How are you in Japanese

How do you ask How are you? in Japanese? And how do you reply? This free Japanese lesson is essential for your Japanese language survival kit, whether you’re traveling to Japan or getting to know Japanese people closer to home.

Resources for further reading:

Pronouncing How are you? in Japanese

For someone you just met or more senior people, you would say:

Practice Your Pronunciation With Rocket Record

Rocket Record lets you perfect your Japanese pronunciation. Just listen to the native speaker audio and then use the microphone icon to record yourself. Once you’re done, you’ll get a score out of 100 on your pronunciation and can listen to your own audio playback. (Use a headset mic for best results.) Problems? Click here!


おげんき です か?

O genki desuka?

How are you? (formal)

For friends, you would greet them with a simple "genki" or "saikin dō?":




How are you? (informal)


さいきん どう?

Saikin dō?

How are things going lately? (informal)

If you're asked "how are you" in Japanese, how would you answer? Well, it depends on how you feel! Here are some possible answers:


はい、げんき です。 ありがとう ございます

Hai, genki desu. Arigatō gozaimasu

Well, thanks.


おかげさま で げんき です

Okage sama de genki desu.

I am well, thanks to you.


とても げんき です

Totemo genkidesu.

Very well.



Kawarinai desu.

As always.


ちょっと つかれて います

Chotto tsukarete imasu.

A little tired.


ぐあい が わるい です

Guai ga warui desu.

I'm sick.


Mā mā.




Barely coping.



Not so good.

A common follow-up question is, “And you?”, “Anata wa?” or address the person by name “[name] –san wa?” Or for a more informal way, “name -kun/-chan wa?”


あなた は?

Anata wa?

And you? (formal)

よしこ は?

よしこ は?

Yoshiko wa?

And (you), Yoshiko?

If someone tells you that he or she is not feeling well you could say the following…


おだいじ に

Odaiji ni.

I hope you feel better.


たいへん です ね

Taihen desu ne.

That's tough.


おき の どく に

Okinodoku ni.

I am sorry (you are not well).

If someone is feeling great you might want to say the following…


それ は よかった です

Sore wa yokatta desu.

Nice to hear.

Feeling confident with these basic Japanese words and phrases will make such a positive difference to your experiences with Japanese people. Remember, a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet!

Find out all about asking Japanese questions in this series of lessons. Make sure you listen to the audio and practice your Japanese pronunciation. And do the Japanese tests at the end of each lesson to reinforce your knowledge of Japanese questions!

Yoku dekimashita!

Sayaka Matsuura: Rocket Japanese

Make It Stick With Rocket Reinforcement

Reinforce your learning from this lesson with the Rocket Reinforcement activities!