April 4, 2008

A couple of Japanese Words

They say that the average American spends 17 hours per week inside their car. That is 884 hours per year or Living in Japan. There are a few words and key phrases in Japanese that, as a tourist in the Land of the Rising Sun, you would think that I could at least learn how to say the time. Since in Japan they use military time on occasion, more frequently than military time is used in America. , had I been acquainted with earlier on, would have saved me a lot of time, and prevented some of the confusion and disorientation for me upon my first adventures in Japan. In Japan, a lot of a persons life is spent at an Eki or train station spent getting on and off at the wrong train stations. Inevitably, tourists in Japan will have to use public transportation. It would be very convenient to know at least the basic words related to how to get around in Japan if you are going to spend any amount of time touring Japan. Some are quite easy for they are gairaigo or foreign borrowed terms which are usually English based (although a certain percentage can be French, Portuguese, Spanish, German, and Dutch.) Some are more difficult to get a handle on but are essential to your adventures in Japan. Because one way or another you'll soon see how the Japanese Rail systems are more part of their culture and the Japanese way of life than we might be accustomed to here in America.
First let’s learn the words for major transportation hubs like: bus stop, train station, airport, and subway.

basu tei - bus stop
eki - train station
ku^ko^ - airport

I remember getting on a bus and not knowing much Japanese other than how to say, "what time is it?" and feeling so embarrassed about not knowing where the heck I was going