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Ready for Takeoff? 129 Japanese Travel Phrases to Study on Your Flight to Tokyo

Japan is a gorgeous country inhabited by helpful and friendly people.

But if you don’t know Japanese, you might want to learn some before you visit it.

On my first visit to Japan, I’d been studying the language for a few years and still I relied on a tour guide to help me get around (and to keep me awake through the two weeks of pure jet lag).

Now, whenever non-Japanese speaking people visit me, I make sure to show them around rather than have them try to navigate to my city on their lonesome.

A bit of Japanese is essential for making a successful trip.

So if you don’t want to rely on anyone during your visit, make sure you stock up on some Japanese travel phrases before you embark on your adventure.

Take it from me—you’ll be glad that you did!

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Why You Should Learn Advanced Japanese Travel Phrases

Japan is a friendly destination for adventurous nomads of all ambitions. It’s extraordinarily clean and efficient, an amalgam of old world, new world, nature and high-rises.

The food is delicious and varies from region to regionJapanese restaurants are inexpensive, families are always willing to lend a home for homestays and the scenery is unlike anywhere else.

But let’s be real: Traveling is fun, but it’s also terrifying at times.

Once, immediately after booking my round-trip ticket to Indonesia for my first ever solo international trip, I nearly fainted in the office. The prospect of traveling was so thrilling that I almost passed out. I was lightheaded for at least two weeks after that.

If you’ve experienced anything like this, then you may want to learn some more advanced travel phrases—like the ones I have in store for you below—for your next Japan trip.

Here’s why:

  • These phrases will increase your opportunities to talk to natives while you’re traveling.
  • You can develop confidence in planning your own overseas trips, extended vacations and sightseeing day trips.
  • You can stop worrying whether you’re at the right hostel, on the right day, with enough money and so on.

Once you get back, you can impress your friends back home by boasting about your mind-blowing solo international trip, getting drunk with pilots in youth hostels (which you can book via Hostelworld, Hostelbookers or Hostels.com), climbing to the top of Mount Fuji to watch the sunrise and getting shoved onto a rush hour Tokyo train by white-gloved hands.

Make your travel dream a reality! Spend less time lost or struggling to find the right word or get the right information. With this list of 129 Japanese travel phrases, you’ll be able to plan, execute and enjoy your own trip to the Land of the Rising Sun.

Want to hear these words in action? Check out the authentic content on FluentU. FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

Use this post to create a vocabulary list, then make use of FluentU’s video flashcards to see the words used in different contexts. The immersive, entertaining content makes grammar and vocabulary much more memorable!

129 Exciting Japanese Travel Phrases for the Adventurous Nomad

旅の種類 (たびのしゅるい) — Types of Travel

一人旅 (ひとりたび)
solo travel

海外旅行 (かいがいりょこう)
international travel

家族旅行 (かぞくりょこう)
family trip

団体旅行 (だんたいりょこう)
group tour

日帰り旅行 (ひがえりりょこう)
day trip

個人旅行 (こじんりょこう)
individual tour

パック旅行 (ぱっくりょこう), パックツアー (ぱっくつあー)
package tour

新婚旅行 (しんこんりょこう)
honeymoon trip

招待旅行 (しょうたいりょこう)
all expenses paid travel

世界旅行 (せかいりょこう)
global travel

探検 (たんけん)
exploration

旅行者 (りょこうしゃ)
tourist

観光客 (かんこうきゃく)
traveler

旅行計画 (りょこうけいかく) — Planning a Trip

旅行をする (りょこうをする), 旅をする (たびをする)
to travel

[ホテルの/部屋の/レストランの]予約をする ([ほてるの/へやの/れすとらんの]よやくをする)
to book, reserve [a hotel/a room/a restaurant seat or table]

___泊___日 (___はく/ぱ___か)
___nights, ___days

For indicating how long you’d like to stay somewhere, you choose a number of nights (泊, “stay”) and a number of days (日) using the appropriate number for each counter.

For example, if you intend to stay in a hostel for three nights and four days, you’d say, 三泊四日 (さんぱくよっか). For more information, read up on Japanese numbers and counters!

行き先 (ゆきさき)
destination

窓口 (まどぐち), 切符売り場 (きっぷうりば)
ticket window

切符 (きっぷ), (けん), チケット (ちけっと)
ticket

切符 by itself means “ticket” and is the most inclusive; 券 is most often attached to another word, such as 乗車券 (じょうしゃけん), “a ticket for riding a vehicle.”

回数券 (かいすうけん)
ticket book, book of tickets

定期券 (ていきけん)
commuter pass, season pass

時刻表 (じこくひょう)
time table, schedule

旅行会社 (りょこうがいしゃ)
travel company

旅行業者 (りょこうぎょうしゃ)
travel agent

旅行保険 (りょこうほけん)
travel insurance

旅費 (りょひ), 旅行費用 (りょこうひよう)
travel expenses

旅行者用小切手 (りょこうしゃようこぎって), トラベラーズチェック (とらべらーずちぇっく)
travelers’ check

___に訪問したいといつも思っています。(___にほうもんしたいといつもおもっています。)
I’ve always wanted to visit…

一番行ってみたい場所はどこですか? (いちばんいってみたいばしょはどこですか?)
What is your favorite place to visit?

空港で (くうこうで) — At the Airport

搭乗をする (とうじょうをする)
to board

滑走をする (かっそうをする)
to taxi (a plane on a runway)

着陸をする (ちゃくりくをする)
it lands (the airplane)

手続き (てつづき)
check-in

パスポート (ぱすぽーと), 旅券 (りょけん)
passport

搭乗券 (とうじょうけん)
boarding pass

荷物 (にもつ)
luggage

貨物 (かもつ)
cargo, freight

手荷物 (てにもつ)
hand luggage

税関 (ぜいかん)
Customs and Immigration

機長 (きちょう), パイロット (ぱいろっと)
pilot

飛行機 (ひこうき)
airplane

滑走路 (かっそうろ)
runway

ターミナル (たーみなる)
terminal

搭乗口 (とうじょうぐち)
gate

両替 (りょうがえ)
currency exchange

為替 (かわせ)
currency exchange, money order

両替屋 (りょうがえや), 両替店 (りょうがえてん)
currency exchange shop

為替レート (かわせ れーと)
exchange rate

観光をする (かんこうをする) — Seeing the Sights

歩き回る (あるきまわる)
to wander around

迷う (まよう), 道に迷う (みちにまよう)
to get lost

目印 (めじるし)
landmark

観光地 (かんこうち)
sightseeing area

禁止 (きんし)
prohibited

厳禁 (げんきん)
strictly prohibited

撮影禁止 (さつえいきんし)
photography prohibited

___に/へどうやって行ったらいいですか? (___に/へどうやっていったらいいですか?) /
___に/へどうやって行った方がいいですか? (___に/へどうやっていったほうがいいですか?)
how do I get to…?

〜たらいい and 〜た方がいい are grammar forms that you can use when asking for recommendations and suggestions. The first literally means “Is it good if I…?” and the second, “Would it be good if I did…?”

If you get lost walking around in Japan, these questions might be very useful to you. You can stop people on the street or go into stores and ask the store staff, “How do I get to…?”

___の写真を撮ってもいいですか? (___のしゃしんをとってもいいですか?)
May I take pictures of…?

私の/私達の写真を撮ってもらえませんか? (わたしの/わたしたちのしゃしんをとってもらえませんか?)
Could you please take a picture of me/us?

問題 (もんだい) — Setbacks

落とす (おとす)
to drop (something), to lose (something)

無くす (なくす)
to lose (something), to misplace (something)

[電車に/飛行機に]乗り遅れる ([でんしゃに/ひこうきに]のりおくれる)
to miss (the train/the flight)

旅行者下痢 (りょこうしゃげり)
traveler’s diarrhea

時差ぼけ (じさぼけ)
jet lag

カルチャーショック (かるちゃーしょっく)
culture shock

延発 (えんぱつ)
flight delay

欠航 (けっこう)
flight cancellation

延着 (えんちゃく)
delayed arrival

宿泊 (しゅくはく) — Accommodations

泊まる (とまる)
to stay

ホテル (ほてる)
hotel

ホステル (ほすてる)
hostel

旅館 (りょかん)
traditional Japanese-style inn

宿 (やど)
inn, hotel, lodging

民宿 (みんしゅく), ペンション (ぺんしょん)
pension

In this case, “pension” means a guesthouse, like a bed and breakfast or a ski lodge, not the annual payment that full-time workers accrue.

空き部屋 (あきべや), 空室 (くうしつ)
rooms available

満室 (まんしつ)
no vacancy

付き (つき)*
furnished with

有り (あり), 込み (こみ)*
included

*Each of these is a suffix.

The first, 付き, refers most often to furnishings and facilities, while the latter two, 有り and 込み, are used more often with abstract objects and objects that aren’t furnishings (side dishes at a restaurant, service charges, room service meals and so on).

The most inclusive is 有り and the most exclusive is 込み. When in doubt, use 有り, which generally means “having” or “it has.”

空室が有りますか? (くうしつがありますか?)
Do you have any rooms available?

町のどの辺りを勧めますか?(まちのどのあたりをすすめますか?)
What part of town do you recommend?

チェックイン/チェックアウトは何時ですか? (ちぇっくいん/ちぇっくあうとはなんじですか?)
When is check-in/check-out?

交通 (こうつう, the act of transporting) — Transportation

交通機関 (こうつうきかん)
vehicles / transportation services

乗る (のる), 乗車をする* (じょうしゃをする)
to ride

降りる (おりる), 下車をする (げしゃをする)
to dismount, alight

車 means “wheel,” and these two phrases, 乗車 and 下車, are exclusively for cars and trains, not airplanes. For airplanes, use 乗る and 降りる, or the more general “to enter” (入る/はいる) and “to exit” (出る/でる), respectively.

走る (はしる)
it runs

止まる (とまる)
it stops

止まる generally means “to stop, stay, or remain.” 泊まる (とまる) refers to people staying someplace, as in a hotel, while 止まる refers to cessation of motion, whether it’s a person ceasing walking or a vehicle that stops moving.

発車する (はっしゃする)
it departs

片道 (かたみち)
one-way

往復 (おうふく)
round trip

終点 (しゅうてん)
last stop

終電 (しゅうでん), 最終電車 (さいしゅうでんしゃ)
final train (of the evening)

準急 (じゅんきゅう), 準急行 (じゅんきゅうこう)
local express train

各停 (かくてい), 各駅停車 (かくえきていしゃ)
local train (that stops at every stop)

回送 (かいそう)
out of service

運賃 (うんちん)
fare (passenger fare on vehicles)

料金 (りょうきん)
fee, fare (for vehicles or services)

改札口 (かいさつぐち)
ticket barrier

公共交通機関 (こうきょうこうつうきかん)
public transportation

バス停 (ばすてい), バスの停留所 (ばすのていりゅうじょ)
bus stop

(えき)
train station

両替してもいいですか? (りょうがえしてもいいですか?)
May I make change?

どの (電車/バスに) 乗ればいいですか? (どの [でんしゃ/ばすに] のればいいですか?)
Which (train/bus) should I take?

___に/へ連れて行って下さい。 (___に/へつれていってください。)
Please take me to….

この電車/バスは___に/へ行きますか? (このでんしゃ/ばすは___に/へいきますか?)
Does this (train/bus) go to…?

乗り換えはありますか? (のりかえはありますか?)
Is there a transfer?

 

Now you’re ready for the adventure of a lifetime. Bon voyage, or as we say in Japanese, 良い旅を (よいたびを)!

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