Life Hack

Survival Japanese while commuting!

Train in Tokyo

[Credit: Tsunagu]



I take the train more or less everyday here in Tokyo. It’s the easiest way to get around, the trains arrive on time and most amenities are close by to the stations. Although English announcements are made on the trains, it’s always good to know what the Japanese translates to. I’ve written down a few that may be helpful along your travels! First I’ve listed the kanji and hiragana characters, then how it pronounced in English, then finally the English translation. In the case where “…” is written, usually something like a station name will be announced before or after.


まもなく… (Mamonaku…) Shortly/Soon…

次は /つぎは  (Tsugiwa) The following is…/Next…

行き / ゆき (Yuki) For / Towards

到着します /  とうちゃくします (Touchakushimasu) Will arrive

…をのりかえです (…o norikaedesu) Transfer here

ご注意ください / ごちゅういください (gochuuikudasai) Please note / Please take care

電車来ます/ でんしゃきます (densha kimasu) The train is coming

ドアは閉まります/ どあはしまります (doa wa shimarimasu) The door is closing



The following sentence is particularly handy when you’re unsure what side of the train doors will open for your stop (or if your train is really crowded!)
Keep in mind that the left and right side is determined by the direction the train is heading.

お出口は左側です/ おでぐちはひだりがわです (odeguchi ha hidarigawa desu) The exit is on the left side

And to break this sentence down…


Odeguchi (or guchi, in non-polite terms) means “exit”
Hidari means “left” and migi means “right”
Gawa means “side”



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