There is a reason Japanese TV is stereotyped as being bad. Out of the nine free channels available to the public, only two are remotely educational. They’re also quite dull. Beyond kids shows, you have three choices: News, dramas and talking-head variety shows.
However, I like to think of Japanese television like it’s a fine wine. I consume it in moderation or on special occasions. It’s also not a bad way to study conversational Japanese and learn about Japanese culture and current trends. Want to give it a try yourself, but don’t know where to begin?
Well, tune in, because here are the best Japanese TV shows to watch to study Japanese.
Japanese TV shows for beginners
If your Japanese level isn’t very high, the last thing you want to do is burn out on the news. You’ll get easily discouraged as you will only pick up a few words from what is said. What you need is something flashy and casual.
Why Did You Come to Japan?
"Why Did YOU Come to Japan?" (YOUは何しに日本へ？) features Osamu Shitara and Yuki Himura, the comedy duo known as Bananaman, as presenters, and follows foreigners met straight from the airport through their activities in the country. You’ll meet an incredible range of people who all have one thing in common: a passion for Japan.
This is excellent for beginners because most of the people interviewed will speak simple Japanese. If they don’t, you’ll still hear their English without a Japanese voice over and will be able to read the translation in Japanese on-screen. Due to this year’s travel ban, the show quickly switched to showcasing foreigners living in Japan, searching for them on the streets.
Mondays at 7 p.m. on TV Tokyo
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