Like you, we love the seduction of Japan's natural beauty - landscapes and cityscapes unlike anywhere else. Japan is a country filled with a number of exotic sights, and what better a way to get a look at it all than through live cams. Some of these vids are so unbelievable they’ll have you hopping on the next flight!
Top 10 Free Japanese Live Video Collections
Organizing a trip abroad is often a lot of work, and Japan is no exception. This country offers a vast array of options to travelers, from natural landscapes, to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, from entertainment, to famous landmarks. To better organize your trip it would be nice to have a little "preview" that allows you to peek at what you may be seeing once you visit Japan.
We are not talking about sexy webcams here, but actual free webcams operated at times by private companies, and at times by the country, cities, tourist associations, and even neighborhoods. We decided to compile a list of Japanese live webcams that will allow you to look at a number of locations in Japan, whether you're trying to decide where to visit, or you simply like to "travel" without leaving your home. Follow along as we introduce some Japan live cams for the detail-oriented traveler, or for the armchair traveler!
1. Shibuya Scramble Cam
Description: This camera points directly at one of the most famous landmarks of Tokyo and what is possibly the most famous crossroads in the world. Will you get a chance to see famous Shibuya girls or the teeming crowds? Well the camera doesn't have range of motion but it has a good downwards angle that offers a complete view of the scramble crossing, letting you get a good live action view.
Notes: Good angle on the Shibuya scramble. Good FPS (Frames per second).
Operated by: SHIBUYA COMMUNITY NEWS
2. Mount Fuji Cams
Mount Fuji is one of the most iconic images associated with Japan, but it's also a location that requires a day trip to visit from Tokyo. While visiting Mt. Fuji yourself is completely worth it, these cameras managed by the Yamanashi Prefecture offer a good alternative, pointing at the sacred mountain from different locations (Kawaguchiko, Fujiyoshida City, Lake Shojiko, Lake Yamanakako, and others). This way, you can enjoy the pleasure of watching live Japanese beauty in action - and check the weather too before you head out!
Notes: Always active and reliable. Good quality of image. Multiple angles/perspectives. Although the image quality of these public webcams is comparatively very good, sometimes it buffers of freezes for a few seconds.
Operated by: Yamaguchi Prefecture Tourism Organization
3. View From Tokyo Tower Cam
This camera offers a view on the Tokyo Skyline from one of the most popular observatories in the city: Tokyo Tower. The camera allows a certain degree of panning and zooming.
Notes: Several cameras streaming from Tokyo Tower have been discontinued for maintenance, or are about to be. This one is still active and offers a good quality of image. Good quality. Possibility to choose preferred angle. Not always active (especially in the daytime).
Operated by: TOKYO TOWER
4. Tokyo Sakura Cam – Cherry blossoms in Chidorigafuchi moat
In the mood for hanami (cherry blossoms viewing) but not really keen to leave the house? This sakura live cam offers a view on Chidorigafuchi moat, a canal by the Tokyo Imperial Palace, rich of beautiful sakura trees.
Notes: Smooth image, linking directly to a YouTube live stream. Great view on one of the most popular cherry blossom spots in Tokyo without dealing with crowds. However, colors are not particularly vivid.
Operated by: Sakura Live Camera
5. Ueno Park Panda Cam
A unique and adorable opportunity to observe the life of this cute furry friend named Taito in its enclosure within the famous Ueno Zoo, in Ueno Park. The link gives access to 8 free cams live streaming all sections of the enclosure.
Notes: Good quality and fast stream. Interesting and fun. Always active. But because the cameras were installed recently they sometimes go down for maintenance without warning.
Operated by: Tokyo Zoo Association
6. Shinjuku Live Cam
Camera pointed at one of the busiest areas and shopping hubs of Shinjuku, in Tokyo. The angles offer a great opportunity to those interested in gazing at Tokyo's skyline, or to those interested in having a bird's view of a busy street with the possibility of catching glimpses of the famous Japanese fashion. At night the streets and buildings light up with neons and become a hub of nightlife.
Notes: Great angle. Possibility to pan the camera to 8 different directions for a complete view of the area. However the video feed can be slightly choppy and slow at times.
Operated by: Shinjuku Odori Shopping Street Promotion Association
7. Akihabara Live Cam
The perfect angle on Electric Town in Akihabara, on its busiest street filled with stores, lights, colors, maids and maid cafes, anime, manga and more linking to a YouTube live stream. At night the whole city block is lit like the 4th of July, and filled with locals (and tourists) enjoying the area, moving from one bar or shop to another. A great opportunity to peak at fun nightlife and unique fashion in Japan.
Notes: The camera offers a great view on the neighborhood, shops and people. Meanwhile, there’s only one angle. No panning, or zooming.
Operated by: Akihabara Onoden
8. Taiko-en Live Cam (Osaka)
Looking for a relaxing background while you're working or you want to take a closer look at a pretty and soothing Japanese style garden? This live camera offers a close angle into a beautiful garden with green trees, a tranquil pond and a small artificial waterfall. The colors of the landscape change depending on the season and the camera is always active.
Notes: While the sound is sometimes missing, the quality of the picture is high and the camera allows to view three different angles for a complete look at the garden.
Operated by: taiko-en garden and restaurant
9. Osaka Skyline Live Cams
This camera offers an aerial view of one of Japan's most famous cities (and one of the most popular among foreigners for entertainment, food, and for welcoming visitors). Osaka is a large metropolis hiding more fun than most people imagine (art, museums, temples, nightlife, comedy shows, clubs, and adult entertainment).
Notes: The camera provides a great angle onto the city's skyline. While the camera itself does not allow panning or zooming, the same channel offers 3 more similar cameras with different angles.
Operated by: KCN Japan
10. Kumamoto Castle
Ever wanted to take a look at a Japanese castle? Well Kumamoto castle is one of the most famous in the country. Most of the castle is in its original state and it's amazingly well preserved, making it a very popular tourist destination in every season, but take a look at this camera especially in Spring, since flowers and cherry trees start blooming, giving you the opportunity to gaze at a fantasy-like landscape.
Notes: The camera has good colors and frames, but it won't allow the user to change angle or zoom.
Operated by: RKK Japan
11. Shimogu Live Cam
Dive into traditional Japan by gazing at this picturesque avenue with red pavement and coasted by traditional Japanese structures used as houses and stores. All of this with a breathtaking mountainous background, offering different colors in every season.
Notes: The image is smooth, with good colors and quality, however you may have to run with Adobe Flash installed.
Operated by: SHIMOGOU Town
12. Hokkaido (Niseko) Live Cam
The prefecture of Hokkaido is famous for its winter resorts. Wintertime in Hokkaido is where the best snow festivals in Japan are. And Niseko is one of the more famous international spots to enjoy Hokkaido in winter! You'll have the best opportunity to enjoy winter sports, try amazing food, and gaze at beautiful sights. This camera looks at a gorgeous mountain resort called Annupuri, well known for its skiing and landscape.
Operated by: Niseko Resort Tourist Association Co., Ltd
13. Odori Park (Sapporo, Hokkaido) Live Cam
Sapporo is the center of winter festivities in Japan. One of the things for which it's most famous is the largest winter festival in the country (as well as one of the most important ones across the board). During this festival a lot of activities and games take place, but one of the most stunning ones is the ice and snow sculptures in Odori Park. This camera offers a great look over the park, allowing viewers to enjoy its colors and the surrounding areas, but, more importantly, offering a first-row seat to see the ice sculptures in winter.
Notes: The angle and the subject are amazing, but the camera buffers every so often, and the feed is, at times, delayed by up to 8-9 minutes.
Operated by: STV
14. Okinawa Live Cam
Ishigaki is an island in Okinawa. Okinawa is famous especially for its crystal-clear sea and this camera offers one of the best views you can find online. Positioned on a farm on top of a hill overlooking an ocean bay, through its lens you'll have a peak at the sea, lush farmland and in the background mountains by the bay. You can practically feel the ocean breeze on your face.
Notes: The camera has way above average video quality and it also has sound output, giving a more immersive experience.
Operated by: Arksystem
15. Kyoto Live Cam
This camera hovers over the old capital of Japan providing an aerial view of Kyoto's skyline in all its uniqueness. In order to preserve the city's look and vibe, there are regulations in place that don't allow new buildings and structures to alter the current skyline of Kyoto. For this reason, this city remains to this day one of the most "special" cities of Japan making visitors feel like they are stepping into a piece of history.
Notes: While the camera doesn't allow viewers to operate it manually, unlike many other cams, this one pans over the city at a 360° angle, allowing users to look at the city itself, Kyoto Tower, pagodas, and the beautiful mountains surrounding the city.
Operated by: Tsukimi Hotel
16. Kyoto Tower Live Cam
Kyoto is very famous for its temples, architecture and overall historical vibe, but one of its most famous landmarks is a much more modern one. Kyoto Tower overlooks Kyoto Station, one of the busiest transportation hubs in the country, and it’s a tourist-favorite spot to visit. At night it lights up with bright colors, and this camera is pointed directly at it giving also a glimpse at the city's skyline in the foreground.
Notes: Good angle on the tower, but no possibility to zoom or pan.
Operated by: Morishinzaburo Shoho Co., Ltd.
17. Nagasaki Live Cam
This live camera allows for a great view of Nagasaki Seaside Park. The camera is high definition and provides a great look of the city. Equipped also controls, you can pan and zoom in on various portions of the bay.
Notes: Despite some buffering, this is one of the highest quality feeds offering images of the region, especially at night.
Operated by: Nagasaki Pref.
18. Lake Biwa Live Cam
Lake Biwa is one of the preferred destinations among Japanese visitors in Kansai. The lake is large and gorgeous and the surrounding cities offer all sorts of entertainment, sights, and spots for hanami and BBQ's. One of the most suggestive attractions around lake Biwa (Biwako) is a large fountain (known as flower fountain) by Otsu Port. Its streams reach heights of 40 meters and are lit at night by colorful lights, offering an amazing background of lights to an already romantic setting.
Notes: The video quality is in 4k. For this reason, the quality is outstanding, and the angle is perfect for a view of the fountain, but the feed sometimes suffers long buffering times, and, depending on your Internet connection, it might be hard to get a smooth download of the feed.
Operated by: BANTV
19. Trains and Tokyo Skyline Live Cam
And Japanese trains are world famous not only for their punctuality but also for their design and speed.
This camera offers a view of Tokyo and of several train tracks in the city (Yurikamome, Tokaido Shinkansen, Yamanote, Keihin Tohoku, Tokaido, Ueno Tokyo).
Notes: great video quality, sound, and feed. The cameras cannot be maneuvered.
Operated by: Tokyo Live Camera
20. Japanese Wild Snow Monkeys
Ever wanted to have a close look at Japan's famous snow monkeys in Nagano? Now you can! At Jigokudani Yaen-koen, troops of wild Japanese macaques (snow monkeys) inhabit the surrounding wilderness. In winter they come in for a bath in natural hot spring waters above which the camera is placed. And in other seasons, they can be seen playing around too! It's a fun way to check out some curious animals.
Operated by: Jigokudani Yaen-koen, Inc
So, here you have it.
Try and take a look at these Japan Live Cams to enjoy a slice of Japan. And if you're planning a trip here, enjoy the cameras so that you can arrive before you even leave your home.
DISCLAIMER: The information included in the article is accurate as of the date of writing; not all links may be persistent. Links to YouTube channels may not always be live, however the respective channels will likely offer a list of previously aired footage.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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