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How to Make an Appointment in Japanese

Updated on April 26, 2011

Making appointments in Japanese over the telephone

When you speak Japanese face to face with someone, there's always the added benefit of wild arm gestures, facial expressions, and pantomimes to help get your point across.  Communicating on the phone, however, is a whole different arena.  Here's how you make a simple appointment over the phone for, say, a hair appointment. 

When they pick up the phone

Normally when you call a business in Japan, the flow of conversation will go something like this:

Business: Hai, Odenwa arigatou gozaimasu. __(company name)_____ desu.

(Hello, thank you for the phone call. We are ______.)

Now contrary to popular belief, you would not say "moshi moshi" here. Moshi moshi is really only used when you're called by someone else. In my house, when the phone rings, we normally answer it with a "Hai, moshi moshi, Abe desu kedo". (Yes, hello, this is Abe) If you don't want to give out your name when receiving a call, then just using a "moshi moshi" will suffice. Sorry for the tangent, and now back to the topic at hand:

You: Katto (cut) no yoyaku (reservation) wo onegaishimasu (please). _____gatsu (month) _____ nichi (day) no _____ ji(time) kibou (desire) desu.

(I would like to make an appointment/reservation for a cut please. I desire this month, day, and time. )

Business: Hai, kashikomarimashita (Got it!). Onamae (name) wa ukagaishitemo(ask) yoroshii deshouka (is it ok)...

(Ok, got it. Is it ok if we ask you for your name?)

(The variance of what can be said here is so great that it's almost pointless to try to list all possible phrases that could be said to you. Instead, just keep on the look out for words like Namae(name), Seinen Gappi(birth year, month, and date), Tanjyoubi(birthday), and them repeating back your day and time.)

You're almost guaranteed that they'll ask you your full name, so be ready to give it out after you give your little speech. After that, they'll usually repeat back the name, then the thing you wanted (cut, perm, whatever), and maybe ask you if you have a specific hairdresser you want. That'll sound something like: "Gokibou no tantousha wa gozaimasu ka?" (Is there a specific person you want?). If you hear anything along those lines, just say "iie" (No) and wait for them to finish repeating back all the info you gave. After that's done, simply say "arigatou gozaimashita" and hang up the phone.

Now, hopefully you actually needed to make an appointment and didn't simply use this guide just to see if it would work, or to test out your sleek new Japanese skill you've acquired. Any questions or requests for more in depth topic coverage can either go in the comment section or be mailed to me. Jya ne!


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    • Akbok profile image

      Akbok 6 years ago from Aomori prefecture, Japan

      Simone: Thanks! I find that a lot of my friends over here have a hard time talking on the phone and finding exactly what words to use when making appointments. The language changes substantially when the other end is using all of their super polite, business taught Japanese. Glad you liked it and I hope you get the chance to use it soon as well!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      Wow, another awesome guide. I'm bookmarking this, and hope I'll have the chance to use it sometime soon!