
  • だいじょうぶ (daijoubu) – Alright.
  • よろしくお願いします (yoroshiku onegai shimasu) – Nice to meet you.
Aug 7, 2020

How do you reply to Moshi Moshi? ›

To politely conclude your exchange with a client or supplier, the conventional expression is お世話になっております (o-sewa ni natte orimasu), “Thank you for your support, thank you for working with us.” You can also use this expression when answering the phone. Use “shitsurei shimasu” to politely conclude your conversation.

How do you flirt Japanese phrases? ›

15 Love and Romance Words in Japanese to Flirt, Flatter, and Date
  1. Suki (好き) ...
  2. Daisuki (大好き) ...
  3. Ai shiteiru (愛している) ...
  4. Tsukiatte kudasai (付き合ってください) ...
  5. Kawaii (可愛い) ...
  6. Kakkoii (かっこいい) ...
  7. Ki ni natta (気になった) ...
  8. Zutto issho ni itai (ずっと一緒にいたい)
Jan 17, 2022

Can you say Moshi Moshi in real? ›

But never use it in business situations. It's considered rude because it's a shortened phrase. Younger Japanese people don't always know not to use "moshi moshi" in formal telephone calls (Honestly.

Why do Japanese people answer the phone Moshi Moshi? ›

When telephones began to be used in Japan, telephone operators were at work. When those who made calls wanted to make sure if their voices were reaching the operators, they said MÔSU, MÔSU. This is said to be the origin of MOSHIMOSHI. Now, we no longer need operators.

What does Mochi mean in Japanese? ›

In Mochi Ice Cream, the word “mochi” mostly refers to the ball of sweet rice dough that encapsulates that delicious ice cream. In Japan, mochi in general is a type of rice cake. A piece of mochi about the size of a small matchbox is about the equivalent of eating an entire bowl of rice.

Do Japanese like hugs? ›

Hugging means roughly the same thing in Japan as it means in Western countries—it is a way to show affection. However, in Japan, hugging is a bit less common, more romantic, and more often private. Being hugged may seem more serious to a Japanese person than a Westerner.

Does Hai mean okay? ›

Sometimes it's used as a sign of acknowledgement. Sometimes it's used as a delineating device to indicate a change in topic. Sometimes it's used as a way of saying “here you go”. Basically, hai has many different meanings and uses in Japanese beyond “yes”.

What is Wakata? ›

Wakatta and wakarimashita are both past tense and is more like "understood" or "I got it" where as wakatteru is more like "I get it" or "I understand". Helpful(6)

What does ohayo mean? ›

Ohayo (おはよう, ohayō) is a colloquial term meaning good morning in Japanese. Ohayo may also refer to: Good Morning (1959 film), 1959 Japanese comedy film by director Yasujirō Ozu. Ohayo Mountain, Catskill Mountains, New York, US. A misspelling of Ohio, a U.S. state.

How do you pronounce konnichiwa? ›

How to Say 'Hello' in Japanese? | Pronounce Konnichiwa - YouTube

What does konnichiwa mean in? ›

konnichiwa (こんにちは)

It's a formal kind of 'hello! '.

How do u say good morning in Japanese? ›

How to Say "Good Morning" | Japanese Lessons - YouTube

What does Nani mean in Japanese anime? ›

Updated on January 27, 2019. The word nani 何 (なに) in Japanese means "what." And depending on the situation, you might, instead, use nan (なん).

What can I reply to ohayo? ›

The perfect ohayo gozaimasu reply

It could be replied with a simple “Ohayou” or “Daijobudesu”. The first word means good morning as well, and the second phrase means “I am good” in Japanese. Learning these basic greetings is important and helpful when visiting Japan for the first time.

Are you OK in Japanese casual? ›

大丈夫?(Daijōbu?): “Are You Okay?” in Casual Japanese

A casual way of asking someone if they are okay is to just say 大丈夫? (daijōbu?) with a raising intonation to turn it into a question. The English equivalent would be something like, “you okay?”.

How do you pronounce Nyeong ha se yo? ›

Anyong haseyo (pronounced "ahn-yo ha-say-yoh") is the most basic way to greet someone in Korea. To show respect to someone older or of higher status, say anyong hashimnikka (pronounced "ahn-yo hash-im-nee-kah") by way of a formal greeting.

How do you spell Zdravstvuyte? ›

2. “Hello” in Russian – Здравствуйте (zdravstvuyte)

How do you say hello What are you doing in Japanese? ›

How to say「What are you doing?」in Japanese!【1 minute ...

What is Domo arigato? ›

When you buy something at a store, store clerk would say "DOMO ARIGATOU", meaning thank you "very much". You can also use DOMO as a greeting like "hello". And just saying DOMO can mean a casual way of "thank you" like thanks.

What does Genki desu ka? ›

So what is “genki desu ka(げんきですか)”? Well, most people equate this to the English meaning “how are you”.

Do Japanese shake hand? ›

Bowing Vs Shaking Hands

In general, handshakes in Japan are rare. Shaking hands in Japan is more significant than it is in the west. It symbolizes things like strong relationships, large deal signings and high profile mergers. On another note, Japanese culture is not very touchy-feely.

How old are you Japanese? ›

It can be written with two different kanji: the traditional 歳 and the simplified and most commonly used 才. To ask someone "how old are you?," you can say: Nan sai desu ka (何歳ですか); Or in a more formal way, O ikutsu desu ka (おいくつですか).

What does Yaho mean in Japanese? ›

These are are top slang terms for hello: Yaho (ヤッホー) Predominantly used by girls, you'll hear it a lot more in younger groups of girls. As it is a newer slang expression rather than a formal greeting it is written in katakana.

What language is Ohio hello? ›

Basic Japanese Greetings

Good morning: Ohayou gozaimasu (pronounced: "oh-hi-oh goh-zai-mas") The greeting can be shortened by just saying ohayou (sounds like the way to pronounce the U.S. state of Ohio), however, this is very informal, much as you would offer a simple “morning” to a friend.


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