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How To Say “I Have A Reservation” In Japanese


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Evy Korte



Japan, the land of rich traditions, breathtaking landscapes, and a unique cultural heritage, is a popular destination for travelers from across the globe. Whether you are planning a vacation to the bustling city of Tokyo or exploring the serene temples in Kyoto, mastering a few essential phrases in the local language can significantly enhance your experience.


The Japanese language may seem intimidating at first, with its unfamiliar characters and complex grammar structure. However, learning a few key phrases can go a long way in connecting with the locals and immersing yourself in the vibrant culture of Japan.


In this article, we will focus on a common situation faced by travelers – making a reservation. Whether it’s for a hotel, restaurant, or any other service, knowing how to communicate that you have a reservation in Japanese can save you from any potential confusion or miscommunication.


Not only will this knowledge make your journey smoother, but it will also impress the locals and show them that you have taken the effort to learn about their language and culture.


So, let’s dive into the basics of the Japanese language and explore the different ways to say “I have a reservation” in Japanese!


Basics of Japanese Language

Before we delve into the phrases, it’s helpful to understand some key aspects of the Japanese language. Japanese is predominantly spoken in Japan and is written using three different scripts: Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji.


Hiragana is the most basic script and is used for native Japanese words and grammatical elements. Katakana is used to represent foreign words and borrowed words from other languages. Kanji, on the other hand, consists of Chinese characters and is used for nouns, verbs, and adjectives.


Japanese grammar is characterized by the subject-object-verb (SOV) word order, which may be different from the subject-verb-object (SVO) structure of English. Additionally, Japanese has a variety of honorific and polite language forms that reflect the hierarchical nature of Japanese society.


Pronunciation in Japanese is generally straightforward, with each syllable pronounced distinctly. It’s important to pay attention to the correct accent and intonation while speaking, as they play a crucial role in conveying meaning.


Now that we have a basic understanding of the Japanese language, let’s move on to some common phrases that will come in handy during your travel in Japan.


Common Phrases in Japanese

As you navigate through Japan, familiarizing yourself with some common phrases will be immensely helpful in day-to-day interactions. Here are a few essential phrases to assist you:

  • Kon’nichiwa – This is the standard greeting, meaning “Hello” or “Good day”. It is appropriate to use throughout the day when greeting someone.
  • Arigatō – Expressing gratitude is an essential part of Japanese etiquette. “Arigatō” means “Thank you”, and it is customary to say it when someone helps you or provides a service.
  • Gomen nasai – If you accidentally bump into someone or make a mistake, “Gomen nasai” is the phrase to apologize, meaning “I’m sorry”.
  • Sumimasen – When you need to get someone’s attention or ask for their assistance, saying “Sumimasen” (Excuse me) is polite and appropriate.
  • O-negai shimasu – This phrase translates to “Please” and is used when making a request or politely asking for something.
  • Daisuki desu – If you want to express that you “like” something, whether it’s food, a place, or an activity, you can say “Daisuki desu”.
  • Oishii – When you taste something delicious, saying “Oishii” (Delicious) is a great way to express your enjoyment of the food.
  • Ikura desu ka – If you want to inquire about the price of an item, you can ask “Ikura desu ka” which means “How much is it?”.
  • Eigo o hanasemasu ka – If you find yourself in need of English assistance, asking “Eigo o hanasemasu ka” means “Do you speak English?”.
  • Gomenkudasai – If you need to apologize in a more formal or sincere manner, you can say “Gomenkudasai” which means “I deeply apologize”.

These phrases will serve as a solid foundation for your interactions in Japan. Now, let’s move on to the specific phrases involved in making a reservation in Japanese.


Making a Reservation in Japanese

When it comes to making a reservation in Japan, whether it’s for a hotel, restaurant, or any other service, it’s essential to communicate your needs clearly. Politeness is highly valued in Japanese culture, so using the appropriate language and phrases is important during the reservation process.


Here are a few tips to keep in mind when making a reservation:

  1. Plan in advance: It’s best to make your reservation as early as possible, especially for popular restaurants or during peak travel seasons.
  2. Learn some basic phrases: Familiarize yourself with phrases such as “I would like to make a reservation” and “How many people are in your party?” to facilitate the reservation process.
  3. Be specific: Provide clear details about the date, time, and any specific requests you may have, such as dietary restrictions or seating preferences.
  4. Confirm the reservation: It’s always a good idea to confirm your reservation a day or two before your scheduled visit, either by phone or email, to ensure that everything is in order.
  5. Arrive on time: Punctuality is highly valued in Japanese culture, so make sure to arrive at the agreed-upon time for your reservation.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure a smooth reservation process and make the most of your experience in Japan.


Now, let’s explore the different ways to say “I have a reservation” in Japanese, depending on the context and the service you are booking.


Ways to Say “I Have a Reservation” in Japanese

When it comes to conveying that you have a reservation in Japanese, there are various phrases you can use depending on the context. Let’s explore some of the common ways to express this:

  1. Sumimasen, yoyaku ga arimasu – This phrase translates to “Excuse me, I have a reservation.” It is a polite and straightforward way to communicate that you have made a reservation.
  2. Yoyaku o shiteimasu – This phrase means “I have made a reservation” and is commonly used when making a reservation over the phone or in person. It shows that you have already taken the necessary steps to secure your reservation.
  3. Yoyaku ga arimasu – Similar to the previous phrase, this means “I have a reservation.” It is a concise and clear way to convey that you have a reservation without using any other additional phrases.
  4. Yoyaku o onegai shimasu – In this phrase, “Yoyaku o onegai shimasu” means “I would like to make a reservation.” It can be used when you are calling to make a reservation or visiting a place in person to book your reservation.

Remember to use polite language and proper intonation when using these phrases to show respect and courtesy towards the person you are communicating with.


It’s important to note that aside from using these phrases, it can be helpful to provide additional information such as the date, time, and number of people in your party to ensure a smooth reservation process. For example, you can say “Sumimasen, yoyaku ga arimasu. 6 gatsu 12 nichi, banzen wa 7 ji kara desu” which translates to “Excuse me, I have a reservation. It is for June 12th, starting at 7:00 pm”.


By using these phrases and providing the necessary details, you can effectively communicate that you have a reservation and ensure a seamless experience during your stay in Japan.



Mastering a few key phrases in the Japanese language can greatly enhance your travel experience when visiting Japan. In this article, we explored the basics of the Japanese language, including the three writing systems and the unique grammar structure. We also discussed some common phrases that will come in handy during your interactions with the locals.


When it comes to making a reservation in Japan, effective communication is crucial. By planning in advance, learning the appropriate phrases, and being specific about your needs, you can ensure a smooth reservation process. Additionally, confirming your reservation and arriving on time will help you make the most of your experience.


Finally, we delved into different ways to say “I have a reservation” in Japanese. From the straightforward “Sumimasen, yoyaku ga arimasu” to the polite “Yoyaku o shiteimasu”, there are various phrases you can use depending on the context. Remember to maintain politeness and use proper intonation while communicating.


By incorporating these phrases into your Japanese language skills, you will not only navigate your way through reservations but also create meaningful connections with the locals and embrace the beauty of Japanese culture.


So, the next time you find yourself in Japan, confidently say “I have a reservation” in Japanese and enjoy your unforgettable experience in this enchanting country.