Certain programmes or films have multilingual broadcasts (Japanese and the original language of a dubbed show). Press the onsei button on your TV or video. This will turn everything into the original language (usually English). However, only "bilingual" TVs or videos can do this. You can get English on multilingual broadcasts by using a "bilingual" video by hooking up a "regular" TV to a "bilingual" video.

You can find listings for multilingual broadcasts in the newspaper. English newspapers usually state which programmes are multilingual or not.

Here are some of the shows that have this function:

News - NHK daily at 7 pm and 9pm. On Saturdays and Sundays at 7pm. TBS News Forest, weekdays at 6 pm.

BBC World Service News, weekdays in the early hours of the morning. Check listings and video tape!

Foreign programme repeats and films. Check newspapers and magazines for full programme details. The Tokyo Classified (check Things Foreign) has a rundown of the whole week’s multilingual viewing.

Cable TV is available in most areas of Saitama. Ask at a local electrical store. Sayama has Sayama Cable TV. Deals as cheap as Y600 a month are available.

Satellite TV is available everywhere. It has a wide range of English language programmes.

Check with your local electronics store.


To rent videos you must become a member of the store, showing some ID in the process, filling out a form and paying a small join-up fee (perhaps around Y500). Many videos are dubbed into Japanese and many are in the original language with Japanese subtitles. Therefore, beware of videos with nihongo fuki kae. These are Japanese dubbed films. Instead look for jimaku supa. This means the film is in the original language (usually English) and has Japanese subtitles.



A ticket normally cost about Y1800 and you might not even be guaranteed a seat. If you see the kanji for tachi mi it means you may have to stand up and watch if all the seats are full. Newspapers and magazines have cinema listings.



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