25 common and (really) useful Kanji for travellers

Jo-Shan
Jo-Shan
Jul 6, 2017 · 3 min read

Japan has always been one of the favourite destinations of almost everyone in the world. Even though tens of thousands of visitors are going in and out of Japan every day, you might still encounter situations when knowing a few Japanese words or Kanji can be useful. From a linguistic point of view, it’s always good if you learn Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji altogether. However, it’s not necessary to achieve, say, JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) level 3 just for your trip.

Most of the signs in big cities like Tokyo have English translations. Nonetheless, you may still find some signs or instructions only in Japanese, yes, even in Tokyo. What if your travel to smaller towns like Nara or Beppu? I guess I don’t need to explain further.

The Kanji list below may come in handy for travellers (based on my own experience).

  1. 入口 (いりぐち iri-guchi) — entrance

2. 出口 (でぐち de-guchi)= exit

3. 改札口 (かいさつぐち kai-satsu-guchi) = ticket gate

Elevator to 改札口(the ticket gate)

4. (えき e-ki) = station

5. 電車 (でんしゃ den-sha) = train

6. 地下鉄 (ちかてつ chi-ka-tetsu) = subway

7. 準備中 (じゅんびちゅう jun-bi-chuu) = in preparation (means, the shop/restaurant is not open yet)

8. 営業中 (えいぎょうちゅう ei-gyou-chuu) = open (for business)

9. お湯 (おゆ o-yu) = hot water

10. お手洗い (おてあらい o-te-ara-i)/トイレ (to-i-re)= restroom, toilet

11. 辛い (からい karai) = hot, spicy

12. 料金 (りょうきん ryou-kin) = fee, fare, charge

13. 入場料 (にゅうじょうりょう nyuu-jou-ryou)= entrance fee

14. 無料 (むりょう mu-ryou) = free of charge

*did you recognise the 料 from 料金?

15. 価格 (かかく ka-kaku) = price

16. 定価 (ていか tei-ka) = list price, fixed price

17. 半額 (はんがく han-kaku) = half-price

18. (おんな onna) = female

19. (おとこ otoko) = male

20. (みぎ migi) = right (direction)

21. (ひだり hidari) = left

22. 非常口 (ひじょうぐち hi-jou-guchi) = emergency exit

23. 禁止 (きんし kin-shi) = forbid, prohibit, ban

禁 + smoking = No smoking

24. 注意 (ちゅうい chuu-i) = caution

25. (くすり kusuri) = medicine

BONUS! (confession: my favourite)

  • 拉麺 (ラーメン or らーめん are commonly seen)= ramen!
  • 寿司 (すし su-shi) = sushi

Planning a trip to Japan? (You will never regret btw!) Learn these Kanji before your trip, or take note and bring them with you; trust me, they will be helpful!

Check out Eggbun too, to learn Japanese with the Chatbot tutor- Lanny before your trip.

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Jo-Shan

Written by

Jo-Shan

UX Design | CS | Content Marketing | Languages | Polyglot in the making | https://www.linkedin.com/in/jo-shan/

Story of Eggbun Education

Discover the journey of International Startup that revolutionize the way we learn Languages