#004 What the Japanese think of Britain

I think Japanese people in general are fairly interested in Britain. Many Japanese people seem to believe that Japan and Britain are quite similar, both being island countries, but I don’t  think it’s necessarily true. But we do have things in common such as high newspaper subscription rates and fondness of queuing.

Another British stereotype is food. A lot of people think that British food is not tasty. I personally think that it’s not very difficult to find good restaurants in the UK, but I have the impression that many British people don’t cook, given a large percentage of real meals in British supermarkets.

British TV and Japanese TV are very different. I find that British TV tend to be very explicit, which I enjoy. Japanese TV shows less sexually explicit images, although Japanese TV tend to have high tolerance of physical violence.

Humour is also a area where cultural differences manifest. Compared to Japanese humour, which often centres on mocking celebrities and treating common situations in funny ways, British humour can be very explicit and more offensive to some extent. I like Jimmy Carr and Rickey Gervais, but their kind of humours is hardly observed in Japan.

Peep Show, my favourite British TV show, is also very different from the average Japanese TV show.

British accents are also a fascinating topic. Most Japanese people in Tokyo speak standard Japanese regularly. In Tokyo, we have people from all over the countries but it’s often impossible to tell where people are from by listening to their accents (except perhaps for those who are from Kansai region). British people seem to maintain their regional (and social, or educational) accents to a much greater extent.


Japanese author, blogger, YouTuber. Talks about Japan, dating, communication, and travel.

2 thoughts on “#004 What the Japanese think of Britain

  1. I’m from Britain, specifically England. A lot of the things you said are completely true, it’s quite funny actually. But the sad thing is that a lot of British people hate Britain, most aspire to live elsewhere, which is a shame because I do think Britain is a nice place sometimes. Its nice to hear your thoughts on Britain, will you do any more of these podcasts?

  2. It’s really interesting to learn about general Japanese opinions on Britain. As an English person, I can confirm that I have had conversations with my friends about how there are some interesting parallels between Britain and Japan, culturally as well as geographically. I also hadn’t realised that the variety of British accents was distinct in comparison to other countries. I had always assumed that countries, such as Japan, had a wide variety, but I just didn’t understand the language well enough to distinguish between them. I really enjoyed this episode, keep up the good work!

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