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11 Japanese Livestreams That Let You Travel Around Japan Without Leaving Your House, For Free 

Free Japanese livestreams

11 Free Livestreams In Japan That Let You Travel Without Leaving Your House
Japanese livestreams to travel virtually
adapted from (clockwise from top-left): fuji-net, Miaou, @lachlanharris, @rimskaya.di

Who’d have thought that 2020 would be a year that would see so little international travel? Most flights have been grounded and we are all stuck at home with nowhere to go. The travel bug’s been biting at us, and boy are we itching to whisk off to Japan.

Thankfully, there are some Japanese livestreams that we can tune into to virtually travel to our dream destinations in Japan, right from the screens of our devices. Maybe if we plugged into the audio with some headphones, we could feel as if we were actually there.

1. Mount Fuji

Mt Fuji livestream
Mount Fuji at 6PM
Image adapted from: fuji-net

A physical, cultural, and spiritual symbol of Japan, Mount Fuji is one of the must-see places in Japan. 

Mount Fuji is notoriously elusive – it’s a majestic sight to lay your eyes on, on a clear day, but it can quickly disappear from plain sight in a matter of minutes when the clouds roll in. Mount Fuji seems to be less shy in the colder seasons when the air is drier. The mountain also looks best in the early morning and evening.

Mount Fuji
Mt. Fuji at 6AM
Image adapted from: fuji-net

 If seeing Mount Fuji was on your to-do list before COVID-19 changed your plans, you can do so via this live-stream.

Check out the livestream here.

2. Shibuya Scramble Crossing

shibuya scramble crossing
Image credit: @wkkacinq

The Shibuya Scramble Crossing is one of the most popular destinations in Tokyo. It’s the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world, with as many as 3,000 people crossing at a single time. That’s around 450,000 people crossing in a day.

shibuya scramble crossing livestream
Shibuya Scramble Crossing at 5PM on a weekday
Image adapted from: ANNnewsCH

Today, the Shibuya Scramble Crossing is not nearly as busy as it was. You can watch the stream to see the reduced foot traffic, even during peak hours when salarymen are usually rushing home from work.

Check out the livestream here.

3. Hirakawa Zoological Park

hirakawa zoological park
Image credit: @rimskaya.di

The Hirakawa Zoological Park in Kagoshima livestreams two types of rare animals – the white tiger and the whale shark.

There are three white tigers – Kai, Amber, and May – taking turns to be on the livestream. They’re active from 9AM to 4.30PM. You can also watch the whale shark from the massive Kuroshio Tank at the Kagoshima Aquarium from 9AM to 9PM, along with its other fishy friends.

Hirakawa zoological park livestream
Image adapted from: @kagoshima_city_aquarium

You can watch the livestreams here

Also, check out their YouTube channel for videos of their adorable animals, such as the red pandas and otters.

Hirakawa zoo livestream
Image credit: @capylife_

4. Miaou

miaou cat japan
Image credit: @Catsroom_Miaou

Calling all cat lovers out there – Miaou is a Japanese YouTube channel that streams the lives of 10 cats in a private cat loft.

Miaou Japan cat
Image credit: @Catsroom_Miaou

The Miaou livestream has been running since 2015, showcasing the interactions of stray cats that the owner, Miaou, adopts. The cats even have a sizable crowd of fans, who are also invested in the cats’ lives. Some feel that they’re able to feel like a cat owner without actually having to take care of one.

Miaou livestream
Image credit: @catsroom_miaou

A few streams are running simultaneously to show the different angles in the cat room. Miaou advises viewers to switch between the streams if the cats are not in view.

The streams run every day, except for when the room is being cleaned and the cats’ health is being checked. This typically happens from 3PM to 7PM every day.

You can also watch highlight videos on the channel, such as interactions between the kittens or when they’re playing with toys.

Cat Japan livestream
Image adapted from: Miaou

Catch the cat livestream and videos here. Do also check out the official website, where the owner writes about the cats he adopts.

5. Kyoto

Kyoto livestream
Image adapted from: Kyoto Plaza Hotel-京都プラザホテル【公式】

Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, is a city steeped in culture and history. It’s considered the cultural capital of Japan and often called the City of Ten Thousand Shrines for the 1,600 Buddhist and 400 Shinto shrines found in the city.

In this livestream, you can view the western side of Kyoto from the observation space on the 8th floor of the Kyoto Plaza Hotel Annex. Do keep a lookout for the Toji Temple, a five-story pagoda that lights up at 9PM.

kyoto toji temple
Image credit: @kojiro.fujioka

The view is especially spectacular in the evening when the sun sets over the mountain range.

Check out the Kyoto livestream from Kyoto Plaza Hotel’s YouTube channel here.

6. Nihondaira Zoo

Nihondaira zoo livestream
Image adapted from: @shirokuma_jump

The Nihondaira Zoo in Shizuoka will be closed till the end of May, but it has a livestream of their playful polar bears, Rossi and Vanilla, on their YouTube channel.

It streams every day, from 8AM to 5PM.

Nihondaira Zoo livestream
Image credit: 静岡市立日本平動物園

Check out the stream on their YouTube channel here.

7. Tokyo Skytree

Tokyo Skytree livestream
Image adapted from: LiveCombs

Standing at 634 metres, the Tokyo Skytree is the world’s tallest tower, and the second tallest structure after the Burj Khalifa. It’s so tall that it can even be spotted from Chiba Prefecture on a clear day. Interestingly, the numbers 634 are pronounced as mu-sa-shi in archaic Japanese – a phonetic play on the Musashi Province that covered old Tokyo.

This livestream broadcasts 4K video footage of the Tokyo Skytree from the Asakusa neighbourhood.

Tokyo Skytree livestream
Image credit: @kooohta

The highlights of the stream are in the early morning, evening, and at night. You’ll be able to catch the sunrise and sunset over Tokyo, as well as the Tokyo Sky Tree lighting up in the evening.

tokyo skytree
Image adapted from: LiveCombs

The livestream can be found on this YouTube channel here.

8. Satsukiyama Zoo

Satsukiyama zoo wombat
Image credit: Satsukiyama Zoo

Satsukiyama Zoo in Osaka streams their four adorable wombats living in their burrow enclosures on their website. There are two indoor cameras and three outdoor ones, and you can even move the camera around with your device to see the burrows from different angles.

wombat livestream
Image credit: @wombattvcom

There are even short introductions of the stubby little furballs – Kou, Yuki, Fuku, and Wine – on the website.

wombat satsukiyama zoo
Image credit: @sayoko_0322

Satsukiyama Zoo also encourages you to take screenshots of the wombats and tweet them. You can find some of the best photos on their Twitter page here.

Check out their livestream on their website here, as well as their YouTube channel here.

9. Sakurajima

Image credit: @ta ._. shirom

From the south of Japan in Kagoshima, you can watch a stream of Sakurajima, one of Japan’s most active volcanoes. Because it’s so active, you can see a constant stream of smoke rising from the crater.

sakurajima livestream
Image adapted from: live1 kts

Sakurajima used to be an island in the bay, but it became connected to the Osumi peninsula after an eruption in 1914. Today, the volcano is a popular tourist hub in Kagoshima, complete with hiking trails, sightseeing spots, and an onsen.

Check out the livestream here.

10. Asakusa Kaminarimon Gate

asakusa kaminarimon
Image credit: @makenkou

The Kaminarimon Gate at the entrance to the Sensoji Temple in Asakusa is one of the most iconic spots in Asakusa and Tokyo. Literally meaning “thunder gate”, the Kaminarimon (雷門) is easily identifiable with its tall statues and huge lantern.

On most days, the gate and Sensoji Temple is a busy hive of activity, with locals and tourists alike swarming around. In light of the outbreak of COVID-19, Sensoji Temple is no longer as busy as it was before. It’s a rather odd feeling to see the Kaminarimon so empty.

kaminarimon gate livestream
Image adapted from: ANNnewsCH

Check out the livestream here.

11. Osaka

Osaka livestream
Image adapted from: osaka sky livecam

Osaka is Japan’s second-largest metropolitan area after Tokyo, and is also Japan’s major economic hub. The city is home to several multinational electronics corporations, such as Panasonic and Sharp, as well as tourist destinations such as Universal Studios Japan and the Osaka Castle.

Image credit: @lachlanharris

This stream is especially clear, as it uses high-sensitivity cameras with a telephoto lens. You can get a bird’s-eye view of the western side of Osaka. Stay tuned for the stunning evening view and watch as the city lights up at night. Try spotting the Abeno Harukas, the tallest skyscraper in Japan, and the Tsutenkaku Tower, a landmark of Osaka.

Check out the livestream here.

Travel virtually via Japanese livestreams

It’s upsetting that we won’t be able to travel to Japan in the next couple of months, but we hope that these Japanese livestreams help to take the edge off – even if it’s just for a while. Let’s all hope that we can get ourselves spirited away, ASAP!

Check out these articles as you plot your next great escape: