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Top 5 Japanese TV Shows to Watch While Learning Japanese

One of the most effective ways of studying is called “passive learning”, in other words, when you learn without noticing that you’re learning! Have you ever started watching a show that hooks you in so completely that you watch an entire season in a day? Now, what if you found a show like that in another language? You wouldn’t just be binge-watching, technically you’d be studying! Increased contact with any foreign language with improve your understanding and pronunciation. And so, without further ado, here are this week’s TV recommendations for all you Japanese learners out there! Click the title’s to watch!

  1. Terrace House 

Love Island and Big Brother stans look no further! This reality TV show puts single young professionals in a house together while they pursue their dreams AND look for love. Think the apprentice mixed with the bachelorette. Drama, tears and investment opportunities? Too amazing to look away.

2. Takeshi’s Castle 

Takeshi’s castle is the OG crystal maze. A physical game show where it is literally every person for themselves. The obstacle course is completely different every episode, so you never know what to expect. It’s full of laughs and useful vocab like run, jump and DESTROY! The aim of the game is to protect Takeshi’s castle from invaders, and it begins with hundreds of contestants and ends with only one! This is a great one to put on even when you’re sitting with friends that aren’t interested in learning Japanese. 

3. Love Wagon 

This travel show follows seven men and seven women as they travel to over 30 countries in a tiny pink bus. This show is so heartwarming and the relationships and friendships that blossom are just so fun to watch! It also showcases some of the best travel spots in Asia, Australia and Russia! 

4. Switched 

This psychological drama follows high school student Ayami, whose world is turned upside down when her envious classmate steals her body, her boyfriend and her life. A dark teen drama that is a similar vibe to Vampire Diaries or Teen Wolf. 

5. Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories 

WARNING: Do not watch this show hungry! The plot surrounds a restaurant that only opens at midnight and only has two things on the menu, but the owner’s philosophy is “If you ask for something and I can make it, I will”. Surprisingly for a restaurant with such odd opening hours, it’s always very busy and we get to learn a little about all the eclectic customers that frequent this tiny midnight diner. A great watch for foodies!