Travel Alone Idea: The Invisible Man's Guide to Getting Around
This anonymous Japanese YouTuber has only been posting for 10 months (as of September, 2022), but already has 1.4 Million subscribers, with one video reaching almost 72 million views in just six months!!! There is no voice, no narration, no glimpse of Travel Alone Idea's face as he shares his raw, personal, first-hand (and usually first time) transportation experiences, including those on Japan's elusive sleeper trains. (There are a few outliers, like one episode on the infamous capsule hotels). Maybe after all the pandemic burnout, the quiet approach is what people really need right now. If so, this channel is right up their alley.
Paolo from Tokyo: From Monotony to Controversy--and a Lot in Between
If you love "A Day in the Life" stories of people from walks of life you're not acquainted with, then Paolo from Tokyo is your channel. You'll learn plenty about the not-so-secret lives of a broad spectrum of Japanese people, from wagyu farmers to nendoroid makers, from cosplay workers to game programmers. Interestingly, he's gained most traction with episodes featuring the monotony in the ordinary lives of Japanese moms and salarymen. Youtuber Paolo has also posted topics that have stirred controversy, such as "Why Japan Arrests Foreigners," and "Things Okay in Japan that are Illegal Around the World." His choice of topics is not the only reason why he's in everybody's radar right now. He's quite a likeable storyteller, too, proven by the fact that he's only a few digits away from hitting 3 million subscribers.
Nobita from Japan: Fascinating Insight into Shadowy Corners
If you think Japan is "perfect," from all things kawaii to its world-class omotenashi, Nobita will challenge your preconceived notions. Nobita from Japan tackles hard topics like prostitution, sugar daddies, yakuza, racial bias, and more. The channel may have not reached a million subscribers yet, but fans are actively engaged in Nobita's content, with lots of discussion in the comment section. His appeal is that he's a great interviewer, with a depth comparable to documentary makers. Check him out as he tackles such stories as homelessness in Japan, the crisis in the anime industry, and the prevalence of porn. The objects of his gaze may not be the source of good publicity for the country, but every episode turns the light on subjects that should be addressed.
Takashii from Japan: Asking the Man (and Woman) in the Street
Takashii from Japan, who is a college student as of now, may be the youngest of the renowned English-speaking Japanese Youtubers. But the depth of his topics gives us a different perspective on Japan. He's gotten millions of views asking people around town for their uncensored opinions on things like racism in Japan, being black in Japan, dating in Japan, and yes, even things Japanese people hate about Japan. He only started posting nine months ago but has been gaining a steady stream of passionate followers.
Kimono Mom: Ex Geisha Turned Everyone's Ideal Mama
Kimono Mom feels like it might belong in a traditional magazine like Good Housekeeping or Better Homes. Only it is far more candid, very Japan culture-centric, and less picture-perfect (which makes it authentic and relatable). The adorable mom and daughter tandem featured in each episode has been a breath of fresh YouTube air through the height of the pandemic. The channel covers everything from takoyaki-making, to home entertaining and day trips. But fans from around the world would agree that Moe (mom) and Sutan (daughter) are not the only reason why they adore this channel. Moto, a former hotelier and devoted dad and husband, has his share of fans, too. The family of three has likely inspired many to focus on their home lives.
Anne Tokyo: The Not-So-Ordinary Girl Next Door
Anne Tokyo's most recent post has reached 8.4 million views in a week's time. Maybe it's not that surprising, given the special appearance of her famous father, Ken Watanabe, star of hits like Memoirs of a Geisha, Batman Begins, and The Last Samurai. But Anne is a star in her own right, having been an accomplished model for brands like Anna Sui, Marc Jacobs, and Karl Lagerfeld. Her Youtube videos show her versatility as a content-creator--cooking, singing, and shopping her way through her frequently posted episodes. Anne has been loved by many Japanese as a TV actress, singer, and host, so old fans and new (soon to reach 1 million) seem drawn to her authentic self.