Ohayogozayimasta!!!! I think that means good morning, but regardless, Japan is one country where you will never feel like an idiot for not knowing the native language.
Everywhere we went, as soon as we stared at any information sign or timetable like a deer at headlights, it never took more than 40 seconds for someone to offer help (in English!) You see, Japanese people, apart from being very very friendly, are always on the lookout to practice their English. Businessmen, uni students, etc. etc. are always there to help with various English skills, it is so much fun bungling your way through deciphering their directions....
We visited three main places, Kyoto and surrounds, Hiroshima and Tokyo, with a few places in between. To be honest, if you only had a week or two to "do the country", just go to Kyoto. For us, it was the perfect blend of traditional and modern, city and temples. Nearby Koyasan will give you an "old world" feel and Osaka is an excellent modern city, where you would fly into.
If you like BIG cities, Tokyo will be for you, but for my missus and I, we could have missed it. Hiroshima was awesome, the A-Bomb site was very eerie and I didn't fee compelled to take any pictures, so horrific. Miyajima (the big Tori Gate in the water) was magical.
I could literally spend a few years in Japan, if only I had the mulla...perhaps one day.