Hi, I have just started learning Japanese through Japanesepod101.com and it's been awesome so far! I have learned all of the kanas, and have started with the beginner and absolute beginner courses. I have 3 weeks left before I visit Japan and I want to make the most out of the time I have to study. My main focus right now is to be able to interact at the most basic level with people in Japan in circumstances that will occur frequently to someone visiting as a tourist, like shopping, restaurants, directions, greetings, etc. Are there any lessons or a grouping of lessons in particular that would be best to help me achieve this goal? Ideally I would have more time to learn and practice but I don't.
It might be worth taking a look at Survival Phrases Season 2 and, if you have enough time, Survival Phrases Season 1. Given that you don't have a lot of time, it's probably a good idea to be quite brutal and skip lessons that cover phrases you don't think you'll need--for example, if you don't plan to travel by train then you can skip the rail-travel related lessons.