5 Strangest Japanese TV Shows Not To Be Missed!! | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

5 Strangest Japanese TV Shows Not To Be Missed!!

By Yae Jan 21, 2019

This post is also available in: Spanish


If you’re living in Japan, even if you don’t understand the language 100%, you may have seen some of the Japanese TV shows by now. There are various Japanese TV programs to watch, but have you ever thought about which programs would be the most fun to watch for everyone? Nobody wants to spend hundreds of hours blindly going through channels and finally settling on some TV program which barely makes you feel satisfied, right?

There are plenty of funny and strange Japanese TV shows which I would recommend for you to watch while in Japan, and this article will explain why. Are you ready to discover some of the most entertaining and, sometimes strange, Japanese TV shows available?


1. Have You Ever Seen Any Strange Japanese TV Shows?



What kind of TV programs do you usually watch on TV in your country? Do you prefer movies, music program, talk shows, comedy skits, or drama series? If you’re living in Japan and working hard to improve your Japanese language skills, watching Japanese shows is one of the best supplements for learning the language quickly and expanding your vocabulary.

However, it’s no easy feat to find a TV show that catches your eye and is foreigner friendly at the same time. Let`s go through our list of top shows to enjoy!


2. “Why did you come to Japan?”



This is a viral and interesting Japanese TV program which is aimed towards the foreign population. The purpose of this TV program is to conduct a spontaneous interview on foreigners who have just landed in Japan at the Japanese airport and asking them the following fundamental questions:

“Hello, excuse me, this is a Japanese TV program. Is an interview OK?” If the response is yes, he will continue by asking “What brought you to Japan?”

While getting interviewed by the broadcaster, he will then ask if it’s okay to conduct a more personal report about the person. If the foreigners accept this offer, the presenter will carry on interviewing the person which includes, their first day’s schedule while in Japan. That’s a pretty brave decision to show their privacy on TV, right? If you have friends in Japan and you’re a foreigner coming to Japan, there’s a slim chance you might end up on their TV screen someday!

There are so many exciting reasons why some people have come to Japan from the show, here are some of the previous episodes that have aired on this show:


1. I Came to Japan to Learn more about “Go (it’s like the Japanese version of checkers)”.

2. I Came to Japan to become an Idol.

3. I Came to Japan to see a Real Green Tea Field.

4. I Came to Japan to meet a Japanese Friend I`ve Been Exchanging Letters to.

5. I Came to Japan to eat Sukiyaki (Japanese beef hot pot).

6. I Came to Japan to Marry a Japanese Woman.

7. I Came to Japan to Purchase an Authentic Katana (Japanese sword).

8. I Came to Japan to Try the Batting Cages.

9. I Came to Japan to See My Favorite Japanese Musician.

10. I Came to Japan to See the Japanese Woman who I have an Unrequited Love For.


As you can see, there are many compelling reasons why some people decided to travel all the way to Japan for. According to the behind-the-scenes stories, the broadcaster running the show has mentioned that they have interviewed with Christian Lassen, Miranda Kerr, Keanu Reeves, etc. and other internationally famous people at Japanese airports before.

You can check this TV program website in the English version if you’re interested!

By the way, “why did you come to Japan?”


<TV program information>

The name of the TV program: Why did you come to Japan?

Japanese: Youは何しに日本へ?(You wa nani shini Nippon e?)

Broadcaster: TV TOKYO Corporation

Emcee: Banana man (2 Japanese comedian duo)

Broadcast time: Every Monday starting from 18:55 pm


3. “Secret Resident Show”



This is another popular Japanese TV program focused on introducing local foods from the many different prefectures in Japan. The interesting point about this show is that the cast on TV come from various counties in Japan, so they often discuss and debate about how weird each other’s prefectures’ local foods are or how some things are normal regarding their local foods in comparison to others.

If you like Japanese food or like traveling around Japan, or both, it would be a great idea to check this show out. You can see what kind of exciting and unique local foods are in each of the prefectures in Japan. You may find some local foods that you`ll want to try out, giving you more the reason to travel to that area.


<TV program information>

The name of the TV program: Secret Resident Show

Japanese: 秘密のケンミンSHOW(Himitsu no kenmin show)

Broadcaster: YOMIURI TELECASTING Corporation

Emcee: Monta Mino (freelance announcer), Masami Hisamoto (Japanese woman comedian)

Broadcast time: Every Thursday starting from 21:00


4. “Cool Japan”



The next show is aimed directly at a foreign audience. In this show, many foreigners from various countries currently living in Japan engage in a discussion about the different cultures, habits, ways of thinking, manners, foods, behaviors, etc. of Japan. The purpose of this TV program is to discover the cool things about Japan by exchanging opinions from the foreigner’s point of view from different countries as well as some local’s thoughts. If you watch this even once, you may find yourself agreeing with many of the points, and even discover new cool things that you never considered before.

Check this TV program website in the English version if you’re interested!


<TV program information>

The name of the TV program: Cool Japan!

Japanese: Cool Japan Broadcaster: Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) (BS1)

Emcee: Shoji Kokami (writer, producer), Risa Stegmyer (TV personality)

Broadcast time: Every Sunday starting from 18:00

5. “Cheering for the Foreigners Who Want to Come to Japan”



This TV program is searching for “Japan lovers” who are living in other countries and introduces why they’re interested in Japan and why they want to travel to Japan.

After interviewing many of the foreigners in their home countries and asking for the reasons of why they’re so addicted to Japan and want to come to Japan, those who left a good impression with the broadcaster will be picked to make their dream come true. They will be flown all the way to Japan and be followed by cameras to record their dream come true in Japan.


Everyone has their reasons for wanting to travel to Japan,  but after watching this show, you`ll realize there are some very specific details that can make someone want to come all the way here, including wishing to eat Japanese dried seaweed, want to meet a Japanese step-sister, want to make a tatami mat, etc. If you also have a dream in Japan, you might be so lucky to have that opportunity now!


<TV program information>

The name of the TV program: Cheering for the foreigners who want to come to Japan

Japanese: 世界!ニッポン行きたい人応援団(sekai! Nippon ikitai Hito ooendan)

Broadcaster: TV TOKYO Corporation

Emcee: Shigeo Takahashi (Japanese comedian), Nobunari Oda (used to be a figure skater), Kaori Manabe (TV personality)

Broadcast time: Every Monday starting from 20:00


6. “Let’s Go Out to See Until The End of The World Q”


In this show, Japanese comedians and TV personalities travel around the world to have unique once-in-a-lifetime-experiences. If you are not familiar with Japanese comedians or Japanese TV personalities yet, this could be the perfect chance for you to get to know more about them and their humor. If you’re not so familiar with the Japanese sense of humor, this is the perfect opportunity to see if you get any of the jokes. This is currently one of the most popular shows circling Japan!


<TV program information>

The name of the TV program: Let’s go out to see until the end of the world Q

Japanese: 世界の果てまでイッテQ!(sekai no hate made itte Q!)

Broadcaster: Nippon Television Network System (NNS)

Emcee: Teruyoshi Uchimura (Japanese comedian, TV personality)

Broadcast time: Every Sunday starting from 19:58


7. You Should Watch These Strange Japanese TV; It’s Fun!



Did you find that any of these Japanese TV programs sparked your interest so far? Living in a different country is not always so easy all the time, like when you have to face difficult hurdles, struggling to adapt to a different culture, learning different mannerisms, and the language barrier.

However, if you start watching these Japanese shows, this could be an excellent chance to see Japan differently by seeing how other foreigners view Japan.

If you want to find out more about Japan, please check out some of the above Japanese shows and discover more of what there is to Japan.

Hopefully, after watching some of these shows you’ll come to like Japan even more. How about pouring some wine, or grabbing a few snacks, and getting comfortable around the TV for the next time one of these shows airs? There are plenty of other exciting and fun shows to watch in Japan that would make this list extremely long, so hopefully, you will become more and more immersed in the world of Japanese entertainment! Trust us, it’s more addicting than you think!