Travel, Teach, Live in Japan
In this article I am not going to hammer you with "the best way to learn Japanese is this or that" etc... there are lots of great ways to learn Japanese and I am sure you will find one that suites you. What I am going to do is provide you some useful phrases that you can practice right away. That way you can see if learning Japanese something that you want to pursue.
OK so let's start shall we:
Excuse me what is your name? 'sumimasen O namae wa nan desu ka'
To reply to this sentence you could say, my name is John: 'Watashi no namae wa John desu'
Next why not ask them how they are: 'O genki desu ka'
A suitable response to this could be, I am well: 'Genki desu'
Now why not ask someone where they are from:
Where are you from? 'Doko kara ki mashita ka'
Of which you can reply if asked yourself saying 'igirisu kara ki mashita' (the word Igirisu means England or UK)
Now if you made it this far in the conversation you may need to throw in some filler sentences so you don't run out of steam, so why not ask what the time is? This is rather straight forward to do: 'Ima nan ji desu ka'
Of course you can always throw in a bit of weather talk to for good measure: Isn't it hot today - 'kyoo wa atsui desu ne'. The word atsui is hot so if you want to say cold just replace atsui for samui.
OK so now you have probably lasted about 2-3 minutes so if you are almost at the capacity of your Japanese skills and about to be discovered for being a fraud then why not make a polite exit for the toilet by first asking where the toilet is and then excusing yourself for a moment: 'Toire wa doko desu ka' followed by excuse me 'sumimasen' and a swift exit for the toilet.
Now of course I am only having some fun here but you will find that you can use these phrases straight away with the next Japanese person you meet.
Hope you have some fun with these sentences!
The Author of this article Matt Jackson has some more free resources for learning Japanese here: Learn Japanese Software and a fun Japanese learning video here: Learn Japanese Colors http://www.squidoo.com/lensmaster/new_workshop/learn-japanese-colors