予約= yoyaku : How to make a reservation in Japanese

August 17, 2012 in Japanese culture, Practical, Travel Japanese, useful phrases, Vocabulary

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= Goyoyaku wa nanmei sama desu ka?

= How many people in your party?


= Yonhiki desu.

= Four “dogs” !

Hi everyone! It’s been a long time! I was on vacation, but I am finally back!

For a change, let’s study something very practical instead of one of my usual grammar based lessons.

Today, you will learn how to make reservations in Japanese.


予約 =よやく= yoyaku = reservation


:rrrr: verb : 予約をする= yoyaku wo suru = to make a reservation, to book

If you stay in Japan, you may need to make a reservation for a room at a hotel, a table at a restaurant, a haircut at a beauty salon, etc.

You might be scared to make a reservation because a lot of times you have to do it over the phone in Japanese.

I completely understand! Japanese people have trouble making reservations over the phone when we go abroad too, so I hope this lesson helps you feel more comfortable making phone calls in Japanese.

(I added lots of sound files this time. Also our friend, Victor made a follow up video for this lesson. Go check the video and play it while you go throught the vocab.  He will show you how to study my lessons in that video.)

!star! Restaurants : !Fork!

Whenever I go abroad, I always want to go to the restaurants where the local people go — not the tourists where I can enjoy the atmosphere and their local food.

You may bring a nice guidebook written in your language when you visit Japan, and it should give you a lot of good restaurant information and those places might be safer for you because there is a good chance that they’ll speak English there. But try some of the more popular local restaurants.

So how do you find them?

As for me, I always search for new places using the Internet or タウン誌 (= taunshi) local town magazines besides, of course, the word of mouths from my friends.

If you know enough Japanese, I would suggest that you should use some restaurant information sites in Japan such as 食べログ(=taberogu) , グルナビ(gurunabi) etc. Sites such as グルナビ(=Gurunabi) have pages written in English, Korean and Chinese, but when I checked them, they are not the same as Japanese.

Of course, those sites are not for people who don’t care about other people’s opinions.

But at least you’ll get an idea of what kind of restaurants there are in Japan.

Actually one of you asked me to make a lesson on how to use these sites, so let’s start with some basic vocabulary.


レストラン検索 = resutoran kensaku = Searching restaurants

!onpu! Useful vocabulary for searching for a restaurant.

*エリア名= eria mei = name of the areas

*ジャンル、店名TEL = janru, tenmei, TEL = types of food, name of the place, telephone.

You don’t need to know them. You can narrow down where you want to go by checking the following.

*予算= yosan = budget

:u: Type of food :

*洋食 = youshoku = Western Cuisine

Note : The translation is “Western food” but it might be different from what you might expect because sometimes 洋食(=youshoku)

refers to the old style of western cuisine adapted in the Meiji Era.

*フレンチ= Furenchi = French food

*イタリアン = Italian = Italian food

*中華料理= chuuka ryouri = Chinese food

*韓国料理= kankokuryouri = Korean food

*和食 = Washoku = Japanese food

*ラーメン = raamen = ramen noodles

*焼き肉= yakiniku = Korean BBQ

*= nabe = Japanese style hot pot dish (if you come to Japan in winter, it is highly recommended.)

*居酒屋 = Izakaya = Japanese style bar (This is one of Japan’s favorite hang outs and usually are very casual. You can try many different Japanese dishes here, but they are kind of loud. If you want to eat in a quiet atmosphere, they may not be suitable.)

!candy! Other key words :

*食べ放題 = tabehoudai = all you can eat

*飲み放題 = nomihoudai = all you can drink

*宴会 = enkai = party, banquet, drinking party

*女子会= joshikai = female gathering (Check my related lesson 女子会)

*指定なし= shiteinashi = none specified

And you can search restaurants by the popularity ranking.

*昼のランキング= hiru no ranking = ranking for lunch

*夜のランキング = yoru no ranking = ranking for dinner

If you pick a restaurant and click it, it shows

*お店情報= omise jouhou = the restaurant information

*写真ギャラリー =shashin gyarariii = Photo Galleries = Some people who have been there posted pictures.

*口コミ = kuchikomi = words of mouth

*評価= hyouka = reviews

*平均予算= heikin yosan = average cost

*メニュー= menyuu = menu

Note: Remember that in Japanese the word メニュー(= menyuu) can also refer to an actual dish. For example, 今日のメニュー (=

kyou no menyuu) could be today’s special. On this site, however, it just means a list of what they offer.

*お品書き = oshinagaki = menu (This term is usually used for Japanese style restaurants.)

*地図 = chizu = map

*クーポン= cuupon = coupon

Many people use these coupons quite often.

If you send the information to your cell phone or print the coupon, you can get a good discount.


= inshoku daikin yori juppasento ofu

= 10% discount from your bill.

Ex. デザートにアイスクリームプレゼント

= Dezaato ni aisukuriimu purezento

= free ice cream for dessert



Some restaurants accept Internet reservations if you book ahead of time. But today we will learn how to book a table over the phone.

So let’s say you pick one restaurant that you are interested in.


R : 「はい、”居酒屋飲み助”です。」

= Hai “Izakaya Nomisuke” desu.

= Hello, “Izakaya Nomisuke”. May I help you?

You :「すみません、予約をお願いしたいんですが。」

= Sumimasen. Yoyaku wo onegai shitain desu ga.

= Hi, I would like to make a reservation.

R : 「はい、いつがよろしいでしょうか?」

= Hai, itsu ga yoroshii deshouka?

= Sure, when is it for?

You :「明日の夜です。」

= Ashita no yoru desu.

= For tomorrow evening.

If you don’t specify lunch time or dinner time, they will ask you

R :「お昼ですか?夜ですか?」

= Ohiru desuka? Yoru desu ka?

= For lunch or for dinner?



R :「ランチですか?夕食ですか?」

= Ranchi desu ka? Yuushoku desuka?

= For lunch or for dinner?

Then you tell them


You :「夜です。」

= Yoru desu.

= For dinner.

R :「何時ぐらいからでしょうか?」

= Nanji gurai kara deshou ka?

= What time is good for you?


R : 「何時がよろしかったでしょうか?」

= Nanji ga yoroshikatta deshouka?

= What time is good for you?

(Note : You often here よろしかったでしょうか?(=yoroshikatta deshouka) in  convenience stores, family restaurants.etc.
Since this lesson’s purpose is to show you a practical Japanese but if you want to learn grammatically correct Japanese, it should be

よろしいでしょうか?= Yoroshii deshouka?)

You :「7時からお願いします。」

= Hichiji kara onegai shimasu.

= At 7:00 please.

They will ask you the number of people in your party.

R :「はい、何名様ですか?」

= Hai, nanmei sama desu ka?

= OK, how many people in your party?

You :「2名です。」

= Nimei desu.

= For two people

You :「全部で8名です。」

= Zenbu de hachimei desu.

= Eight people in total.

Note : You can also say 一人(=hitori)= one person二人(=futari) = two people三人(=sannin) = three people, etc.

:l: I am a dog so I can use (= hiki, biki, piki) as in the picture above but it only applies to animals, OK? :maggie-small:

Then they will ask your seating preference.

R :「テーブル席ですか?それともお座敷ですか?」

= Teiburu seki desu ka? Soretomo ozashiki desu ka?

= Do you prefer a table or zashiki room?

You :「テーブル席でお願いします。」

= Teiburu seki de onegai shimasu.

=A table please.

!lotsofhearts! Vocabulary :

座敷= zashiki = Japanese tatami mat room (You have to take off your shoes)

掘りごたつ= horigotatsu = The table is on tatammi mats. But there is a sunken space underneath of the table for your legs so it is more comfortable to sit in than a regular tamtami room.

テーブル席= teiburu seki = a table (seats at a table)

カウンター席= kauntaa seki = at a counter (seats at a counter)

個室 = koshitsu = private room

They may ask you what kind of course you want.

R :「コースはお決まりですか?」

= Koosu wa okimari desuka?

= Have you decided what course you are going to have?

If you want to decide when you get there tell them

You :「そちらに行ってから決めます。」

= Sochirani itte kara kimemasu.

= We will decide when we get there.

R :「それではお名前とお電話番号をお願い致します。」

= Sorede wa oname to odenwa bangou wo onegai itashimasu.

= Now may I have your name and telephone number, please?

You :「はい、マギー•ポップコーンです。」

= Hai, Maggie Poppucoon desu.

= Yes, Maggie Popcorn.

Note : You should pronounce your name clearly and slowly. Otherwise they will have difficulty understanding your name.)

If they don’t get it, they will ask you

Ex. 綴りを教えて頂けますか?

= Tsuzuri wo oshiete itadakemasu ka?

= How do you spell your name?

:rrrr: 綴り(= tsuzuri) = スペル= superu = spelling

You :「今、携帯がないので滞在先の”わんわんホテル”の電話番号をお伝えします。~~~~」

= Ima keitai ga nai node taizaisaki no “Wanwan hoteru” no denwa banngou wo otsutae shimasu.

= I don’t have a cell phone so, here is the phone number of Wanwan hotel where I am staying.

R :「はい、それでは復唱させていただきます。」

= Hai, soredewa fukushou sasete itadakimasu.

= OK, let me repeat your reservation.

R :「明日の8月30日、7:00からマギー•ポップコーン様で2名様、テーブル席でのご予約。」

= Asu no hachigatsu sanjuunichi shichiji kara Maggie Poppukoon sama de nimei sama. Teiburuseki deno goyoyaku.

= A table for two under the name, Maggie Popcorn at 7:00 tomorrow.

R :「お電話番号は~~~~~でよろしかったでしょうか?」

=Odenwa bangou wa ~~ de yoroshikatta deshouka?

= Your telephone number is ~~~~, is that correct?

You :「はい、よろしくお願い致します。」

= Hai, yoroshiku onegai itashimasu.

= Yes, thank you.

R :「それではお待ちしております。」

= Soredewa omachi shiteorimasu.

= We will be waiting for you tomorrow then.

When you arrive at the restaurant, you’ll say

You :「予約をしたマギー•ポップコーンです。」

= Yoyaku wo shita Maggie Poppukoon desu.

= I have a reservation under Maggie Popcorn.


You :「7時から2名で予約をしたマギー•ポップコーンです。」

= Hichiji kara nimei de yoyaku wo shita Maggie Poppukoon desu.

= I have a reservation for two at 7:00 under the name Maggie Popcorn.


:qq: Variation :

A lots of western style restaurants have anniversary service so that if you want to celebrate your family or friends’s birthday you could ask

You :「友達のバースデーなんですが、そちらではなにかそういったサービスはありますか?」

= Tomodachi no baasudei nandesuga sochira dewa nanika souitta saabisu wa arimasu ka?

= It’s my friend’s birthday. Do you have any special service for that?

R :「はい、デザートのバースデープレートのご用意ができます。」

= Hai, dezaato no baasudei pureito no goyoui ga dekimasu.

= Yes, we can arrange a birthday dessert.

!star! バースデープレート=”Birthday Plate” is a special dessert plate arranged for a birthday.

Usually they’ll prepare a dessert with candles and write the name of the birthday person on it.

Some place do that free of charge, some charges extra depending on the place.


You :「それではお願いします。」

= Soredewa onegai shimasu.

= Then please arrange it.

R :「お友達のお名前をお知らせ下さい。」

= Otomodachi no oname wo oshirase kudasai.

= Please tell me your friend’s name.


You :「Max です。」

= Makkusu desu.

= It’s Max.


If they can’t take your reservation they say

You :「あいにくその日はもう予約で一杯になっております。」

= Ainiku sono hi wa mou yoyaku de ippai ninatte orimasu

= I am sorry but all the tables are all booked.

If you want to change the date, you say

You :「それでは、あさっての8月31日の夜はどうでしょうか?」

= Soredewa asatte no hachigatsu sanjuuichinichi no yoru wa doudeshouka?

= Then how about the day after tomorrow, night of Aug.31st?

If they still say,

R :「満席です。」or「あいにく、満席となっております。」

= Manseki desu.or Ainiku manseki to natte orimasu.

= We’re full. / We are very sorry but we are full.

and you want to give up you say


You :「それではまたにします。」

= Soredewa matani shimasu.

= OK, then I will visit you some other time.

They will say

R :「申し訳ございません。また宜しくお願い致します。」

= Moushiwake gozaimasen. Mata yoroshiku onegai itashimasu.

= We are very sorry. Please visit us another time.


!star! Hair salons,etc.:

Now let’s try to make reservation for a beauty salon.

!lotsofhearts! Vocabulary

*カット= katto = haircut

* 前髪カット= maegami katto = just getting bangs cut

*シャンプー = shanpuu = shampoo

*ブロー = brow = hair dry

*パーマ= paama = perm

*セット= setto =to style hair

*ヘアアレンジ= hea arenji = hair arrangement

*ヘアダイ = headai = hairdye

*カラー = karaa = hairdye

*ヘッドスパ= heddo spa = head massage

*毛先をそろえる= kesaki wo soroeru = to trim one’s hair

OK, are you ready to call them?

H.Salon : 「はい、マギー美容室です。」

= Hai, Maggie biyoushitsu desu.

= Hello, this is Maggie Hair salon.

You : 「すみません。今日の午後、予約できますか?」

= Sumimasen. Kyou no gogo yoyaku dekimasu ka?

= May I make a reservation for this afternoon?

You can also specify what kind of service you want at the beginning.

You :「カットで予約できますか?」

= Katto de yoyaku dekimasu ka?

= I would like to make a reservation for a haircut.

You :「シャンプー&カットで予約できますか?」

= Shanpuu katto de yoyaku dekimasu ka?

= I would like to make a reservation for a shampoo and a haircut.

H.Salon :「今日の午後ですね。何時頃がよろしかったですか?」

= Kyou no gogo desu ne. Nanji goro ga yoroshikatta desu ka?

= This afternoon, right? What time will be good for you?

You :「4時頃空いていますか?」

= Yoji goro aite imasu ka?

= How about around 4:00?



You :「何時だったら空いていますか?」

= Nanji  dattara aite imasuka?

= What time are you available?

H.Salon :「4:30ならおとりできますが…」

= Yoji han nara otori dekimasu ga…

= How about 4:30?

You :「それでは4:30でお願いします。」

= Soredewa yojihan de onegai shimasu.

= OK, then 4:30 please.

If you haven’t told them what you want them to do, they will ask you

H.Salon :「メニューはお決まりですか?」

= Menyuu wa okimari desuka?

= Have you decided what kind of service you want?

You :「シャンプーカットでお願いします。」

= Shanpuu katto de onegai shimasu.

= Shampoo and haircut, please.

H.Salon :「当店でのご利用は初めてですか?」

= Touten deno goriyou wa hajimete desu ka?

= Is it your first time at our place?

You :「はい、初めてです。」

= Hai hajimete desu.

= Yes, it’s my first time.

H.Salon :「当店の会員様でいらっしゃいますか?」

= Touten no kaiin sama de irasshaimasu ka?

= Are you our member?

You :「いいえ。」

= iie

= No

You :「はい。」


= Yes

H.Salon: 「それでは会員番号をお願いします。/ お伺い致しします。」

= Soredewa kaiin bangou wo onegai shimasu./ oukagai itashimasu.

= Your membership card number please / let me ask you for your membership card number, please.

H.Salon :「お名前をフルネームでお願い致します。」

= Onamae wo furuneimu de onegai shimasu.

= Could I have your full name, please?

This applies for reservations for nail salons as well.

If you haven’t tried Japanese hair salons or nail salon, I would say “Try!” You can get a nice head massage at a hair salon.

And they do a great jobs at nail salons.

If you are not sure what kind of service you are going to get, tell them,

You :「行ってから相談します。」

= Itte kara soudan shimasu.

= I will consult (with your staff) when I get there.


You :「行ってから決めます。」

= Itte kara kimemasu.

= I will decide when I get there.

And in case you are not confident communicating in Japanese, you could ask

You : 英語の話せるスタッフの方はいますか?

= Eigo no hanaseru sutaffu no kata wa imasu ka?

= Is there any staff who speaks English?



!star! Massage parlors :


You will see a lot of massage parlors in Japan.

Many of us have a lot of 肩こり(=katakori) still shoulders so it is very handy to go get マッサージ( =massaji) in Japan.

(The average cost for a massage is 10 minutes for 1,000 yen. But if you shop around, you can find many cheaper places.)

!lotsofhearts! (Vocabulary)

*指圧 = shiatsu=finger-pressure treatment

*マッサージ= massaaji = massage

*クイックマッサージ = Kuikku massage = “quick” massage. It is the same as “マッサージ(=massage)” . You can have a 10 minute massage.

*カイロプラクティック = kairopurakuchikku= chiropractic

*整体 = seitai = manipulative treatment

* = hari = acupuncture

If it is a crowded place, you can make a reservation on the phone, but if you happened to see one you can just drop in and ask

You :「今、空いていますか?」

= Ima aite imasuka?

= Are you available now?


You :「今、できますか?」

= Ima dekimasu ka?

= (The direct translation is “Is it possible now?”) Could I have a massage now?

You just let them know what you want.

If it is a massage parlor, they will ask you


= Koosu wa okimari desuka?

= Do you know what course you are going to have?

You have to specify the type of massage

!lotsofhearts! (Vocabulary)

*全身コース = zenshin kousu = the whole body course

*上半身コース= jouhanshin koosu = the upper body course

*足裏マッサージ = ashiura massaagi = foot massage


= Nanpun no kousu deshou ka?

= Which length of the course do you prefer? (For how many minutes?)

If you are not sure what kind of course, they have you can ask,

You : 「どんなコースがありますか?」

= Donna koosu ga arimasuka?

= What kind of courses do you have?

If you want 40 minutes massage you say

You :「40分のコースでお願いします。」

= Yonjuppun no koosu de onegai shimasu.

= For forty minutes course please.

Again, they will repeat your reservation so pay attention to what they say.


= Shouchi itashimashita. Soredewa asu no juunanaji kara zenshin koosu yonjuppun de yoyaku uketsuke itashimashita.

= OK, then we have your reservation for 17:00 tomorrow for 40 minutes, full-body course.

You :「はい、お願いします。」

= Hai onegai shimasu.

= Yes, please.


!star! Hotels :

I would think most of you make hotel reservations through the internet before you come to Japan.

There are many Japanese sites where you can make reservation for your accommodation as well.


!lotsofhearts! Vocabulary :

* シングル(ルーム)= singuru (ruumu)= a single room

*ツイン(ルーム)= tuwin (ruumu)= twin room

*スイート = suiito = a suite

*和室 = washitsu = Japanese style room / Tatami mats room

*洋室 = youshitsu = Western Style room with beds

*宿泊料金= shukuhaku ryoukin / 室料 = shitsuryou = the room charge

*朝食付(き) =choushoku tsuki =with breakfast

*夕食付(き) =yuushoku tsuki =with dinner

*2食 = nishoku = two meals = with breakfast and dinner

:rrrr: Ex. 一泊2食付き = ippaku nishoku tsuki = one night with two meals

*素泊まり = sudomari = bed without meals

!to right! I just made a mini lesson on Facebook but we use (haku/paku) to count the nights.

*1泊 = ippaku = one night

*2泊= nihaku = two nights

*3泊= sanpaku = three nights

*4泊= yonhaku = 4 nights

Hotel : 何泊のご予約でしょうか?

= nanpaku no goyoyaku deshou ka?

= How many nights would that reservation be for?

You : 「1泊です。

= Ippaku desu.

= For one night.

*温泉 = onsen = hot spring

*露天風呂 =rotenburo = open air hot spring

If you book for a room at a hotel in a big city, there will probably be a staff member who can speak English very well.

In case you are not sure, you can ask,

You :すみません。英語でいいですか?」

= Sumimasen. Eigo de ii desu ka?

= Excuse me, do you mind if I speak English?

If you want to make a reservation for a traditional Japanese inn 旅館 (=ryokan), a Japanese pension, 民宿(=minshuku) etc, you may have to communicate with them in Japanese.

You :「すみません、予約ができるかお聞きしてもいいですか?」

= Sumimasen yoyaku ga dekiru ka okiki shite mo ii desu ka?

= Hello, may I ask if I can make a reservation?

You :「すみません。予約したいんですが。」

= Sumimasen. Yoyaku shitain desuga.

= Hello, I woud like to make a reservation.

Hotel :「はい、いつのご予約でしょうか?」

= Hai, itsu no goyoyaku deshou ka?

= Yes, when would you like to make a reservation for?

You :「8月30日から9月2日まで3泊で…」

= Hachigatsu sanjuunichi kara kugatsu futsuka made sanpaku de…

= From Aug.30th until Sep.2nd for 3 nights.

You :「8月の30日から9月の2日まで3泊で…」

= Hachigatsu no sanjuunichi kara kugatsu no futsuka made sanpaku de…

= From Aug.30th until Sep.2nd for 3 nights.

Note : If they are full, they will say,


Hotel : その日は予約が一杯です。

= Sonohi wa yoyaku ga ippai desu.

= We are full on that day.


Hotel :の日は満室です。

= Sono hi wa manshitsu desu.

= We are full on that day.

Then they might suggest another day.


Hotel : 他の日はいかがでしょうか?

= Hoka no hi wa ikaga de shouka?

= How about another day?

If you can change the days then,


You: 「それでは7月25日から3泊なら空いていますか?

= Soredewa hichigatsu nijuugonichi kara sanpaku nara aite imasu ka?

= Then is it available from July 25th for three nights?

空いている= aite iru = there is a vacancy

Hotel :「お部屋はどの様なお部屋をご希望ですか?」

= Oheya wa donoyouna oheya wo gokibou desuka?

= What kind of room would you like?

You :「シングルでお願いします。」

= Singuru de onegai shimasu.

= A single room, please.

You :「ツインルームをお願いします。」

= Tuin room wo onegai shimasu

= A twin room, please.

You :「和室(or 畳) の部屋でお願いします。」

= Watshitsu (or tatami) no heya de onegai shimasu.

= Japanese style (or tatami mats) room, please.

Hotel :「お調べしますので少々お待ち下さい。」

= Oshirabe shimasu node shoushou omachi kudasai.

= I will check the availability. Please hold.


= OMatase itashimashita. Yoyaku otori dekimasu.

= Thank you for waiting. It’s available.

You :「おいくらですか?」

= Oikura desuka?

= How much?


You : 「宿泊料はどの位ですか?」

= Shukuhakuryou wa dono kurai desu ka?

= What’s the price?

Hotel :「3泊、朝食付きで45000円です。」

= Sanpaku choushokutsuki de yonman gosenen desu.

= 45,000 yen for 3 nights with breakfast.

You :「わかりました。それではお願いします。」

= Wakarimashita. Soredewa onegai shimasu.

= OK, then I’d like to make that reservation.

And they will ask your name, telephone number and they may also ask you for your credit card information.


So are you ready to make a reservation?

マギー先生より= Maggie sensei yori = From Maggie Sensei

明日のディナーの予約が取れたから今度は、美容院の予約をしなくっちゃ! :)

= Ashita no dinaa no yoyaku ga toreta kara kondo wa biyouin no yoyaku wo shinakuccha!

= I got a reservation for dinner tomorrow night, so now I have to make an appointment at a beauty salon!