Japanese TV has a wide variety of genres including variety shows, news, sports, dramas, broadcasts. Among these programs, I will introduce you to the most popular shows favored by the Japanese audience, some so popular that even you might’ve heard of. Below is my ranking of the most known and loved Japanese TV programs:
1. Why did you come to Japan? (You wa nani shi ni Nippon e? /Youは何しに日本へ)
A show well-known abroad and very famous nationwide is "Why did you come to Japan?" The show is presented by the comedy duo Bananaman and you can watch it every Monday evening on TV Tokyo. The staff goes to various airports in Japan, but mainly Narita Airport, and they start interviewing foreigners who come to visit Japan.
They usually ask why they came to Japan and even tag along during the visitors’ itinerary in Japan. It is a very interesting show and even as a Japanese, there are a lot of things you can learn about Japan’s culture, events, and travel spots while watching the show.
2. Sekai no Hate Made Itte Q
"Sekai no Hate made Itte q" is again a popular series that can be watched on Nippon TV. In this show, comedians or Japanese celebrities travel around the world and they experience the culture of other countries by participating in different events or festivals. The show is really fun to watch and the comedians are hilarious.
3. Mezamashi TV
"Mezamashi TV" is a news program that can be watched during the weekdays, every morning on Fuji TV. It has a fun corner called the Mezamashi Janken (Mezamashi Rock Scissors Paper) and if you win, you get points and at the end of every week, you can participate in the lottery and win great prizes.
4. Downtown Now on Fuji TV
"Downtown Now" is a variety talk series that features the Downtown comedy duo, Sakagami Shinobu as regulars plus another celebrity or comedian who joins them as a fourth member.
They usually head to the meeting place (izakaya or bar) where the special guest for the night is waiting. The show is a talk show where we find out more about our special guests while drinking. Recently, they had Eiji Wentz, a Japanese singer and actor, also a former member of WaT, as a special guest and they cleared up the mystery behind his quick return to Japan after only one year a half in London.
His purpose was to study English and get to polish his singing and acting skills, but only after a short period, he returned to Japan, and instead of taking up musicals, he took up a lot of variety shows, the reason why everyone was confused. The show is fun to watch, especially if the special guests in one of your favorites. You get to know a lot more about your favorite Japanese celebrity and maybe discover new things about their personality.
5. Kis-my Busaiku
Another variety show of Fuji TV is "Kis-my Busaiku" where the Kis-my-Ft2 are the hosts and during the show, each member has to prove how cool they are. The name “Busaiku” means “ugly”/” unappealing” and the hosts need to prove that they are the opposite. They get a scenario with topics such as “Your girlfriend wants to have plastic surgery?” or “Your girlfriend found out you were with another girl on the day you were supposed to meet her but you suddenly canceled” and the members need to do the right thing and deliver the right words.
They do so by putting a little scene and then, the audience and female judges give them points. The highest in rank is the coolest while the last one becomes busaiku. I am sure this show will get you hooked because it captivates the hearts of the audience from the start.
6. 有吉ぃぃeeee! (Ariyoshiiieeee!)
A TV Tokyo Show that is named after our main host, the Japanese comedian and singer Hiroiki Ariyoshi. He and his three comedian friends plus a special guest that is usually a female singer or model, go to a Japanese celebrity house to play games online games. Watching it always puts me in a great mood and their jokes always get me laughing.
7. Getsuyou kara Yofukashi (Monday Late Show) on Nippon TV
"Monday Late Show" variety show’s hosts are Matsuko Deluxe and Kanjani8’s Murakami Shingo. They usually talk about the current hot issues in Japan and society. They show another side of Japan and it also has a bit of dark humor and sarcasm and it has many fans around Japan because of how straightforward and fun the show’s hosts are and also the interesting topics they talk about.
These were the top TV shows popular in Japan and we would love to hear your personal opinions and recommendations if you have any.
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