“Why did you come to Japan?”, a question often asked to foreigners in Japan, is actually a famous Japanese television program. This television reality program also known as “Yū wa Nani Shi ni Nippon e?”(YOUは何しに日本へ) is presented by two famous personalities in Japan, Osamu Shitara and Yuki Himura, the comedy duo called “Bananaman”.
This is shown on TV Tokyo on Monday evenings featuring interviewers following close reporting around various locations, but usually in airports like Narita airports, asking non-Japanese people the famous question, “Why did you come to Japan?”
Before I knew that this program do actually exist, I was wondering why many of my Japanese friends, adults and kids alike come to me and ask this question. I thought that maybe they are just interested to know why I am in Japan, but after a while and discover this reality TV-show, I come to think that maybe they’re just somehow being influenced by the TV-show.
After watching several episodes, I did not realize that this TV show has become of one of my favorites. I always look forward to watching it on Mondays at 6:57 in the evening (for what reasons why it’s not sharp 7, I don’t know). It is so interesting knowing the reasons of some foreigners coming to Japan. Most common reason is tourism, some come for sport tournament, others are as surprising as just wanting to eat a hamburger in Sasebo or taking a picture with their idols and some just come for no specific reason but explore the country. One of my favorite episodes is about a guy named Julian from Australia who came to Japan just to eat Sasebo burgers. Burgers? I was expecting something like sushi or ramen, but burgers? It was really interesting! Sasebo is a place in Nagasaki in the southwestern island of Kyushu. It was so amusing and out of expectations that a foreigner would really travel that far and come to Japan just to eat Sasebo burgers! This program shows many aspects of Japanese culture that attracts foreign tourists, some of which even some Japanese natives themselves were unaware of.
Next time you come to Japan, look around at the airport and you might see them conducting interviews, or who knows, you will be the next interviewee.
“Yū wa Nani Shi ni Nippon e?” Website*Automatic translation