How to say Goodbye in Japanese Posted by on May 27, 2013 in Grammar

Last post was about how to say hello in japanese. As there are many ways to say hello, there are also many ways to say good-bye.

The most well-known word for good-bye is probably さようなら (sayounara). I am sure you’ve heard さようなら before, but actually it means like good-bye forever or for a very long time. Therefore avoid さようなら if you are planning on seeing the person again. If you know that you will see a person soon again, you should use じゃあね (jyaa-ne) or また明日(mata ashita). But keep in mind that じゃあね or また明日 are informal ways of greetings.

Some informal greetings which are often used are:

また明日 (mata ashita) – see you tomorrow

またあとでね (mata atode ne) – casual, see you later

じゃあ(jyaa)、それじゃ(sorejya) – bye, see ya

ではまた (dewa mata) – see you later

じゃあね (jyaa-ne) – bye , see ya

またね(mata ne) – see you soon

げんきでね(genki de ne) – be well

失礼します (shitsurei shimasu) – very formal, this greeting is often used to a superior or when you leave someone’s presence

お先に (osaki ni) – formal, “I’m  leaving first” (when you e.g. leave the office first)

お先に失礼いたします (osaki ni shitsurei itashimasu) – highly formal

お疲れ様でした (otsukare sama deshita) – formal, is often used to express the appreciation for hard work and is most often used in work places

行ってきます (ittekimasu) – I’m off (to be used when you leave the house, to those who are staying)

行ってらっしゃい (itterasshai) – Take care (to be used when you stay in the house, to those who are leaving)

Take a look at the videos below to learn the pronunciation.

I hope this post was useful to improve your vocabulary. じゃあね !!

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About the Author: yuki

Although I was born and raised in Austria my parents luckily taught me japanese starting at a very early age. Since most of my relatives live in Japan I try to fly to Japan once in a year. I love reading and cooking and I also enjoy traveling.


  1. yuki:

    Sorry guys, of course it is さようなら(sayounara). Sometimes my japanese keyboard does not exactly do what I want :).

  2. Nachsieben:

    Sorry, but may I ask also when it is used “あばよ/abayo” or “さらば/saraba”?

  3. Oscar:

    Been browsing around quiet a bit, searching for ways to say “see you later” in formal Japanese. Have only found formal and super formal so far.

    Does that mean that there doesn’t exist anything in between?