Japan has become a popular tourist destination for Filipinos. But there are still those who are wary because of the language barrier. That’s why we prepared these 10 useful Japanese phrases for tourists. It’s especially useful for people with no background whatsoever in Japanese but are planning to go to Japan. Be sure to memorize them!

1. Sumimasen

This is the most useful Japanese phrase you will ever need. It can mean up to three things depending on your situation: “I’m sorry,” “Excuse me,” and “Thank you.”

As I’m sorry, ‘sumimasen’ is similar to its English equivalent wherein you say this because you made a mistake. As excuse me, use ‘sumimasen’ to catch the attention of a person you want to ask for help or assistance, e.g. waiter, sales person, tour guide, etc.

While as thank you, sumimasen has much more depth. The meaning can extend to “Thank you. Sorry for the trouble,” when you use this after getting help or assistance.