Watching English TV while in Japan

音声切換 (音声切替) Onsei Kirikae

It must be fun watching TV programs when you go abroad. I usually don't watch TV much, but if I have a chance when I am abroad and if there's a TV in my hotel room, I will definitely take the advantage of the situation and turn the TV on. Strange and funny TV advertisements, weird TV programming etc. everything I see on the TV is new for me and it gives a fresh perspective on countries. I love this feeling.


There are many strange Japanese TV programs, so you I am sure you will also get something fresh out of them. However, watching TV programs in the Japanese language, is frustrating, isn't it? Especially if you do not speak Japanese. You might feel like watching the News and catch up on world events or maybe find out something about your own home town and in English. Ok. Here's a little tip in how to watch TV programs, in English, in Japan.

If you see a button labeled Onsei kirikae 音声切換(or 音声切替) on your TV remote controller, you can watch MTS - Multichannel Television programming and can switch the language from Japanese to English. If you find the button, just try pressing it a few times. If the TV program you are watching is bilingual, the voice over will be in English.

Unfortunately, only a few programs are bilingual currently, but you can watch NHK news (Channel 1 in Tokyo) at 7:00 PM and 9:00 PM available in English using Onsei Kirikae.

If a non-Japanese movie or Western drama is on and dubbed in Japanese, just try pressing the Onsei kirikae button 音声切替ボタンand chances they a are bilingual are there will be an English voice over or the original English spoken by the original actors.