Even with guide books and Google Maps, we still often need to asked for directions when travelling abroad!
Most of you will be familiar with simple directions like; go straight and turn right or left. So I'd like to introduce a few more expressions which you might not have learnt, but are still very useful!
Just like 'go straight', these three directions all use the word 'go'.
If you have to go straight along a road for a little while, you can sometimes feel worried about walking to far, or missing the place where you have to turn etc. So, people giving directions will often use "go past (shop/landmark)", to make their directions clearer. For example: "Go straight along this road for about 15 minutes. You will go past a MacDonald's and a park. After the park turn left, and the museum is on the right hand side."
In many big cities now, train stations are very wide, there are big shopping centers and parks. So, when giving directions in cities, 'go through', meaning to go straight through the middle of a place, is very useful. For example: "Go though JR Sannomiya station, and cross the main road. Sogo department store is on the corner."
As well as there being a lots of places to go through in big cities, there are also a lot of railways, overhead footpaths and bridges to 'go under'. In the same way as go past, mentioning landmarks like bridges and railways can be very helpful. For example: "Cross the road, go under the railway and turn right. You will see the taxi stand in front of you."
I hope these three expressions are useful, both for listening to directions abroad and giving them in Japan!