Japan Today

ONLY in JAPAN series moves to new YouTube channel


John Daub, creator and producer of the ONLY in JAPAN series on YouTube, one of the top Japan travel channels with an audience of over 1.5 million subscribers, has moved to a new YouTube channel.

Saying good-bye to the old channel was not easy. “I really tried my best to find a way to work together with the company I formerly partnered with, but we just had a different way of seeing the series and its future. I felt it was better for me to continue my direction of showing Japan how I’ve seen it as a longtime resident. I want viewers to share the same emotional connection I have with Japan through the videos I produce.”

In his first episode, Daub covered the Noboribetsu Onsen “Naked Man” Festival held in February, and for future episodes he plans to delve into Kanazawa’s traditional food culture, Sado Island’s annual Earth Celebration music festival and connection with taiko drums, as well as regional wagyu farms.


“I really love finding stories that connect history and culture with people,” Daub explains when asked about his direction for the new channel. “Instead of just showing viewers an interesting aspect of Japan, I want to answer the question ‘why?’. What makes it significant and special? Why should we care?”

Daub came up with the series ONLY in JAPAN after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.

After volunteering in towns like Mihonoseki and Ishinomaki, he saw tourism numbers shrinking and foreign friends leaving Japan. “It was heartbreaking, especially hearing the word ‘Fukushima’ being used in a negative way. I once lived in Iwaki and it hurt me seeing people hear their home mentioned in such a negative way internationally. Japan is so much more than what I was hearing back in 2013.”


Daub took his experience working in TV as a NHK World reporter to produce a show explaining what international media wouldn’t show at the time. “The Naked Man Festival is portrayed as a silly event with people in thongs running around the town in the winter. It was portrayed in such a ridiculous way, but there is a deep religious meaning and history behind it going back hundreds of years that no one ever mentioned. I really wanted to show the world the way I saw Japan as someone who’s lived here for a long time.”

The new series is called “John Daub ONLY in JAPAN” and will feature a new episode every week: http://youtube.com/johndaub

Daub also has a mobile live streaming channel ONLY in JAPAN GO (http://youtube.com/onlyinjapango) with over 200,000 subscribers, who tune in to catch his live travel adventures around the country 15-20 times a month. He recently returned from Koyasan in Wakayama, where he was exploring the temples and shukubo lodgings. “On the live streaming channel, I can take viewers with me, many of whom had to cancel their trips to Japan because of the pandemic. I hope when the world is in a better state in 2021, we can help grow interest in Japan again just like we did after the earthquake in Tohoku.”

© Japan Today

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I love John’s passion and positive point of view in his ONLY in JAPAN videos. I watched them all and was wondering where he went. I’m glad he’s continuing and will definitely be subbing to the new channel. I didn’t know he’d moved so thankful for this story. Good luck John! We’re behind you!

16 ( +20 / -4 )

Most of the stuff he talks about is not ONLY in Japan, the channel suggests Japan is a superior, unique culture that is vastly different than the rest of the world. Kind of like how right wing Japanese think. What's next? Only in Japan- four seasons! chopsticks! Fireworks!

-13 ( +12 / -25 )

Was the animation does in Japan or outsourced to China? This animation style comes out of China.

-21 ( +2 / -23 )

Fantastic show. Been watching it for years since we started researching for our trip to Japan, but have been following John ever since. His outlook on life and his approach to making an interesting story make this compelling viewing. I love the new animation opening and am looking forward to many more stories as we have to experience Japan variously through him in our locked down world.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Started watching John's Only in Japan * GO livestream channel last year and was hooked.

He seems very genuine and from the heart in what he does and works hard to show all that is positive about living in Japan. I've since discovered his edited videos and am so happy he's now in control of his art and has his own channel John Daub * Only in Japan.

I look forward to watching all his adventures and in supporting him and Kanae while he bring slices of Japanese life to the world.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Great read! Congratulations on the new channel!

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Wow! I didn’t think I’d see this article so soon. @gogogo the animation was created by D’ART SHTAJIO in Shinjuku. @doggar ONLY in JAPAN is the title of the show and deals with topics in Japan not just Japanese things. The phrase “Only in Japan” is negative and means this weirdness only happens here and I use YouTube as a platform to answer the why with history, culture and fun. So yeah, Japan has four seasons but Japanese celebrate it differently than the US. Japanese have fireworks but they add their culture to its presentation. Chopsticks? Fukui prefecture makes some of the best, the Wakasa region has amazing lacquerware and the chopsticks are excellent quality, almost like art. -John

23 ( +26 / -3 )

Doggar... Are you watching the same channel the rest of us are? OIJ is nothing like what you just described.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

I been watching john’s channels (only in japan & only in japan Go) for a couple of years now.

I like John’s video as they are very insightful and interesting as he often do topic that’s is unique to Japan such as the naked man festival & the traveling to the Remote countryside of japan which other YouTuber would not.

john! please continue to make great videos and good luck to the new channel !

8 ( +11 / -3 )

John Daub has a true love, respect and unabashed admiration for Japan and the Japanese which is clearly shown in his videos. His videos are interesting, educational, enjoyable and most importantly sincere. i wish him all the best in his new endeavor and look forward to watching every heartfelt video he produces.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

This is great! John's new channel encourages people to visit the lesser known areas of Japan. These are exactly the areas that need the economic activity that visitors provide. Despite Covid, John continues to invest in creating new material. Thank you and best wishes for continues success!

7 ( +10 / -3 )

There are lots of YouTubers posting content about Japan, but John Daub hands down has the best content and is the best presenter. Always positive & upbeat, and as a 23 yr insider he still has a passion for finding a great story about the places & people of Japan and best of all taking you along for the ride. Particularly during Covid 19, John’s shows has lifted my spirits and gotten me very excited to return to Japan and visit some of the amazing off the beaten path locations of this beautiful country! Wishing John all the best with his new channel!

11 ( +13 / -2 )

It's great to hear that John is continuing his journey to show YouTubers how amazing Japan is. I've always enjoyed watching his ONLY in JAPAN videos and GO livestreams and have learned so much about Japan. He really dives into the local culture and presents unique material that I haven't seen on other channels. Good luck John! I made sure to subscribe to your new channel so I can watch all your upcoming videos as soon as they are launched!

5 ( +8 / -3 )

John's enthusiasm for Japan and the stories he presents is what interested me when I first discovered him. All presented in a fun and well paced fashion that engages the viewer. I'm excited for him and the new channel! Best wishes to you John!

7 ( +10 / -3 )

It just great that John has this courage to do what he feel like to on his own ! I mean in literately that if anyone has to courage to do that , has a big heart ! I love his channels and i wish for a long term contiuning for this new channel !

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Good good. I like his work.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Always the channel I refer to at the end of the day to learn about Japan and the culture. No other channel has provided information on the same level or was as enjoyable to watch!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I first discovered John's videos about 3 years ago; all excellent work. They are filled with useful information, delivered in a fun and exciting way. It's unfortunate that he had to start over and build a new channel but I am confident this channel — John Daub ONLY in JAPAN — will grow beyond his previous efforts.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Absolutely amazing channel! John inspires so many people and I could sit and watch his channel for hours!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I appreciate the sincerity and enthusiasm that comes through in John's videos. We started watching his videos a few years ago when planning our first trip to Japan and during our pandemic isolation his OIJ Go videos were very comforting to us.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Wishing John all the best on this new channel. Already see that it is doing well and I always feel encouraged by his positive outlook on stories in Japan. Thank you John!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Definitely a great talent, best of luck to him. I’m just surprised he doesn’t have more subscribers. The guy should have double that, the guy is really funny and informative especially for people that are new or don’t know anything about Japan.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

No idea who he is, I don't watch TV, and I don't know his Youtube Channel.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Only in japan huh? The japan they want to present to the rest of the world? I’m sure we’ve all got our own “only in japan” moments we’d like to put on YouTube.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Very glad to see he's back producing videos, after they dried up on the previous channel for months - his presentation skills and choice of subject matter stands out, compared to a sea of identikit amateurish content providers making vapid 'top 10' videos and simply retreading well-known subject material in Japan. That ONLY in JAPAN has been at this a long time shows very clearly in his work, with professional broadcast-quality documentaries in stark contrast to most other work around.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I have enjoyed watching John's videos for some time (to the point I became a Patreon to support his work). His knowledge is top-notch; his presentation is first-rate, and his huge heart is on his sleeve. I have never been to Japan but I feel like I might have been after watching one of John's videos. And unlike so many of the current Japan-based YouTubers, the channel isn't about the YouTuber, it's about Japan - its' customs, its' history, its' people....it's well-worth watching and supporting.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I first heard about John from watching NHKWORLD. He came off as a likable guy. I had no idea he had a YouTube channel until only a couple of years ago. I’ve been following him ever since. He makes decent content... he refrains from political topics mostly, but that’s not what his channel is about. He’s a foreigner in Japan working to bring things he finds interesting about Japan to everyone, and he does it with a positive attitude. It’s where he lives, and he’s sharing what he learns.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The phrase “Only in Japan” is negative and means this weirdness only happens here and I use YouTube as a platform to answer the why with history, culture and fun.

Well there is a lot of weirdness you do not cover at all, your channel is focused on the short term gullible foreign tourist, who has no idea on, how actually the life in japan is for the long term resident, could start with the profiling faced by the average long term resident.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Only in Japan allows me to see Japan as I never could, I am now handicapped and unable to take long walks. Walking with John is like taking a walk with a good friend, who shares his knowledge of the area with wit and history. Unlike a tour guide, John stops and says “hello” to a stray cat/dog and also points out what he thinks would be fun to eat, play or see while there. I have enjoyed every walk and can’t wait for the next one!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I've enjoyed John's work for some time on YouTube. I'm glad he has his own channel now. John goes out exploring. Sometimes it might be in lesser known areas of Tokyo. Sometimes it might be a ride on the bullet train to lesser known prefectures. He's always introducing the viewers to the area and culture with a positive attitude. Makes me want to visit those areas the next time I visit.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

John does a wonderful job making you feel like you're really in Japan, the combination of edited videos on the new channel and his frequent (sometimes multiple times a day) livestreams are informative and funny. You can truly feel his passion for Japan and I'm happy to have found his channels.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@mrtinjp If you understand the genesis of John's channel (which is covered in his videos) you'd understand his focus. I'm sure there are channels that cover you're interest or start one ... Youtube hosting is free. Let us know when you start!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The thoughtful, positive presentation, as well as the level of research and preparation in each episode is what makes John Daub's content rise above the rest of the material on YouTube. I find the episodes are always entertaining and informative, and I like the way John focuses on the subject, and builds the stories. He has mentioned living in Japan for over twenty years, has worked and traveled throughout the country, and you can see he enjoys being there, cares about the people and places, and enjoys sharing it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

His videos are great. He does a great job at bringing Japan to the rest of the world. I have learned about about parts of Japan that you don't typically see in other travel/culture videos (IE, places other than Tokyo/Kyoto/Osaka). This channel/s are a great introduction to Japanese culture. I often recommend his channel/s to any interested in Japan, travel to Japan, and Japanese culture.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So happy to see John move to his new channel.

I've followed his old channel for years now and have been to Japan 3 times and plan to visit a lot more. He is informative, friendly and down to earth, highlighting the intricate country that is Japan in his videos. His videos are informative for those that want to visit and have a great time both in tourist areas and off the beaten path. I will continue to watch and support and am excited to see what more he has to show the world about such a wonderful country.

From Canada

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Congratulations John san on this article, and good luck with the new channel, (not that luck has much to do with your success, you've been creating videos for a long time.) So many videos! all full of insights, history, laughter, storytelling. "Only in Japan Go" is a gift for those of us who love Japan and who wish to be there but can't. To ride the trains or to wander with you through neighborhoods, into shrines and temples, sharing your experiences in restaurants, or of street food, vending machines, or snack runs. Your view of Japan leaves me feeling happy and nostalgic. Arigato Gozaimasu. Ganbatte! Jeff

0 ( +1 / -1 )

GOOD directions to go.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I started following John's work on Youtube back in 2017 and his passion is really exemplified on all his content. Coincidently, 2017 was also the first time I went to Japan so John's content really helped when i was planning my trip. His content has definitely been an inspiration for my many trips back to Japan since then. What you will find is that John is very knowledgeable, honest and he strives to showcase the people, history and culture.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Great article! John Daub provides outstanding educational and entertaining videos. I've looked forward to each of his videos as a means of vicariously experiencing locations that I was unable to visit while I lived and worked in Japan. I look forward to meeting John and his beautiful wife one day.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Great videos with a lot of info on culture and traveling. You can feel the passion. The closest you can get to Japan without traveling.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I am a long-time follower of John's! I love his content and personality he shows so many things off about Japan that I would have never known about if not for him! I am extremely excited to see where John is going to take his new Channel! Thank you for all the information about Japan John and providing it to us in a fun/funny way! Best of Luck with the new Channel John!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

His enthusiasm towards Japan is so deep that many visitors have visited Japan by watching his informative videos.

But i don't think most Japanese are grateful towards him because 1) he is a foreigner (Not the white but brown) 2) Local hidden spots have been filled with foreigners

He is most of the time walking all alone streaming live, but his main videos are sure interesting.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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