25 Useful Japanese Words and Phrases When Visiting Japan

Jun 5, 2017 -

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
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