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How to say "toilet", "bathroom", "restroom", "washroom", "powder room" in Japanese

edited May 2018 in Japanese
Just like English, Japanese has several ways to call that place!

トイレ toire is informal, and you can use it when you are talking to your family members and friends, but probably not when you are talking to your guests or when you are at nice restaurants.

お手洗い otearai is the most commonly used word, and it literally means "hand-washing room". You can safely use it in almost all situations. It will never sound too casual or too fancy. If you have to learn only one word, this should be it.

お化粧室 okeshoushitsu is a fancy word and it literally means "make-up room", so it corresponds to the English "powder room". I use this word whenever I want to behave like a lady at a fancy restaurant, but that is pretty much the only occasion I use お化粧室 okeshoushitsu.

Lastly, there is also a word 便所 benjo. It is exclusively used by men between close friends. I wouldn't recommend using this word unless you know exactly when it is appropriate to use it.

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