It could surprise you, however saying goodbye to someone in Japanese adheres to along much the same rules the etiquette the it would certainly in any kind of other language. Some phrases are an ext appropriate than others, depending on the situation. While your textbook could suggest さようなら (sayonara) together the catchall farewell, the goes a little deeper than that.

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Are friend going to see the person again in the close to or remote future?

If you work in a Japanese office, exactly how do your coworkers say goodbye come each various other or to your superiors? must you usage a casual -ね (ne) at the finish of your phrase or use a more formal kind of the word?

These are all points that you have to think about before selecting which expression to use. Sound overwhelming? Nah. You already do it daily with your aboriginal tongue. Therefore I’m sure you deserve to do it, no problem.

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How execute you speak goodbye in Japanese?

The 3 most valuable ways to say good-bye in Japanese room sayonara, ja-mata-ne, and also ots’kare-sama-deshita. Usage sayonara if girlfriend won’t check out the human being for a while, similar to just how you might use “goodbye” in English. Usage ja-mata-ne because that a casual farewell, similar to “See friend later.” and use ots-kare-sama-deshita when leaving work. Adding a basic bow constantly helps.



Body language

Physical human body contact, specifically outside that the family, is no really a point in Japan. The standard handshake or the more intimate hug room both replaced with bowing. Together for waving…eh. Other world will tell you no to, and technically it’s not classic etiquette. Yet, Japanese children will tide to each other when they are leaving school. Personally, ns will occasionally wave once leaving my favorite restaurants due to the fact that it makes the workers smile. It’s up to you.

A fond farewell to Sayonara

The year is 1957, 12 year after the end of WWII, and also just 5 after Korea. Itami waiting base, situated in Osaka prefecture, is populated under US regulate (and will remain so until 1959). The is likewise the place chosen for the box office hit, Sayonara.

The text of Irvin Berlin and lilting voice of Miyoshi Umeki coupled with images of patriotism and romance, racism and also prejudice, do this movie a classic. It likewise helped in familiarizing people about the human being with the Japanese expression for speak farewell.

Whether in lyric, in manga, or other source of media, most people encounter さようなら (sayōnara) at one allude or another. Words is recognizable. The pronunciation is straightforward. Many websites offering valuable Japanese phrases only offer sayonara as a means to to express goodbye.

Yet together with any language, Japanese has actually a boat load of unit volume that deserve to be supplied for saying goodbye. And also Sayonara is burdened through a sense of finality, together emphasized in the twin suicide that the 2 lovers in the movie stated above.

So if you’re leaving the house to seize a carton that milk native the conbini, and were to shout sayonara over her shoulder…well let’s simply say you can get a few confused looks indigenous those anxiously wait for milk for your cereal.

While you might hear it in the day-to-day, there are a ton of other helpful phrases because that the casual and the studious Japanese language learner.



Bai Bai!

This could sound a little familiar because that English Speakers. And also it should. Written in Katakana, the Japanese alphabet provided for loan words, バイバイ (bai bai) is teach to young kids learning English (a need for every Japanese students starting in the 3rd grade). This is one factor why saying bai bai is connected with acting cute.

It’s tough to no crack the end a smile as a dozen six year olds waving madly at you every shout “bai bai, sensei!” you will likewise hear ladies say it to their friends after share coffee at a cafe.

A Japanese person might say it come a foreigner as soon as seeing lock off. When there space a couple of variations, bai bai is the most common.

Katakana english:Bye bye is バイバイ (bai bai)Goodbye is グッドバイ (guddobai)G’ farewell is グッバイ (gubbai)

Other 보다 English…

Now the we have actually explored exactly how English speakers normally say goodbye in Japanese…let’s carry out a deep dive into just how goodbye is naturally, many commonly, (and uncommonly) express in Japanese.

See ya!

Let’s begin things off casual like. Think because that a moment about when you would certainly say good-bye in daily life. Turn off the peak of mine head, I claimed it come my mom last night prior to ringing turn off the telephone.

Then I claimed it come a coworker ~ chatting in the break room throughout lunch. Because that these cases, if i were come be speaking in Japanese, i would have actually used じゃあね (jaa ne), the casual tantamount of “see ya”. The -ね (-ne) finishing is used, in this case, come make currently informal expressions even an ext casual.

And prior to you Japanese learners get your undergarments right into a twist, ja ne is not the only version that this phrase. No by a long shot. For this reason let’s do a list…

じゃあ、後で。Ja, ato de.See friend later.

じゃあ、後でね。Ja, ato de ne.See ya later.

後でね。ato de ne.Later!

See just how close this expressions room to every other? nice easy, right?

See friend again later…soon!?!

This is another casual usual phrase and is offered in much the same method as ja ne. The word また(mata) is thrown into sentences come say “again”.

The easiest means to usage this as a colloquial expression is simply by including the -ne ending: またね (mata ne). In this way, it is supplied to express both “See friend again soon” and also “See friend again later”.



Which completely isn’t confusing at all. Right? fine if you want to it is in a bit nit picky and also make your parting phrase have actually a an ext specific meaning, friend can add atode after ~ mata. You’ll see that it complies with much the very same pattern as presented with じゃあね above.

じゃあ、また後で。Ja, mata atode.See you again later.

また後で。Mata atode ne.See friend again later.

また後でね。Mata ato de ne.Later! (said with the understanding that girlfriend will check out each other again soon)

Want to add a time-stamp?

As mentioned, words “again” is in itself fairly unspecific. Let’s say you won’t watch the human until tomorrow, following week, or also next year! If you just say again…it can sound a little too flippant, specifically in a service situation.

While ns don’t include the -ne ending here, I have actually personally only offered these phrases with it tape-recorded on to the end. This building and construction is generally much more common, especially when these phrases are used on their very own (instead of embedded into a sentence).

また明日mata ashitaSee girlfriend again tomorrow

また来週mata raishūSee girlfriend again next week

また来年らいねんmata rainenSee you again following year

Let’s to speak you know for certain that you’ll meet up through someone again, yet don’t desire to incorporate a more specific time stamp. In this situation you can merely adjust your statement to それまで、じゃね. This come out together “until then”. Because that memory’s sake, ns usually picture two spies finish a clandestine meeting.

I’m off!

Remember the milk carton example used earlier? well 行って来ます is what you would actually say (not sayonara). Once leaving the house, the human being leaving will say ittekimasu to the world staying behind as they head out. This translates roughly as “I’m leaving and will return later.”

The human being anxiously wait for stated milk will certainly say 行ってらっしゃい (itterasshai) in response. Itterasshāi translates roughly as “Please go and come back.”

Of course, in practical, everyday use, no Japanese human being is thinking around the literal definitions of this words. They role much more closely to an exchange like, “I’m heading out!” and then “Okay, get earlier safely!” This exchange is the norm among household members coming and also going.

No bother

You saw a friend’s residence to enjoy eating grain with them for dinner. When you are arriving or departing someone’s house, it’s polite come say お邪魔します (o-jama-shimasu). Literally, this means, “I’m gift a nuisance.” more loosely (and kindly) analyzed it’s, “pardon me because that intruding.” O-jama-shimasu is offered regardless if you space expected or not.



When you leave, you just make the statement past tense by adding -した (shita) come the end. Thus it becomes お邪魔しました (o-jama-shimashita). This that it together saying “Thanks for having me over.”

Think Safety

Your girlfriend is leaving so late at night. Not only is it nearing the witching hour, that looks prefer a typhoon is coming on, and also you’re feeling slightly worried. In this case, you’ll want to send them off with a 気を付けて. This phrase, ki-o-tsukete, is supplied to say “take care” or “be safe” as soon as someone might face potential hardship (either early to bad weather or obtaining mugged so late at night by a tanuki).

Before you go snooze

You’re emotion pretty win after eat a hearty enjoy the meal of grain for dinner (Japanese civilization don’t really eat grain that much, yet it’s my favourite food, so…) and want to revolve in. In a regular exchange, you merely say “night night” or “good night”.

It’s lot the very same in Japanese, in i m sorry the human being going to sleep will say おやすみ(なさい) (oyasumi(nasai)).

The human staying up a little longer or going to sleep as well, will certainly respond v oyasumi(nasai). The -nasai is optional. Having an additional person in the home is optional as well. Sometimes its comforting come say phrases prefer 行ってきます and おやすみ even when no one else is home.

Feel better

Friends and coworkers will certainly say お大事に (o-daiji-ni) to someone sick, one of two people in human being or end the phone, an especially when the sick human being is heading out. This o-daiji-ni is said when they want the person to “feel far better soon” or to “take care of yourself.”

Don’t die

Another phrase, one the is slightly more on the polite side, is お元気で (o-genki-de). When this is usually claimed to someone together they are preparing to leave for a trip, the is likewise appropriate for once a coworker or girlfriend is down through something. O-genki-de roughly translates to “stay well”, “all the best”, and “good luck!”

Checking out from work

Thankfully you controlled to avoid getting the flu this year. It’s march and also nearing the finish of the budget year. It was a long hard day in ~ work. While numerous of your coworkers are still fiddling away at their keyboards, the clock is three secs away from proclaiming the end of the official work day.

Although it is technically it s okay to leave when the clock strikes the hour, it looks choose you space the just one prepare to carry out so. Right here are a few set phrases you have the right to use on your means out the door:

I’m outta here

As mentioned, numerous of your coworkers space still hard at work. In this situation you will desire to to speak お先に失礼します(osaki ni shitsureshimasu). You’re basically saying “Excuse me, I’m leaving ahead of you”. This phrase is supplied up until the 2nd to last person leaves the office, even if you’re burn the midnight oil.

Such a difficult worker…

The person throughout from you to be doing crossword puzzles every day and also the potato chip muncher sitting next to you to be slugging one down on the sly. Regardless, you will still leave through an all mighty お疲れ様です(o-tsukaresama-desu) directed in the direction of your totality office (even the chip muncher).

No, girlfriend don’t have to shout it, however it need to be fairly easy come hear throughout the way. Your coworkers will generally respond in sort with a “great project today”.

You can tailor o-tsukaresama-desu to sound an ext polite or casual by speak otsukare come friends or o-tsukaresama-deshita to her boss. Even after you leaving the physics office room, girlfriend will continue to use this expression if you take place to run across a coworker – be it top top your means home or in ~ the neighborhood izakaya.

Excusing Yourself

This next one is good for pardoning you yourself from a room. 失礼します (shitsureishimasu) is what girlfriend say together you head the end the door, usually with a bow. This one is supplied in at the very least three situations.

If you’re a student and are leave the teacher’s office. If you’re one underling exiting a greater up’s office. And also if you’ve interrupted some sort of meeting. It has actually the same feel together “Excuse me,” or “Pardon me,” in English.

Wrapping up business

All with flu season, friend were approximately your neck in worry around an upcoming presentation. And also you simply finished!!! You gift in former of her boss and also long-time clients. Talk about stress. Thankfully, a coworker gave you a hand with it. Together the conference winds down and people are packing up, you will say:



Phew, many thanks man

To the coworker who assisted put together the presentation, friend would absolutely want to give thanks to them v お世話になります (osewa ni narimasu). This phrase, osewa ni narimasu, precise means, “I’ve remained in your care,” yet translates more naturally together “thank you for everything”.

To the customer (who hopefully authorized of her proposal), you will throw a similar but slightly altered phrase at them. Much more formal, いつもお世話になっております means “Thank you for constantly supporting” our business. This is a an excellent phrase to keep in your earlier pocket for as soon as you are ending an engagement through a client, either in human being or top top the phone.

Not just your garden variety bye-bye

So far we have actually covered phrases that space used relatively commonly, at home or in the workplace. Over there are yet phrases that are either outdated, dead, or only use to certain rare situations.

ほな、バイナラ to be the tagline for the 1980s Japanese fight actor, Seiroku Saito. Hona, bainara can be translated as “Then, goodbye.” The an initial part of this phrase is created in hiragana, the 2nd katakana. It is no longer commonly used, but is really fun to say the end loud.

Another phrase that comes the end of the 80s, yet has freshly seen a rebirth in usage is バイビー. Particularly in Tokyo, baibii- is popular amongst ギャル(garu) or young women v dyed blond hair hair who dress us in gaudy clothes and also accessories.

While the pronunciation of this indigenous sounds prefer baby, that is associated with bainara. Various other than among this very select group, this is thought about a dead phrase.

Speaking that babies, this is a rather strange one that can actually originate from baby talk. No Joke. あばよ (abayo) is informal and sounds favor a mix of infant speech ababa and also the english indigenous “Aha!”. Shingo Yanagisawa, a famous actor throughout the 80s and 90s famously states this phrase when he shows up in Ultraman (among other tv shows).

After beating the enemy, and before disappearing turn off screen, he shouts this over his shoulder come the hero that the show. That is a pretty popular phrase among younger boys and is considered less 보다 polite.

Unless of course you reap singing enka songs during karaoke and are a pan of Ken Naoko’s “Abayo.” then you could have a different take on the word.

Speaking of phrases not often heard

Japan has actually several dialects, some an ext distinguishable 보다 others. The complying with expressions are supplied in various parts roughly Japan. While many of these space still in use today, some dialects are an ext easy to recognize than others.

Off the Coast

The Daito islands are a part of the Okinawan chain that islands. The language over there was extremely influenced through the civilization from Hachijo island, located simply south of Tokyo.

While traditional Japanese is primarily used, there space still numerous colloquial paragraph used amongst the indigenous population. あばよーい (abayooi) is used to to speak goodbye and is a cognate of the standard expression あばよ (abayo). Sound Familiar?

In the West

さいなら (sainara) sound very similar to sayonara and is used for much of the same purpose. This is a commonly used expression in the Chugoku region, in the city that Hiroshima specifics for when you room saying farewell.


All the method South

Nagasaki and also Kagoshima are two prefectures situated in Kyushu, the Southern an ar of Japan. さんばよ (sanbayo) is an expressive farewell generally used in Nagasaki. The -よ yo finishing adds emphasis to the expression.

In Kagoshima, the most southern prefecture top top the key island, world say のっちーよー nocchiiyoo. This word derives indigenous のち nochi (後) or “later”. A an ext casual, expressive version of this is のっちよ nocchiyo or “bye”.

And a small further down…

You’re working at a cafe v a friend and want to hit the loo. If you’re a millennial, you will probably say something follow me the present of “BRB”. In Okinawan, “be right back” or “be back later” is stated using the expression んじちゃーびら (njichaabira). Literally, “I’m going and also coming,” this expression is obtained from the verbs 行く come go and also 来ゅーん to come.

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Dinosaur bones

Let’s to speak you’re bartering because that something in the middle of Edo, circa 1850. After comes to an agreement, you will start your parting statement v いざさらば (izasaraba). Created in hiragana, izasaraba would have successfully worked as “well then (shall we)…” or “well then, (I’ll)…”.

A friendly wave goodnight

Well persons we have officially reached the end of our time together. Thanks so lot for analysis this article. For this reason to carry out this the ideal way, I will send girlfriend off through a friendly ノシ (noshi). This is how Japanese civilization *wave goodbye* ~ above the net. Nice cool, right?!?