When thinking of traveling to a new destination, it’s common to second guess your ability to communicate especially if it’s in a foreign language that you do not speak. This language barrier is one of the most concerning considerations for those who are looking to travel to Japan but who don’t speak Japanese.
Unlike Europe or many other popular destinations that attract high levels of foreign traffic, Japan isn’t yet on board with being fluent in English or a non-Japanese language.
For the average traveler, this means more work is required in preparing for your trip to Japan. In some ways, this language barrier can restrict what to do in Japan and the way you decide to explore Japan.
Here at FareDepot, we know that it’s worth the effort and we’re here to help you understand how a visit to Japan is simple even if you don’t speak Japanese!
Naturally, one of the major concerns people have is how they will get around if they can’t ask locals so easily for directions.
Fortunately, large cities like Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and other popular hotspots have great signage for public transport. Whether it’s by way of train or bus, as long as you know where you’re leaving from and where you want to get to, the entire process is rather straightforward.
Announcements in train stations that are located in popular destinations are in both English and Japanese and so are the information screens. As for buses, getting information in English is a little more challenging due to limited access. However, so long as you know the name of your destination and have it written out or a have a picture of the Japanese wordings for it, you’ll do just fine.
To board a bus in Japan, enter from the middle or the back of the bus and exit at the front. Payment is made to the bus driver once you get off the bus to your next destination.
Our simple answer is, pick a few important words that you’d like to learn such as “Help”, “Emergency”, “Police”, “Ambulance”, or if you don’t eat anything or have an allergy to something, you would want to find out how to say it in Japanese.
A quick way to do this is to go on Google Translate which also helps pronounce things for you to verbalize correctly. Make sure to keep a printed copy of the translations so you can show it to someone when asking for help should you not feel confident in vocalizing it.
If you’d just like to skip the hassle of trying to learn Japanese fast, just download the Google Translate app which also offers an offline download of the Japanese language for you to use on the go without the need to access the internet.
It’s a great way to communicate with anyone around you as all you have to do is insert the phrase you want to say, show the translated text to that person, and voila you’ve just successfully communicated with a Japanese person!
This entirely depends on your country of citizenship and can be quickly checked online using the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
With so many Japan attractions and things to do in Japan, it’s a no-brainer why Japan should be your next holiday destination! To help find great travel deals and cheap flights to Japan, visit FareDepot today!