5 Best Japanese TV Shows of All Time | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan
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5 Best Japanese TV Shows of All Time

By Guidable Writers Sep 28, 2021

Have you watched many Japanese TV shows? Do they feel different from TV shows in your home country?

If you love the entertainment world, the Japanese TV scene may feel different and unique to you. It’s likely the various situations, skills, talents, and other aspects presented are not usually something you’ve seen before.


Pexels, Jeshoots.com

Japan has attracted public attention through their many entertaining options, and TV is no different here. The entertainment industry has adapted to the audience’s interests; you may find everything from drama series, reality shows, talk shows, talent search shows, and online shopping. 

The Best Japanese TV Shows Out There!

If you aren’t sure where to start, Guidable has a list of the top 5 highly-rated Japanese TV shows you must watch!

1. ニンゲン観察 – モニタリング (Human Observation – Monitoring)

The first one is a reality show with a touch of comedy. The aim of Human Observation — Monitoring is to see how random people react in dealing with unusual situations. 

The show builds up a set themed on everyday life, with surprising and unique additions! Fun fact, it could be anything. 

The setting can change to horror, emotional, or funny in a split second. The cast, starring Kosugi Ryoichi, and other actors and hosts, are ready to lead you in an exciting and fun way to observe people’s shocked reactions. 

japanese tv shows

Pexels, Ketut Subiyanto

2. VS Arashi.

The next show stars the famous Japanese boy band, Japanese Arashi. In this series, you can watch Arashi challenge guest stars with various kinds of fun. 

Challenges can take all kinds of forms, ranging from brainpower, physical strength, or dares. You will see how the funny and exciting events unfold as the guests try their hardest to win in various games.

Remember, you can find all kinds of fun with your favorite idols! 

The show has been running on television since 2008 and hundreds of episodes have been aired. Have a favorite actor or idol? Go for a search and see if they have appeared as guest stars.

The appearing guest stars are from various circles, with one focused intention… to win the game VS Arashi! 

3. I LOVE みんなのどうぶつ園

This is a continuation of the highly successful series, “Genius! Shimura Animal Garden” which aired on TV for over 16 years. Last year in 2020, the production house decided to make a new series under a similar theme with Masaki Aiba as the main host of this event. In the show Aiba tours exciting places famous for their animal preservation and enters the zoo to introduce animals to the audience.

The purpose of this series is to introduce wild, protected, or endangered animals so the audience will fall in love with them, as the logo shows, making the world everyone’s animal garden.

For you animal lovers, this one is not to be missed! Sometimes Aiba will invite guest stars and travel together to track and monitor the development of the protected animals.

The show has received an excellent response since it first launched, showing that the Japanese people care deeply and pay attention to their environment, especially the safety of the animals who are also inhabitants of the world.

Japanbese tv shows

Pexels, Helena Lopes

4. YOUは何しに日本へ (Why Did You Come To Japan?)

The next one is an interview show for non-Japanese. The production team interview unsuspected non-Japanese to find out why they came to Japan, and their opinion about the country. The hosts will ask them about their life and first impressions of Japan.

Anyone can be interrogated, whoever you are, anyone is open for question. Sometimes, they also interview tourists who are visiting Japan, not just those who live here.

Since the show first launched on TV, most of the internationals interviewed respond positively about Japan. Things like how amazing it is to live here, the friendliness of the local people, unique living situations, and the delicious Japanese food. Usually, the team will go to interview people around Narita and Haneda International Airport. It’s a great insight into opinions of non-Japanese people living and visiting Japan. 

The show is supported by Yuki Himura as host and Osamu Shitara as co-host. And ff you are interested in an appearance, you can also contact the production team to be interviewed!

Don’t miss the fun, there are also many funny answers which can uplift your mood for the day!

5. Tidying Up with Marie Kondo 

This is one of the most famous Japanese shows on Netflix. Since 2019, this has been every homemaker’s favorite, and a must-watch for newly married couples. 

Marie Kondo will show you the art of tidying up and cleaning the house as a way to reach a cozy yet organized house. She meets up with clients and teaches them how to organize their home, inspired by Japanese tiny houses. 

Every client has different problems, and Marie Kondo gives different solutions which may help you with your housing problems as well! 

For the most part, the program is in English and is enjoyed by English speakers everywhere. 

So, stay tuned to your Netflix, and be prepared to get better organized and surprise the loved ones in your home! 

Japanese tv shows

Pexels, Jeshoots.com

What Do You Think? Do You Have Your Own Favorite Japanese TV Shows?

After seeing the list above, have you decided which one to watch and fill up your spare time? Watching with your loved one, or spending time alone watching the TV programs above is a fun way to save money.

Let us know what you think about these suggestions, and enjoy!

Devy Mufliha,


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7 Japanese Romance Movies That Should Be On Your Watchlist