12 bizarre Japanese TV shows you won’t believe exist

JAN 29, 2020 AT 04:55 AM


While popular opinion considers American TV as the king of game shows, you'll probably reconsider once you've looked at the unbelievable game shows coming from Japan. There's no limit to the bizarre, awkward, and uncomfortable challenges Japanese contestants are willing to endure.

Below are twelve top shows guaranteed to catapult the meaning of "insane" to the next level.




The idea seems simple enough. Contestants at DERO! DERO! have to solve puzzles, complete challenges, and answer questions. But contestants aren't sitting comfortably in a chair while doing it.


They have to think under extremely stressful situations, such as balancing on a narrow plank while the floor retracts beneath them.


2. Candy or Not Candy

Candy or Not Candy

In Japan, "Sokkuri" is the art of making sculptures from different ingredients such as chocolate or caramel.

Candy or Not Candy Game

The rules are simple: contestants bite into different objects to determine if they've bitten into something edible or something like a shoe or table.


3. TORE!


Answer seven questions and win the prize. That is, if contestants answer them correctly.

TORE! Game

If not, they're mummified and placed into a sarcophagus. Definitely not for the claustrophobic!


4. The Bum Game

The Bum Game

This highly-rated show demonstrates that there are no limits to how far Japanese game shows will go for ratings.

The Bum Game, Japan

The premise is that three women put their rear ends in holes. It's up to three male contestants to kiss them and decide which one belongs to a specific girl.


5. Let's Go to the End of the World

Let's Go to the End of the World

It sounds appealing enough. The show provides contestants a chance to fulfill their dream of traveling anywhere in the world.

Let's Go to the End of the World Game

But here's the catch-in one episode, a contestant was placed into a plexiglass cube and left in an open area to get up close and personal with a grizzly bear.


6. Human Tetris

Human Tetris

Tetris is one of the most popular games in the world. However, Japanese show makers have taken the game to a new level.

Human Tetris Game

Instead of falling blocks, contestants use their bodies to fit through gaps in the walls. If they fail, they fall into a pool of dirty water.

7. Unnamed Sleeping Game

Unnamed Sleeping Game

This game show introduces us to an entirely different level of weird. Two male hosts acting as "mama" and "son" go around waking up a roomful of sleeping models.

Unnamed Sleeping Game, Japan

The catch is that if the hosts think the model wakes up looking like a "morning monster" instead of "cute", they throw a pie in her face.


8. AKBingo!


At first, this game looks like an innocent game of dodgeball. Everything is fine as long as the contestant avoids getting hit by the ball. But the fun really begins when they do get hit.

AKBingo! Game

The judges are a famous Japanese comic duo that chooses the most bizarre punishments for the contestant. In one case, two contestants try to blow a large bug into each other's mouths through a glass tube.


9. Strip The Girl

Strip The Girl

Even though YouTube banned clips from this game show, nothing can stop diehard fans. The objective is to see a young model naked.

Strip The Girl Game

Contestants try to keep their balance on a slippery surface while throwing bean bags at numbers concealing the model's body. The more numbers they hit, the more they see of the model's body.


10. Soapy Stairs Game

Soapy Stairs Game

The more painful the game, the more popular it is with Japanese audiences. The premise is simple enough.

Soapy Stairs Game, Japan

Contestants have to run up some stairs-as long as they don't fall on the greased steps. If they do, it's a painful tumble down toward a pool of water.


11. Human Bowling

Human Bowling

It's just like bowling, except that contestants are the bowling balls who rush down a slippery incline in inner tubes to collide with giant pins.

Human Bowling Game

What could go wrong? Which is exactly why Japanese audiences love this game.


12. Spread Your Legs

Spread Your Legs

You'd think spinning the wheel means winning a prize. But in this game, the numbers correspond with how wide the female contestant's legs are spread. The host spins the wheel while the contestant sits in a device.

Spread Your Legs Game

Whatever number the wheel stops on is how far the host spreads the contestant's legs. Sounds pretty uncomfortable!