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 the Japanese language 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)*
  • よっす (yossu)*

*also for Hey or Hi, a little mannish phrase.

Internet Slang Greetings

  • おは (oha)
  • おはあり (ohaari)*
  • 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.

*good morning, and thank you.

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.

AM, morningあさasa
awake, awakening目覚めめざめmezame
wake-up callモーニングコールもーにんぐこーるmooningucooru
alarm clock目覚まし時計めざましどけいmezamashidokei
bed hair寝癖ねぐせneguse
drowsiness, sleepiness眠気ねむけnemuke
early bird朝型あさがたasagata
night owl夜型よるがたyorugata

Idioms and Proverbs

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

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. However, these are all a part of the archetypal Japanese culture and society.

over-crowded train満員電車まんいんでんしゃmanindensha
rush hour通勤ラッシュつうきんらっしゅtsuukinrasshu
rush hourラッシュ時らっしゅじrasshuji
radio calisthenicsラジオ体操らじおたいそうrajiotaisou
morning assembly朝礼ちょうれいchourei
TV drama program in the morning*朝ドラあさどらasadora
to make a packed lunch boxお弁当作おべんとうづくりobentouzukuri
to eat Ramen noodles in the morning**朝ラーメンあさらーめんasa Ramen
to go back to sleep二度寝にどねnidone
morning activities to fulfilling one's daily life朝活あさかつasa katsu
early morning jogging早朝ジョギングそうちょうじょぎんぐsouchou Joggingu
morning yoga朝ヨガあさよがasa yoga
to take a shower or bath in the morning***朝風呂あさぶろasaburo

*also known as れんぞくてれびしょうせつ (renzokuterebi shousetsu | 連続テレビ小説)

**sometimes abbreviated to あさらー (asaraa | 朝ラー)

***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.

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

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 the 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.

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

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

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

Informal Form

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

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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