It’s time to celebrate another load of creators in the Japan space, something I absolutely love doing!
If you can’t get to Japan, what’s the next best thing?
Watching countless hours of Japanese content, of course!
In todays list, we discuss the 14 most binge-worthy YouTube channels based in Japan.
By the way, a couple of these are almost secrets I like to keep for myself. I’m not sure that’s possible with YouTube, but I like to think it’s a little corner of the platform that only a select few know about!
Videos: 227 (As of February 2022)
Subscribers: 2.56M (As of February 2022)
Who should watch it: People crazy for Japanese culture… Or British humour!
Chris Broad, the man behind ‘Abroad In Japan’ has to be one of my all-time favourite YouTubers.
His humor is perfectly British, often sarcastic, and always hilarious. Plus nowadays I’m fairly sure that some of his videos have a bigger budget than J-Dramas do!
What started out as just a way to document his experience on the J.E.T program has now become one of the top (top, in my opinion) Youtube channels in Japan.
If you’re planning on visiting Japan, the chances are high that you’ll come across one of his videos before your trip. And to be honest, even though his channel is necessarily a travel guide to Japan, a lot of the content is extremely informative and a very easy route to understanding Japan and its culture.
Hell, even if you aren’t planning to go to Japan I challenge you to watch one of his videos and not laugh… I’m honestly unsure if it can be done, but maybe I’m just a sucker for British humor…
As you can see, a lot of the videos above are easy to watch and will likely appeal to a wide demographic of people.
If you’re looking for something a little more in-depth, Chris has produced a handful of extremely informative and well thought out documentaries about various issues and topics throughout Japan.
A personal favorite of mine is ‘Inside Fukushima: What Happened After the Nuclear Disaster’. Sadly I don’t think it did as well as Chris had hoped (at least in the beginning), but take it from me, it’s absolutely worth a watch.
Oh and if you prefer listening to watching, try the Abroad In Japan podcast. Just as funny, and perhaps more convenient for some people!
Videos: 377 (As of February 2022)
Subscribers: 2.61M (As of February 2022)
Who should watch it: People who love to binge wacky Japan content (ME!)
CDawgVA, or Connor, started his Japanese YouTube Channel career in 2014 and quickly gained popularity for his voice-over videos.
Since then, the majority of his content explores the weird, wacky, and wonderful side of Japan. Basically, the side that keeps you guys interested in this blog, and keeps me extremely interested in writing about it!
In fact, as I write this blog post I’ve already procrastinated for about 40 minutes whilst watching a video of his about spending $1000 on at the worlds largest crane game facility…
I have a feeling this might be a recurring theme with this article…
Connor is also a part of a weekly podcast called Trash Taste with ‘Gigguk’ and ‘The Anime Man’, the latter of which we’ll be seeing later on this list!
Videos: 541 (As of February 2022)
Subscribers: 705K (As of February 2022)
Who should watch it: People interested in everyday life in Japan.
Born and raised in Canada but living in Sendai (North Japan), Sharla documents her daily life in Japan with classic vlog-style videos.
That’s not to say her channel doesn’t show the weird or ‘unique’ parts of Japan too, but it’s more about living in Japan as a country rather than a cultural oddity that some influencers like to take advantage of.
It’s a very refreshing view of a country that is ‘exploited’ for its ‘wacky’ side so frequently.
Sharla also owns another Japanese YouTube channel called ‘Sharla In Japan’ which is reserved almost entirely for streamed content.
It’s a great place to get to know her and maybe even have the chance to ask her a few questions about life in Japan!
Videos: 450 (As of February 2022)
Subscribers: 1.16M (As of February 2022)
Who should watch it: Those looking for an insight to the Japanese mind.
Yuta from ‘That Japanese Man Yuta’ claims to be one of the very first English-speaking Japanese YouTubers.
That makes sense to me, because he was the first English-speaking Japanese YouTuber I ever watched and I’ve seen a LOT of Japanese YouTube content!
Yuta’s most popular and well known videos seem to be his cultural videos, but the channel also discusses the Japanese language, Anime, and more recently Japanese pop culture.
The videos you’re most likely to have come across involve Yuta asking people on the street different cultural questions about Japan.
For example, ‘Do foreigners in Japan speak Japanese?’ and ‘Can Japanese actually write Japanese kanji?’ are only two of the binge-worthy videos on his channel.
He’s asking all the questions we wish we could!
Videos: 1,158 (As of February 2022)
Subscribers: 497K (As of February 2022)
Who should watch it: Anyone looking for a long and peaceful video of Japan. Particularly good whilst you’re working/studying.
I have a love-hate relationship with Rambalac.
Not the man himself, but more the channel.
You see, about 4 years ago when I decided to move to Japan, I had two ideas. One was a blog (This one), and the other was a YouTube channel where I would film long videos to help people (tourists) who couldn’t get out to Japan feel like they were here in spirit.
Then Rambalac had to come along and yes, he’s been recording since 2007 but the videos didn’t get extremely popular until recently.
Anyway, I can’t really complain because the content he produces is fantastic. Whether you want to walk Inami Taisha, stroll through some cherry blossoms, or wander through Tokyo at night in the rain, there’s a video for you.
With absolutely no talking, Rambalac lets Japan’s natural sounds take charge to produce atmospheric and extremely peaceful videos.
They’re perfect to have on in the background whilst you get some work done, or many you’re such a Japan addict that you’ll just watch them straight up from start to finish.
If that sounds like you, well done!
Videos: 177 (As of February 2022)
Subscribers: 1.57M (As of February 2022)
Who should watch it: Anyone hoping to learn about daily life in a Japanese family
Started in 2015, ‘Life Where I’m From’ was created by Greg Lam, a Canadian who lives in Tokyo with his wife and their Japanese/Canadian children.
‘Life Where I’m From’, a lot like ‘Sharla in Japan’, seeks to break the stereotype that all life in Japan is weird.
For instance, you may look at the thumbnail for the video above and wonder what the hell that stringy stuff is and why do Japanese people eat it for breakfast?
Well, those may be your presumptions going into the video but there’s a high chance that once you’ve finished it, you’ll have a different view.
And if you can’t be bothered to watch the video, It’s a food called ‘Nattō’ which is basically fermented soybeans.
My partner who grew up in Japan says that it’s a little like marmite, you’ll either love it or hate it. And apparently, if you haven’t grown up eating it, you’ll probably hate it.
I believe the initial plan was to show life around the world, not just in Japan.
Greg has stated on the ‘Life Where I’m From’ About Page that he hopes to change it in the future.
But if that takes a little longer than planned, I don’t think anyone here will mind, Greg!
Videos: 1,258 (As of February 2022)
Subscribers: 3.17M (As of February 2022)
Who should watch it: Otaku and Manga addicts
If you want to know anything about Anime or Manga, I honestly doubt you’ll need any other YouTube channel than ‘The Anime Man’.
Good friends with both CDawgVA and Abroad in Japan, Joey, who lives in Tokyo, make content on anime and Japanese-based gaming topics.
I’m pretty fond of any video he makes with Chris from Abroad in Japan, like when he visited Chris’s seriously cool Japanese studio!
I’ve also recently watched a video where he quizzes some of the top YouTubers on their knowledge of Japan.
Proud to say I got most of those questions right!
Anyway, a lot of his other content does explore the interesting and unusual aspects of Japan, which makes for some great easy watching just before bedtime!
I must warn you though, it’s extremely binge-worthy Japanese YouTube content!
8. Tokyo Lens
Videos: 308 (As of February 2022)
Subscribers: 483K (As of February 2022)
Who should watch it:
Not only is Tokyo Lens an incredible film maker, he’s also the worlds best (or most well known) non-Japanese shamisen player.
In fact, as well as starting his YouTube channel to document his photography Journey, it was also mainly to ‘show the life behind his Tsugaru Shamisen’.
So what makes him so well known?
In addition learning for over 7 years, he was also accepted as an apprentice to none other than The Yoshida Brothers.
Definitely the two most famous people behind the Shamisen!
And I’m pretty sure I’ve read somewhere that he’s been on international television a few times, so not quite your average YouTuber!
If you fancy learning more about Norm and his life, I urge you to read this interview by Japan-Forward. It’s extremely in depth and a very interesting read.
A large amount of Norm Nakamura’s videos are documentary based, exploring interesting cultural differences from the western world.
I could tell you all of them are very sophisticated and intelligently presented (which they are), but that upload from 2 weeks ago doesn’t help me too much…
Long story short, Tokyo Lens is well worth a watch and Norm is an incredibly talented man and an equally talented creator.
Videos: 51 (As of February 2022)
Subscribers: 918K (As of February 2022)
Who should watch it: People who love gardening and model making
Time to slow things down a little now.
I’ve already talked a little about Asu when I discussed the Top Japanese Instagrammers you should be following, and I’m very excited to include him again here!
For those who don’t know, Asu creates realistic miniature outdoor scenes which are extremely zen in all aspects of the word.
These scenes can include waterfalls, rock pools, lakes, and rivers. And lots of cute bamboo!
I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say I’ve watched almost all of these videos. It’s that classic situation where you start with the intention to only watch one video and then suddenly you find yourself DEEP into YouTube rabbit hole.
I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m very glad to be in that hole, but it absolutely happens without me realising!
Videos: 225 (As of February 2022)
Subscribers: 2.62M (As of February 2022)
Who should watch it: People who love chocolate and Japan’s intricate style.
Whilst not all the content on Chocolate Cacao is specifically Japanese food, each video presents Japanese intricacy at it’s finest.
As I scroll down the hundreds of videos in this channel I come across familiar Japanese themes and faces such as Gudetama, Japanese wagahsi sweets, Jiggly Cheese cake, and cherry blossom flavour treats.
Im honestly not great at cooking at all. There’s maybe 3 dishes I can make well…
And to add to that, I’m not particularly interested in it either. But even I can understand the skill and creativity in some of these dishes.
It’s easy to see why the emerald marine Chocolate mint tart is a favourite among YouTube viewers.
Videos: 110 (As of February 2022)
Subscribers: 23.2K (As of February 2022)
Who should watch it: Anyone who wants to start learning Japanese but isn’t a fan of textbooks
Comprehensible Japanese might be the smallest YouTube channel on this list by far, but it’s easily one of the most helpful.
I wrote a list of the best online resources to help people studying Japan, but annoyingly that was just before I discovered this gem of a channel.
Yuki, a native Japanese speaker living in Fukuoka has built a YouTube channel to help beginners start their journey of learning Japanese.
To aid in their learning, she uses easy to understand (or, comprehensible) ‘drawings, gestures, repetitions and rephrasing.
The idea is that after going through the playlists from start to finish, you should start to gradually pick up vocabulary and pronunciation.
The lessons are extremely simple, but that’s exactly what you need when you start learning.
And yes, all the videos are in Japanese but after a few lessons you’ll hardly even notice it!
At the time of writing this, Yuki has 26 Complete beginner lessons, 66 Beginner lessons, and 18 intermediate lessons.
Plenty for the average beginner to be getting on with, and a great change of pace from a full on Japanese textbook!
Videos: 86 (As of February 2022)
Subscribers: 791K (As of February 2022)
Who should watch it: People who love cute videos and miniature Japanese themed DIY
So you like Japan aye?
Annoyed you don’t own a Japanese home or can’t travel to the country yet? (Join the club…)
Well you’re in luck!
Mini Anpanman, mini Totoro, mini rice cookers, mini Japanese houses, mini 7-Eleven, mini everything!
I’ve always wanted to be good at this kind of thing, but I’m actually pretty terrible at arts and crafts.
It all seems extremely peaceful, and with relatively long video times, Hanabira takes you through the entire process from creation, to building, to photographing the finished product.
They’re the perfect kind of videos to get lost in at 2AM when you really should be sleeping!
13. Peaceful Cuisine
Videos: 457 (As of February 2022)
Subscribers: 2.44M (As of February 2022)
Who should watch it: People who love the satisfaction of food without the mess
Started in 2010 by Ryoya Takashima, Peaceful Cuisine has to be one of the most beautifully filmed food channels on the whole of YouTube.
A little like Chocolate Cacao, not all the videos on the Peaceful Cuisine plate to strictly Japanese food.
That said, the vast majority are, and my word do they look fantastic.
Each of the videos is backed by beautifully peaceful music, and the only other sounds are the that of the ingredients and the cooking itself.
It’s almost like you’d watch the videos just for the experience, not to actually figure out how to make the dish.
Watching the Buddha Sushi Bowl video, it’s so beautifully filmed and edited that it almost makes me a little bit emotional… almost…
A lot of his videos as far as I can see are actually completely vegan. What a result!
Now all I’ve got to do is figure out how to cook this well (and cleanly) and maybe I can actually enjoy some of the food!
Videos: 722 (As of February 2022)
Subscribers: 1.11M (As of February 2022)
Who should watch it: People looking for Japanese lunchbox ideas
If there was a way to niche down the YouTube food channel as much as possible, Nigiricco gets the award.
Instead of making YouTube content for Japanese meals whenever the inspiration strikes, Nigiricco does something a little different.
Each one of the videos on the channel are what she makes for either her husband or children lunch each and everyday.
It reminds me a little bit of @yuko.makotsu but in a little more achievable way!
Each video has instructions in both Japanese and English, so who knows you might even learn a thing or two!
So there you have it, 14 of the best YouTubers in Japan you should be watching.
I honestly can’t tell you how many hours of my life I’ve given to these content creators, but one thing I can tell you is that I regret absolutely none of it!
If I’ve forgotten your favourite Japanese YouTube content creator, then please let me know in the comments below!
Until next time, またね ^_^