While in most places around the world you can get by with speaking English, Japan is one of those countries were the majority of people do not speak English. The Japanese culture is one that values respect, honor and quality. They will appreciate you making the effort to speak Japanese in their country.
You are looking for a couple for phrases or useful words just to get around Japan. We are not looking to learn the language to be fluent for your two week trip. I was able to get around with just these few phrases and words below.
1. sumimasen (su-mi-ma-sen)- excuse me or sorry
2. konnichiwa (kon-ni-chi-wa)- hi or good afternoon
3. konbanwa (con-ban-wa) - good evening
4. nihongo ga wakarimasen (ni-hon-go- gah-wa-kari-ma-sen) - don't understand Japanese
5. eigo dekimasu ka (eggo-de-ki-mas-ka) - speak English?
6. ____ doko desu ka - (do-ku-des-ka) - [Add or point to place] where is it?
7. arigato gozaimasu (are-yi-gato go-zai-mas) - thank you (formal way)
8. ___ arimasu ka (are-yi-mas-ka) - does it exist, do you have this?
9. gen ki desu ka (gen-key-des-ka) - how are you?
10. gen ki desu (gen-key-des) - I'm fine
11. go chisou sama deshita (go-chi-so-sama-desh-ta) - thanks for the meal
*In Japan, after finishing your meal, it is customary to thank the chef and your server for the meal. This is to show that you appreciate their efforts. There isn't really a word or phrase in English for this. We might say thank you very much. But, the above phrase will impress the Japanese especially if you are clearly a foreigner.
12. resutoran (res-tow-ran) - restaurant
13. eki (ey-key)- train station
14. torie (toy re)- bathroom
15. kouban (ko-ban) - police station
16. shoppingu mooru (shop-ping-gu-moo-ru) - shopping mall
17. pasupoto (pa-su-po-to) - passport
18. nakushimashita (na-kush-yi-mas-ta) - misplaced
19. kagi (ka-ge)- key
20. keitai (k-ey-tai) - cellphone
21. kaban (ka-ban) - bag
22. katsu (ka-su) - shoes
23. yo yaku shite imasu (yo-yaku-shita-mas) - I have a reservation
24. hitotsu (hi-tot-su) - one quantity when ordering
25. futatsu (fu-tat-su) - two quantity when ordering
Labels: Japan, Travels