Survival Japanese

The Basics

はい hai Yes
いいえ iie No
すみません sumimasen Excuse me.
ありがとう arigatō Thank you informal.
ありがとうございます arigatōgozaimasu Thank you (formal)
どういたしまして dōitashimashite You're welcome.
お願いします onegaishimasu Please
無料 muryō For free
有料 yūryō Not for free

Pilgrim Terms

遍路 henro Pilgrim or pilgrimage
お遍路さん ohenro-san An honorary way to refer to another pilgrim
歩き遍路 arukihenro Walking pilgrim
空海 kūkai Japanese monk highly accredited as the founder of the Shikoku Pilgrimage
弘法大師 kōbō daishi Another name for Kūkai
お大師様 odaishisama The honorific title for Kūkai
遍照金剛 henjō kongō Yet another title for Kūkai
巡礼 junrei Pilgrimage
四国遍路 shikoku henro The Shikoku Pilgrimage
四国八十八ヶ所 shikoku hachijūhachi kasho Hachijūhachi means 88, and kasho means places. This is a more formal name referring to the Shikoku Pilgrimage. An even more formal term is 四国霊場八十八ヶ所 (shikoku reijyo hachijūhachi kasho).
順打ち jun uchi Doing the pilgrimage the "normal" way in a clockwise fashion.
逆打ち gyaku uchi Doing the pilgrimage in a reverse, counter-clockwise fashion.
写経 shakyō Hand-copied sutra, or the act of hand-copying a sutra
お接待 o-settai It is custom for many of the locals in Shikoku to offer food, small snacks, or gifts to pilgrims. They believe that by doing this, they are vicariously partaking in the pilgrim's journey, accumulating good will. They can even come in the form of free lodging or other services.
同行二人 dōgyō ninin These four characters are often printed on the formal pilgrim attire and accessories, and along the pilgrimage trail. Dōgyō means walking together, and ninin means two people. During the Shikoku Pilgrimage, it is believed that Kōbō Daishi, or Kūkai, accompanies the pilgrim throughout his/her journey.

Pilgrim Attire & Supplies

菅笠 sugegasa The sedge hat
白衣 hakui White robe
長袖 nagasode Long sleeve
金剛杖 kongōtsue The pilgrim staff
suzu Bell
数珠 juzu Rosary
納経帳 nokyōchō Stamp book
御影帳 mieichō Collection book for deity image slips from each temple
御影袋 mieibukuro Paper bag to hold all your miei
納め札, 納札 osamefuda, nōsatsu Name slip
経本 kyōhon Sutra book
地図 chizu Map
ローソク rōsoku Candle
線香 senkō Incense stick


お寺 otera Temple
霊場, 札所 reijō, fudasho Temples of a pilgrimage
番外, 別格 bangai, bekkaku Temples outside of the official 88 temples pilgrims may visit additionally
奥の院 okunoin Inner sanctuaries
参拝 sanpai To visit a temple or shrine
山門 sanmon The Mountain Gate, the most important gate of a Japanese Zen Buddhist temple
手水舎 temizuya, chōzuya Water ablution area of a Shinto shrine or Buddhist temple
鐘楼 shōrō The bell tower
本堂 hondō The main hall dedicated to a Buddhist deity
大師堂 daishidō The Daishi Hall dedicated to Kōbō Daishi
住職 jūshoku Head monk of a temple
納札箱, 納札入箱 nōsatsubako, nōsatsuiribako Container for pilgrims' name slips
写経箱, 写経入箱 shakyōbako, shakyōiribako Container for pilgrims' hand-copied sutras
賽銭箱 saisenbako Monetary offertory box
香炉 kōro Incense burnder
蝋燭立て rōsokutate Candle holder or a container for candle placement
般若心経 hannyashingyō The Heart Sutra
般若波羅蜜多心経 hannyaharamittashingyō The Heart Sutra (formal name)
納経 nōkyo The act of receiving a pilgrim stamp at a temple. Each stamp is about ¥200-¥300.
納経所 nōkyōjo Office where you receive a stamp in your stampbook
納経帳 nōkyōchō The pilgrim stampbook
朱印, 御朱印 shuin, goshuin The red stamps in the pilgrim stampbook
御影 miei Deity image slips

Navigating & Reading Maps

Numbers, Counters, & Road Signs

第 . . 番 dai . . ban Number ..
第 . . 番寺 dai . . ban tera Temple number . .
国道 kokudō National highway
go Number
国道 . . 号 kokudō . . go National Highway Number . .
高速道路 kōsokudōro Expressway
遍路道 henro michi The pilgrim trail/route
四国の道 shikoku no michi The Shikoku pilgrim trail/route
en Yen (unit)
キロ kiro Kilometer(s)
メートル mētoru Meter(s)

Key Places

徳島県 tokushima-ken Tokushima Prefecture
高知県 kōchi-ken Kochi Prefecture
愛媛県 ehime-ken Ehime Prefecture
香川県 kagawa-ken Kagawa Prefecture
徳島市 tokushima-shi Tokushima City
高知 kōchi Kochi, the capital city of Kochi Prefecture
松山 matsuyama Matsuyama, the capital city of Ehime Prefecture
高松 takamatsu Takamatsu, the capital city of the Kagawa Prefecture
道後温泉 dōgo onsen Dogo Onsen, built in 1984 and located in Matsuyama, is one of the oldest and most famous hot springs in Japan.
高野山 kōyasan Mount Kōya


お店, 店 omise, mise Shop
コンビニ konbini Convenience store
自販機, 自動販売機 jihanki, jidōhanbaiki vending machine
スーパー sūpā Supermarket
道の駅 michi no eki Roadside areas that are mainly for those travelling by car or motor vehicle. They provide restrooms and tourtist information, and usually also offer local foods, souvenirs, or exhibits.
温泉 onsen Hot spring
露天風呂 rotenpuro Open-air bath or hot spring
ファーマシー, 薬局, 薬屋 fāmashī, yakkyoku, kusuriya Pharmacy
クリニック kurinikku Clinic
銀行 ginkō Bank
エーティーエム ētīemu ATM
ガソリンスタンド, 石油スタンド gasorin sutando, sekiyu sutando Gas station

Public Facilities

トイレ toire Toilet, bathroom, restroom
お手洗い, 御手洗 otearai Bathroom, restroom, lavatory
公園, パーク kōen, pāku Park
休憩所, 休憩処 kyūkeijo, kyūkeitokoro Rest area
東屋 azumaya square gazebo
小屋 koya Hut, cabin
キャンプ場 kyanpu-jō Camping ground
トンネル tonneru Tunnel
公衆電話 kōshūdenwa Public telephone
郵便局 yūbinkyoku Post office
交番 kōban Police station
病院 byōin Hospital

Eating & Dining

食事 shokuji Dining
レストラン resutoran Restaurant
喫茶店 kissaten Cafe / coffee shop
日本料理 nihonryōri Japanese food
注文 chūmon Order
アレルギ arerugi Allergy
飲み物 nomimono Drink
mizu Water
お冷 ohiya Cold water
お茶 ocha Japanese tea
ビール bīru Beer
ベジタリアン bejitarian Vegetarian
これは肉が入っていますか。 kore ha niku gahaitte imasu ka Does this contain meat?
おいくらですか。 oikura desu ka How much (is it)?
英語のメニューがありますか。 eigo no menyū ga arimasuka Do you have an English menu?
お勧めは何ですか。 osusume wa nan desuka What do you recommend?
. . をお願いします。 . . wo onegaishimasu I would like to order . . please.
まだ決めていません。 mada kimete imasen I haven't decided yet.
もう少し時間を頂けますか。 mō sukoshi jikan wo itadakemasu ka Can I have a little more time?
お会計をお願いします。 okaikei wo onegaishimasu The bill / check, please.
ご馳走様 gochisōsama Thank you for the food!


宿 yado Lodging
民宿 minshuku Japanese-style bed and breakfast
旅館 ryokan Similar to minshuku, but usually larger and more similar to a hotel. Many provide meal options as well.
宿坊 shukubō Paid lodging at temples for pilgrims. They are usually similar to ryokan, and will sometimes provide meal options. As they are operated by the temple, you can inquire about them at the nōkyō
ホテル hoteru Hotel
ビジネスホテル bijinesu hoteru Business hotel
通夜堂 tsuyadō Free temple lodging
風呂/お風呂 furo/ofuro Japanese-style bath where you must wash yourself thoroughly wih soap and water before entering the bath.
洗濯 sentaku Laundry
洗濯機 senntakuki Washing machine
乾燥機 kansōki Dryer
洗剤 senzai Laundry detergent
お世話になります osewa ni narimasu Thank you for taking care of me/us. (You can say this when you first meet the minshuku or ryokan owner.)
お世話になりました osewa ni marimashita Thank you for taking care of me/us (in past tense). (You can say this as you bid farewell with the minshuku or ryokan owner.)
お替りお願いします。 okawari onegaishimasu A refill, please. (Minshuku and ryokan offer free rice refills.)

Making Reservations

予約 yoyaku Reservation
部屋 heya Room
料金 ryōkin Price
一泊 ippaku One night stay
今晩 konban Tonight
素泊り sudomari Spending the night without meals included
一食付き isshokutsuki One meal included
二食付き nishokutsuki Two meals (dinner and breakfast) included
朝食付き chōshokutsuki Breakfast included
夕食付き yūshokutsuki Dinner included
洗濯機と乾燥機がありますか? sentakuki to kansōki ga arimasuka Do you have a washer and dryer?
おいくらですか。 oikura desu ka How much (is it)?
一人で一泊です。 hitoride ippaku desu One night stay for one person.
空き部屋がありますか。 akibeya ga arimasuka Do you have a room?
一人で一泊の空き部屋がありますか。 hitoride ippaku no akibeya ga arimasu Do you have a room for one person, one night?
予約をお願いします。 yoyaku wo onegaishimasu I would like to make a reservation.

Public Transportation

公共交通 kōkyōkōtsū Public transportation
バス basu Bus
高速バス kōsokubasu Express bus
バス停 basutei Bus stop
電車 densha Train
eki Train station
チケット chiketto Ticket

Shopping for Items to Bring

Hiking Gear

ザック, バックパック zakku, pakkubakku Backpack
ヘッドランプ heddoranpu Headlamp
雨具 amagu Rain gear
レインスーツ reinsūtsu Rainwear
レインカバー reinkabā Rain cover
キャンプ用品 kyanpu yōhin Camping goods
テント tento Tent
寝袋, シュラフ nebukuro, shurafu Sleeping bag
防寒 bōkan Protection against the cold
防水 bōsui Waterproof
tsue Walking stick
万歩計 manbokei Pedometer
ウォーキングシューズ wōkingu shūzu Trekking (walking) shoes
五本指ソックス, 五本指靴下 gohonyubi sokkusu, gohonyubi kutsushita Five-toe socks
インソール insōru Insole

Insect/Mosquito Repellants

蚊除け kayoke A product with this label repels mosquitoes.
蚊取り katori A product with this label kills mosquitoes.
虫除けスプレー mushiyoke supurē Bug spray
蚊取り線香 katorisenko Mosquito coil
ライター raitā Lighter

Pharmacy / Medical Products

日焼け止め hiyakedome Sunscreen
救急 kyūkyū First aid
絆創膏 Bansōkō Bandaid
kusuri Medicine
消毒薬 shōdokuyaku Disinfectant
鎮痛 chintsū Pain relief
胃薬 igusuri Stomach medicine
頭痛薬 zutsūyaku Headache medicine
風邪薬 kazegusuri Cold medicine
ソーイングセット sōingusetto Sewing kit
hari Needle


携帯, 携帯電話 keitai, keitaidenwa Mobile (cellular) phone
充電器 jūdenki Charger
電池 denchi Battery
腕時計 udetokē Wristwatch