① I'm just looking.
Pronunciation: Chotto miru dake dess. (lit. "I just look a little")
Retail staff in Japan will often come right up to you when you enter. Use this phrase if you'd like some time to yourself first.
② How much is this?
Pronunciation: Kore wa ikura dess-ka?
③ Where are the sale items?
Pronunciation: Seh-ru shoh-hin wa doko ni arimass-ka?
④ Can you make this duty-free here?
Pronunciation: Koko wa menzei ni dekimass-ka?
Japan has an increasing number of duty-free shops, but if you're in a larger store, it may depend on the counter you go to. Check before you buy!
⑤ I'd like this, please.
Pronunciation: Kore wo kuda-sai.
This is how you can let retail staff know when you've decided what you'd like to purchase.
⑥ I'd like a receipt, please.
Pronunciation: Reshiito wo kuda-sai.
You'll usually get a receipt automatically, but just in case. It's always good to keep the receipt just in case you discover a problem with your purchase later.
⑦ What's the best-before date?
Pronunciation: Shomi kigen wa itsu made dess-ka?
(lit. "Until when is the best-before period?")
When buying fruit or snacks as a gift for people back home, it's best to check the shelf life. This will often be stamped on the outside of the package as well.
⑧ Can I try it on?
Pronunciation: Shi-chaku dekimass-ka?
It's always best to make sure you've got the right size—sizes in Japan may not be what you're used to!
⑨ Is this made in Japan?
Pronunciation: Kore wa nihon-sei dess-ka?
If you've gone to the trouble of coming all the way to Japan, you may want to make sure you're buying something actually locally made.
⑩ Are there English instructions?
Pronunciation: Eigo no setsumei-sho wa arimass-ka?
If you're buying an electrical appliance, this could be more than a little important!
That's a start! And if there's anything else you need, gestures go a long way. And if you want to learn some more helpful Japanese phrases, take a look here!
① I'm just looking.