Unlocking the Process of Reservation in Japanese: A Simple Guide

Japan is a country that combines ancient traditions with modern technology and attracts millions of tourists every year. If you plan to travel to Japan, you will need to book accommodations, transportation, and other services in advance to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip. However, navigating the process of making reservations in Japanese can be intimidating if you don’t speak the language.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of making reservations in Japanese, whether you’re booking a hotel room or a restaurant table, so you can confidently communicate your needs and preferences. We’ll provide you with essential vocabulary and phrases for successful booking, as well as tips to enhance your chances of getting the reservation you want.

So, whether you’re an experienced traveler or a first-timer in Japan, this simple guide will help you unlock the process of reservation in Japanese and make your trip stress-free and unforgettable. Let’s dive into the world of Japanese reservation!

Essential Vocabulary for Making Reservations in Japanese

Making a reservation in Japanese can be intimidating, especially if you’re not familiar with the language. However, learning a few essential reservation-related vocabulary and phrases can make the process a lot easier. Whether you’re booking a hotel, a restaurant, or any other service in Japan, having these phrases in your arsenal will help you communicate your needs effectively.

Reservation Vocabulary in Japanese

Below are some commonly used reservation vocabulary in Japanese that you should know:

Japanese English Pronunciation
予約 reservation yoyaku
空き availability aki
満席 fully booked manseki
キャンセル cancellation kyanseru

Reservation Phrases in Japanese

Here are some reservation-related phrases in Japanese that you can use when making a reservation:

Japanese English Pronunciation
予約をしたいんですが I would like to make a reservation yoyaku wo shitain desu ga
何名様ですか How many people will be in your party? nanmei sama desu ka?
何時から何時までですか What time would you like to reserve from and until? nanji kara nanji made desu ka?
取り消したいんですが I would like to cancel my reservation torikeshi shitain desu ga

By learning these reservation-related vocabulary and phrases in Japanese, you’ll be able to navigate the reservation process in Japan with greater ease.

Making Hotel Reservations in Japanese

If you’re planning a trip to Japan, knowing how to make hotel reservations in Japanese can be especially helpful. Here are some useful phrases and tips to get you started:

Japanese English
ホテルを予約したいのですが。 I would like to make a hotel reservation.
部屋を予約したいのですが。 I would like to book a room.
チェックインは何時からですか? What time is check-in?
チェックアウトは何時ですか? What time is check-out?
1泊の費用はいくらですか? How much is one night?

When making a reservation, it’s important to remember to use polite language, such as “お願いします” (onegaishimasu) meaning please or “ありがとうございます” (arigatou gozaimasu) meaning thank you.

In addition, it’s helpful to have a general idea of where you want to stay and what your budget is. Researching online or using a travel agent may also be useful in finding the best accommodations for your needs.

Remember, making hotel reservations in Japanese can be intimidating at first, but with practice and preparation, it can become a seamless process in planning your trip to Japan.

Making Restaurant Reservations in Japanese

When traveling to Japan, making a restaurant reservation in Japanese can seem daunting. However, with the right vocabulary and a basic understanding of Japanese etiquette, booking a table can be a straightforward and enjoyable experience.

Reservation Conversation in Japanese
The following phrases may come in handy when making a restaurant reservation:

English Japanese Phonetic Pronunciation
Hello こんにちは (Konnichiwa) Kon-nee-chee-wa
Reservation 予約 (Yoyaku) Yo-ya-ku
I would like to make a reservation 予約したいのですが (Yoyaku shitai no desu ga) Yo-ya-ku she-tai no desu ga
For how many people? 何人ですか?(Nan-nin desu ka?) Nan-nin desu ka?
At what time? 何時ですか?(Nan-ji desu ka?) Nan-ji desu ka?
Thank you ありがとうございます (Arigatou gozaimasu) Ah-ree-ga-toh go-zai-ma-su

When calling to make a reservation, it is common to start the conversation with “Konnichiwa” (hello) followed by “Yoyaku shitai no desu ga” (I would like to make a reservation). The host or hostess will likely inquire about the number of people in your party and the desired time. Be sure to listen carefully and confirm the details before ending the call.

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When dining in Japan, punctuality is highly valued. It is recommended to arrive at the restaurant a few minutes before the reservation time. If you are running late, a quick phone call to the restaurant to inform them of the delay is considered polite.

It is also customary to remove your shoes before entering many traditional Japanese restaurants. Look for a designated shoe rack or area near the entrance, and be mindful of any provided slippers or socks to wear inside.

Making a reservation in advance can also help avoid any confusion or disappointment if the restaurant is fully booked. Some popular restaurants in Japan have limited seating and may require reservations weeks in advance.

Now that you have learned some key phrases and etiquette tips for making restaurant reservations in Japanese, you can confidently book a reservation in Japan with ease.

Other Reservation Scenarios in Japanese

Aside from hotel and restaurant reservations, there may be other situations where you need to make bookings during your travels in Japan. Here’s a list of other reservation scenarios you might encounter along with relevant Japanese vocabulary and phrases to help you communicate your needs:

Scenario Vocabulary Phrases
Booking transportation 交通機関の予約 (koutsuu kikan no yoyaku) 鉄道の予約をお願いします。(tetsudou no yoyaku wo onegaishimasu) – “Please book a train for me.”
Reserving tickets for attractions アトラクションのチケット予約 (atorakushon no chiketto yoyaku) ディズニーランドのチケットを予約したいです。(Dizuniirando no chiketto wo yoyaku shitai desu) – “I would like to book tickets for Disneyland.”
Booking tours or activities ツアーやアクティビティーの予約 (tsuaa ya akutibitii no yoyaku) 富士山ツアーの予約をお願いします。(Fujisan tsuaa no yoyaku wo onegaishimasu) – “Please book a tour to Mount Fuji for me.”

Remember to use polite language when making reservations regardless of the scenario. Start off by greeting the person you’re speaking to and end with a polite expression of gratitude. For example, “こんにちは、(scenario)の予約をお願いします。よろしくお願いします。(Konnichiwa, (scenario) no yoyaku wo onegaishimasu. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu.)”

With these phrases and vocabulary at your disposal, you’ll be able to make any reservation you need during your travels in Japan.

Tips for Successful Reservations in Japanese

Making reservations in Japanese can seem intimidating at first, but with a little preparation and practice, you’ll be able to confidently book any service or activity in Japan. Here are some tips to help you have a successful reservation experience:

1. Research in advance

Before making a reservation in Japanese, it’s essential to know the details of the service or activity you want to book. Research in advance, and make a list of key information, such as the date, time, location, and any specific requirements or requests you may have. This will make the conversation smoother and more efficient.

2. Learn basic reservation vocabulary and phrases

Learning basic reservation-related vocabulary and phrases in Japanese will give you the confidence to communicate your booking requirements effectively. Review the essential vocabulary covered in Section 2, and practice common reservation phrases, such as “May I make a reservation?” or “I would like to book a table for two people.”

3. Be polite and patient

In Japan, politeness and patience are highly valued cultural traits. When making a reservation, always use polite language, such as “arigatou gozaimasu” (thank you very much), and take your time to listen carefully and respond appropriately to your interlocutor.

4. Consider using a reservation app or website

If making a reservation over the phone or in person feels daunting, consider using a reservation app or website. Many restaurants, hotels, and other services in Japan have online booking options that are easy to navigate and may offer translation tools to help you communicate your needs.

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5. Confirm your reservation

After making a reservation, be sure to confirm it. This will ensure that there are no misunderstandings or complications and will give you peace of mind before your visit. You can confirm your reservation by calling back or sending a confirmation email or text message, depending on the service or activity you booked.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to make reservations in Japanese with ease and confidence, whether you’re booking a hotel room, a restaurant table, or a cultural activity. Don’t be afraid to practice your Japanese reservation skills, and enjoy your travels in Japan!


Q: Can I make a reservation in Japanese if I don’t speak the language?

A: While it may be challenging, it is possible to make a reservation in Japanese even if you don’t speak the language fluently. Many establishments in Japan have staff who can communicate in English or provide assistance through translation apps. Additionally, learning a few key phrases and using basic Japanese etiquette can go a long way in making the reservation process smoother.

Q: What are some essential vocabulary for making reservations in Japanese?

A: Some essential vocabulary for making reservations in Japanese include:
– “Yoyaku” (予約) – reservation
– “Hotel” (ホテル) – hotel
– “Ryokan” (旅館) – traditional Japanese inn
– “Shukuhaku” (宿泊) – accommodation
– “Resutoran” (レストラン) – restaurant
– “Eigo” (英語) – English
– “Chotto mate kudasai” (ちょっと待ってください) – Please wait a moment
– “Onegaishimasu” (お願いします) – Please
– “Arigatou gozaimasu” (ありがとうございます) – Thank you

Q: How do I make hotel reservations in Japanese?

A: When making hotel reservations in Japanese, it is helpful to have the following phrases in mind:
– “Sumimasen, hoteru no yoyaku o onegaishimasu.” (すみません、ホテルの予約をお願いします) – Excuse me, I would like to make a hotel reservation.
– “Naninichi kara naninichi made desu ka?” (何日から何日までですか) – What is the check-in and check-out date?
– “Hitori desu” (1人です) – It’s for one person.
– “Futari desu” (2人です) – It’s for two people.
– “Smoking desu” (喫煙です) – Smoking room.
– “Kin’en desu” (禁煙です) – Non-smoking room.
Remember to be polite and use honorific language when speaking with hotel staff.

Q: How do I make restaurant reservations in Japanese?

A: To make restaurant reservations in Japanese, you can use the following phrases:
– “Sumimasen, resutoran no yoyaku o onegaishimasu.” (すみません、レストランの予約をお願いします) – Excuse me, I would like to make a restaurant reservation.
– “Naninichi nanji ni?” (何日何時に) – What date and time?
– “Nanmei desu ka?” (何名ですか) – How many people?
– “Naname desu” (2名です) – It’s for two people.
– “Shokujin desu” (食事です) – Meal.
Remember to specify any dietary restrictions or special requests during the reservation process.

Q: Are there other reservation scenarios in Japanese?

A: Yes, besides hotel and restaurant reservations, you may need to make other reservations in Japanese, such as for transportation, tickets, or other services. It’s helpful to know phrases such as:
– “Chikatetsu no yoyaku o onegaishimasu.” (地下鉄の予約をお願いします) – Subway reservation, please.
– “Kippu o yoyaku shitaidesu.” (切符を予約したいです) – I would like to book tickets.
– “Sabisu no yoyaku o onegaishimasu.” (サービスの予約をお願いします) – I would like to make a service reservation.
Make sure to research specific vocabulary and phrases depending on the type of reservation you need to make.

Q: What are some tips for successful reservations in Japanese?

A: Here are some tips to enhance your success rate when making reservations in Japanese:
1. Learn basic phrases and vocabulary related to reservations.
2. Use polite language and honorifics.
3. Be clear and specific about your requirements.
4. Make reservations well in advance, especially for popular establishments.
5. Have important details written down or saved on your phone for reference.
6. Be patient and understanding if there are any language barriers.
Remember, practice and preparation will help you navigate the reservation process more smoothly.

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