Top 10 Japanese YouTubers in 2023

Top 10 Japanese YouTubers in 2023

Since YouTube launched its services in Japan in 2007, it exploded into one of the most used social media platforms in Japan.

And in just 16 years, YouTube has become more frequently viewed than TV.

If you've been wanting to watch and follow some YouTubers in Japan, this list is a great place to start. Or if you're making videos for a Japanese audience and want to understand the kind of content the top Japanese YouTubers make, start here.

Without further ado, here are the 10 top Japanese YouTubers as ranked by and based on the number of subscribers and times videos were played.

1. Junya

Junya is one of the most famous Japanese YouTubers and boasts a total of 29.8 million subscribers. He mainly makes short YouTube videos of silly and crazy stunts for laughs.

Although he barely speaks in most of his videos, his cackle and facial expressions, combined with his outrageous performances, are enough to attract views from all over the globe.

Many YouTube channels in Japan only cater to the Japanese audience with Japanese language videos. I.e., they don’t add English subtitles or voiceovers. So Japanese YouTubers who make “non-verbal” videos work in Japanese Youtubers' favor, allowing them to appeal to a broader audience without the extra work of making it multi-lingual.

Junya speaks smattering カタカナ English in some of his videos, but most are short videos of him doing silly antics.

Subscribers: 29.8 million

Videos: 6964

Combined plays: Approximately 18 billion

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2. Sagawa

Japanese YouTuber Sagawa started YouTube in 2021 but grew his channel at breakneck speed. In just three years, he went from zero to over 20 million subscribers.

He focuses mainly on short videos that are also “non-verbal,” relying on his funny reenactments of trending bizarre videos or movie/anime scenes for views.

The majority of his viewers are not from Japan, and children make up a sizable portion of his viewer demographics.

Subscribers: 24.7 million

Videos: 6813

Total combined plays: 20 billion

3. Issei

ISSEI is a relatively new but famous YouTuber that started off on TikTok. Most of his YouTube videos are from his TikTok account compiled to video content of approx. 10-minutes.

He makes a wide variety of content, but the title and description are mostly in English, showing how he’s also targeting international audiences.

The description of his channel writes: “I hope for a world where you can laugh with peace of mind.”

His most watched videos are his “body puzzle” clips, where body parts float around, and ISSEI and his friends pose to match the floating body parts.

Something in common with Junya and Sagawa is that this type of non-verbal content attracts views from all over the globe, not just Japan.

Subscribers: 18.2 million

Videos: 2037

Total combined plays: approx. 17.5 billion

4. Bayashi TV

Bayashi TV is a Japanese YouTube channel featuring cooking content, created on January 26, 2021, featuring Bayashi, a young man, cooking and eating creative dishes.

His unorthodox recipes and amplified sounds of him cooking and eating have made him one of the most popular Japanese YouTubers, putting him in fourth place with just shy of 20 million subscribers.

In the past, he has collaborated with famous YouTubers from abroad (like Mr. Beast).

With approximately 42 million followers on TikTok, Bayashi TV has received the TikTok Creator of the Year award in 2021 and 2022, solidifying his status as one of the most creators of user generated content in Japan.

Subscribers: 19.7 million

Videos: 1170

Total combined plays: approx. 11.2 billion 

5. Spidermaaaan

One of two Japanese YouTube channels that tied for fifth place with 13.8 million subscribers, Spidermaaan is a channel where an individual (later revealed to be Vambi, who ran a different YouTube channel) dresses as Spiderman and posts viral YouTube shorts without much talking.

The channel surpassed 10 million subscribers in just over a year, which beats Junya's previous record of 394 days.

Subscribers: 13.8 million

Videos: 1455

Total combined plays: approx. 9.7 billion

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5. Kids Line

The second channel tying for fifth place is Kids Line, which is one of Japan's popular channels tailored for family fun and the younger generation. Kids Line has accumulated over 9 billion views.

Managed by a mother navigating motherhood herself, the channel offers family-friendly content showcasing her and her children, Kou and Mine, engaging in playful activities and outings.

Additionally, it features toy reviews and imparts valuable lessons on children's etiquette. The channel boasts a subscriber count exceeding 11 million and has achieved over one billion views on several videos, marking a rare achievement in Japan's YouTube landscape.

Subscribers: 13.8 million

Videos: 2859

Total combined plays: approx. 9.5 billion

7. Hikakin

Hikakin is arguably one of the best Japanese YouTubers of the last decade. Active since 2006, he is known for his diverse content on YouTube and presence on other platforms.

Some sources say he has over 29 million subscribers combined across various platforms. He is also the founder and chief advisor of UUUM Inc., which is a YouTube influencer marketing company for fledging influencers and entertainers.

Hikakin's videos range from unboxing and reviewing snacks, new toys, and luxury items to engaging in challenges, showcasing viral cooking experiments, and sharing outdoor activities. Hikakin runs several channels, such as "HIKAKIN," focusing on music-related content, and "HikakinTV," showcasing reviews and challenges.

His popularity as one of Japan's leading YouTubers stems from the content's child-friendly nature, well-thought-out concepts, individual watchability, and collaborations with various celebrities and other YouTubers.

Subscribers: 11.8 million

Videos: 3364

Total combined plays: approx. 11.6 billion* (The combined views of all his channels will amount to a lot more)

8. Saito

Saito さいとう is a video creator also known for posting non-verbal content on YouTube and TikTok. He established his YouTube channel in July 2021, and within just two years, he amassed over 9.59 million subscribers as of July 1st, 2023.

Saito attempts to reenact trending videos and entertain viewers with engaging expressions and exaggerated gestures.

He also creates a comparison series where he tries to eat unlikely objects and then presses the yes or no button to relay whether something is edible or not. Saito is inspired by international content and experimental videos and is targeting global audiences.

Subscribers: 11.7 million

Videos: 4201

Total combined plays: approx. 12.6 billion 

9. Renaitoto

Popularly known as a love poet, Toto is a prominent figure in the realm of romance blogging, particularly on Ameblo, where he has consistently held the top spot in the romance and relationship genre for many years.

He has since expanded to YouTube and has quickly become one of Japan's popular YouTubers with 11 million subscribers. His numerous love poems are said to bring happiness and solace from the fatigue of romantic pursuits and spark realizations about the most important aspects of life.

While his most popular videos are romance-themed, Toto creates various content, including singing videos, poetic imagery, and storytelling.

Fans appreciate his authentic and relatable approach to discussing romance, which often delves into slightly spiritual topics, making his content engaging for romance enthusiasts and those interested in spiritual themes.

Subscribers: 11.2 million

Videos: 68

Total combined plays: approx. 64.6 million

10. Senmomoaishi

Sen Momo Ai Shii Ch Sen, Momo, Ai & Shii's channel features the playful adventures of four siblings: Sen, Momo, Ai, and Shii.

The YouTube channel, active since 2006 and now in its 17th year, showcases heartwarming and cheerful videos of the siblings enjoying various activities such as playing with toys, going on outings, documenting their growth and daily life, personal stories, exploring Disney, airplanes, dinosaurs, LEGO, educational sweets, and more.

Subscribers: 11.2 million

Videos: 3408

Total combined plays: approx. 7.7 billion

Japanese YouTube statistics

According to Nikkei, Google Japan has stated that YouTube users reached 70 million as of May 2022. And 35 million users connect YouTube to their TV screens. People spend more and more time on the internet rather than watching television because 1) YouTube has abundant and diverse content that fits the needs of each viewer, and 2) it can be enjoyed from various devices and formats.

An interesting trend on Japanese YouTube is the success of former TV directors and stars who switch to the platform. With viewers expecting high-quality content, the experience and knowledge these individuals gained from their time in television allows them to shine in creating content for YouTube.

According to the 2022 Survey of Information Media Usage Time and Information Trends conducted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (Japanese PDF), YouTube had the highest usage percentage for video-sharing platforms at 90% among younger generations in their 10s to 30s. In comparison, adoption and use of TikTok is only at 60% for those under 20.

Closing thoughts

YouTube in Japan has rooted itself so deeply in everyday life that becoming a YouTuber ranks high as a dream occupation for children in Japan.

While the Japanese market and appetite for YouTube content is immense, many of the most popular Japanese YouTubers create content geared for an international audience in order to grow their viewership.

TikTok may be competing with YouTube's market share, but for now, at least, YouTube remains the platform of choice for consuming and making videos. 

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