You’ve probably heard different words to describe the various meals of the work in Japanese. Yet how do they differ? Read below to learn what indigenous work better in what situations!

Breakfastin Japanese


Breakfast is the most necessary meal the the day, and also that applies in Japan too. While under folks nowadays eat the timeless rice, grilled fish, nattō, life egg, pickles, and also miso soup breakfast, the enjoy the meal is tho important sufficient to warrant numerous lexical items.

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1. 朝ご飯 (Asagohan): Standard means to to speak Breakfast

This is the many common way to speak “breakfast” in Japanese, the word you’ll learn first if you take Japanese classes. You deserve to use that in casual conversations with family and also friends.


1. 朝ごはんはコンビニで買います。(asagohan wa konbini de kaimasu.)I buy breakfast in ~ the convenience store.

2. 朝は忙しいので朝ごはんはコーヒーだけです。(asa wa isogashii node asagohan wa kōhī dake desu.)I’m busy in the morning, so ns only have actually coffee because that breakfast.

2. 朝食 (Chōshoku): an ext Formal Expression

This is a much more formal word, typically used in company situations. For example, hotels will offer discounts for appointments that are 朝食付き (ちょうしょく つき: through breakfast).


1. 朝食は何時からですか?(chōshoku wa nanji kara desu ka?)What time do you begin serving breakfast?

2. 朝食は和食だけですか、それとも洋食もありますか?(chōshoku wa washoku dake desu ka, soretomo yōshoku mo arimasu ka?)Do you have only Japanese layout breakfast, or execute you have western format breakfast too?

3. 朝飯 (Asameshi): Slang/Masculine method to say Breakfast

This is the informal and nearly rough means to refer to breakfast. It functions well as slang to use amongst your friends and is frequently used by men. Return the original definition of めし is food or meal, that is now an ext commonly used as slang because that food.


1. 朝飯食って来なかったから腹減った。(asameshi kutte konakatta kara hara hetta)I didn’t have breakfast so ns hungry.

2. 朝飯まだ?(asameshi mada?)Breakfast is not ready yet?

4. モーニング (Mōning): many Used to refer to Breakfast Sets at Restaurants

This native is used to refer specifically to a deal readily available at Japanese coffee shops in the morning, where, for the price the a drink, you additionally get toast, a hard-boiled egg, or various other light breakfast items. No bad!

あのお店のモーニングはたった500円だよ。(ano omise no mōning wa tatta 500en da yo.)The morning (breakfast deal)at that restaurant is only 500yen.

明日は早起きしてモーニングを食べに行こう。(ashita wa haya oki shite mōning o tabe ni ikō)Let’s obtain up early and also go get mōning tomorrow.

Lunchin Japanese


From kyūshoku at institution to bento top top the shinkansen, your midday meal likewise has a couple of different monikers.

1. (お) 昼ご飯 (Hirugohan): conventional Word because that Lunch

Like 朝ご飯 (asagohan)、this is the most usual word offered for “lunch.” girlfriend can add the お to it is in polite, or you have the right to say 昼ご飯 to people you space close to.


1. お昼ご飯はいつも一人で食べます。ohirugohan wa itsumo hitori de tabemasu.)I constantly eat my lunch alone.

2. 昼ご飯を食べ過ぎたせいで眠くなった。(hirugohan o tabe sugita sei de nemuku natta.)Because I had actually a large lunch, ns sleepy now.

3. 昼食 (Chūshoku): much more Formal Word because that Lunch

This is the an ext formal word supplied to describe your midday meal. You could have 昼食 through your company clients to discuss important matters!


1. 田中部長は昼食に出かけました。(Tanaka buchō wa chūshoku ni dekakemashita.)The manager, Mr. Tanaka went the end for lunch.

2. 昼食の後すぐに会議だそうです。(Chūshoku no ato sugu ni kaigi da sō desu.)I heard there will be a meeting ideal after lunch.

4. ランチ (Ranchi): Loan-Word for Lunch

This is カタカナ (katakana) for “lunch.” This is additionally used generally in both formal and also informal situations. You could find this supplied by a restaurant to refer to their ランチセット (ranchi setto: lunch set).


1. あのお店のランチは人気があって、いつも沢山の人が並んでいる。(ano omise no ranchi wa ninki ga atte itsumo takusan no hito ga narandeiru)Lunch is well-known at that restaurant and I constantly see a heat of people waiting outside of the restaurant.

2. 時間があるときに一緒にランチでもどう?(jikan ga aru toki ni isshoni ranchi demo dō?)How about we acquire lunch together as soon as we have time?

Dinner in Japanese


Like “dinner” and “supper,” nuanced differences exist amongst Japanese state that describe your night meal.

1. 夜ご飯 (Yorugohan): probably the Most commonly Used Word for Dinner

While over there are countless words for dinner in Japanese, 夜ご飯 (yorugohan) is most likely used the most. The course, various other words might be more popular in some areas in Japan, but you can’t walk wrong with saying yorugohan if you want to talk around dinner.


1. 夜ご飯はいつも7時頃に食べます。(yorugohan wa itsumo shichi-ji goro ni tabemasu.I commonly eat dinner roughly 7:00.

2. 夜ご飯を食べてすぐに寝るのは体に良くないよ。(yorugohan o tabete sugu ni neru no wa karada ni yokunai yo.)It’s not great for her body to go to bed quickly after eating dinner.

2. 晩ご飯 (Bangohan): one more Word for Dinner

The indistinguishable of 朝ご飯 and(お)昼ご飯、this is the most common means to say “dinner.” Like(お)昼ご飯、the optional お (o) adds a level that formality. You deserve to use it v family and also close friends.


1. 今日の晩ご飯はカレーライスだよ。(kyō no bangohan wa karē raisu da yo.)Today’s dinner is curry end rice.

2. 晩ご飯が済んだらお風呂に入る。(bangohan ga sundara ofuroni hairu.)I take a bathtub after dinner.

3.(お) 夕飯 (Yūhan): Yet another Word because that Dinner

A close 2nd to 晩ご飯 is (お) 夕飯 as one more word for “dinner.” In general, 夕 suggests evening, a time as soon as day transforms to night. In contrast, 晩 argues nighttime, later than sunset and also twilight.


1. 田中さんの家でお夕飯をごちそうになりました。(Tanaka-san no in other words de oyūhan o gochisou ni narimashita.)I had actually dinner in ~ Tanaka-san’s house.

2. 仕事帰りに夕飯の材料を買って帰る。(shigoto gaeri ni yūhan no zairyō o katte kaeru.)After work, I choose up some ingredients because that dinner top top my means home.

In actual usage, both 晩ご飯 and (お) 夕飯 describe the key meal the the day that is consumed at night, and they have the right to be offered in comparable situations, despite (お) 夕飯 can sound much more natural with civilization who are not your family.

4. 夕食 (Yūshoku): A much more Formal method to say Dinner

comparable to 朝食 (chōshoku) and also 昼食 (chūshoku)、夕食 is much more formal. You have the right to invite your work-related colleagues (who may not have to be her friends) to have 夕食 together.


1. この薬は夕食の後に飲んでください。(kono kusuri wa yūshoku no atoni nonde kudasai.)Please take it this medication after dinner.

2. 夕食が済んだらみんなでゲームでもしましょうか?(yūshoku ga sundara minna de gēmu demo shimashō ka?)Would you choose to play a game or something ~ dinner?

5. 夕飯 (Yūmeshi): Slang Word because that Dinner

Although written through the exact same kanji together ゆうはん (yūhan)、ゆうめし is slang booked for casual conversation. Suitable for use v close friends.


1. 夕飯、食ったのか?(yūmeshi, kutta no ka?)Did you have dinner?

2. 夕飯までには帰って来いよ。(yūmeshi do ni wa kaette koi yo.)Come earlier by dinner time.

6. ディナー (Dinā): Loan Word because that Dinner

This, that course, is カタカナ for “dinner.” You have the right to use this in countless situations, particularly when there is a pretense because that formality and also an wait of sophistication or elegance, and you are eating something that is no Japanese. Her meal in ~ the regional ファミレス (famiresu: household restaurant/diner) would certainly not have to qualify as ディナー.


1. 今夜は友だちとディナーに行きます。(konya ha tomodachi to dinā ni ikimasu.)Tonight ns going to acquire dinner with my friend.

2. 昨日は誕生日だったので、ディナーにステーキを食べました。(kinō wa tanjyōbi datta node dinā ni stēki o tabemashita.)It was my birthday yesterday, for this reason I had steak because that dinner.

7. 夜食 (Yashoku): so late Night Meal/Snack

Although it includes the word for “night,” 夜食 refers to your late-night snack—when you up studying late, or as soon as you’ve come house late ~ a night that drinking. It has tendency to be carbs, such together rice and also noodles.


1. お母さんが夜食にスープを作ってくれた。(okāsan ga yashoku ni sūpu o tsukutte kureta.)My mom made me some soup for a late-night snack.

2. お腹が空いたのなら、夜食なんか食べないで寝た方がいいですよ。(onaka ga suita no nara, yashoku nanka tabenai de neta hō ga ii desu yo.)If you room hungry, friend should simply go to bed without eat a late-night snack.

Snacks in Japanese


OK, this isn’t yes, really a meal, yet snacks are an extremely important in Japan. Right here are some means to refer to them in Japanese.

1. おやつ (Oyatsu): traditional Word because that Snacks

This is the most common but somewhat childish way to to speak “snack” in Japanese. 3時のおやつ (san-ji no oyatsu: 3 hour snack time) is an essential daily ritual for kids in Japan! おやつ in Japan usually include things like cookies, senbei, or fruit.


1. 宿題する前におやつ食べていい?(shukudai suru mae ni oyatsu tabete ii?)Can I have a snack before I carry out my homework?

2. 遠足に持って行くおやつを買いに行った。(ensoku ni motte iku oyatsu o kai ni itta)I checked out buy snacks to bring on a school trip.

2. 軽食 (Keishoku): A irradiate Meal

Literally definition “light food,” this word refers to basic meals choose onigiri, sandwich, and salad that is consumed to satiate her hunger once you feel favor 小腹が空いた (kobara ga suita: to obtain a little hungry).


1. この近くに軽食を食べられるカフェはありますか?(kono chikaku ni keishoku o taberareru kafe wa arimasu ka?)Is there a cafe the serves irradiate meals?

2. あまりお腹が空いていないので、何か軽食でも食べられればいいですよ。(amari onaka ga suite inai node nani ka keishoku demo taberarereba ii desu yo.)Since I’m not that hungry, if I have the right to have some small meal, that’ll it is in fine.

3. 間食 (Kanshoku): Eating in between Meals

Both a noun and a verb, this phrase means the food girlfriend eat in between the three main meals the the day. 間食 has to be re-evaluated once you are on a diet…


1. 痩せたいなら間食は止めた方がいいですよ。(yasetai nara kanshoku wa yameta hōga ii desu yo.)If you desire to shed weight, you should stop having snacks between meals.

2. 間食にお煎餅を食べました。(kanshoku ni osenbei o tabemashita.)I had actually rice crackers because that a snack.

Older Words

That sounds choose a most similar-sounding words through minute differences—and castle are! there are also words like 朝餉 (asage), 昼餉 (hiruge), 夕餉 (yūge) that have actually a longer history dating back to the feudal era, but those have tendency to gain used an ext in fictional functions nowadays.


Satoko Kakihara

Satoko flourished up in both Japan and the united States, enjoying the finest of both worlds. She currently teaches the Japanese language, literature, and society in California.

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