Generally, the best way to say “good night” in Japanese is with the casual おやすみ (oyasumi) or the formal おやすみなさい (oyasumi nasai).
You can use おやすみ (oyasumi) to say “good night” to a friend in Japanese before you or they go to bed.
In Japanese, you can also use おやすみ (oyasumi) to say “good night” to someone when it’s late at night and they are leaving to go home.
For example, perhaps you and your friend are on the last train of the night together. At the moment when they are about to get off the train at a stop before yours, you can tell them おやすみ (oyasumi).
Likewise, we also use “good night” in various situations in English. For instance, we may also use it as a general parting greeting.
We may say a friendly good night to the staff at a store just before closing time. Or we may just want to wish someone in having a good night.
Furthermore, we normally include much more into our “good night” parting phrase in English. We add additional phrases and expressions after saying good night. For example, we may also say “sweet dreams”, “sleep well”, or even “I love you”.
These types of expressions can be challenging to translate into Japanese.
Yet, that’s not to say there is no way to communicate these expressions at all. There are many alternative expressions we can use to convey a similar meaning in Japanese.
This ultimate guide covers all the ways to say “good night” in Japanese as well as similar related expressions. All entries are coupled with a native pronunciation recording for your reference along with detailed explanations and examples.
This guide is suitable for beginners and intermediate users alike!
Table of Contents
Good Night in Japanese
- Good Night.
The expression おやすみ (oyasumi) is the casual way to say “good night” in Japanese. Thus, you use it between friends, family and those who you are close with.
As mentioned, you can use おやすみ (oyasumi) to say “good night” to someone just before you or they go to bed.
Similar to English, it’s natural for the person to repeat おやすみ (oyasumi) back to you, the same as how someone would say “good night” to you after you’ve just said it to them.
You can also say おやすみ (oyasumi) as a parting greeting to someone when it’s late at night.
Perhaps you and your friend are walking home together late at night. Eventually, you go separate ways as your houses are in different directions. At this point you may say to them:
kyou arigatou. oyasumi!
Thanks for today. Good night!
Related: How to say Thank You in Japanese [Ultimate Guide].
In short, you can use おやすみ (oyasumi) to say good night to someone before they go to bed, or as a parting greeting when it’s late at night.
Refer to the above recording for a native pronunciation reference on how to say “good night” in Japanese.
Good Night in Japanese Kanji
When written in kanji, おやすみ (oyasumi) is お休み (oyasumi).
The kanji is 休, which means “rest” in Japanese.
You’ll often see 休 appear in the verb 休む meaning “to rest”.
What does おやすみ (oyasumi) mean?
Strictly speaking, おやすみ (oyasumi) does not translate directly into “good night”. Instead, it is used to convey the meaning of “good night” to someone before sleep.
This is because おやすみ (oyasumi) is composed of two components.
Firstly is お (o) which is a pre-fix used in Japanese Keigo, polite style speech. You place it at the beginning of a word to essentially beautify and make the word polite.
Secondly, やすみ means “rest” in Japanese. Written in kanji it’s 休み (yasumi). The word 休み (yasumi) is the noun version of the verb 休む (yasumu), meaning “to rest”.
Combining お (o) and やすみ (yasumi) together makes おやすみ (oyasumi).
Therefore, when you say おやすみ (oyasumi) to someone you’re actually telling them to rest up, rather than to have a “good night” specifically.
With that said, you still communicate the same sentiment with おやすみ (oyasumi) as you do when you say “good night” to someone in English.
It’s worth noting that although おやすみ (oyasumi) is made up of a Japanese Keigo component, it’s still considered a word that you use casually. There is a different expression for saying good night formally.
おやすみ (oyasumi) Uses
The expression おやすみ (oyasumi) has additional uses outside of just being a way to say “good night” to someone.
In the above section, we covered that おやすみ (oyasumi) is composed of two parts. First is お (o), a pre-fix to make the following polite. The second is やすみ (yasumi), the word for “rest” in Japanese.
One of the reasons おやすみ (oyasumi) does not translate directly to “good night” is because it can be used to mean “day off“, “rest“, or “holiday.
In essence, you can use おやすみ (oyasumi) to talk about a day off, a holiday or an absence.
For example, you can use おやすみ (oyasumi) to talk about when you have a day off from work/school.
ashita wa oyasumi desu.
Tomorrow is a day off.
If you’re going to be absent from work or school for a while, you can communicate this too.
gakkou kara shibaraku oyasumi shimasu.
I will be absent from school for a while.
Likewise, if you’ve taken some time off from work for any reason, you can use the following sequence:
oyasumi wo torimashita.
I took a holiday.
Generally, you’ll hear おやすみ (oyasumi) used to say “good night” in Japanese.
However, it’s worth noting that you can also use おやすみ (oyasumi) to talk about a day off or an absence.
Good Night in Japanese Formal
- Good Night (formal).
When you want to say “good night” in Japanese formally, use おやすみなさい (oyasuminasai).
Like おやすみ (oyasumi), this expression is also a night greeting.
おやすみなさい (oyasuminasai) is an extension of おやすみ (oyasumi) with the addition of なさい (nasai).
It has three major components.
- お (o) is a prefix that beautifies the word it’s attached to; making it polite.
- やすみ (yasumi) is the noun version of the verb やすむ (yasumu), meaning “to rest”.
- なさい (nasai) is the command form of the verb なさる (nasaru), a polite way to say “to do” in Japanese.
Hence, using なさい (nasai) is a way to issue a soft command in Japanese.
By combining all three components together we have おやすみなさい (oyasuminasai). We can interpret it literally as a polite expression for ” have a rest”.
Therefore, when you want to tell someone to have a good night in Japanese, use おやすみなさい (oyasuminasai) to wish them in having a rejuvenating sleep.
More Ways to Say Good Night in Japanese
While the casual おやすみ (oyasumi) and the formal おやすみなさい (oyasuminasai) are great ways to say good night in Japanese, they do have their limitations.
In English, we use the phrase “good night” frequently in all kinds of situations. You may say it to your colleagues as a farewell when you go home for the day/evening, for instance.
In Japanese, unless it’s very late at night, it’s uncommon to wish someone a good night ahead of time.
Instead, when you’re finishing work for the day, to tell your colleagues “good night” you can use:
- Good Night/Thank you (for your hard work).
otsukare sama desu.
It’s common to say お疲れ様です (otsukare sama desu) to colleagues when you’ve finished work today. It’s a way to announce that you’re going home, thank them for the day and to express “good night” all in one word.
You’ll hear this expression all the time in the workplace even when you’re not actually finished for the day.
お疲れ様です (otsukare sama desu) Explanation
In any case, when someone has completed some kind of work, task or project it’s natural to say お疲れ様です (otsukare sama desu) to express gratitude and to compliment what they’ve done.
Remember that Japanese is an honorific language, meaning that it’s polite to thank others for work they’ve done regularly.
For a full in-depth explanation of お疲れ様です (otsukare sama desu), refer to this ultimate guide:
Related: How to say Good Job in Japanese [Ultimate Guide].
With that said お疲れ様です (otsukare sama desu) is an expression that means “good night” and “goodbye” in Japanese.
To clarify, it’s common to say お疲れ様です (otsukare sama desu) to colleagues or partners with who you have been working or completing some kind of task or project.
This can be any task, project or work – the use of お疲れ様です (otsukare sama desu) is very flexible.
You may say this expression throughout the day, however, you will always say it at the end of the day when it’s time to go home for the night.
This is when お疲れ様です (otsukare sama desu) can be interpreted as “good night”. This is because during these situations you wouldn’t say おやすみなさい (oyasuminasai).
Let’s remember that you use おやすみなさい (oyasuminasai) to say goodnight to someone before you or they go to bed. The only exception to this rule is if it’s very late at night.
More Ways to Say Good Night in Japanese Casually
While お疲れ様です (otsukare sama desu), explained above, is a formal expression, お疲れ様 (otsukare sama), withoutです (desu) the casual variant.
You use お疲れ様 (otsukaresama) with friends and those who you are close with, rather than with colleagues.
Other than this difference, how you use it, and the nuances associated with this word remain the same as お疲れ様です (otsukare sama desu).
- Good Night/Thank you (for your hard work) (casual).
For instance, you may use お疲れ様 (otsukaresama) after you’ve finished working on a project or studying together with a friend or classmate.
It’s late afternoon/earlier evening, you’re done for the day and it’s time to go home. This is the perfect time to use お疲れ様 (otsukaresama) to thank your friend and wish them a good night.
If it is particularly late at night, you may even wish to use おやすみ (oyasumi) to communicate “good night” too. However, to reiterate, use おやすみ (oyasumi) only when it’s late.
Even without saying おやすみ (oyasumi), the sentiment associated with “good night” is expressed when you use お疲れ様 (otsukaresama).
There is a more casual variant of this expression, too.
This is お疲れ (otsukare).
As this is a very casual expression, make sure not to use it in formal situations!
This video does a fantastic job of explaining the nuances behind お疲れ様 (otsukaresama) in 1 minute!
Have a Good Night in Japanese
Sometimes we want to wish someone in having a genuinely good night, rather than just having a good sleep.
Perhaps the person is staying up all night playing a new video game release, having a movie night, or going to the club.
Whatever it may be, we want to wish that person a good night, in the sense of having fun!
There are a few ways you can express this and tell them to have a good night in Japanese.
- Have lots of fun tonight. (Have a good night).
konya, takusan asonde ne.
You can use the above phrase to communicate to someone to have a fun/good night.
The first part of this phrase is 今夜 (konya), a word that means “tonight” in Japanese.
The second word is たくさん (takusan) which means “lots”, or “many”.
The third word is 遊んで (asonde), the te-form version of the verb 遊ぶ (asobu), meaning “to play”.
While the te-form has many functions, here, it’s used to convey a request.
Thus, when you use this full phrase, you’re requesting that the person has lots of fun. It’s similar to saying “I hope you have lots of fun tonight” but in Japanese.
Related: How to say Hope and I Hope in Japanese [Ultimate Guide].
The final ね (ne), is a grammar particle. You use it at the end of a sentence to ask or show agreement.
In summary, use the above phrase to express “good night” to someone in Japanese in the sense of having a good time.
Enjoy Your Night in Japanese
If someone is particularly excited about something that’s happening at night, you can join in on their feeling of joy with this phrase:
konya tanoshimi da ne.
Tonight will be exciting, won’t it?
You can use this phrase if you’ll be participating in whatever it is that they are looking forward to or not. Using this phrase is a considerate way to acknowledge someone’s enthusiasm or excitement for something.
The Japanese Word For Night
The word and kanji for “night” in Japanese is 夜 (yoru). In hiragana, it’s written as よる (yoru).
When saying “good night” to someone in Japanese, you don’t actually use the word 夜 (yoru) at all.
With that said, you can use the word 夜 (yoru) to refer to the night or at a particular time in the night using other words.
- 今夜 (konya) – Tonight.
- ゆうべ (yuube) – Last night.
- 夜中 (yonaka) – In the middle of the night/ Midnight.
- 明日の夜 (ashita no yoru) – Tomorrow night.
The Japanese Word for “Good”
Just like 夜 (yoru), you don’t use the word for “good” in Japanese when wishing someone a good night.
The word for good in Japanese is いい (ii). Yet there are many other ways to say “good”. I’ve composed an ultimate guide that covers all the ways to say “good” in Japanese coupled with explanations, examples and pronunciation references.
How to say Good in Japanese [Ultimate Guide].
When translating “good night” into Japanese using automated tools, you may come across the following phrase:
ii yoru wo.
This phrase contains the words いい (ii) and 夜 (yoru) which do mean “good” and “night” respectively.
However, this phrase sounds unnatural and you should not use it.
Instead, you should use おやすみ (oyasumi) and お疲れ様です (otsukaresama desu), as explained in earlier entries.
Good Night, Sleep Well in Japanese
There are a few ways to say “good night, sleep well” in Japanese.
The first way is to say it casually.
- Good night, sleep well.
yukkuri nete ne. oyasumi.
You can use this phrase with a friend, family member or someone you’re close with just before you or they sleep as a natural way to wish them a restful sleep.
Let’s break down the entire phrase and the components. Firstly, we know that おやすみ (oyasumi) can be used to say “good night” in Japanese.
Secondly, the phrase ゆっくり寝てね (yukkuri nete ne) means “sleep well”. Yet, the literal meaning is sometimes interpreted as “sleep slowly”.
This is because the word ゆっくり (yukkuri) is most commonly associated with meaning “slowly“, “unhurriedly“, or “without haste“.
However, it can also mean “well (referring to sleep)“, or “comfortably“.
Thirdly, 寝て (nete) is the te-form of the verb 寝る (neru), meaning “to sleep“. Thus, when you combine 寝て (nete) with ゆっくり (yukkuri) in a sentence, you’re literally saying “sleep comfortably/sleep well” in Japanese.
Finally, the ね (ne) is an optional sentence-ending particle that you use to show or ask for agreement. In this example, it functions similarly to saying “get some good sleep tonight, okay?” in English.
Sleep Well in Polite Japanese
To wish someone in having a good night’s rest formally in Japanese, you can use the following phrase:
yukkuri o yasumi kudasai.
Sleep well (polite).
Similar to saying “sleep well” in Japanese casually, this phrase also utilises ゆっくり (yukkuri).
As mentioned ゆっくり (yukkuri) is an adverb that commonly means “slowly”, but it can also mean “well” or “comfortably”.
Also discussed in earlier entries, 休み (yasumi) that means “rest” in Japanese. Preceding 休み (yasumi) is お (o). This お (o) acts as a beautifier to transform a word into a formal one. You may see it appear in other words, such as:
- お水 (omizu) – Water.
- お寿司 (osushi) – Sushi.
- お酒 (sake) – Alcohol.
- お金 (okane) Money.
In all of these examples, お (o) functions as a beautifier, making the words respectful and formal.
Appearing last is ください (kudasai), a formal way to say “please” in Japanese.
Therefore, when put together, the full phrase ゆっくりお休みください (yukkuri oyasumi kudasai) literally translates as please rest well”.
With that said, you use it when you want to say “sleep well” to someone formally in Japanese.
Asking Did You Sleep Well in Japanese?
After saying to someone “sleep well”, the next thing would be to ask if they actually did manage to sleep well or not the next morning.
To ask someone “did you sleep well” formally in Japanese, use:
yoku yasumimashita ka.
Did you sleep well? (formal).
よく (yoku) is the adverb of いい (ii), meaning “good” in Japanese. Therefore, the “well” part of this phrase is communicated through the word よく (yoku).
The word お休みしましたか is the polite form, or the ます (masu) form of 休む (yasumu), the verb for “to rest”.
The ending か (ka) is used to denote a question when speaking formally.
Therefore, asking someone if they slept well with this phrase is synonymous with asking if they rested well.
Did you sleep well? (casual).
Use the above phrase to ask if someone has had a rejuvenating sleep casually in Japanese.
A typical instance when you may use this phrase is with a friend who the next morning after they’ve travelled some distance to see you.
In essence, when you’re wondering if someone was able to get adequate sleep, or if you’re just wanting to be polite, use よく寝た (yoku neta).
Good Night, Sweet Dreams in Japanese
When someone is heading to bed, sometimes you may want to wish them sweet dreams in their sleep.
Although there is not a perfect translation for “sweet dreams” in Japanese, there are other expressions we can use that hold similar nuances.
Firstly, you can in fact convey the nuances attached to “sweet dreams” by using:
- Good night (sweet dreams).
As discussed in the earlier section of this ultimate guide, you use おやすみ (oyasumi) when you want to say “good night” to someone in Japanese.
Yet, おやすみ (oyasumi) is not strictly only translated as “good night”. You can, of course, use it in place of the English “good night” as a night greeting before sleep. This is how this phrase is commonly used.
As explained, おやすみ (oyasumi) actually translates literally to “have a good rest” in Japanese. It’s often used when you want to wish someone a relaxing, peaceful rest.
In English, we use the phrase “sweet dreams” when we want to express good wishes to someone before they go to sleep. Therefore we can use おやすみ (oyasumi) to convey a similar meaning.
Native speakers also often translate the phrase “sweet dreams” as おやすみ (oyasumi) in Japanese.
Sweet Dreams in Japanese
With that said, there are also some alternative Japanese expressions that also convey something similar to the English “sweet dreams”.
Depending on the person you are saying “sweet dreams” to, there are different expressions you can use.
For instance, you may say to a child:
tanoshii yume wo mite ne.
Have some fun dreams.
Or you may wish to communicate something more romantic to a partner.
yume de isshoni asobou!
Let’s have some fun (let’s play) together in our dreams!
For more information on how to express “sweet dreams” to someone in Japanese, take a look at the below ultimate guide.
How to say Dream in Japanese [Ultimate Guide].
Good Night My Love in Japanese
Calling someone “my love” after saying “good night” to them is another instance where it’s difficult to translate it perfectly into Japanese.
There are multiple workarounds, however, as well as a literal translation that you may be able to use in some unique circumstances.
The most natural way to express something similar to “good night, my love” in Japanese is to refer to the person with whom you are speaking by their actual name.
- Good night, [name].
This is because calling someone by their actual name in your “good night” greeting makes it much more personal.
You can, of course, just say おやすみ (oyasumi) to them, which is the standard way of saying “good night” in Japanese.
However, including the person’s name, (especially their first name!) is a great way to personalise the expression.
The literal translation for “good night, my love” in Japanese is:
- Good night, my love.
oyasumi, watashi no ai.
私の愛 (watashi no ai) translates literally as “my love” in Japanese. 私の (watashi no) means “my”, and 愛 (ai) means “love”.
But, calling someone your 愛 (ai) in Japanese can come across as very strong, and even unnatural at times.
This phrase is the kind of thing you may hear in a romantic-heavy drama series or movie.
Outside of this, you would hardly ever use it. If you were to use this with your Japanese partner, they may be taken a bit off guard and think you are mimicking a line you’ve heard in a script/video/movie somewhere.
Although with that said, it is a fun way to get a conversation going, so I’d recommend trying it, maybe!
Good Night Darling in Japanese
There are a few ways to refer to your significant other as “darling” while wishing them a good night in Japanese.
The first is to use the word ダーリン (da-rin), which is a borrowed word from the English word “darling”.
- Good night, darling.
We’ve learned that おやすみ (oyasumi) is the standard natural way to say “good night” in Japanese.
Hence, you can simply include the word ダーリン (da-rin) after saying おやすみ (oyasumi), to say “good night, darling” in Japanese.
However, ダーリン (da-rin) also has some strong romantic nuances attached. Therefore it’s not used very often.
Another way to call your partner “darling” in Japanese is to use あなた (anata).
- Good night, darling.
Textbooks teach あなた (anata) as the standard way to say “you” in Japanese. However, it’s much more natural to use the person’s actual name rather than あなた (anata).
You should still call the person by their name, even when you’re speaking with that person directly. This is the best way to say “you” in Japanese.
Yet, you may have heard あなた (anata) used in movies or songs to address someone as “you”. In these scenarios, あなた (anata) is considered a romantic word and translates as “darling”.
Outside of movies or song lyrics, あなた (anata) is not used to call someone “darling” very often at all.
It’s still safer to just use the person’s name instead. This is the most natural way to make the phrase “good night” more personal!
Good Night I Love You in Japanese
- Good night, I love you.
oyasumi, aishiteru yo.
We include the expression “I love you” when saying “good night” to a partner in English fairly often.
For some people, saying “I love you” when you go to bed may have become like second nature.
Yet, in Japanese, telling someone you love them is considered to be very strong by most people.
The closest phrase to the English “I love you” is 愛してる (aishteru). However, as mentioned, telling someone you love them with 愛してる (aishteru) can be considerably intense for the receiver.
Just like the phrases for “darling” in Japanese, 愛してる (aishteru) is often used in movies and song lyrics.
Using 愛してる (Using aishteru)
With that said, 愛してる (aishteru) can be said between two very closer lovers in Japanese. It conveys a very strong romantic image and therefore should not be used in high-frequency.
Instead, you should only use it for those exceptionally special situations when you love your partner (and they love you back) dearly.
In these scenarios, telling someone “good night, I love you” with おやすみ、愛してるよ (oyasumi, aishteru yo) is a great expression to use.
Using it on your honeymoon after marriage would be a great time to take advantage of this expression.
You could even make it even more personal by including the person’s name!
- おやすみ [name]。愛してるよ。
oyasumi [name]. aishteru yo.
Good night [name]. I love you.
Have a glance at the below ultimate guide for a full breakdown of the nuances associated with saying “I love you” and “I like you” in Japanese.
Related: How to say I Like You in Japanese [Ultimate Guide].
To clarify, you don’t need to include the “I” pronoun when saying “I love you” in Japanese. Likewise, the “you” pronoun is also not needed! This is because it’s more natural to omit pronouns in Japanese.
The final よ (yo) in 愛してるよ (aishteru yo) is an optional grammar particle used to emphasise what’s being said.
It was a Good Night in Japanese
You can express how a night was particularly enjoyable for you in Japanese by using this phrase.
- It was a good night.
tanoshii yoru datta.
This is a casual expression you can use to say how you enjoyed the night.
As this expression is in the past tense, you’ll want to use it when speaking about a night that has already happened.
This could be as soon as the night is over, as well. For instance, imagine you were out with friends for the night, you’re on your way home with them and you say:
tanoshii yoru datta ne!
That was a fun night! Wasn’t it?
楽しい (tanoshii) is an i-adjective, meaning “fun”.
夜 (yoru) is the word for “night”.
だった (datta) is the casual past tense for です (desu), meaning “it is”.
You can also use this expression to talk about an enjoyable night that’s happened in the distant past. Perhaps you’re feeling nostalgic about it. For example:
kyonen no pa-tei- ha tanoshii yoru datta!
Last year’s party was a great night!
You can make this expression formal, by changing だった (datta) to でした (deshita).
This would make it:
tanoshii yoru deshita!
It was a fun night! (formal).
This phrase may come in handy if you’re reminiscing about a fun night with colleagues for instance.
See You in the Morning in Japanese
After saying “good night”, the next thing that naturally follows is “see you in the morning”.
We use this as the final sentence in our good night greetings. We generally specify that it will be the morning the next time we see each other.
Yet in Japanese, it’s usually “see you tomorrow” that’s said, rather than specifically “see you in the morning”.
With that said, the best way to say “see you in the morning” in Japanese is to use:
- See you tomorrow (in the morning).
This is the expression that is used after you say good night to someone. Use it when you would usually say “see you in the morning” to someone in English.
Of course, as this phrase does actually mean “see you tomorrow”, you can use it as a general farewell too. It’s a casual parting phrase that you can say to friends or family to say goodbye.
To clarify また (mata) means “again”, and 明日 (ashita) means “tomorrow”. In the literal sense, this phrase translates as “tomorrow again”. Although it’s used to convey the meaning of “see you tomorrow” or “see you in the morning”.
However, if you have arranged to meet someone in the morning, you can communicate the specific time with this phrase:
mata asa ni aou!
Let’s meet in the morning!
This is a casual phrase you can use to confirm that the morning is the time when you will next meet.
Generally speaking, however, you will want to use また明日 (mata ashita) to say “see you in the morning” to someone after you’ve told them “good night”.
The most natural way to express “good night” in Japanese is with おやすみ (oyasumi).
You’ll find that a lot of the phrases you use to say good night in English can be expressed with おやすみ (oyasumi) in Japanese.
Expressions such as “night night” or “night” are examples of this.
Have a look at the collection of Ultimate How-To Japanese guides!
Enjoy the Legend of Zelda and are interested in Japanese? Take a look at my YouTube channel!