3 Ways to Say Thank You in Japanese

hot to say thank you in japanese

Konnichiwa! Join me as we explore the various ways to say “thank you” and discover the nuances and cultural significance behind each phrase. Let’s dive in and uncover the secrets of appreciation in Japan!

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1. Arigatou: The Classic Thank You

Ah, the classic and timeless “Arigatou” – a phrase that holds a special place in the hearts of the Japanese people. This straightforward expression of gratitude is suitable for various situations, from casual to formal. Whether you’re receiving a gift, a kind gesture, or assistance, “Arigatou” is the perfect choice to convey your appreciation with sincerity and warmth.

  • Example 1: After receiving a thoughtful gift from a friend, you can say, “Arigatou for the wonderful present! It means a lot to me.”
  • Example 2: In a more formal setting, after a business meeting, you can express your gratitude by saying, “Arigatou for your time and valuable insights during the meeting. I truly appreciate it.”

2. Doumo: The Informal and Versatile Thanks

When it comes to a more casual setting or expressing gratitude among friends and acquaintances, “Doumo” steps into the spotlight. This versatile term is like a Swiss army knife of appreciation. It can be used as a standalone expression or combined with other words to create phrases like “Doumo arigatou” for a friendly and informal thank you. “Doumo” carries a sense of familiarity and closeness, allowing you to express your appreciation in a relaxed and laid-back manner.

  • Example 1: After a friend helps you move to a new apartment, you can say, “Doumo for your help with the move! I couldn’t have done it without you.”
  • Example 2: When a coworker treats you to lunch, you can express your gratitude by saying, “Doumo arigatou for the delicious meal. It was very kind of you.”

3. Osewa ni natteimasu: Gratitude for Help and Support

In Japan, recognizing the support and assistance you receive from others is of utmost importance. When someone goes above and beyond for you, expressing your gratitude with “Osewa ni natteimasu” shows a deeper level of appreciation and acknowledgment. This phrase conveys not only thanks but also recognizes the effort and care someone has dedicated to your well-being or success. It’s a beautiful way to express your gratitude for their ongoing support and involvement in your life.

  • Example 1: After a colleague helps you with a challenging project, you can say, “Osewa ni natteimasu. Your guidance and support were instrumental in completing the project successfully.”
  • Example 2: When expressing gratitude to a mentor who has mentored you throughout your career, you can say, “Osewa ni natteimasu. Your wisdom and guidance have had a profound impact on my professional growth.”

4. Other Expressions of Appreciation

In addition to the primary phrases mentioned above, the Japanese language offers more nuanced ways to say “thank you” depending on the situation. Here are a few examples:

  • “Arigatou gozaimasu”: This is a formal and polite version of “Arigatou” suitable for professional or respectful interactions. Use it when expressing gratitude in more formal settings or to show respect to someone of higher status.
  • “Domo”: A casual and abbreviated form of “Arigatou” commonly used among friends or in a relaxed atmosphere. It’s a friendly way to express thanks without the formality.
  • “Kansha shimasu”: This phrase carries a deeper sense of gratitude and reverence. It implies a profound appreciation for someone’s kindness or support.
  • “Itadakimasu”: While primarily associated with expressing gratitude before a meal, “Itadakimasu” is a way of appreciating the efforts of those who have contributed to the preparation of the food.


In the colorful tapestry of the Japanese language, expressing gratitude is an art form. From the classic “Arigatou” to the friendly “Doumo,” the profound “Osewa ni natteimasu,” and the various nuanced expressions, each phrase carries its unique charm and cultural significance.

By embracing the multitude of ways to say “thank you” in Japanese, we not only express our appreciation but also honor the customs and values of Japan. So, the next time you receive a kindness or act of generosity, remember to choose the perfect expression of gratitude that resonates with the situation and the depth of your emotions.

Arigatou gozaimashita for joining me on this journey through the expressions of gratitude in the Japanese language. May your days be filled with appreciation and kindness. Mata ne, until we meet again on our next linguistic adventure!

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