予約 = yoyaku : How to make a reservation in Japanese


= Goyoyaku wa nanmei sama desu ka?

= How many people in your party?


= Yon-hiki 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 through the vocab.  He will show you how to study my lessons in that video.)

⭐️ Restaurants : ! 🍴

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 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, word of mouth from my friends.

If you know enough Japanese, I would suggest that you 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 were not the same as in 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.

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

🔸 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= yo san = budget

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

*鍋 = 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 hangouts and usually is 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.)

🔸 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

You can search restaurants by 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 lunchtime or dinnertime, they will ask you

R :「お昼ですか?夜ですか?」

= Ohiru desuka? Yoru desu ka?

= For lunch or 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 hear 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 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.

🐶 I am a dog so I can use 匹 ( = 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 (tatami / Japanese style) room?

You :「テーブル席でお願いします。」

= Teiburu seki de onegai shimasu.

=A table, please.

🔸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?

→ 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.


🔸 Variation :

A lot 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.

⭐️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 does that free of charge, and 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 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, the 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.


⭐️ Hair salons,etc.:

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

🔸 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 = hair dye

*カラー = karaa = hairdye, hair coloring

*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 to reservations for nail salons as well.

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

And they do a great job 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?

Please check Useful Phrases at a hairsalon  lesson for more information.


⭐️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.)


*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

🔸 (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.


⭐️ 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 reservations for your accommodation as well.


🔸 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 泊 (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 would 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, and telephone number and 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 dinner no yoyaku ga toreta kara kondo wa, biyouin no yoyaku wo shinakuccha.




⭐️予約のキャンセル = Yoyaku no cancel  = How to cancel the reservation 
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  1. Hi Maggie-sensei,

    Thank you so much for putting this site together – it has been a real help to me! I even managed to use this yoyaku page to make a reservation :)

    I was wondering if you would be able to help me with changing the date of the reservation (because of the coronavirus situation, I can’t get into Japan at all!) please? For example, I would like to tell them that:

    Because of the Coronavirus situation, I can’t make the reservation in August. Can I change my reservation to October instead please?

    Does the following lines in Japanese work if I called them? How about if I wrote to them – would it need to be more formal?


    Sorry for such a long message –I tried to piece together information from your responses to the various posts but it’s really not easy trying to get a message in Japanese.

    I really appreciate your help on this!!よろしくお願いいたします。

    1. Hello Tania

      Good to hear you have been using this lesson.
      Your sentences are fine except
      You need to cancel your reservation for August, right? If so, you say

      1. Hi Maggie-sensei,

        Thank you so much for your response and sorry for taking so long to respond!

        You are correct that I need to cancel my reservation for August so I will use your corrected sentence :)


          1. Thanks very much Maggie-sensei. I am really hoping that things will settle down soon!

            I managed to hear back from the restaurant (via email).. they said to me “明日変更の日程を送します”. There is no pronoun involved here but I’m assuming that they’re waiting for me to get back to them with the revised schedule?

            More generally, when there is no pronoun in a Japanese sentence, is there any rule/way to tell what the pronoun refers to? [Sorry – I feel really silly asking this.]

            Thank you again!

          2. Hi Tania
            I know you omit pronoun so it might be hard to understand.
            That means “They are going to send you the revised schedule tomorrow.”

  2. Dear Maggie-sensei

    I wanted to say thank you very much for this extremely helpful page – I’ve used it a number of times to call restaurants in Japan for reservations, and it’s made things so much easier!

    I was wondering if you could help me with the following – I would like to change the number of people for a restaurant reservation because of a change in plans. For example, I would like to say to them:

    I am sorry but circumstances changed and I would like to change my reservation at XXX on 5 July, 7pm. Could I change my reservation from 2 people to 1 person?

    Would it be possible to help me to express the above in Japanese please?

    Thank you so much!! 宜しくお願い致します。

    1. Hi Linda,

      I’m happy to hear you have been using this lesson to make a reservation.
      Is it an email message?
      It is going to be a long sentence but
      7月5日の7時に2名で予約した(your name)ですが、一人都合が悪くなったので人数を2名から1名に変更していただけますでしょうか?
      = Shichigatsu itsuka no shiji ni nimei de yoyaku shita (your name) desu ga, hitori tsugou ga waruku natta node ninzuu wo nimei kara ichimei ni henkou shite itadakemasu deshouka?

      Good luck!

      1. Hi Maggie-sensei,

        Thank you so much for your quick response!

        It will be a LINE message (the chef kindly added me to his account), so I think it’s ok to have a long message!

        Out of curiosity, if I wanted to change via a phone-call, is it ok to simply use the second part of the sentence that you’ve written or should I express it in a different way?

        That is, can I just say on the phone:

        Thank you so much again!!!

        1. Yes, that will work.

          The conversation will be…

          7月5日の7時に2名で予約した(your name)です。
          = Shichigatsu itsuka no shichiji ni nimei de yoyaku shita (your name) desu.

          (They will say お待ちください。確認いたします。= Omachi kudasai. Kakunin itashimasu. = Please hold the line. We will check your reservation.)
          Then they will probably repeat your reservation. Ex. 7月5日の7時に2名でご予約をいただいた(your name) 様ですね。= Shichigatsu itsuka no shichiji ni nimei de goyoyaku wo itadaita (your name) sama desune.)
          Then you say,
          = Hai. Moushiwake arimasen ga ninzuu wo hitori ni henkou shite itadakemasu ka?

          1. Amazing Maggie-sensei!

            Thank you so much! This website has really been a lifeline in so many situations that I’ve been in (also in conversations in Japan)!! :)


  3. Another great lesson Sensei, thank you so much! :D One question if I may: let’s compare these sentences from the lesson:

    a) You :「ツインルームをお願いします。」
    b) You :「和室(or 畳) の部屋でお願いします。」

    My question is: why is it をお願いします in a) but でお願いします in b)?

    1. Hello Davide,

      You use を when you specifically want something and で is also used as a condition or state

      a) You :「ツインルームをお願いします。」 “I want a twin room” →You want specifically a twin room.
      b) You :「和室(or 畳) の部屋でお願いします。」 You want a room which is Japanese style. “Japanese style room” is a condition of your room. If you want specifically a Japanese-styled room, you can say 和室をお願いします。

      Another example:
      「ホットですか?アイスですか? 」 Hot coffee or Iced coffee?
      「アイスお願いします。」  In conversation you tend to omit を
      「アイスでお願いします。」 literal translation: a coffee which is served cold. (state)

      1. I see, so in some situations both are possible and it’s a question of focusing on the thing VS focusing on the condition. とても勉強になりました。Thank you! 🙏

  4. Maggie sensei thank you for yet another helpful lesson. I received a gift coupon from a friend. She provided me the gift code and instructed me to call the salon to book an appointment before going and so I did. I thought that setting the appointment will go smoothly as I only have to provide my name, gift code and ask for the available date to go. Unfortunately, it didnt go as I thought. I know a fair amount of Japanese but if Keigo is used I often don’t understand most of the words. The person on the other line ended up saying communication ga torinikui. How should I convey that I have a coupon from a friend that I can use in your salon. I have the gift code and other details in Japanese. Sorry for such a long post.

    1. Joyce

      It is always hard to communicate over the phone.
      I will give you some phrases that you can use to make an appointment.

      すみません、友人からそちらのお店のギフトクーポンをもらったのですが、(date 日) の(time 時)にシャンプーカット/パーマ (depending on what you want) の予約できますか?
      = Sumimasen, yuujin kara sochirano omise no gifuto kuupon wo morattano desuga,(date ~ nichi) no ( ~ ji) ni shampoo katto/paama no yoyaku dekimasu ka?
      = Excuse me. I got a gift coupon from my friend for your shop. Could I make a reservation on ~~ for shampoo & cut / perm.

      And if the gift coupon has a number,
      ギフトクーポンのコードをお伝えします。(And give them the code) ~~~~~
      Gifuto kuupon no koodo wo otsutae shimasu. ~~~

      When they ask your name, you give your name.

      I also have a hair salon lesson. Click the link.

  5. こんにちはMaggie せんせい、

    I am working at Reservation Department Hotel industry.
    May you assist me the lesson in Hiragana please?

    There would be highly appreciated with your kind assistance.

    I would like to improve Japanese Speaking.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Best regard,

    Long Mr.

    1. こんにちは、Long!

      Umm I am not quite sure how I could help you but there is a hotel lesson (I am sorry but I don’t just type in hiragana because the lesson will be too long) Please go check the lesson. :)

  6. マギー先生素晴らしい!

  7. Hello Maggie,

    I was looking for the lyrics to a Righteous Brothers song called “Bring Back That Loving Feeling” (maybe you’ve heard it). I found the translation below, but I’m not sure if the translation makes sense in Japanese.
    Can you do a quick read and let me know if it is accurate?








  8. Dear Maggie Sensei,

    I’m Jill from Vietnam. And I’m working for a resort as receptionist. Most of our guests at this period from Japan, so can you teach me some Japanese sentences which we can use for my work.

    Thanks & Best Regards,


  9. Dear Maggie Sensei,
    Im beginner, and im working for a hotel as a receptionist. Can you teach me some sentences for check in and check out at the hotel?
    Thanks & Best regards,

    Jill (from Vietnam)

    1. @Jill

      Hi Jill,
      OK, I think checking-in and checking-out-Japanese might be useful for many people.
      I will make a lesson for you. Please wait patiently.

      1. I think I made duplicate posting… so sorry about that. :oops: Anyway, thanks for your reply and I’m waiting for your lesson !JYANE!

        1. @Jill

          Yes, I got your comment yesterday.
          Are there any particular phrases that you really need to know? I can include them in the lesson. (If they are not so general, I will teach them here in the comment section.)

  10. Hi Maggie,

    I was kind of nervous when my friend told me to call several restaurants to make reservation for our Japan trip next week!
    Thank god that I just came across your website before I made the calls :D

    Thanks to the lesson above, I’ve made all my reservations successfully.
    I would just like to share with you that there’s one thing that I encountered when I called the restaurants.

    They would always ask for my phone number, but since I am not going to stay at the hotel / 民宿 / a friend’s place, I really can’t provide a phone number. At that moment, I just told them 連絡先がありません。

    Though they still accepted my booking at the end, I wonder for the case of no phone number that I can provide (like not even a hotel number), is there a better way to say it in Japanese?

    Thank you so much!!!

    1. @Winnie

      Hi Winnie!!
      You are coming to Japan next week. How exciting!!
      If you don’t know where you are going to stay,

      Ex. まだ滞在先がわからないので日本での連絡先がないのですが。
      Mada taizai saki ga wakaranainode nihon deno rennrakusaki ga nai no desuga.
      = I don’t know where I am going to stay yet so I don’t have a contact information.

      Ex. まだどこに泊まるかわからないのですが。
      = Mada doko ni tomaru ka wakaranai no desuga.
      = I still don’t know where I am going to stay. (What should I do..)

      Ex. まだ滞在先の予約をしていないのでわかりません。
      = Mada taizaisaki no yoyaku wo shiteinai node wakarimasen.
      = I haven’t made a reservation of a hotel so I can’t give you the information.

      Sometimes they just need your contact information as a formality

      = Ima, sunde iru tokoro no renraku saki de iidesuka?
      = Will it be OK if I give you where I live right now?

      For example if you live in Canada
      = Mada, taizaisaki ga kimatte inai node kanada no jitaku no denwabangou de ii desuka?
      = I still don’t know where I am staying so will the phone number of my house in Canada be all right?

      If they say it is not necessary they say
      = Dewa, kekkou desu.

      Hope it helps.
      Have a nice trip!!
      And if you have other questions, please feel free to ask me anytime.

      1. Thank you so much Maggie!! It’s really helpful! I actually tried the first sentence when I had to make another phone call today and the conversation went very well XD (sounds much softer…)

        Also I was going to ask what if I need to change the date of reservation…but I just found the answer below!
        I bet there must be many people like me struggling at similar situations :D


  11. Hello!

    This lesson is quite helpful to me right now, I just stumbled across it while trying to find a way to deal with reservations. It has helped a lot but I’d just like to clarify for my self something.
    In the restaurant section it said that I can say “I have a reservation under the name ~~” I wanted to ask how would I say a similar thing in a hotel / Ryokan? I mean to say that if I reserved the hotel online, how would I tell the hotel that? Especially if that was an English booking site such as booking.com or Expedia? Something along “Hello, I’ve made a reservation online on booking.com and here’re the details.”

    Thanks ahead, whether answered or not the information here is great help! ^^

    1. @Dani

      Hello Dani! Welcome to this site!
      OK, I will give you a couple of phrases that you can use in a hotel.

      * “Hello, I’ve made a reservation online on booking.com and here’re the details.”
      =こんにちは。Booking.comで予約をいれた(your name) です。(and show them the details)
      = Konnichiwa. Booking.com de yoyaku wo ireta (your name) desu. (and show them the details)

      *I’ve made a reservation on Internet.
      = Netto de yoyaku wo iremashita.

      *I made a reservation net for three night from today.
      = ネットで今日から3泊の予約を入れました。
      = Netto de kyou kara sanpaku no yoyaku wo iremashita.

      Here is the confirmation copy.
      = Kore ga kakuninsho no kopii desu.

      Hello, my name is ~~~. I made a reservation on booking com for two night from today.
      = こんにちは。(your name) です。Booking.com で今日から2泊の予約を入れました。
      = Konnichiwa. (Your name) desu. Booking.com de kyou kara nihaku no yoyaku wo iremashita.

      Here’s the reservation confirmation.
      = Kore ga yoyaku kakunin sho desu.

      If you don’t have any reservation but want to ask the availability,

      I don’t have a reservation but can is there a room available for tonight?
      = Yoyaku wo shiteimasen ga kyou tomaremasu ka?

      If you have more questions, feel free to leave them here anytime. :)

  12. Hello, this was very helpful. Just one question,

    what if I want to change a reservation at a restaurant? Like just the date?

    1. @asahara

      Hello asahara,
      OK, when you want to change the date of your reservation from Nov. 1 to Nov. 6th on the phone.
      First you say

      = Moshimoshi. Juuichigatsu tsuitachi ni yoyaku wo shita Asahara to moushiamsu.
      = Hello, my name is Asahara and I made a reservation for Nov. 1st

      and tell them
      = 申し訳ありませんが、予約を11月6日に変更できますか?
      = Moushiwake arimasen ga yoyaku wo juuichigatsu muika ni henkou dekimasu ka?
      = I am sorry but I’d like to change my reservation to Nov. 6th.

  13. 初めましてMaggie先生。 日本語ですみません。

    Thanks maggie sensei.

    1. @名無しさん

    1. @Metsu

      Oh, maybe I should add that information, huh?
      Here are some of the example sentences. If you want to know more specific example sentences, please let me know.

      = Sumimasen, yoyaku wo kyanseru shitai no desu ga…
      = I’m sorry but I would like to cancel my reservation…

      Then they will ask your name or the date/time of your reservation.

      You can tell them all the information at the beginning.
      As I wrote in the lesson you can tell them your reservation status first.

      Ex. 今夜2名で7時から予約を入れている(your name) と申します。
      = Konya nimei de hichiji kara yoyaku wo irete iru (your name) to moushimasu.
      =I have a reservation for two at 7:00 tonight under the name ~

      Ex. 明日から2泊で予約を入れている(your name) と申します。
      = Ashita kara nihaku de yoyaku wo irete iru (your name) to moushimasu.
      = I have a reservation for two nights from tomorrow under the name ~

      = Moushiwake arimasen ga tsugou ni yori yoyaku wo kyanseru shitai no desu ga…
      = I am sorry but something came up and I would like to cancel my reservation.

      If you want to ask if the charges cancellation fee,
      = Kyanseru ryou wa kakarimasu ka?
      = Do you charge cancellation fee?

      Once they accept the cancellation, you can tell them

      = Otesuu wo okake shimashita. Mata yoroshiku onegai shimasu.
      = I am sorry to trouble you. We (or I) would like to come back some other time. (←Maybe some other time) Thank you.

  14. Sensei, part two. XD

    1) 何時がよろしかったでしょうか?
    = What time is good for you?

    I could memorize the pattern of using the past tense when making such a question, but I would really like to know the way Japanese people think when making this question, do they really think in past tense when making this question? My guess is that they ask in past tense because they give for certain that the “decision” of what time was already made in the person’s mind so they are asking something like, what did you decide. Is this correct sensei? :)

    2) 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。」

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

    What would be the meaning of “saki” in this sentence?

    3) はい、それでは復唱させていただきます。」
    = OK, let me repeat your reservation.
    Sensei, I give a rough translation to this sentence as “I will receive the chance to be allowed to repeat your order?”. Is it alright?

    4) 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.

    When it comes to the character “&”, doesn’t it have a pronunciation in Japanese? Like “to” for example, sensei?

    5) 4:30ならおとりできますが…」
    = Yoji han nara otori dekimasu ga…
    = How about 4:30?

    Is the “otori” in this sentence a: “honorific (o) + toru (take) conversion to noun “i-stem”. In other words, does the sentence says: If it comes to the 4:30, can you take (my reservation)?

    6) 初めてかかられますか?

    This sentence if from Maggiesensei’s comments reply. :) Is the kakaremasuka a honorific in this sentence?

    Thank you Maggiesensei. :)

    1. @NecroMadMat

      1) Good question!

      In this lesson, I focused on practical Japanese phrases you will hear in Japan more than grammatically correct sentences.

      The correct phrase should be
      As I mentioned in the shopping lesson, よろしかったでしょうか? is often used in the places like family restaurants, stores etc. (I should have left a note in this lesson,too. Sorry for making you confused.)
      It is one of the common phrases which you often hear in service industries. So if you want to memorize it, memorize the よろしいでしょうか?and pay attention what people say when you get here.

      2) 先(さき)means “one’s destination, the places where you are going to be.”
      滞在先= the places you are going to stay/ you are staying
      I will give you other examples.

      *宛先= あてさき= (destination) address
      *行き先 =いきさき= destination, where to go
      *連絡先= れんらくさき = contact information (→where/who to contact )

      3) Nice try but いただく doesn’t mean “to receive” .
      How about
      ~させていただく= I will allow myself to do something
      Let me allow myself to repeat your order.

      4) Ah, OK. シャンプ&ブロー is a typical course menu for the beauty salon so it is customary to read “shanpuu burou” without と(=to)
      or シャンプーアンドブロー

      = Shanpuu burou onegai shimasu.

      but you can say

      = Shanpuu to burou onegai shimasu.

      Usually when you see & mark, we read it as “アンド”

      5)おとりできる came from “おとりすることができる” (honorific expression of とることができる)
      If 4:30 is OK with you, we could make a reservation for you.

      4) Yes. かかられる is an honorific form of かかる
      医者にかかる= to consult a doctor, to see a doctor

  15. レッソンはありがとうございます。たくさん、日本語を習いました。助かりました。笑。EienStudentより

    1. @EienStudent

      コメントありがとう!Is Eien from 永遠(=えいえん)? もしそうならず〜〜〜っとマギーのサイトで勉強してね!

      1. Eienは永遠の意味ですよ。実は、私は絶対に死にません、のでずっとマギのセイトです。そのおかわりに、たくさん、レッソンを作らせるです。haha-haha。笑。


        1. @Eienstudent

          Haha good!!
          Let me correct you a bit.(But you did a good job!)

          OK! OK!! Will try to make lots of lesson for you for good! !ase!

  16. おかえりなさい, マギー先生! バルセロナとイタリアを楽しんでもらえたらいいと思います.

    I LOVE this lesson because I eat out a lot and would like to try more local places so this will really come in handy. With that said…ちょっと質問がありますが.

    This is off topic but if you were at say a mcdonald’s or burger king type fast food place, what would a typical conversation for placing an order be like there?


    1. @Remi Ayumi Lee

      Hi ! Remi!! ありがとう!とても楽しい夏休みでしたよ♩
      As for your question, I have a restaurant/coffee shop conversation lesson here but since someone else asked me the same thing, I will make a mini lesson sometime. Can you wait?

  17. This is very helpful for learning more natural expressions, I can make myself understood in Japanese but the way I say things is sometimes very unnatural (>д<)

    I hope this isn’t a daft question, but what is the most natural thing to say when you arrive at an izakaya and you are meeting friends who have already arrived at the table? Or if the reservation is in someone else’s name? I am quite clearly not Japanese, so it might sound a bit weird if I said 予約をした斉藤です (for example)

    Also, if you go to a clinic or a health club and you get asked 初めてですか what is the most natural response if you’ve been before?

    Thank you for your help ヽ(*・ω・)ノ

    1. @Jess

      what is the most natural thing to say when you arrive at an izakaya and you are meeting friends who have already arrived at the table?

      = Mou yuujin ga kochira de matte iru to omounodesu ga.
      = I think my friends are waiting for me here.
      = Mou saki ni yuujin ga kite iruto omouno desuga
      = I think my friends are here already.
      = Sumimasen hachiji no yoyaku de osoku tsukimashita
      = I was late for 8:00 reservation.

      Then they will ask you your friend’s name and they will say
      = Saki ni irasshatte imasu.
      = They are already here.
      = Achira de omachi desu.
      = They are waiting for you there.

      Or if the reservation is in someone else’s name?

      ~= ~ no namae de yoyaku ga haitte iruto omou no desu ga.
      = I think you have a reservation under …..
      = ~ no namae de yoyaku wo irete imasu.
      = We have a reservation under (name)

      if you go to a clinic or a health club and you get asked 初めてですか what is the most natural response if you’ve been before?

      If it is a clinic they will ask you

      = Shoshin desu ka?
      = Hajimete kakararemasu ka?

      And you answer

      = Izen kakatta koto ga arimasu.
      If you remember when you came, you say

      「いえ、3ヶ月前に来たことがあります。/ かかったことがあります。」
      = Ie sankagetsu mae ni kita koto ga arimasu. / kakatta koto ga arimasu
      (I came here last three months ago.)

      = Kyonen no shigatsu goro ni kita koto ga arimasu.
      = I came here around April last year.

      Then they might ask you if you have their patient registration card.
      = Shinsatsu ken wa omochi desu ka?
      If you do, just show it to them and if you don’t tell them なくしました (=nakushimashita) and they will make you a new card.

      If it is a health club

      They will ask you
      Is it your first time to come here?
      = Kochira wa hajimete desu ka?
      = Kochira no goriyou ha hajimete desu ka?

      =Kaiin san de irasshatta koto wa arimasuka?
      = Were you our member before?

      And you say

      =Izen kaiin deshita.
      = I was a member before.
      = Izen kita koto ga arimasu.
      = I have been here before.

      Hope this helps. :h:

      1. Thank you so much for this extremely comprehensive reply!

        It all makes perfect sense when I read it, and yet I always up end saying all sorts of strange things even though I know they sound strange!

        This helps me no end! ^^

  18. Hi Maggie,

    Thanks for the very useful lesson!
    My wife is now 8 months pregnant and will soon deliver the baby. The nurse in the clinic said that we should call the clinic and make reservation first once the labor pain starts. Could please teach us common word/conversation to make reservation in the clinic for labor?

    Big thanks in advance!

    1. @Windra

      First of all, おめでとう!for your coming baby!!! :h:
      When the labor pain starts, you call the clinic.
      First you tell your name

      「もしもしそちらでお世話になっている (your family name) です。」
      = Moshimoshi sochira de osewa ni natte iru (your family name) desu.
      = Hello, we are your patients at your clinic, name.

      = Tsuma no jintsuu ga hajimarimashita.
      = I think my wife is in labor.

      If you want to go there right away,
      = Sugu ni ukagatte mo ii desuka?
      = Can we go there right away?

      If you don’t know what to do, say
      = Doushitara ii de shouka?
      = What should we do?
      Then they will give you an instruction what to do.

      If you are not in hurry and just want to make an appointment, you say
      「診察の予約を取りたい(or したい)のですが。」
      = Shinsatsu no yoyaku wo toritai (or shitai )no desuga.
      = I would like to make an appointment with a doctor.

      If it’s a big hospital and you know the doctor’s name, you can add the name.
      = ~ sensei no shinsatsu no yoyaku wo toritai no desuga.
      = I would like to make an appointment with Dr. ~

      How’s that?

          1. Maggie 先生,

            I used the expressions you taught me when make a phone call this morning! It REALLY helped.

          2. @Windra

            わ〜〜〜おめでとう!!!Thank you so much for sharing the happiest news! 元気な男の子の赤ちゃんですね。本当によかった!!
            Your message made my day! ありがとう!きっとすばらしいパパとママになると思います!
            A lot of !heart! for you and your family!

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