greeting in Japanese restaurants
- Geoff Jul 13, 2009 08:46 AM
So you walk into many Japanese restaurants and the staff all call out *something* as you walk in, as a greeting. What's the word? thanks!!
re: Sam Fujisaka
Wow, what a flashback to those first few weeks in Japan.
The first time I entered a mom and pop type place on a village street, all three employees immediately drew erect, and SHOUTED "Irasshaimase!". It is often delivered boisterously, almost sternly, respectfully, but rarely is it gentle or dolce.
I had no idea what it meant. With all honesty, I figured it meant "no foreigners!!!", so I actually ducked back out the door.
Next night, after asking friends and finding what it meant, I went back to the same place and established a long and lovely relationship.
Some places, especially late night working-man's bars, had the greeting at full decibel lusty level.
Now back in the States, I've found only one equivalent. When I walk into my local Cici's pizza (for my special order double anchovy pie), all the staff shout "welcome to Cici's!" They don't have the unison rhythm quite down like a well honed restaurant team in Japan, but it's fun nonetheless.
Then, when I special order my double anchovy pizza (included in the 5 dollar buffet price) the youngster at the register is startled and retreats to that internal place that resides within every non-initiated member of the american public, with "Gross!". But, over time (it's a quarter mile from my house) I've gently offered a taste and made a few converts.
I visit about once a quarter, timed for good sports games on the big TV. The veteran kids there, after the unison "Welcome to Cici's", follow with "It's anchovy man!!!".
Ah, sweet bliss.. that's the "Irasshai!" for the anchovy guy.
irasshaimase, sounds like ee-rah-sha-ma-sai?
its just a greeting that restaurants use, something like welcome or come in I guess. Might not have a direct translation. I don't think there's a specific reply other than to say hello or konbanwa (which may be old fashioned?).
They also say "dozo" a lot which is something like "please" or "please enjoy this" or "please go ahead".
good phrases for you to know
itadakimasu (when you are first given your food - mans something like "i gratefully receive this" and gochisosama deshita - after the meal as thanks to yourh osts and/or the chefs etc - i think it translates to "i had a feast"
(menmonics - it's a ducky mess, and goat cheese sammy desktop)
While in a Japanese restaurant, my 4-yr-old turned to the kimono-clad hostess, who was very small, and said to her "Thanks, little girl!"