Staying at a Japanese Hotel

Choosing the right hoteru (hoh-teh-roo; hotel) can make any trip you take more enjoyable. Each day of your adventure starts and ends at the hotel.

In the morning, a good hotel offers you a refreshing breakfast, and at night, it offers you a comfortable bed. Hopefully, the clerks at the furonto (foo-rohn-toh; front desk) are kind and helpful. Having a great experience at a hoteru can help make your trip a success.

Checking into a hotel

As soon as you tsuku (tsoo-koo; arrive) at a Japanese hotel, a bôi-san (bohh-ee-sahn; bell hop) helps you with your baggage. (If you're in Japan, there's no need to tip him. Isn't that amazing?)

Conjugate the verb tsuku (tsoo-koo; to arrive). It's a u-verb.

Form

Pronunciation

tsuku

tsoo-koo

tsukanai

tsoo-kah-nah-ee

tsuki

tsoo-kee

tsuite

tsoo-ee-teh

Go to the furonto (foo-rohn-toh; front desk). If you don't have a reservation, ask them whether they have an akibeya (ah-kee-beh-yah; vacancy). You can say Akibeya wa arimasu ka (ah-kee-beh-yah wah ah-ree-mah-soo kah; Any vacancies?).

If you have a reservation or they have a vacancy, chekku-in suru (chehk-koo-een soo-roo; check in). Hotel clerks are trained to speak very politely. If you're in Japan, a hotel clerk will address you with your name and -sama (sah-mah; Mr./Ms.), which is the super-polite, business-like version of -san (sahn).

The clerk will probably give you a yôshi (yohh-shee; form). Write your namae (nah-mah-eh; name), jûsho (jooo-shoh; address), and denwa-bangô (dehn-wah-bahn-gohh; telephone number) on it. If the clerk asks, show him or her your pasupôto (pah-soo-pohh-toh; passport). Finally, get a kagi (kah-gee; key) for your heya (heh-yah; room).

Which floor is your room on? Is it on the nana-kai (nah-nah-kah-ee; seventh floor) or on the 37-kai (sahn-jooo-nah-nah-kah-ee; 37th floor)? Specify your floor using a numeral plus the counter -kai.

Which room is yours? Refer to your room using a numeral plus the counter-gôshitsu (gohh-shee-tsoo).Is it 502-gôshitsu (goh-hyah-koo-nee-gohh-shee-tsoo; room #502) or 2502-gôshitsu (nee-sehn-goh-hyah-koo-nee-gohh-shee-tsoo; room #2502)?

As you check in, you may want to ask where the parking garage is, whether the hotel has room service, and how to get a wake-up call. You may want to request kurîningu sâbisu (koo-reee-neen-goo sahh-bee-soo; laundry service) or use the hotel kinko (keen-koh; safe) to store your valuables. Ask all of your questions when you check in so that you can neru (neh-roo; sleep) well. Some or all of the following phrases may come in handy:

  • Chekku-auto wa nan-ji desu ka. (chehk-koo-ah-oo-toh wah nahn-jee deh-soo kah; When is checkout time?)
  • Chôshoku wa tsuite imasu ka. (chohh-shoh-koo wah tsoo-ee-teh ee-mah-soo kah; Is breakfast included?)
  • Chûshajô wa doko desu ka. (chooo-shah-johh wah doh-koh deh-soo kah; Where is the parking garage?)
  • Watashi ni dengon wa arimasen ka. (wah-tah-shee nee dehn-gohn wah ah-ree-mah-sehn kah; Are there any messages for me?)
  • Rûmu sâbisu wa arimasu ka. (rooo-moo sahh-bee-soo wah ah-ree-mah-soo kah; Do you offer room service?)
  • Ashita no roku-ji ni môningu kôru o onegaishimasu. (ah-shee-tah noh roh-koo-jee nee mohh-neen-goo kohh-roo oh oh-neh-gah-ee-shee-mah-soo; Give me a morning wake-up call at six o'clock tomorrow, please.)

Conjugate the verb neru (neh-roo; to sleep). It's a ru-verb.

Form

Pronunciation

neru

neh-roo

nenai

neh-nah-ee

ne

neh

nete

neh-teh

Words to Know

chekku-in

chehk-koo-een

check-in

-gôshitsu

gohh-shee-tsoo

room number [counter]

kagi

kah-gee

key

môningu kôru

mohh-neen-goo kohh-roo

wake-up call

neru [ru]

neh-roo

to sleep

rûmu sâbisu

rooo-moo sahh-bee-soo

room service

tsuku [u]

tsoo-koo

to arrive

Checking out of a hotel

It's chekku-auto (chehk-koo-ah-oo-toh; checkout) time! Pack up your stuff and don't wasureru (wah-soo-reh-roo; forget) anything in your room. Go to the furonto (foo-rohn-toh; front desk) to chekku-auto and pay your bill. You may see some additional charges on your bill:

  • denwaryô (dehn-wah-ryohh; telephone usage charge)
  • inshokuryô (een-shoh-koo-ryohh; food and drink charge)
  • kurîningudai (koo-reee-neen-goo-dah-ee; laundry charge)
  • zêkin (zehh-keen; tax)

If you need further assistance from the hotel staff after checking out, just ask them.

  • Go-ji made nimotsu o azukatte kudasai. (goh-jee mah-deh nee-moh-tsoo oh ah-zoo-kaht-teh koo-dah-sah-ee; Please keep my baggage here until five o'clock.)
  • Ryôshûsho o kudasai. (ryohh-shooo-shoh oh koo-dah-sah-ee; Please give me the receipt.)
  • Takushî o yonde kudasai. (tah-koo-sheee oh yohn-deh koo-dah-sah-ee; Please call a taxi.)

If the clerks can accommodate your request, they'll say kekkô desu (kehk-kohh deh-soo; it's good). Kekkô desu is the polite version of ii desu (eee deh-soo; it's good).

Just be careful. Both kekkô desu and ii desu can mean either that's fine or no thank you, depending on the situation. If a clerk says kekkô desu as a reply to one of your requests, it means that's fine. But if someone says kekkô desu right after you offer him or her a drink, it means no thank you.

By adding masen ka (mah-sehn kah)at the end of a request like tabete kudasai (tah-beh-teh koo-dah-sah-ee; eat please), you can make the request sound a bit softer and more polite. For example, tabete kudasai masen ka sounds much more polite than tabete kudasai. Masen is just a polite suffix in the negative form and ka is the question particle. It means something like Wouldn't you? or Would you mind? Use masenka when you ask a favor of a hotel clerk.

Words to Know

chekku-auto

chehk-koo-ah-oo-toh

checkout

denwaryô

dehn-wah-ryohh

telephone usage charge

harau [u]

hah-rah-oo

to pay

inshokuryô

een-shoh-koo-ryohh

food and drink charge

kurîningudai

koo-reee-neen-goo-dah-ee

laundry charge

nimotsu

nee-moh-tsoo

luggage/baggage

ryôshûsho

ryohh-shooo-shoh

receipt

sêkyûsho

sehh-kyooo-shoh

bill

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