How to say “Does this train go to Shinjuku?” in Japanese?

Even though I have been to Japan many times, I still get confused at their train stations because there are so many platforms and trains coming and going at the same platform.
If I want to be check whether a train goes to a specific station, like Shinjuku, how do I say it?

Answer by Japanese teacher


Kono densha wa Shinjuku e ikimasu ka.
Does this train go to Shinjuku?


The phrase ~e ikimasu means “to go to ~”. Thus Shinjuku e ikimasu means to go to Shinjuku.

You can simply put the subject kono densha (this train) in front to ask this question. Train stations can be rather confusing to both first-time and even veteran travellers to Japan.

This is because you can have different types of trains entering and leaving the same platform. Some examples of different types of trains are 普通(ふつう) futsuu, 急行(きゅうこう) kyuukoo and 特急(とっきゅう) tokkyuu trains.

Futsuu (local) trains refer to those that stop at every station; kyuukoo (rapid) trains stop at certain stations, and tokkyuu (express) trains only stop at major stations.

As such, even though the platform may say that a train arriving at that platform is toward the direction of a specific destination, it may not stop at the station you want to alight.

You need to check carefully before you board the train.