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Following the widespread popularity and accessibility to anime and manga, Japanese songs are becoming common choices at karaoke. They offer something different compared to English songs, from lively, kawaii anthems to warm and kind ballads about the human disposition.
That’s why we’ll be taking a look at the 25 best Japanese karaoke songs that you can try singing at your karaoke bar. Whether you’re having a Japanese-themed karaoke party or want to improve your Japanese, there’s no doubt these tracks will elevate your party to the next level and leave your audience impressed!
The Best Japanese Karaoke Songs
“Shinunoga E-wa” – Fujii Kaze
This catchy Japanese ballad took the world by surprise following its release in mid-2022. It first gained popularity in Thailand via TikTok before escalating globally on other social media platforms.
The song is quite unique, combining a modern beat with the old Japanese-style (Showa) melody.
Written as an old-fashioned romantic track, it finds the male protagonist proclaiming his love to his partner, even stating he’ll die if he doesn’t get to be with her.
“Shinunoga E-wa” isn’t just upbeat and fun, it’s also pretty easy to learn.
“Story” – AI
Released in 2005, “Story” was a sleeper hit that gained more attention on AI’s greatest hits album in 2009.
An R&B track, the song finds AI reassuring her lover to trust in her and their relationship.
The song starts out slow and emotional before finishing off with AI’s strong vocals. It also works as a great motivational track.
“Stay with Me”/”Mayonaka no Door” – Miki Matsubara
It might have been first published in the 1970s, but this city-pop hit has never lost its touch.
“Stay with Me” is a Japanese classic, and it surged in popularity in 2020 on YouTube and TikTok.
With an energetic tune and jazzy vocals, this romantic ballad is a certified crowd-pleaser that’d make everyone want to dance.
“Gurenge” – LiSa
If you’re an anime fan, you’ll recognize this epic rock track.
Published in LiSa’s 2020 album LEO-NINE, it’s most well-known as the opening theme to the hit anime series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba.
Lyrically, it’s about finding purpose to keep living and staying strong for someone special.
The sweeping melodies, moving lyrics, and gritty vocals give it a powerful vibe that make it perfect for the stage.
“Kimi no Toriko (Summertime)” – Cinnamons x Evening Cinema
Even if you don’t listen to Japanese songs, you won’t be able to resist this bubbly, upbeat track.
“Kimi no Toriko” oozes with positivity and adorableness, embodying the kawaii (cute) vibe perfectly.
It’s a romantic ballad about yearning for someone in the summer, and the cheerful rhythm of this track hits it well.
“Renai Circulation” – Renai Hanazawa
“Renai Circulation” is also another catchy song that you can’t resist singing along.
Released in 2010, this track was the fourth opening theme to the anime series Bakemonogatari.
The song sees the singer appreciating her lover and wanting to always be with him.
It’s a cute track that will certainly appeal to anyone, though it’s pretty fast-paced, so make sure to memorize the lyrics first.
“Cinderella Boy” – Saucy Dog
This rock-infused hit took off in popularity after going viral on TikTok and Instagram.
Taking inspiration from the fairytale Cinderella, it talks about a toxic relationship where the female protagonist still loves her boyfriend despite knowing he’s cheating whenever he leaves her at midnight.
The melancholic rhythm and introspective message would definitely strike a chord with your audience.
“A Cruel Angel’s Thesis” – Yuko Takahashi
Since its release in 1995, this J-pop track is one of the most famous theme songs in animation history and is guaranteed to pull in a crowd if you sing it during karaoke.
This song was written as the opening theme to the classic anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Featuring a catchy tune, clear vocals, and poignant lyrics, the song is an emotional and powerful trip that brings people together, especially anime fans.
“Hana” – Orange Range
This song has been featured in a number of Japanese media, including the 2004 movie Ima, Ai ni Yukimasu and anime series Teasing Master Takagi-san.
With mellow instrumentals, it’s a tender ballad about sticking with the person you love despite the odds. It’s also quite easy to follow and is suitable for all ranges.
“Suihensen” – Back Number
“Suihensen” became popular in 2022 with over 174 million views on YouTube.
It’s a beautiful ode to life, encouraging us to be kind to ourselves and learn to accept our mistakes.
This track will surely uplift the spirits of anyone who hears it and makes a good closer to your karaoke night.
“Tiny Little Adiantum” – Shibayan
Originally released in 2013, this poppy track gained traction in 2017 after it was used as a sample in a YouTube video.
Lyrically, it follows a girl in a toxic relationship who tries to change herself for her love interest, only for her attempts to fail.
Despite its somber message, it has an upbeat and chirpy tone that gets you excited instead.
“Dried Flower” – Yuuri
Published in Yuuri’s 2022 album Ichi, “Dried Flower” is a heartbreak ballad that’s quickly becoming a favorite among the Japanese.
Accompanied by a guitar, it’s about a man who can’t get over the woman he broke up with.
It’s a great song if you’re looking for something to help you vent.
“Marigold” – Aimyon
Since 2018, this feel-good pop number has garnered plenty of attention for the right reasons.
Featuring a light-hearted melody, the song is about trusting yourself and believing in the love you hold for others.
The carefree tune and airy vocals give it a warm, summer-y feel that makes it liberating to sing at karaoke.
“Yume to Hazakura” – Hatsune Miku
Believe it or not, Vocaloid songs are a welcome treat at karaoke too!
A complex heartbreak ballad, it tells the story of a female protagonist recalling memories of her ex-lover as she watches the sakura trees bloom.
This track is better for seasoned singers as it goes quite high with many key changes.
“Kiss of Death” – Mika Nakashima
Nakashima’s “Kiss of Death” is the theme song of the 2018 anime series DARLING in the FRANXX.
The song revolves around the two protagonists of the series and the risks they’re willing to take to be with each other.
Even if you aren’t familiar with the anime, this track is catchy and passionate on its own, making it a solid pick for your karaoke party.
“Harehare Ya” – Hanyuu Maigo ft. Flower
“Harehare Ya” isn’t your typical love song, rather it’s about wanting to be with the wrong person.
The track is accompanied by a melancholic tune, synths, and mellow vocals, giving it a sad feel. These qualities also make it suitable for singers of all vocal ranges.
“Lemon” – Kenshi Yonezu
Yonezu puts a different spin on the classic heartbreak ballad in his 2018 hit “Lemon.”
This indie-rock track focuses on a man who’s unable to get over his breakup and thinks of the lesson he’s learnt from his ex.
It features a bright, skipping rhythm over its sad lyrics, lending itself to a nostalgic vibe.
“Nandemonaiya” – Radwimps
“Nandemonaiya” is the ending theme song to the well-known anime film Kimi no Na Wa (Your Name).
Released in 2016, this romantic ballad rides on soft tune before closing it with a satisfying finish. It’s a huge hit among avid anime fans.
“To Be” – Ayumi Hamasaki
This gentle track is considered as one of Hamasaki’s best works, ranking number four on music charts in Japan.
The song is from a third-person perspective, revolving around a special someone in Hamasaki’s life.
It sets a warm tone, accompanied by a simple tune and poignant lyrics. It’s a great choice that’ll help showcase your singing skills.
“Koi” – Gen Hoshino
If you’re looking for a dance-worthy banger, Hoshino’s “Koi” checks out all the boxes!
This song is a fun mix of jazz, pop, and soul, giving it a vibrant feel that could put smiles on anyone’s face. It’s also pretty easy to pick up, even for beginner singers.
“Unravel” – TK from Ling Tosite Sigure
This song was first introduced as the theme song to the anime series Tokyo Ghoul. And the second it dropped, it took the world by storm.
Though its lyrics are hard to translate, it’s by no means a bad song.
With its sweeping melodies, gritty vocals, and irresistible rhythm, it’s hard not to sing along to this metal number.
“Citrus” – Da-iCE
This emotional pop track bursts with passion and energy, led by vocals from the talented boy band Da-iCE.
Lyrically, it revolves around the desire to protect and look over the person you love.
The song was first used as the theme song of the 2020 Gokushufudou drama series.
“Umi no Koe” – Kenta Kiritani
Released in 2015, “Umi no Koe” artfully blends love and nature, giving us a breezy Okinawan folk number that snatches our breaths away.
Accompanied by a shamisen, a traditional Japanese instrument, it’s a raw and poignant track, perfect for belting out on stage.
“Hanamizuki” – Yo Hitoto
“Hanamizuki” is an introspective ballad that promotes pacifism and world peace.
It’s Hitoto’s most recognized track and a huge karaoke hit in Japan. Followed by a piano-driven tune, it’s an easy song to learn with a beautiful message.
“Plastic Love” – Maria Takeuchi
This 1985 city-pop number experienced a resurgence in recent years. From being uploaded to YouTube to becoming an internet meme, it remains well-remembered and has even found new fans in the current generation.
This upbeat anthem captures the feeling of dancing at disco clubs after a breakup.
With a catchy tune and mellow vocals, you’ll have everyone dancing once you start singing it.