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

While visiting any foreign country it’s always a great idea to learn a few words to use during your visit. 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 an intimidating language, especially for English speakers (or any European language). Since the writing system, grammar, etc, is completely different. But, what if I told you that 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! Which are incredibly useful when you are 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 the Genki Textbooks. As they are one of the best textbooks out there for learning Japanese.

Gairaigo and Wasei-eigo

Before getting into the words, just a quick explanation about Gairaigo and Wasei-eigo. Gairaigo (外来語) is loanwords from English and other European Languages (this does not include Chinese words). Which are written in katakana phonetic. These are the easiest words to learn since you know most of them already. An example of this is kōra (コーラ), which meals “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 actually 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 keep in mind that pronunciation sounds a bit strange to our ears, but sounds completely normal to native speakers. While pronunciation goes beyond the scope of this post, if you wish to learn how to then we highly recommend this resource.

Many of these words are easily applied at both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. 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 with you!

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

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

Are you planning a trip to Japan?

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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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