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UPDATE | June 05, 2020

LINE, Skype, Takunomu... How do Japanese people make video calls?

The number of people making video calls is increasing all over the world while they cannot go out. What kind of video phone tools do Japanese people use nowadays, not only for work and study but also for talking with friends online? We will introduce each feature together.

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● Easy to start "LINE video call"

The most famous LINE message app used by Japanese people. With video call function, you can not only talk face-to-face with one-on-one, but you can also make multiple video calls using group lines

Most Japanese people use the LINE app by downloading it to their smartphones or PCs, so it's easy to get started. The voice is easy to hear and you can use it for an unlimited time. Up to 200 people can participate at one time.

The biggest advantage is that it is free. Free versions of other video calling tools often have limited time or small groups. It may be good to download LINE, which many Japanese people use every day.


● “Skype” is a tool that many people have used before

Even before the advent of LINE, Skype has long been used by Japanese as a videophone tool. For more than a decade, it has been popular in Japan for English online classes and meetings with people in the distance. Many people say, "I'm not used to other video phone tools, but Skype does."

Up to 50 people can participate in the free version. If you have Skype downloaded to each other, you can easily make a call. You can even record it, so it's a great tool for both private and business use.

● "Takunomu" can be used without downloading the application

On March 28, 2020, the online drinking party service "Takunomu" became available. The advantage of "Takunomu" is that you can participate in a drinking party just by clicking the URL without downloading the application.

You can choose the time of the drinking party yourself by opening the "Takunomu" homepage and pressing the "Create a drinking party room" button. You don't have to know how long it will take. You can also create a drinking party room without deciding the end time.

The free version can join up to 6 people. You may feel that the number of people who can participate is smaller than that of “LINE” and “Skype”, but you don't have to download it, so you can get started easily.

Note: Please note that in Japan there are rules that people under the age of 20 should not drink alcohol.

● Others include "Zoom" and "Where by"

In Japan, there are also "Zoom", which celebrities have come to use, and "Where by", which allows you to start a video call just by clicking the URL like "Takunomu".

"Zoom" is recommended because you can hear the sound better by downloading the application. You can talk with up to 100 people, but be aware that you can only use 40 minutes each time when you join 3 or more people in the free version.

The free version of "Whereby" can be used by up to four people, but you can join by simply teaching the URL. Since "Whereby" is used by many people at work, "Whereby" may be better than "Takunomu" when talking to people with higher positions such as teachers and seniors.

● Enjoy the time at home with video phone tools that Japanese people also use

“I was able to meet again with friends in the distance who I haven't met anymore, with video calling tools.” I often hear from people who recently started using video calling tools. A video phone tool that allows you to talk face-to-face even if you are away from the person you are talking to. If you use it, you will surely have fun at home.


LINE everyone's usage guide "How to enjoy an online drinking party using LINE"



Zoom meeting


PR TIMES "Online drinking party service "Takunomu" has been used by 1.1 million people in a month since its release, and the cumulative drinking party time has exceeded 50 years."

The person who wrote this article

Rio Wakabayashi

Free writer who likes reading. Born and raised in Osaka and moved to Tokyo in 2010. He writes articles, book reviews, and columns. Currently, while writing, she teaches Japanese to foreigners at a Japanese language school in Tokyo.

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