The list of YouTubers in Japan is growing at an exponential rate so it can be quite difficult to determine which ones are worth your time. And while that often comes down to personal preference, this article is designed to help you find some YouTubers who make videos about Japan that might just suit your taste.
Chris Broad began his YouTube channel over 4 years ago and has recently gained a lot of popularity for his often informative but highly sarcastic videos on Japan. Occasionally joined by some Japanese friends of his, Natsuki or the more recently introduced Ryotaro, Chris travels Japan bringing you videos from a wide range of locations such as Miyagi Prefecture’s Fox Village (宮城のキツネ村) and Shinjuku’s (新宿) Robot Restaurant.
Originally an English teacher on the JET Programme, the Englishman recently launched a Patreon page to make YouTube his full-time job; and the result has been new videos much more often, with approximately two to three new videos a month.
With over 413,000 subscribers at the time of writing, Abroad in Japan is the second-most popular channel on this list and it’s not hard to see why. While his more recent videos have better editing and quality, his earlier videos are not to be missed either.
If you want to see some of the strange things that happen in Japan, be sure to check out Chris’ channel here!
Charlyjapan, or 2 MIN JAPAN, is a hilarious channel where most videos showcase the different aspects of Japanese life and are under two minutes. If you like food, then this is easily the channel for you!
If you’re worried that a 2-minute video is too short, don’t be. This charismatic Frenchman does a brilliant job of condensing his videos to fit the format and you often come away thinking that the video was the perfect length. However, for those who prefer longer and more detailed videos, his recent tour of Tohoku (東北) on the 6-year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the region is longer.
If you want a quick chuckle (or to become extremely hungry at the sight of delicious food), check out 2 MIN JAPAN’s channel here!
Jason is an English student from the University of Leeds studying Japanese as an exchange student at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (東京外国語大学). His videos mostly focus on student life in Japan, with videos varying from opening Japanese lucky bags to proving how easy it is to pay your bills in Japan.
While Jason’s channel has the least amount of subscribers among the group, with a little over 2,200 at the time of writing, it should be noted that he seemed to have only started making videos in earnest since October 2016 and has gained almost all of his subscribers in the past 6 months.
Also worth noting is that as he is an exchange student, it is likely that his videos won’t be made in Japan anymore after, so enjoy them while you can here!
Victor is one of the original Japan-focused YouTubers with his first account, Gimmeabreakman, starting in 2006. That was 11 years ago leading to his, albeit self-given, nickname as the “Godfather of Jvlogging.” As alluded to previously, Victor has multiple YouTube channels; although his main two are Gimmeabreakman and Gimmeaflakeman, with a combined subscriber count of over 200,000 at the time of writing.
The difference between Victor and the YouTubers listed so far can be found in his apparent focus on quantity over quality, but this should not be taken in a negative way. While Victor doesn’t care much for spending hours and hours on fancy editing, he will release nearly a video a day; sometimes even more. His videos range from Japanese news, or as he calls it, “J-News,” to drama between different Japanese YouTubers, and his “Laundry Vlog” series where he just speaks to the camera in his spare bedroom about various topics.
He also has a variety of videos where he just films himself driving in Japan or walking the streets of Nagoya (名古屋), which are great for those who just want to see what he does on his way to work. Finally, he often has elements of Japanese language teaching in many of his videos, especially the aforementioned J-News series.
If you’re a foreigner who is considering living in Japan and specifically thinking of working as an English teacher, then this channel is a must for you. Focusing on living and working in Japan, DaveTrippin is a channel hosted by a Canadian author and English teacher in Japan.
While probably not as funny or entertaining as the rest of the channels on this list, Charles does a great job of offering useful and informative videos for a rather niche audience. Check out DaveTrippin here!
Are you looking for a foreigner in Japan that creates videos in Japanese? Mimei has you covered with her main channel, which also features English subtitles so don’t worry if you can’t speak Japanese, you can still enjoy her videos. Meanwhile, she also actively posts videos in English on her second channel, MIMEI LAND. Mimei focuses on a variety of subjects such as her life in Japan, interviewing Japanese YouTubers, and vlogging on her English channel.
Mimei’s channel is an excellent tool for Japanese language listening practice as well. I would recommend both hers and the next channel on this list if you are learning Japanese as you have the option of turning the subtitles on or off depending on your level.
Finally, we’re at the end of the list, but a few disclaimers before you decide to check this channel out (if you haven’t already heard of it). Firstly, Duncan makes videos in Japanese on his main channel, PDRさん, although he almost always includes English subtitles. He also has an English language channel called Just Duncan but rarely uses it. In addition, his channels should probably come with a parental warning. Most of the content is fine, but there are certain jokes and videos that should only be viewed by those above a certain age, so just be careful.
With that said, PDRさん is the most popular channel on this list with a whopping 790,000 subscribers at the time of writing. The channel itself is great for lowbrow entertainment, with most of the videos just featuring Duncan speaking to the camera in his apartment. But sometimes, he ventures out into the vast Tokyo metropolis with his camera.
As with Mimei, I would personally recommend this channel to upper-intermediate level Japanese learners for practice, as you can try and watch without the subtitles and just turn them on if you get stuck. Also, as Duncan is half British and half Japanese, you can actually trust his self-made subtitles rather than trying to understand the YouTube auto-created ones.
You might also notice a few cameos of another YouTuber on this list, Mimei, as the two are married and live together. She can often be seen in PDRさん’s videos and vice versa.
While the above are really outstanding channels, there are some others that didn’t quite make the list but are still worth checking out if the YouTubers already mentioned are not what you’re looking for.
- Texan in Tokyo (no longer creates videos but has a good collection of past content)
- Sharla in Japan
- Happy In Japan
- KemushiChan ロレッタ
- Rachel & Jun
Did we miss any of your favorite YouTubers? Have you found any new channels that you’ve been binge watching all day and/or all night? Let us know in the comments below!