There are a couple of key phrases I wish I had learned before my first visits to Japan.

When traveling, I lost a lot of time because I didn't know the difference between the following three types of Japanese trains; futsuu, kyuukou, and tokkyuu. In Japan, you are more than likely at some point going to have to become familiar with both the train and subway systems. Railways are heavily relied upon in Japan. In Tokyo they are so crowded as to have employees with white gloves shove them in the cars before More than a reliable source of transportation, A part of their existence. Going to get somewhere either by train or by subway or bus. If you plan on getting somewhere on time you better take the train. It’s the way the Japanese get around, and unless you like riding a scooter, It is usually the only way to get somewhere on time. I suggest learning these three words and know their Chinese characters as well. The Japan Railway, or, J.R. as it is amicably called, has 3 main types of trains that vary according to the distance they travel, how frequently or infrequently they make stops. How frequently they make stops determines how fast a passenger will arrive at their destinations. For example the tokkyuu densha or the special limited express train, doesn't stop as frequently as the kyuukou densha (express train) and the kyuukou densha doesn’t make as frequent of stops as does the futsuu densha. Aside from needing to know the word for train (densha) and train station (eki), it is helpful to know how to say or be able to comprehend the three main types of trains that run throughout each day in any typical Japanese urban city. Knowing these train words will save a traveler some serious time. To foreign travelers the kanji or Chinese characters representative of the town names will be confusing enough. Knowing the three main type of trains might save your sanity in an already very oriental world. If all else fails the best way to communicate is by using any means necessary to convey your meaning. Use hand signs, point at what you want, pay charades, 20 questions or some combination, anything Kashikomarimashita Ton Demo Nai O-Sewa ni natte kudasaimashite taihen Oshii Yoshii -alright Oi! – HEY! You down there Arya – Oh my goodness! Me! O-Negai Moshiagemasu O-kyaku-sama – the honorific customer Irrashaimase – Welcome, Come on in! Haizara - Ashtray O Negai dekimasu ka? – Do you think I could count on you to … (do something that has been pre-arranged or mutually consented upon) for me? Shitsurei shimasu – I am being rude! Rusu ni shite orimasu – I am not at home right now (humble form) Go-Chisou Sama Deshita – That was a feast, a most fine dinner great thanks for this wonderful meal. Itadakimasu Dozo – Dozo is a fun word that you will hear more often than not. It means to go ahead with something as in this example: Dozo Tabete kudasai. (Go ahead and eat). You might hear dozo when in a queue or line at the supaa. O saki ni Dozo (go ahead, after you). Or you may hear it starting with Dozo as in this example: Dozo, O saki ni – Go ahead, you first I insist.

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