How Difficult is Travelling Japan without Japanese? | Travel Tips

  • Published on Mar 26, 2018
  • Travelling Japan without Japanese might not be as tough as you think.
    ► LEARN more about Japan on the Podcast:
    ► GET inspiration for your trip:
    ► VISIT the Japan National Tourism site:
    ► DISCOVER daily ideas for your trip: visitjapanuk
    ► SEE Japan: visitjapan_uk
    ► Facebook: abroadinjapan/
    ► Twitter: AbroadInJapan
    ► Instagram: @abroadinjapan
    ► MAIN Camera:
    ► INDOOR Lens:
    ► OUTDOOR Lens:
    ► FAVOURITE Lens:
    ► BACKUP Camera:
    ► STABILISED Camera:
    Business Enquiries:
  • EntertainmentEntertainment

Comments • 8 437

  • Catt
    Catt 4 years ago +16646

    I stayed at a hostel in Osaka and asked the receptionist if there was a cat cafe that she recommended, she told me to go have a cup of tea and she would write down the details, I thought she meant the address and how to get there but instead she typed up a comprehensive guide to every cat cafe in the area including pro's and con's and what kinds of cats they had. That was when I realised that Japanese people generally are ridiculously helpful and kind! :)

    • Drew
      Drew Month ago


    • Darassyl Moniakam
      Darassyl Moniakam 7 months ago

      he just do his job

    • Amaterasu
      Amaterasu 8 months ago +1

      @r33mote who cares what you think. Ill do what ever I want

    • r33mote
      r33mote 8 months ago

      @Amaterasu they're motivated to help foreign tourists because it increases their quality of life lol. dude.. dont be so naive and idealistic, for your own sake.

    • Syd Gaming
      Syd Gaming 11 months ago

      Same kind of thing happened to me when I was looking for a super sentai cafe in akihabara in ABA hotel the worker at the desk was sooo helpful

  • iamregalado
    iamregalado Year ago +1286

    When I went to K’s Hostel in Tokyo they were booked and they called another hostel, made my reservation, drew me a map, and when I said “I hope I can find it” the guy said “well she (another worker) is going home in 5 minutes and can walk you there if you can wait.” Customer service is crazy. It was amazing. I seriously love Japan.

    • Doug Dimmadome
      Doug Dimmadome Month ago

      Another reason why Japan is superior. In America they'd just say "sorry" and send you to google.

    • Ryan Bowers
      Ryan Bowers 3 months ago

      That's just K's house being K's house. They are amazing.

    • 765 lb squat
      765 lb squat 4 months ago

      In America they would say "F*** off, we're booked" and when you don't leave right away, they follow up with "Are you still here?"

    • iamregalado
      iamregalado 6 months ago

      @John cook never been to Hawaii but that’s because of the expense and because I’ve heard that the locals are hostile in that sense. Unfortunate.

    • John cook
      John cook 6 months ago

      Funny how Hawaii has so much Japanese heritage, yet is the EXACT opposite when it comes to customer service!

  • Mainsail76
    Mainsail76 10 months ago +431

    My cousin was in the US Air Force for over twenty years, and he tells an impressive story about being in Japan. He was a pilot, and he flew into Yokota AFB a number of years back. He was only there for about two weeks, but wanted to see as much of Japan as he could. He and his co-pilot took a train some place, but I can't remember where he said it was. It was in the evening hours, and after about thirty minutes or so, it became obvious to them that they took the wrong train. There was a tired salaryman sitting nearby, and by the look on my cousin's face, the salaryman could tell that something was wrong. He came over to them and tried to find out what the problem was, but he didn't speak English. The salaryman eventually figured out that they took the wrong train. So, in a calming manner, he put his hands up, and just said, "ok, ok, ok." At the next stop, the salaryman took them to another train that was going back in the opposite direction to the station they had left. The salaryman rode with them! Once they got back to the station, he then made sure that they got on the proper train, and marked on a paper schedule what train they'd need to get back. So, this salaryman, who had probably just worked 16 hours at the office went WAY out of his way to make sure that these Gaijin got to where they needed to go. Very impressive I think!

    • eathams
      eathams Month ago

      Who says salaryman that much lmao. Just call him a guy

    • Marlon Arancibia
      Marlon Arancibia Month ago

      @Trombone Man Brother, it's sarcasm.
      The guy said it's "his duty" like one of these guys that think Japanese people are always magically morally and socially above everyone else.
      Even if it was just being nice, you'd said "His kindness", which he explicitly stated that it was not. He said it had to be "his duty". That's why I'm making fun of the comment.

    • Trombone Man
      Trombone Man Month ago

      @Marlon Arancibia or they're just...nice people? I don't know why it's hard to just know that some people aren't all assholes

    • Marlon Arancibia
      Marlon Arancibia Month ago +1

      @ava246xz_ because japanese people are angels on earth, with no fallible mistakes and willing to give their first born to the first foreigner that requests it. Who are willing to give their life for someone they met 10 minutes ago

    • ava246xz_
      ava246xz_ 6 months ago +5

      @Darassyl Moniakam why was it his duty?

  • cazza09
    cazza09 Year ago +184

    Can't stress enough how friendly and helpful the Japanese are. Was in Tokyo and lost my wallet the day before traveling to Kyoto for a few days.
    Stayed at the same hotel when I got back to Tokyo. As I was checking back in, they told me my wallet had been found. Drew me a map and wrote a full list of instructions in both English and Japanese, in case I needed to stop and ask someone.
    Was reunited with my wallet (with nothing missing, obviously) within a few hours of being back in Tokyo.
    I love that country.

    • Trombone Man
      Trombone Man Month ago

      @Maegal Roammis if helping is creepy to you, then I have no words for you.

    • Gold Lightan
      Gold Lightan 3 months ago +3

      @765 lb squat this is actually quite common, majority of lost properties get handed in to the local police station. Many people reported thats how they recover their lost items (intact)

    • Maegal Roammis
      Maegal Roammis 3 months ago

      the city of creepiness

    • cazza09
      cazza09 4 months ago +6

      @765 lb squat can promise it happened, but if you want to assume that japanese people aren't as honest as that....then that's on your prejudices. Don't know why you'd automatically assume it's bullshit 🤷🏻‍♂️

    • 765 lb squat
      765 lb squat 4 months ago +1

      I call BS on that Story

  • Rysea
    Rysea Year ago +792

    3:11 Gotta love how in english it says "Welcome to Japan" but in Japanese it says "Welcome back"

    • Trombone Man
      Trombone Man Month ago +2

      @Maegal Roammis mate you're really everywhere just spreding negativity

    • Maegal Roammis
      Maegal Roammis 3 months ago

      welcome to the land of the hypocrisy

      RVKISVMV 5 months ago +1

      yeah i‘ve totally seen that😂

    • AmazaToad
      AmazaToad 8 months ago +6

      @Nayeem Haider exactly but it's kinda cute how the translation is off a bit ngl xd

    • Nayeem Haider
      Nayeem Haider 8 months ago +12

      @AmazaToad I mean even if you're a Japanese dude raised in America, you're still returning back to the nation of your ancestors. So it makes sense to "welcome back"

  • drr0b0t01
    drr0b0t01 2 years ago +3698

    During my visit to Osaka some years ago, I became slightly lost looking for a bus stop for a certain route. An old man with his cane walked across the block to help me because of my obvious dilemma. He walked me to the bus stop and waited with me. He confirmed the bus was the right before sending me off and heading back. What a nice man he was.
    I had many friendly encounters in japan and felt very comfortable after some time.

    • Dinodude1100
      Dinodude1100 2 months ago

      @Sacha Daenens They even bought you drinks!? that's amazing. everyone sounded relaxed, even that they enjoy your company and want to spend time with you. some of the videos ive been watching gave me the impression that japanese people are a little afraid of us and might not want to come into contact so ive been a little anxious about going in case i needed help. ( and i will, i have a terrible sense o direction.) but these stories are putting my mind at ease a little.

    • Maegal Roammis
      Maegal Roammis 3 months ago

      do you all guy studied japanese social culture? they were just forced to hgelp you. they surely insulted you in your backs

    • mocha
      mocha 4 months ago

      @Sacha Daenens i laughed so hard reading this lmaooo

    • Daenack Dranils
      Daenack Dranils 9 months ago

      they are not they don't show feelings


      that is what im thinking also cuz i also know mandarin

  • Adam A
    Adam A Year ago +380

    I kinda feel sorry for them businesses which spent so much money preparing for tourists who would never come due to Covid-19.

    • Maegal Roammis
      Maegal Roammis 3 months ago

      they barely speak english too

    • Shania Dirstein
      Shania Dirstein 6 months ago

      Breaks my heart.... wish they could have pushed it back one more year to 2022 in order to allow more tourism for the games

    • PROJECT_7T7
      PROJECT_7T7 9 months ago +1

      @aswler Europe is Earth's punchline.

    • aswler
      aswler Year ago +3

      I admire the country’s perceived responsibilty towards public health. I believe elsewhere in the world, especially in Europe, there would be calls or at least protests to go ahead anyway.

    • Thread Bomb
      Thread Bomb Year ago +34

      But I guess they are future-proofed for when tourism eventually starts again.

  • すりー
    すりー Year ago +258

    I'm Japanese but this video is accurate and amazing.
    I was surprised that it was not a matter of course.
    (I'm bad at English so I'm using translation software.)

  • マリクルース
    マリクルース 6 months ago +22

    This is very interesting video even for Japanese people. It is amazing that he mentioned 外来語(foreign borrowed words). It is one of the most helpful things because we have numerous 外来語 such as hotel(ホテル,ho/te/lu ), road(ロード,ro/o/do),key(キー.ki/i), station(ステーションsu/te/e/syo/nn),ticket(chi/ke/tto), train(トレイン,to/re/i/nn), park(パーク,pa/a/ku)…well, almost all of nouns in English that refer to things in daily lives are also used as Japanese words, though there are some knacks when you pronounce them in Japanese way. So don’t hesitate to use English nouns that show objects like them, but be careful about his advice: use a single word at once instead of a long sentence.

    • Maegal Roammis
      Maegal Roammis 8 days ago

      @oily london it's a miracle they still recieve many tourists

    • Maegal Roammis
      Maegal Roammis 8 days ago

      @n あなたはどんな過ちも許しません

    • n
      n 8 days ago

      @Maegal Roammis

    • oily london
      oily london 3 months ago +2

      @Maegal Roammis huh why would they bother japan is so homogenous they shouldnt have to cater to every tourists needs...

    • Tey Tyes
      Tey Tyes 3 months ago +2

      @Maegal Roammis why should they? I live in a western country and no one makes effort to learn my language either

  • Jennie Harberts
    Jennie Harberts 3 months ago +17

    Upon my arrival in Japan for the first time, I still didn't know the language and was having difficulty finding my hostel. (It was about midnight on a week night and the streets were nearly void of people.) A young man came up to me, and even though he didn't speak english, he made an effort to communicate with me using his phone. He helped by hailing a taxi for me, giving the taxi driver my address, and he even insisted on paying the fare. It was a very welcome and unexpected act of kindness, and I hope I can do the same for someone else in a similar situation someday.

  • Shooter Flynn
    Shooter Flynn 3 years ago +3050

    When I went to Japan I was looking for a store off in the suburbs of Tokyo that I had absolutely no idea where it was. I walked into this quiet little restaurant and the owners drew out a detailed map for me and gave me free drinks with lots of smiles and nods to go along with it. Whilst walking there a cargo truck driver who happened to speak a little English asked me where I was headed, and even offered me a ride there.
    Never in my life have I experienced the hospitality and selflessness of the Japanese culture. For sure it is a country to which I must return.

    • Daenack Dranils
      Daenack Dranils 9 months ago

      not means they would befriend u

    • Shooter Flynn
      Shooter Flynn 11 months ago +1

      @Deyontae hahah, was actually looking for a big Airsoft store on that day. However I will admit to perusing many an eroge store while there. They don't even try to hide them, the front half of the store can be cute anime/game merch, you turn an aisle and BAM, sextoys galore. Was quite jarring to be honest.

    • Shooter Flynn
      Shooter Flynn 11 months ago

      @Adrian Corvais not on that particular day haha! But I will honestly admit I did peruse the many cafés and exotic offerings of Akihabara during my trip!

    • Giannil Yanicks
      Giannil Yanicks 11 months ago +1

      they're like robots

  • Rozanata
    Rozanata Year ago +11

    I will never forget the level of frustration I felt back when I visited the Omitsutori festival in Nara. It was so impressive and the hotel was lovely. Took a bath in the public onsen and listened to the locals and I got that they were talking about the festival and I really just wanted to partake ... but my japanese was literally so bad that I just stayed where I was since I already learned that I'm going nowhere with english. Made me realize on what you miss out when travelling without the language. Currently spending time each day to improve my japanese for when we can travel again ... your videos really keep me motivated :)

  • Dwayne Melancon
    Dwayne Melancon 5 months ago +6

    I’ve found that the staff in the shops in the train station can be VERY helpful when you’re not sure where to go. I fully agree with the suggestion to bring a notepad & pen with you - I’ve had quite a few people draw maps for me which is so helpful (and their drawing & writing is amazingly precise, in general). It is also very useful if you bring a card or pamphlet with your hotel or address on it (in Kanji) - then you can show it to people, shrug, and usually get help (or show it to a taxi driver so they know where you want to go). I’ve also resorted to holding my ticket up to the little station map inside the train to make sure I’m getting off at the right stop - find the symbol for Chiba, for example, count the number of stops and keep track in your head - that sort of thing. And I agree that just about everyone is very patient and helpful.

  • Zainab Gritli
    Zainab Gritli Year ago +8

    2 years ago I decided to travel solo for the first time and without a lot of planning I end up going to Japan (almost the other half of the world from where I live) I didn't know anyone there, I didn't know much about the country but I was excited to explore and learn about it! in 8 days I went to 3 cities traveled around and tried different things I didn't face any problem there, my English would help me a bit when I need something with a smile and some hand signs everything went smoothly! the language would differently help to be more open to the culture but even without it you can enjoy your time there and learn a lot at the same time.

    • Akram Ahmed
      Akram Ahmed 3 months ago +1

      Sounds so cool I want to go there soon and I want to go alone aswel but I’m so nervous man being in a different country and all alone without friends

  • 81Earthangel
    81Earthangel 10 months ago +14

    From my own experience, it was extremely easy to travel through Japan in 2018. Everything is so well organized and many Japanese were interested to start up a conversation in a bar. Trains are amazing. Couldn’t imagine working there, but traveling is great.

  • Panador
    Panador Month ago +1

    We spent our (delayed) honeymoon (2.5 weeks, another few days in South Korea) in Japan without speaking a lick of Japanese. I was able to read most hiragana and katakana at least and know very, very few words, no kanji though. But without actually knowing words, that only barely helped. We still had mostly a comfortable experience, especially in more urban or tourist-y areas/locations.
    In Tokyo there's a lot of English written everywhere. If a restaurant doesn't have a duo-lingual menu they often have either a specific printed english menu they can bring you, or they have a server who can speak english and help you.
    We noticed this got less and less present the more "rural" areas got. It was great in Tokyo and Hiroshima, slightly less so in Kyoto, even slightly less so in Okayama and Naha. Still good though, because they're major cities.
    We visited Innoshima (yes, Hikaru No Go) as well, which is VERY rural. There were barely people around during the day (working, school etc.) and there was NO english anywhere, not even in the Honinbo Shusaku museum, not even bus stations etc. We couldn't even tell which direction the bus was going, if it went towards where we wanted to go or further away from it.
    Had a hell of a time getting back to the train station. Little bit of an adventure, but would not return without knowing more japanese.
    We also used a Suica card and the JR Rail Pass, both helped A LOT getting around. Also had portable wifi, another AMAZING investment. Helps A LOT to have constant internet access so you can google stuff, look up maps etc. without having to worrying about roaming etc.
    While we could get around with English, mostly, imho the stereotype of japanese people not knowing english very well, or at all, is NOT really wrong. Could also be that some *knew* english but were embarrassed and didn't want to use it, end result was still, we couldn't communicate in english with them.
    We definitely wanna go back to Japan for vacation. I'd love to learn Japanese, would definitely help, but at my age and given the effort of learning it vs payoff (speak japanese on a 2-3 week vacation, maybe other future vacations, and read/watch manga/anime) I doubt I will. :/

  • john
    john Year ago +364

    “Japanese people tend to be petty shy and pretty reserve”, proceeds to show video of a Japanese guy swinging a katana in public.

    • Interesting Username
      Interesting Username 7 months ago

      @UltraMaXAtAXX 桐生うううううちゃん!

    • r33mote
      r33mote 8 months ago

      with 9,000 unseen hikikomori hidden in the surrounding buildings

    • Daenack Dranils
      Daenack Dranils 9 months ago

      good reason to not go in japan

    • Pants
      Pants 9 months ago +2


    • Thread Bomb
      Thread Bomb 10 months ago +25

      Natsuki is a special case.

  • Jonathan
    Jonathan Year ago +4

    When I went to Japan a couple years ago I had been studying Japanese in preparation for several months. In these months I was no where near fluent (obviously) but did have several dozen phrases and a relatively small vocabulary. I was at a restaurant in Kyoto talking with the owner/chef when my wife informed him that I had been studying Japanese to which he responded, "Why? no one speaks Japanese except the Japanese."
    In my month long stay in several cities across the country, there was exactly one instance in which my inability to speak the language fluently made the situation any more difficult whatsoever. In fact one of the most surprising things I realized during my trip is just how little verbal communication is required in most of our daily activities. Beyond simple greetings, and our "please and thank yous" most interactions were handled through body language, mutually understood customs, and general non-verbal cues.

  • Moomin
    Moomin Year ago +3

    When I was in Japan most of the time my girlfriend spoke for us because she knew a little japanese. But one day I had to go to a theatre alone. I was incredibly nervous because no one had spoken english to us the entire vacation. When I arrived I realized that it's pretty easy to communicate even without a common language in most situations. But to be polite they brought one of their managers who was able to speak english. He was SO nervous and was blushing and sweating the entire time. I said that it's fine and that I will manage without help but he insisted on explaining everything to me in english. It was unneccessary but so sweet. In the theatre I sat next to an older japanese woman and she ignored me as best as she could. But at the end of the first act of the play the lights went on and we were both crying from what happened in the first act. We were both wiping our tears away while trying to protect our makeup when our eyes met. We both had to laugh and after that she offered me some lemon candy. When the play was over we kinda "talked" for a bit even though I didn't speak japanese and she didn't speak english. She showed me the way to the shop and I was able to tell her that I was from Germany. At the end we bowed and she waved at me until I was out of sight. So I learned that day that I can understand a good portion of a theatre play even without knowing japanese, that japanese people WILL help you (if you want it or not lol) and that you don't need to speak the same language to find human connection.
    I really want to go to Japan again one day and I will work on my japanese until then. But I'm way less scared now because of the experiences I made the last time I was there.

  • o0Mystique0o
    o0Mystique0o 3 years ago +1455

    First time I came to Japan, I got lost at the train station. As in: The station was so big, I had to go to the subway and had no idea where to go. I was just standing around, looking lost and a local came up to me and asked me in VERY bad English (but so sweet!) where I had to go. He was with his wife and kids. I pointed at a picture of a subway and he actually left his wife and kids behind, took me to the subway station (that was a few minutes away) and he went back.
    THAT is how kind the Japanese are. This was also when I just got of the plane and took the train, so it was my first experience with the Japanese. I have loved it there ever since (travelling anyway, still too scared to pack up and move).

    • YelloMonky
      YelloMonky 6 months ago

      Wtf you have the same background picture as another commenter here wtf. Is that from the internet?

    • Darassyl Moniakam
      Darassyl Moniakam 7 months ago

      that's creepy

    • Stella3109
      Stella3109 Year ago

      @lorinzo cartz yes

    • Sandesh Patil
      Sandesh Patil 2 years ago +1

      @bongo155 lol

    • Nikola Jelinkova
      Nikola Jelinkova 2 years ago +2

      When I went to Japan with a group of friends we were all looking lost and confused in a subway station and a very kind woman came up to us and led us to our station. People really are amazing.

  • Nina Lindner
    Nina Lindner Year ago +15

    Top 10 KINDNESSES we experienced over 2 weeks in Japan...💗 1. We stayed on Miyajima Island for a couple of nights. The guy at the front desk drew us a picture of what the famous orange Tori gate in the sea looks like "so we could enjoy it" (as it's under scaffolding). After a long (stressful) day going across the country on trains to reach the island, his thoughtfulness was appreciated.
    2. I bought some clothes from Isetan dept store in Kyoto, totalling almost 20,000 yen, and went across to Kyoto Tower for some souvenier shopping. Then went for icecream and before I even realised it was missing, the souvenier shop lady ran around the shops to find me, to return my Isetan bag!
    3. We were on the bus to Koyasan for a temple stay and an elderly Japanese lady decided to pass around a bag of mandarines to share.
    4. We were standing on the train from Kyoto to Osaka, with all our bags, and a girl came over to fold the train seat down for us so we could sit.
    5. We were looking lost in Shinjuku Station and a lady came up, gave us a map and explained what was around courts, dept stores, toilets, etc.
    6. We lost a laptop at a garden and a hat at a bakery and got both of them back.
    7. People gave up their seats in McDonalds for us.
    8. We bought convenience store food and paid the 8% tax (10% is eat in) so went outside to eat as per usual and the shopkeeper said we could come back inside to eat at the table.
    9. In Hiroshima almost everyone we spoke to (it seemed!) gave us a paper crane (for peace). 💙
    10. As it was our 10 year wedding anniversary, hotels gave us beauty products, cards and postcards.
    I found Japan to be very organised, thoughtful, clean, efficient, friendly, helpful, on time. Sometimes there was a language barrier, but I agree, speak slowly, with fewer words and you will be understood. Google translate is helpful, but doesnt always get it right. Learn some basic phrases before you go to enhance your experience there.

  • Noah Rush
    Noah Rush Year ago +1

    I was in Aomori, and we just got lost in the city for half the day and decided took the train back to Misawa in the evening. The train station we went too was just a platform with a small booth for tickets. The ticket machine broke (Not enough change for 5,000 yen), so we had to call someone to come fix it. The man was very professional and understanding, and helped us out no problem. It was one of the best experiences of my life just wandering the city and hitting up several locations, and everyone was very nice and patient with us. The Buddhist temple Showa Daibutsu was absolutely amazing and one of the most peaceful places I've been too in my life.

  • 92679gary
    92679gary Year ago +2

    In 1976 I landed in Tokyo with no knowledge of the language. I bought a Japanese phrase book and hitch hiked practically the entire country North along the east coast to the far North to Aomori then South along the West coast to Kagoshima in the far South and back up to Tokyo in about 3 months. Never had a problem being understood and back then a lot fewer locals spoke English.

  • Himiko Tiro
    Himiko Tiro Year ago +287

    "for beef you can say "bi-fu" for pork you can say "po-ku" for chicken you can say "chikin" and.. for horse you can say "BASASHI!!"" ngl i fricking lost it when i heard that

  • ibuybagel
    ibuybagel Year ago +2

    I personally found it super easy to travel there without Japanese. The only difficulty I had was getting from the airport, to my hotel in Tokyo. I was told not to use Google maps at the time, so I wound up getting super lost and started panicing. Once I flipped on Google maps, traveling became a breeze. The train stations themselves are the only thing that's difficult...but thats due to the size of the stations and the fact they use multiple train companies in the same stations.

  • Ibrahim Siregar
    Ibrahim Siregar Year ago +6

    As a three times traveller to Japan since 2014, 2016 and last January 2020, i can further testify that the Government and the local business have really stepped up with the issue of conversing with foreigners in English. Even if the Olympics is suspended due to this pandemic, it has a huge impact in getting more and more people in Japan attracted to learn English (even at the very basic level).
    Getting to many places isn't really a hassle, really easy to understand (even in remote places), many instructions as well. What i'm surprised more at the moment, they also are adding more Mandarin instruction. In some cities, it also included with Korean. To get by as a traveller, I can conclude that anyone can survive without really excelling in Japanese language. But travel is also about learning the culture of your host country, so learning at least basic Japanese before hand gives you an upper hand in most situation. The next time i'm in Japan after this pandemic ends (whether it'll be for work/school/vacation), i'll try my best in understanding better about Japanese language. It's always nice to converse with locals and learning many differences even in a place people feel very homogenous (the more times you spent in Japan, you'll be able to grasp where one person comes from within Japan from the way he/she speaks).
    Additional Note: I totally agree with you on France.

  • Sreehary Laiju
    Sreehary Laiju Year ago +1

    I got in a wrong train when i was in japan and had to get out in small station. There was no one at the station. I asked the person looking after the station for way. He didn't speak English so he wrote names of stations where i should get out, which platforms should i switch, to reach my destination. Also 2 old ladies helped me while i was in the train. Japanese people where really nice and helpful ❤️

  • Rachel Koh
    Rachel Koh 11 months ago +3

    Got on an express train and got lost. A bunch of local who doesn’t know English tried to help us. So friendly and helpful even they don’t even know English. 👍 I left my handbag 👜 at the train station counter and it was still there when I ran back to get it 👏 . Missing Japan ☹️ can’t wait to travel again!!

  • zk3tch
    zk3tch 2 years ago +5848

    i once asked a french guy (in french) do you speak English, he respoded with yes (also in french) i then asked him where the toilet was (in English) he then turned around and walked away.

    • Evie_Rosie
      Evie_Rosie 9 days ago

      When I was 13 yrs old I went to Ireland for a month to improve my english. I will always remember how when going to a small supermarket and asking for a pack of gum I said “Can I get a pack of gum please…” instead of “May I…” (with an obvious spanish accent) the cashier yelled at me for at least 10 minutes as it was rude and should have learnt that beforehand 🥲

    • Adam Zawacki
      Adam Zawacki 11 days ago

      To be fair wouldn't we in the us do the same to a silly Frenchman

    • Jeremiah Gosdin
      Jeremiah Gosdin 17 days ago

      @Amal C underrated comment

    • TheParaxore
      TheParaxore Month ago

      @TaterGaber Mock you? In America so many people have accents barely anyone thinks twice if you have one in a lot of areas

    • Cooking Flies
      Cooking Flies Month ago

      @John Wang thank you, I just started learning French
      My note: be polite with strangers and use polite words like vous instead of tu

  • Deadbeat Gamers
    Deadbeat Gamers Year ago +8

    Also, pre-download the map area for where you plan to walk around as it uses less data and loads faster when needing directions

  • Dragon Toothless
    Dragon Toothless Year ago +8

    I still remember one of my first trips to Japan in 2005 (using the flight benefits that I had at the time with United Airlines as an employee (First class each way was $160)), and I went shopping in Akihabara. Because I accidentally brought up a display copy of a manga to the counter (rather than a sealed copy for customers), the cashier took it back to get a sealed copy for me. However, upon their return, they re-scanned another book which they had previously scanned before going back to do the swap, and it took a few moments of trying to communicate to say that they were double-charging for one of the items, before the cashier finally looked at the register receipt and saw that they had done a double scan for one of the books. Meanwhile, I'd had a couple of girls in line start chuckling at the thought of a gaijin who clearly couldn't speak (at the time) sufficient Japanese to get their message across regarding the transaction, and yet they were buying a manga that was just written in hiragana and kanji (no katakana or eigo in that particular book).

  • Samurer12
    Samurer12 11 months ago

    Well done Chris from Abroad! I appreciate your insights regarding those who are thinking of traveling to Japan that do not speak their language. I know this video was posted three years ago and I want to say regardless of how long your videos have been posted it is still very informative and your videos are made with the highest quality. I hope that one day I will be able to meet you in Japan Chris! Keep up the good work! -Samurer12

  • Edgar Agapay
    Edgar Agapay Year ago +1

    ive had 3 trips to japan and i noticed each time it got easier. in 2013 i dont remember seeing many signs in english while in tokyo. in 2015 i saw more signs in english. in 2018 i noticed there were so many more plus my favorite restaurants had english menus when they didnt have them during my first trip

  • Perry Byrnes
    Perry Byrnes Year ago +5

    Thank you so much! This released a lot of anxiety. I have studied Japanese (and forgotten lots of it) but still retain a lot of basics and the ability to read and write. Given what you have said, I’ll just need one extra phrase for myself and I’ll be set. Thanks again.

  • Ivy Daphne
    Ivy Daphne Year ago +3

    Watching this video gave me flashbacks of my last visit to Japan. I was learning french at the time as a subject in university & I know some japanese phrases since I watch a lot of anime. But somehow my brain got confused & had a hard time communicating. I would accidentally speak french thinking I was saying something in Japanese haha

  • KRS
    KRS Year ago +1

    On our trip to Hiroshima, my husband and I got on the wrong bus and a local man actually got on the correct bus with us and made sure we knew where our bus change was before he left. When he left we realized that he'd taken that bus just to help us find our way and was traveling back to where we started to meet his friend. People we met in Japan were so extremely nice.

  • Karl Warner
    Karl Warner 9 months ago +1

    last time I was in Japan I spoke English the whole 3 days. everyone understood me and was very kind and friendly. very beautiful country, just kinda expansive. hope to be there soon after this covid blows over.

  • Get Germanized
    Get Germanized 4 years ago +703

    "BASASHI" made me laugh so hard xD You should have seen it :'D Wouldn't it be awesome if TheXvid gave people the chance to automatically record reaction videos for the videos they're watching? Like, little clips for specific scenes :) Similar to shadowplay by Nvidia!

    • IsmaelZ
      IsmaelZ 29 days ago

      "Wouldn't it be awesome if TheXvid gave people the chance to automatically record reaction videos for the videos they're watching" This was literally TheXvid in the beginning, it allowed people to upload reaction videos and they'd be linked to the original video :D

    • iskandartaib
      iskandartaib 3 years ago

      I suppose asking for "Uma" wouldn't work... ^_^ ("Waiter, I'd like to order the cow, please... Medium rare.")

    • SnakeStaffMagic
      SnakeStaffMagic 3 years ago

      I did exactly the same XD made my day. Tomorrow people are gonna ask why I'm laughing about a horse and a cherry XD

    • QK月
      QK月 3 years ago

      I almost spat out my drink. Lmao.
      Didn't see that one coming.

  • Yato
    Yato Year ago +3

    This is actually true! When I visited Japan and was in an underground food market, I asked for the toilet and a staff member from a stand left her workpost and guided me

  • Abbie Gilfilen
    Abbie Gilfilen Year ago

    I love this channel because it's not so much Chris's Vlog Abroad in Japan, as it is Abroad in Japan & Friends. As I'm watching it I look forward to recurring characters like Ryotaro and Natsuki. I've been binging since I discovered it this week.

  • siddelly
    siddelly 11 months ago

    You hit all the marks with this video, especially about how kind and helpful Japanese people are. When I first moved the family to Osaka in 2012 as a 47 year old with a freshly minted TESOL certificate, I couldn’t find the station entrance I needed and a random guy saw my confused look and asked me if I needed some hell in English, and then proceeded to walk me for 2 minutes to my location. After being stressed out about learning to be a part time conversation class teacher, it was a moment of hope and exhilaration! I used Hyperdia in those days, but you’re correct, Google maps has revolutionized our Japan travel experience.

  • machsix123
    machsix123 10 months ago +1

    We got by and I only knew excuse me and thank you. Surprisingly a good amount of places we went to they know you're not a local and give you the alternate menu or actually speaks English. The good ol' universal of point to what you want on the menu to order never fails.
    I'd avoid catching a cabbie if you do not have the name and location written for you by your hotel or someone fluent in Japanese and the area to give. They have a lot of seniors working as cabbies that might not be technologically savvy to use their GPS device and the one didn't know how to get to the train station despite it being a big hub.

  • 98faithie
    98faithie 3 years ago +197

    Just got back from being in Japan for a month and not knowing any Japanese, and found this so relatable. I was surprised with how far out of the way the locals would go when I didn't know my way around. And a lot of them would apologize to me for not knowing much English when they knew more than I did Japanese, and I was the one on foreign soil.

    • Jorge Guizar
      Jorge Guizar 3 years ago +2

      I hope I can go there in the future I'm in my second year of college and I'm planning to start learning the language that way if I actually end up going in the future it'll make things easier for me.

    • dominic c
      dominic c 3 years ago +1

      @TARS they do anything to help. It surprised me all the time, even in local non tourist areas, and they know alot of English there just shy, my friend was like that, it's so cute.

    • TARS
      TARS 3 years ago +10

      I went there in the winter of 2014 and I felt horrible that they kept on apologizing when I should be the one to do that and usually it just ended on us both saying sorry and no problem.

  • Jesta
    Jesta Year ago +1

    Since im planning a trip to Japan in the near future this is absolutely helpful. Next is the budget video. Won't lie was scared on getting lost in translation but the simple sayings and 4 key phrases will help, might learn a few extra just to help myself and impress the family at parties XD

  • Daniel May
    Daniel May Year ago +1

    Honestly, when I visited Japan last year it was pretty easy navigating it via English. I do know some Japanese, but like just barely enough. I've traveled to a few foreign countries, and I've found that body language like pointing and nodding and smiling and hand signs work extremely well at getting the basic point across. Also, pretending you understand what someone is saying to you when they don't speak your language lol. Just nod and mirror their facial expression. And say sorry a lot if that doesn't work.

  • Noriaki Kakyoin
    Noriaki Kakyoin Year ago

    I went to Japan a couple years ago on holiday. So many people were so kind and at a Studio Ghibli shop, the person there thought we spoke Japanese when we said “Konnichiwa” and we laughed it off as they understood we didn’t. Since then, I have watched this channel and it has really been enjoyable. Thanks for being a really nice person to watch

  • Professor X
    Professor X Year ago +2660

    "Japanese is typically only spoken in Japan"
    Here in the U.S.A., American's can barely speak English....

    • rich kid
      rich kid Month ago

      It bugs me when American using then and than in opposite way

    • Nikku4211
      Nikku4211 2 months ago


    • Ryan Kaoz
      Ryan Kaoz 6 months ago

      @bzuku are*

    • Ryan Kaoz
      Ryan Kaoz 6 months ago

      @syra was their land*

    • Ryan Kaoz
      Ryan Kaoz 6 months ago

      @Fancy As a Marylander, I have to agree. The same can be said of Australia, Canada, South Africa, many islands and definitely Indians making their own form of English. It's happened with Spanish, French, Russian, Chinese and Farsi as well. Hell even throughout the UK you have massive changes in English.

  • Stefan Lopuszanski
    Stefan Lopuszanski 3 years ago +769

    Those "weird sounding English phrases" in Japan are often actually chosen specifically because they sound good or fun to the Japanese ear. Big companies have native English speakers who know what they are doing. It isn't usually just a mistake. This came from a few marketing people I talked to while I lived in Japan. Not sure on the validity of their claims, but it makes logical sense.

    • Javier Burgos
      Javier Burgos 3 years ago

      not only in japanese. in many non english languages, a few english words or sentences are used because some english words are very dominant worldwide, ie pc (personal computer)

    • Danse DeMorte
      Danse DeMorte 3 years ago

      If you listen to much J-Pop (or anime opening and closing songs) they use a ton of English and it's always surprising when it happens.

    • DementedDarkness546
      DementedDarkness546 3 years ago +1

      @BestHotboi NA that... Doesn't refute my comment at all.

    • BestHotboi NA
      BestHotboi NA 3 years ago +1

      @DementedDarkness546 no it just sounds and looks cool to them. Some street racing teams use this and may name their team "cool night speed" or something.

    • jimbob2bob
      jimbob2bob 3 years ago


  • jordi de waard
    jordi de waard Year ago

    4:16 I remember when I went to Vienna I got some kind of week pass for public transport. At first I thought I would have to check in at the bus driver, but he just looked at me weird. Apparently everyone is allowed to just enter the bus without checking the tickets, though fees for gettjng caught without a ticket are MUCH higher than in my country. Those week tickets are absolutely amazing though, so convenient

  • Walks With Dominic

    When I went a couple years ago it was really easy to talk with people, the hardest thing was the appliances. Everyone I met in Tokyo spoke some rudimentary English and that was usually enough to get around. The oven, toilet, and street signs were brutal though.

  • misake
    misake Year ago

    When I visited Tokyo a while back, everyone was so nice. I tried to get help from people at stations to find how much to pay, some just looked down and said "No English" and shyed away but others were happy to help. In my broken Japanese I would say "doko ha desu ka?" Pointing at the station map.
    The staff at the hotel were very nice and they found it amusing when I asked for my room key and said the numbers in Japanese.

  • のらねこ
    のらねこ Year ago +35


  • The Mancunian Candidate
    The Mancunian Candidate 2 years ago +218

    The "Engrish" script on the t-shirt reminded me of my time teaching English in South Korea. Some of the parents would buy their kids t-shirts with English messages on them because they were viewed as being cool, but often they'd have no idea what the message on the shirt actually said. So I had a 10 year old boy come in wearing a t-shirt that was clearly too big for him, but his mum had bought it because it had English on the front. It said "Head down, ass up; that's the way I like to fuck". I spent the next hour of the lesson trying-and failing-to not piss myself laughing at him.

    • Trombone Man
      Trombone Man Month ago

      that's wild

    • Onion Knight
      Onion Knight Year ago +10

      Joke's on you, that kid is actually a total chad XD

    • fourloko
      fourloko Year ago +5

      In Germany we would call this "Ehrenmann"

    • Char
      Char 2 years ago +1


    • cupid
      cupid 2 years ago

      O gosh

  • JimA Anders
    JimA Anders Year ago

    I've only spent a few weeks in Japan but I did have anxiety over language difficulties. That's just me.
    Having paper and pencil with you is a very good idea for making notes.
    In Europe at least, a lot of people can read a little bit of English even if they can't speak or understand.
    Also, be sure to write in CAPITAL letters. That makes a big difference.
    If the local person writes something for you, you may be able to read it.

  • Bastien Saudemont

    Thanks for the video ! It's fine to have advices from a foreigner living in Japan. Don't judge french people on your experience please. We only loose patience when a foreigner is correcting every single santon we try to say in his langage without speaking ours ^^ (hope i didn't do any mistake in this comment...^^)

  • David H
    David H Year ago +3

    Omg! I’m totally with you there with France snapping at you. I tried to order food with beginner level language and the staff refused me service and served the person behind me Lol..

    • wifferste ss
      wifferste ss 9 months ago

      I didn't have that problem in Nice but I think it's because I spoke reasonable French. But even if you speak the language, I heard Paris tends to be pretty snooty.

  • hmpython89
    hmpython89 Year ago

    I am loving this video and your sense of humor. What you said about Japanese being a extremely helpful and selfless is true. If you are traveling there, you don’t need to know much Japanese at all. Although it will definitely help you to know the four words mentioned as well as male and female.

  • Kei けい
    Kei けい 3 years ago +394

    I went to Japan for a vacation in the summer of 2018 to see my family, and one night I decided to go to Tokyo tower by myself since I wanted an adventure. I used to be fluent in Japanese but since I moved to America I stopped using it, so coming back I only knew basics. So if I heard a normal conversation in Japanese I’d only pick up what is being talked about if I was lucky. Anyways, I went to the tower, stayed for a few, and I went down when it was night. It was around 7:30pm, I was heading to where I thought was the station. After walking a while I realize that I was in an area I never been in, and that I was lost. Looking around, I see a local coming out of his home and I, being that I was kind of freaking out, frantically went up to him and asked 駅はどこですか?(Eki wa doko desuka? Where’s the train station?) And he replied back, “Which station?” After that I told him the name, and he told me the directions. I told him thank you, and I thought that was the end of it. But to my surprise, he offered to walk me to the station (to which I realize it was the opposite way of where he was initially heading to and I felt bad) and on the way there he still tried to make conversation with me, even if his English wasn’t that good and my Japanese wasn’t that good either. While crossing the street to the station he made sure I made it into the building lol. All I could say was thank you 100x because back then I didn’t know how to really express my gratitude in a more coherent way. I am super thankful for that man, otherwise I’m not sure how I would’ve gotten home that night... even if he told me the directions, because honestly I didn’t remember what he said. Japan is a wonderful place with nice people, even with its cons. I’m looking forward to the day I come back again!

    • Daniel Whyatt
      Daniel Whyatt 2 years ago +1

      That’s a wonderful story. It’s great to know that the people of Japan can be that courteous. Makes me feel a little bit more reassured if I ever get lost there.

    • Miles Plumley
      Miles Plumley 2 years ago

      What would you say are it’s cons?

    • Basseman
      Basseman 2 years ago +2

      hmm, guess you maybe forgot, because you where young and it´s a complicated and different language, between japanese and english maybe?

    • Synthesized
      Synthesized 2 years ago +2

      @Cherny lol i dont live in chicago anymore. I left more than 10 years ago. Read carefully

  • 曽蔵徹
    曽蔵徹 4 months ago

    Thank you for your interest in Japan.
    In fact, most Japanese know greeting English.
    Rather, it should be noted that there is no word corresponding to "Yes / No" in Japanese, and "Hai / Iie" corresponds to "Correct / Incorrect".
    And most Japanese misuse "Yes / No".
    To avoid trouble, do not use negative forms when asking questions.
    It's a trap when trying to communicate in a short sentence.

  • hatsuharu333
    hatsuharu333 Year ago +1

    As someone who is Asian (American) my problem with going to Japan is that a lot of locals look at me and assume I’m japanese as well and start speaking Japanese really fast to me. I feel awkward just responding in English so I had to get really good at saying “Sorry, I don’t speak Japanese” in Japanese 😅

  • 01turtleboy08
    01turtleboy08 Year ago +2

    FACT: In the Japanese language "tatsu" has two meanings. "Tatsu" means both "sit" and "pass" in English. When you attempt to speak Japanese you may have to remember that the words "love" and "moon" are similar. As the Japanese word for "moon" is "suki" and the Japanese word for "love" is "tsuki"
    Why do I know this? I love Japan and it is my destiny to live my life in Japan.

    • 01turtleboy08
      01turtleboy08 6 months ago

      @Logan Stork yeah I wasn't really sure bit thanks for clearing that up for me:)

    • Logan Stork
      Logan Stork 6 months ago

      You have it mixed around. すき (好き) is similar to love but it’s more of a liking or fondness for something. The moon is つき(月).

  • Andrew McCunn
    Andrew McCunn Year ago

    I lived in Japan for 2 1/2 years and only learned some basic Japanese while I was there. Kept telling myself I was only there for another few months and figured what I would learn wouldn't be super helpful in that time. What a mistake that was!

  • Chris Jones
    Chris Jones 9 months ago

    Out of all the videos I've watched recently, I don't why this one had me laughing UNCONTROLLABLY at the food translations. Always been a fan, somehow missed this gem!

  • Trim_sizzle
    Trim_sizzle Year ago +7

    "Nobody has gotten mad at me for not knowing Japanese" bro Japan is just a peaceful place. Most everyone is polite and trying to help you

  • Upper Decker
    Upper Decker Year ago

    Love your content. Im wanting to take a trip to Japan soon. Your channel has been helpful. And very entertaining.

  • GretchenDawntreader

    thanks for this, glad I stumbled onto your channel. I do suffer from the fear that everything is super expensive and that language will leave me incredibly lost immediately.

  • S P
    S P 4 years ago +276

    Its our first time in Japan and we only speak very very very basic Japanese here (almost no Japanese) and every Japanese we came across is really understanding and have had no problem communicating ever! And yes, ppl here are so helpful! We got lost the first day here and had two lovely ladies approach us and spoke perfect English to help us get on the right train. Loving it!

    • Marysol Alvarez
      Marysol Alvarez 4 years ago +1

      Gumm Neddiack it’s their culture to think about others first

    • Shafwan Dito
      Shafwan Dito 4 years ago

      Gumm Neddiack it's probably an uncommon thing. That's why whenever they see foreigner, they need to help them since they know most foreigner are blind at kanji and hiragana sometimes

    • Daedric
      Daedric 4 years ago +1

      Someone always has to come along and ruin the mood with their negativity, shame

    • skyblue hippie
      skyblue hippie 4 years ago +6

      When I was in Osaka station trying to find a way out of that huge maze, 2 Japanese ladies helped me show the way, going so much as escorting me to one of the exits to make sure I got out there alive, lol. And they didn't speak any English! That's how nice Japanese people are towards foreigners.

  • あかねまる
    あかねまる Year ago +5

    「oh, beef !?」って笑って真似しながら理解してくれて

  • Captain Nemo
    Captain Nemo 3 months ago +1

    In Nagasaki a lady left her little shop at the harbor to not only show us where the counter for the ferry tickets was, but also went to the ferry ticket people to explain what we want in Japanese. While during most of my travels around the world I have met super nice people, but this even caught me a bit off guard and left me speechless.

  • LossGaming
    LossGaming Year ago +1

    Was fun, when I got there I stepped outside Narita airport, and my Harem came along and showed me around the country for a month. They helped with the translations as whenever they spoke subtitles would appear, 10/10 would recommend.

  • TR Labs
    TR Labs Year ago

    I went to Tokyo in 2018 for 2 weeks. I used my phone to translate from English to Japanese. I really enjoy Japan and martial arts training.

  • TakoyaKyono
    TakoyaKyono 4 years ago +256

    "Gomenasai, watashi no nihongo wa totemo warui desu" (I'm sorry, my Japanese is very bad) was my main line used when travelling in Japan. Even knowing the SLIGHTEST bit of Japanese can help to defrost even the iciest of Japanese people.
    I remember visiting an underground izakaya in Shinjuku with a friend in October of 2017. The waitress didn't seem too happy to have two white people walk in through her door so she rather arrogantly guided us to a sign saying that there was a seating charge (in English) obviously thinking that this would deter us, but alas we agreed and were shown to a table in the empty izakaya. She dumped two menus in Japanese on the table and was about to walk away when I piped up "Sumimasen, eigo menu onegaishimasu" (Excuse me, English menu please) at which point she turned around with a look of surprise on her face which turned into a genuine smile. After that she couldn't do enough to help us, even going as far as trying to use what little English she knew when we hit a communications road block.
    EDIT: PS, if you EVER come across an izakaya that sells BBQ'd chicken hearts, TAKE IT WITHOUT A MOMENTS HESITATION! It is honestly the tastiest thing you will eat.

    • Gaz
      Gaz 3 years ago

      @Kriplovski you would never use ore when speaking to a stranger.... and saying boku or either watashi is fine in a formal situation as a male. casual speak is a different matter of course though, as saying watashi as a male to friends would sound really odd. lmao

    • Ron Gee
      Ron Gee 3 years ago +4

      Note for those who will be traveling to Japan, you should be saying, "Watashi no nihongo ga jouzu janai," or more formally, "Watashi no nihongo ga jouzu dewa arimasen" and not the phrase used by PauseForGames, which isn't used because it doesn't really make sense from a Japanese standpoint. You want to talk about your skill at speaking, which is what jouzu references.

    • Kriplovski
      Kriplovski 3 years ago

      >using watashi as a self-referential pronoun
      mate, you should be using ore or boku

    • M T
      M T 3 years ago +1

      BBQ'd chicken whats

  • MurphyColeman
    MurphyColeman Year ago

    Keep in mind that even Japanese people don't necessarily speak perfect Japanese. As you say, language barriers exist, but we don't worry too much about them, because it is not so difficult to communicate with each other. There are a variety of tools that help us communicate including translation apps for smartphones. Don't hesitate to visit Japan. Have a nice trip!

  • History Egg
    History Egg 10 months ago +217

    "I don't speak [insert language]"
    Japan: It's fine if you don't speak Japanese.
    France: You're in France! Speak French!
    America: You're in America! Speak English!
    England: Mate... (pulls out cigarette) you want a ciggy, yes or no?

    • Kalicia
      Kalicia 6 months ago

      England 🤣

    • Zach McRae
      Zach McRae 7 months ago

      @Smoking Wolf on mobile if you click his profile you can see other comments he left on this video, trust me it's not satire, just racism

    • Smoking Wolf
      Smoking Wolf 7 months ago

      @Zach McRae I believe it was satire. Which is missing greatly from this world now

    • Darassyl Moniakam
      Darassyl Moniakam 7 months ago +1

      japanese just have their polite ways to tell you: "you speak badly japanse, you waste my time"

  • bruh walmart
    bruh walmart Year ago +1

    As someone whos been to japan without knowing Japanese, it's pretty easy. There's English everywhere and transportation and food is easy to comprehend

  • Silphage
    Silphage 11 months ago +1

    WOW. I googled the Suica card and the official website looks VERY similar to some pages on the Final Fantasy 14 Lodestone website in many ways... I wonder if there's an English friendly website template that some JP businesses use for English speakers?
    EDIT: They are 100% using the same website template/design. I'm not a Japanese speaker, but I'm guessing it's the JP equivalent of using some kind of common Squarespace website template or something. Interesting coincidence I found. 😃

  • Reddevii
    Reddevii 3 years ago +763

    When I went to Japan, I got a bad sunburn and needed aloe vera. My japanese at the time was not good and I could only make simple, short sentences. I tried asking the clerk for aloe vera アロエベラー, but felt helpless when he couldn't understand. A nice woman came up to me and said that she would take me there. She took me to a medicine shop which was out of her way and even stayed to help me find it. Things like that are so uncommon in America, because people are busy and don't have time. I was very happy that day.

    • sirmione905
      sirmione905 Year ago

      @jumpmomongaable I agree that New Yorkers are somewhat cold, but here in the Midwest, people are nicer and friendly even to me who is Japanese and have accent in her English. I have been to many places in the US and I felt New England was the least friendly area. In NYC, people seem not to care about others.

    • jumpmomongaable
      jumpmomongaable Year ago

      Japanese are busier than American. I never left this early from work in japan as I do In nyc now. But Japanese helps even giving up their own time. I miss my country. Never knew it was such a wonderful place till I left. I was such a stupid brat complaining about japan. Now I can’t stand my young generation people complaining at work in nyc. Work is so easy and so little stress but people here still complains!!! When I try to help elders on the street, most my friends try to stop me doing say leave it alone. I don’t get it. Btw I’m not only talking about American. Nyc consists of a lot of immigrants. So I’m not gonna stay it’s all American culture. I just didn’t know how cold this world is.

    • Kiki Holland
      Kiki Holland 2 years ago +1

      I have been helped by people going out of their way here in L.A. and it just makes your heart soar.

    • Purple Citrine
      Purple Citrine 2 years ago

      I try to be as helpful as possible but my main reason why i shy away from helping strangers anymore is bc the last two times i tried being helpful, the first person groped me in public and threatened my life indirectly and tried to take me away. I called the cops on him. The second and last time i tried to be helpful the guy (who was in his 50s) asked me how old i was. Sensing he was coming on to me i told him "23 and im pregnant and living with my boyfriend". He still asked me for my number and was very creepy. I gave him a flat "no" and he finally left me alone. U can't really trust anyone in America :(

  • MLU8811
    MLU8811 Year ago

    1) Through most of Japan, I found that people are great at using single words to communicate. When you get to the more remote areas, they get excited at the chance to use "thank you." Google Translate is fantastic, but definitely not perfect, and defendant on cellular reception.
    2) A salmon, obviously. Who in their right mind would want to be a bagel? Both options provide the chance for being eaten. One provides the guarantee of being eaten or becoming stale and subsequently garbage.

  • sirgaz
    sirgaz Month ago +1

    "Even though we learn English for 6 years somehow we can't speak or listen" Yeh I know the feeling, I did French for 4 years and all I know is bonjour, baguette and omelet du fromage (yes, from Dexters Lab). The joys of dyslexia, learning English was hard enough.

  • StamfordBridge
    StamfordBridge Year ago +1

    This is an extremely useful video. Well done!

  • jean george pierre

    You don'T need to travel to Japan to lose yourself. When I was the first time in Poland outside the great citys I was also helpless.

  • Animepro100
    Animepro100 4 years ago +90

    What I like about Abroad in Japan is that not only is Chris' humor great, but so is the comment sections humor. They play off each other perfectly. I like this community. :D

    • Jan D.
      Jan D. 4 years ago

      Animepro100 it's like a magic!

    • Mylon Ash
      Mylon Ash 4 years ago +2

      Animepro100 Nice work placing the apostrophe in the correct location to show possession. "Chris' humor"

    • ND
      ND 4 years ago

      Animepro100 TheXvidrs tend to create a community similar to them. Chris doesnt take himself too seriously and hes a funny bloke, but he does take the quality seriously. Therefore we all tend to joke around, but also have a deep appreciation for the content and legitimate things to talk about :^)

    • Ohayo Gozaimasu
      Ohayo Gozaimasu 4 years ago

      Animepro100 just love there

  • Hex
    Hex Year ago

    that's reassuring, I want to visit Japan at some point next year if things are safer and while I fully intend on learning some conversational phrases but it's nice to know

  • heygidihey
    heygidihey Year ago +1

    I really want to visit Japan one day. I admire the culture. Respect from Turkey.

  • Stefan Hoogendoorn
    Stefan Hoogendoorn Month ago

    Very informative and funny 😁, i'll visit Japan the whole month of October and started learning the language a bit. 👍

  • Constantine Ding
    Constantine Ding Year ago

    I feel really convenient to travel in Japan being a Chinese. Though I barely speak any Japanese, I can always read the kanji on a map or a signpost.
    But more convenient is the distance. It takes only 2 or 3 hour to fly from Shanghai to any place in Japan. I could vist one or two adjacent prefectures one time and save others for the future. That saves a lot of time and money on long distance domestic transportation, because cross-regional transportation could be really costly in Japan. That's why I've never been on a Shinkansen though I've been to Japan for 5 times.

    • Constantine Ding
      Constantine Ding Year ago

      @sirmione905 It's my pleasure talking with you! Hope the borders open quickly so I can come back to Japan again!

    • sirmione905
      sirmione905 Year ago

      @Constantine Ding Thank you for your quick response! Recently, I see many signs in Chinese kanji around big cities in Japan and some of them are much different from Japanese kanji, so I was wondering if Japanese kanji was difficult for Chinese people to understand. It’s still a big advantage to understand kanji to some extent for each other. Though I didn’t know correct meaning of kanji in China, I still could guess and it was much more helpful than in the countries using totally different characters like Thailand. Thank you for sharing your experience.😊

    • Constantine Ding
      Constantine Ding Year ago

      @sirmione905 Normally mainland Chinese don't have a problem reading traditional Chinese characters though we don't know how to write it... But for the kanjis in Japan I could only guess the meaning. Like the first time I saw "放题", I couldn't really get it even I wrecked my brain as hard as I could...

    • sirmione905
      sirmione905 Year ago

      Did you understand Japanese kanji that were modified differently from original character? I’m Japanese and when I traveled to China, I could hardly understand some modern Chinese style kanji that were over simplified. They are much different than original form. I understood kanji in Hong Kong easier than in mainland as they are closer to original forms.

  • capinkyky
    capinkyky 4 years ago +208

    Chris, I just got accepted into the JET program! I have to thank you for inspiring me to apply--I couldn't be happier(:

    • illythekitty
      illythekitty 3 years ago

      Congrats dude!😀

    • Dad Can Too
      Dad Can Too 4 years ago

      Congratulations. Be prepared to stay a long time. JET Kyoto 1989-1991. Haven't gotten rid of me yet.

    • iatsd
      iatsd 4 years ago +1

      +MLG420 Mcswaggerten It's ~ 8 months from start to finish.
      The JET Programme has a long recruiting cycle. It is long because they are coordinating ~2500 hires from ~30 countries between the hirers in Japan and the recruiting/interviewing bodies around the world. Applications for the 2018 intake were taken Nov - Dec 2017. Screening was done Jan. Interviews are usually in mid to late Feb at the consulate or Embassy you sent your app to. Selections are done in March. Initial decisions are sent out in April. Actual placement selections are done late April into May. All the applicants are ranked globally based on interviews and then matched against applicant requests for placement and hiring body requests. The higher up the list you are then the better the chance of getting the type/location placement you asked for. As they work down the list your chances drop until they are simply matching names against available slots. Placement notices are sent out in June, depending on numbers and various other factors. Home country orientations (for those that still do them) are done in July and the move to Japan is done late July or August (depending on the year - usually mid-late August these days).
      JET, despite the rumours, actually runs a very good Best Practice hiring process - not perfect, but given the limits and constraints they work within, they do surprisingly well at it overall. There has been a large increase over the last ~10 years in hiring people with Japanese language ability and/or teaching qualifications into JET. It used to be that if you had a pulse then you had a decent chance of getting in. Not any more. These days upwards of 25% of accepted applicants are qualified to teach or have Japanese language degrees. They're looking for ability to teach and durability to survive in Japan.
      It's *very* competitive in most countries to get an interview, especially in NZ and Australia. The essay is the most important part of the application packet, followed by the recommendation letters. If you get an interview then you have about a 50/50 chance of getting a placement - they usually take 50-75% of intreviewees each year, depending on programme overall numbers and the churn that particular year.
      If you get rejected at the interview stage then it means you did something seriously wrong or you are seriously unsuited to being around children or living outside your home country. I've been on interview panels where people have shown up in track suits, spent their time talking about how exciting they find anime/manga/Japanese schoolgirls/whatever. I've had people tell me all about how they will go to Japan and save the Japanese education system. I've been fascinated to have people tell me in interviews for the programme how they intend to use it as a paid base from which to network and find a "real" job in Japan.
      I've seen people show up in martial arts gi and I've seen them outright panic and flee.
      The JET Programme really is an amazing opportunity. And it is very equally very much what you make of it.

    • Thundercuck
      Thundercuck 4 years ago

      Hello, How long does it take to get accepted (or declined) into the JET program from first date of application? Thank you :)

  • tioz01
    tioz01 Year ago +1

    google maps is definitely your friend, it'll tell you what train to take, when to switch trains, and even how long before it arrives. Spent a month there and the only time I asked for directions was in Shibuya to find a train station (there was construction at the time and google maps was inaccurate). It went something like this
    Me: Sumimasen, eto, traino station (pointing at my phone)
    Random Asian Guy: (in perfect English) we're actually heading there now if you want to follow

  • Giorgos Tsitomeneas

    Great video, made me laugh but also very useful. Nice job dude!

  • Dennis de Gruijter
    Dennis de Gruijter Year ago +1

    When in Hirosaki I asked directions at a garage. The guys all got running around talking and one of them bundled me and my wife in a car and drove us over to the place. People are awesome!

  • Daniel Walker
    Daniel Walker Year ago +2

    I've watched a guy on TheXvid spend 30 days in Japan who didn't know any Japanese hitchhike all over.
    I think I'll be fine with the little I know from my 20+ years of Japanese obsession.
    Also Chris you are tubby. Thanks for all the great videos.

  • birdwithabrokenwing
    birdwithabrokenwing 3 years ago +748

    *cough* France! *cough* YEP! I’ve traveled and lived all over the world, and France is the only country where it feels like people make no effort to understand you, even when you’re actually trying to speak the language- in fact they often just pretend they cant understand or purposely ignor you. My sister is married to a wonderful Frenchman who is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met- but the stereotype of French rudeness to foreigners is very true in my experience.

    • Giannil Yanicks
      Giannil Yanicks 9 months ago

      i still prefer ferenches than japanese not because i am myself french but because they're more genuine than japanese , they show feelings they don't act like robots etc

    • Yorick
      Yorick 3 years ago +1

      My mother tongue is French and I also don't feel welcome there don't worry it's not personal 😌

    • punkx_xchanel
      punkx_xchanel 3 years ago +1

      i dont think french people are rude bc the same way goes for some other countries. you're kinder if you see the person trying to speak the language bc it shows they had interest in your culture before flying over. its rude to just fly somewhere and expect the locals to understand your language w/o putting any effort in. English is a universal language but still.

    • Orbotus
      Orbotus 3 years ago

      If you are reading this, how were you able to live around the world? It sounds perfect! Im 20 and the thought of living all my life in one country, in boring job is an nightmare.

    • Callum Dryden
      Callum Dryden 3 years ago +2

      I am 14 and me and my parents moved to France 7 months ago I think it is true but in certain areas but it is true they do get very mad and rude when you can’t understand it’s really not helpful to encourage people to learn the language I have learned the language luckily but it’s hard for my brother who gets teased and the teachers are just terrible

  • Troodon
    Troodon 19 days ago

    Knowing at least some of the language of a country certainly helps, and it's a good thing to at least make the attempt, but no sense in limiting yourself unnecessarily. Life is short and the world is big; see as much of it as time and money allows, I say, and if you can manage to pick of some of the language, all the more better.

  • Okuyashoe Official
    Okuyashoe Official Year ago +1

    I’ve been learning a lot of Japanese a lot and easily so I think I’ll do great, ありがとう!

  • Mark Valenzuela
    Mark Valenzuela Year ago +2

    I currently live in Japan, and about 3 of these tips work 😂

  • UK SF
    UK SF Year ago +1

    First time I went to Japan, turned up in Tokyo when it was dark. Couldn’t find hotel. A young woman with no English to ok our printed off email (this was 15yrs ago lol) with the address, disappears to find it. Twenty mins later turned up and then escorted us there. Amazing.

  • oobananaa
    oobananaa 2 years ago +654

    I imagine it must be extremely difficult to travel without Japanese. They're everywhere in Japan..

    • May shusaku hanamura suffer like crazy every sec
      May shusaku hanamura suffer like crazy every sec 6 months ago

      @Daenack Dranils they use English too. Oh I mean engrish despite studied English for 6 years

    • Daenack Dranils
      Daenack Dranils 9 months ago +2

      good reason to not go i japan

    • J H
      J H 2 years ago

      僕の名前はジェイコブです "if you don't even use reddit"
      HAHAHA I hope you aren't proud that you do

    • Mike Anello
      Mike Anello 2 years ago

      my thoughts

    • Abii Animates
      Abii Animates 2 years ago

      Duolingoさん、りんごではありません r/woooooooshh

  • Icecream Cat
    Icecream Cat 9 months ago +2

    For foreigners, I highly recommend studying at least basic Japanese, reading and speaking!
    For example, basic phrases like “Thank You”, “Excuse me”, “Help”, “Sorry”, and maybe “How much”
    To read things, learn that 女 means Female and 男 is male (as he says in the video)
    If you really want to go the extra mile, learn Katakana! It’s the writing system used by Japan for foreign loan words, so you might be able to make out *some* words

    • Icecream Cat
      Icecream Cat 9 months ago +1

      @大鴉 Raven おはよう!(ここは朝です^^‘)

  • John Wang
    John Wang Month ago

    I once went to Rio de Janeiro to introduce and train an engineer from the UK office to the data center I had supported out of the US as London management wanted that center on their books given how successful it had been. You had to direct the taxi drivers to the lesser known hotels and to the office and for some reason they had booked the Brit into a lesser known hotel so I directed the taxi driver there with simple directions such as turn left, turn right, turn around and it's over there. When I got back to the US, management was going on about how the UK office was convinced I was proficient with Portuguese which of course I am not, and if drunk I would just mix French, Spanish, English and Mandarin together with the Portuguese to get my point across (works surprisingly well or perhaps I would just be too drunk for it to matter, you'd be surprised how much street slang in Caracas is actually Mandarin words).

  • わああああ
    わああああ Year ago

    Some of my friends are too shy and run away when foreigners asked them directions,but plz don’t give up, others don’t.