73+ Essential Japanese Travel Phrases for Tourists Visiting Japan & Free cheat sheet

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Going to Japan?
Searching for essential Japanese travel phrases for tourists?

Look no further!

When in Japan, being familiar with common Japanese phrases for tourists will be beyond helpful! Trust me! I have been to Japan and knowing basic Japanese phrases helped me to enjoy exploring the vibrant streets of Tokyo, serene temples of Kyoto, or the natural beauty of Mount Fuji during sakura.

Before you travel to the land of the rising Sun, learn Japanese travel phrases which will help to order ramen, and to deepen your understanding of Japanese culture and their way of life. Curious, what are some common phrases I need to learn before my trip to Japan?

๐Ÿฅ˜ If you have been wondering “What is Anja’s favorite Japanese food?”, you will find the answer hidden in the blog.

anja on Adventure

Japan is one of the most sought-after and visited countries in Asia, known for its fascinating blend of tradition and modernity, breathtaking landscapes, and renowned cuisine. Especially popular in Spring at sakura or in Autumn for fall foliage.  

There are people in Japan, who speak English. But it is not as common as you would think. Thus, japanese phrases to know when traveling will come in handy. By knowing basic Japanese words you will also be able to show respect to the locals.

In this common travel phrases Japanese language guide, you are going to find useful phrases in Japanese for tourists. From typical Japanese phrases for greetings, Japanese hotel phrases and Japanese words for simple conversation. Inside the post you will also find a FREE Japanese travel phrases pdf, that you can download and bring with you to Japan.
Let’s begin your Japanese adventure by learning essential Japanese phrases for travel.

1. Where is Japanese spoken?

Did you know that more than 125 million people speak Japanese?

Japanese is primarily spoken in Japan. It is the official language of Japan and is spoken by the majority of the population there.

Due to globalization and the popularity of Japanese culture, Japanese is studied and spoken by learners in many countries worldwide. There are Japanese-speaking communities in countries around the world, particularly in the United States, Brazil, Canada, Australia, and the Philippines.

The best way to learn Japanese for travel is by using apps like Duolingo or Memrise. If your Japan itinerary is longer than 2 weeks, maybe sign up for a language course. To master the basic Japanese phrases for conversation the best way would be going on a language exchange but if you donโ€™t have time, just download Japanese cheat sheet in this blog post.

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2. Japanese language basics: alphabet and pronunciation

Before you start learning common Japanese phrases for tourists, you have to familiarize yourself with the basics of the Japanese language. The Japanese writing system consists of three alphabets: Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji.

Hiragana and Katakana are native to Japan. They both use 46 characters, each representing one syllable and a specific phonetic sound. Hiragana is used for native Japanese words and Katakana for words borrowed from foreign languages.

Kanji is a writing system borrowed from China, where each ideogram stands for a certain meaning and can have multiple pronunciations. 

Don’t get scared, let me tell you that Japanese alphabet has fewer letters than English alphabet, 21 in total. It uses the same sounds that you use in the English language. Each character represents a specific sound, and once you grasp the sounds, you will be able to read and pronounce Japanese with ease.  

Below you will find a guide for Hiragana and Katakana symbols and a similar sound in English language.

ใ—ใ‚ทshiใก ใƒchi
ใ‚€ใƒ muใ‚†ใƒฆyu

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3. Essential Japanese travel phrases

3.1. Basic Japanese phrases for travelers

Basic Japanese phrases for conversation that showcase politeness and cultural respect, encouraging positive interactions with locals and are a base for every communication. Those are basic phrases to know when visiting Japan.

onegai shimasu
Thank youใ‚ใ‚ŠใŒใจใ†ใ”ใ–ใ„ใพใ™
arigatou gozaimasu
Excuse meใ™ใฟใพใ›ใ‚“
gomen nasai
Yes / Noใฏใ„ / ใ„ใ„ใˆ
hai / iie
I donโ€™t understandใ‚ใ‹ใ‚Šใพใ›ใ‚“
Do you speak [language]?… ใ‚’ใฏใชใ›ใพใ™ใ‹?
โ€ฆ o hanasemasu ka?
What is the WiFi password?WiFi ใฎใƒ‘ใ‚นใƒฏใƒผใƒ‰ใฏใชใ‚“ใงใ™?
Waifai no passwardu wa nan desu ka?
Could you take my picture?ใ‚ใŸใ—ใฎใ—ใ‚ƒใ—ใ‚“ใ‚’ใจใฃใฆใใ‚Œใพใ›ใ‚“ใ‹?
Watashi no shashin o totte kuremasen ka?
Where is the bathroom/toilet?ใŠใฆใ‚ใ‚‰ใ„ / ใƒˆใ‚คใƒฌใฏใฉใ“ใงใ™ใ‹?
Otearai / toire wa doko desu ka?

3.2. Essential Japanese phrases for greetings and introductions

Japanese words and phrases for greetings lay the foundation for any interaction, allowing you to initiate conversations and make a positive first impression. They are easy Japanese words to learn.

Good morningใŠใฏใ‚ˆใ†ใ”ใ–ใ„ใพใ™
ohayou gozaimasu
Good day่‰ฏใ„ไธ€ๆ—ฅ
yoi tsuitachi
Good eveningใ“ใ‚“ใฐใ‚“ใฏ
Good nightใŠใ‚„ใ™ใฟใชใ•ใ„
oyasumi nasai
Nice to meet youใฏใ˜ใ‚ใพใ—ใฆ
How are you?ใŠใ’ใ‚“ใใงใ™ใ‹?
Ogenki desu ka?
My name is โ€ฆใ‚ใŸใ—ใฎใชใพใˆใฏ โ€ฆ
Watashi no namae wa …
How do you say […] in [language]?[language] ใง […] ใฏใชใ‚“ใฆใ„ใ„ใพใ™?
[language] de … wa nante iimasuka?
Speak slowly, please.ใ‚†ใฃใใ‚Šใฏใชใ—ใฆใใ ใ•ใ„
yukkuri hanashite kudasai

3.3. Essential Japanese travel phrases for directions and getting around

Japanese travel phrases when asking for directions will enable you to navigate unfamiliar streets and find your way around.

Where is โ€ฆ… ใฏใฉใ“ใงใ™ใ‹?
… wa doko desu ka?
What time is โ€ฆ…ใฏใชใ‚“ใ˜ใงใ™ใ‹?
… wa nan desu ka?
How do I get to โ€ฆ… ใซใฏใฉใ†ใ„ใใพใ™ใ‹?
… niwa dou ikimasuka?
How far away is โ€ฆ… ใฏใฉใ‚Œใใ‚‰ใ„ใจใŠใ„ใงใ™ใ‹?
… wa dore kurai tooi desu ka?
Do you have a map?ใกใšใฏใ‚ใ‚Šใพใ™ใ‹?
Chizu wa arimasuka?
When does the next โ€ฆ arrive?ใคใŽใฎ … ใฏใ„ใคใจใ†ใกใ‚ƒใใ—ใพใ™ใ‹?
tsugi no … wa itsu touchakurimasu ka?
How long does it take to get toโ€ฆ.?… ใพใงใฏใฉใ‚Œใใ‚‰ใ„ใ‹ใ‹ใ‚Šใพใ™ใ‹?
… made wa dore kurai kakarimasu ka?
here / thereใ“ใ“ / ใใ“
koko / soko
North / South / East / WestใใŸ / ใฟใชใฟ / ใฒใŒใ— / ใซใ—
kita / minami / higashi / nishi
left / right / straight / back / up / downใฒใ ใ‚Š / ใฟใŽ / ใพใฃใ™ใ / ใ†ใ—ใ‚ / ใ†ใˆ / ใ—ใŸ
hidari / migi / massugu / usir / ue / shita
car / bus / train / taxi / metro / planeใใ‚‹ใพ / ใƒใ‚น / ใงใ‚“ใ—ใ‚ƒ / ใ‚ฟใ‚ฏใ‚ทใƒผ / ใกใ‹ใฆใค / ใฒใ“ใ†ใ
kuruma/ basu / densha / takushi / chikatetsu / hikouki
bathroom / restaurant / hotel / bank / pharmacy / hospitalใŠใฆใ‚ใ‚‰ใ„ / ใƒฌใ‚นใƒˆใƒฉใƒณ / ใƒ›ใƒ†ใƒซ / ใŽใ‚“ใ“ใ† / ใ‚„ใฃใใ‚‡ใ / ใณใ‚‡ใ†ใ„ใ‚“
otearai / resutoran / hoteru / ginkou / yakkyoku / byoin

3.4. Useful Japanese phrases for tourists when ordering food and drinks

Japanese language phrases for ordering meals, asking for recommendations, and specifying dietary preferences ensure enjoyable dining experiences and help you explore local cuisines.

Is this โ€ฆใ“ใ‚Œใฏ … ใงใ™ใ‹?
Kore wa … desu ka?
Iโ€™m allergic to โ€ฆ็งใฏ … ใ‚ขใƒฌใƒซใ‚ฎใƒผใงใ™
watashi wa … arerugii desu
The bill, please.ใŠใ‹ใ„ใ‘ใ„ใ‚’ใŠใญใŒใ„ใ—ใพใ™
okaikei o onegai shimasu
I would like to have โ€ฆ… ใ‚’ใŠใญใŒใ„ใ—ใพใ™
… o onegai shimasu
May I see the menu?ใƒกใƒ‹ใƒฅใƒผใ‚’ใฟใฆใ‚‚ใ„ใ„ใงใ™ใ‹?
Menyu o mi te mo ii desu ka?
What do you recommend?ใŠใ™ใ™ใ‚ใฏใ‚ใ‚Šใพใ™ใ‹?
Osusume wa arimasuka?
vegetarian / vegan / gluten freeใƒ™ใ‚ธใ‚ฟใƒชใ‚ขใƒณ / ใƒ“ใƒผใ‚ฌใƒณ / ใ‚ฐใƒซใƒ†ใƒณใƒ•ใƒชใƒผ
vegitarian / viigan / guluten frii
sweet / bitter / sour / salty / spicyใ‚ใพใ„ / ใซใŒใ„ / ใ™ใฃใฑใ„ / ใ—ใ‚‡ใฃใฑใ„ / ใ‹ใ‚‰ใ„
amai / nigai / suppai / shoppai / karai
coffee / tea / water / juice / wine / beerใ‚ณใƒผใƒ’ใƒผ / ใŠใกใ‚ƒ / ใฟใš / ใ‚ธใƒฅใƒผใ‚น / ใƒฏใ‚คใƒณ / ใƒ“ใƒผใƒซ
ko-hi- / ocha / mizu / ju-su / wain / biiru
milk / eggs / fish / peanuts / shellfish / wheat / soybeansใŽใ‚…ใ†ใซใ‚…ใ† / ใŸใพใ” / ใ•ใ‹ใช / ใƒ”ใƒผใƒŠใƒƒใƒ„ / ใ“ใ†ใ‹ใใ‚‹ใ„ / ใ‚€ใŽ / ใ ใ„ใš
gyuunyuu / tamago / sakana / piinattsu / kokakurui / mugi / daizu

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3.5. Essential phrases in Japanese for shopping

Japanese basics terms for inquiring about prices, negotiating, and Japan tourist phrases for asking for sizes or colors are handy when exploring markets and boutiques.

How much?ใ„ใใ‚‰?
May I try this on?ใ“ใ‚Œใ‚’ใ—ใกใ‚ƒใใ—ใฆใ‚‚ใ„ใ„ใงใ™ใ‹?
Kore o shichakushite mo ii desu ka?
Do you have this in โ€ฆ… ใ‚ตใ‚คใ‚บใฏใ‚ใ‚Šใพใ™ใ‹?
… size wa arimasuka?
Excuse me, I’m looking for โ€ฆ ใ™ใฟใพใ›ใ‚“ … ใ‚’ใ•ใŒใ—ใฆใ„ใพใ™
sumimasen, … o sagashite imasu
Is this on sale?ใ“ใ‚Œใฏ่ฒฉๅฃฒใ•ใ‚Œใฆใ„ใพใ™ใ‹?
Kore wa hanbai sa rete imasu ka?
When do you close? ใ„ใค้–‰ใพใ‚Šใพใ™ใ‹?
Itsu shimarimasu ka
Do you accept credit cards?ใ‚ฏใƒฌใ‚ธใƒƒใƒˆใ‚ซใƒผใƒ‰ใฏใคใ‹ใˆใพใ™ใ‹?
Kurejitto kaado wa tsukaemasu ka?
bigger / smallerใŠใŠใใ„ / ใกใ„ใ•ใ„
ookii / chiisai
1 one / 2 two / 3 three / 4 four / 5 five / 6 six / 7 seven / 8 eight / 9 nine / 10 ten1 ใ„ใก / 2 ใซ / 3 ใ•ใ‚“ / 4 ใ‚ˆใ‚“ / 5 ใ” / 6 ใ‚ใ / 7 ใชใช / 8 ใฏใก / 9 ใใ‚…ใ† / 10 ใ˜ใ‚…ใ†
1 ichi / 2 ni / 3 san / 4 yon / 5 go / 6 roku / 7 nana / 8 hachi / 9 kyuu / 10 juu
50 fifty / 100 hundred / 1000 thousand50 ใ”ใ˜ใ‚…ใ† / 100 ใฒใ‚ƒใ / 1000 ใ›ใ‚“
50 gojuu / 100 hyaaku / 1000 sen
white / yellow / orange/ red / blue / green / pink / purple / grey / brown / blackใ—ใ‚ / ใใ„ใ‚ / ใ‚ชใƒฌใƒณใ‚ธ / ใ‚ใ‹ / ใ‚ใŠ / ใฟใฉใ‚Šใฎ / ใƒ”ใƒณใ‚ฏ / ใ‚€ใ‚‰ใ•ใ / ใ‚ฐใƒฌใƒผ / ใกใ‚ƒใ„ใ‚ / ใใ‚
shiro / kiiro / orenji / aka / ao / midori no / pinku / murasaki / guree / chairo / kuro

๐Ÿฅ˜ “What is Anja’s favorite Japanese food?” It is ramen. I love ramen and could eat it every day.

3.6. Useful Japanese hotel phrases

Japanese language words and hotel phrases you will need when checking in a hotel, asking for towels, fixing air conditioning, enquiring what time is breakfast, and what is included in your room rate.

What time is โ€ฆ… ใฏใชใ‚“ใ˜ใงใ™ใ‹?
… wa nan desu ka?
โ€ฆ is not working.… ใŒใคใ‹ใˆใพใ›ใ‚“
… ga tsukaeemasen
Do you have WiFi?WIFIใฏใ‚ใ‚Šใพใ™ใ‹?
WiFi wa arimasuka?
Can I drink the tap water?ใ™ใ„ใฉใ†ใ™ใ„ใ‚’ใฎใ‚“ใงใ‚‚ใ„ใ„ใงใ™ใ‹?
Suidou sui o nonde mo ii desu ka?
breakfast / lunch / dinnerใ‚ใ•ใ”ใฏใ‚“ / ใŠใฒใ‚‹ใ”ใฏใ‚“ / ใ‚ˆใ‚‹ใ”ใฏใ‚“
asa gohan / hiru gohan / yoru gohan
toilet paper / key / towelใƒˆใ‚คใƒฌใƒƒใƒˆใƒšใƒผใƒ‘ใƒผ / ใ‹ใŽ / ใ‚ฟใ‚ชใƒซ
toiretto pe-pa- / kagi / taoru
air conditioning / fan / heater / hairdryerใ‚จใ‚ขใ‚ณใƒณ / ใ›ใ‚“ใทใ†ใ / ใƒ’ใƒผใ‚ฟใƒผ / ใƒ‰ใƒฉใ‚คใƒคใƒผ
eakon / senpuuki / hiitaa / doraiya-

3.7. Survival Japanese phrases and Japanese travel terms in case of emergencies

Here you will find helpful Japanese travel terms in case of emergencies, natural disasters, or if you will be needing assistance in difficult or dangerous situations.

HelpใŸใ™ใ‘ใฆใใ ใ•ใ„
tasukete kudasai
I am lostใฟใกใซใพใ‚ˆใฃใฆใ„ใพใ™
michi ni mayotteimasu
There is a โ€ฆ… ใŒใ‚ใ‚Šใพใ™
… ga arimasu
Please call the โ€ฆ… ใ‚’ใ‚ˆใ‚“ใงใใ ใ•ใ„
… o yonde kudasai
I lost my passportใƒ‘ใ‚นใƒใƒผใƒˆใ‚’ใชใใ—ใฆใ—ใพใ„ใพใ—ใŸ
pasupooto o nakushite shimaimashita
My money was stolen็งใฎใŠ้‡‘ใŒ็›—ใพใ‚Œใพใ—ใŸ
watashi no okane ga nusuma remashita
fire / flood / earthquakeใ‹ใ•ใ„ / ใ“ใ†ใšใ„ / ใ˜ใ—ใ‚“
kasai / kouzui / jishin
police / firemen / ambulanceใ‘ใ„ใ•ใค / ใ—ใ‚‡ใ†ใผใ†ใ— / ใใ‚…ใ†ใใ‚…ใ†ใ—ใ‚ƒ
keisatsu / shouboushi / kyuukyuusha

3.8. Beyond tourist Japanese phrases

If youโ€™re like me and really love learning a few phrases in new languages, expand your study beyond the essential travel phrases. I always learn how to say please and thank you, never visit a country without knowing the local word for โ€œcoffeeโ€ and never leave without knowing how to say;

Friendใจใ‚‚ใ ใก
You have beautiful eyesใ‚ใŒใ†ใคใใ—ใ„ใงใ™ใญ
me ga utsukushii desu ne
You have a beautiful smileใˆใŒใŠใŒใ†ใคใใ—ใ„ใงใ™ใญ
egao ga utsukushii desu ne

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4. Best language App for traveling abroad

Learning a language is a long process. If you think you wonโ€™t have time to learn basic Japanese phrases, or if the situations come your way when above mentioned Japanese travel phrases wonโ€™t be enough, use Google Translate. This is my favorite language app, that I use on (almost) every trip.

4.1. Google Translate

Google Translate is the most popular language travel app that can be used everywhere. I personally use it on all my travels, when going to Tanzania to learn what some Swahili words mean, when in Mexico to help with my not-the-best Spanish, when in Italy, in Japan and other places.

Iโ€™m sure you are familiar with the language app already. The most obvious feature is it will help you translate the destination language into your own one. But the absolute best feature is that it can translate the text using โ€˜camera translationโ€™.

All you have to do is open the app, point your camera toward the text in a foreign language and Google Translate will do the rest. Perfect for menus! It also translates text from the photos on your camera roll. And it also works offline, when you download the language pair on your phone.

Language: 133 languages
Download: iOS | Android | Website
Price: Free

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5. Final Thoughts on Essential Japanese Travel Phrases for Tourists

Whether it’s a warm greeting, ordering a meal, or expressing gratitude, this travel japanese guide and Japanese for tourists not only open doors to easier communication, but also show respect and will help you to understand Japanese culture in a different way.

Before traveling to Nippon, learn Japanese words for tourists that will help you to navigate through this modern but culturally entwined land, full of history, sushis, shrines, and geishas. How to say Hello in Japanese and how to say thank you in Japanese language. Basic Japanese phrases for directions, ordering food, and checking in a hotel. And don’t forget to download Japanese travel cheat sheet.

Which of these must know Japanese phrases for travel have you managed to memorize so far?
Let me know in the comments!

Safe travels = ๅฎ‰ๅ…จใชๆ—…่กŒ [anzen’na ryokล],

โžค What you should read next

๐Ÿ“Œ Like it? Pin it!

โœˆ Travel like a PRO

Are you ready to travel like a PRO?

Save time and money with these travel tips and resources.
I personally use these companies to save time and money. They do the work by providing a list of options, prices, and reviews from actual guests, for anywhere I am traveling worldwide.

โœˆ๏ธ FLIGHTS: I use Google Flights where the explore feature is perfect to find amazing flight fares. I book directly with an airline or pair it with Iwantthatflight for the best deals.

๐Ÿจ ACCOMMODATION: Booking.com is my favorite site for finding great hotel deals. They return the best rates and reviews are from actual guests!

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๐Ÿ—ฝ TOURS & ACTIVITIES: I like to wander around on my own, but when I want to explore with a group, skip the line with an entrance ticket, I book it with GetYourGuide or Viator.

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๐Ÿ—จ FAQ

Where is Japanese spoken?

Japanese is an official language in Japan.

There are some Japanese-speaking communities in various other countries around the world, like the United States, Brazil, Canada and Australia.

How to say Good Morning in Japanese?

ใŠใฏใ‚ˆใ†ใ”ใ–ใ„ใพใ™ pronounced as “ohayou gozaimasu”

Learn basic Japanese words and quick Japanese phrases easy on Anja On Adventure blog. Here you can also FREE DOWNLOAD Japanese phrases for travelers pdf and coloring pages with Japanese words.

How to say Thank you in Japanese?

Thank you in Japanese is ใ‚ใ‚ŠใŒใจใ†ใ”ใ–ใ„ใพใ™, which is pronounced as โ€œarigatou gozaimasuโ€.

Learn more Japanese language basics and easy Japanese phrases for tourists on Anja On Adventure blog. Here you can also FREE DOWNLOAD basic Japanese travel phrases pdf and coloring pages with Japanese words.

How to say Hello in Japanese?

ใ“ใ‚“ใซใกใฏ pronounced as โ€œkonnichiwaโ€

Learn basic Japanese for tourists and important Japanese phrases for travel on Anja On Adventure blog. Here you can also FREE DOWNLOAD Japanese for travelers pdf and coloring pages with Japanese words.

How to say My name is in Japanese?

ใ‚ใŸใ—ใฎใชใพใˆใฏ โ€ฆ, pronounced as โ€œWatashi no namae wa …โ€.

Learn Japan travel phrases and top Japanese phrases for tourists on Anja On Adventure blog. Here you can also FREE DOWNLOAD basic Japanese words pdf and coloring pages with Japanese words.

How to say How are you in Japanese?

ใŠใ’ใ‚“ใใงใ™ใ‹?, pronounced as โ€œOgenki desu ka?โ€

Learn more Japanese phrases to know and basic Japanese phrases for tourists on Anja On Adventure blog. Here you can also FREE DOWNLOAD japanese phrases cheat sheet pdf and coloring pages with Japanese words.

How do you say Hi in Japanese?

Hi in Japanese language is ใ‚„ใ‚, pronounced as โ€œyaโ€.

Learn learn basic Japanese for travel and Japanese phrases for travelling on Anja On Adventure blog. Here you can also FREE DOWNLOAD japanese cheat sheet tourist pdf and coloring pages with Japanese words.

โฅ About Anja On Adventure

anja on Adventure

Anja On Adventure is a travel blog, a collection of insider tips and information on destinations, that I visited as a solo female traveler, tour guide, teacher, yacht stewardess, and Survivor challenge tester.

Anja, is a thirty-something adventure-seeking, sun chasing, beach hopping, gin-loving, tropics enthusiast with a creative mind and sarcastic spirit, who loves coconut and mango but doesnโ€™t like chocolate and sweets. I am passionate about all things travel, maps, and puzzles. Click here to learn more About me.

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