If you are planning a trip to Japan, congratulations! You are about to embark on an amazing adventure. Not only is Japan a fascinating country with a rich culture and history, but it is also home to some of the best food in the world.
One thing that can make your trip even more enjoyable is being able to speak Japanese. While not required, being able to communicate with the locals will definitely enhance your experience in Japan.
If interested in learning Japanese while traveling in Japan, read on about 5 easy things you can do to improve your Japanese while traveling in Japan. We’ll also address some related questions you may have about learning Japanese in Japan. Now read on if interested!
5 easy ways to improve Japanese while traveling in Japan
Being in Japan already exposes you to the Japanese language and culture a lot. While you can easily access translation services to understand everything quickly, it would be a shame if not use the chance to pick up some Japanese phrases and level up your Japanese skills.
So here are 5 easy things you can do while traveling in Japan to increase your Japanese skill. Let’s take a look!
Go on a guided tour
There are many guided tours available in Japan that are conducted in English. While these tours are great for learning about the country and its attractions, they can also be a great opportunity to practice your Japanese.
Attend a Japanese language school
If you are serious about learning Japanese or plan to stay in Japan for a long time, it’s a great idea to attend a Japanese language school to learn Japanese systematically. Besides you can also use online resources like Japanese learning apps for the same purpose.
Attend a Japanese Cooking Class
Japan has a unique food culture that is very different from the west. What’s a better way to learn about a culture than through its cuisine?
In Japan, there are many cooking classes available that cater to foreigners. If you love sushi, ramen, or tempura, don’t miss these opportunities! Not only will you learn how to make some delicious dishes, but you will also pick up some valuable Japanese language skills.
Watch Japanese TV Shows and Movies
While you can do this anywhere in the world with the internet, watching TV channels in Japan is a different experience. Channels like NHK are live 24/7 with entertaining and informative content. You can also pick up useful everyday phrases and vocabulary.
Some of the best Japanese TV shows and movies to watch include “Doraemon”, “Spirited Away”, “Your Name”, and “Your Lie in April”. We also have collected a few great Japanese YouTube channels to learn Japanese if interested.
Join a Language Exchange Program
A great way to practice your Japanese while also meeting new people is by joining a language exchange program. There are many of these programs available online and in major cities across Japan.
By participating in a language exchange program, you will be paired up with a Japanese person who is also interested in learning English. You will then take turns practicing each other’s language.
How much does it cost to learn Japanese in Japan?
The cost of learning Japanese in Japan can vary depending on many factors, such as the type of institution you attend, the length of your program, and your location.
In general, however, you can expect to spend anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars on tuition and other fees. If you are on a tight budget, you can also use language apps like LingoDeer that only cost less than a hundred dollars to get fluent in Japanese by yourself.
Additionally, living expenses in Japan are relatively high, so you will need to factor in the cost of food, housing, and other basic necessities when budgeting for your Japanese language program.
With all of these costs in mind, it is important to do some research and compare different programs before making a decision.
Do you need to know Japanese to travel in Japan?
While knowing Japanese is not a must if you just plan to be in Japan for a short time, learning even a little bit of Japanese before your trip is always a good idea. It will help you better understand the culture and make new friends while you’re here. For example, knowing how to order food in Japanese can save you a lot of time and better enjoy Japanese cuisine. Plus, it’s just plain fun!
If you can’t speak any Japanese, don’t worry. There are plenty of resources available to help you get by. For example, many museums and tourist attractions have English-language signage and pamphlets. And in larger cities, there are often English-speaking staff members working in hotels, restaurants, and shops. You can also use LingoDeer‘s free travel phrasebook to learn the most travel phrases on the go.
Top places to visit in Japan
When learning a new language, it’s a good idea to get acquainted with the culture and tradition of the country where it is spoken. In Japan, there are many places you can visit to do just that. Here are some of the best:
- Tokyo – As the capital of Japan, Tokyo is a great place to start your cultural journey. There are many museums and temples to visit, as well as countless restaurants and shops.
- Kyoto – Kyoto is considered to be the cultural heart of Japan. It is home to numerous historical sites, such as the Kiyomizu-dera Temple and the Fushimi Inari Shrine.
- Nara – Nara was once the capital of Japan and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is known for its large number of deer which roam freely around the city.
- Hakone – Hakone is a popular hot spring resort town located in the mountains west of Tokyo. It is a great place to relax and enjoy some of the beautiful scenery Japan has to offer.
- Sapporo – Sapporo is the capital of the northernmost prefecture of Japan, Hokkaido. It is famous for its snow festival, which takes place every February.
- Okinawa – Okinawa is a group of islands located southwest of mainland Japan. It has a unique culture and history, as well as beautiful beaches and clear blue waters.
No matter where you go in Japan, you are sure to find something interesting and unique. So why not start exploring today?
Japanese customs and traditions you should know before visiting
Japan is a country with a long history and rich culture. There are many customs and traditions that have been passed down through the generations. Here are some of the most important ones to be aware of:
- Bowing – Bowing is a way of showing respect in Japanese culture. When you meet someone new, it is customary to bow to them. The deeper the bow, the more respect you are showing.
- Slippers – In Japan, it is not considered polite to walk around inside someone’s home with your shoes on. Instead, you should take them off and wear slippers. You will often find slippers near the entrance of homes and businesses.
- Taking Off Your Shoes – In addition to wearing slippers inside, you should also take your shoes off when entering places such as temples and shrines. This is done out of respect for the deities that are worshipped there.
- Gift Giving – Gift giving is an important part of Japanese culture. When you are invited to someone’s home or given a gift, it is customary to give one in return. Gifts are usually wrapped in beautiful paper and often include items such as food, clothes, or books.
- Tattoos – Tattoos are generally seen as taboo in Japan. This is because they were once associated with criminals and the yakuza (Japanese mafia). As a result, many public places such as pools, hot springs, and beaches do not allow people with tattoos to enter.
These are just a few of the many customs and traditions you will encounter in Japan. By being aware of them, you can avoid making any cultural faux pas during your visit.
How to learn the Japanese lettering system
Kanji are the most complex of the three scripts and represent whole words. They are typically used for nouns, adjectives, and verbs. Hiragana and Katakana are both phonetic alphabets that represent individual sounds. Hiragana is used for native Japanese words, while Katakana is primarily used for foreign words.
It is important to learn all three scripts in order to be able to read and write in Japanese. However, if you are just starting out, you may want to focus on Hiragana and Katakana first. Once you have a basic understanding of these, you can then start learning Kanji.
There are many resources available to help you learn the Japanese lettering system. You can find books, websites, apps, and even podcasts that will teach you everything you need to know. So what are you waiting for? Start learning today!
How to pronounce Japanese words
One of the hardest things about learning Japanese is understanding its pronunciation. This is because there are many sounds in Japanese that do not exist in English.
In addition, the way words are written in Japanese does not always match the way they are pronounced. For example, the word for “tree” is written as 木 (ki), but it is pronounced as “ko”.
The best way to learn proper pronunciation is to listen to native speakers and imitate their speech. There are also many helpful resources available online, such as pronunciation guides and audio files.
With a little practice, you will be able to pronounce Japanese words like a native speaker in no time!
Is Learning Japanese Worth It?
Learning Japanese can be a challenging but rewarding experience. It will open up a whole new world of opportunity and allow you to appreciate the rich culture and history of Japan.
If you are dedicated and willing to put in the effort, learning Japanese is definitely worth it! So what are you waiting for? Start learning today. Stay safe and have a good one, folks!