Traveling in Japan: Essential Japanese Phrases in Hotels

If you are a tourist in Japan, then looking for a place to stay would be the most critical part. With language barriers, however, it would be essential to know and memorize a few phrases related to your hotel stay. 

Different kinds of Hotels in Japan

In Japan, there are different kinds of hotels, depending on your wants and needs. If you are looking for convenient and comfortable stays, then Comfort or Western Style Hotels is the one for you. Do take note, though; Comfort Hotels, the western style hotels, are one of the most expensive hotels in Japan. This is because they provide you with services and amenities that will be of the utmost convenience as you stay in Japan. Here, you will find yourself with the usual Western qualities of a hotel; a big room, a big bed, a pool, and even an English-speaking staff. 

Ryokans and Minshukus are traditional types of accommodations where you can experience the Japanese culture at an affordable rate. A Ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn while a Minshuku is a Japanese version of bed and breakfast. 

There are also other kinds of hotels that are affordable. These are minshukus, business hotels, love hotels, hostels and dorms, 24-hour baths, capsule hotels, and overnight transportations. If you are on a budget, go and check these hotels out! You can also check for weekly or monthly mansions if you are planning on staying in Japan for quite a long time. 

  What to expect from the hotels

When you travel to Japan, your accommodation at hotels will be one of your biggest expenses, especially when you are going to stay for a while. To somehow lower your costs, you can:

  • Reserve or/and book your stay at your preferred hotel months ahead of your travel dates.

  • If it’s possible, book your stay in the hotel during weekdays as room rates during the weekend increase.

  • Look for hotel options and compare hotel rates online. Some hotels may offer a significantly lower rate.

  • Check the amenities and services of the hotels. Some may include breakfast or meals, free or discounted rentals of bicycles, or shuttle bus rides. 

Another thing to check with the hotels is the Wi-Fi availability. Some hotels may or may not have Wi-Fi. Make sure to check that first before booking if you need an internet connection during your stay.

Essential Japanese Phrases in Hotels

  Check-in/check-out, Room service, and others

  • Check-in, please.
    (Check in, onegai shimasu.)

When you are about to check-in the hotel, approach the front desk and say “Chekku in, onegai shimasu”. You may also ask for other things, such as your key or room service with this phrase. For example, if you are requesting your key, say “Kagi, onegai shimasu.”

  •  I have a reservation under _____.
    ( _____ no namae de yoyaku shita mono desu.)

As you check-in, the front desk may ask you under whose name is your room reserved or you may inform the front desk as you request your check-in. Politely say, “__ no namae de yoyaku shita mono desu.” with your name filled in the blanks. 

  • I would like to request room service.
    (Room service o onegai shitai no desu ga)

During your stay at the hotel, you can order and eat inside your room. You may ask this at the front desk or your room through a call to the front desk or hotel restaurant by saying, “Rumusabisu o onegai shitai no desu ga”. 

  • What time is the check-out?
    (Check-out wa itsu desu ka?)

You can ask for your check-out time in advance during your check-in, or you may ask this at the front desk when you are nearing your check-out date.  

  • Is it possible to extend my check-out time?
    (Check-out no jikan o nobashite morau koto wa dekimasu ka?)”

Sometimes, as we are about to leave the hotel, we may need more time to fix our things for departure. If you would like to extend your check-out time, be sure to ask your front desk officer first if it’s possible.  

  • Is it possible to extend my stay one more night?
    (Ippaku enchō suru koto wa dekimasu ka?)

When time permits, we sometimes want to stay for one or more nights that were originally planned. If you want to stay one more night and see if it is possible, kindly ask the front desk, “Ippaku enchō suru koto wa dekimasu ka?” 

  • I/We enjoyed my/our stay. Thank you very much.
    (Totemo ii taizai ni nari mashita. Osewa ni nari mashita.)

As you depart, you should say your thanks and inform them of your great stay.

  Basic phrases for most situations

Finding your way around

When you are at a hotel or in a different country, you may not know where some places are. You may ask for the locations and directions of where you need to go. Below are phrases you may use to ask the staff of the hotel or a friendly Japanese person:

  •  Where is the _____?
    ( _____ wa, doko desuka?)   

You may use this when finding the public bath, gym, restaurants in the hotel, etc. 

  • Where is the nearest_____?
    (Ichiban chikai _____ wa doko desuka?)

Use this when you are looking for the nearest station, supermarket, restaurant, etc.

Breakfast related concerns

Breakfast is usually a part of the hotel experience. When you have concerns with regards to this, use the phrases below in politely asking the hotel staff: 

  • Is breakfast included?
    (Choshoku wa tsuite imasu ka?)

  • Where should I go for breakfast?
    (Choshoku no basho wa doko desu ka?)

  • What time is breakfast?
    (Choshoku wa nanji desuka?)

Services and amenities

As you enjoy your stay at the hotel, there may be some services or amenities you would like requested. To politely ask and request for these, use the following phrases: 

  • Can you ______?
    ______ はできますか?
    ( ______ wa, dekimasuka?)   

This phrase is for asking if a certain service in the hotel is possible such as changing money, room services and massages. 

  • Do you have ______?
    ( ______ wa arimasu ka?)

Use this phrase when asking for available items or services to borrow and/or use like Wi-Fi, a safe, an ATM machine, an iron, etc.  

  • Can we use Wi-Fi here?
    (Wi-Fi wa tsukaemasu ka?)

  • What is the password for Wi-Fi?
    (Wi Fi no password wa nan desu ka?)

Hotels may or may not have available Wi-Fi. To check, you may ask politely “Wi-Fi wa tsukaemasu ka?” If the hotel does have Wi-Fi, you may ask for the password by asking, “Wi Fi no pasuwado wa nan desu ka?”         

  • I can't use ______. 
    ______ が使(つか)えません。
    ( ______ga tsukaemasen.)   

You may encounter situations where you will find difficulty in using amenities in the hotel like the Wi-Fi. To ask help, simply call the front desk or any hotel staff and say, “Wi-Fi ga tsukaemasen.” 

  • Do you accept cards?
    (Kado wa tsukaemasu ka?)    

When paying at the hotel or other establishments, they may not accept cards for payment. If you are not sure and you want to ask, kindly ask, “Kado wa tsukaemasu ka?” 

  • I forgot ______ in my room.
    (Heya ni______ wo wasure mashita.)  

Sometimes, you may be in a hurry to pack all of your stuff that you may leave behind. When you have already checked out, and you have forgotten something like your charger in your room, approach the front desk and tell them, “Jyuudenki/Charger wo wasure mashita.”

Other related phrases to make your life easier 

  • Could you keep my luggage until I check in?
    (Check-in made nimotsu o azukatte moraemasu ka?) 

You may arrive at your hotel quite earlier than your check-in time. When this happens, and you need to go elsewhere, and you can’t bring your luggage with you, you may ask the front desk for assistance with “Chekku in made nimotsu o azukatte moraemasu ka?” 

  • Can I leave my bags here until _____?
    (____ji made nimotsu o azuke raremasuka?) 

When you have checked out, and you would like to leave your bags at the hotel, you may ask, “____ji made nimotsu o azuke raremasuka?” with the time inserted into the blank. 

  • Please give me a wake-up call at ______ tomorrow.
    ( ______ ji ni morning call o onegai shimasu.) 

You may request for wake-up calls from the hotel when you need to wake up early. To request for this, politely ask the front desk “__ ji ni moningu koru o onegai shimasu.” with the time filled in the blank.

  • Could you call a taxi for me?
    (Taxi o ichi dai yonde kudasai.)

Other Recommendations

Hotel booking in advance

When you travel to a foreign country like Japan, it is vital that you book and secure your hotels in advance to avoid inconveniences and to get the best offers and privileges. Here are some related phrases in Japanese that you need to use when booking:

  • I have no reservation. Do you have a room available?
    (Yoyaku shite imasen. Aiteiru heya wa arimasu ka?)

  • One single room for 2 nights.
    (Single Room hito-heya de Ni-haku desu.)

  • One double room for 1 night.
    (Double Room hito-yeya de ippaku desu.)

  • “One twin room for 3 nights.
    (Twin Room hito-heya de San-paku desu.)

  • “Is this a room with a bath / shower?
    (Ofuro/Shower Tsuki no Heya desu ka?)

Other Essential Phrases 

Other than phrases you will be using at the hotel, there are some important phrases that you need to remember. These are:

  • Thank you.
    (Arigatou gozaimasu.)

This is one essential phrase because as you will be needing and receiving much help in Japan, always remember to thank those who have helped and assisted you.

  • Excuse me.

When you want to speak to someone and/or ask help, kindly approach a Japanese person and politely say “Sumimasen.” You can also say this when you are about to bump into someone else.

  • Can you help me?
    (Tetsudatte kuremasen ka?)

  • I'm looking for ______. Do you know where it is?
    今(いま), ______を探(さが)しています。どこにありますでしょうか?
    (Ima, _____ wo sagashite imasu. Doko ni arimasu de shou ka?)

Sometimes a map can be difficult to understand and when you need help locating a place. 

  • I don't understand Japanese.
    (Nihongo ga wakarimasen.)

  • I can't speak Japanese.
    (Nihongo hanasenai desu.)

  • Is it okay if I speak English? or Do you speak English?
    (Eigo demo ii desu ka?)

These three phrases are life-savers when it comes to conversing in Japanese to alert a Japanese person that you cannot speak or understand Japanese and if it would be possible to speak in English, so make sure to remember them.

Keeping a translator or dictionary app on hand 

One very handy app that can help you throughout your stay and travel in Japan is a translator or dictionary app. There are numerous helpful apps, and these :

  • Google Translate is a text to text translation app. You can also use this when you see a Japanese sign or message that you would like to read, simply take a picture of it and it will translate it for you.

  • iTranslate Voice Lite is a voice to voice translation app where the speaker’s language is translated into the listener’s language and vice versa.

  • Imiwa? is an offline dictionary that you can use for different languages such as Japanese.

Convenient Stay in Japan

Difference in language may pose a barrier in conversing, but preparing beforehand can help you conquer that barrier and be able to converse. Reading and knowing about the essential phrases that you will be using during your stay at hotels will make your stay even more comfortable and convenient in Japan and might even be home away from home. Plus, technology has made people closer even with the foreign languages as you can use different apps on your phone that can help you converse with those of a foreign language like Japanese. Make sure to take note of these essential phrases as you prepare for a great time in Japan.

You don't have to worry alone anymore A Q&A community about Japan

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