Useful Japanese Phrases to use When Traveling

You’re in Japan now, but don’t know a word of Japanese. Around 130 million people speak Japanese, the ninth most widely spoken language in the world.

Outside Japan itself, there are approximately 5 million people who speak Japanese with some degree of fluency – predominantly descendants of Japanese emigrants in Hawaii, Brazil and other parts of the Americas.


Need not worry😄

Here are some basic phrases that will help you throughout your trip!


Japanese has 3 alphabets, kanji, hiragana and katakana.


Kanji・・・Chinese ideograms imported from the sixth century onwards

  (ai:love )


Hiragana and Katakana・・・both 45 character alphabets. katakana is used mainly for foreign loanwords

しょうゆ (shouyu:Soy sauce)

スポーツ (supo-tsu:Sports)



You’re on your way to Japan. The thing is, you don’t know a word of Japanese. U—m…What should you do?

If you don’t want to completely learn to speak Japanese, here are useful Japanese phrases for the traveler or visitor.


You should read the following  Japanese phrases and survive! 😊 All of the phrases are in polite language, called teineigo (丁寧語) in Japanese. The title of each number comes in Japanese, then in English.



Starting with basic phrases ♡



☆ Ohayou Gozaimasu (おはようございます)  

◉ Good Morning ☆

There are two ways of saying good morning in Japanese: the formal and informal way. The formal way is Ohayou Gozaimasu. If you’re greeting strangers, it’s safer to go with the formal way of saying it. The informal way is Ohayo(u).




☆ Konnichiwa (こんにちは)  

◉ Hello ☆

Konninchiwa is the both formal and informal way to say hello. It can apply to morning, noon and afternoon. It’s a pretty broad way of greeting, so mastering this would be useful ♡




☆ Konbanwa (こんばんは)  

◉ Good Evening ☆

Same as konninchiwa, konbanwa consists of both the formal and informal ways to say good evening. This phrase applies to when the sun goes down, and night time ☆




☆ Oyasuminasai (おやすみなさい)  

◉ Good Night ☆ 

Oyasuminasai is a formal way of saying good night. The informal way would be oyasumi.

You know, you are overusing the Japanese you just learned. Is it boring? doesn’t matter! In the next level, you will learn the word of thank you, arigatou.




☆ Arigatou Gozaimasu (ありがとうございます)

◉ Thank You ☆


Arigatou Gozaimasu is a formal way of saying thank you. The informal way would be Arigato(u). Most people would bow while saying this phrase, showing their gratitude.


☆ Watashi no Namae wa ~ desu. (わたしのなまえは~です。)

◉ My name is ~.

Watashi  means I, no and wa are conjunctions, namae means name, and desu  is the standard ending a sentence. In Japanese, the last name comes first, then the first name, which is opposite from English.


Next, on asking directions, or using a taxi!




☆ ~ ni Ikitai Desu. (~にいきたいです。) 

◉ I want to go to ~.

Ikitai (行きたい) means wanting to go. This phrase is most likely used in a taxi, or when you’re on a vehicle and you want to tell the driver where you want to go.


cf. I want to go to the station.

(Watashi wa ) Eki ni ikitai desu.


cf. I want to go to Shibuya.

(Watashi wa ) Shibuya ni ikitai desu.




☆ ~ wa Doko Desuka? (~はどこですか?)

◉ Where is ~?


Doko means where. Desuka is the standard sentence ending to a question. Dokodesuka is a formal way of asking directions. Doko is an informal way of doing so. This phrase can be used for asking directions.


cf. Where is Tokyo tower?

Tokyo tower wa doko desuka?




☆ ~wo kudasai  (〜をください)

◉ Please give me ~. 


cf. Please give me chocolate.

chocolate wo kudasai.


Wo is a conjunction. Kudasai is a polite way of asking please. By asking this phrase, you can look at the product up close. It can also mean you want to purchase the product.


cf. I’ll take it.

it = sore

Sore wo kudasai.




☆ Ikura Desuka? (いくらですか?)

◉ How much is it?

Ikura means how much. Ikura Desuka is a phrase that can be used even if you don’t know what the name of the product in Japanese. If you know the product name in Japanese, the phrase would go like this: (Product name) wa Ikura Desuka?


cf. How much is this?

This = kore

kore wa ikura desuka?




☆ Daijyoubu Desu. (だいじょうぶです。)

 ◉ I’m fine ☆
Daijyoubu  means it’s okay, or you’re fine. Daijyoubu Desu is a polite way of saying no, or declining an offer. You can say this when your waiter is pouring water, or offering more food, or so on.






How was today’s lesson? too easy, isn’t it?



If you really want to learn to speak Japanese, you’re going to have to deal with a few issues that we don’t have in English.


  • Japanese has a subject-object-verb word order and uses particles—such as wa (topic particle), no (genitive or possessive particle), o(accusative or direct object particle) ga (nominative particle)—to indicate the role and relationship of nouns in the sentence.


  • While Japanese verbs are conjugated (change form) to indicate tense and negation, they are not conjugated to agree with the subject as in many other languages.


  • Japanese nouns are not pluralised or marked for gender, but Japanese does use “counters,” particles that are introduced between the number and the noun, that vary according to the nature of the object being counted. For instance, Japanese will use a different counter for people, animals, thin flat objects, long cylindrical objects, and so on.



Anyway, just enjoy your trip ♡♡♡


and then, learn a little bit more…