I love learning about Eastern cultures and there are more vlogs than I can count that are centered around different aspects of daily life in Japan, South Korea and China. This blog post will most likely be updated with more that I find, but here’s a small start!
JunsKitchen – Japan
Jun’s Kitchen is a subchannel of the below-mentioned Rachel and Jun’s Adventures one. While his videos come less frequently than their others, they have been widely featured, most notably his Sharpening a $1 Knife which has garnered nearly 4 million views to date. The couple’s cat, Haku, is, hilariously, their unofficial mascot. Featured dishes include how to make Homemade Ramen, Daifuku, and Okonomiyaki.
Maangchi – South Korea
Maangchi is a new channel to me so I haven’t been following it as long as some of the others I am mentioning. But one day I was looking for a certain recipe (of which is not coming to mind now…of course, right?), and I stumbled across her channel. In her intro she wields a giant knife and a giant fish so you have every right to be a titch intimidated, but she’s super sweet and enjoys explaining Korean cuisine. I still have to try making her Dumpling soup (Mandu-guk: 만두국), Bibimbap (비빔밥) , and Korean Noodle Soup (Guksu: 국수) before winter is officially over.
Seonkyoung Longest – Japan, South Korea, China
Ms. Seonkyoung is another new favorite of mine who does variations of popular Asian dishes, hence her intro “Asian at Home.” I don’t know why but I absolutely love the way she says the word “noodle” in her Easy DIY Cup Ramen video. In fact that was my very first video of hers and I immediately subscribed. I have already made her Egg Drop Soup and I hope to attempt her Char Siu Bao (叉烧包) : Chinese Steamed BBQ Pork Buns 중식 돼지고기 찐빵 recipe soon! I had steamed buns every morning when I was in China 9 years ago – good gravy…has it been 9 years already?! – and it was one of my favorite things! We would have a 15 or 20 minute break from our first morning Chinese language class and we’d run down to the street vendor area off school grounds for our favorites. The vendor didn’t know English, and I barely knew Chinese, but she knew I loved her steamed buns.
HallyuBack – South Korea
HallyuBack is a channel run by Steph and Richard who met in Korea and brought their love for dramas, painting and culture back to the States. They, collectively, spent seven or so years in South Korea, thus having first-hand experience with their educational system, daily life and more. Their most popular series include Top 5 Fridays and videos that further explain backstories to kpop headlines. Stephanie also live streams painting each week on her Twitch channel.
JREKML – South Korea (not based IN SK, just loves kpop!)
JREKML introduced me to the world of reaction videos. No, I should rephrase. There were reaction videos to things before, but this is more specific to the genre of kpop. I don’t even remember how I stumbled across his channel, but it was long before idols like Ailee, Taeyang, Hyuna and K.A.R.D. (just to name a few…of the ones I remember!) knew he existed. His endearingly quirky reactions leave you smiling, and that’s what’s attributed, IMO anyway, to his success. He’s got the formula down with his reactions, album listens/unboxings, KCON attendings, and spoofs.
ReacttotheK – South Korea (not based IN SK, just loves kpop!)
The series that drew me to this channel is most definitely her Classical Musicians React series which features her classmates, well, reacting to both old and new kpop mv’s. The channel is run by Umu, a performance music major student, who also does her own individual reactions. The Musicians React series has the perfect mix of personalities who are all coming to love the genre as well, and it is rather hilarious watching them musically analyze every note they hear. Even if it does sound like they’re speaking another language! They’ve so far reacted to groups such as Big Bang, BTS, Amber, and BlackPink.
imlisarhee – South Korea
In just two years Lisa Rhee has garnered 200k subscribers. Why? Because of how quickly and accurately she is able to learn difficult kpop dances. I forget exactly how I found her, but I think it has something to do with her EXO Overdose dance cover. While some who cover dances stick with one type or gender, Lisa does more than one, having covered the aforementioned EXO, GFRIEND’s Glass Bead, Red Velvet’sIce Cream Cake, I.O.I.’s Very Very Very, SEVENTEEN’s BoomBoom and more. She also occasionally uploads tutorials on her most popular covers. I enjoy watching her dance – I live vicariously through the knowledge that she can and I cannot!
Simon and Martina – Japan and South Korea
I began following Simon and Martina back when they were known as EatYourKimchi in South Korea, hence why I have both countries listed by their YouTube link. It’s another one of those channels that I’ve followed for so long that I cannot remember exactly how I found them. It could have been through their Kpop Musical Mondays, their Wonderful Treasure Finds or their TL;DR‘s, but in all honesty there’s so many years’ worth of footage to indulge in that it’s really quite impossible to pinpoint my exact subscription date. They are a unique couple who loves their subscribers and tries to be as transparent with their life without compromising who they are. After spending years in South Korea they moved to Japan last year, so you get the opportunity to see two different cultures on one channel.
RachelandJun – Japan
Rachel & June Adventures is the “mother channel” to the above Jun’s Kitchen…and my description there just made it sound like the mothership (I’m laughing at myself inside…I doubt anyone else will laugh at my stupidity!). Their main channel follows their daily life in Japan as well as cultural vlogs exploring different areas throughout the country. Those are intermixed with crazy cat videos (featuring Poki and Haku), LookBooks, and cultural differences between America and Japan.
That’s it for now! I have a few more in mind I would like to add at a later date but for now, it’s 12:30 AM and I wouldn’t be able to do them justice! I hope you enjoy these channels as much as I do!