25 Useful Phrases in Japanese for Tourists

Planning a trip to Japan? Whether you’re exploring the bustling streets of Tokyo, admiring the serene beauty of Kyoto, or immersing yourself in the vibrant culture of Osaka, knowing some basic Japanese phrases can greatly enhance your travel experience. While many Japanese people speak English, showing effort by using a few key phrases in their language can go a long way in making connections and navigating daily interactions. Here are 25 essential Japanese phrases every tourist should know:

Basic Greetings:

  1. Konnichiwa (こんにちは) – Hello (used during the daytime).
  2. Konbanwa (こんばんは) – Good evening.
  3. Ohayou gozaimasu (おはようございます) – Good morning.
  4. Arigatou (ありがとう) – Thank you.
  5. Sumimasen (すみません) – Excuse me/sorry.
  6. Sayonara (さよなら) – Goodbye (used when leaving).

Asking for Help:

  1. Eigo ga hanasemasu ka? (英語が話せますか?) – Do you speak English?
  2. Tetsudatte kudasai (手伝ってください) – Please help me.
  3. Doko desu ka? (どこですか?) – Where is it?
  4. Toire wa doko desu ka? (トイレはどこですか?) – Where is the bathroom?

Ordering Food:

  1. Menyuu o misete kudasai (メニューを見せてください) – Please show me the menu.
  2. Kore o kudasai (これをください) – I’ll have this, please.
  3. Oishii desu (おいしいです) – It’s delicious.
  4. Gochisousama deshita (ごちそうさまでした) – Thank you for the meal (after eating).


  1. Ikura desu ka? (いくらですか?) – How much is it?
  2. Kore o kaitai desu (これを買いたいです) – I would like to buy this.
  3. Kreditto kaado o uketotte kudasai (クレジットカードを受け取ってください) – Please take my credit card.
  4. Arigatou gozaimasu (ありがとうございます) – Thank you very much.


  1. Doko made ikimasu ka? (どこまで行きますか?) – Where are you going?
  2. Ekiben o kudasai (駅弁をください) – Please give me an ekiben (train station bento).
  3. Densha wa nanji desu ka? (電車は何時ですか?) – What time is the train?
  4. Norikae onegaishimasu (乗り換えお願いします) – Please change trains.


  1. Kyuukyuu desu (救急です) – Emergency!
  2. Dochira e ikeba ii desu ka? (どちらへ行けばいいですか?) – Where should I go?
  3. Denwa o kakete kudasai (電話をかけてください) – Please call for help.

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Learning a few cultural phrases can also be helpful and endearing:

  • Otsukaresama desu (お疲れ様です) – Thank you for your hard work.
  • Ganbatte kudasai (がんばってください) – Please do your best.
  • Kampai (乾杯) – Cheers!

Remember, while attempting to speak Japanese, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Japanese people are generally appreciative of foreigners who try to speak their language, even if it’s not perfect. So, arm yourself with these essential phrases, dive into the rich tapestry of Japanese culture, and make unforgettable memories on your trip to the Land of the Rising Sun!

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