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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Japan Tours and Life Style

Japanese Expressions: Best Phrases for Complaining in 38+ Daily Situations

When it comes to welcoming people, Japan is famed for its warm greeting and hospitality, which can be seen in several settings ranging from restaurants to offices to everyday life. However, individuals make mistakes, and there is always the possibility that you will experience bad service.

So, here are a few helpful Japanese phrases to help you deal with everyday circumstances while visiting Japan. If you ever encounter a bad experience with services, use these common Japanese phrases to deal with the situation.

Japanese Expressions: Best Phrases for Complaining in 38+ Daily Situations


Particular places where you can use these phrases:

  • At Office

  • At a Shop

  • At a Café/Restaurant

  • On Streets

  • On a Train

  • At your Accommodation

  • At Someone’s House

  • At a Convenience Store

Japanese phrases to use for complaining at Offices:

  1. You join a new office and the environment is not suiting you

  •  “Ofisu wa atsui desu” or “Ofisu wa samui desu”
  • Note: Atsui= hot, Samui= cold (use the right phrase depending on the environment weather)
  1. Your workplace is inappropriate

  •  “Ofisu wa urusai desu” or “Ofisu was kitanai desu”
  • Note: Urusai= noisy, Kitanai= dirty (use the right phrase depending on the situation)


Japanese phrases to use for complaining at a Shop


  1. You want to say “No” to a salesperson who is pressuring you to make a purchase


“Kekko desu.” = (I’m) fine. = I don’t want it

  • You can use this phrase for formal purposes.

“Daijobu desu.” = (I’m) good. = I don’t want

  • This is more of a polite way to reject something or any kind of offer that the Japanese often use.

– “Sukoshi kangaemasu.” = (I’ll) think (about it) a bit. = I don’t think I buy it.

  • This is another polite way to say ‘no,’ which the Japanese also employ. Of course, you can use this statement when you need a little more time to think about anything.
  • “Kakaku ga taka sugirunode, kore o kau to wa omoimasen.” = The price is too expensive, so I don’t think I’ll buy this.
  • This is a straight way to say no even though you like the product. Maybe, considering your choice the shop owner can give you some discount.
  •  “Iranai desu.” = (I) don’t want it. / (I) don’t need it.
  • “Atode Mata kimasu.” = (I’ll) come back later. = I don’t think I buy it. / I might buy it but need a bit more time to think. / I just don’t want to listen to your sales pitch anymore, so I leave the shop for now. / etc.

Note: This is another courteous ‘no.’ When most Japanese want to leave a store but can’t stop a salesperson from chatting, they say “no, I won’t buy that.” It makes no difference whether you return or not. This phrase can be used when you want to ponder about a purchase without being pressured by the salesperson, when you want to compare prices in other stores, or when you simply want to leave the store.


  1. You discovered your purchase was defective

  •   “Koware te masu.” = (It’s) broken
  •  “Yabure te masu.” = (It’s) torn
  •  “Seihin ni kekkan ga arimasu.” = The product has defects

Note: In Japan, each shop’s return/refund policy is different. In many circumstances, you have a week or a month to request a refund/return if the goods are defective. However, some stores specify that you can’t return or get a refund unless you file a claim straight away after you buy something, which means you’ll have to inspect the items you bought right away. Although this is a rare occurrence, you should check their return/refund policy before purchasing, or, even better, inspect the merchandise thoroughly before checking out.

To add another point, many Japanese stores do not accept returns or refunds unless there is a defect, so you won’t be able to second-guess your selections. I also strongly advise you to preserve the receipt because you will need it to exchange the things you purchased for another size.


  1. You’d like to be left alone for a time so you can look around

  •  “Miteru dake desu.” = (I’m) just browsing
  • “Nani ka areba koe kakemasu.” = (I’ll) ask you when I have something (I want to know)


Note: In a Japanese clothing/goods store, sellers frequently approach you to propose ensembles and coordination, provide additional information about the clothes, or make a sales pitch.


  1. You received the wrong product

  •   “Kore ja nai desu.”= This is not (what I bought)


Japanese Phrases to use For Complaining at A Café/ Restaurants


  1. You’re waiting too long at your table but no staff shows up

  •   “Sumimasen. Matte masu.” = Excuse me. I’m waiting.
  •  Note: In Japan, calling or raising your hand to draw the attention of the employees is acceptable. Some restaurants/cafés will wait until you call to accept your order, as they want you to take your time and not feel rushed. In that scenario, simply say “sumimasen (pardon me)” in Japanese to the employees.


  1. The place is taking too long to serve you food

  •   Sumimasen, watashi no tabemono wa mada junbi ga dekite imasen ka?” = Excuse me, hasn’t my food been ready yet?
  • It is completely okay to ask the staff if you are waiting too long for your food and this is a very polite way to ask them.


  1. You were served the wrong meal

  •  “Kore, chigai masu.” = This is not (what I ordered)
  • To be clear, “Kore” means “this,” thus you must point to it.


  1. You received what you didn’t order

  • “Tanonde masen.” = I didn’t order (this).
  1. You got more than you asked for

  •   “Ooi desu.” = (They are) too much.
  •  “Kore, tanonde masen.” = (I) didn’t order this.
  •  “Hitotsu shika tanonde masen.” = I only ordered one.
  • Hitotsu= one (use proper number depending on how many you order)


  1. Your plate or cutlery is dirty

  •  “Kore, yogorete masu.” = This is dirty
  • Note: You may be forced to adopt the self-service approach if you are eating in a low-cost restaurant. In that situation, look for a store that sells new glasses or cutlery and assist yourself.

If you want to make a friendly remark about the filthiness, however, you can state “Kore, yogorete machine.” (= This was dirty.) when you leave.


  1. Your plate or glass got dirt in it

  •  “Purēto ni yogore ga arimasu.” = There is dirt in my plate
  •  “Kami no ke haitte masu.” = There is a hair in it.
  •  “Nani ka haitte masu.” = There is something in it.
  •  “Kore haitte mashita.” = This was in (my dish).
  1. You want to get a different/ new one

  •  “Atarashii no kudasai.” = Please, give me a new one.
  •  “Kate kudasai.” = Please, change it.
  • “China no kudasai.” = Please, give me another one.
  • (This phrase means “please, give me a different one”)
  • This phrase can also be used if you need another silverware after dropping your current one.


  1. Your food tastes bland or cold

  •  “Hen na aji ga shimasu.” = (It) tastes weird.
  •  “Tabemono wa aji ga nibui.” = The food tastes bland
  •  “Kore tsumetai desu.” = This is cold.
  •  “Kore nurui desu.” = This is tepid.
  •  “Atatame naoshite kudasai.” = Please, warm it up again.
  1. Your belongings were ruined/broken by staff, and you want them to compensate you

  •  “Eigo shabereru hito imasuka?” = Is there anyone who speaks English?

(Use this phrase only if you can’t communicate in Japanese)

  • “Bensho shite kudasai.” = Please, give me compensation.
  • “Cleaning dai kudasai.” = Please, give me a dry-cleaning charge; = Please, pay for laundry.


  1. You don’t want to pay for it, because your dish was malfunctioning

  •  “Kore ni wa okane harai masen.” = (I) won’t pay for this. / (I’m) not gonna pay for this.
  •   “Kore ni okane haraitaku arimasen. = (I) don’t want to pay for this.
  •  “Kore ni wa okane harae masen.” = (I) can’t pay for this.


  1. The bill appears to be incorrect

  •   “Sumimasen, seikyū ni mondai ga aru to omoimasu.” = Sumimasen(Excuse me) = Excuse me, I think something is wrong with the billing.
  • “Machigatte masu.” = (This is) wrong.
  •  “Machigatte masen ka?” = (Isn’t it) wrong?
  •  “Machigatteru to omoi masu.” = I think (this is) wrong.


  1. The change provided is wrong

  • “Machigatte masen ka?” = (Isn’t it) wrong?
  • “Tari masen.” = (You gave me), not enough.
  •  “Oo sugi masu.” = (You gave me) too much.

Note: In Japan, there is no tipping culture, and all businesses are concerned with delivering clients the correct change. As a result, even if you are extremely pleased with their service, you are unable to give any tip or tiny change.


Japanese Phrases to use For Complaining at A Café/ Restaurants


  1. Someone is committing a perilous act


  •  “Abunai!” = (It’s) dangerous!
  • “Yamete!” = Stop it!
  •  “Abunai desu.” = (It is) dangerous.
  •   A polite phrase.
  • “Yamete kudasai.” = Can you please stop it?
  •  A more polite phrase.
  • “Anata wa sore o subside we arimasen” = You should not do it

(Use this phrase if you are giving your opinion to someone unaware of their wrongdoing)


  1. Someone offers something you don’t truly need or want


  • “Arigatōgozaimasuga” = Thank you but no.
  • This is a super polite way to say no to the offer.
  • “Kekko desu.” = (I’m) fine. / (I) don’t need it.

・This is more of a formal phrase.

  •  “Iki masen.” = (I) don’t go (there). / (I) don’t come (with you).
  •  “Iranai desu.” = (I) don’t need/want it.
  • – “Iri masen.” = (I) don’t need/want it.

・A little more formal than the one above.

Note: If you visit Shibuya, Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, or any other major city, you will almost certainly encounter ‘Kyacchi’ (= a type of tout) who will try to lure you into their establishment, such as a Japanese izakaya. Because this is normally against the law in most cities, you don’t have to be particularly friendly with them. If they follow you, I recommend simply saying ‘No’ and ignoring them.



  1. Someone is trying to hit on you constantly


  •  “Shitsukoi.” = You are persistent. = Stop it now.
  • If you are annoyed by the actions then say it right in their face
  • “Hottoite.” = Leave (me) alone.
  • “Kyomi nai desu.” = (I’m) not interested.
  •  “Kore o shinaide kudasai = Please do not do this.

(This is a polite way)


  1. When you’re in trouble


  •  “Eigo shabereru hito imasuka?” = Is there anybody who speaks English?
  •  “Eigo wakaru hito imasuka?” = Is there anybody who understands English?
  • (Use these two phrases only if you cannot communicate in Japanese)
  •  “Keisatsu yobimasu.” = (I’ll) call the police.
  •  “Keisatsu yonde kudasai.” = Please, call the police.
  •  “Taishikan ni denwa suru” = Call the ambulance.
  • Note: In case of emergency, call 110 for police and 119 for ambulance/fire.



  1. Someone (or a group of persons) is (are) obstructing traffic

  •  “Sukoshi ugokashite kudasai” = Please move a little.
  •  “Tori masu.” = (I’m) coming through.
  • “Toshite kudasai.” = Please, let (me) come through.

Note: Japan Is always crowded. People are always walking around trying to get to their work so if you ever face traffic, its totally okay to make you way.



Japanese Phrases to use For Complaining on Trains


  1. When you’re waiting for a train, someone cuts in front of you


  • “Narande masu.” = I’m in line.
  •  – “Nukasa naide kudasai.” = Please, do not cut in line.
  • – “Sumimasen, watashi wa sudeni retsu ni narande imasu” = Excuse me, I am already in the line.

Note: Passengers in Japan are always carefully lined up to board a train, bus, taxi, or other mode of transportation. Colourful marks can be found on the platform, as well as a mark or a line at the bus/taxi pool, which is difficult to miss. If you’re unsure where to draw a line, don’t be afraid to ask the Japanese “Doko ni narabeba ii desuka?” (Which line should I take?), and they’ll tell you!


  1. The train is running late


  •  “Itsu kimasu ka?” = When (is the train) arriving?
  • “Itsu demasu ka?” = When (is this train) departing?
  • (Ask people around about the train arrival or departure that are maybe trying to take the same train)
  •  “Dore kurai okurete masuka?” = How long is it delayed for?
  •  “Hoka no ikikata wo oshiete kudasai.” = Please, tell me another way to get (there).
  • You must tell them where you want to go or point on a map where you want to go so that they can help you reach your destination.
  •  “Eigo shabereru hito imasuka?” = Is there anyone who speaks English?

(If you cannot communicate in Japanese then ask if anyone can speak English so that you can explain properly)

You may need a special ticket called ‘hurikae-yuso-hyo’ to show other ticket officers/drivers that you previously paid for the train that is delayed if there is a severe delay and you need to use another train/bus/any other supplied public transportation. Staff will usually provide it to you at the gate counter or nearby.

– “Hurikae-yuso-hyo kudasai.” = Please, give me a ‘hurikae-yuso-hyo.’


  1. Someone is pushing you despite the fact that it is not at all crowded


  • “Anata wa watashi o oshite imasu.” = You are pushing me.
  • It’s a little straight forward way of complaining.
  • “Osanaide kudasai.” = Please, don’t push (me).
  • “Itai desu.” = It hurts.
  1. Someone is doing inappropriate things deliberately


  •  “Konna koto shinaide” = Don’t do this.
  •  “Yamete kudasai.”/”Yamete.” = Please, stop it.
  •  “Yamero.” (An order) = Stop it.
  •  “Sawara nai de.” = Please, don’t touch (me).
  •  “Sawaruna.” (An order) = Don’t touch (me).
  1. You can’t get off because someone (or a group of individuals) is blocking your way


  • “Idō shite kudasai, watashi wa oriru hitsuyō ga arimasu” = Please, move, I need to get off.
  • “Sumimasen, orimasu.” = Excuse me, (I’m) getting off.
  • “Sumimasen, tori masu.” = Excuse me, (I’m) coming through.
  • “Toshite kudasai.” = Please, let me go through.


  1. Someone is constantly stepping on your foot in a crowded train


  • “Sukoshi ugokemasu ka? Anata wa watashi no ashi o funde imasu.” = Can you move a little? You are stepping on my foot.
  •  “Sumimasen, ashi hundemasu.” = Excuse me, (you are) stepping on my foot.


  1. You see someone is in need of a seat but none available

  •  “Sumimasen, yuzutte agete kuremasuka?” (To the person that is sitting) = Excuse me, could you please give your seat (to the lady/gentlemen/etc).
  •  “Sono hito ni seki o yuzutte itadakemasen ka.” = Would you mind giving your seat to that person?
  •  “Sumimasen, yuzutte agete.” (To the person sitting) = Excuse me, please give your seat (to the lady/gentlemen/etc).

Note: There can be so many people around us that don’t see the needs but if you ever come across situation like these, stand up for the person and it is completely a polite way to ask or seats.


Japanese Phrases to use For Complaining at Accommodation


  1. Your next door or someone is too loud


  •  “Mou sukoshi shizukani shite kuremasuka?” = Can you please keep it down a bit?
  •  “Shizuka ni shite kudasai.” = Be quiet, please.
  •  “Tonari no heya ga urusai desu.” = People in the next room is noisy.
  •  “Sukoshi shizuka ni naremasu ka?” = can you be a little quiet?
  1. You received the wrong luggage


  • “Nimotsu wa watashi no monode wa arimasen” = the luggage is not mine.
  • “Watashi no ja nai desu.” = (It’s) not mine.
  • “Chigai masu.” = (It’s) not (mine).


  1. Your room seems to be dirty


  • “Watashinoheya wa sōji ga hitsuyōdesu” = My room needs a cleaning.
  • “Heya ga kitanai desu.” = (My) room is dirty.
  • “Kono bin o sōji suru hitsuyō ga arimasu” = I need this bin to be cleaned.
  • “Souji sarete masen.” = (My room) has not been cleaned up.

Note: If you are living in a hotel then feel free to complain it to the staff or the reception.


  1. You are in need of something in your room


  • “Heya ni mizu ga hitsuyōdesu” = I need water in my room.
  • “Heya ni taoru ga hoshī” = I want a towel in my room.

(Taoru= Towel, Mōfu = Blanket, Sekken= Soap, Use depending on what you want)

  • “Towel/Ha brush/Glass ga ari masen.” = There is no towel/toothbrush/glass.
  •  “Towel/Blanket/Slippa wo kudasai.” = Please, (give me) towel/blanket/slippers.


  1. Your room smells bad


  • “Heya ga kusai desu.” = (My) room stinks.
  • ” O sake no nioi ga suru.” = (My room/The bed/The sofa) smells alcohol.
  • “Watashi no basurūmu wa akushū ga shimasu” = My bathroom smells bad.
  • “Hoka no heya ni utsure masu ka?” = Is it possible to change the room?
  • “Heya wo kaete kudasai.” = Please, change the room.
  • “Heya o kaetai” = I want to change my room.


  1. Someone doesn’t let you sleep


  •  “Abare naide kudasai.” = Please, don’t/stop acting up.
  • (Use this phrase when someone is running around or jumping in the middle of the night)
  •  “Jama shinaide kudasai.” = please don’t disturb me.
  •  “Netai desu.” = I want to sleep.
  •  “Nekasete kudasai.” = Please, let me sleep.
  •  “Shizuka ni shite kudasai.” = Please, be quiet.
  1. Someone keeps you awake/ wakes you up

  •  “Watashi wa nemurou to shite imasu. Jama shinaide kudasai.” = I am trying to sleep. Do not disturb(me).
  • (If it is your friend or any acquaintance then it is the right way to complain)
  •  “Okosa naide kudasai.” = Please, don’t wake me up.
  •  “Jama shinai de kudasai.” = Please, do not disturb (me).
  •  “Mada nete masu.” = I’m still sleeping. = I’m still in bed. 


  1. The equipment in your room is broken


  •  “Koware te masu.” = (It’s/This is) broken.
  •  “Okashii desu.” = (It’s/This is) weird. = It doesn’t work properly.
  •  “Ugoki masen.” = (It/This) doesn’t move. = (It/doesn’t) doesn’t work/turn on.
  •  “Utsuri masen.” (Only for TV) = (The TV) doesn’t turn on.
  •  “Shawā ga kikanai” = The shower doesn’t work.

(Reizōko = Refrigerator, Shawā = Shower, use depending on what you want to refer)


Japanese Phrases to use For Complaining at Someone’s House


  1. The Wi-Fi in the house isn’t working


  • “Koko no waifai wa ososugimasu.” = The Wi-Fi here is too slow.
  • “Waifai ga kinō shite imasen.” = The Wi-Fi is not working.
  • “Waifai ga setsuzoku sa rete imasen.” = The Wi-Fi is not connecting.


  1. If They don’t eat in proper times

  • “Tabemono o moraemasu ka? = Can I have my food (mention the time when you want to have your meal)
  • “Watashi wa onaka ga suite imasu” = I’m starving. “(Use this phrase if you are really hungry and do not want to wait anymore.


  1. If you get a messy room at your friend’s place


  • “Anata no heya wa totemo chirakatte imasu” = Your room is very messy.
  • “Jibun-yō no kurīnrūmu o kakuho dekimasu ka?” = Can I get a clean room for myself?
  • “Kono heya wa tsukaenai to omoimasu” = I don’t think I can use this room.


Japanese Phrases to use For Complaining at Someone’s House


  1. You receive rude customer service


  • “Kono yō ni watashi ni hanashikakenaide kudasai” = Do not talk to me like this.
  • “Anata no jūgyōin wa watashi ni shitsureidesu.” = your employee is being rude to me.
  • If you want to complain to the manager of the shop then use this phrase.


  1. They try to sell you something you don’t want or need


  • “Sore wa hitsuyōnai.” = I do not need this.
  • “Īe, kekkōdesu.” = No, thank you.
  • This is a polite way to say no.
  • “Kore iranai.” = I do not want this.


  1. They sell you something expired

  • “Kore wa kigengire no seihindesu.” = This is an expired product.
  • “Jūgyōin ga kigengire no seihin o hanbai shite imasu.” = Your employee is selling expired products.
  • You can use this phrase to complain to the manager of the shop.
  • “Kigengire no seihin o hanbai shinaide kudasai.” = You should not sell expired products.


 Japan always stands out when it comes to hospitality but sometimes, when a company in Japan makes a mistake, many people attempt to stay positive and see it as an opportunity to give a client a better experience. As a result, don’t be too disappointed! They’ll get it back for you, and then you’ll experience true Japanese kindness.


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