10 Useful Japanese Phrases to Ask A Direction!

10 Useful Japanese Phrases to Ask A Direction!

When you visit Japan for the first time, you would want to know at least how to ask a direction in Japanese. It will be quite useful when you have to ask Japanese local people for how to get to certain places, because not all Japanese people are fluent in English. Today I will show you 10 useful Japanese phrases for asking directions. If you remember those basic vocabularies, then you will likely be able to get around the city!



 

10 Useful Japanese Phrases to Ask A Direction!

 

1. xxx wa doko desuka (Where is xxx?)

When you want to ask a direction to someone, the first thing you say is “Sumimasen” which means “excuse-me” in English. If they are not busy, they will stop and listen to what you want to ask them. If you know the name of the place you want to find, the Tokyo Tower for example, you can ask ” Tokyo Tower wa doko desuka”, which means, “Where is the Tokyo Tower?” It’s the simplest way of asking for a direction.

 

2. Kono chikakuni xxx ga arimasuka (Is there xxx near here?)

When you are looking for certain type of places, such as bank or supermarket, it’s a useful phrase for asking. You can say, “Kono chikakuni ginkou ga arimasuka” which means, “is there a bank near here?” Here are some useful vocabularies:

Bank – Ginkou
Supermarket – Suupaa
Convenient store – Konbini
Post office – Youbinkyoku
Taxi station – Taxi noriba
Train station – Eki

 

3. Kokoni ikitai no desuga (I would like to go here)

When you have a map with you, you can simply show them where you wish to go. It would be easier to communicate this way, when you don’t speak Japanese fluently. The word “Koko” means “here.” If you don’t know where you are on a map, you can also say, “kokowa doko desuka” which means “where are we right now?”

 

4. Massugu itte (go straight)

When you asked someone for a direction, it’s also important for you to understand his reply. It would be hard to be fluent in Japanese, but you can learn some key words that are important for you to understand. If you hear, “massugu itte” in a sentence, that means you need to go straight.

 

5. Magatte (turn)

The next thing you need to pay attention is the expression “magatte” which means “turn.” Here are some related expressions:

Turn right – migi ni magatte
Turn left – hidari ni magatte
Next street – tsugi no touri (michi)
This corner – soko no kado
Traffic lights – shingou
Crossroads – kousaten

 

6. xxx no mae (in front of xxx)

It is also a useful indication that the place you are looking for is situated in front of some building. They can tell you that the place you wish to reach is in front of the station: “eki no mae ni arimasu.” Here are some other related vocabularies:

Restaurant – resutoran
Department store – depaato
Park – kouen
Temple – otera
Police station – kouban
Cinema – eigakan

 

7. xxx no tonari (next to xxx)

It is also practical what is situated next to the place where you wish to go. When the place you are looking for is next to a bank, they would say, ” ginkou no tonari ni arimasu.” They might also use the word “yoko” instead of “tonari.” You can also ask them, “naniga tonari ni arimasuka” which means “what is next to this place?”

 

8. xxx no naka (inside xxx)

When you are looking for certain store or restaurant, those places might be situated inside the buildings like department stores. If that’s the case, they will indicate you, ” depaato no naka ni arimasu” which means ” it’s inside the department store.” Since there are many places that are situated inside department stores or stations in Japan, these words can be quite useful.

 

9. Migi/ Hidari gawa ni miemasu (you will see it on the right side/ left side)

If you visit a big city like Tokyo or Osaka, it’s not always easy to find the place even though you are on the right street. The street might be too big to find the place easily. Therefore it would be useful to pay attention to which side of the street it is situated. If you hear ” migi gawa” that means right hand side. If you hear “hidari gawa” that means left hand side.

 

10. Toui/ chikai desuka (is it far? Is it close?)

Finally when you asked someone for a direction, you can also ask him if the place is far or close.

Is it far? – toui desuka
Is it close? – chikai desuka

 

Conclusion

It is always hard to find a place in a country you have never visited before. You can look the direction on a guidebook or on the Internet, but it is always better to ask the local people who know the city well. Those expressions that I have shown you in this article are the basic expressions for asking a direction. Even if you can’t understand any Japanese, you can only pay attention to those expressions to understand the most essential thing: how to reach your destination. Don’t forget to say “Sumimasen (excuse-me)” and “arigatou gozaimasu (thank you)” when you ask someone. They would be happy to help you if you are polite!

 

10 Useful Japanese Phrases to Ask A Direction!

1. xxx wa doko desuka (Where is xxx?)

2. Kono chikakuni xxx ga arimasuka (Is there xxx near here?)

3. Kokoni ikitai no desuga (I would like to go here)

4. Massugu itte (go straight)

5. Magatte (turn)

6. xxx no mae (in front of xxx)

7. xxx no tonari (next to xxx)

8. xxx no naka (inside xxx)

9. Migi/ Hidari gawa ni miemasu (you will see it on the right side/ left side)

10. Toui/ chikai desuka (is it far? Is it close?)