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Tweet of the Week #154: Do Not Eat, Drink or Break up in Our Store

Don Quijote asks that you please keep your relationship problems outside.

By 2 min read

The popular Japanese discount chain store Don Quijote (ドン キホーテ) is a must-experience attraction in Japan. With a wide range of discounted products, you can find everything from souvenirs to daily necessities, Halloween costumes, and products beyond your imagination. 

So take a step in a “Donki” (ドンキ) and brace yourself for a sensory overload between maze-like aisles, jingles blasting at every corner of the store and the constantly looping catchy song in the background.

Because Don Quijote stores are utterly chaotic, locals are tempted to make themselves at home. But, unfortunately, something was too much for this Osaka store, which needs to ask its customers to behave.

Keep it outside



“My hometown Donki is amazing

On the red and yellow poster at the store entrance:”



“A request to all customers:

Please refrain from drinking, eating, and breaking up in our store.”

How to express ‘Please refrain from’ in Japanese

A no-smoking sign on the pavements of Shinjuku in Tokyo.

The phrase ご遠慮えんりょください is used to politely ask people to refrain from doing something in a roundabout way. Originally, the word 遠慮 doesn’t express a prohibition and is just about asking people to restrain themselves if possible.

But over time the word took a stricter meaning and combined with the imperative ください, it basically means “please don’t do that (here).”

Here are some examples:

  • フラッシュ撮影さつえいは、ご遠慮ください: Please refrain from taking flash photos.
  • こちらでのご飲食はご遠慮ください: Please do not eat or drink here.
  • 上映じょうえいちゅう携帯けいたい電話でんわのご使用しようかたくご遠慮ください: Please refrain from using your cell phone during the screening.
  • 喫煙きつえんじょ以外いがいでの喫煙きつえんは固くご遠慮ください: Smoking outside the smoking area is strictly prohibited.
  • 未成年みせいねんお客様おきゃくさまのご入店にゅうてんは固くご遠慮願います: Underage customers are strictly prohibited from entering the store.

Due to its strong tone, the phrase should always be used with care when spoken to a customer or a superior. You can use the following cushion words to soften your order:

  • おそりますが = I’m sorry, but …
  • 大変たいへんもうわけありませんが = I’m very sorry, but…
  • 失礼しつれいですが = Excuse-me, but…
  • せっかくですが = I’m sorry to bother you, but…


Japanese Romaji English
地元じもと jimoto Hometown
すごい sugoi Amazing, great
きゃくさま o kyaku sama Client (polite)
ねが onegai Request, wish
店内てんない tenai Inside the store
飲食いんしょく inshoku Eat and drink
およ oyobi And (formal)
カップルのわかばなし kappuru no wakarepanashi Couple’s break-up talks
遠慮えんりょください go enryo kudasai Please refrain from doing…

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