Mastering Japanese: Learn How to Say ‘Let’s Eat’ in Japanese

Are you planning a visit to Japan or interested in Japanese culture? Learning common phrases in Japanese can greatly enhance your experience, especially when it comes to sharing meals with locals. In this section, we’ll go over the different ways to say “let’s eat” in Japanese, including translations and cultural context.

Knowing how to say “let’s eat” in Japanese will help you initiate mealtime conversations and show appreciation for the food served.

Join us as we explore the nuances of Japanese language and culture, and expand your knowledge of the Japanese phrase for “let’s eat.”

Saying Let’s Eat in Japanese: An Introduction

When it comes to saying “let’s eat” in Japanese, there are various ways to express it, depending on the situation and level of formality. But before we delve into the specific phrases, it’s essential to understand the cultural context behind saying it.

One common way to say “let’s eat” in Japanese is “itadakimasu.” This phrase goes beyond merely inviting someone to eat and expresses gratitude for the food and the people involved in its preparation. It’s a way to recognize the effort and hard work that went into creating the meal.

Another phrase you might come across is “meshiagare,” which is a more casual way to say “let’s eat.” This phrase is commonly used among friends or colleagues and can be translated as “dig in” or “let’s chow down.”

Understanding the nuances and appropriate usage of these phrases is crucial for effective communication in Japan. So let’s explore some common Japanese phrases for “let’s eat” in more detail.

Common Japanese Phrases for Let’s Eat

When it comes to saying “let’s eat” in Japanese, there are various phrases that you can use depending on the situation and level of formality. Here are some common Japanese expressions for let’s eat:

Japanese English Translation Pronunciation
食べましょう (tabemashou) Let’s eat tah-beh-mah-show
召し上がれ (meshiagare) Please eat (polite) meh-shee-ah-gah-reh
頂きます (itadakimasu) I will have it (polite) ee-tah-dah-kee-mah-soo
ごちそうさまでした (gochisousama deshita) Thank you for the meal (polite) goh-chee-soh-sah-mah-deh-shee-tah

“Tabemashou” and “meshiagare” are more casual expressions that you can use with friends or family. On the other hand, “itadakimasu” and “gochisousama deshita” are more formal phrases that are used in business settings or when dining with superiors.

It’s worth noting that in Japanese culture, it’s polite to wait for everyone to be served and say “itadakimasu” before starting to eat. After finishing the meal, it’s also common to say “gochisousama deshita” to express gratitude to the host or the chef.

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Japanese Equivalent of Let’s Eat

“Let’s eat” in Japanese can be translated into several phrases, as we’ve discussed previously. However, it’s essential to understand the nuances and appropriate usage of these expressions to use them effectively in conversations.

Japanese Expression for Let’s Eat

Knowing how to say “let’s eat” in Japanese is useful not only for dining but also for building connections and relationships with Japanese people. Learning these expressions shows that you are interested in their culture and willing to engage with them on a more personal level.

Let’s Eat: Translations and Pronunciations.

Now that you know the different expressions for saying “let’s eat” in Japanese, it’s time to learn how to say them properly. Here are the translations and pronunciations for the most common phrases:

Japanese Phrase English Translation Pronunciation
食べましょう (tabemashou) Let’s eat tah-beh-mah-shoh
めしあがれ (meshiagare) Enjoy your meal (informal) meh-shi-ah-gah-reh
いただきます (itadakimasu) Thank you for the meal (formal) ee-tah-dah-kee-mahs
ごちそうさまでした (gochisousama deshita) Thank you for the meal (after eating, formal) goh-chee-soh-sah-mah deh-shee-tah

It’s important to note that Japanese pronunciation is very different from English. The key to proper pronunciation is to emphasize each syllable equally and avoid blending them together.

Now that you have the translations and pronunciations down, you can confidently use these phrases during your meals in Japan.

Cultural Etiquette: Dining Customs in Japan

When learning how to say “let’s eat” in Japanese, it’s important to understand the cultural nuances surrounding dining in Japan. Here are some customs to keep in mind:

Custom Description
Seating arrangements In traditional Japanese dining, guests sit on tatami mats around a low table. The seating arrangement is typically determined by seniority or status.
Chopstick etiquette Chopsticks should never be left sticking upright in a bowl of rice, as this resembles the incense sticks used in funerals. Passing food from chopstick to chopstick is also considered impolite.
Expressing gratitude Saying “itadakimasu” before a meal and “gochisousama deshita” after a meal are ways to express gratitude for the food and those who prepared it.

By familiarizing yourself with these customs, you can show respect for Japanese culture and make a positive impression on your hosts.

Practice Makes Perfect: Using Let’s Eat in Conversations.

Now that you’ve learned different ways to say “let’s eat” in Japanese and understand the cultural context, it’s time to practice incorporating these phrases into your conversations. This will help you communicate more effectively and respectfully during meals in Japan.

Scenario 1: Informal Dinner with Friends

You’re out to eat with some Japanese friends at a casual restaurant. As the food arrives, you can say:

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“Tabemashou!” (Let’s eat!) or “Itadakimasu!” (I humbly receive this food.)

You can also use other phrases like:

  • “Oishii desu ne?” (Isn’t it delicious?)
  • “Takusan tabemashita” (I ate a lot) when you’re finished

Scenario 2: Formal Business Dinner

At a business dinner, it’s important to use more formal language to show respect. You can say:

“Itadakimasu” (I humbly receive this food) before eating, and “Gochisousama deshita” (It was a feast) when you finish.

You can also use phrases like:

  • “O-susume wa nanidesu ka?” (What do you recommend?)
  • “Kochira koso yoroshiku onegaishimasu” (Thank you in advance) when receiving a dish

Remember to be respectful and show appreciation for the food and those involved in its preparation. These phrases will help you navigate various dining situations and communicate effectively with your Japanese hosts and companions.


Q: What are the different ways to say “let’s eat” in Japanese?

A: Common phrases for “let’s eat” in Japanese include “itadakimasu,” “tabemashou,” “meshiagare,” “gochisousama deshita,” and more. The specific phrase used depends on the situation and level of formality.

Q: How do I pronounce “let’s eat” in Japanese?

A: Pronunciations vary depending on the phrase. For example, “itadakimasu” is pronounced as ee-ta-da-kee-mas, “tabemashou” as ta-be-mas-sho, and “meshiagare” as me-shee-a-ga-re. It is important to listen to native speakers for accurate intonation and pronunciation.

Q: What is the cultural significance of saying “let’s eat” in Japanese?

A: Saying “let’s eat” in Japanese, especially with phrases like “itadakimasu,” expresses gratitude for the food and appreciation for those involved in its preparation. It is a way of showing respect for the meal and the cultural customs surrounding dining in Japan.

Q: How should I use these phrases in conversations?

A: The usage of these phrases depends on the context and formality of the situation. “Itadakimasu” is commonly used before starting a meal, while “gochisousama deshita” is used after finishing a meal. “Tabemashou” and “meshiagare” are more casual and can be used among friends or in informal settings. Practice using these phrases in different scenarios to become more comfortable and natural in conversations.

Q: Are there any cultural etiquette tips I should be aware of when dining in Japan?

A: Yes, there are various dining customs and etiquette guidelines in Japan. These include proper chopstick usage, seating arrangements, and expressing gratitude during and after a meal. Familiarizing yourself with these customs will allow you to show respect and enhance your overall dining experience in Japan.

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