Home Japanese Language Japanese for Vacationers: 73 Important Phrases for Your Japanese Trip

Japanese for Vacationers: 73 Important Phrases for Your Japanese Trip

Japanese for Vacationers: 73 Important Phrases for Your Japanese Trip



Earlier than I traveled to Japan for the primary time, I used to be assured by everybody that “All people speaks English there,” and I wouldn’t must use Japanese in any respect.

However in actuality, most people I encountered in Japan had a reasonably elementary degree of spoken English.

For a greater journey expertise, you must be taught some fundamental journey phrases and phrases in Japanese.


Greetings and Fundamental Japanese Phrases

I’ll present the hiragana, kanji and romaji for every phrase, and can clarify using sure phrases in context.

1. Hey — konnichiwa


2. Good morning — ohayou gozaimasu


3. Good to fulfill you — hajimemashite


4. Goodbye — sayounara


5. Please onegaishimasu


6. Thank you — arigatou gozaimasu


7. You’re welcome — dou itashimashite


8. Excuse me/Sorry — sumimasen


That is positively one to memorize. I say “すみません” at the least 30 occasions a day in Japan. It’s a magical phrase.

It helps you push by a crowd, get consideration from a waiter, ask for instructions or be excused for mainly any touristy blunder.

Merely saying “すみません” and gesturing is a reasonably good approach to specific that you simply need assistance, however don’t communicate Japanese.

9. Sure hai


10. No — iie


11. Let’s Eat/ “Bon Appetit” — itadakimasu 


Just like the French “bon appetit”, that is what Japanese individuals say earlier than they eat.

It doesn’t have a literal translation in English, but it surely’s a approach to give thanks for a meal.

You must also bear in mind this phrase’s pair: ごちそうさま (gochisousama) or ごちそうさまでした (gochisousama deshita).

 These phrases are used on the finish of a meal and translate as “What meal,” or “Thanks for the meal”, the latter being the extra well mannered type.

12. I don’t perceive wakarimasen 


13. I don’t communicate Japanese — nihongo o hanashimasen


14. Do you communicate English? — eigo o hanashimasu ka? 


15. Are you able to please repeat that? mou ichido itte kudasai


16. Are you able to please communicate slowly? — yukkuri hanashite kudasai


17. What’s your identify? — onamae wa nan desu ka?


18. My identify is… — watashi no namae wa…


19. How a lot does this price? — kore wa ikura desu ka? 

これは いくらですか?

Or, should you’re pointing at one thing which you could’t attain, you say “それは いくらですか?”

これ and それ actually simply imply “this” and “that.”

20. Are you able to please assist me? — tasukete moraemasuka?


21. I need to go… (right here) — (koko) ni ikitai desu 

(ここ) に行きたいです

Say ここ you probably have an tackle written down or some extent marked on a map of the place you need to go.

If you understand the identify or tackle of the place the place you need to go, merely say the place identify adopted by に行きたいです.

For instance, if you wish to go to Shinjuku station, you merely say “新宿駅に行きたいです”  — Shinjuku eki ni ikitai desu.

Asking for Instructions

Asking for instructions is form of daunting, particularly when the particular person solutions in a complete stream of fast-paced Japanese.

However you’ll discover that Japan is among the finest locations to be a misplaced and hopeless vacationer—there’s all the time somebody close by who’s more than pleased to assist. I’ve even had individuals take day trip of their days to stroll me the place I wanted to go!

Merely say wherever it’s that you simply need to go adopted by どこですか?doko desu ka?.

22. The place is the…? — …wa doko desu ka?

… はどこですか?

23. Are you able to please present me the place we’re on the map? — watashitachi ga doko ni iru no ka, chizu de oshiete kudasai


This would possibly seem to be an odd query (and a little bit of a mouthful), however it may be much more useful than asking for instructions from somebody who doesn’t know English.

24. Is it close to? — chikai desu ka?


25. Is it far? — tooi desu ka?


26. Take me to this tackle, please — kono jyuushyo made tsureteitte kudasai


27. What’s the fare? — ryoukin wa ikura desu ka?


28. Cease right here, please — koko de tomatte kudasai


29. Does this bus go to (road identify)? — kono basu wa … ni ikimasu ka?

このバスは … に行きますか?

30. Does that prepare cease at ___? — sono denshya wa ___ de tomarimasu ka?


31. A map, please — chizu o onegai shimasu


32. This lodge — okono hoteru


33. The subway — chikatetsu 


34. The prepare station — denshya no eki


35. The bus cease  — basutei


36. The exit — deguchi


37. The doorway — iriguchi


38. The toilet — toire


Receiving Instructions

39. Go straight forward — massugu itte kudasai 


40. Flip left — hidari ni magatte kudasai


41. Flip proper — migi ni magatte kudasai


Consuming and Consuming in Japan

The very best eating places in Japan are the genuine ones that don’t cater to vacationers. However these are additionally the locations which have no English menus, and typically no English-speaking waitstaff.

Fortunately, it’s quite common for Japanese menus to function images of all of the dishes. And lots of locations have fashions of their dishes on show, so that you probably received’t be getting into fully blind.

Use these phrases, and you have to be out and in of a restaurant with no hiccup.

42. A desk for 2, please —  futari you no teeburu o onegai shimasu

二人 用のテーブルをお願いします

You can even exchange futari with the quantity of people that it’s essential to have seated:

Should you’re confused about Japanese numbers and counters, don’t despair. You may simply do because the locals do and point out the variety of diners by holding up your fingers.

43. The menu, please — menyuu o onegai shimasu


44. Water, please — mizu o onegai shimasu


45. Two beers, please — beeru o nihai onegai shimasu


46. Can I please have (one, two) of this? — kore o (hitotsu, futatsu) onegai shimasu?

これを (一つ、二つ) お願いします?

47. Do you’ve a vegetarian dish? — bejitarian youno ryouri ga arimasu ka?


I’ve traveled in Japan with vegetarians twice, and this query normally attracts fairly unusual seems to be. Vegetarianism mainly doesn’t exist in Japan, though Japanese delicacies is mostly fairly vegetarian-friendly.

It’d work higher to say “これは肉ですか?” — kore wa niku desu ka?, to say “is that this meat?”

Comply with up with “私は肉を食べません” — watashi wa niku o tabemasen, which implies “I don’t eat meat,” if you wish to make your self understood.

48. That’s okay — daijyoubu desu


You can even use this expression to ask somebody in the event that they’re okay. Simply add the query particle ka to the top: 大丈夫ですか ? daijyoubu desu ka? 

49. The verify, please — okanjyou o onegai shimasu 


Say the above, or you are able to do because the locals do and catch the waiter’s eye (with a smile!) and draw a clockwise circle within the air along with your index finger pointing in direction of the roof.

In some eating places, it’s essential to carry the verify to the money register which normally is positioned by the restaurant’s doorway.

50. Cheers! — kanpai!


51. It was scrumptious — oishikatta desu


52. Water — mizu

53. Wine — wain


54. Beer — beeru 


55. Meat — niku

56. Rooster — toriniku 


57. Pork — butaniku


58. Beef  — gyuuniku 


59. Fish — sakana 

60. Rice — gohan


61. Bread — pan 


62. Greens — yasai  


63. Fruit — kudamono


64. Tea — ochya


65. Espresso — coohii


Going Procuring

Once you stroll right into a retailer or restaurant in Japan, you’ll be met with cries of いっらしゃいませ! (Irrashya imase!)

You aren’t anticipated to say something specifically in response to this greeting, which mainly means “welcome.” I simply smile and say “こんにちは” which implies, in fact, “hiya.”

Strolling right into a division retailer is especially surreal, with every assistant taking cues from the others, so that each time a buyer walks in “いらっしゃいませ!” bounces across the complete flooring.

66. I would love this — kore o onegai shimasu


67. I would love a type of — sore o hitotsu onegai shimasu


68. How a lot does this price? — kore wa ikura desu ka?


69. I wish to pay in money  — genkin de onegai shimasu


70. I wish to pay by bank card — kurejitto kaado de onegai shimasu


Phrases You’ll Hear When Procuring

71. Are you in search of one thing? — nani ka osagashi desu ka?


72. Is that every one? — ijyou de yoroshii desu ka?


73. Right here it’s / Right here you go — hai, douzo


Variety of Objects in Japanese

The one actual problem with ordering meals in Japanese is using counters.

We have now counters in English, too (for instance “sheets” of paper, “glasses” of water, “blades” of grass), however not so many or so sophisticated as in Japanese.

Fortunately Japanese has a “common” counter, , which you should use for something, together with meals.

The numbers one to 4 as つ counters are pronounced 一つ二つ三つ四つ. You should use this counter for drinks too, and the waiter will perceive you.

Nevertheless, if you wish to be a bit extra spectacular, you should use the drinks counter:  . The numbers one to 4 utilizing this counter are 一杯二杯三杯四杯.

If you wish to be taught extra about counters, this put up explains them in additional element.

Tricks to Use Your New Phrases: Politeness and Pronunciation

All of the examples I’ve given are within the well mannered, impartial type of speech. You mainly can’t go improper talking this fashion in Japan, so that you don’t must fear about making any social fake pas!

Some notes on pronunciation:

  • Keep away from turning vowels into dipthongs (vowel sounds that run into one another, just like the oi in “coin”). Pronounce every vowel by itself even when there are two vowels subsequent to one another. Onegai is learn as “o-ne-ga-i,” not “o-ne-gai”
  • The sound ou and repeated vowels like ii and ee are exceptions: They present an elongation of the sound. Ohayou is learn as “o-ha-yoh,” not “o-ha-yo-u.”
  • Deal with ん (n) as its personal syllable. Konnichiwa is learn “ko-n-ni-chi-wa,” not “ko-ni-chi-wa.” It’s delicate, but it surely makes a distinction!
  • Repeated consonants are pronounced. For an instance of how to do that, simply learn the phrase “bookkeeper” out loud.
  • The small kana っ like in いって signify a break between the sounds—”it-te,” not “i-te.”
  • Small y- kana like ゃ in おちゃ add the y sound to the previous syllable—”o-chya,” not “o-chi-a.”
  • は (ha) as a particle is pronounced wa, and を (wo) as a particle is pronounced o.

We received’t get into way more than that on this put up. However if you wish to dive deep into the intricacies of Japanese pronunciations, we now have a put up for that.

Methods to Research These Japanese Journey Phrases

The great thing about Japanese is that it’s an extraordinarily phonetic language, so should you say the phrases precisely as you learn them, you’ll be able to’t actually get them improper.

Having mentioned that, individuals will in all probability wrestle to grasp you should you communicate in a robust non-Japanese accent, so it would pay to hearken to some spoken Japanese earlier than you begin practising pronunciation.

Crucial factor to recollect is that, not like English audio system, Japanese audio system don’t put emphasis on the second or third syllable of a phrase—there’s some emphasis on the primary syllable, but it surely’s delicate.

Some methods which you could hearken to Japanese being spoken is by watching Japanese movies or tv applications, anime or YouTube clips.

The Japanese language program FluentU has a bit little bit of the whole lot within the media, with interactive subtitles and customizable flashcards for a well-rounded studying expertise.

You can even go to Forvo and click on on any phrase to hear a recorded clip of the pronunciation by a local speaker.


Possibly this looks like loads, however it’ll make your journey run extra easily, and the individuals you meet will admire your effort.

Talking the native language tends to get individuals in your facet. They’re much less prone to attempt to rip you off, and infrequently will need to change into your finest buddy.

I wish to make little phrasebooks for myself once I journey, so I can have these Japanese journey phrases and vocabulary all the time readily available.

I’ve been handled to tea and dinner in individuals’s houses, and as soon as was pushed round a metropolis with a private information/impromptu buddy all day, simply because I struck up conversations within the native language.

Don’t be scared! Give it a strive!