Learn Hiragana For Travel in Japan

travel in japanese hiragana

Learning hiragana is essential to traveling through Japan. Hiragana is the easiest and phonetic of Japan’s three writing systems.

Mnemonics and flashcards can assist in memorization, along with practice. There are plenty of apps and online resources to assist your learning. Furthermore, knowing basic numbers from one through ten is also helpful for successful memorization.

1. Getting There

Mastering hiragana is essential to traveling in Japan. The Japanese native script, it represents most words used daily in everyday conversations written using this alphabet and can help you interpret most of the spoken languages from locals. By learning to read hiragana you will quickly and easily be able to appreciate all that Japan offers!

Begin your learning of Japanese writing by mastering the hiragana characters a, e, i, o and u. Keep in mind that Japanese letters must be read from left to right and stroked in an ordered sequence; any deviation can result in unreadable scribble!

After you have mastered one group, move onto the next. The r, n, m and y groups may be harder, but their mnemonics make learning them easier. Once all these letters have been learned it’s time to move onto variation hiragana known as dakuten – these characters look like double quotation marks and alter certain consonant columns’ pronunciation; not difficult to memorize and will allow you to read many foreign loanwords more efficiently in Japanese!

2. Getting Around

As a first time traveler to Japan, there’s much to learn when it comes to transportation. From getting from the airport to your hotel and train lines to learning basic phrases used by tourists without speaking Japanese – all these tasks can prove tricky and require practice!

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Know Your Hiragana will come in handy here. By learning a few mnemonics, it will become much simpler for you to memorize the characters corresponding to English alphabet words, making life much simpler when travelling or searching for answers.

There are three different writing systems used in Japanese: Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji. Hiragana and Katakana are syllabic scripts representing sounds; these may also be combined with Kanji which represent meaning.

Start learning Hiragana and then work your way up through Katakana, Kanji (if desired) and finally Hiragana again. Knowing all three will assist in reading, writing and communicating in Japanese effectively; be sure to bring a pocket dictionary or phrasebooks when traveling throughout Japan.

3. Food

Japan is well-renowned for its cuisine, which may differ greatly from that of your home country. Therefore, it is beneficial to familiarize yourself with some basic phrases for ordering food in Japanese.

One of the most useful skills you can acquire is learning to ask questions, which can help navigate any restaurant with ease. A popular phrase used here is “Sou desu ka?” which translates as: “Is that so?” or “Yes, really”.

At a crucial part of ordering food in Japan is knowing that verbs don’t conjugate according to their subject – which can make ordering challenging! Confusion arises when trying to figure out who exactly you’re speaking to!

However, this rule has some exceptions so it’s essential to understand Japanese grammar a little better. An example would be the small letter “tsu,” which may resemble an English letter “a”, yet is actually pronounced an English “a”. Another exception would be “n” which sounds similar to an “i” in English but is actually written with two consonants that sound alike: remember it by viewing it as double consonants!

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4. Accommodations

No matter where you stay in Japan – from hotels, inns, capsule hotels () and more – Omotenashi – the art of providing service without expecting anything in return – is at the core of Japanese culture and essential for an enjoyable visit!

A ryokan is a traditional inn offering comfortable tatami rooms, a communal bath and an exquisite kaiseki meal – the latter often found at mountain or onsen locations. A great way to experience Japanese hospitality, but it can be expensive.

Most hotels in Japan accept credit cards, though it is wise to carry some cash when traveling to smaller cities or rural areas. Furthermore, as many hotel staff members don’t speak English fluently it would be wise to learn some key Japanese hotel phrases in advance!

5. Transportation

If you’re traveling to Japan without speaking the local language fluently, learning just a few key phrases will make your trip much simpler. Doing so will enable you to move around more easily, order meals at restaurants more effectively, communicate with locals more fluently, and understand polite language and restaurant etiquette more readily.

Hiragana is the phonetic alphabet used in written Japanese alongside kanji. Consisting of 46 characters that represent sounds within Japanese, each character contains vowels and consonants within two letters – thus creating a phonetic alphabet.

Katakana is similar to hiragana but with some key distinctions. It can be used for marking foreign words adapted into Japanese as well as names transliterated from transliterations, telegrams or emphasis.

Hiragana features cursive writing while katakana more closely resembles print, making the difference easy to learn. Katakana follows more of a Latin alphabet structure by reading from left to right – perfect for Westerners! To aid with learning both styles of Japanese characters you can download a free hiragana chart which can assist in understanding each character more clearly.

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