Discover How to Say Oyster in Japanese – A Closer Look

If you’re a fan of seafood and Japanese cuisine, you might wonder how to say “oyster” in Japanese. In this section, we’ll help you explore different terms and translations related to this delicious mollusk.

Japan is known for its high-quality oysters, which are enjoyed in various dishes like oyster sashimi, grilled oysters, and oyster hotpot. To make the most out of your culinary experience, it’s helpful to know how to refer to this seafood delicacy in the local language.

Read on to discover the Japanese term for oyster, various translations of the word, and gain insight into the cultural significance of oysters in Japan.

Understanding the Japanese Term for Oyster

To understand how to say “oyster” in Japanese, it’s important to know the Japanese term used for this shellfish. The Japanese word for oyster is “kaki” (牡蠣), written in kanji characters as 牡蠣 or in hiragana script as かき. The term “kaki” refers specifically to the Pacific oyster, which is the most common oyster species found in Japan.

While “kaki” is the most commonly used term for oyster in Japan, there are other Japanese words that refer to different oyster species or have different nuances. For example, the word “gaki” (岳) refers to the rock oyster, while “mategai” (真蛸) is the Japanese word for the giant Pacific octopus, which is sometimes mistaken for an oyster.

Translating Oyster to Japanese

If you’re looking to expand your Japanese vocabulary to include food-related terms, it’s essential to learn how to say “oyster” in Japanese. Here are some oyster translations in Japanese:

English Japanese
Oyster 牡蠣 (Kaki)
Raw Oyster 生牡蠣 (Nama Kaki)
Fried Oyster カキフライ (Kaki Furai)
Smoked Oyster 燻製牡蠣 (Kunsei Kaki)

As you can see, the Japanese word for oyster is “kaki.” It’s pronounced as “kah-kee.”

If you’re wondering how to say oyster in Japanese in a specific context, here are some examples:

  • How do you say “oyster” in Japanese?
  • 牡蠣は日本語で何と言いますか? (Kaki wa nihongo de nanto iimasu ka?)
  • What is the Japanese word for oyster?
  • 牡蠣の日本語は何ですか? (Kaki no nihongo wa nan desu ka?)

By learning these oyster translations in Japanese, you can confidently order oyster dishes at Japanese restaurants or communicate with locals about this delicacy.

Oyster in Japanese Culture

Oysters have been an integral part of Japanese cuisine and culture for centuries. Known as “kaki” in Japanese, oysters are a popular delicacy that can be enjoyed in numerous ways, such as raw, grilled, fried, or incorporated into soups and stews.

Japan is the world’s largest consumer of oysters, and the Hiroshima prefecture is particularly renowned for its oyster production. Every year, the Miyajima Oyster Festival is held to celebrate the start of the oyster season, where visitors can enjoy fresh oysters, watch cooking demonstrations, and participate in various oyster-related contests.

Not limited to culinary use, oysters also hold cultural significance in Japan. In Japanese mythology, the god of the sea, Ebisu, is said to have created the first oyster by spitting it out. This story is still recounted today, and oysters are sometimes referred to as the Ebisu Shellfish.

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Oysters in Japanese Cuisine

Dish Description
Kaki no Sakamushi Steamed oysters in their own juices, often served with sake and grated daikon radish
Kaki Fry Breaded and deep-fried oysters, typically served with tonkatsu sauce
Kaki Gohan Oyster rice, where the oysters are mixed with rice and cooked

These are just a few examples of the many oyster dishes in Japanese cuisine, and each region of Japan has its own unique way of preparing and enjoying oysters.

Oysters in Japanese Art and Literature

Oysters have also been immortalized in Japanese art and literature. The 19th-century Japanese artist, Hiroshige, famously painted a scene of oyster harvesting near Edo Bay, which has since become an iconic piece of ukiyo-e art.

The Japanese author, Kawabata Yasunari, also wrote about oysters in his book, “Snow Country,” where he described the taste and texture of oysters as “slimy and sweet.”

As you can see, oysters hold a significant place in Japanese culture, whether through cuisine, mythology, or artistic expression.

Exploring Oyster Varieties in Japan

Japan is renowned for its vast range of oyster varieties, each with unique characteristics and flavors. Here are some of the most popular oyster species found in Japan:

Oyster Variety Description Location
Akagai Oyster Famous for its mild, buttery taste and tender texture Found in Hokkaido, Miyagi, and Hiroshima prefectures
Kaki Oyster The most common oyster in Japan, with a salty and briny taste Found in Hiroshima, Miyagi, Iwate, and other coastal areas
Namagaki Oyster Known for its sweet and juicy meat Found in Hiroshima and other coastal areas

Other lesser-known oyster varieties found in Japan include Kumamoto oysters, which are small and rich in flavor, and Yamaguchi oysters, which have a creamy texture and nutty flavor.

Oysters are popularly consumed in Japan as sashimi, grilled or fried, or in savory dishes such as oyster nabe (hotpot) or kaki fry (oyster fry). They are also a staple during oyster festivals (kaki matsuri) held across Japan, particularly in Hiroshima, Miyajima, and Miyagi prefectures.

Japanese Word for Oyster and Oysters in Japan

The Japanese term for oyster is “kaki” (牡蠣), which is commonly used in restaurants, seafood markets, and other establishments. However, it’s worth noting that the Japanese language has numerous words and expressions related to oysters, depending on the context and usage. For instance, “kaki-furai” refers to fried oysters, while “kaki-gohan” is oyster rice.

Overall, exploring oyster varieties in Japan can be a delightful experience for seafood enthusiasts. With its fresh and flavorful seafood, Japan remains a top destination for oyster lovers and foodies worldwide.

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Further Enhancing Your Japanese Linguistic Skills

If you’re interested in learning more Japanese food-related terms beyond “oyster,” there are many resources available to you. One option is to enroll in a language class at a local college or community center. You can also use language learning apps, such as Duolingo or Memrise, to practice your Japanese vocabulary on-the-go.

To expand your overall Japanese language skills, it’s recommended to immerse yourself in the language as much as possible. This can include watching Japanese TV shows or movies, listening to Japanese music or podcasts, and practicing speaking with native Japanese speakers.

Recommended Vocabulary to Learn

In addition to “oyster,” there are many other food-related terms you may want to learn to enhance your Japanese culinary vocabulary. Some examples include:

  • Sushi: 寿司
  • Ramen: ラーメン
  • Tofu: 豆腐
  • Tempura: 天ぷら

Learning these terms will not only help you better communicate in Japanese restaurants, but also deepen your appreciation for Japanese cuisine and culture.

Additionally, there are many online resources available to help you expand your Japanese language skills. Websites such as and provide comprehensive dictionaries and grammar guides, while language exchange websites like HelloTalk and Tandem allow you to practice speaking with native Japanese speakers.

By taking advantage of these resources and consistently practicing your Japanese language skills, you’ll be able to confidently navigate Japanese cuisine and culture.


Q: How do you say oyster in Japanese?

A: The term for oyster in Japanese is “kaki”.

Q: What is the Japanese word for oyster?

A: The Japanese word for oyster is “kaki”.

Q: How do I translate oyster to Japanese?

A: To translate oyster to Japanese, you would use the word “kaki”.

Q: What is the Japanese term for oyster?

A: The Japanese term for oyster is “kaki”.

Q: How can I say oyster in the Japanese language?

A: In the Japanese language, you can say oyster as “kaki”.

Q: Are there different ways to express oyster in Japanese?

A: No, the term for oyster in Japanese is consistently “kaki”.

Q: Is oyster culturally significant in Japan?

A: Yes, oysters have a significant role in Japanese cuisine and culture.

Q: What are some popular oyster dishes in Japan?

A: Some popular oyster dishes in Japan include grilled oysters, oyster hotpot, and oyster sushi.

Q: Are there any festivals or traditions related to oysters in Japan?

A: Yes, Japan celebrates the annual Miyajima Oyster Festival and Hiroshima Oyster Festival, among others.

Q: What are some oyster varieties found in Japan?

A: Some oyster varieties found in Japan include Hiroshima oysters, Kumamoto oysters, and Miyagi oysters.

Q: How can I further enhance my Japanese linguistic skills?

A: To enhance your Japanese linguistic skills, you can explore language learning resources and practice vocabulary related to food and other topics.

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