30+ Basic Japanese Phrases For Tourists


Traveling to Japan and want to learn some basic Japanese phrases?
This guide will help you get started with essential phrases that can enhance your travel experience.
Learning Japanese may seem daunting due to its unique writing system and complex grammar.
However, for travel purposes, fluency is not required.
Even minimal knowledge of the language can significantly improve your interactions and show respect towards the culture.

Essential Japanese Phrases for Tourists

Hello Konnichiwa (こんにちは)
Good morning Ohayō (おはよう) or ohayō gozaimas (おはようございます)
Good evening Konbanwa (こんばんは)
Goodbye Sayōnara (さようなら)
See you later Matane (またね)
Thank you Arigatō gozaimas (ありがとうございます)
Excuse me / Sorry Sumimasen (すみません)
I don't understand Wakarimasen (わかりません)
Do you speak English? Eigo ga hanasemas ka? (えいごがはなせますか?)

To ensure accuracy, these phrases have been verified by a professional Japanese translator.

Learn Interactive Japanese with NativeCamp

For those looking to enhance their Japanese conversational skills, NativeCamp offers a flexible and practical solution.
It's a platform where you can engage in unlimited Japanese conversation lessons through a smartphone app or PC, available 24/7, all year round.
This service caters to a variety of needs, from absolute beginners to those requiring business Japanese, making it an excellent choice for travelers who want to practice their language skills in real-life scenarios.

Japanese Writing System Explained

Japanese utilizes three main scripts—Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji.
Hiragana features rounded characters and is often used for grammatical elements.
Katakana, with its sharp and angular lines, is used for foreign loanwords.
Kanji, derived from Chinese characters, is used for nouns, verb stems, and adjective stems.
For beginners, starting with Hiragana is advisable.

Want to Learn More Japanese?

There are numerous resources available for learning Japanese.
Textbooks used in academic settings often provide a comprehensive learning method covering reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
Online apps like Duolingo and Memrise also offer introductory material that is helpful for beginners.

Travel Tips and Japanese Phrases for Tourists

Keep a handy list of phrases or a Japanese phrasebook during your travels.
Knowing phrases for common situations like asking for directions, ordering food, and shopping can make your trip much smoother.
Remember, even a simple "Konnichiwa" can go a long way in showing your appreciation for Japanese culture.

For more detailed insights and travel tips, consider subscribing to our newsletter for a free downloadable Japan Travel Guide, which includes everything you need to know before visiting Japan.