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Visiting Someone's Place
Part 1: Entering Home
More of this Feature
Gift Giving and More Useful Expressions

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Have you visited Japanese home?
Visiting a Japanese home

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• Greetings for Special Occasions: (1), (2)
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Page 1 of 2

Japanese seem to have many formal phrases for certain actions. When visiting your superior or somebody for the first time, these phrases will be helpful to express your gratitude. Here are some common expressions you are likely to use when visiting Japanese homes.

At the Door

Guest Konnichiwa.
Gomen kudasai.
Host Irasshai.
Yoku irasshai mashita.

"Gomen kudasai" literally means, "Please forgive me for bothering you." It is often used when visiting someone's home. "Irassharu" is the honorific form (keigo) of the verb "kuru (to come)." All four expressions for a host mean "Welcome." "Irasshai" is less formal than other expressions. It should not be used when a guest is superior to a host.

When You Enter the Room

Host Douzo oagari kudasai.
Please come in.
Douzo ohairi kudasai.
Douzo kochira e.
This way, please.
Guest Ojama shimasu.
Excuse me.
Shitsurei shimasu.

"Douzo" is very useful expression and means, "please." The Japanese use it quite often. "Douzo oagari kudasai" literally means, "Please come up." This is because Japanese houses usually have an elevated floor in the entrance (genkan) and step up to go into the house. Then, a well known tradition --- take off your shoes at the genkan. You might want to make sure your socks don't have any holes before visiting Japanese homes! A pair of slippers is often offered to wear in the house. When you enter a tatami (a straw mat) room, you should remove slippers.

"Ojama shimasu" literally means, "I'm going to get in your way" or " I will disturb you." It is used as a polite greeting when entering someone's home. "Shitsurei shimasu" literally means, "I'm going to be rude." This expression is used in various situations. When entering someone's house or room, it means "Excuse my interrupting." When leaving it is used as "Excuse my leaving" or "Good-bye." Gift giving and more useful expressions on the next page!

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