Written by:
Jul 15, 2021

Goodbye in Japanese: 9 Ways to Say Bye in Japanese

How do you say goodbye in Japanese? Learning how to say goodbye in Japanese is a must if you’re starting out with the language. It’s important to know how to wrap up your conversations so you make a good impression as you have conversations with native Japanese speakers.

So if you’re here to learn how to say goodbye in Japanese, you’re in the right place.

In this post, you’ll learn how to say bye in Japanese as well as many other Japanese farewells. If you want to greetings in Japanese, we've got you covered.

First let’s start with a goodbye in Japanese you don’t want to use.

Bonus: さようなら (sayounara) - “Goodbye forever”

You’ve likely heard this way of saying goodbye used in films during dramatic moments. But it’s not something you will hear in day-to-day conversations because it implies you won’t ever see the other person again. 

When you use さようなら, you’re saying “goodbye forever”. It’s not appropriate in most situations. That is, unless you’re breaking up with someone. 😬

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#1 じゃまたね (ja mata ne) - “See you then” in Japanese

じゃまたね literally means “see you then”, but it’s one of the most versatile set of words you can use. You can use several variations of this phrase including:

  • じゃね
  • またね
  • じゃまた

This phrase and its variations are very common, but keep in mind that they’re somewhat informal. You probably wouldn’t use this with a teacher or boss.

#2 バイバイ (baibai) - “Bye bye” in Japanese

You’ll hear バイバイ used often by younger speakers, especially girls. It can sound somewhat feminine, so male speakers should be aware of this.

Bye in Japanese

#3 また... (mata...) - “See you...” in Japanese

If you want to tell someone you’ll see them at a specific time, you can use また... and then the time you’ll see them after. For example:

  • また明日 (またあした) - “See you tomorrow”
  • また来週 (またらいしゅう) - “See you next week”

#4 お先に失礼します (おさきにしつれいします, osakini shitsurei shimasu) - “Excuse me for leaving first” in Japanese

Looking for a more formal Japanese goodbye? This phrase is used in many work situations.

When you leave the office before your coworkers, you would use this phrase. And if you’re leaving just a few coworkers you’re close to, you can make this phrase a little less formal and just say: “お先さきに”.

#5 お疲れ様でした (おつかれさまでした, otsukaresamadeshita) - “Thank you for your hard work”

This is another formal phrase you can use when leaving the office. It means “thank you for your hard work.” 

This phrase can also be used in other situations. If a coworker tells you about a difficult situation they navigated at work, you can tell them: お疲れ様でした. 

#6 お元気で (おげんきで, ogenki de) - “Take care of yourself” in Japanese

Want to wish someone well? You can use this phrase. It can also mean “all the best”. You may hear variations of this expression including:

  • お元気で
  • お元気げんきで
  • お元気げんきでね
  • 元気げんきでね

They all mean the same thing but are just slight variations on how the phrase can be used.

How to say goodbye in Japanese

#7 また是非 (またぜひ, mata zehi) - “Let’s meet up again” in Japanese

Want to suggest meeting up again as you bid someone farewell? This Japanese phrase will do the trick! また是非 means “Let’s meet up again!” in Japanese.

#8 行って来ます (いってきます, itte kimasu) – “I’m leaving (home)” in Japanese

Getting ready to head out the door? This is the phrase you’ll use to let someone know you’re getting ready to go… and then come back. You can use it at home or at the office to let someone know you’re leaving. 

In response, you’ll hear is 行ってらっしゃい (いってらっしゃい, itte rashai) which means “go and come back”. This will be said by those remaining home or in the office.

#9 気を付けて (きをつけて, ki wo tsukete) - “Take care” in Japanese 

To say “take care” in Japanese, you would say 気を付けて. It can be said in both formal and informal situations and can let someone know you want them to be careful going home. 

Choosing the Best Way to Say “Goodbye” in Japanese

How do you know which of these nine expressions you should use? Depending on the context and formality of the situation, certain farewells will be more appropriate than others. 

With friends and family, じゃね or バイバイ are likely the way to go. But in more formal situations, like work, you may prefer to use お疲れ様でした.

How to Say Goodbye in Japanese

Farewells aren’t just words. When you say goodbye, depending on where you are, you may bow to or even shake hands with the person you’re goodbye to. Or you may wave. Make sure you close your eyes when you bow, it may be considered rude otherwise. 

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