10 Bizarre Japanese Game Shows

Here we will take a look at 10 of the most bizarre game shows ever to be shown in Japan. Maybe something is lost in translation but would these be allowed anywhere else?


To all intents and purposes this is a Japanese sports show, just not your normal run of the mill sports. It pits amateur and professional ‘sports’ stars in games such as ‘muscle gym’, ‘hand walk’ and ‘bamboo derby’. It really needs to be seen to be believed. The beauty is, if you are in the UK you now can as it is regularly show on the Challenge channel.

Baribari Value

Similar in some respects to ‘The Price is Right’, although contestants don’t win the prizes. The celebrity panel are shown round a millionaires house and guess the price of what the contents of the house cost. It sounds really boring, it is really boring. And pointless, but the Japanese seem to love it.

Gaki no Tsukai

This show is the king of kings in Japan. The contestants face a series of humiliating challenges, some even lasting up to 24 hours. During a word-teaser game, contestants are often hit between the legs; torture devices are often used; during the ‘no laughing game’ darts are fired into the contestants buttocks. For the viewer it is hilarious, not so much for the participants.


This Japanese game show is made by the same people that came up with the idea for the British show ‘Hole in the Wall’. It features a massive shove ha’penny styled board. The contestants are made to wear tight silver jumpsuits. The rules of the game are bizarre. Great watching mind.

Ninja Warrior

There are only four stages of this bizarre obstacle course. In the 11 years this show has been running only 2 people have ever had the fortune of completing it all. So hard it is, that anyone reaching the final stage is soon referred to as a Sasuke All-Star and becomes a type of celebrity in Japan.

Not An Errand Boy!

Every single week a famous comedian takes part in a challenge known as a ‘Batsu’ or a punishment game. One may have to dress up as a woman or have spaghetti thrown over them. The punishments include nipple clamping, spanking, that type of thing!

Slip And Slide Pinball

Does exactly what it says on the tin. Contestants don leggings and then get lubricated and are hurled round a giant pinball game. There are prizes to be won further up the board of course but most of the contestants fail to reach them and instead just get his by the bumpers.

Takeshi’s Castle

This game-show was huge in the 1980’s; no really it was. Well in Japan anyway! It was hosted by Kitano ‘Beat’ Takeshi. He played a count who set challenges for the contestants. As with other type game-shows, most of the contestants failed miserably and instead had to suffer painful mishaps or nasty falls.

The Apron of Love

Basically, a cooking show with a twist. Two female celebrities would have to cook a culinary delight every week. The twist was that none of the ingredients in the kitchen had any labels. Hilarity ensued!

You Knock On A Jumping Door

Bizarre, odd and bizarre. Female contestants with plastic boxes on their head. Meat is placed into the boxes and then a Komodo dragon is placed in. No idea why!

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17 Responses to “10 Bizarre Japanese Game Shows”
  1. Ashley89 says:

    They all look like a blast! Thanks for the write!

  2. AlmaG says:

    I’ve seen one of these and it’s indeed weird but people do enjoy watching it.

  3. Weird is to say the least! I think the Japanese are masochists when it comes to “games.”

  4. T. S. GARP says:

    I’ve heard of some of these, some look really crazy, the Japanese make some funny game shows. I enjoy Ninja Warrior on cable, they’re fun to watch! Good post!

  5. Joie Schmidt says:




    -Liane Schmidt.

  6. All these gameshows are really weird. I haven’t seen any of them before. Gr8 work.

  7. Inna Tysoe says:

    Interesting picks.


  8. Night Story says:

    This is very interesting.

  9. albert1jemi says:

    all the games are new to me

  10. magicdarts says:

    Nice one! – me and my little boy are huge fans of takeshi’s castle and ninja warrior – takeshi takes health and safety to a new level, and ninja is home to some amazing athletes – Nagano the fisherman is a particular legend!!

  11. Hello, I discovered your blog in a new directory of blogs. I dont know how your blog came up, must have been a typo, Your blog looks beneficial. Have a good day.

  12. Redfeather says:

    This is so hilarious!! I laughed the whole time. Good ideas of bizarre games but they’re fun to watch. Thanks for sharing!!

  13. erik says:

    Usually, participants in Japanese gameshows are famous people, for example, the Gaki no Tsukai team are all comedians.

    It’s part of the job of Japanese geinin (comedians) to look ridiculous to make people laugh.

    In Japan, gameshows starring regular viewers went out of style 15 years ago, because the viewing tastes of Japanese audiences changed.

    There still are a few gameshows that feature regular people on Japanese TV, but most feature celebs.

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