For those wishing to visit Japan, J-vloggers act as a window into her secrets. Thus it’s understandable that some – in some cases millions – wish to live vicariously through certain J-vloggers on YouTube. The target audience for most J-vloggers are those traveling to Japan and their videos reflect this, as such graduating from visitor to Japan to resident of Japan can see a change in one’s YouTuber preferences.
For those who’d like a little variety in their J-vlogging diet, here are some alternative J-vloggers worth checking out.
Duncan is a half Japanese, half British bilingual YouTuber who goes by the name PDR-san, don’t forget the san. Commenting on strange Japanese trends and poking fun at the stupidity of others, PRD-san is a YouTuber after my own heart. Although his videos are in Japanese there are English subtitles making the videos accessible for international audiences. For bilingual viewers, the spoken gags and jokes reflect a more Japanese style of humor while the translations in English cater to international audiences while telling the same story.
A lover of collectible figures, vinyl and comic books his channel sometimes takes detours from mocking the tapioca trend in order to indulge in an unboxing video which, at times, goes hilariously wrong. For lovers of Japanese fringe culture and strange trends, this is the channel for you.
There are two styles of videos on Greg’s channel, the first is stylistically closer to that of a J-vlogger where Greg and his family will be in front of the camera on some wacky adventure. These videos are always more light-hearted with the kids providing some hilarious commentary. My favorite of these videos is where the family decided to try every frozen treat one could find in a supermarket.
The second style and for me, the main appeal of Life Where I’m From is the documentary-style videos that Greg makes. The videos focus on some interesting elements of Japanese culture or highlight a lesser-known part of Japan such as the video which spotlights how it is living as a Muslim in Japan.
Kemushichan is a veteran YouTuber, with over 10 years of content on her channel. She makes informative videos about Japan using her advanced Japanese skills to navigate Japanese culture, practices and can translate interesting tidbits which other J-vloggers may lack the language abilities to translate. Be it videos about Japanese we’ve all been saying wrong, a cycling tour through Aichi or just a romp down a traditional Japanese shopping street Kemishi has something for everyone.
Husband and wife power couple Rachel and Jun have produced one of the most popular J-vlogs on YouTube since I can remember. Recently moved to Kyushu, the couple’s video style is hard to pin down precisely, with the videos being J-vlog in nature but all taking on a slight documentary style. A good example of this is their moving video when the couple hired a Japanese moving company, to help them get from Tokyo to Kyushu. The video was informative and provided a window into an area of Japan that most perhaps don’t see. Have a look around their channel, there is sure to be a video that will catch your interest.
British born sarcasm aficionado Chris Broad has been creating YouTube videos for around seven years. While most J-vloggers in the YouTube space are from the US, Chris sets himself apart with his British style of dry wit and generally pessimistic outlook on the world – how very British indeed. The channel dives deeply into strange parts of Japanese culture all while keeping that J-vlog style, Chris has been creating some amazing documentaries in recent months including his own experiences when visiting the Fukushima disaster zone – Inside Fukushima. With his library of videos and documentaries, you’ll easily find yourself binging on all things Abroad in Japan.
Through in-depth interviews and fun conversations, The Black Experience Japan showcases different Black people living and working in Japan. The channel asks some difficult questions about race, identity and life in Japan and how it differs from their home country. Interviewing people from different areas of Japan, the channel has already spoken to a variety of people from lawyers and freelance models to teachers and designers all from different walks of life. Recently branching out, the channel has extended its reach to other parts of Asia to interview and compare how black people living in Korea, China and other Asian countries are fairing.
My absolute favorite J-vlogger is this man, Dogen. Speaking almost flawless Japanese, Dogen tells stories and anecdotes about his life in Japan. The videos are all in Japanese with subtitles in English. Dogen also comments and creates hilarious skits about different aspects of Japanese culture that everyone living in Japan has to deal with to various levels of frustration. In a sense, this man is saying what we all wish to scream from the top of the Shinagawa immigration bureau. Besides his commentary and comedy videos, Dogen has a Japanese learning series where he discusses the correct way to pronounce certain Japanese words, and dives deeply into learning Japanese.
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