So many people, and so many narrow streets… It’s very easy to get lost in Japan! Things are very convenient and safe here, but the transportation system is a bit complicated and if you can not read/speak Japanese, you might have hard time finding the best way to get to your destination even using Google map.
Here are some of the useful phrases that you can use when you get lost and want some help in Japan. Learn these expressions and enjoy your travel in Japan!
・When you want to ask
（ここは/今）何処ですか？/ (Kokowa/Ima) doko desuka?
Where is this place/am I now?
〜は何処ですか？/ – Wa doko desuka?
Where is -?
道に迷いました。/Michi ni mayoi mashita.
I’m lost my way. “Michi” means “Way”.
〜へはどうやって行ったら良いですか？/ – He wa douyatte ittara ii desuka?
What is a good way to get to -? “Douyatte” means “How to”.
When you don’t know how to do something, you could ask like, “どうやってするのですか？Douyatte suru no desuka?”
〜への行き方を教えて下さい。/ – He no ikikata wo oshiete kudasai.
Please tell me how to get to -. “Oshiete” means “Tell me” or “Teach me”.
〜が見つかりません。/ -Ga mitsukari masen.
I can’t find -. This phrase can be used when you lost something and you are looking for it. For example, “Tokei ga mitsukari masen” meaning, “I can’t find my watch.”
ここから何分くらいかかりますか？/Kokokara nanfun kurai kakarimasuka?
How long does it take to get there from here?
・Other useful expressions
右/左 / Migi/Hidari
ここ/そこ/あっち / Koko/Soko/Attchi
This place(or here)/That place(or there)/Over there
(この/あの)道をまっすぐです / (Kono/Ano) michi wo massugu desu.
Go straight (this/that) way. “Massugu” is “Straight”.
(右に/左に/角を)曲がる / (Migini/Hidarini/Kadowo) Magaru.
Turn (right/left/at the corner). “Magaru” means “To turn”.
(歩いて/車で/バスで/電車で) 〜分くらいです。/ (Aruite/Kuruma de/Bus de/Densha de) – fun kurai desu.
It takes about – min (on foot/by car/by bus/by train).
遠い/近い / Toui/Chikai
案内しますよ。/ Annai Shimasuyo.
I will take you there.
Lucky you if you get this phrase from the person you are talking to!
〜で乗り換えて下さい。 / – de norikaete kudasai.
Please transfer at -. “Norikae” means “Transfer”.
助かりました！ / Tasukarimashita!
You saved me! /That was a help!
You could use this phrase to say thank you.
By the way, we don’t usually use “Block” in Japan when we talk about the directions.
So, you rarely hear someone says things like “Go straight this way for 2 blocks…”.
It is hard for Japanese people who can not speak English well to explain the direction.
But if you can use the Japanese words and phrases here, it will be much easier for you to get the right information when you are lost/looking for a place.
This reminds me of the time when I visited the U.K.
When I went to the U.K for the first time (about 4 years ago), I couldn’t find the hostel I was staying, so I asked for a help and a very friendly local drove me there.
I was very thankful for that! And I try to do the same every time I see someone who needs help in Japan now.
Japanese people are generally friendly and helpful, so don’t be afraid to talk to locals when you need some help.
If you know some Japanese, it is most likely that they will try to help you as much as they can.
Hope this post will be of your help.
If there’s anything that you want me to write, feel free to send me a message to [email protected]
Or you could simply give me a comment.
See you next time!