Online Japanese Art & Culture Resources You Can Enjoy From Home

Generally speaking, Japan has always been slow in adapting to online technology. But with the country’s state of emergency now extended until the end of May, we’ve been seeing more and more venues and companies putting their content online so that users can enjoy them safely, from home. So we’ve decided to put together a curated list of resources we think many of our readers will enjoy. The list is by no-means exhaustive and we’ll continue to update it, but if you have any ideas feel free to add them in the comments section!

Coloring Books from Hanshin Railway

Hanshin Electric Railway has been collaborating with the illustrators at MofuMofuDo to create coloring books featuring iconic scenes along their line, which links Osaka and Kobe. And they’ve recently uploaded all 10 to their website, making them downloadable for free. You can choose either the full pamphlet (PDF) or just the image (PNG) and imagine traveling through the region from the safety of your own home.

Rhizomatiks: Staying Tokyo

The creatives at Japanese media arts company Rhizomatiks have been hosting weekly DJ events titled Staying Tokyo. The events are free and have been streamed on twitch every Friday evening (Japan time).

Online Rakugo

Rakugo is a traditional form of comedic storytelling that has seen a surge in popularity in recent years thanks to creative uses of technology. But with theaters now closed, performers have moved online. Most of the performances will ask you to pay an admission fee, and you’ll need a considerable amount of Japanese, but there is a handy calendar that lists daily performances (in Japan time).

Zaiko: “Save the Theatre”

Zaiko is a Tokyo-based ticketing platform for event organizers and digital media companies that has become a great resource for smaller theater companies to broadcast their acts. One initiative we want to highlight is “Save the Theatre.” With a wide range of performing arts including plays, kyogen, Nihon Buyo and Noh being cancelled, performers across the industry joined forces to stream stage shows for a fee.

There’s a great Noh performance called Kagami no matsu (Mirror Pines) that is streaming through May, as well as a play called Yaku Sanju no Uso (Around 30 Lies).

YouTube Japan: Stay Home #WithMe

With the country now on Golden Week, You Tube Japan has created a ‘stay at home’ edition of YouTube Music Week. Artists include Miyavi, BABYMETAL, m-flo and many more.

Online Tea Ceremony

Tea master Sougai Okada has been hosting online Zoom tea ceremonies. You have to register through the Chakai website and the ceremonies are limited to 20 people so they fill up pretty fast.

Shibuya Crossing Live-Stream

If all else fails, the live-stream of Shibuya Crossing is always entertaining, a weird, trance-inducing kind of way.


  1. Benjamin de la Peña

    May 4, 2020 at 9:15 pm

    I’ve been enjoying the walking tours of Tokyo and other cities by youtuber Rambalac. It’s mostly in 4K. There’s no narration, just ambient audio.

    Very relaxing.

  2. Great suggestion Benjamin! I’ve been watching Rambalac’s videos all day. Seems like a different time, seeing all these crowded, lively areas!

    • YES I was going to suggest something similar! I’ve been enjoying NIPPON WANDERING TV videos. I like the rainy night walk through Ginza and to Shimbashi. Makes me so nostalgic.

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