Visiting Someone’s house in Japan Part 1


Cookie : 「ねえ、マギーのうちに遊びに行っていい?」

= Nee, Maggie no uchi ni asobini itte ii?

= Hey, can I come over to your house, Maggie?


= Soshite tomete kureru?

= And can I stay over?

Maggie : 「え〜〜〜と…」 !sleepy!

= Eeeeee to…

= Weeeeelll…..

Hi everyone!
I’m Cookie Sensei.  Yoroshiku!!!
Have you ever visited a Japanese house?
In this lesson I will teach you useful expressions that you can use when you visit the home of a friend of business associate in Japan.
It is going to be a long lesson so we will divide it into two parts, Part 1 and Part 2.  I will teach you the first part, and Maggie Sensei will teach you the second part.  (We will include all the sound files in both lessons. !onpu! )

!star! Cultural note :

You know I’ve always wanted to go visit Maggie Sensei’s house but she has never invited me. :-? I wonder why…
Some of you who live or have lived in Japan may also wonder why your Japanese friends didn’t  invite you over their house as much friends back in your country did.
Let’s say you are very close to someone.  You might expect them to invite you to their house sometime.  In Japan, they may not. Why not?
You’ll notice that instead of having you over, they always want to go out or meet somewhere outside.  You might even feel that that’s cold or that person doesn’t trust you.
Sound familiar?
In Japan it is much more common to go out with your friends than have them over.

It doesn’t mean they don’t have guests in their house. Children or teenagers visit their friends’ houses often, and occasionally adults (friends, neighbors, work related people) also have company over.

It may be depend on which region you live in.
But still compared to many other countries, more  people in Japan might feel having a guest (regardless their nationality) at home is something special.
So if you push them to invite you to their house like me,  you might make them uncomfortable.




= Kondo Maggie no uchi ni asobini itte ii?

= Can I come over to your place, Maggie?


= Nihon ni iku kara Maggie no uchi ni tomete kureru?

= I’m going to Japan so can I stay at your house?

Why? Maybe the part of the reason is their housing problem.
Some Japanese people don’t feel comfortable showing their house because they think their house is too  small, too cluttered or they are not sure if they can entertain you well — serving the right food, etc.  Or perhaps they live with their family and would have to need to consult their family members to coordinate their rooms, etc.  Also many Japanese people are reluctant to have guests stay over in their houses unless they live in a big house or apartment with extra guest rooms.

So if your friends haven’t invited you over their house, don’t take it too personally. It’s probably not because they don’t trust you.

You can give them a subtle hint if you want to visit their house.


= Itsuka Maggie no ouchi ni asobini ikitaina.

= Someday I would like to go visit your house.

Note : This いつか  ( = Itsuka), someday,  is a key word.  It assures the listener that you are not giving them any immediate pressure. 

Now as I mentioned above, of course, there are many Japanese people who love to have guests in their houses.

In this lesson, I will teach you lots of phrases that you can use when you go visit someone’s house or when you invite guests.

I will not teach you overly polite phrases here but will show you polite, standard and casual expressions. 

:k: How to invite people over your house:



「いつかうちに遊びにいらっしゃいませんか?」 (polite)

= Itsuka uchi ni asobini irasshaimasen ka?

= Would you like to come over my house sometime?



= Itsuka uchi ni asobini kimasen ka?

= Do you want to come over my place sometime?


= Itsuka uchi ni asobini konai?

= You wanna come over sometime?


= Itsudemo asobini irashite kudasai .

= Please come over anytime.


= Itsudemo asobini kite kudasai.

= Please come over anytime.


= Itsudemo asobini kite!

= Come over anytime!

Note : the literal meaning of 遊ぶ  ( = asobu) is  “to play” but it also mean “to hang out and do something fun.”

遊びに来る ( = asobini kuru) means “to come visit someone’s house for fun” and 遊びに行く  ( = asobini iku) is to come over someone’s house for fun or go out and do something fun.

You may hear some  humble expressions.


= Semai uchi de nanimo okamai dekimasen ga yokattara itsu demo asobini kite kudasai.

= Our house is small and we can’t serve you enough, but please come over anytime.

but of course, they could live in a big house.


:s: Inviting people for a party




= Kondo, uchi de paatii wo hiraku no desu ga irasshaimasen ka?

= I will have a party at my house.  Would you like to come?


Note : I didn’t translate the word 今度 ( = kondo) but it means next ~, now, this time, soon”


= Kondo uchi de paatii wo hiraku no desu ga kimasen ka?

= I will have a party at my house.  Would you like to come?


= Kondo uchi de paatii wo hirakun dakedo konai?

= I will have a party at my house.  You wanna come?

Note : You can say  私の家  ( = watashi no ie) instead of  うち  ( = uchi) but うち  ( = uchi) is more casual yet friendlier.


= Yoroshikattara kondo no nichiyoubi ni uchi ni irasshaimasenka?

= Would you like to come to over my house this coming Sunday?


= Kondo no nichiyou, yokattara uchi ni konai?

= You wanna come over this coming Sunday?

:n: Asking schedule :



「ご都合はいつがよろしいですか?」 (polite)

= Gotsugou wa itsu ga yoroshii desuka?

= When would it be convenient for you?


= Itsu ga tsugou ga ii desu ka?

= When is good for you?


= Itsu ga (tsugou) ii?

= When are you free?


:mm: How to accept the invitation.

Usually we confirm if it is really OK to come visit their house for formality.




 =Yoroshiin desuka? Arigatougozaimasu. Yorokonde oukagai sasete itadakimasu.

= Are you sure?/Is that OK?  Thank you very much. I’d love to visit you.


= Ojama shite yoroshii desuka?

= Is it really OK for me to come visit your house?


= Yososhiin desu ka?  Sore de wa yorokonde ojama sasete itadakimasu.

= Would it be really OK with you?  I would love to come visit your house.


= Indesu ka? Arigatou gozaimasu. Zehi!

= Oh really?  Thank you so much.  I would love to!!


= Eh? Iino? Ureshii!

= Really?  I am so happy!


= Waa ureshii! Hontou ni iino?

= Oh, is it really OK?  I am thrilled!

:ee: How to decline an invitation :

If you can’t or don’t want to come over, you should tell them the reason or make some excuses.




= Arigatou gozaimasu.  Sekkaku osasoi itadakimashitaga, ainiku yotei ga zutto tsumatte orimasu node konkai wa enryo sasete itadakimasu.

= Thank you for your inviting me. However my schedule is unfortunately filled at the moment so I will have to decline this time.


( ね  ( = ne) ending is feminine. If you prefer)

= Arigatou sekkaku sasotte morattakedo sono hi wa chotto youji ga arunode mata kondo sasotte ne.

= Thank you for your inviting me. But I have other plans that day so I’ll have to take a rain check. Invite me again, OK?


  :kkk: Asking them what they want you to bring :

If you are invited for tea, lunch or dinner, it is not obligatory, but it would be nice to take them a little something,  お土産 ( = omiyage) a little gift.

Or ask them what they would like.





= Nanika motte iku mono wa arimasuka?

= Do you want me to bring something?


= Soredewa dezaato wo nanika motte ikimasu.

= Then I will bring some dessert.

If you are the host and your guest asks you what to bring, it would be polite to say




= Douzo tebura de irashite kudasai.

= Please just bring yourself.


= Tebura de kite.

= Nothing.  Just bring yourself.


= Douzo okizukai naku.

= Please do not worry about it.


= Nanimo motte konakute iiyo.

= Just bring yourself. (You don’t have to bring anything.)


= Ki wo tsukawanai de iiyo.

= Don’t worry about it!

Usually hosts don’t ask you to bring something but if it is a home party or BBQ, they might ask you to bring something inexpensive.




= Sore dewa nanika nomimono wo onegai dekimasu ka?

=Then could you bring something to drink?



= Jaa nanika nomimono wo motte kite kureru?

= Then can you bring something to drink?

:ee: Asking the time :




= Nanji gurai ni ojama shitara yoroshii desuka?

= Around what time should I visit you?


= Nanji ni ittara ii?

= What time would be good for you?

!star! Asking directions.



「お宅まではどの様に行ったらよろしいでしょうか?」 (polite)

= Otaku made wa dono you ni ittara yoroshii de shouka?

= How could I get to your house?

Note : 行く ( = iku ) to go /to get somewhere → 伺う ( = ukagau)   is more polite.


= Dono youni ittara ii de shouka?

= How can I get there?


= Douyatte ittara ii?

= How can I get there?


!yflower! Telling the guests to call you when they get to the station.




= Eki ni tsuitara denwa shite kudasai. M ukae ni ikimasu.

= Please call me when you get to the station.  I will come pick you up.


= Eki ni tsuitara denwa shite.  Mukae ni iku kara.

= Call me when you get to the station. I will come pick you up.


!star! To confirm the time/location :




 = Soredewa konshuu no nichiyoubi no juuichi ji ni ukagaimasu.  Tanoshimini shiteorimasu.

= Ok then, I will visit you at 11:00 am this coming Sunday.  I am very much looking forward to it.


= Sorejaa,  juuniji ni Mikasa Eki sanban deguchi de.  Yoroshiku onegai shimasu.

= Then I will see you at noon at exist 3 in Mikasa station.  Thank you in advance!


Now go check the next lesson.

:rrrr: Visiting Someone’s house in Japan Part 2


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


= Cookie Sensei wo uchi ni yondara kitto watashi no oyatsu wo zenbu tabechau shi omocha mo tocchau desho.  Dakara shoutai shinaino.  Demo naisho ne!

= If I invite Cookie-Sensei, he will eat all my snacks and take my toys. That’s why I don’t invite him.  But don’t tell him, OK?

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