It can surprise you, but saying goodbye to who in Japanese follows along much the exact same rules the etiquette the it would in any other language. Part phrases are more appropriate 보다 others, depending on the situation. While her textbook could suggest さようなら (sayonara) as the catchall farewell, that goes a little deeper than that.

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Are you going to check out the human again in the close to or far-off future?

If you occupational in a Japanese office, exactly how do your coworkers to speak goodbye come each other or to your superiors? have to you use a casual -ね (ne) at the finish of your phrase or usage a an ext formal form of the word?

These space all things that you should think about before choosing which phrase to use. Sound overwhelming? Nah. You already do it day-to-day with your indigenous tongue. So I’m certain you have the right to do it, no problem.

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How execute you to speak goodbye in Japanese?

The three most valuable ways come say good-bye in Japanese room sayonara, ja-mata-ne, and also ots’kare-sama-deshita. Use sayonara if friend won’t check out the human being for a while, similar to exactly how you can use “goodbye” in English. Use ja-mata-ne for a casual farewell, comparable to “See you later.” and use ots-kare-sama-deshita once leaving work. Including a basic bow always helps.



Body language

Physical human body contact, particularly outside that the family, is no really a thing in Japan. The classic handshake or the an ext intimate hug are both replaced with bowing. As for waving…eh. Other people will tell you not to, and technically it’s not classic etiquette. Yet, Japanese youngsters will wave to every other when they space leaving school. Personally, i will periodically wave when leaving my favourite restaurants due to the fact that it renders the employees smile. It’s as much as you.

A fond farewell to Sayonara

The year is 1957, 12 year after the end of WWII, and just five after Korea. Itami air base, located in Osaka prefecture, is lived in under US control (and will remain so until 1959). It is additionally the location chosen for the box office hit, Sayonara.

The lyrics of Irvin Berlin and lilting voice that Miyoshi Umeki coupled with images of patriotism and also romance, racism and prejudice, make this movie a classic. It also helped in familiarizing people around the world with the Japanese phrase for speak farewell.

Whether in lyric, in manga, or other resource of media, most world encounter さようなら (sayōnara) in ~ one allude or another. The word is recognizable. The together is straightforward. Many websites offering beneficial Japanese phrases only offer sayonara together a way to refer goodbye.

Yet as with any kind of language, Japanese has actually a boat load of paragraph that have the right to be provided for saying goodbye. And also Sayonara is burdened with a sense of finality, as emphasized in the dual suicide the the two lovers in the movie pointed out above.

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

While you may hear it in the day-to-day, there space a ton that other helpful phrases for the casual and also the studious Japanese language learner.



Bai Bai!

This could sound a little familiar because that English Speakers. And it should. Composed in Katakana, the Japanese alphabet offered for loan words, バイバイ (bai bai) is taught to young youngsters learning English (a need for every Japanese students starting in the third grade). This is one reason why saying bai bai is connected with exhilaration cute.

It’s hard to not crack out a laugh as a dozen six year olds waving madly at you all shout “bai bai, sensei!” you will additionally hear ladies say that to your friends after sharing coffee in ~ a cafe.

A Japanese person could say it come a foreigner when seeing lock off. If there space a pair of variations, bai bai is the many 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 than English…

Now the we have explored how English speakers typically say goodbye in Japanese…let’s do a deep dive into exactly how goodbye is naturally, many commonly, (and uncommonly) expressed in Japanese.

See ya!

Let’s begin things turn off casual like. Think for a moment around when you would say goodbye in daily life. Turn off the optimal of mine head, I claimed it come my mommy last night prior to ringing off the telephone.

Then I said it come a coworker after ~ chatting in the break room throughout lunch. For these cases, if i were come be speak in Japanese, ns would have used じゃあね (jaa ne), the casual indistinguishable of “see ya”. The -ね (-ne) finishing is used, in this case, to make currently informal expressions even more casual.

And before you Japanese learners get your undergarments right into a twist, ja ne is no the only version of this phrase. No by a lengthy 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 these expressions room to each other? pretty easy, right?

See you again later…soon!?!

This is one more casual common phrase and also is provided in lot the same way as ja ne. Words また(mata) is thrown into sentences to say “again”.

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



Which completely isn’t confusing in ~ all. Right? fine if you desire to it is in a little bit nit picky and also make your parting phrase have a more specific meaning, friend can include atode ~ mata. You’ll check out that it complies with much the exact 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 you again later.

また後でね。Mata ato de ne.Later! (said through the expertise that friend will see each other again soon)

Want to add a time-stamp?

As mentioned, words “again” is in itself quite unspecific. Let’s speak you won’t check out the human being until tomorrow, next week, or also next year! If you just say again…it can sound a small too flippant, specifically in a business situation.

While ns don’t include the -ne finishing here, I have actually personally only used these phrases with it recorded on to the end. This construction is generally much more common, particularly when these phrases are provided on their own (instead of installed into a sentence).

また明日mata ashitaSee girlfriend again tomorrow

また来週mata raishūSee friend again next week

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

Let’s speak you know for sure that you’ll fulfill up v someone again, however don’t want to incorporate a an ext specific time stamp. In this instance you can merely change your statement to それまで、じゃね. This comes out as “until then”. Because that memory’s sake, i usually snapshot two spies concluding 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 to speak (not sayonara). Once leaving the house, the human being leaving will certainly say ittekimasu come the civilization staying behind together they head out. This translates approximately as “I’m leaving and also 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 around as “Please go and come back.”

Of course, in practical, daily use, no Japanese human is thinking around the literal definitions of these words. They function much an ext closely come an exchange like, “I’m heading out!” and then “Okay, get ago safely!” This exchange is the norm among household members coming and also going.

No bother

You checked out a friend’s residence to reap eating grain with them because that dinner. As soon as you are showing up or departing someone’s house, it’s polite to say お邪魔します (o-jama-shimasu). Literally, this means, “I’m being a nuisance.” more loosely (and kindly) analyzed it’s, “pardon me because that intruding.” O-jama-shimasu is used regardless if you space expected or not.



When you leave, you merely make the statement previous tense by including -した (shita) to the end. Hence it becomes お邪魔しました (o-jama-shimashita). This the it as saying “Thanks for having actually me over.”

Think Safety

Your friend is leaving late at night. Not only is that nearing the witching hour, it looks prefer a typhoon is comes on, and you’re emotion slightly worried. In this case, you’ll desire to send castle off v 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 confront potential hardship (either due to negative weather or getting mugged 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 world don’t really eat grain that much, however it’s my favorite food, so…) and want to revolve in. In a typical exchange, you simply say “night night” or “good night”.

It’s lot the same in Japanese, in which the human going come sleep will certainly say おやすみ(なさい) (oyasumi(nasai)).

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

Feel better

Friends and also coworkers will certainly say お大事に (o-daiji-ni) to someone sick, either in human or over the phone, specifically when the sick human is heading out. This o-daiji-ni is said when they want the person to “feel much better soon” or to “take care of yourself.”

Don’t die

Another phrase, one that is slightly an ext on the polite side, is お元気で (o-genki-de). While this is usually stated to someone as they room preparing to leaving for a trip, it is likewise appropriate for when a coworker or friend is down v something. O-genki-de roughly translates to “stay well”, “all the best”, and “good luck!”

Checking out from work

Thankfully you managed to avoid acquiring the flu this year. It’s march and nearing the finish of the fiscal year. It was a long hard day in ~ work. While many of your coworkers are still fiddling far at your keyboards, the clock is three secs away from declaring the end of the official work day.

Although it is technically okay to leave when the clock strikes the hour, it looks prefer you room the just one preparing to carry out so. Here are a couple of set phrases you can use on your means out the door:

I’m outta here

As mentioned, countless of your coworkers room still difficult at work. In this situation you will desire 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 expression is offered up until the second to last human being leaves the office, even if you’re burn the midnight oil.

Such a tough worker…

The person across from you was doing crossword puzzles all day and the potato chip muncher sitting beside you was slugging one down on the sly. Regardless, you will certainly 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, friend don’t need to shout it, yet it must be reasonably easy come hear throughout the way. Her coworkers will normally respond in type with a “great project today”.

You deserve to tailor o-tsukaresama-desu come sound more polite or casual by speak otsukare come friends or o-tsukaresama-deshita to her boss. Even after you leave the physics office room, you will proceed to usage this expression if you occur to run throughout a coworker – be it on your means home or at the neighborhood izakaya.

Excusing Yourself

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

If you’re a student and also are leaving 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 increase business

All v flu season, friend were as much as your neck in worry around an upcoming presentation. And you just finished!!! You gift in front of your boss and long-time clients. Talk about stress. Thankfully, a coworker provided you a hand with it. Together the meeting winds down and also people room packing up, you will say:



Phew, many thanks man

To the coworker who aided put with each other 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, literally means, “I’ve remained in your care,” yet translates an ext naturally as “thank you for everything”.

To the client (who hopefully approved of her proposal), you will throw a comparable but slightly transformed phrase in ~ them. An ext formal, いつもお世話になっております way “Thank girlfriend for constantly supporting” ours business. This is a an excellent phrase to store in your ago pocket for once you are finishing an engagement with a client, either in person or top top the phone.

Not just your garden range bye-bye

So much we have actually covered phrases that space used relatively commonly, at house or in the workplace. Over there are but phrases that space either outdated, dead, or only use to particular rare situations.

ほな、バイナラ to be the tagline for the 1980s Japanese fight actor, Seiroku Saito. Hona, bainara have the right to be interpreted as “Then, goodbye.” The an initial part of this expression is written in hiragana, the 2nd katakana. The is no longer commonly used, but is really funny to say the end loud.

Another expression that comes out of the 80s, yet has recently seen a renewal in usage is バイビー. Specifically in Tokyo, baibii- is popular amongst ギャル(garu) or young women with dyed blond hair that dress us in gaudy clothes and also accessories.

While the joint of this word sounds favor baby, it is associated with bainara. Other than among this really select group, this is considered a dead phrase.

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

After beating the enemy, and before disappearing off screen, that shouts this over his shoulder come the hero that the show. That is a pretty renowned phrase amongst younger boys and also is taken into consideration less than polite.

Unless of course you reap singing enka songs throughout karaoke and are a fan of Ken Naoko’s “Abayo.” then you might have a various take on the word.

Speaking of paragraph not frequently heard

Japan has several dialects, some more distinguishable than others. The adhering to expressions are used in different parts roughly Japan. While plenty of of these room still in usage today, some dialects are an ext easy to know than others.

Off the Coast

The Daito islands space a component of the Okinawan chain that islands. The language there was extremely influenced by the human being from Hachijo island, located simply south that Tokyo.

While typical Japanese is mainly used, there are still number of colloquial unit volume used among the native population. あばよーい (abayooi) is supplied to speak goodbye and also is a cognate the the standard phrase あばよ (abayo). Sound Familiar?

In the West

さいなら (sainara) sound very comparable to sayonara and also is provided for much of the very same purpose. This is a generally used expression in the Chugoku region, in the city that Hiroshima specifically, for as soon as you space saying farewell.


All the means South

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

In Kagoshima, the southernmost prefecture on the main island, civilization say のっちーよー nocchiiyoo. This word derives native のち nochi (後) or “later”. A an ext casual, expressive variation of this is のっちよ nocchiyo or “bye”.

And a small further down…

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

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Dinosaur bones

Let’s to speak you’re bartering for something in the middle of Edo, circa 1850. After comes to one agreement, friend will start your parting statement through いざさらば (izasaraba). Composed in hiragana, izasaraba would certainly have properly worked together “well climate (shall we)…” or “well then, (I’ll)…”.

A friendly tide goodnight

Well folks we have officially got to the end of our time together. Many thanks so much for analysis this article. For this reason to do this the best way, I will send you off with a friendly ノシ (noshi). This is exactly how Japanese world *wave goodbye* top top the net. Quite cool, right?!?