The Top 10 Must-Know Phrases For Your Japan Trip

The Top 10 Must-Know Phrases For Your Japan Trip

Are you planning a trip to Japan? Whether it’s your first time or you’re a seasoned traveler, knowing a few key phrases can make a world of difference. In this article, you’ll discover the top 10 must-know phrases for your Japan trip. From basic greetings to asking for directions and ordering food, these phrases will help you navigate your way through this fascinating country. So grab your notebook and get ready to enhance your travel experience with these essential phrases.

The Top 10 Must-Know Phrases For Your Japan Trip


Hello (formal and informal)

When you visit Japan, greeting people with a simple “hello” can go a long way in establishing a positive interaction. In more formal situations, you can use “Konnichiwa” (こんにちは) to say hello. This is a polite and appropriate greeting for any time of day. On the other hand, in informal settings or with friends, you can simply say “Konnichi” (こんにちは) or even “Yo!” (よー) for a more casual greeting.

Goodbye (formal and informal)

As your Japan trip comes to an end, it’s important to know how to bid farewell. In formal situations, “Sayonara” (さようなら) is a commonly used word to say goodbye. However, in more casual settings, “Ja ne” (じゃね) or “Ja mata” (じゃまた) can be used to bid farewell to friends or acquaintances. These phrases can help to leave a positive impression as you say your goodbyes.

Thank you (formal and informal)

Showing gratitude is an important aspect of Japanese culture. To express your appreciation, you can say “Arigatou gozaimasu” (ありがとうございます) in formal situations. This phrase is commonly used to show sincere gratitude. For more casual situations or among friends, “Arigatou” (ありがとう) can be used. Remember to say “Thank you” to show your appreciation for the kindness you receive during your trip.

Asking for Help

Excuse me, can you help me?

When you find yourself in need of assistance, a polite way to ask for help is by saying “Sumimasen, onegaishimasu” (すみません、お願いします). This phrase is commonly used to politely get someone’s attention and ask for assistance.

Where is the nearest subway station?

If you’re trying to navigate your way through the city using public transportation, asking for the location of the nearest subway station is essential. You can ask “Chikatetsu no ekikin wa doko desu ka?” (地下鉄の駅はどこですか?) to inquire about the closest subway station and get on the right track.

Can you recommend a good restaurant?

Exploring local cuisine is always an exciting part of any trip. To seek recommendations for a good restaurant, you can ask “Oishii resutoran o osusume shite kudasai” (美味しいレストランをおすすめしてください). This phrase will help you discover delicious dining options that locals recommend.

Ordering Food

I would like to order

When you’re ready to order food at a restaurant, you can simply say “Chuumon shimasu” (注文します). This phrase politely signifies to the waiter or waitress that you’re ready to place your order.

What do you recommend?

If you’re unsure about what to order and want to rely on the expertise of the staff, you can ask “Osusume wa nan desu ka?” (おすすめは何ですか?). This phrase will help you discover the restaurant’s specialties or popular dishes.

Can I have the bill, please?

When you’ve finished your meal and it’s time to pay, you can ask for the bill by saying “Okaikei o onegaishimasu” (お会計をお願いします). This polite phrase will indicate to the staff that you’re ready to settle your bill.


How do I get to…?

If you find yourself in need of directions, a common phrase to ask for guidance is “Koko wa douyatte ikimasu ka?” (ここはどうやって行きますか?). By using this phrase, you can seek assistance in finding your way to a particular location.

Is it far from here?

When asking about the distance to a specific destination, you can say “Koko kara tooku desu ka?” (ここから遠いですか?). This will help you ascertain whether the place you wish to visit is within a reasonable distance or if you need to plan for a longer journey.

Which way should I go?

If you find yourself at a crossroads and are unsure which direction to take, you can ask for guidance by saying “Dou ikeba ii desu ka?” (どう行けばいいですか?). This polite question will help you receive clear instructions on which path to choose.

The Top 10 Must-Know Phrases For Your Japan Trip


Where is the train station?

To locate the nearest train station, you can ask “Eki wa doko desu ka?” (駅はどこですか?). This question will help you find the most convenient transportation hub for your travels.

Is this the right bus for…?

When you’re waiting for a specific bus, you can confirm if it’s the correct one by asking “Kore wa … e iku basu desu ka?” (これは…へ行くバスですか?). By using this phrase, you can ensure that you’re boarding the right bus to reach your desired destination.

How much is a taxi to…?

If you prefer to travel by taxi, you can inquire about the cost of the journey by saying “Koko kara … made takushi no ryokin wa ikura desu ka?” (ここから…までタクシーの料金はいくらですか?). This will help you estimate the fare and decide if it fits within your budget.


How much does it cost?

Whether you’re shopping for souvenirs or everyday items, asking about the price is essential. You can inquire by saying “Kore wa ikura desu ka?” (これはいくらですか?). This question will help you determine the cost of an item before making a purchase.

Do you have this in a different size?

If you’re looking for an item in a different size while shopping, you can ask “Joubu saizu wa arimasu ka?” (異なるサイズはありますか?). This will enable you to find out if the store carries the item you’re interested in but in a different size.

Can I try it on?

Before making a clothing purchase, it’s essential to try the item on for size. You can ask “Kore o shooshiki dekiru desu ka?” (これを試着できるですか?) to see if trying the clothing on is allowed. This phrase will help you ensure that you’re making the right choice.

The Top 10 Must-Know Phrases For Your Japan Trip

Emergency Situations

I need help!

In case of an emergency, it’s crucial to seek assistance. You can call out for help by saying “Tasukete kudasai!” (助けてください!). This urgent plea will signal that you require immediate assistance.

Is there a hospital nearby?

If you or someone else requires medical attention, you can ask “Chikai byouin wa doko desu ka?” (近い病院はどこですか?). This question will help you find the closest hospital where you can receive the necessary care.

Call the police!

In situations where law enforcement assistance is necessary, you can request someone to call the police by saying “Keisatsu o yonde kudasai!” (警察を呼んでください!). This phrase can be used to swiftly alert others and ensure the appropriate authorities are contacted.

Numbers and Counting

One, two, three…

When trying to count or understand numbers, it’s helpful to know the basic numerals. The Japanese counting system is relatively straightforward. Here are the numbers from one to ten: “ichi, ni, san, yon, go, roku, shichi, hachi, ku, ju” (一, 二, 三, 四, 五, 六, 七, 八, 九, 十).

How much is this?

To inquire about the price of an item, you can ask “Kore wa ikura desu ka?” (これはいくらですか?). This phrase will help you gather information about the cost of a specific item.

Can I pay with a credit card?

When it comes to payment options, if you prefer to pay with a credit card, you can ask “Kurejitto kaado de okane o haraemasu ka?” (クレジットカードでお金を払えますか?). By using this phrase, you can check whether credit card payments are accepted.

The Top 10 Must-Know Phrases For Your Japan Trip

Time and Dates

What time is it?

Keeping track of time is important throughout your trip. To ask for the current time, you can say “Ima nanji desu ka?” (今何時ですか?). This phrase will help you stay punctual and informed.

When does the museum open?

If you plan on visiting museums or attractions, knowing their opening hours is crucial. You can ask “Museo wa nanji kara desu ka?” (ミュージアムは何時からですか?) to find out the operating hours and plan your visit accordingly.

Is there a holiday on…?

To inquire about holidays and closures, you can ask “Kono hi wa yasumi desu ka?” (この日は休みですか?) while mentioning the specific day. This will help you stay informed about any scheduled holidays or closures during your trip.

Common Phrases

Excuse me

The phrase “Sumimasen” (すみません) is a versatile and commonly used phrase in Japan. It can be used to apologize, get someone’s attention, or indicate a desire to ask a question. Remember to use this polite phrase when seeking assistance or when you need to get someone’s attention.


If you need to apologize for any reason, you can say “Gomen nasai” (ごめんなさい). This phrase conveys a sincere apology and is commonly used to express regret or remorse.

I don’t understand

When faced with a language barrier or confusion, it’s essential to communicate that you don’t understand. You can say “Wakarimasen” (わからりません) to indicate that you need further explanation or assistance in understanding the situation. This phrase will help you overcome any communication obstacles you encounter during your trip.

In conclusion, learning these basic Japanese phrases can greatly enhance your travel experience in Japan. From greeting locals and asking for assistance to ordering food, seeking directions, and handling emergency situations, these phrases will help you navigate through different scenarios with ease. Remember to practice and use them during your trip to create a more enjoyable and immersive experience. Safe travels!

The Top 10 Must-Know Phrases For Your Japan Trip

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