Some useful terms you might find helpful


Bento – take-home food for heating to eat as a meal. Sold in supermarkets and convenience stores.

Gaijin – the Japanese word for foreigners.

Izakaya – public bars where you can usually order and eat food. Smoking is often also permitted.

Konbini – Convenience stores that sell groceries, magazines, hot food and drinks, and provide many other services. The three most popular ones are 7-11, FamilyMart and Lawson but you will also see Mini Stop, Aeon, Daily Yamazaki, New Days and others.

Onsen – Hot springs, often outdoors and naturally heated by geothermal energy. Generally (but not always) tend to be gender-segregated. Wearing bathing costumes and having tattoos is frowned upon.

Pachinko – a popular style of gambling, involving dropping silver balls through a machine and trying to land in prize areas.

Ramen – spaghetti-style noodles.

Ryokan – traditional Japanese guest-house.

Sobu – big thick noodles

Shinkansen – bullet trains

Tozai Line – busy metro line crossing Tokyo from east to west.

Yukata – light kimono, worn indoors (though in Shibu Onsen it is acceptable to wear it when walking between onsen).


Mamayev Kurgan

  • The hill on which a memorial park to the dead of the Battle of Stalingrad has been created, including the Eternal Flame and the giant statue “The Motherland Calls.”


  • a routed taxi, usually a minibus, popular in Russia and Eastern European cities.

prospekt (pr) V.I. Lenina

  • The main boulevard through the central district of Volgograd

Sovetskiy Rayon

  • District a few miles south of the Central District


  • a snack made of dry, fried bread pieces


  • The name of a Russian mall close to where I live

Traktorozavodskiy Rayon

  • District a few miles north of the central district, named for the tractor factory.

Voroshilovskiy Rayon

  • District directly south of the central district