Tour Guide English

English for JapaneseTour Guides

The Yomiuri Shimbun reported recently that an estimated 867,100 foreign tourists visited Japan in September 2013. This was an increase of 31.7 percent from a year earlier.As the 2020 Olympics approach, the number of overseas visitors to Japan is likely to boom. Whether you are a professional or a volunteer; working as a tour guide can be very interesting and rewarding.  A great deal of unique words phrases and expressions are used in the field of tourism. As a guide for domestic tourists; you already know most of these in your own language.  But knowing tourist language in English will be very useful for an international tour guide.


nouns and noun phrases
attractions; events; exhibitions; features; festival;  karaoke; boat cruise; skiing; hot air balloon; food tour; feedback survey; JR rail pass; duty free; customs and etiquette; shopping district; restaurant district; business district; town centre; red-light district; museums; art galleries; reservations


arrive; leave; return; continue; open; close; enjoy; pay; expect; permit; recommend; relax; follow; familiarise; re-construct; renovate;


ancient; beautiful; gorgeous; breathtaking (waterfall); lovely (meal); customary; dangerous; devastating (tsunami); elegant (costumes); enormous (sculpture); exciting (game); extensive (details); fascinating (history); haunted (castle); international (exhibition);  heritage (site); magnificent (scenery); famous (movie star); popular (picnic spot);  reconstructed; restored (antiques); safe (district); scenic;  superb (performance); thrilling  (event); unbelievable; awesome; visible

General Tourist Attractions, Events and Activities
cultural tours e.g. visiting museums; art galleries; temples and shrines
shopping and restaurant tours including dining; souvenir shopping and food classes
adventure and eco tours e.g. skiing; mountain climbing; canoeing; bushwalking; snorkelling

Introducing yourself

Good morning. My name is ……  and I will be your guide for this tour.

Hello everyone. I’m ……, your guide for this tour.

On behalf of ….. [name of tour company] I would like to welcome you all to ….. (e.g Yamagata, Hokkaido)

Dear guests; let me introduce myself. My name is …….. and I’m your guide.


Introducing a place/an attraction/ event or service

This is ……… Dotembori
We are now standing in front of ………Sanjusangendo Hall
As you can see, …..There are so many small traders here in Ueno markets
In front of you is …the tallest building in Sapporo, JR Tower



Providing general information about a place/ service/event or attraction

It is the most important ……industry in Aichi prefecture

It is a very good/superb example of …..Edo era painting

This is one of the best examples of …..traditional Japanese pottery

This is one of the most famous … stadiums in Japan

This restaurant serves ………the  most delicious okonomiyaki  you have ever tasted


Giving detailed information (history, architect, etc.)

Raikyuji Temple …….was built by …. Kobori

The monastery  ……. was founded by …Buddhist Monks in the 18th century

Himeji Castle ..… is Japan’s best preserved feudal castle

The palace/church/building …….the Koshien Hotel ……..was designed by …Arata Endo

It was completed in …..June, 1930

It was restored … 1982


Providing  more  specific details

What is interesting is that ….. the snow monkeys only allow their family and friends to sit in the hot water

If you look up you will notice …… there are 5 guard towers, also called turrets, or yagura in Japanese language

Take a good look at ….. the moss which grows on the rocks

Please notice ….. you can see Fujisan in the distance
Asking for questions, or feedback
Have you got any questions?  [Do you have any questions]

Are there any questions?

Did you find that interesting?

Would you like to spend more time looking around?
Get ready to move on

If you are ready, let’s go inside.

Follow me, please.

Let’s go.

Typical Bus Tour language
On your right/left you can see … ..Tokyo Metropolitan Government Offices

On your right/left hand side you will see ….. the Emperor’s Palace

In a few minutes we’ll be passing …..’’the Tsukiji Markets

Our next stop is ….. Asakusa Kannon Temple

Please be back at the bus at ….. 11.30

The bus will be leaving at ….. 11.45 sharp.

Please keep your seatbelt fastened at all times.

Please remain seated until we come to a full stop.

The bus ride will take … ..   35 minutes

The bus ride to the hotel/stadium/beach will take about ….. fifteen minutes

Please listen carefully for a few minutes.

I’ll  familiarise you with the area.

please meet back here in 1 hour

In a few minutes we will be pulling up to the hotel.

Rules, Regulations and Safety
It is forbidden to ….. feed the animals in the zoo.

You mustn’t ….. walk outside of the yellow lines.

You can’t ….. smoke in this restaurant.

Please realise that it is against the law to …… drive a car after drinking alcohol.

Please do not ……. take flash photos in the museum.

Make sure that …..  you remove your shoes.

Please be careful of …..falling into the river.

Other expressions which can be used
 I do not recommend …../ I suggest …../ Please stay with your group.



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