With the simple sections in this article, you can finally order a drink in Japanese (like a badass). No longer will you need your phrasebook, slowed-down English, and ridiculous charades to order a drink in Japan; all you need are the Japanese phrases below.
While ordering drinks in Japanese, there’s one critical word that stands above the rest: “please”. Politeness is ingrained in the language, so please don’t forget it.
Japanese has two forms of please.
Kudasai (ください )
And the more formal and polite: onegaishimasu (おねがいします)
When to use each one depends on the context of the request. The other phrase you’ll want to master, is “Cheers!” To say “Cheers” in Japanese, simply shout “KAMPAI!” So with your “please” and “kampai” in hand, let’s gear up for a night of language learning and drunkenness.
Tea (ocha) – おちゃ（お茶）
Coffee (Koh-hee) – コーヒー
Water (o-mizu/ mizu) – おみず（お水）
Beer (bee-ru) – ビール
Red Wine (aka wain) – あかワイン
White Wine (shiro wain) -しろワイン
Champagne (shanpan) – シャンパン
There are also various Japanese drinks you can choose from (audio coming soon):
For the following examples, we will use beer. But wine, mixed drink, or Japanese drinks can be used in their place. The basic principle still applies.
One beer please! (Beeru o ippai kudasai) – ビール/を/いっぱい/おねがいします
Two beers please! (Beeru o ni hai kudasai) -ビール/を/にはい/おねがいします
Three beers please! (Beeru o san bai kudasai) -ビール/を/さんばい/おねがいします
Four beers please! (beeru o yon hai kudasai) – ビール/を/よんはい/おねがいします
Five beers (beeru o go hai kudasai) -ビール/を/ごはい/おねがいします
Six beers (beeru o roppai kudasai) – ビール/を/ろっぱいおねがいします
One bottle (ippon) – いっぽん
Two bottles (nippon) – にほん
Three bottles (sanbon) – さんぼん
What’s your recommendation? (osusume wa nandeska) – おすすめ/は/なんですか？
Closing Up Shop
When’s last call? (lasto orda wa nanji desuka?) -ラストオーダーは何時間です
Can credit cards be used? (credito cardo tsukaimasuka?)
Check please! (o kaikei o onegaishimasu) – お会計お願いします
With these basics, you’ll have all your essentials to delivering flawless Japanese at any of the bars in Tokyo. If you’d like to get even further into the “drinking language” of Japan, look no further than joining this free (and awesome!) online Japanese course.
You can also download the entire podcast of the above (with English guidance) here.
What’s your favorite drink to order? Any difficulties getting it in Japan? Comment below!