Travel Shows Featuring Japan

Best Travel Shows Featuring Japan

Travel shows featuring Japan can give you a glimpse of the country’s customs, traditions, and everyday life. They can offer useful cultural insights before visiting the country firsthand.


7 Best Travel Shows Featuring Japan

Let’s talk about how you can enjoy Japan’s culture, history, and interesting stories from the comfort of your own couch. We’ve picked seven TV shows that we believe portray Japan’s multifaceted society through food, travel, culture, history, and some well-spun fiction.

Travel & Food

1. James May: Our Man in Japan

James May: Our Man in Japan is a fun travel documentary, available on Amazon Prime. In this six-episode series, Top Gear’s James May travels the length of Japan having amusing interactions with the people he meets. From quaint countryside to bustling cities, he uncovers a side of Japan foreign to most outsiders. His often comedic encounters give a unique perspective on the richness and quirkiness of Japan.

2. Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown on HBO Max is a great way to dive into Japan’s food culture. There is a reason Japan holds a special allure for Bourdain. His captivating story-telling helps carefully guide you through Japan’s complex culture and culinary tradition.

3. Journeys in Japan

Journeys in Japan, a Japanese travel show on NHK World-Japan, takes you on some unexpected adventures. Every episode features a new traveler uncovering hidden treasures in both urban and rural areas. This relaxing TV show featuring Japan covers lesser-known towns, historical sites, and local dishes, highlighting the joys of discovery.


4. The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House

Streaming on Netflix, The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House is a peek into the tradition-steeped world of an apprentice Geisha, called a Maiko in Kyoto. A must-watch for anyone interested in age-old customs associated with Kyoto’s enchanting Geisha and with everyday Japanese life.

5. Tokyo Vice

Tokyo Vice is a gritty, journalism-focused crime series streaming on HBO Max. Based on journalist Jake Adelstein’s non-fiction book, the show revolves around his experience covering crime for one of Japan’s largest newspapers, the Yomiuri Shimbun. Follow the main character as he investigates Japan’s organized crime networks, police corruption, and the darker side of Tokyo.


6. Age of Samurai: Battle for Japan

This Netflix original docu-drama tells the story of feudal Japan’s power struggles. Age of Samurai: Battle for Japan is an exciting story featuring war, betrayal, and the rise of famous samurai leaders. Filled with re-enactments and expert interviews, it provides a detailed look into a defining era of Japanese history.

7. Old Enough

Old Enough is a heartwarming documentary available on Netflix. This docu-series follows innocent Japanese kids who are sent out on their very first errands. It offers some insight into the country’s emphasis on self-reliance and community trust. A heart-warming show that highlights the small things that make up everyday life in Japan.

I recommend watching these travel shows featuring Japan as a first step to planning your trip. Japan will come alive in new, exciting ways, making you want to pack your bags and get on the plane. So, pop some popcorn, take your favorite seat, and enjoy the rest of your evening.

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