Learn Useful Japanese Phrases, basic Japanese for travellers

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I’m Learning Japanese, I think im Learning Japanese,  I really think so! So here’s some basic Japanese for travellers

Heres some Japanese Phrases for you to learn before you visit Japan.

Before we start – Please, do not ask me to translate anything unless you agree to point 5, this is one of the ways I make my living and I dont do free translations for the following reasons.

1. You never thank me if I do.
2. You can buy a Japanese Dictionary for less that £5.
3. There are resources on the internet, search for them. Try google!
4. I get loads of people asking me, “translate this” or “translate that”. I dont have the time for free work!
5. If you really need anything technical translating then my hourly rate is £35, if you require a translation quote then please contact me here.

I have split this page up into sections so you can skip to the bits you want quickly, as you read the Japanese words remember that Japanese words are made up of 1, 2 or three letter parts.

For example, Hajimemashite would be pronounced: Ha-ji-me-ma-shi-te

or Domo Arigato is pronounced: Do-mo A-ri-ga-to

One of the golden rules is to learn the vowel sounds, as below

a is pronounced as in apple
e is pronounced as in get
i is pronounced as it
o is pronounced as in coal
u is pronounced as in you

This youtube video will definately help.

Note: If you have Japanese words or phrases which you think will benefit others then please send them to me via the contact form and I will include them for others to use.

Another Note: I have found a great resource for those wanting to learn Japanese online for FREE! Take a look at this link, its the NHK website: NHK Japanese Lessons

If you want to watch/learn Japanese through your TV and you have Sky then goto Channel 516, which is NHK World TV and they have Japanese programs as well as Japanese learning programs.

Basic Japanese for travellers: Must know Japanese
Yes Hai
No Iie
Not nai
Please / excuse me / thank you Sumimasen
Thanks Arigato or Domo (informal)
Thank you very much Arigato gozaimasu
Thank you, when given something. Arigato gozaimashita
I cant speak Japanese Nihongo ga hanashimasen
Do you speak English? Eigo wo hanasemasuka?
Please speak more slowly Yukkuri hanashite kudasai
Basic Japanese for travellers: Basic Japanese Words and Phrases
Please (when buying /ordering) o´ Kudasai
Good morning ohayo gozaimasu
Good afternoon konnichi wa
Good evening konban wa
How are you? Ogenki desu ka?
Im fine Genki Desu
Nice to meet you hajimemashite
What is your name? Onamae wa nan desu ka?
My name is watashi wa
Nice to meet you, I am Its a pleasure Hajimemashite, watashi wa dozo yoroshiku
I dont understand wakarimasen
I dont know Shirimasen
How much is this? Kore wa ikura desu ka?
Thats fine kekko desu
Similar to saying Grace (say before a meal) Itadakimasu
Said after meals, as a compliment. gochisousamadeshita
Very Sorry Gomen nasai/sumimasen (said whilst bowing)
Sorry Gomen
Good Night Oyasumi Nasai
Good bye sayonara
Bye for now, see you Ja ne
What Nani
Cheers Kanpai
I am English Igirisu jin desu
What is this? Kore wa nani desu ka?
Where is the wa doko desu ka?
How far is on foot? wa aruite dono gurai desku ka?
Wait a Moment, Please Chotto matte kudasai
Please be careful Ki o Tsukete
Look Out (litterally “Its dangerous”) Abunai
Congratulations Omedeto Gozaimasu
Your Welcome Do itashimashite
Once more please, can you repeat it Mo ichido onegaishimasu
Basic Japanese for travellers: Numbers
Zero Zero
One Ichi
Two Ni
Three San
Four Yon / Shi (yon is more common)
Five Go
Six Roku
Seven Nana /Shichi (nana is more common)
Eight Hachi
Nine Kyu
Ten Ju
Eleven Ju ichi
Twelve Ju ni
Twenty Ni ju
Thirty San ju
One Hundred Hyaku
Two Hundred Ni hyaku
Three Hundred Sanbyaku
Thousand Sen
Two Thousand Ni sen
Ten Thousand Ichi man
Twenty Thousand Ni man
Hundred Thousand Ju man
Million Hyaku man
Billion Ichi oku
Basic Japanese for travellers: Japanese for Travellers
Information Annai
Passport Control shutsunyukoku
Taxi – Taxi Stand Takushi – Takushi noriba
Bus Basu
Hotel (western Style) Hoteru
Hotel (Japanese Style) Ryokan
Western style room youshitsu
Japanese style room washitsu
Single room shinguru
Key Kagi
Train station eki
Ticket Office kippu uriba
One way ticket katamichi kippu
Return ticket ofuku kippu
What is the fare to ….? …. made ikura desu ka
How long does it take to get to ….? …. made jikan wa dono gurai desu ka
A ticket to …., please …. yuki no kippu wo kudasai
Do I have to change trains? norikae ga hitsuyo desu ka
Which platform for the train to …. …. yuki no densha wa nanban homu kara demasu ka
Subway chikatetsu
Reception uketsuke
I have a reservation in the name of de yoyaku o shite arimasu
I´d like a room Heya ha arimasu ka
What is the charge per night? ippaku ikura desu ka
Elevator (lift) erebeta
Escalator Esukareta
Push osu
Pull hiku
Entrance iriguchi
Exit deguchi
Emergency Exit hijoguchi
Open eigyochu
Closed kyugyochu
Toilets o-tearai/benjo
Mens Toilets otoko
Womens Toilets Onna
Free (vacant) aki
Caution Chui
No Smoking kin en
How much is it? ikura desu ka
No more than you, when eating kekko desu
Cash genkin
Money Yen en
Money GB Pound pondo
Money US Dollar doru
Traveller Cheque toraberazu chekku
Credit Cards kurejitto kado
Bank ginko
Id like to cash these travellers cheques kono toraberazu chekku o genkin ni kaete kudasai
Which way? dochira ni
What? nani
Where is ….? …. wa doko desu ka
Is it far? toi desu ka
Where is there a Telephone? denwa wa doko ni arimasu ka
Where can I buy …..? …. wa doko de kaemasuka
How much does this cost? Ikura kakari masuka ka
Im just looking mite iru dake desu
Do you have ….? …. arimasu ka
Please show me that sore wo misete kudasai
Is tax included in the price? zeikomi desu ka
Boxed meal bento
Breakfast choshoku
Lunch chushoku
Dinner yushoku
Buffet baikingu
Hot atsui
Cold tsumetai
Hungry onaka ga suita
Set menu setto (light meal) / teishoku
A table for one/two/three/four hitori/futari/sannin/yonin/gonin onegai shimasu
Could I see the menu menyu wo onegaishimasu
Id like …. watashi wa …. ga ii desu
Waiter/waitress ueita/ueitoresu
Could we have the cheque please? okanjo wo onegai shimasu
Basic Japanese for travellers: Advanced Japanese Phrases
I Like You Daisukidayo
I Love You Ai shite Masu / Aishiteru / Daisukidayo


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