What are Japanese shop workers saying when you enter their stores?
Irasshaimase (いらっしゃいませ) means “welcome,” or you could think of it as “come in.” It’s the world-renowned word Japanese staff yell out when you enter their shop. In fact, you will often hear it from every worker in the shop when you enter — a chorus of “irasshaimase!“
Exemplary Customer Service
It is very much a core part of the legendary Japanese customer service. Some shops even train their staff to scream irasshaimase at the top of their lungs when new patrons enter. Screaming Sushi for instance (not its real name, but probably should be).
But there is an interesting thing in Japanese culture. Ownership, dedication, and respect — no matter how “low” a job is. It’s probably why you can expect fantastic service everywhere you go in Tokyo.
It’s why fast food in Japan has people seemingly happy and proud to help you dine quickly. Or cleaning staff happily cleaning up after your spill. There is simply a sense of making the most of what you have.
I wish American people had the same attitude no matter the position they work. Not a dig on Americans, I am one… I just wish a huge sense of pride in one’s work was core to our culture — no matter the job (even fast food or janitorial).
Best Places to Hear Irasshaimase 😉
Are you looking for some great restaurants in Tokyo where they’ll surely “irasshaimase” you when you enter? We have a fantastic guide to the best restaurants in Tokyo, broken down by type of cuisine.