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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!!

  1. NellyNel Jul 13, 2009 08:52 AM

    Is it "konichiwa "?
    It is a Japanese greeting.

    1. g
      greghoffman Jul 13, 2009 09:25 AM

      Ohio Gozaimas?

      6 Replies
      1. re: greghoffman
        ricepad Jul 13, 2009 12:11 PM

        "Welcome to the Buckeye State"?

        1. re: ricepad
          Leonardo Jul 13, 2009 12:28 PM

          Is usually spelled "ohayo" or "ohaiyo".

          1. re: Leonardo
            ricepad Jul 13, 2009 12:36 PM


            1. re: ricepad
              greghoffman Jul 13, 2009 01:11 PM

              Yeah, I guess that was really more what they said when you walked into a store in Japan - not a restaurant...

              1. re: greghoffman
                ricepad Jul 13, 2009 09:53 PM

                "Ohayo gozaimasu" is the typical greeting in the morning, akin to 'good morning'.

                I was just pulling your leg over your spelling. Sumimasen deshita!

          2. re: ricepad
            rednyellow Jul 21, 2009 07:08 PM

            LOL! Excellent!

        2. Sam Fujisaka Jul 13, 2009 09:41 AM




          3 Replies
          1. re: Sam Fujisaka
            Geoff Jul 13, 2009 10:47 AM

            That's it! thanks!

            1. re: Sam Fujisaka
              FoodFuser Jul 14, 2009 06:07 AM

              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.

              1. re: FoodFuser
                lost squirrel Jul 14, 2009 08:26 PM

                That's great Fuser, I've been in Japan for 3 years now and I remember thinking, "why are they yelling at me already? I haven't even ordered!"

            2. l
              luniz Jul 13, 2009 09:46 AM

              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".

              1 Reply
              1. re: luniz
                Geoff Jul 13, 2009 10:48 AM

                Irasshaimase! that's it, thanks

              2. thew Jul 13, 2009 12:41 PM

                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)

                1 Reply
                1. re: thew
                  Leonardo Jul 13, 2009 01:08 PM

                  Perfectly ok to just say "gochisosama", either after eating or on your way out the door.
                  I remember itadakimasu (the "U" is nearly silent) literally "I receive", as the first syllable is "EAT".
                  Dozo also can mean "help yourself".

                2. Michelly Jul 17, 2009 01:21 PM

                  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!"

                  1. f
                    FrankDrakman Jul 17, 2009 02:42 PM

                    After the Bud commercial, I thought it was "Wasabi!".

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