Japan always has been a closed market when it comes to the entertainment industry.
Although anime and manga have proved to be a massive international success, Japan produces entertainment for the Japanese audience and doesn’t bother to spread it through the world.
Because of this, it’s harder to find Japanese dramas and movies available globally for streaming on Netflix.
The ones you can find in most regions are Netflix original series, but if you’re looking for the J-drama breaking ratings in Japan, the task is more complicated.
But don’t worry! I’ve done the exhaustive research for you! Keep scrolling if you’re a fan of Japanese drama.
Table of Contents
How to watch these shows
On this list, I’ve chosen most of the J-dramas you can find globally on Netflix. Some of which are available on select regions only, but it’s totally worth checking them out which is why they’re included.
The last four series are only available on Netflix Japan, and they only have Japanese subs. They’re good options if you’re studying Japanese language and want to practice it, or if you’re simply an enthusiast of J-dramas and want to check them out anyway.
If the series that aren’t in your region have caught your attention, you’ll need a VPN app to watch them.
A VPN allows you to hop Netflix regions with your standard account and access movies and TV shows from other countries.
I recommend using ExpressVPN because they work with plenty of regions and they’re super-easy to use. Download their app, connect to the country listed for each show below and enjoy streaming.
A couple of other VPN apps worth checking out are Surfshark and CyberGhost VPN if you’ve got time to shop around. The choice is yours!
1. Atelier (2015)
13 episodes – Drama, Comedy – Available Globally
Also known as Underwear, Fuji Television developed the series for Netflix.
A coming of age drama about Mayuko Tokita, a young woman who loves fabrics and fashion design and gets a job at a small high-class lingerie design house called Emotion, based in Tokyo’s Ginza district.
There, she must struggle to find her place in a world with different values where glamour and competition are the keys to success.
2. Doctor X – Surgeon Michiko Daimon (2012)
6 Seasons – 59 episodes – Comedy, Drama, Mystery – Available in India, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong – Recommended VPN Locations: Japan and Singapore
Michiko Daimon is a 37-year-old freelance surgeon, who defies the health system in crisis by going by herself from hospital to hospital taking care of the cases the system refuses to accept.
Her motto is “I never fail”, and the secret of her success is putting the patient first by giving priority to their health.
3. Erased (2017)
12 episodes – Drama, Fantasy, Mystery – Available Globally
Satoru was born with time-travelling ability. When his mom is killed, and he’s accused of her murder, he goes back 18 years to save three of his classmates and his mom’s life.
Based on the acclaimed manga Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi by Kei Sanbehi which also has an anime series and a live-action movie adaptation, available on Netflix in selected countries as well.
4. BG Personal Bodyguard (2018)
2 seasons – 16 episodes – Drama – Available in India, Hong Kong, and Singapore – Recommended VPN Location: Singapore
Akira Shimazaki is a divorced man who lives with his teenage son while working as a security guard at a construction site.
He used to be a professional bodyguard, but after an accident, he quit the job. Now, the private security company where he works is preparing a bodyguard unit, and Akira, who has kept his past as a secret, starts working as a novice bodyguard.
5. Blazing Transfer Students (2017)
8 episodes – Action, Adventure, Comedy – Available Globally
Seven students all going by the name Kakeru, played by the members of Johny’s West boyband, are recruited for a mysterious mission at a high-school under the orders of shadowy principal.
6. Crisis: Special Security Squad (2017)
10 episodes – Action – Available in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and India – Recommended VPN Locations: Japan and Singapore
Under the direct orders of the head of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department Security Bureau, The Special Investigation Unit is a secret force joining agents from different fields.
Agents Akira Inami and Saburo Tamaru are tasked with investigating special threats to the country, racing against time to keep order and justice.
7. Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light (2017)
8 episodes – Drama – Available Globally
Based on a true story, this drama tells the story of a father and son, and how they rebuild their distant relationship by playing Final Fantasy XIV online.
Hakutaru has been a workaholic all his life which has made him be apart from his family, mostly his son. Now, suddenly, he quit his job, and his son, Akio, sees a chance to bond with his father through the online video game Final Fantasy XIV.
8. Good Morning Call (2016)
2 seasons – 27 episodes – Comedy, Romance – Available Globally
Coproduced by FujiTV and Netflix, this series is based on the popular romance manga by Yue Takasuka.
Nao Yoshikawa is a high school student who has rented an apartment in Tokyo while her family is back to the country to run their farm.
Victim of a scam by the rental office, she finds herself sharing her apartment with Hisashi Uehara, a good looking boy who happens to be the most popular in her class.
They agree to stay as roommates to share the rent and at the time they keep their situation as a secret from their classmates.
9. Hibana (2016)
10 episodes – Drama – Available Globally
A Netflix original series based on the novel Spark by Japanese author Naoki Matayoshi.
The series follows the story of the aspiring stand-up comedian Tokunaga whose life and career changes when he meets Kamiya, a seasoned manzai artist.
10. Ju-On: Origins (2020)
6 episodes – Horror, Mystery – Available Globally
The Ju-On horror franchise gets another entry in this TV series developed for Netflix. The 13th instalment in this story about a cursed house in Tokyo, Japan, and the vengeful ghosts who inhabit it.
The series works as a prequel to the original movies, but from a realistic point of view, where the origin of the curse is explained through real crime cases that happened at the cursed house.
11. Kakegurui (2018)
2 seasons – 15 episodes – Drama, Mystery, Thriller – Available Globally
Hyakkaou Private Academy is an elite institution meant for the wealthiest people’s children.
The student ranking is according to their gambling winnings. The winner gets everything, the losers become the winner’s slaves.
One day, Yumeko Jabami, a new female transfer student arrives at Hyakkaou Academy revealing to be a compulsive maniac gambler ready to take everything over.
12. Legal V Ex-lawyer Shoko Takanashi (2018)
9 episodes – Drama – Available in Japan, Singapore, and India – Recommended VPN Locations: Japan and Singapore
Shoko Takanashi is an ex-lawyer who got her license revoked due to some troubles with her ex-boss.
Now, she’s back working from the shadows trying to redeem her reputation by recruiting a group of lawyers.
13. Perfect World (2019)
10 episodes – Romance, Drama – Available in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and India – Recommended VPN Location: Singapore
Based on the manga of the same name by Rie Aruga, the series tells the story of Itsuki Ayukawa, an architect who suffered an accident while playing basketball in college and became paralyzed from the waist down having to be confined on a wheelchair.
Tsugumi Kawana works at an interior design company, and one day her company must work together with an architecture firm. There, she meets Itsuki who happened to be her former classmate and first love.
14. Switched (2018)
6 episodes – Drama, Sci-Fi, Available globally
A Netflix original series based on the manga named Sora wo Kakeru Yodaka (The Ugly Duckling Who Ran Through The Sky) by Shiki Kawabata.
Ayumi sees how her classmate Umine commits suicide due to depression.
After seeing Umine falling from the school rooftop, Ayumi passes out. When she wakes up, she finds herself in Umine’s body while Umine is in Ayumi’s body.
15. Signal (2018)
10 episodes – Crime – Available in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and India – Recommend VPN Location: Singapore
A remake of the Korean series of the same name from 2016.
Kento Saegusa is a cold case profiler in 2015 who takes to mysterious walkie-talkie communicates with a detective in the year 1989. Both of them team up to solve crimes together and in some cases to prevent them.
16. Tokyo Bachelors (2019)
8 episodes – Drama – Available in Japan, Singapore, and India – Recommended VPN Location: Singapore
Three friends in their 30s and 40s, a lawyer, a dentist, and a banker, trust each other and enjoy their single life.
But, they start to question if living as a bachelor is really worth it and begin to think about love and marriage.
17. Mob Psycho 100 (2018)
12 episodes – Sci-Fi, Thriller – Available globally
Based on the popular manga of the same name by ONE, this limited series tells the story of Shigeo Kageyama nicknamed Mob who is an average 8th-grade student.
However, he has a secret: he’s actually an esper with psychic powers.
He suppresses his powers to live a normal life, but when an evil organization is recruiting espers, Mob will see himself in trouble.
18. Million Yen Women (2017)
12 episodes – Comedy, Drama, Mystery – Available Globally
Based on the manga of the same name by Shunju Aono, the series follows Shin Michima, an unpopular novelist who lives with 5 mysterious women.
They pay Shin one million yen rent each one, a considerable amount of money for renting a house. In exchange, he can’t ask any questions about them.
19. The Many Faces of Ito (2017)
8 episodes – Comedy, Drama – Available Globally
A Netflix original series about a jaded screenwriter in her 30s mines a group of four lovesick women for their stories making them believe she’s going to provide them with romantic advice.
20. Wise and Foolish (2015)
8 episodes – Comedy – Available in Hong Kong, India, Japan, and Singapore – Recommended VPN Locations: Japan and Singapore
Japan Prime Minister, Muto Taizan, one day finds he has switched bodies with his useless son, Sho.
Now, without any solution at hand, they must face their new life and responsibilities.
21. Love and Fortune (2018)
12 episodes – Drama, Romance – Available Globally
Tired and frustrated of her life with her boyfriend, Wako, a woman in her 30s, develops an interest in Yumeaki, a high school boy half her age.
Bonus only in Japanese.
22. Arakawa Under the bridge (2011)
10 episodes – Comedy, Drama, Fantasy – Available only in Japan – Recommended VPN Location: Japan
Based on the manga of the same name by Hikaru Nakamura, which also has an anime adaptation.
Set in Arakawa, Tokyo, the series follows a group of strange people living under a bridge. Kou Ichinomiya, a young man with a golden rule of never being indebted to anyone, one day falls into the Arakawa River and almost drowns.
A girl named Nino saves him. Now, Kou is in debt with Nino for saving his life, and he asks her what he can do in return. Since she confesses she loves him, he begins his life living under the bridge where a group of weird people live there too.
23. I” S (2018)
13 episodes – Romance, Comedy – Available only in Japan – Recommended VPN Location: Japan
Based on the popular manga of the same name by Masakazu Katsura, I” S tells the story of 16-year-old high school student Ichitaka Seto, who has fallen in love with his classmate Iori Yoshizuki.
Ichitaka is very shy, and he can’t confess to her, although he plans it every day. But then, Itsuki Akiba enters the scene.
She’s Ichitaka’s childhood friend who has a crush on him and has been absent for several years because she had moved to the US. Now, a triangle full of I” S has formed!
24. Ushijima The Loan Shark (2010)
3 Seasons – 27 episodes – Drama – Available only in Japan – Recommended VPN Location: Japan
Based on the manga of the same name by Shohei Manabe that besides this TV series, also spawned a four-movie series.
Kaoru Ushijima is a lender and the last resort for the poorest people, but he’s merciless when it comes to getting his money back.
25. Million Joe (2019)
12 episodes – Drama, Mystery – Available only in Japan – Recommended VPN Location: Japan
Kurei Soichi is a manga editor working on the popular series Million Joe.
Magata Suneo, the manga artist, suddenly dies. Kurei is devastated and thinks the manga deserves an ending, so he suggests to Suneo’s assistant to hide the death and keep working on the manga with the author’s notes.
Japanese dramas are hard to find for streaming globally, luckily, Netflix is here to make our task easier.
Along with their original series, there are a bunch of popular J-dramas available on selected countries that really worth binging.
This list comprises most of the J-dramas you can find on the streaming platform.
Don’t forget to access many of these you’ll need to use a VPN app. I recommend ExpressVPN.
Sign up for their service, connect to the country listed for the drama you want to watch and then enjoy all the extra Japanese Netflix content.
What’s your favourite Japanese drama? I would love to know so drop me a comment below.
- Summer Time Rendering: Season 1. #1 this week. ...
- SPY x FAMILY: Season 1. #2 this week. ...
- Under the Queen's Umbrella: Season 1. #3 this week. ...
- Chainsaw Man: Season 1. #4 this week. ...
- My Absolute Boyfriend: Season 1. #5 this week. ...
- Run for the Money: Season 1. ...
- Saihara the Loan Shark: Season 1. ...
- Little Women: Season 1.
- 'Unnatural' ...
- 'Alice In Borderland' ...
- 'Midnight Diner' ...
- Long Vacation. ...
- Legal High. ...
- The Full-Time Wife Escapist. ...
- 'Great Teacher Onizuka' ...
- 'I Will Not Work Overtime, Period!'
If we are going to talk about Japanese series on Netflix, Midgnight Diner: Tokyo Stories must be at the top of the list. The series is based on the Japanese Shinya shokudō (深夜食堂) manga by Yaro Abe and has become quite popular outside of Japan as well.What is the best Japanese romance drama? ›
- Cursed In Love / Watashichi wa Douka Shiteiru (2020) ...
- Rich Man Poor Woman (2012) ...
- Horimiya (2021) ...
- Itazura na Kiss / Mischievous Kiss: Love in Tokyo (2013) ...
- 5-ji Kara 9-ji Made: Watashi Ni Koi Shita Obōsan / From Five To Nine (2015) ...
- My Love Mix-up! / Kieta Hatsukoi (2021) ...
- Coffee & Vanilla (2019)
- The Crown. Years: 2016-2022. Creator: Peter Morgan. ...
- Love Is Blind 3. Year: 2022. Creator: Chris Coelen. ...
- Ancient Apocalypse. Year: 2022. ...
- Manifest. Year: 2022. ...
- Warrior Nun. Year: 2022. ...
- Where the Crawdads Sing. Year: 2022. ...
- Falling For Christmas. Year: 2022. ...
- The Bad Guys. Year: 2022.
- Squid Game (season 1), a Korean survival thriller -- 1.65 billion hours.
- Stranger Things (season 4), a retro sci-fi series -- 1.35 billion hours.
- Dahmer, a true-crime serial killer series -- 856.2 million hours.
JTBC's World of the Married firmly holds the number one spot, breaking the ratings record of Sky Castle.Is Kdrama or Japanese drama better? ›
Korean dramas run for 16-20 episodes with some filler episodes in between., but most dramas are engaging. Japanese dramas, on the other hand, only run for 10-12 episodes where the action never slows down. 2. Japanese dramas are mostly based on mangas, whereas, they are slowly becoming more common in Korean dramas.Is Japan Netflix better? ›
Study: Japan has the best Netflix content.
|Sum of total IMDb score, award wins and nominations||86,961|
|Netflix catalogue score (out of 100)||100.00|
If you try and watch Netflix Japan while traveling abroad you will find the movies and shows to be very different. This is because Netflix only lets you see the content library of the country you are in. Luckily by using a VPN for Netflix Japan you can regain access to all the shows you can watch back home.
- Enter into a contract without your parent's consent. ...
- Be selected for jury duty.
- Apply for a 10-year passport in your own name.
- Sit for state-level qualifications, such as those of doctors, accountants and so on.
- Enter into marriage.
- The package.
- coffee prince.
Japanese dramas, also known as dorama (ドラマ), or terebi dorama (テレビドラマ from the English “television drama“), are Japanese TV series regularly broadcasted on the country's major television networks.What is the most watched Netflix series in 2022? ›
As of October 2022, the most popular English-language Netflix TV show of all time was the fourth season of American science-fiction series "Stranger Things," based on number of hours viewed in the show's first 28 days on the platform. It counted over 1.3 billion hours viewed.Which is No 1 series in world? ›
1. Breaking Bad. Breaking Bad is the best-rated TV Series of all time.What are the top 3 Netflix movies? ›
- Slumberland (2022)
- Where the Crawdads Sing (2022) ...
- The Bad Guys (2022) ...
- Falling for Christmas (2022) ...
- Christmas With You (2022) ...
- The Wonder (2022) ...
- Sing 2 (2021) ...
Most Popular TV (English)
|#||TV (English)||Hours viewed in first 28 days|
|1||Stranger Things 4||1,352,090,000|
|2||DAHMER: Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story||856,220,000|
|3||Bridgerton: Season 2||656,260,000|
|4||Bridgerton: Season 1||625,490,000|
|1.||Squid Game||53 days|
|2.||The Queen's Gambit||46 days|
|3.||Stranger Things||44 days|
|5.||Money Heist||37 days|
- "Red Notice" (2021) — 364.02 million hours.
- "Don't Look Up" (2021) — 359.79 million. ...
- "Bird Box" (2018) — 282.02 million hours. ...
- "The Gray Man" (2022) — 253.87 million hours. ...
- "The Adam Project" (2022) — 233.15 million hours. ...
- "Extraction" (2020) — 231.3 million hours. ...
- "Purple Hearts" (2022) — 228.69 million hours. ...
Dragon Ball, One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach are known as the “Big Four.” In some fans' eyes, Dragon Ball is seen as the grandfather of Shonen while One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach are known as the “Big Three”.
|Rank||Title||Japan gross (¥ billion)|
|1||Demon Slayer: Mugen Train||40.32|
1. Crayon Shin-chan (クレヨンしんちゃん)What is BTS favorite K-dramas? ›
The K-drama Sky Castle is loved by the older members of the band. During an interaction with ARMY, Suga revealed that he had seen the dark comedy thriller Sky Castle. Besides Suga, RM and Jin also loved watching South Korea's second-highest-rated series on cable television.Which K-drama got highest rating? ›
- Empress Ki – Netflix | IMDB Rating: 8.5/10. ...
- Healer – Netflix | IMDB Rating: 8.5/10. ...
- Legend of the Blue Sea – Netflix | IMDB Rating: 8.2/10. ...
- My Love From The Star – Netflix | IMDB Rating: 8.2/10.
- Sky Castle (2018-2019) Rating: 23.779 percent. ...
- Crash Landing on You (2019-2020) Rating: 21.683 percent. ...
- Reply 1988 (2015-2016) Rating: 18.803 percent. ...
- Goblin (2016-2017) Rating: 18.680 percent. ...
- Mr. Sunshine (2018) ...
- Mr. Queen (2020-2021) ...
- Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce) 2 (2021)
Kabuki is arguably the most famous form of Japanese theater and began in the early 17th century in Kyoto, where legend has it that a shrine maiden in the city's Izumo no Okuni Grand Shrine began performing a new style of dance drama.Are Kdramas popular in Japan? ›
Popularity of South Korean dramas in Japan in 2019.
|Characteristic||Share of respondents|
Mouse Kdrama. Crash Landing on You. It's Okay Not to Be Okay. The World of the Married.Which country uses Netflix most? ›
The United States is not only the place where Netflix got its start as a DVD rental service in 1997, but the country also remains Netflix's largest market now that the company has evolved into the most popular SVOD platform worldwide.What country has best Netflix? ›
In 2021, Japan received the best Netflix catalog score of “100,” which is the highest a streaming service can receive. Its IMDB score that year reached 86,961.
Residents of the US, UK, Australia, and Canada watch more Netflix than the average viewer. The average American has watched 88,643 minutes or 62 days of Netflix (16 days more than average) and dedicates 85 percent of viewing time to TV series.Which country does not support Netflix? ›
Netflix isn't available in: China. Crimea. North Korea.What countries is Netflix not in? ›
The company also announced a partnership with LG to market pre-paid services in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. As of 2021, Netflix is streaming in over 190 countries, not including China, Crimea, North Korea, or Syria.Is VPN ban in Japan? ›
The use of VPNs in Japan is legal, and the internet is generally restriction-free.What age can you marry in Japan? ›
Who Can Get Married in Japan? Article 731 to 737 of the Japanese Civil Code stipulates the following requirements: The male partner must be 18 years of age or older and the female partner must be 18 years of age or older. A person who is under 18 years of age cannot get married in Japan without a parent's approval.What is the youngest legal age in Japan? ›
The age of adulthood in Japan was lowered from 20 to 18 on April 1, 2022. This makes it possible for 18- or 19-year-olds to sign a smartphone contract or take out a loan without parental consent, but also means that they need to take responsibility for such decisions.Can a 14 year old live alone in Japan? ›
Japan is considered safe, a country where kids are allowed from a very early age to be independent.Who first kissed? ›
First Recorded Kiss (circa 1500 B.C.)
A scene of the Mahabharata with Gopis, Daughters of the Cowherds, and Krishna. Scholars debate whether kissing began as a trend that spread around the globe, or sprung up organically in different regions.
While the true origin of kissing remains a mystery, historians have found in India the earliest references to the practice. Four major texts in the Vedic Sanskrit literature suggest an early form of kissing. Dating from 1500 B.C., they describe the custom of rubbing and pressing noses together.What are a few 19+ Kdramas? ›
• World of the married. • Misty. • Mistresses. • My secret romance. • Love affairs in the afternoon.
Korean dramas (Korean: 한국 드라마; RR: Han-guk deurama), more popularly known as K-dramas, are television series in the Korean language, made in South Korea.What are the three most popular forms of drama in Japan? ›
The three major classical theaters in Japan are Kabuki, Noh, and Bunraku. All three of these performance types have been listed as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritages.What are the four Japanese dramas? ›
Traditional theatre includes Noh, a spiritual drama, and its comic accompaniment kyōgen; kabuki, a dance and music theatrical tradition; bunraku, puppetry; and yose, a spoken drama.What is the longest kiss in Kdrama? ›
The longest kiss scene in a drama was Suzy and Lee Seung Gi's double kiss scene in the drama “Gu Family Book,” which attracted a lot of attention when it first aired. Lee Seung Gi initiates the first kiss, which lasts for 50 seconds, and Suzy initiates the second, which lasts for 36 seconds, for a total of one minute ...What is a French kiss? ›
What Is a French Kiss? A French kiss (also called a tongue kiss, a deep kiss, or making out) is a kiss in which one or both partners use their tongues to stimulate each other's mouths for mutual sexual pleasure.What do they have on Netflix Japan? ›
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba.
- ONE PIECE.
- Hunter X Hunter (2011)
- One-Punch Man.
- The Seven Deadly Sins.
- Kuroko's Basketball.
Is Netflix in Japan different? Netflix has a slightly different content catalog for each country it operates in, and Japan is no exception. It has a selection of exclusive content you won't be able to access anywhere else, including lots of anime.Which country is most popular on Netflix? ›
South Americans watch the most Netflix
According to our statistics, South Americans are streaming the most Netflix content.
Netflix is a streaming service that offers a wide variety of award-winning TV shows, movies, anime, documentaries, and more on thousands of internet-connected devices. You can watch as much as you want, whenever you want – all for one low monthly price.Does Netflix have a secret menu? ›
Scrolling through Netflix's catalogue can actually take up more time than watching something. What you need, is access to Netflix's secret menu, that gives you a better recommendations list. Netflix has some fantastic shows, movies and spectacular documentaries.
- North Korea.
How Does Netflix Know I Am Using a VPN? Netflix has a security system that detects when multiple users log on from the same IP address, which indicates that the associated traffic is coming from a VPN server.How do I choose Japanese Netflix? ›
- From the Netflix app home screen, tap the profile icon or Menu .
- Tap Manage Profiles.
- Select the profile you want to edit.
- Tap Audio & Subtitles Languages.
- Select preferred languages from Audio & Subtitles Languages. The new languages will automatically save.
As of October 2022, the most popular English-language Netflix TV show of all time was the fourth season of American science-fiction series "Stranger Things," based on number of hours viewed in the show's first 28 days on the platform. It counted over 1.3 billion hours viewed.Which Netflix most content? ›
|Characteristic||Number of movies and TV shows combined|
Countries paying the least for Netflix subscriptions worldwide 2022. The data reveals that Pakistan was the least expensive place in the world to get Netflix in 2022, with a monthly subscription for the standard plan costing 3.45 U.S. dollars.What is the price of Netflix in Japan? ›
|Country||Price (Local)||# of Movies|
|United States||6.99 USD||3,833|
- A Netflix monthly subscription costs anywhere from $6.99 to $19.99.
- Netflix's new Basic with Ads plan costs $6.99 per month.
- The Standard DVD and Blu-ray plan start at $9.99 monthly, and the Premier plan starts at $14.99.