Learn 50 Japanese Words in One Day to Use at Tokyo Disneyland

While visiting any non-English-speaking country, it’s always a great idea to learn a few words to use. Locals appreciate the effort when hearing someone attempting to speak their native language, and could always lead to a story you can share!

Japanese is intimidating, especially for English speakers (or any European language). Since the writing system, grammar, etc., is completely different. But what if I told you you already know hundreds of Japanese words? You would think I have lost my mind or gone off the deep end!

After this post, you will know more than enough words in Japanese that you can easily order food or ask where the toilet is in Japanese! These are incredibly useful when visiting Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea, or anywhere else in Japan. After this, you can read our guides to Basic Japanese Phrases and Phrases for Dining at Tokyo Disney Resort!

If you’re wanting to continue your Japanese learning, we highly recommend Genki Textbooks as they are one of the best textbooks out there for learning Japanese.

Gairaigo and Wasei-eigo

Before getting into the words, briefly explain Gairaigo and Wasei-eigo. Gairaigo (外来語) are loanwords from English and other European Languages (this does not include Chinese words), written in Katakana phonetics. These are the easiest words to learn since you know most of them already. An example of this is kōra (コーラ), which means “Cola” or “Coke.”

Then we have Wasei-eigo (和製英語), which are Japanese words that sound like they come from English origin but do not. An example of this is reberu appu (レベルアップ), or “to go up a level”. We would never say this in English, but after a quick explanation, it is rather easy to understand and remember.

Tokyo DisneySea Halloween Treat
Learning these simple words, you can easily order something like this!

Easy-to-Learn Words

Alright, now let’s get down to business. Here’s a list of words you can easily learn in less than a day. A lot of these words you already know, or after a simple explanation, you can easily remember. Simply saying these words without much grammar will usually have you understood by a native speaker.

Just remember that pronunciation sounds strange to our ears but sounds normal to Japanese speakers. In contrast, pronunciation goes beyond the scope of this post. If you wish to learn how to, we highly recommend this resource.

These words are easily applied at Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea, and Universal Studios Japan. You will notice a few words that you wouldn’t necessarily use at the parks but are useful throughout Japan (if you are travelling to other parts of the country and you really should). We also created a printable PDF of the table below, so you can easily bring it!

You’ll notice I omitted phrases such as “hello” and “thank you.” Those are covered in our basics phrases post, which I recommend reading.

Many of the words here you’ll find explained in this video above!
One Size Fits Allfurīsaizuフリーサイズ“Free Size”Clothing
Single Piece Dresswanpīsuワンピース“One Piece”Clothing
Sweat ShirttorēnāトレーナーTrainerClothing
BeerbīruビールSimilar to building but with a longer “ee” soundFood
CankanカンCanned beverageFood
Cheese BurgerchīzubāgāチーズバーガーFood
Convenience StorekonbiniコンビニThis refers to stores such as 7-11, Family Mart, Lawson, etcFood
Corn Dogamerikan dogguアメリカンドックFood
CupkoppuコップCup or TumblerFood
Drinking GlassgurasuグラスFood
French Friesfuraidopotetoフライドポテト“Fried Potato”Food
Ice Creamaisu kurīmuアイスクリームFood
Salsbury Steakhanbāguハンバーグ“Hamburg”. Do not confuse this with “Hamburger”Food
Soft Servesofutokurīmuソフトクリーム“Soft Cream”Food
Small SizeesusaizuSサイズSmall sized drink or friesFood
Regular SizeregyurāsaizuレギュラーサイズNormal sized drink or friesFood
Large SizeerusaizuLサイズLarge sized drink or friesFood
HothottoホットExample: “hotto kōhī” means “Hot Coffee”Food
IcedaisuアイスExample: “aisu kōhī” means “Iced Coffee”Food
Side Menusaidomenyuサイドメニュー“Side Menu” meaning which side you would like. Such as fries or salad. Asked at counter service restaurants.Food
CurrykarēカレーIndian or Japanese CurryFood
BargainbāgenバーゲンSale at a storeGeneral
Department StoredepātoデパートGeneral
E-mailmēruメールSounds like “mail” but it actually means “email”General
Golden WeekgōrudenwīkuゴールデンウィークGeneral
Key ChainkīhorudāキーホルダーGeneral
Roller Coasterjettokōsutāジェットコースター“Jet Coaster”General
SaleofuオフIt means “sale”, which you may see “Spring Off”. Which means “Spring Sale”.General
Secondhand Shoprisaikurushoppuリサイクルショップ“Recycle Shop”General
StrollerbebīkāベビーカーPronounced “Baby Car”General
Tobacco, SmokingtabakoタバコGeneral
Toilet / RestroomtoireトイレGeneral
Upgrade~appu~アップYou can say “size up” which would mean you want a larger sizeGeneral
Wake Up Callmōningukōruモーニングコール“Morning Call”General

More Things to Do in Tokyo

My recommendations for things to do in and around Tokyo! Plan a day at the Hello Kitty theme park, Sanrio Puroland, and an afternoon at the popular TeamLab Planets TOKYO. Take a tour around Tokyo with the convenient hop-on and-off bus. Spend a rainy afternoon inside Japan’s largest indoor theme park, Tokyo Joyoplis, near Tokyo Disney!

More on Tokyo Disney Resort

Tokyo Disney Resort Guidebook

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  1. みわけん@24陸予定

    Hello! I’m Japanese guy. I was interested in your tweet about Japanese. Then I found the mistake on this page.
    [Corn dog] means [アメリカンドック] in Japanese ,but wrote that [アイスクリーム].

  2. Amansa

    The lines over vowels, in the pronunciation column, typically make them long sounding, but in these it looks more like they’re meant as accents? Can you confirm which the intention was?

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