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7 Must-Watch Netflix Shows To Learn About Japan!

By Nic Thibodeau
March 12, 2019

How do I learn Japanese? A lot of people who are first starting out on their Japanese adventure wonder how they can immerse themselves in the Japanese language without really being in Japan. One way we recommend is grabbing a delicious Japan exclusive soda and starting up Netflix! Of course you can listen to music, but on Netflix there are tons of programs that show off the crazy cuisine in Japan, some awesome cultural lessons, and even daily life conversations! Check out our top 6 must-watch Netflix Japan shows below.

1 – Terrace House

Terrace House is a reality TV series based on the premise of having six different strangers living together under one roof. This show is great for learning casual, everyday Japanese! You get to see what greetings are used when people first meet, how they talk or what they talk about to get to know one another, and once friendships are formed you can see how different Japanese is used!

2 – Kantaro: The Sweet Tooth Salaryman

This show, based off a manga, is about a Japanese salaryman who everyone believes to be incredibly efficient and hardworking. However, he actually slacks off work and slips away to go follow his passion — eating Japanese sweets at different location throughout Tokyo! What is so great about this show is that even though it is a work of fiction, the places that Kantaro goes to are actually real places with actual food that customers can eat. You can learn Japanese about food, check out awesome tourist spots, and get all the info about where to grab delicious Japanese snacks when you make that future Japan trip!

3 – Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories

This gem is a series about a small diner where the patrons come after a stressful day to relax with delicious Japanese soul food. Every patron has a touching story that they divulge to diner owner which catches the viewer's attention right away. While watching this show, you get the chance to learn Japanese food words, daily conversation, and other useful Japanese phrases that are often used in daily life.

4 – Million Yen Women

This Japanese drama is a fun-hearted mystery about a man, who is a struggling novelist, that lives alone. One day, 5 women suddenly move in his home and they pay him a crazy amount of money to manage the household for them. Each woman is a unique character that helps make this drama so fun! You'll get to chance to hear a ton of conversational, fun Japanese! Entertainment and learning is the best mixture for being fluent!

5 – The Birth of Sake

Ever wonder what it is like to make sake? This cinematic documentary shows the daily life those who make sake and what exactly goes into making world-class sake. While this documentary may contain more difficult Japanese, it gives the viewer a unique view into a more niche part of Japanese culture. Not even some Japanese natives are even aware of some of the cultural aspects shown in this documentary!

6 – Atelier

Another drama that will make you laugh while you learn! This drama starts with a woman who is obsessed with fabrics and begins her career at a lingerie store! All the craziness starts here for the main character and her future career! This drama is a great chance to brush up on a mix of daily life and office place Japanese!

7 – Aggretsuko

And finally, we couldn't resist adding at least one anime into the bunch! The Netflix original Aggretsuko gives us a glimpse into the life of a Tokyo office worker named Retsuko. She may be an office worker by day, she becomes brutal at night by releasing her rage through singing (rather, screaming) death metal at karaoke suites. Although a fictional anime, the plot is based off of a relatively realistic Tokyo work-life story line that is not only entertaining to watch, but it can teach you work related vocabulary and some phrases to blow off some steam!

Hopefully these shows help you on your journey to become a master Japanese speaker! If you have any other recommendations, let us know in the comments below! If you are already feel confident, why not test out your language skills with our Basic Japanese Quiz!

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