Looking to learn some Japanese travel phrases?
Well, if you’re traveling to Japan, then you’ll likely need some of these phrases about toilets, money, English and much more.
By the way, if you want to hear REAL Japanese, check out this audio lesson by JapanesePod101. Press play below. Why? It’s one thing to read about Japanese and another to hear native speakers — you learn faster!
- “Survival Phrases S2 #1 – Thank You!”
- Lesson by by JapanesePod101.com (click here for more fun audio lessons)
So, here are the most useful Japanese travel phrases.
1. Konnichiwa こんにちは Hello/Good Day
You’re probably somewhat aware of this word “Konnichiwa.” A very common Japanese greeting. You can use it to greet people during the day. This means, you wouldn’t use it during the morning or evening.
2. Ohayou Gozaimasu おはようございます Good Morning
This is a good Japanese greeting to know. So, if you’re entering a hotel, a shop or some other place in the morning, you can say this first. Use this before 11AM.
Now, what about evening?
3. Konbanwa こんばんは Good evening
Feel free to use this Japanese greeting after 6PM or so.
4. Hai はい Yes, いいえ iie No
These are just basic words you and every one should know.
5. Arigatou Gozaimasu. ありがとうございます Thank you very much
You’ll likely want to say thank you to shop staff, airline staff or a water at a restaurant.
So, just say “Arigatou Gozaimasu.” This is pronounced “a-ree-ga-to go-zay-mas”.
You can also check out this JapanesePod101 (they’re a Japanese learning program) audio lesson here to hear the pronunciation.
- “Survival Phrases S2 #1 – Thank You!”
- Lesson by by JapanesePod101.com (click here for more fun lessons at JapanesePod101.com)
There are several ways to say thank you depending on the politeness level. Obviously, the longer, the more polite. Use “Arigatou gozaimasu” to be on the safe side.
- Doumo – どうも
- Thanks (super casual – only with friends)
- Arigatou – ありがとう
- Thank you (casual, okay to use with most people)
- Arigatou gozaimasu – ありがとうございます
- Thank you very much (polite, standard, most common way to say it – the SAFEST phrase to use)
- Arigatou gozaimashita – ありがとうございました
- Thank you very much (MORE polite, because it’s in past tense).
So, these were some really basic phrases.
Now, we’re going to go from 0 to 100 and cover more complex ones.
6. Toire wa doko desu ka? トイレはどこですか? ) Where is the bathroom?
This is probably one of the most useful Japanese travel phrases.
You’ll always need the toilet, right? That’s why it’s good to know
Since Japan uses very different characters from English, it’s possible that you may not recognize the sign for the bathroom. Also, keep a look out for the high-tech toilets when visiting Japan!
- Toire – toilet
- Pronounced: Toy-re
- Doko – where
7. Ikura desu ka? いくらですか? – How much is it?
If you’re out shopping or on the street buying food, this is the perfect phrase to use. Keep in mind that Japan is a country that doesn’t haggle so there is usually a set price. If you’re lucky, some local shops might give you some extra products or food for free.
- Ikura – How much?
- Pronounced: ee-koo-ra
8. Betsu betsu de onegai shimasu. 別々でお願いします。) – We would like to pay separately.
When travelling as a group, it’s nice to be able to split the cost when you’re about to pay for your meal at a restaurant.This is a great phrase to use before they bring the bill.
- Betsu betsu – separately
9. Sumimasen! すみません！ – Excuse me! (or thank you!)
This phrase can be used for multiple purposes. It’s possible to use it to say “excuse me”, if someone is in your way or to ask a stranger a question. It also works as a “thank you”. In some cases, it’s more common to say “Sumimasen!” than to say “Arigato!”. “Sumimasen!” acknowledges someone going out of their way for you.
- sumimasen – excuse me
- pronounced (soo-mee-ma-sen)
10. _____wa doko desu ka? _____はどこですか？ – Where is _____?
If you’re on the street trying to find a place or you get lost, simply ask this question. You can put any location in the blank part of the phrase. It could be a restaurant, landmark, or a train station.
- Doko – where
11. _____wo kudasai. _____をください。 – I would like to have _____.
Use this phrase when asking for something. In the blank, you can add things like what you want on the menu, train tickets, or anything you might be looking to buy. Keep in mind that this phrase only works when asking for items or food, and it doesn’t work with verbs.
- Kudasai – please
- Pronunciation: Koo-da-sai
12. Osusume wa nan desu ka? オススメはなんですか? What do you recommend?
This is useful for anyone who likes to explore food culture. If you’re confused with what to order on the menu, you can use this phrase to ask the waiter’s recommendation. It’s also useful, if you just need some advice on what is recommended. For example, if there are two trains you can take to get somewhere and you need to decide.
- Osusume – recommendation
- Pronunciation: oh-soo-soo-me
13. Shashin totte moratte mo ii desu ka? 写真とってもらっても良いですか？ Could you take a picture for me (or us)?
This probably the second most useful Japanese travel phrases
If you’re at a beautiful landmark, you might want a picture as a keepsake. Use this phrase to ask a stranger to take a picture for you. Taking pictures is a big part of Japanese culture so someone will definitely help you out.
- shashin – picture
14. Yoyaku ga arimasu. 予約があります。I have a reservation.
This phrase can be used if you’ve made a reservation for a restaurant or any other kind of service. They’ll usually need to check your confirmation number or name to verify your reservation.
- Yoyaku – reservation
15. Chizu o kudasai. 地図をください。 Could I have a map?
The train and metro lines in the big cities of Japan can be crazy. Use this phrase if you want to have a train or metro map. It’s also useful if you’re in need of a map at a landmark, museum, or other location.
- Chizu – map
16. Takushii noriba wa dokodesuka? タクシー乗り場はどこですか？ Where can I grab a taxi?
There are often designated locations that taxi’s can be picked up in Japan. They’re usually in front of airports, train stations and in busy city centers. If you see taxis parked one after another and try to approach one of them, they’ll refuse you because you’ve come across a taxi line, and somewhere at the front is a taxi stand. So, you’ll have to find it. Or you can ask someone using this phrase. That being said, you can always wave down a cab.
- Takushii – taxi
- Noriba – Taxi stand
17. Okaikei onegaishimasu お会計お願いします。 Could I have the bill?
This phrase is useful if you’re at a restaurant and want to get the bill. In Japan, depending on the restaurant, they have many small dishes that they will need to calculate for you.
- Kaikei – bill/check
18. Eigo shaberemasuka? 英語喋れますか？ Can you speak English?
Even if you’re trying to practice your Japanese, it might be necessary to speak in English if you get confused. Ask this phrase to see if the other person can speak with you in English. These days, it’s common that many shops or train stations will have English speaking representatives.
- Eigo – English
19. Shichaku shite mo ii desu ka? 試着しても良いですか？ Can I try this on?
This is a useful phrase for clothes shopping. Clothing shop assistants are usually very attentive in Japan. It’s important to keep in mind that it can be considered rude if you end up not buying anything after trying on lots of clothes.
- Shichaku – try on
20. Wai fai wa arimasu ka? ワイファイはありますか？Do you have Wifi?
Internet connection is important to navigate an unknown city or to stay connected with friends and family. Ask this phrase to check if a place has any Wi-Fi connection. Convenience stores and train stations will usually have free Wifi!
- Wai Fai – WiFi
21. Kaado uketsuke masuka? カード受け付けますか？ Can I use card payment?
It’s important to check if a restaurant accepts credit cards in Japan. In some restaurants, it is possible that it would be cash only.
- Kaado – (credit) card
22. _____no arerugii ga arimasu. ______のアレルギーがあります。I have an allergy to ______.
If you have any allergies it’s essential to learn this phrase. It’s also recommended to learn the names of the specific allergens in Japanese. These days, many restaurants in Japan are very sensitive to food allergies. They will have a chart with all of the menu items and the common food allergens in each dish.
- Arerugii – allergy
23. Menyuu, onegai shimasu. メニュー、お願いします。Menu Please.
Here’s one of the more easier Japanese travel phrases.
Menu in Japanese is… “menyuu.” Yes, it sounds pretty much the same. So if you’re at a restaurant and need a menu, you won’t go wrong.
- Menyuu – menu
24. Kore wo kudasai. これをください。 This please.
This another one of the most useful Japanese travel phrases.
It’s likely you’ll go shopping and want something out of reach. So, you can point to the object and say “kore wo kudasai” and the shop staff will help you out. You can also use this phrase while pointing at a menu – in case you can’t read it and are going by pictures.
- Kore – this
- Kudasai – please
25. Mizu, onegai shimasu. 水、お願いします。Water, please.
What if you’re at a restaurant and need water?
Or, what if you’re feeling dehydrated? Remember the word “mee-zoo” meaning water. You can tell this to a waiter, a bartender, or whoever can provide you with water.
- Mizu – Water
Now you know a whole bunch of Japanese travel words and phrases.
Also, if you want to learn some beautiful Japanese words, then check my other post here.
Do you know any other Japanese travel phrases?
Leave a comment below.
The Main Lingua Junkie