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What do Japanese say when leaving the house?


Leaving the house is a common activity in our daily lives, and it is essential to have a proper farewell phrase. In Japan, people have a unique way of saying goodbye when leaving the house. Understanding this cultural norm can help you gain insight into Japanese culture and etiquette.

The Japanese phrase for leaving the house

The Japanese phrase used when leaving the house is “Ittekimasu.” This phrase roughly translates to “I’m going, and I’ll be back.” It is a polite way of informing those in the same household that you are leaving and will be back soon. It is also used to show respect for the home and family members.

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The significance of “Ittekimasu”

“Ittekimasu” has a deep cultural significance in Japan. It is not just a simple farewell phrase but reflects the importance of family values and respect for others. Saying “Ittekimasu” shows that you are mindful of others’ feelings and acknowledges their presence. It also reflects a sense of responsibility towards your loved ones.

The response to “Ittekimasu”

The response to “Ittekimasu” is “Itterasshai.” This phrase means “go and come back.” The person who stays at home uses this phrase to acknowledge the departure of the other person and expresses their wish for their safe return.

The cultural context of “Ittekimasu”

“Ittekimasu” has its roots in Japanese culture and tradition. It reflects the importance of showing respect for others, especially family members. In Japan, family values are highly regarded, and saying goodbye before leaving the house is one way to show your love and respect for your family.

Other common farewell phrases in Japan

Besides “Ittekimasu,” there are other common farewell phrases in Japan. For instance, “Osaki ni shitsurei shimasu” means “I apologize for leaving before you.” This phrase is used when someone leaves early or before others at an event.

Non-verbal expressions while leaving

Non-verbal expressions are also important when leaving in Japan. Bowing is a common non-verbal expression used to show respect towards others. People often bow when saying goodbye to their family or friends when leaving the house.

The importance of etiquette in Japan

In Japan, etiquette plays a crucial role in daily life. Proper etiquette reflects respect for others and shows that you value social harmony. Saying goodbye before leaving the house is one such example of proper etiquette.

How “Ittekimasu” differs from other cultures

Japan’s culture places great importance on expressing gratitude towards others, especially family members. In contrast, other cultures may not place as much emphasis on saying goodbye before leaving the house or may use different phrases.

Examples of using “Ittekimasu” in everyday life

“Ittekimasu” is commonly used in everyday life situations such as when someone goes to work or school, runs errands, or goes out with friends. By using this phrase, people show their respect towards their family and acknowledge their presence before leaving.

The impact of globalization on Japanese culture

Globalization has had an impact on Japanese culture, including its etiquette norms. While traditional customs such as saying goodbye before leaving the house remain prevalent, there may be changes in how people use language and non-verbal expressions over time.


Saying goodbye before leaving the house is an essential part of Japanese culture and reflects its emphasis on showing respect for others. Understanding this cultural norm can help us appreciate the importance of expressing gratitude towards our loved ones and acknowledging their presence before departing.

What do Japanese people say when leaving home?

Ittekimasu is a Japanese phrase that means “I will go” and can also be used as a way of saying “see you later” or “I’ll be leaving now”. This phrase is typically used when someone is leaving their home.

What does Japanese say before leaving?

Before leaving their home or workplace, Japanese people don’t commonly use the word “Sayonara” to say goodbye. Instead, they say “ittekimasu” to those who will be staying behind, which roughly translates to “I’m going now and will come back later”.

What do you say when leaving a room in Japanese?

In Japanese culture, it is customary to say “ittekimasu” when leaving the house. This phrase is made up of the verbs “iku” and “kuru,” meaning “to go” and “to come,” respectively. So when leaving home, one is essentially saying “I’m going and coming back.”

What can I say instead of Sayonara?

Usually, many young individuals opt to use the English phrase “Bye bye,” which has led to some Japanese children mistakenly believing that it is a Japanese expression. Other casual phrases that are similar to “See ya!” include “じゃ (Ja),” “じゃぁね (Jaa ne),” and “またね (Mata ne).”

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In addition to “Ittekimasu,” there is another phrase commonly used when leaving the house in Japan, especially among friends. This phrase is “Ja ne,” which means “See you later.” It is a casual way of saying goodbye and reflects the importance of maintaining social relationships in Japanese culture.

Another important aspect of leaving the house in Japan is being punctual. Arriving on time or even a few minutes early is considered a sign of respect for others and their time. This cultural norm reflects the importance of being mindful of others and avoiding inconveniencing them.

Furthermore, non-verbal expressions such as a smile, wave, or nod are also common when leaving the house in Japan. These gestures convey a sense of warmth and friendliness towards others, showing that you value their presence and appreciate their company.

It is worth noting that understanding Japanese customs and etiquette can be beneficial not only for those visiting or living in Japan but also for building positive relationships with Japanese people in other parts of the world. By showing respect for others’ cultural norms and values, we can foster mutual understanding and strengthen our connections with people from different backgrounds.

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