Watching television is very popular in Japan and is as integrated into everyday life as it is in many western countries.

In Tokyo one can receive five private and two national NHK channels over the air, while other parts of the country may be able to receive fewer channels. These days, satellite and cable television are becoming more popular.

The concepts of many Japanese shows are very original, with variety shows, dramas, news, sports programs and trivia shows as the most popular types. Furthermore, many shows contain an educational component concerning nature, history, science, or other cultures. It is not uncommon that the most popular entertainers appear during prime time in rather scientific programs on commercial channels.

"Wide Shows" are programs for housewives and are broadcasted during the whole morning and afternoon on various channels. They offer a variety of topics like fashion, celebrity news, etc.

Imported movies and television series are mostly broadcasted on pay TV channels. Many can be watched in either Japanese or their original language. A few news programs are broadcasted in Japanese and English as well, although some older televisions do not have the bilingual feature needed to watch them in English.

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Page last updated: June 9, 2002