Cool Japan (also stylized COOL JAPAN) is a show on NHK World, focusing on
Japanese culture as viewed by people from other parts of the world. Episodes revolve around a panel of people from different parts of the world discussing different aspects of Japanese culture, and how they differ from their respective homelands.

The show consist of a panel with hosts Risa Stegmayer and Shoji Kokami, a Japanese commentator and a group of 8 foreigners from various countries. They are given a topic to explore, such as Japanese beef, life in Akihabara, caligraphy, donburi or university. The foreigners then go out in pairs and explore unique aspects of the topic. Back in studio, the guests will explain how they feel about that aspect and how it is different to what they've seen in their respective homeland, while the commentator will explain the history and detail of the topic in depth. At the end, Shoji decides to select which aspect of the topic is cool and to be sent out to the rest of the world.

An interesting note is that at the very beginning of each show, Risa and Shoji will speak English to briefly explain what the topic will be about. From then on, they will speak Japanese for the entire show, even directing questions to the guests in Japanese (although all the guests will speak and respond in English the entire show). When it is shown on NHK World, the hosts, narrators and commentator, along with any other Japanse speakers, will be obviously dubbed in English by American voice actors, while foreign guests are not affected. When it is shown on NHK (BS-1, On Demand or NHK World Premium), the Japanese audio is kept and the Japanese speakers are subtitled in English instead, while the foreign guests are subtitlted in Japanese.


  • Shoji Kakami - Host
  • Risa Stegmayer - Host
  • Hiroshi Aramata (Novelist) - Commentator
  • Yasuo Kobayashi (Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo) - Commentator
  • Hiroyasu Sato (Professor, Matsumoto University Faculty of Business Administration) - Commentator
  • Ichiya Nakamura (Professor, Graduate School of Media Design, Keio University) - Commentator
  • Akihiko Reizei (Author, Newsweek Japan contributor) - Commentator
  • Noriko Hidaka - Narrator
  • Kazuya Nakai - Narrator

External LinksEdit

Official Website

Facebook Page