What Does "Oishii" Mean in Japanese? 美味しい, おいしい in Japanese

Have you ever heard the word “oishii!” in Japanese?  It’s a common adjective found in Japanese media, like anime, comics, TV, as well as in everyday life in Japan.
“Oishii” is an easy-to-use Japanese word. In other words, once you understand the meaning and how it’s used – you will be able to immediately add it to your daily Japanese vocabulary!
In this blog article we are looking at the meaning of the Japanese word “oishii” (おいしい) – and how you can start using it right away.

What Does “Oishii” Mean in Japanese?

“Oishii” is a Japanese i-adjective which means “delicious” or “good-tasting”. It is written in either hiragana as おいしい, or in kanji as 美味しい.
The kanji that make up “oishii” are: 美 which means “beautiful”, and 味 which means “taste/flavor”. These kanji can also be read 美味い (umai) which also means delicious or good tasting. 美味い (umai) is a more masculine sounding expression.
Because it is an i-adjective (いー形容詞), it can be modified to describe something that looks delicious. In this case, you say 美味しそう (oishi sou). For more information on this adjective modification, check out this Youtube video!
You can also use it in past tense by replacing the い ending with かった  →  美味しかった (oishikatta – it was delicious). To make this polite, simply add です (desu) to the end.
Additionally, if you want to learn even MORE vocabulary to talk about food, check out this blog article full of useful words to describe food!

When Can I Use “Oishii”?

The short answer is – anytime the food is おいしい!
Just like in any other culture – this is a great way to compliment the chef.  Like if you are doing a homestay with a Japanese family, you can tell whoever prepared the food that it is おいしい!
Japanese people enjoy food – and they like commenting on it as well.  So if you are out with your friends at a restaurant or cafe, you can tell them if you think the food is delicious, and see if they agree!
Can you think of any other situations where you might use “oishii”?  Let us know on one of our social media outlets, like twitter!

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