What are your favorite Japanese TV channels and shows?

After I spent last month in Japan and enjoyed just having the TV on in the background, I bought a TV streaming subscription where I can watch live TV or look at the shows from the last 7 days. I wanted something that I can just keep running in the background and not YouTube videos that I actively have to select.

I’m still a beginner so at the moment I only understand fragments here and there and I’m looking for content that is either easy to understand, interesting or ideally both.

At the moment I’m mainly watching NHK E-TV. There are a lot of kid shows that are easier to understand (some are fun, some slightly annoying).

Some shows I enjoyed so far are:

But there are so many other channels and I’m a bit overwhelmed with the selection. I did for example also enjoy some cooking and travel shows while I was in Japan but I didn’t find the best channel for that kind of content yet.

What shows do you like and which channels are they on?


サザエさん on フジテレビ is quite fun. I never heard of this anime before watching Japanese TV.

フジテレビ as a whole is a really interesting channel for me.

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I think I saw サザエさん being recommended here a couple of times recently for reading practice since there is a JP/EN bilingual version which sounds good too.

Watching it now, thanks for the recommendation!

Airtime is Sunday 6:30 pm on フジテレビ in case anyone else is interested. http://www.fujitv.co.jp/sazaesan/

I mostly like music and variety shows. I listed some of the ones that I most often watch in this thread, with times and channels:

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Oh, thanks, I tried to search for this topic but somehow didn’t find that one. Ooops.

Thanks for the list! Maybe I’ll get such a subscription in future too! The only Japanese show I’ve ever watched (I’m not into anime at all, cough cough) is Terrace House… I’m currently rewatching it, stopping the stream after each sentence to read the subtitles :sweat_smile: but they are talking nice and slowly about every day stuff which is very convenient!

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no prob, I just didn’t feel like retyping all of it :slightly_smiling_face:

Though, I will add, if you’re into pop music, Music Station on TV Asahi, Fridays 8pm, is another one that I like.

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Me neither, so it is always good to see other people like that and get some recommendations.

I do however enjoy しろくまカフェ which was a surprise to me. I’m planning on just rewatching it over and over again until I understand it all and then I have to think of what comes next. :wink:

I think I’ll also check out Terrace House eventually. Usually, I wouldn’t watch something like that but I guess you have to apply different selection rules to Japanese content or otherwise I wouldn’t find anything to watch at all.

I hadn’t given music much thought yet because I usually don’t have anything running in the background, I would prefer silence. But since I already have the TV running now, I might as well give that a chance. So thanks for the recommendations.

I for one absolutely love Japan’s quiz shows, and I definitely would recommend checking some of these out - they can be pretty good reading practice when trying to recognize kanji in the questions! (Though since it’s the holiday season, many of these won’t really be airing weekly again until January)

  • 今夜はナゾトレ and 潜在能力テスト - Tuesdays on フジテレビ, usually these two shows (which are very similar in nature) alternate weeks having 2 hour specials starting at 7pm. Most questions are in a puzzle-like style that would never fly in America since it’d be considered too nerdy here, but I love them.
  • 超問クイズ! 真実か?ウソか? - Fridays on 日本テレビ at 7:56pm, the main type of question asked is a true/false statement such as “There is a territory outside Japan where Japanese is the official language” (the answer to which is yes, actually!), and participants need to guess correctly.
  • ネプリーグ - Mondays on フジテレビ at 7:00pm, variety of different types of questions like translating English, writing/reading kanji, guessing what % of a demographic does x activity, etc.
  • くりぃむクイズ ミラクル 9 - Wednesdays on テレビ朝日 at 8:00pm, again a variety of questions, can’t really give a good description but it’s fun to watch.
  • Qさま!! - Mondays on テレビ朝日 at 9:00pm, usually I find the questions on this show are things only actual Japanese people would know (about stuff like Japanese history and shoguns), which while that doesn’t appeal to me, if you’re into that kind of thing it might be fun.

I had not though of quiz shows yet, thanks for the recommendation and detailed list, I’ll definitely check those out.

Gaki no Tsukai (ガキの使い) !!!


I generally don’t like Japanese TV.

I do watch Zip! in the morning though, and occasionally will watch イッテQ.

Outside of regular programming I watch 孤独のグルメ.

On Netflix, 野武のグルメ and 光のお父さん.

My wife likes YOUは何しに日本へ

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What time is イッテQ on? My students love that show but I’ve never been able to watch it.

I’d also like to watch YOUは何しに日本へ, when does that one air? If you don’t mind asking Ms. Wife.

As for myself, I want to watch more Japanese TV but I spend most of my free time after work playing games or watching subbed anime so I rarely watch anything live. I enjoy ネブリーグ if I can catch it on, and another show on around the same time called ニュー勉ゼミ which is about studying strategies and such for students. Atsugiri Jason was on once talking about ways to remember kanji which is why I like him a lot more than most people who only know him from the stand-up stuff.

If I am home on a weekend instead of away, then I always watch Super Hero Time on テレビ朝日 at 9:00, which currently includes Kamen Rider Build, Uchuu Sentai Kyuuranger, and Kira Kira PreCure A La Mode. I don’t watch the last one much, but I have been following Sentai and Kamen Rider for the last six years or so, they’re great fun.

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イッテQ is around 8pm on Sundays and YOUは何しに日本へ is Mondays at 7pm.


I mostly like drama and variety shows, The following 5 TV programs are my favorite at the moment:
BG Personal Bodyguard(BG~身辺警護人~)
Aibo(相棒 season 16)
99.9-Keiji Senmon Bengoshi - Season II (99.9-刑事専門弁護士- SEASONⅡ)
VS Arashi(VS嵐)

By the way, where do you guys watch Japanese TV live, I basically watch Japanese TV shows on YouTube, the other day accidentally on the internet I find a Japanese TV live softare named ■■■■.live, and I experience it, which is very good.

Woah! This car is amazing. One of my friend’s cousin has this car. It was a fantastic ride. I am watching shows by Andy Yeatman now days and it doesn’t really have cars in it but I don’t feel like watching anything else other than these. I will let you know later about the cars.

How great I was actually thinking of asking some recommendations about Japanese TV! I recently got a subscription to an IPTV service… and I’m somewhat loss, though I’ve been enjoying lately the Sumo tournament on NHK.

Ok… but first lets talk about the weirdest thing… whats all about the picture in picture thing?? :hushed::hushed: :sweat_smile::sweat_smile:

Im talking about this format …

I haven’t set for a favorite TV show yet, though I’ve been perusing through the new drama season to choose some new show.

Any favorite for the season??

Or any current show recommendation actually? I’ve been aimlessly zapping these last weeks… and the next Sumo Tournament it’s in march… so besides the news I’m not watching anything regularly on TV :disappointed_relieved:

Is that subscription only in Japan or can someone in a foreign country subscribe?
If not, can anybody recommend a good streaming service outside Japan so we can watch Japanese TV. Right now I’m only using KissAsian, but the downside is that it’s full of ads.

Thanks :wink:

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I use something called ForJoyTV (suscription service), so far so good. Been able to use it alonside with an Android TV device has make a huge difference in terms of experience also.

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Thanks. It looks good, but man, is it expensive. I’m not sure I can justify spending almost $30 a month to watch Japanese TV. I’d love to, but I was looking at something like $10-$15/month.