Here’s How You Can Ask for the Bill at a Japanese Restaurant

Plus, other useful phrases to avoid misunderstandings.

Photo Pixabay

The language barrier in Japan can be daunting for foreigners. Whether you are dining in a restaurant or shopping, communicating with the Japanese staff will always feels like a challenge. But there’s no need to worry about communication problems anymore because we’ve got you covered. In this article, we will guide you through a series of basic Japanese conversations and share with you some commonly used Japanese phrases at a restaurant.

Ima kangaete imasu.

A lot of Japanese restaurants have sample menus displayed in front of their shop. From our experience, a lot of the staff are friendly. The staff personally approaches us to check on us and guide us in. However, if you are still in the middle of deciding, and you want to let them know that you’re still thinking and undecided you can say “
ima kangaete imasu.” 

Once you have decided, another tip before entering the restaurant is asking if they accept credit card payments. The picture above can show you how you can ask.  It’s best to know this because some restaurants in Japan still do not accept credit card payments.


Once seated, it is time for you to order. It depends on what kind of restaurant you are in, but if you are in a sit-down non-fast food type of restaurant, you will have to call for someone to take down your order. Some restaurants will make sure to serve you with cold drinks or a hot towel at first. But when you want to order and no one is around to attend to you, here is how you can get their attention. Just say “
Sumimasen!” which means “excuse me.” But before calling them out, check your table beforehand if there is a button to call for a member of the staff. Some restaurants have this kind of feature so you better check this one out to save yourself from the embarrassment. 

If you need an English menu, you say “
Eigo no menyu wa arimasu ka?

Sometimes, the staff will come asking for your order as shown below.

If you are in need of spoons and forks, you can say “
supu-n to fo-ku wa arimasu ka?


Have you heard or read your favorite character say the word “Itadakimasu” whenever you watch anime or read manga? The Japanese say this before eating which means “Let’s eat!” Whenever you dine in Japan, say itadakimasu before your meals just like your favorite anime characters!


Some restaurants allow you to pay from your table, but in Japan most of the time you have to ask for the bill and go to the register yourself to pay. To ask for your bill, you may say “
Sumimasen, O kaikei onegaishimasu.” 

In case you want to pay separately, you can tell them “
Betsu betsu de onegaishimasu.” 


After eating at the restaurant here are some useful phrases you can also say when you want to show your gratitude.

The Japanese people will be more than happy to hear these phrases, so why don’t you gather up the courage and give it a try.

Conversing in Japanese can be difficult, but with these simple phrases, you are sure to get your message across. Impress the Japanese with your knowledge of their language, and have a more colorful experience while traveling in Japan. 

 (21 February 2019)

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