TV Shows

A Guide To Queer Eye‘s New Mini Season In Japan

It's been a long three months since we last saw the Queer Eye Fab Five on our Netflix screens. New seasons of this delightful, heartwarming show always end too soon, and the same can be said for Queer Eye: We're in Japan which is just four episodes long. However, in those four episodes, Queer Eye guides viewers all over Tokyo, Japan, giving them a glimpse of what this city and its people are all about.

Throughout the series, Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, and Jonathan Van Ness are joined by local celebrities like model/actress Kiko Mizuhara and comedian Naomi Watanabe who show them and the "heroes" (the show's makeover subjects) new and interesting places and things in Tokyo.


The Fab Five hit up a Harajuku cafe, multiple gay bars, fun fashion stores, hair salons, restaurants, and more on their mini-tour of Tokyo. Even if you can never make it to Japan on your own, this is a fun way to get to experience a slice of the country.

After Queer Eye: We're in Japan, the next season of the show will return to the States and film in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. But if this global special does well, maybe the Fab Five will be back in Japan or somewhere else in the world for more episodes soon.

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Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Episode 1: "Japanese Holiday"

Meet Our Hero: Yoko Sakuma is a 57 year old divorcée who works as a hospice nurse. She runs her operation out of her own home, and is also opening a community center next door. She has been giving back to others for so long, that she's sort of lost herself along the way. That's where the Fab Five come in.

Why Was She Nominated? Yoko's friend Fumiko wants the Fab Five to show Yoko how to give back to herself the way she does for others. Fumiko also wants the energy around Yoko to change so things are a little lighter — hospice care is a hard career to be in day in and day out, and Yoko deserves a little happy break now and then.

The "Big Event": Yoko is having a party at her new community center called the Kuma-Chan House. She wants everyone to see the new place.

Most Tear-Jerking Moment: In an emotional conversation with Karamo Brown, Yoko reveals that she doesn't think she has value because she doesn't have a husband or children like her late sister did. Yoko says she wishes it had been her to die instead of her sister. But Karamo helps Yoko to see that she has just as much value in this world even if she isn't a wife and mother. Yoko finally begins to see that and forgives herself for being so hard on herself all these years.

Best Fab Five Antic: After learning that Roman Holiday is Yoko's favorite movie, Karamo procures a vespa and drives around with her just like Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck did in the film.

Location Guide: Antoni Porowski takes Yoko to the bakery Yamane France to make apple pie. Later, Karamo takes Yoko for Gelato and a deep conversation at CHIOSCO by the park. And she later gets her hair cut at the Umber hair salon by Jonathan Van Ness.
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Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Episode 2: "Crazy in Love"

Meet Our Hero: Kan is 27 and living as a gay man in Tokyo, which is still largely considered taboo in Japanese society. He has a shy outer persona but shows off his personality when he feels comfortable. He's also in a long-term relationship with Tom, who lives in the UK.

Why Was He Nominated? His friend Miki nominated him for the show because she knows he dislikes living in Japan because he doesn't feel welcome. Miki wants him to be able to enjoy his life while he is there and also come into his own a little bit more.

The "Big Event": Kan is introducing his boyfriend to his mother and brother. Kan is from a small town in Japan that is even less accepting than Tokyo, and he's nervous about his family accepting him and Tom together.

Most Tear-Jerking Moment: After dinner with his family went well, Kan held Tom's hand in public on their walk home. That small gesture was actually a huge one for Kan and for his relationship. It shows just how much progress Kan made towards accepting himself in just one week.

Best Fab Five Antic: Tan France joking that he tries to get on his American mother-in-law's good side by speaking "American" to her. "I'm constantly yee-hawing her," he says. Something about Tan yee-hawing in his British accent is just so much fun.

Location Guide: Tokyo guide Kiko Mizuhara takes the Fab Five to the gay bar New Sazae. To shop for home decor, Bobby Berk takes Kan to Nitori, which seems to be a sort of Japanese IKEA. Antoni takes Kan to a yakitori restaurant helmed by Yuji Takahashi, which may be the restaurant Yoshicho in Tokyo. Karamo and Kiko take Kan to a lesbian bar called Goldfinger to show him how some of Japan's LGBTQ community lives. They also go to the gay bar Aiiro Cafe. Later, Tan takes Kan to Studious to shop for clothes.
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Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Episode 3: "The Ideal Woman"

Meet Our Hero: Kae is a 23-year-old manga illustrator. She lives at home with her mom and sister and doesn't really have the confidence yet to full explore her career and life ahead.

Why Was She Nominated? Her mom Kiyoko and sister Kie nominated her because she's struggled with insecurities and fears that have held her back in life. They also want her to try being a little less disorganized, especially since they live in a small home together.

The "Big Event":  Kae is having a public exhibition of her artwork.

Most Tear-Jerking Moment: Kae and her mother don't really tell each other than they love one another. In an emotional moment they both admit to each other that they do and pledge to say it more.

Best Fab Five Antic: Tan surprised Kae by buying a piece of her art.

Location Guide: Kiko takes the Fab Five to the Kawaii Monster Cafe so they can get a taste of the Harajuku culture of Japan. Later, Tan takes Kae shopping at Scrapbook Jeanasis and Jonathan takes her to Hair Life Story for a haircut.
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Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Episode 4: "Bringing Sexy Back"

Meet Our Hero: Makoto is a 37 year old who works in the music business. He's also been married for seven years, but he and his wife have lost some of their intimacy over that time.

Why Was He Nominated? His boss Kazutaka nominated him because he wants Makoto to be more confident in all areas of his life. As Makoto himself put it, he wants to "change from a rock into a psychedelic flower."

The "Big Event": Makoto is taking his wife on their first official date since getting married. It's been years, so this is a big deal.

Most Tear-Jerking Moment: Karamo orchestrated a face-to-face talk between Makoto and his wife, who have not communicated properly in years. When you learn that his biggest fear is whether or not she still loves him, and hers is that she's not a good wife because she doesn't cook or clean, it's just so sad. Fortunately they agree to keep having these kinds of talks so they can allay fears earlier next time.

Best Fab Five Antic: Within minutes of meeting him, the Fab Five start using Makoto's musical instruments to make up a funny, but deeply personal song about Makoto and his wife. It's totally boundary-breaking, but that's what these guys do.

Location Guide: Tan takes Makoto to Beams to buy some new clothes. Afterwords, they go to Precious Coffee Moments to have a chat. Jonathan later cuts his hair at Sun Valley.
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