It doesn’t take a lot of Japanese to be able to survive in the country. Although the more you know the better off you’ll be, here are a few key phrases to learn before visiting Japan.
- Please/Thank you
As in English, knowing please(onegaishimasu) and thank you(arigatou gozaimasu) will get you quite far. It’s far more nuanced in Japanese but the effort will certainly be appreciated.
2. Where is the ____ ?
Getting around in Japan is fairly easy as most places are walkable and trains connect most different districts. With so many different businesses and stores though, it can often be difficult to find where you’re going. By using the simple phrase ‘(place) wa doko desu ka?’ you can easily ask someone to help you find where you’re going.
There are several different greetings for different times of day in Japan. ‘Ohayou gozaimasu’ is used in the morning, ‘konnichiwa’ is used for midday, and ‘konbanwa’ is used for the evening. Knowing simple greetings is an easy way to open conversations with others and make new friends.
Alexis Mullins is a student at the Bowling Green State University and was an ISA Featured Blogger. She studied abroad with ISA in Tokyo, Japan.