How to Travel in Japanese Hiragana and Katakana

travel in japanese hiragana

Though nobody expects visitors to Japan to speak fluent Japanese, knowing a few basic words and phrases will make your trip more enjoyable while leaving a good impression with locals.

Let’s begin with letter group “y.” Hiragana contains 46 characters, each one distinguished by sound and pronunciation.

Getting There

Japan is well known for its efficient transportation networks, making getting around an easier experience for visitors. But language barriers may present some difficulty; learning some Japanese transportation-related words can help ease navigation of this system more smoothly.

As soon as you arrive at a train station, it’s advisable to ask staff for the best route to your destination. Use “dchirakarairatsushiyaimashitaka” (dchirakarairatsushiyaimashitaka). Staff may respond with “Tai kuka?” (What are your plans?) which allows you to respond by giving an example like: Taizai kikanhadonoWei kuraidesuka?” (Tourists, how many days will they stay).

When changing trains, staff will ask about your platform number and ask whether the train departs from platform 1. To be safe, memorizing these essential travel phrases will help ensure a stress-free start to your Japan experience!

Arriving at the Airport

As soon as you arrive at the kuko (airport), it will be necessary for you to determine how you’re going to reach your hotel. Transportation options available to you may include taxi, basu bus or densha train services – each will require purchasing a ticket called “kippu”, which pays for transportation costs.

Navigating an airport can be overwhelming, so pre-planning key connections or at least making reservations may help ease your mind. No matter whether you arrive by plane or train, be sure to learn some basic phrases and familiarize yourself with its layout before setting off on your journey.

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Once in the kuko, you can easily ask for directions by approaching any koban (police box) and asking, “Eki wa doko desu ka?” They may provide assistance by giving a map; otherwise you could approach a police officer directly who knows the local streets well and ask him/her. They may use katakana which foreigners find easier to understand or they might also speak English depending on your experience with foreign tourists.

Getting Around

Beginner learners of Japanese may become overwhelmed by the complex Kanji characters used for writing Japanese. However, using Hiragana and Katakana characters along with simple phrases it is possible to travel throughout Japan without needing to know any Kanji!

Learning basic phrases when traveling on public transportation is helpful – whether greeting someone (“konnichiwa”) and their response (“sou desu”) or asking directions with phrases such as “koe ni shitekaru?” or “doko no miko san ikimasu ka?” can make your experience much more pleasurable!

Another useful phrase for taking public transportation is “kai ni migi” or “ma hidari”, especially helpful on subway trains. Learning some Japanese vocabulary will make getting around much simpler! For further assistance in learning Japanese vocabulary, enroll in a course with Coto Academy today – our flexible courses can be customized according to your schedule or travel plans – whether short term study is what’s required!

Arriving at a Train Station

Train travel is one of the primary modes of transport in Japan, and while most train stations feature multilingual signage, it may be beneficial to learn some essential Japanese phrases just in case you become disorientated during your journey.

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As an example, electric signs displaying two Fa Che hatsushiya (platform number plus departure time). The second part of this message informs passengers which train is leaving from that platform: this could be either a local futsu train or rapid express.

On certain platforms, marks on the floor indicate where doors will open; waiting passengers line up behind these marks in order to board their train. Some displays also display information regarding its type and station schedules.

Nobori station names indicate you’re heading toward Tokyo; “kudari” indicates away from it. Furthermore, if your kun-yomi contains “chi” (smoking section), there will be designated smoking cars or areas separate from general seating area – an especially convenient feature on JR long-distance trains.

Arriving at a Bus Station

Bus transport may be your best bet when visiting more remote destinations in Japan, so learning some relevant phrases could come in handy to navigate bus stations efficiently.

Once at a bus station, you will encounter signs and announcements in both Japanese and English. By knowing a few basic terms you can better navigate various procedures for getting on and off, paying your fare, etc.

Once your destination is clear, locate and wait at a bus stop before boarding. If using PASMO cards or similar, simply tap them when ready to exit; in many cities it’s also possible to purchase or present one when boarding the vehicle.

Once onboard, make sure you take a seat near the back so you can hear any announcements or alerts that may come through. If you’re uncertain which stop to alight at, repeat “basu hitsuyou desu” in polite Japanese and ask the driver for assistance – this simple question may save both time and inconvenience!

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