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50 Best J-Pop Hits Of All Time

Best J-pop hits of all time

Japanese pop music, or J-pop as it is more commonly known, has been around for decades and has seen its fair share of hits.

But what are the absolute best, most classic J-pop songs of all time?

This question was challenging, so we enlisted the help of a true expert: our intern.

Who claims to know everything there is to know about Japanese pop music (and he's only been listening to it for a few weeks).

After "hours" of careful deliberation and some very heated debates, we finally narrowed it down to the top 50 J-pop hits of all time.

So without further ado, here are the best J-pop songs of all time, according to our intern (in no particular order).

Top 50 J-Pop Hits Of All Time

Here are our top Japanese songs of all time, including top hits from the most famous Japanese boy bands and Japanese girl groups!

You can find and listen to most of them in our playlist on Spotify, and watch the music videos on Youtube.

CANDY CANDY by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

"CANDY CANDY" by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is the J-pop singer’s second single from her debut album Pamyu Pamyu Revolution.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is the definition itself of the kawaii girl
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is the definition itself of the kawaii girl

It sings about a girl who has a sweet tooth and wants to have a complete fill of candies in her pockets.

I Love… by Official HIGE Dandism

"I Love…" is a track from the Japanese pop band Official HIGE Dandism’s album Editorial.

The song peaked at number 5 on the Oricon Singles Chart.

Road to Resistance by BABYMETAL

BABYMETAL’s "Road to Resistance" is part of the re-releasing of the J-pop kawaii metal band’s album Babymetal in February 2015.

The official music video of the song uploaded on Youtube has already gained over 31 million views as of writing.

Ultra Soul by B'z

B’z’s "Ultra Soul" is the Japanese rock duo’s 31st single.

"Ultra Soul" was featured in the 2001 FINA World Aquatics Championships.

The song was also used as the entrance theme of the Japanese professional wrestler Masayuki Naruse during his stretch in the New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

Polyrhythm by Perfume

Perfume’s "Polyrhythm" is the JPop idol trio’s second single from their second album Game.

The song appears in several Japanese arcade music games, including Pop’n Music and Dance Dance Revolution.

"Polyrhythm" also appeared in the Pixar film Cars 2 in 2011.

LOVE Machine by Morning Musume

Morning Musume’s "LOVE Machine" is the J-pop girl idol group’s seventh single.

The song was a massive hit upon its release in 1999, selling over a million copies.

Among its accolades is featured in the Japanese rhythm game series Just Dance Wii U.

"LOVE Machine" was also remade by Western and Southeast Asian bands, including Scott Murphy of Allister and the South Korean girl group After School.

PONPONPON by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

"PONPONPON" by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is a popular song with a dance choregraphy in Just Dance Unlimited

Kokoro Odoru by nobodyknows+

"Kokoro Odoru" is one of nobodyknows+ hit singles since the Japanese hip-hop band’s debut in 2003.

The song served as the second ending theme of the anime series Gundam Force.

It was also included in the rhythm video game Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan by Nintendo DS.

Mayonaka no Door / Stay With Me by Miki Matsubara

"Mayonaka no Door / Stay With Me" is Miki Matsubara’s debut single, released in November 1979.

The song became popular again 41 years later after being used in an Internet trend on Tiktok.

SAKURA by Ikimonogakari

"SAKURA" is the trio Ikimonogakari’s debut single.

Upon its release in 2006, the song was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of Japan.

Heavy Rotation by AKB48

AKB48’s "Heavy Rotation" is the J-pop girl idol group’s 17th single, released on the 18th of August, 2010.

Narumi Kuranoo, Nagisa Sakaguchi, and Yui Oguri from the famous girl group AKB48
Narumi Kuranoo, Nagisa Sakaguchi, and Yui Oguri from the famous girl group AKB48

The song was such a massive hit in karaoke bars and topped the JOYSOUND chart for 43 straight weeks!

I see… by Nogizaka46

Nogizaka46’s "I see…" is a coupling song from the girl group’s 25th single, Shiawase no Hogosyoku.

The 4th Generation members of Nogizaka46 perform it.

"THE FIRST TAKE" by DISH//

"THE FIRST TAKE" is DISH//'s 10th digital single, first performed on the group’s Youtube channel.

The music video became one of the most viewed videos on DISH//’s Youtube channel, even surpassing LiSA’ performance of her song "Gurenge."

"On A Cherry Blossom Night" by Aimyon

"On A Cherry Blossom Night" is a song recorded by the J-pop singer Aimyon, digitally released through Warner Music Japan and Unborde in February 2021.

The song was used as the theme song of the Japanese reality show Koi to Okami ni wa Damasarenai.

Kaikai Kitan by Eve

"Kaikai Kitan" by Eve is famous as OP for the anime Jujustsu Kaisen, a theme full of energy!

orion by Kenshi Yonezu

"orion" by Kenshi Yonezu is the second ending song played in the anime March comes in like a lion.

Kyouran Hey Kids!! by THE ORAL CIGARETTES

"Kyouran Hey Kids!!" by THE ORAL CIGARETTES is the opening theme in the anime Noragami Aragoto.

Monster by YOASOBI

"Monster" by YOASOBI is a theme you can listen to in the anime Beastars.

unravel by TK from Ling tosite sigure

"unravel" by TK from Ling tosite sigure is the opening theme from the popular anime Tokyo Ghoul.

Yoru ni Kakeru by YOASOBI

"Yoru ni Kakeru" by YOASOBI is a Japanese song that won MTV Video Music Awards Japan in 2020, then, the Space Shower Music Awards in 2021.

Renegades by ONE OK ROCK

"Renegades" by ONE OK ROCK is the main theme of the live-action film Rurouni Kenshin: The Final.

Ed Sheeran is one of the songwriters alongside Takahiro Moriuchi and Masato Hayakawa of Coldrain.

Gurenge by LiSA

"Gurenge" by LiSA is the OP theme from the popular anime Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba.

Related Article: Most popular anime songs of all time

RAIN by SEKAI NO OWARI

"RAIN" is SEKAI NO OWARI’s 11th major single, released in July 2017.

The song is used as the theme song of the anime movie Mary and the Witch’s Flower.

Inferno by Mrs. GREEN APPLE

"Inferno" by Mrs. GREEN APPLE is the first season opening theme for the anime Fire Force.

Koi Suru Fortune Cookie by AKB48

"Koi Suru Fortune Cookie" is the lead track from AKB48’s 32nd single of the same title.

In 2014, the song was one of the songs listed on Just Dance Wii U, a famous Japanese rhythm game series.

"missing you" by Kana Nishino

"missing you" is a B-side of Kana Nishino’s single album Motto…

Kana Nishino was involved in writing the lyrics of the song.

"Tank!" by SEATBELTS

"Tank!" is a song performed by the SEATBELTS for the anime series Cowboy Bebop.

The song is described as a big band jazz track that expresses themes of the old 60s spy genre.

"GLORY" by SPYAIR

"GLORY" is SPYAIR’s second digital single, released in October 2014.

"One More Time, One More Chance" by Masayoshi Yamazaki

"One More Time, One More Chance" is Masayoshi Yamazaki’s single released by the Polydor Japan label in January 1997.

The song was used as the ending theme song of the popular anime film 5 Centimeters Per Second.

"Hikarunara" by Goose House

"Hikarunara" is the third single of the Japanese music group Goose House.

The song was used as the opening theme of the anime series Your Lie in April.

"Sparkle" by RADWIMPS

"Sparkle" by RADWIMPS is one of the four theme songs of the anime film Kimi no Na Wa / Your Name.

It is from the Japanese rock band’s eighth studio album, released solely as the soundtrack for the film in 2016.

"Silhouette" by KANA-BOON

KANA-BOON’s "Silhouette" is the rock band’s fifth major-label single, peaking at number 11 on the Oricon chart after its release in November 2014.

The song was used as the sixteenth opening of the popular anime series Naruto: Shippuden played from episodes 380 to 405.

"Uchiagehanabi" by Daoko / Kenshi Yonezu

"Uchiagehanabi," or "launching fireworks" in Japanese, is a collaboration song by Daoko and Kenshi Yonezu.

It’s the theme song for the anime film Fireworks.

The song sat at the top of Billboard Japan Hot Animation for 25 consecutive weeks.

"Usseewa" by Ado

"Usseewa" by Ado is the Japanese singer’s debut single.

The song's lyrics criticize the so-called "common sense" paraded by society.

It then became popular among youth and was recognized as the "2021 Youth Anthem."

"homura" by LiSA

"homura" is LiSA’s seventeenth single released by Sony Music Japan and Sacra Music in October 2020.

The song is the theme song of one of the most awaited anime films of 2020, the Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train.

It won the top Japanese singer the grand prize at the 2020 Japan Record Awards.

"Choo Choo TRAIN" by exile

"Choo Choo TRAIN" is exile’s 10th single released in a CD-only edition in November 2003.

The song is the ending theme song of the Japanese comedy program Uchimura Produce.

Evolution by Ayumi Hamasaki

"Evolution" is a song by the JPop artist Ayumi Hamasaki.

The singer’s eighth single ranked number one on the Oricon Singles Chart.

Related Article: Motivational J-pop quotes to boost yourself

Ready Steady Go by L'Arc-en-Ciel

L’Arc-en-Ciel’s "Ready Steady Go" is the band’s 23rd single, released in February 2004.

The song was featured as the second opening song of the top anime series Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

First Love by Utada Hikaru

Utada Hikaru’s "First Love" is the singer’s third Japanese language single, released in April 1999.

In a survey conducted by Oricon in 2009, asking several Japanese what song they would want to hear when they get their heart broken, "First Love" was included in their top 10.

The song was used as the theme song for the 1999 Japanese TV drama Majo no Joken.

Can You Celebrate? by Namie Amuro

Namie Amuro’s "Can You Celebrate" is the Japanese singer’s seventh solo single under the label Avex Trax.

The song is hailed as the best-selling single by a solo female artist in the Japanese music scene, selling over 2 million copies since its release in 1997.

Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana by SMAP

"Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana / The One and Only Flower in the World" is a song by SMAP released in 2003.

The single sold over 2 million copies, making it the third best-selling single throughout the history of Oricon.

Also, in 2003, when CD sales declined, the song was one of the only two singles that sold over a million copies.

Lemon by Kenshi Yonezu

"Lemon" is Kenshi Yonezu’s 10th single released through Sony Music Japan in March 2018.

The song was used as the theme song of the Japanese TV drama Unnatural.

LOVE LOVE LOVE by DREAMS COME TRUE

DREAMS COME TRUE’s "LOVE LOVE LOVE" is a song released for the JPop band’s eighth studio album Love Unlimited.

The song ranked tenth on the best-selling Japanese single of all-time list, making it the most successful single of DREAMS COME TRUE since its debut in 1988.

Robinson by Spitz

The song "Robinson" is responsible for Spitz’s prominence almost a decade after the rock band’s debut in 1987.

"Robinson" is part of Spitz’ fifth album, Hachimitsu, released in 1995.

Citrus by Da-ICE

Da-ICE’s "Citrus" is the JPop boy band’s 21st single, released in November 2020.

The song was used as the theme song of the Japanese drama series Gokushufudou.

Grandeur by SnowMan

"Grandeur" is a song performed by the JPop boy band SnowMan.

The song is the 13th opening theme of the hit anime series Black Clover.

The Rage Beat by KINYA

"The Rage Beat" is a song recorded by KINYA for the anime adaptation of the 1996 manga series Gravitation.

Rainy Days Never Stays by The Brilliant Green

The Brilliant Green’s "Rainy Days Never Stays" is the rock band’s 13th single released in 2002.

The song ranked number 14 on the Oricon Singles Chart.

Oblivious by Kalafina

"Oblivious" is the debut single of the J-pop vocal group Kalafina.

The song, along with two other tracks, was used as the theme song for the first three installments of the Japanese movie Kara no Kyoukai.

Nigatsu no Heitai by the cabs

"Nigatsu no Heitai" is a song recorded by the J-pop match rock band the cabs.

It is from the band’s EP first action released in 2011.

A woman listening to some jpop songs
A woman listening to some jpop songs

So there you have it, our list of the top 50 J-pop hits of all time.

We hope you enjoyed it (or at least found it mildly amusing).

Be sure to let us know what your favorite J-pop song on Instagram, and to take a look at our headphones and speakers collections to listening to your favorite tunes!

Dubsnatch Team
Dubsnatch Team

We are a really small team of passionate people loving and supporting the independent video game industry. We are also addicts to most new technologies, animes, shows, pop culture, and movies!


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