38 Simple Phrases You Need to Know Before Visiting Japan

It’s always important to learn some basic phrases before traveling to a different country. Most people will happily help you, especially if you make an effort in trying to speak in their language. You don’t have to be fluent (and you can always carry a pocket guide), but here are some basic Japanese phrases tourists should know.

 

38Ohayou gozaimasu. – Good morning.

37Konbanwa. – Good evening.

36Oyasuminasai. – Good night.

35Nihongo ga wakarimasen. – I don’t speak Japanese.

34Eigo o hanashimasu ka? – Do you speak English?

33Yukkuri hanashite kudasai. – Speak slowly, please.

32Onegai shimasu. – Please.

31Hai. – Yes.

30Iie. – No.

29Konnichiwa. – Hello.

28Dozo. – After you.

27Watashi wa __ desu. – My name is __

26Sumimasen. – Excuse me.

25Wakarimasen. – I don’t understand.

24Moo ichido onegai shimasu. – Repeat, please.

23Onamae wa nandesu ka? – What is your name?

22Chikatetsu wa doko desu ka? – Where is the subway?

21Kore wa ikura desu ka? – How much does this cost?

20Tetsudatte itadakemasu ka? – Can you help me?

19Ofuro wa doko desu ka? – Where is the bathroom?

18Aiteiru heya wa arimasu ka? – Do you have any vacancies?

17Shashin o totte itadakemasu ka? – Can you take a photo of me?

16Arigato gozaimasu. – Thank you.

15Domo arigato gozaimasu. – Thank you very much.

14Gochisousama deshita. – Thank you for the meal.

13Suki desu. – I like this / it / you.

12Daijyoubu desu. – I’m fine now.

11Omoshiroi desu. – This is fun.

10Mou ikkai onegaishimasu – One more time, please.

9Guai ga warui desu – I don’t feel well.

8Osusume wa nan desu ka? – What do you recommend?

7Eigo no menyu wa arimasu ka? – Is there an English menu?

6Kuukou kudasai – Take me to the airport, please.

5Okanjo onegai shimasu. – The bill, please.

4Keisatsu wo yonde kudasai! – Call the police!

3Kyuukyuusha wo yonde kudasai! Call an ambulance!

2Taishikan ni renraku shitai desu. – I want to contact the embassy.

1____ o kudasai. – I would like _____, please.

 

What basic Japanese phrases do you think people should learn?

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I grew up traveling around the world with my parents who practice and teach medicine. We spent 6 years in South Asia, including Japan, and my anime obsession began there. Sports, horror, and Seinen are my favorite genres. Favorite quote: "Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does." by William James
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