Useful Words For Traveling Japan

Useful Words For Traveling Japan

Arigatou gozaimasu “Thank you”
Densha “train”
Eki station, as in “Hiroshima station”
en This is a suffix that means “garden”. Kouen is the most commonly used term for garden, but any Japanese word that ends with “-en” will probably mean some sort of garden.
Fugu Blowfish. This is a delicacy in the city of Shimonoseki, where the locals call it “fuku”
Jinja a Shinto shrine
Kippu ticket
Kyoukai a word for “church”, this only applies to Catholic and Christian buildings.
Okonomiyaki a dish famous in Hiroshima. Something like a layered Japanese pizza.
Onegai shimasu “Please”
Onsen a hot spring, either indoor or outdoor.
Rotenburo a hot spring that has a view into some type of natural scenery.
Ryokan a Japanese-style inn. If you stay at one of these inns, you will sleep on tatami-mat floors on thin quilted mattresses called futons. Also, meals are served in a communal dining hall and generally feature a set menu. Ryokans are good if you want to try a Japanese-style experience, but many lack English-speaking staff and you cannot expect the same sort of individualized options that western-style hotels typically provide.
Sento a public bath house. You will have to ask if you want to try one of these places, but most cities and towns have a large number of them. They are a cheap (most cost only a few hundred yen to enter) way to experience a little of the “real” Japan.
Shinkansen the bullet train. More comfortable than an airplane and very fast, these trains can whisk you from Tokyo to Hiroshima in less than four hours. Tourists find them economical because you can purchase a JR Railpass that gives you unlimited travel for a set amount of time. If you plan to visit a lot of different cities, trains are generally the way to go in Japan.
Sumimasen This is a general all-purpose apology. Unlike in the West, you can (and should) use it any time you put a person to any trouble to help you out.
Tera a Buddhist temple. Also commonly referred to as “o-tera”.
Yukata a thin cotton kimono-like robe that is often used at Japanese-style inns. While these informal garments are often worn about the halls and other common spaces at ryokan, they are generally not worn outside one’s room at western style hotels.
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