15 Best Replies To “Domo Arigato”

Are you looking for the perfect way to respond after someone tells you “Domo Arigato”?

Well, the first thing you should consider is the actual meaning of the remark. Domo arigato is a way of saying “Thank you very much” in Japanese.

The best response you can give is to say “you’re welcome.” Though short, it is a simple and polite way to express gratitude for the initial expression of thanks. It is also a sweet way to say that you offered the gesture or favor gladly.

Within the few months I spent in Japan, I realized that it is a culture to express humility and appreciate receiving favor or kindness.

The first time I encountered this word was when I bought something at a store and the store clerk said “domo arigato.” I figured that many non-indigenes would probably brainstorm the best thing to say in response to this remark, and chances are you’re in such a position right now.

Luckily, in the rest of this article, you will learn some of the creative ways you can reply to “domo arigato” without compromising the intent of your message and with the setting and context in mind.

Here are 15 Most Appropriate Replies To “Domo Arigato”

1. “My pleasure.”

“My pleasure” is one of the easiest and simplest ways to respond when someone appreciates your act of kindness. 

It is more commonly used in a formal context but applies to pretty much every scenario.

Statement: Domo Arigatou

Your response: My pleasure. Thank you too.

No matter what the Japanese are thanking you for, this response is like a one-size-fits-all for any situation.

 It’s polite and emphatic.

15 Best Replies To “Domo Arigato”

2. “No problem.”

“No problem” is another way to respond when someone says thank you very much in any language, including Japanese—in this case, Domo Arigatou. “No problem” isn’t taken for its word-for-word literal meaning. 

When you respond with “no problem,” it means you are happy to do something that has made the person appreciate you.

Statement: Domo Arigatou

Your response: No problem.

It is a reflective expression of humility and politeness.

3. “Of course.”

You can use “of course” to reply when someone tells you “Domo arigato,” especially when you want to emphasize agreement or permission. 

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For instance, if you allow a tour guide to use your backpack during the journey and he says “Domo arigato” to express gratitude for the gesture, you can say “of course” to emphasize the permission for him to use your backpack.

Statement: This bag would do. Domo Arigatou

Your response: Of course. happy to help.

4. “It was the least I could do. I mean, you’re pretty awesome and all.”

When someone thanks you for your kind gesture by saying the Japanese phrase “Domo arigato,” it would most likely be in a less formal setting. 

There is no harm in responding with a sweet compliment. “It was the least I could do” is an expression of reflective humility and an act of being nice. 

Then, “you’re pretty awesome and all” ices the cake to mean he is a great person, and that’s why you thought of helping, patronizing, referring, assisting, and so on.

5. “Anytime.”

15 Best Replies To “Domo Arigato”

One of the smartest ways to respond to a “thank you” or complimentary remark, especially when it is not conveyed in a language you fluently understand, is to reply in a short, simple, but effective style. 

“Anytime” means you are willing and ready to help or do the same thing again in the future if needed.

Statement: Domo Arigatou

Your response: Anytime. happy to help.

6. “Don’t mention it! Or wait, do mention it. Mention it to everyone.”

You can say, “Don’t mention it!” Or wait, do mention it. “Mention it to everyone” when you want to respond in a jovial style with a humorous undertone.

It’s a lighthearted response that encourages them to spread the word about your helpfulness. It is a good way to respond if you are new to an area of the country and want to get along with people there.

7. “Absolutely.”

I used “absolutely” most of the time when Japanese sales representatives told me “domo” or  domo arigato.’ You can also use this response, especially if you want to express how much you agree with their gratitude and are glad you were able to help.

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Statement: Domo arigato.

Your response: Absolutely.

Since the word “absolutely” conveys a strong sense of certainty, this response gives the impression that you are willing to continue assisting in the future if needed.

8. “With pleasure”

When you say “with pleasure,” as it implies, it means it was a pleasure to render the favor, and you say this as a reply to confirm how pleasing it was—without a grudge. 

Although “Domo arigato” can be substituted for “with pleasure” because the latter expresses one’s gladness to have been of service to another, it also works as a good response on the receiving end.

9. “Gladly.”

15 Best Replies To “Domo Arigato”

By saying “gladly,” it means you are glad to have had the opportunity to be of assistance to the person.

 This is best used when the remark is made by a stranger and you are pleased because they expressed gratitude.

Statement: Domo Arigatou

Your response: “Gladly.” I enjoyed being of assistance to you. If there’s anything else you need, please let me know.

10. “Sure thing.”

This response reminds me of the encounter I had with a Japanese person at the airport. I helped her watch over her bag while she went to get someone in the aisle as we waited for the departure terminal.

When she returned, she said “Domo arigato,” which I only vaguely understood at the time. However, my instinct suggested she said ‘thank you’ or something else in that line (what else could she have said after receiving a favor?)

So I said, “Sure thing,” and it seemed to go well with the conversation.

You can use this response too. It works for most situations.

11. “My dear, I live to serve.”

“My dear, I live to serve” is another lighthearted response to use. However, this time, you are responding playfully and exaggeratedly to express your willingness to help or offer a favor to the person.

“My dear” in the sentence establishes a sense of friendliness, and then “I live to serve” emphasizes your desire to help the person.

Statement: Domo Arigatou

Your response: My dear, I live to serve.

This particular response demonstrates a sense of humor and a strong (genuine) desire to be helpful.

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12. “Just doing my good deed for the day.”

A touch of humor to the interaction is not a bad idea when responding to “domo arigato.” By saying “just doing my good deed for the day,” it sends the impression that helping others is part of your duty and responsibility.

You can use this response when you want to express humility and a sense of satisfaction at having done something worthwhile.

Statement: Domo Arigatou

Your response: Just doing my good deed for the day. You are welcome, Jin.

13. “No worries.”

It could be that you gave a tip to the cab driver who took you from the airport upon your arrival in Japan. And as a show of gratitude, he says “Domo arigato.” In such a situation, you can simply reply with “no worries”

It means you are not bothered about offering the gesture, and you’d be glad to do it again.

14. “Happy to help”

“Happy to help” is another common way people respond to a remark of gratitude, and you can use it in this situation. 

Generally speaking, “happy to help” means that you are glad to assist the person, and your main goal at that point was to be of help to them.

It conveys a sense of positivity and satisfaction at having been able to make someone smile with your act of kindness.

15. “It was nothing, just spreading a little kindness in the world.”

15 Best Replies To “Domo Arigato”

Lastly, “It was nothing, just spreading a little kindness in the world” is best used when you want to respond humbly.

“It was nothing” evokes a sense of humility and politeness. “Just spreading a little kindness in the world” is a good way to express your satisfaction at helping a person.


Last thoughts 

More often than not, “domo arigatou” is used to say “thank you” to friends, family, and younger people since it’s a little more friendly and casual than “Arigatou gozaimas” (used in a formal setting) and not too informal like the plain “Arigatou.”

Again, I would recommend you reply with “you’re welcome” when someone says “Domo arigato” (you will probably be told this during Japanese lessons, too)


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