For Foreginers

7 Japanese Phrases You Should Know By Tokyo Olympics 2020


Hello! I am Yashi(@torinoolympic) from Japan. Before I write my first article in English, I would like to introduce myself a little bit. I live in Kansai area, located approximately 500km west of Tokyo. My job is writing an article at my own media to dispatch the information about how to study English. My English experience is 5 years. I lived in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada for 1 year. After that I moved to Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada for 4 years. Even though my English might be a little poor, I feel happy if you use the information in this article when you come to Japan.

Tokyo Olympics 2020 is coming soon. We, Japanese people, are really looking forward to many foreign people coming and watching games! Before coming to Japan, what I want you to know is some Japanese phrases. In fact, most of Japanese people cannot speak English well, especially older people. Therefore, if you know some Japanese phrases, it is good for each other, you and Japanese people, in terms of making communication easier.

Now, let me begin introducing 7 Japanese phrases!


There are 3 kinds of greeting phrases in Japan. How do we distinguish? It is by depending on the time.

Phrases Sense of Use is equal to... Pronunciation Time of Use
おはようございます。 Good morning. O HA YO U GO ZA I MA SU Wake up - 10AM
こんにちは。 Hello. KON NI CHI WA 10AM - 6PM
こんばんは。 Good evening. KON BAN WA 6PM - Sleep

Too much to know? I recommend you just remember "こんにちは". We say "こんにちは" in the morning and maybe night by mistake. The point is that the range of time when you can say "こんにちは" is wider than other greeting phrases. If you said wrong expression, we could understand what you want to say. No worries.


Appreciation is also important if you stay in Japan. When Tokyo Olympics 2020 is held, there may be so many volunteer staff who can speak English to help you. At that time, if you say "thank you very much" in English, volunteer staff will be happy.

Phrases Sense of Use Pronunciation
ありがとうございます。 Thank you. A RI GA TO U GO ZA I MA SU


When you got lost, you maybe ask somebody where you are now and where you want to go in Japanese.

Phrases Sense of Use Pronunciation
ここはどこですか? Where am I now? KO KO WA DO KO DE SU KA?
これはどこですか? Where is this?(with pointing the place on the map) KO RE WA DO KO DE SU KA?

The keyword is "where" in English is "DO KO" in Japanese. Even If you simply point the place you want to go on the map and say "DO KO?", Japanese people probably tell how to go there, at least direction to get there.

ごちそうさま(The word that you say at the casher in the restaurant after you pay)

This expression is close to "Thank you for a good meal". In Japanese, if we feel appreciation for a delicious meal, we do say "ごちそうさま(GO CHI SO U SA MA)" instead of "ありがとうございます(A RI GA TO U GO ZA I MA SU)" I recommend this word to use after every meal in the restaurant because saying "ごちそうさま" after every meal is kind of courtesy.

Phrases Sense of Use Pronunciation
ごちそうさま Thank you for a good meal GO CHI SO U SA MA


The phrases I introduced in this article is only part of many Japanese useful phrases. As I mentioned at the beginning, Japanese people feel nervous when they are spoken by foreigners. Therefore, If you use Japanese phrases above, I believe it makes communication go smoothly.

This is the end of article. Thank you for reading!

If you want to ask me a question about daily life in Japan, trip information and so on, please send me the message through my twitter account "Yashi(@torinoolympic)"!

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