With J-Pop, there's no shortage of catchy tunes and talented artists. But which songs are the catchiest of them all? This blog will count down the best J-Pop songs of all time.
From early classics to contemporary chart-toppers, these songs have captivated audiences for years.
So whether you're a diehard fan or a casual listener, check out the best J-Pop songs ever.
Nigatsu No Heitai by the Cabs
The song “Nigatsu No Heitai” by the Cabs is about a broken heart or one shattered into pieces. The lyrics speak to someone who has just found out their significant other was cheating on them and how they feel in this difficult time.
Released: March 27, 2011
Oblivious by Kalafina
Kalafina's first single, “Oblivious,” was released in January 2008. The song quickly became an Internet meme for its catchy tune and lyrics about being unaware of what is going around you while listening to this innovative pop-rock track.
It would become one their most popular offerings off the album. It was particularly popular with women listeners, many of whom identified with Kalahana's ability to twist emotional pain into elegant yet powerful words.
Released: January 23, 2008
PonPonPon by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
PonPonPon by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is a song about, well, ponponpons! The lyrics are relatively simple, but they perfectly capture the fun and energy of the song. Ponponpons are Japanese tissue paper balls used for decorations, and the theme is all about their bounciness and happy vibes.
Released: July 16, 2011
Candy Candy by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's song “Candy Candy” is a delightful ode to the simple joys of candy consumption. The video for the song perfectly captures the essence of 80s idol culture, with
Kyary appearing as a sort of magical girl character.
Released: March 13, 2012
I LOVE by Official HIGE DANdism
I LOVE is a song by the Japanese boy band Official HIGE DANdism. The song's lyrics express the feeling of being in love, and the music video features the band members performing against a backdrop of various romantic locations.
Released: February 12, 2020
Ultra Soul by B'Z
Ultra Soul is an upbeat and uplifting song by the Japanese rock band B'z. The single, released on March 14, 2001, quickly became a hit in Japan. The song is about finding hope in the face of adversity, with its upbeat tempo and catchy chorus as an inspirational reminder that no matter what challenges life throws our way, we can overcome them.
Released: March 14, 2001
Road of Resistance by Babymetal
“Road of Resistance” is a hard-hitting heavy metal track from Japanese pop-metal group Babymetal. It was released as the lead single off their second studio album Metal Resistance on February 1, 2015. It features aggressive and powerful guitar riffs, heavy drumming, and soaring vocal lines.
Released: February 1, 2015
Polyrhythm by Perfume
Polyrhythm incorporates many genres, including pop, techno, trance, and hip-hop. The album's title refers to the musical term “polyrhythm,” which describes the simultaneous occurrence of two or more independent rhythms.
Released: September 12, 2007
Love Machine by Morning Musume
Love Machine is Morning Musume's 7th single, released on September 9, 1999. The title track was used as the theme song for the Japanese TV drama “Catch! Papa 2”, and it became a hit single for the group. It's also known for being Tsunku's first attempt at producing a rock-style J-pop song.
Released: September 9, 1999
Kokoro Odoru by NobodyKnows+
“Kokoro Odoru,” written and performed by the Japanese hip-hop group nobodyknows+, is a rap song that speaks to the difficulty of finding true happiness despite great success. The song came in at Number Three on the Oricon singles chart and has frequently ranked highly in annual best-of lists by music critics.
Released: May 26, 2004
Mayonaka No Door/ Stay with me by Miki Matsubara
Mayonaka no Door (Stay with Me) is a classic Japanese pop song released in 1979 by singer Miki Matsubara. It has seen an enormous resurgence in popularity over the last few years and is still beloved by many today, particularly among older listeners.
Released: November 5, 1979
Sakura by Ikimonogakari
Sakura is an excellent song by the Japanese pop group Ikimonogakari. Released in 2006, this catchy tune has become a fan favorite among listeners and is often played on the radio today. The song features uplifting, joyous synth melodies that make you want to get up and dance! Its lyrics paint a picture of a beautiful cherry blossom tree in full bloom, and the video captures this theme perfectly.
Released: March 15, 2006
Heavy Rotation by AKB48
It's hard to believe it's been nearly two and a half years since AKB48's “Heavy Rotation,” the bubblegum anthem that became (and arguably still is) Japan's most significant pop phenomenon of all time, was released.
Released: August 18, 2010
I See… by Nogizaka46
Nogizaka46's 25th single, I see… was released on March 19, 2020. The members' lines were quite good, especially those of Sayuri Matsumura and Nana Okada, who ultimately delivered their feelings through the song. The music video comprises many scenes featuring the members that create a unique atmosphere.
Released: March 19, 2020
The First Take by Dish//
The First Take by Dish// is an album released on April 29, 2020. It's a project that brings various stories and thoughts of the artist into music. Through this, he hopes to bring his supporters closer to him and relieve them from their stresses in life. The songs bring you different vibes, from chilled-out beats to fast songs that get you grooving.
Released: April 29, 2020
Kaikai Kitan by Eve
Kaikai Kitan is an upbeat and catchy song released by Japanese pop star Eve in 2020. The single became a viral hit, reaching the top of the charts in Japan and other countries worldwide. The music video for Kaikai Kitan features locations across Tokyo, including Shibuya and Haraje.
Released: October 3, 2020
On a Chery Blossom Night by Aimyon
“On a Cherry Blossom Falling Night” is unlike any song we've heard from Aimyon before, even though it's still awe-inspiring. Aimyon has a voice that is truly unique and powerful, which shines in this song. Her vocals shift easily between delicate crooning and more powerful tones, perfectly capturing the lyrics' mood.
Released: February 17, 2021
Orion by Kenshi Yonezu
Yonezu Kenshi's “Orion” is a song about the constellations in the night sky. The title refers to the Orion constellation, which is one of the most well-known and easily recognized constellations. In the song, Yonezu Kenshi compares the stars in the sky to the twinkling lights in the cityscape.
Released: February 15, 2017
Monster by Yoasobi
Japanese duo Yoasobi sure knows how to make a comeback! After releasing their debut EP, The Book, earlier this year, the pair quickly followed it up with The Book 2 – and the lead single, “Monster,” is a perfect example of their unique style. Blending pop, rock, and hip-hop elements, “Monster” is an infectious track that's sure to get your feet moving.
Released: January 6, 2021
Kyouran Hey Kids!! by the Oral Cigarettes
Kyoran Hey Kids!! by THE ORAL CIGARETTES is one song that just makes you feel good. It has a great beat that makes you want to dance, and the lyrics are both catchy and clever. The song is also incredibly upbeat, which is perfect for lifting your mood on a gloomy day.
Released: November 11, 2015
Unravel by TK From Ling Tosite Sigure
It's hard to believe that it's been six years since Tōru “TK” Kitajima released “unravel.” Though it's been a while, the song remains just as relevant today as it was when it first came out. Through its catchy melody and thought-provoking lyrics, “unravel” encourages listeners to reflect on their own lives and relationships.
Released: July 23, 2014
Yoru Ni Kakeru by Yoasobi
“Yoru ni Kakeru” by Japanese duo Yoasobi is a hauntingly beautiful song that tells the story of a love that transcends time. The song, released on December 15, 2019, through Sony Music Entertainment Japan, instantly captivated listeners with its ethereal lyrics and melodies.
Released: December 15, 2019
Gurenge by Lisa
Lisa's much-anticipated single “Gurenge” was finally released on October 14, 2020. The song is an upbeat mix of traditional Japanese instruments and modern electronic sounds, with Lisa's powerful vocals front and center. The lyrics tell the story of a young woman who is fighting demons, both literally and figuratively.
Released: October 14, 2020
Rain by Sekai No Owari
SEKAI NO OWARI's 11th significant single, RAIN, was released on July 5, 2017. The title track is an uptempo synth-pop song with a catchy chorus and a driving beat. The second track on the single, “Someday,” is a ballad with a more sentimental lyric. As the name suggests, the song is about longing for someone who is no longer in your life.
Released: on July 5, 2017
Renegades by One Ok Rock
“Renegades” is a song by the Japanese rock band One Ok Rock. The song is a power ballad with an anthemic chorus about hope and resilience and features sweeping strings and an orchestral arrangement. It received positive reviews from music critics, who praised its production and lyrical themes.
Released: April 16, 2021
Koi Suru Fortune Cookie by AKB48
Koi Suru Fortune Cookie is the 32nd single by the Japanese idol girl group AKB48. It released in Japan on August 21, 2013. The single was a commercial success, debuting at number one on the Oricon weekly singles chart and selling over 1.5 million copies in its first week of release.
Released: August 21, 2013
Inferno by Mrs. Green Apple
Mrs. GREEN APPLE is on fire with their new digital single, “Inferno”! The catchy track was released on July 18, 2017, and is already heating up the charts. The band's signature sound is in full force on this upbeat tune, with driving guitars and soaring vocals that will get your blood pumping. “Inferno” is sure to be a summer anthem, so don't miss out on this hot new release.
Released: July 18, 2017
Missing You by Kana Nishino
Kana Nishino's “Missing You” is a heart-wrenching ballad about the pain of losing a loved one. The song released as her 10th single on May 19, 2010, and quickly became a runaway hit. The lyrics are simple but incredibly emotive, and the melody is both haunting and beautiful.
Released: May 19, 2010
Glory by Spyair
The music video for Glory by Spyair features footage of the band performing in front of a live audience, interspersed with shots of them enjoying life in their hometown of Osaka. The video ends with the band members walking away from an exploding building, symbolizing their determination to overcome any obstacle in their quest for success.
Released: October 8, 2014
Hikarunara by Goose House
The title certainly seems to reflect the piece's mood, which is rather light and airy. The lyrics are also quite optimistic, which one would expect from a song called “If it Shines.” The overall feel of the song is very uplifting, making it easy to see why it was such a hit when it was released. It's no wonder that the song has been used in a number of commercials and anime shows, as it does put a smile on your face.
Released: November 19, 2014
One More Time, One More Chance by Masayoshi Yamazaki
There's something about a sad love song that just gets to us, you know? It's like they speak to our souls or something. And “One More Time, One More Chance” by Japanese singer Masayoshi Yamazaki is one of those songs.
Released: January 22, 1997
Sparkle by Radwimps
Radwimps' Sparkle is the perfect album for a summer road trip. The Japanese rock band delivers an infectious mix of upbeat pop and folk-tinged rock that is sure to get your adrenaline pumping. The album's standout track is “Nandemonaiya,” a sing-along anthem about the power of friendship.
Released: August 24, 2016
Silhouette by Kana-Boon
On November 26, 2014, Japanese rock band Kana-Boon released their third studio album, Silhouette. The album was a major commercial success, reaching the top spot on the Oricon charts and selling over 200,000 copies in its first week.
Released: November 26, 2014
Usseewe by Ado
Usseewe is a song by Japanese singer Ado, released as her debut single on October 23, 2020. The song was written by Ado and composed by Dai Noguchi, and it received positive reviews from music critics. Usseewe is an upbeat pop song with elements of hip-hop and R&B.
Released: October 23, 2020
Homura by LiSA
Japanese singer LiSA is no stranger to success. With 17 singles under her belt, she has become one of the most popular artists in the country. And her latest release, Homura, will keep her fans happy. The song, which was released on October 14, 2020, is a catchy slice of pop that includes three other tracks. While the song is unlikely to top the charts, it will surely please LiSA's diehard fans.
Released: October 14, 2020
Uchiagehanabi by Daoko/Kenshi Yonezu
The “Uchiage Hanabi” song by Daoko and Kenshi Yonezu is a song about change. It talks about how the world is constantly changing and how people have to change with it. The song also talks about how change can be difficult, but it is ultimately worth it.
Released: August 16, 2017
Choo Choo Train by Exile
“Choo Choo Train” by Exile is a song about a choo choo train. But it's not just any choo choo train – it's a train designed for transporting large amounts of cheese. That's right, this train is hauling some serious dairy products, and it's headed straight for your town.
Released: November 6, 2003
Evolution by Ayumi Hamasaki
Ayumi Hamasaki's “Evolution” is a pop song about evolution. The lyrics tell the story of someone who is evolving and growing, making changes in their life. It's a reminder that we are all constantly evolving and that it's never too late to make a change in our lives.
Released: January 31, 2001
First Love by Utada Hikaru
The lyrics tell the story of a young girl who is head-over-heels in love with her older boyfriend. Though he is not interested in her romantically, she can't help but continue to pine for him. The song is poignant and nostalgic, and it perfectly captures the confusing and frustrating feelings that come with unrequited love.
Released: March 10, 1999
Ready Steady Go by L'Arc-En-Ciel
The song features a heavy guitar riff and synth melody. The lyrics are in English and Japanese. The English lyrics are adapted from a poem by Oscar Wilde. Vocalist Hyde writes the Japanese lyrics. “Ready Steady Go” is one of L'Arc-en-Ciel's most popular songs and is considered to be a fan favorite.
Released: February 4, 2004
Can You Celebrate? by Namie Amuro
It features a simple yet effective melody that is easy to sing along to. The lyrics are primarily in English, with some Japanese words thrown in for good measure. The overall message of the song is positive and uplifting, making it perfect for any occasion.
Released: February 19, 1997
Sekai Ni Hitotsu Dake No Hana by Smap
Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake is a song recorded by the Japanese boy band SMAP. It was released as a single in 2003 and quickly became a smash hit, selling over 2 million copies. The song is an upbeat pop tune with a catchy chorus that celebrates the joys of friendship and love. Despite its light-hearted subject matter, the song has a profound message about the importance of cherishing those we hold dear.
Released in 2003
Robinson by Spitz
On April 5, 1995, the Japanese pop group Spitz released their eighth studio album, Robinson. The album was a major commercial success, reaching the number one spot on the Oricon charts and selling over two million copies. It remains one of the best-selling albums of all time in Japan.
Released: April 5, 1995
Love Love Love by Dreams Come True
Love Love Love” is an uplifting and empowering album that encourages listeners to pursue their dreams no matter what. Dreams Come True is a group that knows a thing or two about overcoming obstacles and achieving success. Their story is one of hard work, dedication, and determination.
Released: July 24, 1995
Lemon by Kenshi Yonezu
The song is about lost love and the feeling of being left behind. However, the upbeat music contrasts the lyrics, giving the song an overall feeling of hope and optimism. “Lemon” is a perfect example of Yonezu's songwriting skill, and it remains one of his most popular tracks.
Released: March 14, 2018
Citrus by Da-Ice
The track opens with a bright synth line that sets the stage for the catchy chorus. The verses feature rap sections that add to the song's energy, and the whole thing comes together for a fun and cohesive listening experience.
Released: November 25, 2020
Grandeur by Snowman
Grandeur is a masterful work of art that showcases Snoman's incredible talent. Blending elements of pop, rock, and hip-hop, Grandeur is a unique and fresh take on music that is sure to captivate listeners of all ages. With its catchy hooks and unforgettable beats, Grandeur is a timeless classic.
Released: January 20, 2021
Rainy Days Never Stays by The Brilliant Green
The song starts with raindrops falling, followed by a bouncy piano melody. The lyrics paint a picture of a dreary day, but they're also full of optimism, and she's right: eventually, the sun will come out, and the rain will go away. So when you're feeling blue on a rainy day, just remember that it won't last forever.
Released: July 31, 2002
The Rage Beat by Kinya
The album features a mix of pop, rock, and electronic music. It includes the single “Main Theme from Aquarion – The rage beat continues. The song was featured as the theme for the TV series Aquarion. “The rage beat goes on!” is a re-recording of the song “The rage!” from Kotani's debut album, Brand New Wave.
Released: December 6, 2000
Love Rainbow by Arashi
The song is about being in love, and the rainbow symbolizes hope and happiness. It remains one of Arashi's most famous songs, and it is easy to see why. “Love Rainbow” is the perfect song for anyone in love or looking for a little bit of happiness.
Released: September 8, 2010
Best Friend by Kana Nishino
The song is about the bond between two friends who have been through everything together. It talks about the importance of communication and being there for one another, no matter what. The lyrics are simple but powerful, and the melody is catchy and poignant.
Released: February 24, 2010
Top J-Pop Songs Of All Times, Final Thoughts
J-pop songs are a great way to relax and relieve stress. Whether you're looking for something upbeat and happy or relaxing and soothing, these songs will do the trick. So put on your favorite J-pop song and take a break from the world today! What is your favorite Japanese pop song?