How do you say Delicious in Japanese? What does “おいしいOishii” mean, and How to use.

We had lots of delicious food in Japan. If you are a food lover, Japan is the right place to be. In Japanese, “delicious” is “おいしいOishii”. It’s not difficult for English native speakers to pronounce, and it is a very useful word.

In this story, I would like to explain a bit more about what “おいしいOishii” means and how to use it. I would also recommend practising the conjugation of Japanese “i-adjective” with this phrase “おいしいOishii”.

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How to say “Delicious!” in Japanese

How to say “Delicious!” in Japanese

1. おいしいOishii

The Japanese word which corresponds to “delicious” is “おいしいOishii” and you can use it when talking about both food and drink. When you want to point what exactly you think is delicious, you can put the noun (food or drink) before “Oishii”.


Kore Oishii.
This is delicious.


Zenbu Oishii.
All (food or drink or both) tastes good!

2. うまいUmai (informal)

In a casual conversation, you may hear this word “うまいUmai” which can mean “delicious” when someone is talking about food or drink. “うまいUmai” sounds very casual, but it is better to know the meaning even if you don’t use it.


Nihon no sakana wa Umai.
Japanese fish is delicious!

Interestingly, “うまいUmai” is also used when people describe when someone is good at something: (A noun) ga +うまいUmai.


Kare wa Karaoke ga Umai.
He is good at Karaoke (singing songs).

How do you say “Very Delicious” in Japanese?

If you want to say “This is very delicious”, you can add “とてもTotemo” which means “very” in front of “おいしいOishii”.


Totemo Oishii desu.
This is very delicious.

“ですdesu” is a polite style adding to an adjective.

Conjugation for “おいしいOishii”

“おいしいOishii” is an i-adjective. The conjugation for “おいしいOishii” is the following:

おいしいoishi-iIt’s delicious. (present/positive)
おいしくないoishi-kunaiIt’s not delicious. (present/negative)
おいしかったoishi-kattaIt was delicious. (past/positive)
おいしくなかったOishi-kunakattaIt was not delicisou. (past/negative)

What does “おいしいOishii” mean?

“おいしいOishii” means delicious, to taste good. We use this word with any kind of food and drink. Occasionally, it means “better than usual” “profitable” or just “lucky” when it is used for things or work situations. It’s like a slang word, so it’s better not to use in formal conversations. For example;


Ano shigoto wa oishi-katta.
That work was luckily better than usual (it was easy but profitable).


Kanari oishii jouken datta kedo, demo…
It was very a tempting condition (which was offered), but…

How do you say, “Is it delicious?” in Japanese?

When you ask somebody, “Is it delicious?”, you can say “Oishii-desuka?” or even just “Oishii?” with upper intonation.


Oishii desuka?
Is it delicious?

“Oishii-desuka?” sounds more polite than “Oishii?” When you answer, you may say;


Hai, oishii desu.
Yes, it is delicious.


Iie, oishi-kunai desu.
No, it’s not delicious.

To soften your negative answer

Japanese people don’t really like the direct expression like “いいえ、おいしくないです(No, it’s not delicious)”. They can accept it if it is obvious that you are a non-native speaker of Japanese, but I would recommend you remember the phrases which soften your negative answers for building smooth and good relationships with Japanese people.


Kore wa, amari suki dewa naidesu.
I don’t really like this.


Kore wa, chotto…
This is not really…(my favorite).