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How Much Japanese Do I Need To Know While Traveling In Japan?

IMG_0019 Question: “We’ll be traveling to Tokyo in 3 weeks. I’m excited but nervous at the same time. My only concern is the language barrier. How much Japanese /English languages must we use?

Konnichiwa (Hi!)

I personally think that you don’t need as much Japanese if you’re just visiting for a week or two. Tokyo has fast becoming a tourist-friendly city with English, Korean and Chinese translations at every signs and station names. But if you still want to use a little Japanese while conversing on a daily basis, here are some of conversational Japanese terms you might need:

1. Arigatou Gozaimasu – Thank you very much (I guess, we all know this!)

2. Gochisousamadeshita – Thank you for the food (for the chef, staff that served you well)

3. Ikura gurai desu ka? – How much is it/ this?

4. Betsu betsu de – Please split our bills (This is very helpful especially when you’re traveling as a group)

 5. Sumimasen – Excuse me / Sorry to bother you / I’m sorry

6. Oneigaishimasu – _____ Please (Example, water please = ohiya onigaishimasu)

7. Shashin totte ii desu ka? – Can you take our photo?

8. Eki wa doko desu ka? – Where’s the station? (Hehehe.. just in case you get lost!)

For further Japanese lessons, I’m currently studying via cafetalk.com. I’ve tried getting a 50 minute Japanese free talk once and I really liked it because it’s convenient. I don’t have to go anywhere, I was just at home and with the help of Skype, I was able to practice my Japanese. If you want to enhance your Japanese before visiting Tokyo, just sign-up to their website.

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For example with my tutor (her name is Ai), these are the lessons that she’s offering. Just click “Check Schedule” of your chosen lesson and reserve the hour most convenient for you. The details will be confirmed via e-mail. You should be able to add your tutor on Skype at least 5 minutes before your lesson. If you have any more questions, just hit us on this post. Hope this helps!

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