One of the most important factors of putting up a Youtube channel is language. While Nihongo is quite known, it is certainly not enough if you plan on catering to a bigger audience. May it be lifestyle, culinary, beauty or fashion, using the universal language English is your best bet in attracting a wider reach. Introducing Japanese culture to an international community is rather difficult if the viewers only understand sugoi or oishi, right? Luckily, these Japanese vloggers (who are all household names on Youtube) continuously give us a glimpse of life in Japan – beyond subtitles.
Adding a fun spin to being a bilingual girl, Bilingirl Chika is one of the most famous Japanese Youtubers. Since 2009, she has gained an impressive following of 1.1 million subscribers and over 280 million views for her videos. Her channel started as a platform to teach English when she noticed that there was a high demand for English tutorial content among Japanese viewers.
Chika Yoshida spent almost two decades in the US before returning to Japan in 2007. She started uploading videos of her speaking English just for fun, but later on realized that she had been gaining a lot of attention from different types of audience. Chika then decided to quit her day job in a consulting company and focus on being a content creator. Her videos range from English tutorials to her daily life and travels. She also creates videos of her dressing up in costumes which she personally made.
Recently, she made another Youtube channel Japanagos which is focused on introducing and promoting Japanese culture to foreigners.
Name: Bilingirl Chika
Official website: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPlreGCqby4Qg9Vuem5scpw
Melodee Morita is a Japanese-American Youtuber who juggles a few more other careers: being a TV reporter, ballet dancer, host and interpreter. She started out on Youtube in 2012 and now has a total of 321, 000 subscribers. Her videos consist of beauty tips, health care (as a professional dancer), daily vlogs and travels. She also creates videos to promote the Japanese language and culture.
Melodee’s videos are mostly in English and Japanese, with over ten other subtitles. Talk about being inclusive! Additionally, a lot of her viewers commend her bubbly personality which brings a positive light to her videos. Some of her popular uploads include diet tips, skincare and advice on getting a ballet-ready body. At present, her videos have gained an impressive 19 million views all in all. Wow!
If you’re looking for a Youtuber who can walk you through the nitty-gritty of life in Japan, Okano TV is just the perfect channel for you. Chris, the man behind this channel, brings you all the things you need to know about Japan. From Japanese schools to working in Japan to even restaurant reviews, Chris got it all covered for you. He also goes out on the streets to interview random strangers about the most interesting and timely topics.
Chris grew up in the States but is now residing in Tokyo. Through his channel, he has shown the contrast of living in Japan and the West. He has shared his daily life and travels through over hundreds of video uploads. You will literally never run out of content from this channel! Some of his popular uploads are catching fish with paper, college life in Japan vs. West, shinkansen explained, and many more.
Official website: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCr07AO154oDH8q5leeViSsg
Another well-loved Youtube channel is Internationally ME which focuses on a very unique subject. Angela, the channel owner, created this channel in 2015 to show the lesser known areas of Japan. As she says on her bio, “the main areas (of Japan) are great but sometimes you just want to explore and go off from the normal paths”. True to her philosophy, her videos feature the least populated prefectures, hidden spots in famous cities and exotic food crawls.
As you visit her Youtube page, you will notice that it is very straightforward and easy to navigate. Her videos are divided into 5 categories: Japan Travel Guide, Japan Off the Beaten Path, Hidden Spot Series, Japan Food Guide and Living in Japan Advice. This makes it so much easier for new subscribers to find the content of their preference. Whether it be general travel tips or getting to know the less explored parts of Japan, Angela definitely has it all for you!
Name: internationally ME
Official website: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW_yDyDfu1bpqDNxeobW02Q
Probably the newbie on the list, Yuyu started out on Youtube just last 2016 and has already gained over 4 million views in total for her videos. On TokiYuyu channel, you will mostly find travel tips in Asia specifically Japan. Yuyu also features a lot of beauty and fashion content. She uploads videos of shopping tips and has a regular series of her monthly favorites (mostly fashion and beauty products). Aside from these, she also shares her life through regular vlogs of her days and some Q and A segments.
You might mistake Yuyu as Japanese, but she is actually a Chinese who grew up in Canada and later moved to Tokyo with her husband. Nevertheless, her knowledge on Japan and its culture is very impressive. She has a lot to share when it comes to living in and working as a teacher in Japan. Her content is very helpful especially to those who are planning to visit/move to Japan.
Official website: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT4PUnuuDEC5dvt4NTrlDlQ
Nowadays, Youtube has become one of the biggest platforms for creative and artistic content. Anyone can join, without any auditions and screenings. Even an ordinary person can gain huge following just by uploading his own content. However, being noticed as a Youtube personality is hard in general, as you have to be a unique content creator in order to stand out. With everyone taking their chance, it is not a guarantee that an interesting content will drive you a huge following.
However, as Japan is one of the most famous countries in Asia, any content that showcases life in Japan and anything related to it is surely a hit. For foreigners who are planning to travel to the Land of the Rising Sun, these English-speaking Youtubers are very helpful in getting an overview of Japan. The international community gets a glimpse of Japanese culture without leaving their computer screens. What started out as a hobby for most of these people has now taken its shape and purpose of bringing Japan closer to the world. Props to these guys!
Art Feature: HIROHIKO ARAKI JOJO EXHIBITION: RIPPLES OF ADVE...
Hirohiko Araki is one of Japan’s most well-regarded Manga artists who has been recognized internationally for his unique designs as well as within Japan for his magical storytelling abilities. Araki, who is originally from Sendai, Miyagi, has been drawing manga since his first year of high school and is best known for his long-running series, [...]
Going Green: 4 Japanese Phrases to Reduce Plastic Waste
One of the first things I noticed when I began shopping in Japan was the sheer number of plastic bags being used! Over packaging is, unfortunately, the norm here, and for many Japan’s plastic-heavy service industry can be a shocking change from shopping back home. But if like many, you are trying to watch your [...]
Book Covers – a 100-year-old Unique Feature of Japanese Cult...
You can see many Japanese people spending their time on the train effectively reading books or newspapers, listening to music or searching something on their phones. Have you ever noticed that most of them reading books wrapped by book covers? Do you wonder why they use book covers while reading books? Let’s find out the [...]
Japanese People Love Planning!
When you’re with your Japanese friends especially women and talking about when to meet up next time, have you ever experienced your Japanese friends suddenly taking out their schedule planners from their bags and checking their availability? If you take a glance at their schedule planners, it seems that they are really busy with a packed [...]
Shigin: Japan's Best Kept Musical Secret
Japan has a very rich and diverse range of musical styles. Many people are familiar with famous J-Pop artists like AKB48 and Arashi, and computer-generated mega-star Hatsune Miku. With their songs being catchy, uplifting, and relatable, it’s no wonder that their music is so popular worldwide. But these modern forms of music are by no means the only styles of Japanese music worth listening to—instead, I’d like to introduce an unsung traditional form of music called Shigin. Shigin (詩吟) Shigin (詩吟) means “poetry chanting,” and it is the art of reciting a poem. It uses a form of poetry somewhat...
Tokyo Daijingu Shrine: Pray for Love
If you’re down on your love luck, why not ask for a little help from the gods? The Tokyo Daijingu Shrine is Tokyo’s branch of Japan’s most renown shrine, Ise-jingu Shrine. Located in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, it has become a famous place to go pray for a successful relationship or marriage. The Rise of Weddings The reason that Tokyo Daijingu Shrine became a hot spot for prayers of love is due to it being the first shrine to offer Shinto-style weddings. Shinto weddings were first introduced in 1872. Prior to this, the concept of weddings was not widely accepted, and Shinto...