My Top picks of Youtube channels about Japan
With the slow but sure death of mainstream youtubers, due to their topics becoming boring and their attempts ever so desperate, I’ve decided to turn my attention to another market: the travel and lifestyle blogs. Japan has always been one of my favorite countries, in fact I was a Japan fanatic for many years, even getting to the point of learning Japanese. So, one day, I thought to start looking around what I can find about Japan on youtube.
It wasn’t my first attempt to seek good channels about Japan. I was through several beauty channels and Japanese make up channels but they weren’t for my liking. If I find more with fun content, I will definitely let you know about it. Also, it’s extremely hard to find genuine channels about Japan in English. Let’s enlist the key types of Japanese lifestyle channels and their pros and cons.
- The half-Japanese couple channels
I’m not keen on these channels because these are generally made by Japan fanatics, who keep showing off their Japanese counterpart ( be it a husband, wife, girlfriend or boyfriend) like a trophy they managed to win as the price of their love for Japan.
- The Non-Japanese couples living in Japan
These are less bad, and can serve with a good perspective on living in Japan. What I feel sorry for is, that most foreigners cannot really serve with a real genuine insight, as these people, if both of them are non-Japanese, generally don’t speak Japanese and this way, they mostly don’t work in a Japanese environment either.
- The Japanese family channels
These can be good sometimes, especially if you want to learn more about Japan. All these channels are also made by someone who is not Japanese but his wife is. And yes, 100% of these channels are made by guys.
- Non-Japanese guy living in Japan
These are the best channels in my opinion and they server with a pretty good picture about Japan. The reason is simple. Guys from all over the world can very easily get a job in any of the schools or eikaiwas to teach English. Women unforturtunately are not that lucky or not that keen to teach English with such intensity. I ‘ve se’n some of the channels made by girls trying to make it alone in Japan, and these were not too happy channels.
- The Latino-Japanese channels
There is a surprisingly high number of YouTube channels which are made in spanish, by Latin americans living in Japan, either in couple or in family. I think part of the reason might be the high number of Japanese who have immigrated to South American countries. I plan to do a separate article on these channels.
- The shitty touristy channels
These are generally made by those who are only visiting Japan and all go to the same places which are considered cool or weird in Japan.
So, hajimemashite! Let’s get started. If you like Japan, would like to learn about the culture, plan to visit or live in there, then I hope you will like these channels and they can teach you one or two things about living in Japan.
- Abroad in Japan
British people have a particular talent in making documentaries in an interesting way and this channel is especially good at it. Made by Chris Broad ( you see the play with words here!) who is a British guy who lives and works in Japan as a teacher for about 6-7 years, this is among my favorite channels: it’s teaching, entertaining and takes you to some beautiful places. Chris has a couple of good Japanese friends, he is keen to collaborate with other foreign Youtubers who live in Japan and this channel is among the upcoming YouTube channels, which means, it’s starting to get cool now. This means it can even have a few good years. Another positive is, that the guy speaks Japanese and that he is just completing his series of videos that are about cycling across Japan. So, if you would like to see as much of Japan as possible and learn in the meantime, then check him out. Another extra: if you are a fan of Japanese food, then this is the right channel for you. Chris has recently joined a group called Tokyo Creative who I will talk about a little bit later. High quality videos and editing!
- Life where I’m from
I’m not a huge fan of family channels, but this channel has managed to grab my attention and thanks to its engaging style and great quality videos and a good deal of topics, especially for those, who are curious about Japanese way of life, the living standards and how work goes on in specific places such as in a one-man restaurant or in a family-owned Ryokan ( Traditional style guesthouse). The maker of this channel is called Greg Lam, he is of mixed ethnical and national heritage and is from Vancouver, Canada Greg has a Japanese wife ( a big positive for me, is that she doesn’t indend to be on camera) and two kids. His videos are made in documentary style.The guy has a good voice, a fun representing style and his videos are high quality. He is definitely the 2nd on my must-watch list. Greg also collabs with other Youtubers living in Japan.
- Only in Japan
John is an Indian-Canadian guy who lives in Japan for more than twenty years, so we could say, that he is among the biggest fans in Japan. He behaves much like a Japanese and he’s been doing videos about literally everything in Japan for several years now. He is a real pro in filmmaking and representation and he is one of the first guys who started to make these documentary style videos a few years ago.I was first adamant about his channel, but I finally came to like his content. He recently decided to also make videos representing his Japanes girlfriend which is definitely cute and it’s for the good reason of making more people watch his content. He also has another channel called Only in Japan GO, where he uploads live videos where people can comment and so on.
- Tokyo Creative
This is a project that was made by an American –Japanese (or American Hawaiian?) guy called Chris Okano and it recently started to gather a group of foreign youtubers living in Japan coupled with some Japanese cooperators. This is a young group of definitely talented people, but I do have doubts. Their content is childish, very much how Americans would like to see Japan. Also they have started a pay –to-watch project offering to teach people about editing and standard content creation a little bit too soon. Chris Okano is more talented in film making than starring in videos. Some of the youtubers, like Chris Broad, the Canadian Sharmander ( a female youtuber living in Japan –again) the Anime Man ( he is I think a half Japanese Youtuber) have their legit Youtube channel on their own right. The project sponsored Chris Broad’s journey across Japan tour which also featured some of these other bloggers, but the channel’s own content is too plain or too dumb for me. Their views are also not that strong. But if you look for some chit chat or games and guess that games about Japan, then this is the channel for you.
Sharla is a Canadian Youtuber who is one of the very very few female bloggers who have a successful channel about Japan ( and South Korea due to her marriage which is now over). Her channel is not too bad, but I don’t like it that much because it contains way too much promotional content, unpacking and stuff like that while it could be more interesting in my opinion. I am planning to do another article featuring female youtubers in the Far East, where I will definitely include her. She also joined the Tokyo Creative project recently. She is great when it comes to collab videos with Chris Broad.
And basically that is it!
I know it’s not many and I keep my research on but so far, these are the channels which have real interesting, entertaining and also educational content about Japan. Of course there are other channels which you can look at, some of them however are not for my taste and not for my style. I hope, you will like at least some of these channels and if you have some of your favorite channels about Japan, which have great content but I missed out on them, then don’t hesitate to let me know!