If you have studied the Japanese language for a while, practicing common phrases like “thank you”, “My name is…”, or even “Can I have this?” is not an issue. For those who don’t know where to start and have less than a week before your departure, we are here to help.
Let’s go over three basic words and use each of them in a sentence. These words are related to your major concerns; food, money, restroom. For clarification, we will also mention synonyms or other nouns that are related to these basic words.
Pronunciation Tip: (show-coo-gee)
Example: “Shokuji wo tabetai desu”.
Translation: “I want to eat a meal”.
*If you are interested in eating a meal, you can imply that you would like to go somewhere to eat with that sentence. Also, using “tabemono” instead of “shokuji” would sound redundant.
Example: “Kono shokuji wa takai desu”—“This meal is expensive”.
The word for admission fee is “nyujo-ryo” (にゅうじょうりょうin hiragana and 入場料(にゅうじょうりょう) in kanji). Usually money, or “okane” (おかね in hiragana) is used for general reference, while “nyujo-ryo” is more specific and convenient for travelers in Japan.
Pronunciation Tip: (knew-joe-ree-oh)
Example: “Nyujo-ryo wa yasui desu.”
Translation: “The admission fee is cheap.”
Example: “Nyujo-ryo wa 800 en desu.”
Translation: “The admission fee is 800 yen.”
For the restroom, toilet, lavatory, washroom, and etc., the general word used nowadays is just the Japanese pronunciation of “toilet”. Therefore, it is “toire” (トイレ in katakana—not in hiragana because it’s a foreign borrowed word).
Pronunciation Tip: (toy-reh)
Example: “Toire wa doko desu ka?”
Translation: “Where is the toilet?”
Example: “Toire wa yoshiki desu ka?”
Translation: “Is it a Western-style toilet?”
Although there are many more words and phrases you might want to practice for traveling in Japan, this is one set that you will likely run into as a traveler or visitor. Have a great time, and good luck with your language practice!