The 11 Best Documentaries About Japan

Aug 21, 2023 | Best Of, Culture

This documentary by Japanese filmmaker Kazuo Hara follows the story of an intrepid activist named Kenzo Okuzaki, who seeks out justice for his former comrades-in-arms in World War II. Through interviews with witnesses and survivors, it paints a powerful portrait of post-war Japan and the struggle for closure.


1. Amazing Quest- Stories from Japan

Japan is an awe-inspiring country, one that has been shaped by its tumultuous past and environment. Within this archipelago of islands lies secrets waiting to be revealed. First, we will take a trip to the westernmost island of Yonaguni; a place filled with mystery and adventure. Shotaro Maja was born here and knows all about life on the tiny island. It was his father, a professional diver who discovered an underwater site in 1984 that he is convinced holds archaeological secrets and artifacts. Shotaro is the one to unlock the mystery of Yonaguni and reveal its secrets.


2. A Life in Japan – Documentary

Explore the unique culture, lifestyle, and traditions of Japan through the eyes of 19 international residents. From short-term tourists to those who have resided in Japan for decades, hear firsthand accounts of what it’s like to live in this fascinating country. Discover the pros and cons of life in Japan from people who have experienced it themselves. Learn all about the convenience that technology brings to the country, from automated checkouts to vending machines. The public transportation system is also an advantage of living here, with it being clean, safe, reliable and affordable. Be encouraged by their stories to explore Japan for yourself and gain a better understanding of what life there is really like.


3. Japan-History, Geography, Economy & Culture

This is a story of Japan, which for centuries has been a source of creative influences that have shaped the world in remarkable ways. Dating back to its origins with the first Emperor of Japan and recorded history beginning in the 1st Century AD, this archipelago of mountains, forests and volcanoes has been a unique blend of ancient practices and modern progress.


4. Japan That Will Blow Your Mind – The Weirdest Modern Country

The capital of Japan is Tokyo and it lives up to its name! From towering skyscrapers to traditional shrines, you will be amazed by the contrasting beauty of this city. I will take you on a tour of Tokyo and introduce you to all the incredible customs, cuisine and activities that make this vibrant place unique.We’ll also be discovering Japan’s weird side! From pet hotels to colorful sandwiches, discover how the Japanese use their creativity in surprising ways.


5. The Dark Side of Japan- The Lost Generation

Japan is a nation renowned for its advanced technology, incredible economy, and safe cities. But beneath the surface lies an issue that has been overlooked for many years: the Lost Generation. This population of millions failed to succeed in Japan’s fierce job market and became casualties of the system. It’s a shocking representation of how quickly Japan has fallen from grace and paints a grim picture of the country’s future.


6. Japan Islands of Extremes – Wildest Islands – Go Wild

Japan is home to an array of diverse climates, from frozen seas and snow capped mountains to steamy mangroves. With a wide range of habitats, animals have learned to adapt in order to survive. In the central and northern islands, where winter can be ruthless, Japanese snow monkeys find solace in warm volcanic pools located in Hells Valley on Honshu island.


7. Japan The Way of Zen – Zen Buddhism Documentary

Pierre Brouwers has gone on an incredible journey to explore the culture and wonders of Japan. From the bustling cities like Kyoto and Hiroshima that are steeped with history, to the stunning scenery found in Kamikochi Park, there is something for everyone in this remarkable country. The Japanese embrace both old traditions and modern innovation. Robots line car assembly lines while festivals continue to take place with great reverence. Of course, the words wisdom and harmony apply universally in Japan, where Zen is a way of life.


8. The Beautifully Crafted Homes Of Kyoto, Japan

Phillipe’s journey begins in the beautiful city of Kyoto, Japan. He finds himself admiring Machiya homes, traditional wooden townhouses that have been crafted to perfection over many generations. Witnessing the incredible attention to detail and unique designs, Phillipe is eager to explore more of the world’s architectural wonders.


9. The Village Where The Roofs Are Also Streets

Philippe has a passion for discovering the many unique cultures of our world. He travels to some of the most remote parts of the planet, exploring the local architecture and gaining an insight into how people live in these places. His journey has taken him to Masuleh, Iran, where he experienced the lush green landscape and interconnected roofs that form pedestrian areas. In Bayou Country, Louisiana, he saw how local people have adapted their homes to withstand hurricane season, with houses built on stilts. Philippe’s journey then took him to Sweden, a country of beautiful countryside villages and towns protected by steep roofs covered in snow. Everywhere he goes Philippe discovers something new about the architectural wonders of our planet and the unique ways that people use them to survive .


10. A train ride into Japan’s past

Kyushu is filled with tremendous culture and history, yet its charms are often overlooked by travelers. Embarking on a train journey through the island provides an opportunity to explore both modern cities and traditional customs. The metro population of Fukuoka – the first stop of the rail journey – stands at 2.5 million people, while Ibusuki at the southern tip of the island holds its own secrets and wonders.


11. Japan’s RAREST Foods from North to South

With your support, I can continue to create unique content about Japan that nobody else is exploring. From stories about the country’s culture and history, to its amazing modern technology and architecture, I strive to bring you a wide range of interesting topics that may have never been covered before. With your help, I have the freedom to experiment with new ideas and production techniques in order to keep the channel fresh and exciting. Together, we can explore Japan in ways that hasn’t been done before.


Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

David B