Good Morning in Japanese – How to Say it and Other Greetings

In this lesson, we’re focusing on how to say “good morning” in Japanese. Like English people, the Japanese also greet each other at different times of the day. Especially in Japan, where being polite is important, this phrase is useful to know and can brighten someone’s day!

Good morning in Japanese with smilling sun and sunny side up egg

Do you greet your family and friends in the morning? We got you! We will not only teach you the Japanese way to say “good morning.” We’ll also give you a brief lecture on Japanese culture regarding greetings and a new vocabulary list related to the forenoon.

Different ways to say “Good Morning” in Japanese

Without a doubt, the first thing we learn in a new language is how to greet people. Friendly greetings are very basic to speaking communication. Especially a cheerful morning greeting makes a day nice and fresh.

Just like English, Good morning/Good afternoon/Good evening/Good night, is standard daily greetings in Japan. Japanese people use おはようございます (ohayou gozaimasu | good morning) from early morning to around 10:30 AM. They then switch to こんにちは (konnichiwa | good afternoon), こんばんは (konbanwa | good evening), and おやすみなさい (oyasuminasai | good night).

However, Japanese people don’t use the phrase good afternoon or hello as much compared to the western world. Instead, they use good morning in broader situations. Let’s start with a basic Japanese greeting おはようございます (ohayou gozaimasu)!

Formal Japanese Greeting

  • Ohayou gozaimasu (おはようございます | お早う御座います)

It’s a formal greeting for good morning in Japan. Japanese people use this when talking to older people, the people they respect, and the people they meet for the first time. Also, it’s expected in teacher-students relations or business relations.

Tips for a formal greeting

Although it’s unnecessary, you can bow and greet if you want to show some respect. In that case, don’t bow deeper than 30 degrees. If you want to keep the greeting warm and friendly, just give a slight nod called えしゃく (eshaku | 会釈) instead of a bow, おじぎ (ojigi | お辞儀).

Informal Japanese Greeting

  • Ohayou (おはよう | お早う)

The informal Japanese greeting is used widely among friends, family members, and coworkers. Usually, good morning greetings between friends are casual and slang-like.

Tips for an informal greeting

If you’re unsure when to speak Japanese informally, you can always follow how the other person communicates. A friendly mood and positive attitude are contagious, so you don’t need to be nervous about using informal Japanese greetings.

Japanese Greeting Variations for Good Morning

“Good morning” in Japanese doesn’t only translate to their informal and formal versions above. There are more variations of it that we have listed below.

Slang Greetings

  • おはよー (ohayoo)
  • おっはー (ohhaa)
  • おは (oha)
  • はよん (hayon)
  • おっす (ossu) *also for Hey or Hi, a little mannish phrase.
  • よっす (yossu) *also for Hey or Hi, a little mannish phrase.

Internet Slang Greetings

  • おは (oha)
  • おはあり (ohaari) *good morning, and thank you.
  • 乙 (otsu) *Also, otsukaresama (おつかれさま | good work)
  • あさがきたー(asa ga kita | 朝がキタ) *The morning has come.

Emoticon Greetings

Here are the interpretations of some cute かおもじ (kaomoji | 顔文字 | emoticon) for good morning. You can also create your Emoticon for fun!

  • オハヨ━━(。・∀・)ノ━━ゴザイマス
  • ٩(ˆ ˆ๑)۶おはよー
  • ‪ฅˆ•ﻌ•ˆฅ♡Ⴛ̅̀∣ժ̅ ꒭~੭ੇ♡
  • ΟΗΑΥΘ–(‘Α’dp)))–!!
  • ցօօժ ʍօɾղíղց(。•◡•。)⸝⋆

Regional Variations

People around Tokyo speak the standard Japanese language, though there are many dialects in Japan. Here are some examples.

  • おはよう (ohayou) *Tokyo
  • おはやがんす (ohayagansu ) *Iwate, Yamagata
  • はやえなっす (hayaenassu) *Yamagata, Fukushima
  • おはようさん (ohayousan) *Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara
  • おはようあります (ohayouarimasu) *Hiroshima, Yamaguchi
  • あだっごあした (adaddaashita) *Kagoshima
  • うきみそーちー (ukimisoochi) *Okinawa *commonly spoken area

A woman lifting both arms up while stretching with her eyes closed, an alarm clock beside her

10 Ideas of How to Answer “Good Morning” in Japanese

Even though greeting each other is a communication basis in our society, we sometimes wonder what we should reply to or how to continue the conversation in a foreign language. But don’t worry, we suggest you some tips for a friendly reply. Once you picture it, you can merrily go around Japan and meet new people.

If someone says good morning to you, you would reply the same and then:

  1. It’s a beautiful morning.
  • 爽やかな朝ですね。
  • さわやかなあさですね
  • Sawayakana asa desu ne.
  1. It’s a nice day, today.
  • 今日は、とても気持ちが良い天気です。
  • きょうは、とてもきもちがよいてんきです。
  • Kyouwa, totemo kimochi ga yoi tenki desu.
  1. It’s getting warmer/ It’s getting colder lately.
  • 近頃、だんだん暖かく/だんだん寒くなって来ましたね。
  • ちかごろ、だんだんあたたかく/だんだんさむく なってきましたね。
  • Chikagoro, dandan atatakaku/dandan samuku nattekimashita ne.
  1. Did you sleep well last night?
  • 昨日は良く眠れましたか?
  • きのうはよくねむれましたか?
  • Kinou wa yoku nemuremashita ka?
  1. What are your plans for today?
  • 今日の予定は何ですか?
  • きょうのよていはなんですか?
  • Kyou no yotei wa nan desu ka?
  1. Let’s do our best day today, too.
  • 今日も一日頑張りましょう。
  • きょうもいちにちがんばりましょう。
  • Kyou mo ichinichi ganbarimashou.
  1. I’m looking forward to working together. / Please take care of me today.
  • 今日はよろしくお願いします。
  • きょうはよろしくおねがいします。
  • Kyou wa yoroshiku onegaishimasu.
  1. Have a nice day.
  • 良い一日を。
  • よいいちにちを。
  • Yoi ichinichi wo.
  1. See you later.
  • また後で会いましょう。
  • またあとであいましょう。
  • Mata ato de aimashou.
  1. Wishing you a safe journey.
  • 気を付けて行って来てください。
  • きをつけていってきてください。
  • Ki wo tsukete ittekite kudasai.

Words/Phrases related to “Morning” in Japanese

Getting familiar with new vocabulary is always interesting. Let’s learn new Japanese words and phrases. You can use the following words both in formal situations and informal situations.

  • あさ (asa | 朝) AM, morning
  • あかつき (akatsuki | 暁) dawn
  • ちょうしょく (choushoku | 朝食) breakfast
  • あさごはん (asagohan | 朝ご飯) breakfast
  • きしょう (kishou | 起床) wake-up
  • めざめ (mezame | 目覚め) awake, awakening
  • もーにんぐこーる (mooningucooru | | モーニングコール) wake-up call
  • めざましどけい (mezamashidokei | 目覚まし時計) alarm clock
  • あさやけ (asayake | 朝焼け) sunrise
  • ひので (hinode | 日の出) sunrise
  • あさねぼう(asanebou | 朝寝坊) oversleep
  • ねぐせ (neguse | 寝癖) bed hair
  • ねむけ (nemuke | 眠気) drowsiness, sleepiness
  • あさがた (asagata | 朝型 | ) early bird
  • よるがた (yorugata | 夜型) night owl

Idioms and Proverbs

  • あさっぱら (asappara | 朝っ腹) early morning
  • あさめしまえ (asameshimae| 朝飯前 |) a piece of cake
  • はやねはやおき (hayane hayaoki | 早寝早起き) early to bed and early to rise
  • いっちょういっせき (icchou isseki | 一朝一夕) in a short period of time
  • あさおきはさんもんのとく (asaoki wa sanmon no toku | 朝起きは三文の徳) The early bird catches the worm.
  • じんせいちょうろのごとし (jinsei chouro no gotoshi| 人生朝露の如し) Life is short like morning dew.
  • よいっぱりのあさねぼう (yoippari no asanebou | 宵っ張りの朝寝坊)A night owl sleeps in.
  • A boy and a girl inside a classroom waving at each other

Vocabulary associated with Japanese Morning

You can claim yourself an “almost Japanese” if you know more than five words and phrases from the list below. Despite some considerably intriguing Japanese customs, there is some infamous vocabulary you probably don’t want to experience. Though these are all a part of the archetypal Japanese culture and society.

  • まんいんでんしゃ (manindensha | 満員電車) over-crowded train
  • つうきんらっしゅ (tsuukinrasshu | 通勤ラッシュ) rush hour
  • らっしゅじ (rasshuji | ラッシュ時) rush hour
  • らじおたいそう (rajiotaisou | ラジオ体操) radio calisthenics
  • ちょうれい (chourei | 朝礼) morning assembly
  • あさどら (asadora | 朝ドラ) TV drama program in the morning *also known as れんぞくてれびしょうせつ (renzokuterebi shousetsu | 連続テレビ小説)
  • おべんとうづくり (obentouzukuri| お弁当作) to make a packed lunch box
  • あさらーめん (asa Ramen| 朝ラーメン | to eat Ramen noodles in the morning) *sometimes abbreviated to あさらー (asaraa | 朝ラー)
  • にどね (nidone | 二度寝) to go back to sleep
  • ふつかよい (futsukayoi | 二日酔い) hangover
  • あさかつ (asa katsu| 朝活) morning activities to fulfilling one’s daily life
  • そうちょうじょぎんぐ (souchou Joggingu | 早朝ジョギング) early morning jogging
  • あさよが (asa yoga| 朝ヨガ) morning yoga
  • あさぶろ (asaburo | 朝風呂) to take a shower or bath in the morning *it’s common to have a shower at night in Japan

Common Japanese Morning Routine

Here is the list of the typical morning routine あさのしゅうかん (asa no shuukan | 朝の習慣) in Japan. Most of them should be familiar to you, but let’s look at how to say them in the Japanese language.

  • みじたくをととのえる (mijitaku wo totonoeru | 身支度を整える) to get ready
  • はみがきをする (hamigaki wo suru | 歯磨きをする) to brush one’s teeth
  • かおをあらう (kao wo arau| 顔を洗う) to wash one’s face
  • しんぶんをよむ (shinbun wo yomu | 新聞を読む) to read the newspaper
  • らじおをきく (rajio wo kiku | ラジオを聞く) to listen to the radio
  • いんたーねっとをする (intaanetto wo suru | インターネットをする) to use the internet
  • てんきよほうをみる (tenkiyohou wo miru | 天気予報を見る) to watch the weather forecast
  • そうじをする (souji wo suru | 掃除をする) to clean up
  • せんたくをする (sentaku wo suru | 洗濯をする) to do the laundry
  • かじをする (kanji wo suru | 家事をする) to do the housework

What Time? Words define the Morning Time

While listening to some Japanese news, you might have noticed specific words to note during the morning hours. According to Japan Meteorological Agency, the subdivision of time of the day is below.

The exact interpretation may be slightly different in each TV or Radio station, but this would be helpful knowledge to have when you get detailed information concerning weather, earthquakes, and breaking news in Japan.

  • みめい (mimei | 未明) gray of the morning, from 0:00 am to 3:00 am or before sunrise
  • よあけ (yoake | 夜明け) dawn, before sunrise
  • よあけまえ (yoakemae | 夜明け前) dawn, about 2 hours before sunrise) ☆
  • あけがた (akegata | 明け方) dawn, from 3:00 am to 6:00 am
  • あけがたまえ (akegatamae | 明け方前) dawn, about 2 hours before sunrise ☆
  • そうちょう (souchou | 早朝 ) early morning
  • あさ (asa | 朝) morning, from 6:00 am to 9:00 am ★
  • あさがた (asagata | 朝方) morning, from 6:00 am to 9:00 am ★
  • ごぜんちゅう (gozenchuu | 午前中) from 0:00 am to 0:00 pm
  • あさばん (asaban | 朝晩 ) morning and evening, from 0:00 am to 9:00 am and from 6:00 pm to 0:00 am
  • あさゆう、ちょうせき (asayuu, chouseki | 朝夕) morning and evening, from 0:00 am to 9:00 am and from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm
  • けさ (kesa | 今朝) this morning
  • みょうちょう (myouchou | 明朝) next morning

Note: Those with ☆★ are identical

Other Japanese Daily Greetings

Apart from “good morning,” there are also other greetings in Japanese that you might hear every day.

Formal form

  • おはようございます (ohayou gozaimasu | お早う御座います) good morning
  • こんにちは (konnichiwa | 今日は) hello or good afternoon
  • こんばんは (konbanwa | 今晩は) good evening
  • おやすみなさい (oyasumi nasai | お休みなさい) good night
  • げんきですか? (genki desuka? | 元気ですか?) how are you?
  • おげんきでしたか? (ogenki deshitaka? | お元気でしたか?) — how have you been?
  • ごぶさたしています (gobusata shiteimasu | ご無沙汰しています) I haven’t seen you for a long time)
  • さようなら (sayounara | 左様なら) goodbye
  • さよなら (sayonara) goodbye

Informal Form

  • おはよう (ohayou | お早う) good morning
  • こんにちは (konnichiwa | 今日は) hello or good afternoon
  • やあ (yaa) hello
  • げんき? (genki? | 元気?) how are you?
  • ひさしぶり (hisashiburi | 久し振り) long time no see
  • どうも (doumo) hello, thanks
  • ばいばい (baibai | バイバイ) bye
  • また (mata) see you
  • きをつけて (ki wo tsukete | 気を付けて) take care
  • きをつけてかえってね (ki wo tsukete kaette ne | 気を付けて帰ってね) take care and have a safe trip
  • おやすみ (oyasumi | お休み) good night

Learning Japanese with Positive Attitude

What do greetings mean to you? Greetings are simply an act of communication, a part of social manners, and could also be a security and safety confirmation to each other. They can be an aid to make the conversations smoother at times, even though Japanese people put importance on greeting people way more than that.

The Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs has been surveying the Public opinion survey on the national language since 1995. As a result of this survey, they found out that many Japanese people believe the beauty of the Japanese language lives in compassionate communication, humble and modest expressions, words associated with seasons and nature, and Japanese greetings.

Today, we learned when and how to greet “good morning” in Japan. People in Japan often say that a pleasant day starts with a cheery attitude and warm greetings. Let’s start a day with a nice “ohayou!”

がんばってください (Ganbatte kudasai)! ^^

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