40+ Easy Transportation Vocabulary In Japanese

Are you planning to go on a trip to Japan? Prevent yourself from getting lost by understanding the common transportation vocabulary in Japanese. As you probably know, most locals are not comfortable speaking English, so it is your responsibility to try and memorize some of the essential Japanese words as much as possible. This is the only way for you to get by in the country without any hassle. Let’s dive right into it in the sections below.

When you visit Japan, you can feel the safe and high-quality services in public transport. Japan has the most punctual and fastest transportation in the world. Many diverse transport vehicles include buses, planes, express trains, shinkansen, ferryboats, etc. So when you have a lot of options for transportation, you should get some information to decide which one you should take. Apart from that, it’s also easy to learn Japanese if you are knowledgable about these transportation means.

Let’s look at the most popular public transportation preferred by Japanese people.

Common Modes Of Transportation In Japanese

Transportation Vocabulary In Japanese

Shinkansen (新幹線)

The Shinkansen (新幹線) is the name of the railway built for the high-speed bullet train in Japanese cities. The first bullet train was built in the 1930s to shorten the distance between Tokyo and Osaka. The fastest bullet train can reach 320 km/h, and they are known for their punctuality.

Transportation Vocabulary In Japanese

Local Buses (路線バス)

Japan has an efficient transportation system in cities provided by buses. Buses support the railway systems in big cities like Tokyo and Osaka. They go and return from a train station to another. However, in small cities and suburban areas, there are microbuses called くるりん. They have a fixed route in which they stop at a bus stop, hospitals and clinics, shopping malls, or local government offices.

Transportation Vocabulary In Japanese

Ferries (フェリー)

Japan also has sea transport since it is an island country. If you have time on your hands, sailing by ferry in Japan can be a great way to cover long distances. You can also visit Korea by ferry from Japan. There are canteens and self-service restaurants, a shop, and various vending machines on all boats.

Taxis (タクシー)

Transportation Vocabulary In Japanese

There are thousands of operating taxis in Japanese cities, and you can hail them wherever you want, but in some areas, taxi drivers are not allowed to stop everywhere. So you should find the nearest taxi stand around you. You can also call a taxi by dialing the cab company’s number.

In Japanese, taxi means タクシー with katakana characters. You can see taxis in various colors such as white, black, yellow and green in this country! A vacant taxi displays the sign 空車 (kuusha) means ‘empty car‘ in red. If the taxi is occupied, 賃走 (chinso) means ‘occupied’ in green. By the way, don’t expect that the taxis would be yellow.

Japanese Vocabulary About Transportation

If you plan to visit Japan, I highly recommend you learn some transportation vocabulary in Japanese because you probably won’t see English subtitles as in animes.

Japanese Kanji / Hiragana RomajiMeaning
乗り物 (のりもの)norimonoTransport
交通 (こうつう)koutsuuTransportation / Traffic
車 (くるま)kurumaCar
自動車 (じどうしゃ)jidoushaAutomobile
自転車 (じてんしゃ)jitenshaBicycle
三輪車 (さんりんしゃ)sanrinshaThree Wheeled Vehicle
人力車 (じんりきしゃ)jinrikishaRickshaw
馬車 (ばしゃ)bashaHorse Carriage
スポーツカーsupo-tsuka-Sports Car
オープンカーo-punka-Open-top Car
インラインスケートinrain suke-toInline Skates
救急車 (きゅうきゅうしゃ)kyuukyuushaAmbulance
車椅子 (くるまいす)kurumaisuWheelchair
パトカーpatoka-Patrol Car
電車 (でんしゃ)denshaTrain
地下鉄 (ちかてつ)chikatetsuMetro
新幹線 (しんかんせん)shinkansenBullet Train
路面電車 (ろめんでんしゃ)romendenshaTram
船 (ふね)funeShip
ジェットスキーjettosuki-Jet Ski
潜水艦 (せんすいかん)sensuikanSubmarine
飛行機 (ひこうき)hikoukiAirplane

Phrases About Transportation

…はどこですか (…wa doko desu ka?)

Meaning: Where is …?

Example: バス停はどこですか (Basutei wa dokodesu ka)

English: Where is the bus station?

何時ですか (Nanji desu ka?)

Meaning: What time is it?

Example: 何時ですか (Ima nanji desu ka)

English: What time is it now?

…に行きたい (…ni ikitai)

Meaning: I want to go to…

Example: ショッピングモールに行きたいです (Shoppingumōru ni ikitaidesu)

English: I want to go to the shopping mall.

どの電車? (Dono densha?)

Meaning: Which train?

Example: どの電車に乗ればいいですか (Dono densha ni noreba īdesu ka)

English: Which train should I take?

チケットはどこで買えますか?(Chi-ketto wa doko de kaemasu ka?)

Meaning: Where can I purchase the ticket?

Example: 電車の切符はどこで買えますか (Densha no kippu wa doko de kaemasu ka)

English: Where can I purchase the train ticket?

この電車は…駅に停車しますか? (Kono densya wa …eki ni teisha shimasu ka?)

Meaning: Does this train go to … station?

Example: この電車は東京駅に停車しますか (Kono densha wa Tōkyō Eki ni teisha shimasu ka)

English: Does this train go to Tokyo station?

次の停車駅はどこですか? (Tsugi no teishaeki wa doko desu ka?

Meaning: What is the next stop?

Example: 阪の次の停車駅はどこですか (Ōsaka no tsugi no teishaeki wa doko desu ka)

English: What is the next stop after Osaka?

いくらですか (Ikura desu ka?)

Meaning: How much?

Example: この切符はいくらですか (Kono kippu wa ikura desu ka)

English: How much is this ticket?

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