Dialogue

Vocabulary

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As you may know, Japan has the high-speed inter-prefectural Bullet Train system called the Shinkansen. Shi-n-ka-n-se-n. Shinkansen. That’s just a Japanese word for Bullet train. The fastest one, the super express Nozomi connects Tokyo and Osaka in about two and a half hours. That’s about 500 kilometers in distance. It’s really convenient. I use it all the time to go home to Osaka. So in today’s lesson, we will work on getting the tickets for the Shinkansen. We can accomplish this by saying tickets to destination please. In today’s lesson, we will use Osaka station as an example. In Japanese Station is eki, e-ki, eki.
So our location altogether is Osaka eki and the question Tickets to Osaka station please is Ōsaka eki made no kippu o kudasai. Yes very long sentence. So we will break it down by syllable. O-o-sa-ka-e-ki-ma-de-no-ki-ppu-o-ku-da-sa-i. Altogether it’s Ōsaka eki made no kippu o kudasai. Now let’s look at it word by word. The first word Ōsaka is obviously Osaka. The next word eki means station. That much we’ve covered so far. This is followed by made a particle that can be translated as to or until made, made. The next word no can be roughly translated as of, the word kippu means ticket kippu.
So to recap here, we have Ōsaka eki made no kippu literally this means Osaka station to of ticket or tickets to Osaka station. Let’s take a look at the remaining sentence. O is an object marking particle and the last word kudasai means please. So altogether we have Ōsaka eki made no kippu o kudasai. Literally this could be translated as Osaka station to of tickets please or tickets to Osaka station please. Ōsaka eki made no kippu o kudasai. Kippu means ticket. Now in Japanese, we don’t differentiate between singular or plural nouns. So regardless of how many tickets you are getting, you can simply say kippu pretty useful. And now for Sachiko secret. I always take the Shinkansen when I go home to Osaka from Tokyo where I now live. So I am a season pro.
Let me take you through the steps of buying a Shinkansen ticket. First of all, get to a JR station where the Shinkansen stops like Tokyo station or Shinosaka station. Now JR is the name of a previously state-owned train line that covers almost all parts of Japan. It stands for Japan railway. So get to a JR station, find a Shinkansen counter and tell the person your destination. They will tell you which Shinkansen route you need to take. There are many different Shinkansen routes depending on your destination. So be sure you’ve got the right one. For example, the Tokyo to Osaka route would be the Tōkai Shinkansen line. Tōkai Shinkansen line. So you would go to the counter for the Tōkai Shinkansen and not the other Shinkansen lines.
Next, you tell them if you want seats in an ordinary car or the first class green car as it’s called Gurīn-sha. Sha just means car. Now all the seats in the green car are reserved seating. So you will get a specific seat number but if you want to sit in the ordinary cars, you can choose between a reserved seat or a non-reserved seat. The great thing about reserved seats is obviously that you are guaranteed a seat but you have to make sure you get on that specific train that leaves at a specific time. I personally prefer non-reserved seating because I don’t want to worry about making it on time for particular train but with non-reserved seats, there is always a risk of not being able to sit down and that’s a long trip to be standing up.
Believe me I’ve done it 2.5 hours on a Shinkansen, uh..pretty tiring and another thing is reserved seats sell out pretty quickly. So a non-reserved ticket may get you on an earlier train. Once you get the tickets, find out which platform your Shinkansen leaves from and make sure you are there when a bullet train pulls in. Okay, so to close our today’s lesson, let’s practice what you’ve just learned. I will give you the English equivalent of the phrase and you are responsible for shouting it out loud in Japanese. You got that. I will give you a few seconds before I give you the answer. So good luck Ganbatte kudasai. Bullet train, Shinkansen, Shi-n-ka-n-se-n, Shinkansen. Tickets to Osaka station please. Ōsaka eki made no kippu o kudasai. O-o-sa-ka-e-ki-ma-de-no-ki-ppu-o-ku-da-sa-i. All right, that’s going to do it for today. See you later which in Japanese is Matane.

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