It’s certainly an interesting time for everyone around the world as we all make and effort to #stayathome and practice social distancing due to COVID-19. If you are feeling cabin fever kicking in and are looking for things to do at home, a virtual Japan tour might just be the ticket if you have exhausted all of your Netflix recommendations. Check out these awesome Japanese food videos and Japanese travel videos to make you feel like you are on a Japan trip, right from the comfort of your couch.
Here is our list of 10 videos from 10 different prefectures, for a tour of Japan from home.
Virtually visit Saga Prefecture in the south of Japan during this video as byFood’s host Shizuka challenges Best Ever Food Review Show’s Sonny to wrangle some "wasasubo," or mud-dwelling eels. They really look like aliens! With help from a fishing expert, Shizuka and Sonny jump into the mudflap of the Ariake Sea to catch their own warasubo before heading off to a local izakaya. They sample this eel-meets-alien in 3 different dishes (one prepared alive!) and wash it down with some local sake.
Shizuka takes on street food in Ueno’s Ameya Yokocho, Tokyo’s biggest and best outdoor market. She wanders the rainy streets of Ameyoko Market to try a deep-fried Korean-style hot dog on a stick, some tantalizing Chinese dumplings, and Japanese sake from a standing bar with a side of juicy sashimi! Also on this street food menu is a A5 grade wagyu beef menchi katsu for only 400 yen, as well as green tea flavored shaved ice made with Uji Kyoto matcha and red azuki beans!
Join the Ueno Food Tour and explore Ameyoko for yourself!
Famous for its natural beauty and numerous World Heritage Sites, Shinichi and Satoshi from TabiEats take you to beautiful Nikko in winter. Just a 2-hour train ride from Tokyo in Tochigi Prefecture, your hosts show you around a shrine, then visit a yuba factory (tofu-like skin that forms on top of boiled soy milk), which is a local delicacy in Nikko. Along with other activities in the picturesque area, they also visit a theme park based on the Edo period Japan, complete with costumes! All this before experiencing a private onsen hot spring.
This Japanese travel video takes you to Tottori Prefecture to discover Tottori wagyu beef, one of Japan’s 300 types of wagyu (of which Kobe beef is the most famous internationally). In the Mount Daisen area there are plenty of farms by the sea, one of which John Daub visits to show you the stress-free life of this lesser-known but top-quality wagyu brand. Packed full of facts about wagyu, John teaches you about different cuts of meat before tasting this amazingly marbled Japanese beef, grilled quickly, yakiniku style.
Filmed over a few wintery days spent in the capital of Hokkaido Prefecture, Sapporo, watch as Mark Wiens walks you through each bite of his culinary highlights from Japan’s northern island. This includes incredible miso ramen (which originated in Hokkaido) followed by a fresh kaisendon (seafood bowl) from a local family-run restaurant. Walking through Sapporo City, he also eats famous spicy soup curry and some of the best, high-quality conveyor belt sushi!
Quirky duo Simon and Martina visit Akita in the northern part of Honshu to experience authentic onsen hopping. They spend a weekend at Mount Nyuto to try out its famous hot springs while eating and drinking along the way. This video gives a glimpse of Tokyo life as they prepare to ride a Shinkansen bullet train with an ekiben (a train station bento lunch box) before they head north to experience a range of outdoor hot springs with an onsen pass. Immerse yourself in the view of different onsen and their milky blue waters, see a traditional Japanese ryokan (complete with traditional Japanese meals!), and be stunned by the beautiful fall foliage.
Join Trevor James as he discovers some of Japan’s best street food in the bustling city of Osaka. Watch as a local expert prepares deadly pufferfish or "fugu," which Trevor then eats raw as fresh sashimi, before having it cooked in a simmering nabe hot pot. He grills his own yakisoba at a popular teppanyaki restaurant, then heads to a local shop to try some irresistibly crispy tempura. Watch it satisfyingly deep-fry up close before Trevor tries one of the best bowls of ramen ever!
This isn’t your ordinary Japanese travel video! Dine in with Mike from Strictly Dumpling as he experiences an amazing seafood feast at a specialty restaurant in Fukuoka. Seriously, this mouthwatering seafood is the freshest you can get, as the restaurant itself is filled up with tanks of live seafood, ready and waiting to be prepared. He devours a smorgasbord of different fresh sashimi and grilled fish dishes, walking you through every bite as though you were there eating with him.
Discover Hiroshima and Miyajima during this exciting video with Chris, showcasing the best things to do when you have 24-hours in Hiroshima City. Starting off learning about the historic A-Bomb Dome, you can then almost smell the grilling of the theatrically layered Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki. Next is a visit to Miyajima Island to see the famous Itsukushima "floating" Shrine at sunset, surrounded by local deer. The day is finished off with some yakigaki (grilled oysters) by the waterside and an amazing vending machine pizza!
Be transported to a scenic tea farm in Kyoto Prefecture while watching this immersive Japanese travel video from the team at byFood. Get a glimpse of this unique experience and the beautiful local scenery during this 4-hour food tour, held in one of Japan’s most picturesque villages, Wazuka-cho. Visitors have a chance to explore the farm’s magnificent rows of Japanese tea, and learn about how it is harvested and processed at the tea factory. They will taste a range of local teas and prepare their own premium matcha green tea during this unique experience.
Witness the beauty of Kyoto for yourself. Book the Kyoto Tea Farm and Tasting in Wazuka-cho.
So, maybe self-isolation doesn’t have to be so bad? You can experience so many different prefectures and regions through the Japanese travel videos from this virtual tour of Japan. If you want to watch more, Journeys in Japan, Japanology Plus, and Begin Japanology are some great channels and programs where you can discover Japan without traveling as you stay at home (all without changing out of your pajamas!).
For more cool videos about Japan, make sure to subscribe to the Japan by Food YouTube channel!