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Basic Japanese Phrases for Holiday Travelers to Japan

The audio and video for Basic Japanese Phrases for Holiday Travelers to Japan are provided at the end of this post.

  • Hello: Konnichi ha (pronounced as konnichiwa)
  • How are you? Genki desu ka?
  • I’m fine: Genki desu
  • Thank you: Arigato
  • Excuse me: Sumimasen
  • Good bye: Sayonara
  • Please: Onegai
  • Delicious: Oishii
  • How much is this? Ikura desu ka?
  • Where is the rest room? Toire doko desu ka?
  • There: Achira desu, here: koko desu
  • I’m sorry: Gomen nasai
  • I don’t understand : Wakaranai
  • Do you speak English? Eigo wakarimasu ka
  • Yes: Hai, No: Ie (In Japanese “no” is rarely used), OK: Okkei, A little: Chotto
  • Please wait: Chotto matte kudaisai
  • Where does this go? Doko ni ikimasu ka?
  • I want to go to the station: Eki ni ikitai
  • I want to buy tickets: Chiketto kaitai
  • Where am I now? Koko ha doko desu ka?
  • Credit card OK? Kaado okkei?
  • Is it OK to try this on ? Shichaku shite mo okkei?
  • I don’t have a reservation: Yoyaku ga nai desu. I have a reservation: Yoyaku ga arimasu.
  • How many people in your party? Nanmei sama desu ka? (Answer by showing your fingers)
  • Kitsuen seki ka, kinnen seki ka? Smoking section or nonsmoking section? (Answer in English)
  • This way: Kochira desu
  • Menu please: Menuu onegai shimasu
  • Chicken: Chikin , Beef:niku , Fish: Sakana , Pork: Butaniku , Wheat: komugi, Egg: Tamago, Milk: miruku
  • I want this: Kore hosii, I want chicken: Chikin hosii, I want beef: Niku hosii
  • I don’t want pork: Butaniku dame desu
  • I don’t want raw fish: Sushi dame desu
  • What would you recommend? Ossume ari masu ka?
  • Check please: Okaikei onegai shimasu
  • Stop: Stoppu
  • See you later: Mata ne
  • Kansai Dialect (Many Japanese will be surprised to hear these local phrases from you. Please watch the video below)
  • Ookini: Thank you
  • Akan: Impossible (Osaka)
  • Nanbou: How much (Osaka)
  • Nande yanen: Why??? (Osaka)
  • Okibariyasu: Don’t give up (Kyoto)
  • Kannin: I’m sorry (Kyoto)
  • Sainara: Good bye (Kyoto)

 

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Top 10 of the most popular places you have to visit in Osaka

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1. Osaka Castle
Osaka Castle, 大阪城 (Osaka Jo).
Famous castle, historic area, good for families with kids, Japanese garden, popular spot.”Osaka Castle (大坂城 or 大阪城, Ōsaka-jō) is a Japanese castle in Chūō-ku, Osaka, Japan. The castle is one of Japan’s most famous landmarks and it played a major role in the unification of Japan during the sixteenth century of the Azuchi-Momoyama period.” Wiki.
2. Dotonbori
Dotonbori (道頓堀)
Fun Place, Shopping, Canal, Shinsaibashi, Namba, Osaka.
“Dōtonbori (道頓堀, pronounced [doːtomboɾʲi]) is one of the principal tourist destinations in Osaka, Japan, running along the Dōtonbori canal from Dōtonboribashi Bridge to Nipponbashi Bridge in the Namba district of the city’s Chuo ward.” Wiki.
3. Shinsaibashi
Shinsaibashi (心斎橋)
Palace for shopping, place for eating, heart of Osaka, dotonbori, Namba.
“Shinsaibashi (心斎橋) is a district in the Chūō-ku ward of Osaka, Japan and the city’s main shopping area. At its center is Shinsaibashi-suji (心斎橋筋), a covered shopping street, that is north of Dōtonbori and parallel and east of Mido-suji street.” Wiki.
4. Tsutenkaku
Tsūtenkaku (通天閣)
Famous tower in Osaka, Namba, Shinsaibashi, sightseeing, Shinsekai.
“Tsūtenkaku (通天閣, lit. “Tower Reaching Heaven”) owned by Tsūtenkaku Kanko Co., Ltd. (通天閣観光株式会社 Tsūtenkaku Kankō Kabushiki-gaisha) is a tower and well-known landmark of Osaka, Japan and advertises Hitachi. It is located in the Shinsekai district of Naniwa-ku, Osaka. Its total height is 103 m; the main observation deck is at a height of 91 m.” Wiki.
5. Universal Studios Japan
Universal Studios Japan (ユニバーサル・スタジオ・ジャパン Yunibāsaru Sutajio Japan)
Good place for Families, Osaka, Fun place, theme park in Osaka, hanging out.
“Universal Studios Japan (ユニバーサル・スタジオ・ジャパン Yunibāsaru Sutajio Japan), located in Osaka, is one of four Universal Studios theme parks, owned and operated by USJ Co., Ltd., which is wholly owned by NBCUniversal (as of 2017).” Wiki.
6. Geisha Cafe tea ceremony
The Japanese tea ceremony
Tea Ceremony, tea garden, sado, wabisabi, Japanese tea culture, geisha, maiko, tradition.
“The Japanese tea ceremony, also called the Way of Tea, is a Japanese cultural activity involving the ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha (抹茶), powdered green tea.” Wiki.
7. Kaiyukan
The Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan (海遊館 Kaiyukan)
“The Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan (海遊館 Kaiyūkan, known as the Kaiyukan) is an aquarium located in the ward of Minato in Osaka, Japan, near Osaka Bay. It is one of the largest public aquariums in the world, and is a member of the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA).” Wiki.
8. Osaka Takoyaki Museum
Osaka Takoyaki Museum (大阪たこ焼きミュージアム)
“Five of the Osaka’s most famous takoyaki shops have been assembled at this museum dedicated to the local specialty. The museum includes exhibitions showing the history of the ingredients and utensils used to make takoyaki; a theme park; take-out menu and souvenir goods; and events and games.” OsakaInfo.
9. Sumiyoshi Taisha
Sumiyoshi taisha (住吉大社)
“Sumiyoshi taisha (住吉大社), also known as Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine, is a Shinto shrine in Sumiyoshi ward in the city of Osaka, Japan. It is the main shrine of all the Sumiyoshi shrines in Japan. However, the oldest shrine that enshrines the Sumiyoshi sanjin, the three Sumiyoshi kami, is the Sumiyoshi shrine in Hakata.” Wiki.
10. Umeda Sky Building
The Umeda Sky Building (梅田スカイビル Umeda Sukai Biru)
“Sky view, night view, date spot, dinner, sightseeing.
The Umeda Sky Building (梅田スカイビル Umeda Sukai Biru) is the nineteenth-tallest building in Osaka Prefecture, Japan, and one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. It consists of two 40-story towers that connect at their two uppermost stories, with bridges and an escalator crossing the wide atrium-like space in the center. It is located in Umeda district of Kita-ku, Osaka.” Wiki.

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Sights You Can’t Miss While Visiting Osaka

Sights You Can’t Miss While Visiting Osaka
1. Osaka Castle
This famous landmark is located in the heart of Osaka city and its scenery has picturesque views that change from season to season. Visiting in spring is breathtaking as it appears if the blossoms from the numerous parks are everywhere. Walking tours are popular here, to view the different historical structures and shrines inside the castle walls. If you have time, you can visit inside the castle, which has a museum that holds an impressive samurai armoury.
Osaka Castle
2. Shitennoji Temple
This temple is as beautiful as it is valuable to the people of Osaka. Shitennoji Temple was Japan’s first Buddhist temple and its construction highlights many religious aspects from its positioning, layers included and purpose of enshrining the Four Heavenly Kings of Buddhism. This site was included on this list for its stunning photo prospects (especially when it is lit up at night time), as a place to relax in the busy Osaka city and as an opportunity to see Japanese ancient architecture first-hand.
Shitennoji Temple
3. Namba Yasaka Shrine
Visiting a Shinto Shrine should be on your Japanese visiting list, and the Namba Yasaka Shrine is the most scenic in all of Osaka. On certain days, you may even witness locals in traditional dress giving thanks. Most visitors come to this shrine to see its vermillion arch-shaped bridge. Once you are there, remember to stop and look at your reflection in the water below and pause to think of the stunning nature around you!
Traditional and kitsch inside Namba Yasaka shrine
4. Umeda Sky Building
There are two reasons to make a trip to the Umeda Sky Building, and the best time to see it best is at night time. The first reason is to see the Hanging Gardens, a modern take of ‘The Hanging Gardens of Babylon’. Lights and other luminous decorations appear all around, making the tower itself appear alive. From there, you can see the city in 360-degree splendour. Finally, you can see modern architectural styles and materials, as it appears as if this whole building is made out of glass. If you wish, you can explore the shops inside the Umeda Sky Building, which include bars, restaurants and cafes. If you are bringing a loved one here, you can buy a heart shaped padlock to leave at the top of this building. Your love will be as study as this lock, forever enshrined at this romantic destination.
hi from the Sky
5. Flower Expo Memorial Park
You can’t miss this park off your visiting itinerary because of the entrance price – because it’s free! This large park has been a favourite with locals and visitors alike since its construction for the International Garden and Greenery Expo in 1990. It has many gardens inspired by different countries, which is why it has a large windmill above a bed of tulips! With such a large range of colourful plants and flowers, how could you miss a location like this for your Osaka trip? Note that the best time to see this park is in spring when all the flowers are in bloom.
太陽の塔
6. Midosuji Street
This street is added to this list for the modern and inner city scenery that is delightful to see firsthand. While you could head to Midosuji Street just to do some shopping at famous stores like Prada, Chanel, Dior and others, you could also go to see the modern sculptures that are featured outside of the shops. There are also outdoor decorations put up for different events throughout the year, the most famous being in winter for Christmas time. From December till January, different coloured lights make this street shine, as well as the trees and buildings alongside it. No matter what time of year it is, you can always see the beautiful displays in the store windows!
御堂筋
7. Miyuki-dori or Korean Town
Why not see another culture while in Osaka, conveniently located in one friendly neighbourhood? Korean Town is well known for its restaurants and clothing outlets, as well as many events that bring the Japanese and Korean community together.
8. Expo Park
This location was the focal point during the 1970 World Expo and it still serves its purpose to bring people together in celebration and good will. It has different sections which include the Japanese Garden, the Natural Culture Park and the Tower of the Sun awaits for the perfect photograph. Other favourite locations in the park include the National Museum of Ethnology where every ethnic group on the planet is represented, and the International Institute for Children’s Literature, where over 650,000 materials on children’s literature can be found.
太陽の塔
9. Senkouji Temple
This temple is not for the faint of heart, as it has an exhibit inside of the Buddhist depiction of hell. At the end of your temple tour, you can take a fax soul reading and see if you are going to paradise or… the other place! If you do end up being punished, an Enma-sama or demon spirit will try to scare you with a loud noise! This temple visit will create lots of great stories for family and friends back home!
7736 demonic elephant devours the damned
10. Biliken Hunting
While this isn’t one location you can visit, Biliken or Good Luck gods are a common feature around Osaka. Biliken or “The God of Things that are ought to Be” isn’t a traditional Japanese deity, but rather a mascot who gained popularity with the Osaka community. They have adopted him as their patron spirit after a large statue of him was taken from an Osaka amusement park. Keep an eye out during your time around the city and you will see heaps of these statues. There are some you can buy for yourself at souvenir stores. If you have some spare time, why not go hunting and see how many Biliken statues you can find? Remember to rub his feet and he might share with you some of his good luck!
Billiken
Check out our other lists like the Top 10 Things to Do in Osaka, Things to do in Dotonbori and Things to do in Shinsaibashi to plan your perfect trip!

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Top 10 Things to Do in Osaka

Top 10 Things to Do In Osaka
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1. Universal Studios Japan
I can never say no to a visit to Universal Studios. Rides, games, themed sets and shops, interactive shows and 4D experiences; basically everything for a great family day out. What makes Universal Studios Japan essential for any visit to Osaka is the new attractions called Universal Cool Japan 2017. Based on international famous entertainment brands such as Evangelion, Godzilla, Attack on Titan, Detective Conan and Monster Hunter, new experiences will put you face to face with these iconic characters using state of the art technology. As if you couldn’t handle anymore, a new Harry Potter section has also just opened for magic fans as well. I would suggest a whole day in order to see everything.
ユニバーサルスタジオジャパン
2. Take a Ride on the Aqua Bus Aqua-Liner
See Osaka by floating on the streets of the ‘Water Metropolis’ and see the major sightseeing spots from the river. The Aqua-Liner is a speciality built boat, with many windows so you can see the scenery around you and can also can pass under bridges of Osaka River. The cruise lasts for 1.5 hours and runs every day. You can also book time on their restaurant cruise so you can enjoy the trip and restaurant quality service for lunch, afternoon tea or dinner.
Aqua liner in Osaka
3. A Visit to Tsutenkaku Tower
Tsutenkaku Tower is known as the symbol of Osaka city, so a visit should be on any Osaka trip. At the top, you can learn more about the city and the tower, like how its shape and design is based on the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triumph. You can explore the observation deck, the statue of a good luck god Billiken, Glico food shop and its theatre at the base of the tower where you can find a range of performances that you might like to book and attend.
通天閣
4. Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
This attraction is a must see, as this aquarium hosts a very large array of fish, mammals and other aquatic life from the ocean. The most famous resident here is a whale shark, the biggest type of shark in the world! Seeing one is a rare sight, as only a few live in select aquariums due to their enormous size. You can see this big guy swimming peacefully with sharks and stingrays, as well as make your own friends in a hands-on rock pool at the lower level of the building!
Kaiyukan Osaka Aquarium
5. The Osaka Museum of Housing and Living
The city of Osaka has a very old history, and you can see it come to life at the Osaka Museum of Housing and Living. A model of the city, as it was in the Edo Period, is on display, as well as recreated buildings and streets that you can explore yourself. You don’t need a time machine here as interactive displays will transport you through different periods of Osaka’s history and show you how this city became as popular as it is today.
Japanese Town: Osaka Museum of Housing and Living
6. Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum
Instant noodles – A favourite dish in Japan and around the world. But did you know that instant noodles came from Japan? Did you know there are over thirty different flavours of ramen or Japanese instant noodles available in Japan? You can learn, and more importantly TASTE, the history of instant ramen yourself at this museum!
Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum
7. See a Kabuki Show at the Osaka Shochikuza Theatre
Kabuki is a traditional Japanese style of theatre, which includes traditional masks and costumes. You can book to see a show at the Shochikuza Theatre, such as an aragoto style or actioned packed play or wagoto style or more romantic themed play. Both will have time-honoured Japanese style dancing and music. This is definitely a show you cannot miss!
大阪 松竹座
8. Take a Day Trip to visit the Chihaya-akasaka-mura Village
If you have a spare day and want to see the mountains around Osaka, visiting Chihaya-akasaka-mura Village is a brilliant idea. Located on the Konogozan Mountain, this village will let you see the beauty of Japanese paddy fields and countryside. There is a lot that you can do here, including hiking up the mountain, fishing for local trout, exploring the village markets, shines and Shimo-Akasaka Castle ruins.
千早赤阪村5 8/13
9. Osaka Science Museum
With new attractions such as a planetarium, the Osaka Science Museum will be a great visit for anyone who is interested in space or energy! Hands-on exhibits will engage your mind as you explore science with your senses. This museum boasts that its panoramic screen system in its new planetarium section is the world’s largest, so it can display over 28,000 stars and intergalactic bodies onto its speciality made dome screen. What a way to star gaze!
Japan - Osaka - National Museum of Art and Osaka Science Museum
10. Maikoya Osaka
Maikoya Osaka is a brand new tourist and entertainment complex that combines so many authentic Japanese experiences in one location! With sections including Maikoya Osaka Studios, Maiko Café and Feel Osaka Cultural Experiences, which are classes that you can take to learn more traditional Japanese activities such as origami, flower arranging or the tea ceremony. There is something here for the whole family to enjoy and engage with as most of the activities here are hands-on! Unlike other tourist attractions, Things To Do Osaka will make you feel right at home with friendly English speaking staff at a welcoming traditional home setting rooms.
Tea ceremony-2
Check out our other lists like Sights You Can’t Miss While Visiting Osaka, Things to do in Dotonbori and Things to do in Shinsaibashi to plan your perfect trip!