Posted: 29 Jun 2009 14:23 GMT Post subject:
If you're going to be in the Tokyo area, most of the signs are in English, and a majority of people speak English.
I've just come back from Tokyo and this is definitely not the case. Unlike in Europe where nearly everyone does have English as a second language I find most people do not speak english.
You can certainly get by asking for basic stuff but outside of that I would say 90% of people I met only new a few words of English.
We stayed at Ueno and the train graphics to show you where to go were all 100% kanji.
I have been four times in the last year and stayed at various different places and it's always the same. Of course if you're shopping in Ginza, yes it's much easier but to say the majority speak English is just not true.
Signs - yes that is true for the most part - romaji is pretty much across the board but again only very basic things. Go to the huge electrical stores like Yodobashi and the signs explaining what everything does are all kanji. It might say camera but outside of that it's all Japanese. Katakana is especially used alot too - don't let anyone tell you it isn't.