I think a lot of people who are interested in Japanese culture and life in Japan know of the typical channels like Abroad in Japan, ONLY in Japan, Life Where I'm From, TabiEats, Asian Boss, or That Japanese Man Yuta. Only to name a few. There are lots of people out there on Japan YouTube!
I admittedly watch a lot of YouTube. It's kind of my replacement TV. So there's a lot of channels and videos that I come across every single day - whether I like them or not (thanks, youtube algorithm!). And out of the ones I did like, I sometimes come across some really special gems or random cliche in Japan YouTube.
Here are some of my favourites on Japan YouTube lately:
Recently, I've really been enjoying learning more about Japan from a Japanese person's perspective, and I think this channel is just exactly that. Shogo and his family lives in Kyoto, one of the most culture-rich cities in Japan. He has experience in a lot of Japanese cultural arts, and he likes to talk about them from his perspective.
The format of his videos can be a bit repetitive, but it's very logical and very easy to understand. And he may come off as a bit TOO egotistical and very goal-oriented towards building his youtube audience, but if you can look past that, the contents are all really interesting!
I admit I actually don't watch this channel much nowadays, but when I sometimes just need an ASMR cooking channel, I really enjoy watching this channel's stuff. They're all very high quality and can be somewhat inspirational if you live in Japan, looking to cook things using local ingredients.
Or, you know.. if you don't like cooking and you just want to watch someone else cook (and be jealous), this channel is great for that too!!
Shun is a Japanese person from Osaka who just likes to talk about life in Japan from a Japanese perspective. He sometimes reacts to other Japanese-related videos too. They're usually quite short, and rather witty! This kind of "I don't take myself seriously" vibe is what I really enjoy when I watch people talk on youtube.
Very relatable! For me, at least. And honestly... if you're going to watch someone talk & crack jokes about Japan, it might as well be from a native, right??
Go check his channel out! :)
4) わんこと車中泊 / Car Traveling With Dog
This channel is about a Japanese woman (from Kansai) travelling around Japan with her Shiba inu, Mugi, in her sleeper van. I watched her a lot pre-COVID19 when she stopped uploading for awhile. She started uploading again when she bought a new van, and started renovating it. I think she started travelling again 5-6 months ago. But I haven't been catching up.
She usually travels out to more secluded areas in Japan, and because she really just lives off her van most of the time, I think her overall risk during the pandemic is quite low. So I do think she is worth supporting.
Even though all her videos are in Japanese, I particularly just love seeing how she travels in a sleeper van with her pet. And how she handles sightseeing when many places don't allow pets. Just her overall lifestyle in a van is interesting for me. The owner spends a lot of time in her van cooking (for her and her dog), chatting and showing local produce she uses to cook. You can tell she really treats her dog well, and her dog is such a sweetheart!
If this is your thing, definitely go check her out!
5) Sambon Juku
This is a Japanese-studying channel. If you're trying to study for JLPT and need more visual explanations, Akki (the host) does a great job explaining grammar points in Japanese and giving examples on how to use the language. Highly recommend!!
He seems to have some podcast-like videos, and other teaching Japanese-related videos too.
6) Tokyo Llama
If you want to see how a foreigner bought an abandoned house, and documenting his renovations along the way, this channel is a great one. His house is still a work in progress, and since he's not really a YouTuber in a traditional sense, you're not going to have a lot of regular videos out from this channel. But still interesting to see and check out!
This channel has a lot of very high quality location shoots of very specific places. If you enjoy watching "travel" videos without narration or any talking, this channel is for you.
The YouTuber really tries to make her shots artistic, so there's a lot of really beautiful B-rolls (is that what it's called? I don't know) in her videos. It can get a bit repetitive, but she also clearly time stamps her videos... so if you get bored of one spot, you can easily just skip through it. I really enjoy her work!
This channel has a lot of videos on transportation. More specifically, he documents a lot of long-haul travels like overnight ships and long-distance trains. If you're interested in those kinds of things, I do highly recommend this.
I know he is still travelling now, but I think it's mostly for work... and he usually focuses on his mode of transport. Since the pandemic, he mostly shows more low-key transport routes and has always kept to himself. So I do believe he is trying to minimize risk as much as he can. Though I cannot know for sure... I would only hope he is!
He also has an English channel here.
Anyway, that's it from me today on this rainy Sunday! I hope you guys have a good rest of your weekend, and let me know what are some of your favourite youtube channels from Japan in the comments or on my twitter account! See you next blog!