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30+ Basic Japanese Phrases For Travelers

man-tourist-Japanese temple-basic japanese phrases for travelers

Are you looking forward to your long-awaited trip to Japan? Unfortunately, excitement comes with a bit of tension, too. You may be concerned about the inconveniences that may arise as a result of language differences. Don’t worry because we got you! The basic Japanese phrases for travelers that we will cover below will help you enjoy your trip to Japan stress-free. 

Let’s look at some basic terms that will help you navigate Japan and overcome any challenges you may encounter as a tourist. Are you interested? 始めましょう!

Basic Japanese Phrases For Travelers

In every interaction, a greeting is a sign of courtesy and respect. Japanese people appreciate the efforts of foreigners to communicate in their language. So, when you take the time to greet the locals in Japanese, you can open the door to their hearts that might otherwise remain closed.

JapaneseRomajiEnglishSound
おはようございますOhayō gozaimasuGood morning
こんにちはKon’nichiwaHello
こんばんはKonbanwaGood evening
ありがとうございますArigatō gozaimasuThank you
すみませんSumimasenExcuse me
お願いしますOnegaishimasuPlease
大丈夫ですDaijōbudesuIt’s fine/ok
さようならSayōnaraGoodbye

Key Japanese Phrases And Vocabulary For The Airport

japan-airport-japanese words

日本へようこそ! (Welcome to Japan). If you arrive in a big city like Tokyo, it is almost certain that the signs will be translated into English, but what if they are not? You need to know what your next steps are going to be. Are you staying in the city? or do you have to take another flight? Are you going to pick up your bags? Perhaps you need to change money.

Let’s check out some words and phrases you might need to navigate and successfully exit a Japanese airport.

JapaneseRomajiEnglishSound
空港KūkōAirport
手伝って頂けますか?Tetsudatte itadakemasu ka?Can you help me?
すみません; 質問があります。Sumimasen; shitsumon ga arimasu.Excuse me; I have a question.
少し時間はありますか?Sukoshi jikan wa arimasu ka?Do you have some time?
出かける/出かけるDekakeru/ dekakeruGo out / go out
到着TōchakuArrival
搭乗時間Tōjō jikanBoarding time
出発時間Shuppatsu jikanDeparture time
到着時刻Tōchaku jikokuArrival time
チケットChikettoTicket
搭乗券Tōjō-kenBoarding pass
パスポートPasupōtoPassport
スーツケースSūtsukēsuSuitcase
機内持ち込み手荷物Kinai mochikomi tenimotsuCarry-on baggage
受託手荷物Jutaku tenimotsuChecked baggage
両替所RyougaejoCurrency exchange
税関ZeikanCustoms
総合案内所Desksougou annaijoInformation desk

Japanese Phrases To Ask For Directions

Japanese street-Directions-more japanese phrases

やった! (Yay!) You are already out of the airport. Now you need to know how you will get to your destination. If this is your first time in Japan, you may find the transportation system confusing. So it would be helpful to ask Japanese people how to get to X place. Now we will look at some essential phrases for asking directions in Japanese.

JapaneseRomajiEnglishSound
すみません、英語は話せますか?Sumimasen, eigo wa hanasemasu ka?Excuse me, do you speak English?
道に迷いました。Michinimayoimashita.I’m lost.
駅はどこですか?Eki wa Doko desu ka?Where is the train station?
もう一度お願いできますか?Mōichido onegai dekimasu ka?Could you repeat that please?
_____にどうやって行けばいいですか?_____ ni dou yatte ikeba īdesu ka?How can I get to _____?
タクシーはどこで乗れますか?Takushī wa doko de noremasu ka?Where can we get a taxi?
もっとゆっくり話してもらえますか?Motto yukkuri hanashite moraemasu ka?Could you please speak more slowly?
まっすぐ進みますMassugu susumimasuGo straight
右/左に曲がりますMigi/ hidari ni magarimasuTurn right/left
前にMae niIn front
の隣にNo tonari niNext to

Ordering Food In Japanese

Sushi plate-Ordering food- phrases for travelers

What is a trip without food? And if you are in Japan, chances are you want to enjoy as many Japanese delicacies as possible. In a previous article, we covered all the details you need to know about ordering food in Japanese. So this time, we’ll look at a simple formula that will get you all you need in a Japanese restaurant.

(Dish/drink + quantity + please)

JapaneseRomajiEnglish
________を_____お願いします。_______ wo _____onegaishimasuCan I have one _________, please?
スープを三つお願いします。Sūpu wo mittsu onegaishimasu.I would like three soups, please.
ハイボールを二つとオレンジジュース一つお願いします。Haibōru wo futatsu to orenjijūsu hitotsu onegaishimasu.I’d like two highballs and orange juice, please.
パエリヤを一つお願いします。Paeriya wo hitotsu onegaishimasu.A paella, please.
すみません、お会計をお願いします。Sumimasen, o kaikei wo onegaishimasu.Excuse me! The check, please.
ごちそうさまでした。Gochisousama deshita.Thanks for the meal.

Phrases To Buy Gifts In Japanese

japanese-gift-shop-people using polite language

In Japan, it is customary to bring おみやげ(Omiyage- souvenirs) after a trip. It is a way to show others you thought of them during your vacation. The souvenir culture is so ingrained in Japanese culture that you can find stores that offer you the region’s specialty prepared to be gifted.

If you want to buy gifts for your loved ones, the following phrases will allow you to shop おみやげ and have them ready to hand out as soon as you meet your family or friends.

JapaneseRomajiEnglish
______を探しています____wo sagashite imasuI’m looking for______
いくらですか?Ikuradesu ka?How much is it?
クレジットカードは使えますか?Kurejittokādo wa tsukaemasu ka?Can I use a credit card?
ギフトラッピングはできますか?Gifutorappingu wa dekimasu ka?Can you do gift wrapping?
袋に入れたほうがいいですか?Fukuro ni ireta hō ga īdesu ka?Should I put it in my bag?
ありがとうございました。Arigatōgozaimashita.Thank you very much.

Enjoy Japan With Ling!

Learn Japanese with Ling-CTA-Download

To enjoy your vacation in Japan to the fullest, you must understand the Japanese language. And what better way to learn than having fun? Ling offers you an interactive learning experience that will keep you wanting more. By signing up for a free account, you’ll have access to engaging activities (such as games and puzzles) that will help you intuitively learn and practice Japanese vocabulary. 

Don’t have much time? No problem! Ling also has bite-size lessons you can complete anywhere in 15 minutes. You can also combine your Ling lessons with our weekly blogs, where you will learn vocabulary, grammar, and everything you need to speak Japanese fluently.

So to put it simply, Ling will put the Japanese language at your fingertips! What are you waiting for? You can download it for free from the App Store or Play Store and start to level up your Japanese today!

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