As travel to and within Japan remains highly limited, most of us are turning to Japan-based content creators who can give us the low down on life in the land of the rising sun. Whether you’re interested in travel and culture, food and recipes, anime, or just feeling the vibes, there’s certainly a channel on YouTube to satisfy your curiosity. Here are a few that we’re into at the moment.
For those of us who’ve been studying, working or just sheltering at home alone, Abao in Tokyo’s channel is your much-needed reprieve. The majority of his channel videos are of him studying for hours with some beautiful ambient music. Abao uses the Pomodoro technique and has his videos timed to it as well to ensure you’re getting plenty of breaks in between together. The combination is one that is not only peaceful but sure to motivate you to keep going with your work. Best of all, if you’re desperate for an upload, head to his 24/7 lo-fi hip-hop radio stream for some virtual companionship from his animated studying self.
2. Tokyo Llama
Akiya, or abandoned houses in rural Japan, are often a topic of interest both as potential residential living and as an investment in Japan. Tokyo Llama is a YouTube channel that helps set the record straight around how to find an akiya, the true costs involved in repairing and maintaining vacant houses and what it’s like to be living in the Japanese countryside. The channel has just 30 videos but each has amassed hundreds of thousands of views. Jaya, the host of the channel is articulate and thorough in his vlogging of the restoration of his house, from looking under the foundations, inside the attic to the entire renovation progress. Even if you’re not in the market for an akiya, this channel highlights parts of Japan that are often unseen.
Anime and manga fans are probably no stranger to Akidearest, a channel that is most known for its entertaining content around otaku culture. Since moving to Japan, Aki has been diversifying her content to include elements of her daily life and explorations of cafés and places of interest within Tokyo. Her “Why Japan” series can be very funny as Aki features chindogu items, random Japanese inventions created to fulfill highly niche purposes that often cause more problems than they solve.
4. Kimono Mom
Kimono Mom showcases the daily life of a Japanese family in Tokyo, particularly looking at the food they make and the recipes they use. The channel is hosted by Moe, a Kyoto native who prior to becoming a housewife, worked as a maiko and geisha for many years. Kimono Mom is a great channel to keep an eye on if you’re interested in healthy Japanese cooking told from the perspective of a mom-and-daughter duo. The cuteness of Moe’s daughter Sutan who features regularly in the videos is certainly an added bonus.
Born and raised in Australia, Shu Uchida is a Japanese voice actress who has lent her voice to famous titles such as Doraemon, Shinchan and Fate/EXTRA Last Encore. Separate to her occupation, Shu also has a YouTube channel where she uploads and streams content about food, her daily life in Japan and Japanese and Australian culture. As a bilingual content creator, her videos help bridge the gap between Japan and the rest of the English-speaking world.
Nami no Krashi is a weekly life vlog of Nami, an office lady living alone in Tokyo. Her videos are the epitome of slice-of-life content as they share snippets of her daily routine such as preparing meals, going on walks and relaxing at home. While Nami’s videos are mostly voiceless, the soothing background music and simple joys found in her videos make this a peaceful watch. Her videos also have auto-generated English subtitles to help give context.
7. Reina Scully
Reina Scully is a bit of a household name when it comes to the anime and gaming community and it’s probably because she’s done it all. From voice acting to TV presenting to cosplay and production, Reina has worn many hats and one of them includes having her own YouTube channel. Her videos also represent her unique experiences and include everything from Japanese supermarket tours to learning Japanese and daily life in Japan. Despite the variety in her content the one thing that does remain the same is Reina’s wit and charisma in her video narration.