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Top 13 Best Japanese Dramas List to Watch Now

Zachary Nelson
Zachary Nelson YOLO - You Only Live Once

To well learn the culture from other countries, one of the best methods is to watch the local TV Shows, Dramas, and Movie so that you can learn about the culture as easy as you are at the local. When it refers to Japan, many of you might think of her awesome animations. However, watching Japanese Drama is also a good way to learn about Japan.

Today, I am here to introduce you the most popular Japanese Dramas List of all time, covering all types of Japanese dramas for sure. To check out the one you didn’t watch before and get drunk into the charming of Japanese culture. Let’s begin!

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Best Website for Watching Japanese Drama with English Subtitle Online

1. Shiroi Kyotō (白い巨塔)

Also Known As: The White Tower
Release Date: 9 October 2003
Episodes: 21
Starring: Toshiaki Karasawa, Yōsuke Eguchi
Running Time: 53 minutes
Genres: Drama
Shiroi Kyoto begins with a medical incident, telling the dark side of the medical world. What’s the most important thing to be a doctor? Power or Fame? Or others?

Shiroi Kyotō

2. Tokyo Love Story (東京ラブストーリー)

Release Date: 9 October 2003
Episodes: 11
Starring: Honami Suzuki, Yūji Oda, Narimi Arimori
Running Time: 47 minutes
Genres: Romance
This Japanese drama is adapted from a comic book of the same name. It tells the real love stories of young men and women in Tokyo.

Tokyo Love Story

3. Shinya shokudō (深夜食堂)

Also known as: Midnight Diner
Release Date: 9 October 2009
Episodes: 10
Starring: Kaoru Kobayashi
Running Time: 25 minutes
Genres: Drama
Based on the comic book of the same name created by Abe Yaro. The story takes place in a small restaurant. The menu here is only a pork-flavored soup set. But the owner can make all kinds of dishes according to the requirements of the guests.

Shinya Shokudō

4. Rigaru Hai (リーガル・ハイ)

Also known as: Legal High
Release Date: April 17, 2012 – December 18, 2013
Episodes: 11
Starring: Masato Sakai, Yui Aragaki
Running Time: 54 minutes
Genres: Comedy, Drama
This story is about a never-loose Lawyer Kensuke Komikado and a rookie Lawyer Mayuzumi Machiko, solving every case together.

Legal High

5. Hanzawa Naoki (半沢直樹)

Release Date: July 7 – September 22, 2013
Episodes: 10
Starring: Masato Sakai
Running Time: 45 minutes
Genres: Drama
Hanzawa Naoki, an ideal banker who entered the Central Bank of Tokyo during the bubble economy, struggled with the "enemies" inside and outside the bank.

Hanzawa Naoki

6. Long Vacation (ロングバケーション)

Also Known As: ロンバケ
Release Date: 15 April – 24 June 1996
Episodes: 11
Starring: Takuya Kimura, Tomoko Yamaguchi
Running Time: 54 minutes
Genres: Romance, Drama
Long Vacation tells a romantic love story between an outdated female model and a talented young pianist.

Long Vacation

7. Furuhata Ninzaburô: Part II (古畑 任三郎2)

Release Date: 10 January 1996
Episodes: 10
Starring: Masahiko Nishimura
Running Time: 46 minutes
Genres: Comedy, Crime, Mystery
It’s a story about a police detective whose name is Furuhata Ninzaburo. If you love streaming Japanese drama, you cannot miss it.

Furuhata Ninzaburô Part II

8. Nodame Cantabile (のだめカンタービレ)

Release Date: 16 October 2006 – 25 December 2006
Episodes: 11
Starring: Juri Ueno, Hiroshi Tamaki
Running Time: 47 minutes
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Nodame Cantabile mainly tells the story of a group of young people with classical music dreams who keep forging ahead, cherish each other and grow up together with music.

Nodame Cantabile

9. 1 Litre no Namida (1リットルの涙 )

Also Known As: 1 Litre of Tears, A Diary with Tears, A Diary of Tears
Release Date: October 11 – December 20, 2005
Episodes: 11
Starring: Erika Sawajiri, Ryō Nishikido, Hiroko Yakushimaru
Running Time: 47 minutes
Genres: Romance, Drama, Tragedy, Family
1 Litre of Tears tells the story of a 15-year-old girl who suddenly suffers from incurable myelocerebellar degeneration and her physical functions begin to be uncontrolled, but with the support of her family and friends, she is determined to spend every day without regret and not to leave her youth a tearful inspiration play.

1 Litre of Tears

10. Mother

Release Date: April 14 – June 23, 2010
Episodes: 11
Starring: Yasuko Matsuyuki, Mana Ashida
Running Time: 54 minutes
Genres: Drama
This Japanese drama tells the story about a primary school teacher Nao Suzuhara who wanted to become the mother of a female student and run away with her in order to save her from abuse by her family.


11. Amachan (あまちゃん)

Release Date: April 1 – September 28, 2013
Episodes: 156
Starring: Yasuko Matsuyuki, Mana Ashida 
Running Time: 15 minutes
Genres: Short, Comedy, Drama
Amachan is about a young girl who is from Tokyo, moves to Tohoku region and try to become a powerful diver as her grandma.


12. Kodoku no Gourmet (孤独のグルメ)

Also Known As: Solitary Gourmet
Release Date: January 4, 2012 – present
Seasons: 7
Episodes: 89
Running Time: 35 minutes
Genres: Drama
Adapted from the same name manga, Kodoku no Gourmet is telling you a story that a solitary businessman called Goro Inogashira travels across Japan and visits various restaurants and Japanese cuisine.

Kodoku no Gourmet.jpg

13. Jûhan Shuttai (じゅうはんしゅったい)

Release Date: April 12, 2016
Episodes: 10
Starring: Haru Kuroki, Joe Odagiri, Kentarô Sakaguchi
Running Time: 45 minutes
Genres: Comedy
Jûhan Shuttai Adapted from a manga series of the same name written by Naoko Matsuda, it tells the story of the new comic editor's struggle in the publishing industry.

Jûhan Shuttai

So, after reading this Japanese dramas list, which one is your favorite? As for me, it’s also hard to decide which one is the best, but my favorite one can be Rigaru Hai, which is so fun and amazing. I can say I learn a lot from this drama whether Japanese culture or self-improvement. If you want to recommend your best Japanese drama, it’s welcomed to share it with comments below.

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