The Most Popular Karaoke Song in Japan: Ranking the Top Pick

Choose the song you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Nov 23, 2023 08:22
Step right up and join the fun as we embark on an exciting journey through the vibrant world of Japanese karaoke! At StrawPoll, we're hosting the ultimate face-off to determine the most popular karaoke song in the Land of the Rising Sun. Our list features thousands of toe-tapping tunes that will have you belting out lyrics in no time. But wait — do you think we've missed a classic? Fear not, for you can vote for your favorite or suggest a missing option to make this ranking even more epic. So, grab your mic, clear your throat, and put your singing skills to the test as you help us uncover Japan's all-time karaoke anthem!

What Is the Most Popular Karaoke Song in Japan?

  1. 1
    "Ue o Muite Arukou" (Sukiyaki) by Kyu Sakamoto is a classic Japanese song that has become a symbol of resilience and hope.
    Ue o Muite Arukou, also known as Sukiyaki, is a popular Japanese pop song that was released in 1961. It was performed by Kyu Sakamoto and quickly became one of the most beloved J-pop songs of all time. The song features a sentimental and melancholic melody, with heartfelt lyrics that express feelings of love and longing. Despite being sung in Japanese, the song achieved international success and topped music charts in several countries, including the United States. Ue o Muite Arukou remains an iconic and timeless piece of Japanese music, capturing the emotions and aspirations of a generation.
    • Release Date: 1961
    • Genre: J-Pop
    • Language: Japanese
    • Chart Performance: Topped charts in multiple countries
    • International Success: Achieved popularity outside of Japan
    "Ue o Muite Arukou" (Sukiyaki) by Kyu Sakamoto in other rankings
  2. 2
    "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston is a timeless ballad that showcases vocal range and emotion.
    "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston in other rankings
  3. 3
    "Lemon" by Kenshi Yonezu is a recent hit that has become a staple in Japanese Karaoke bars due to its catchy melody and relatable lyrics.
    "Lemon" by Kenshi Yonezu in other rankings
  4. 4
    "Let It Go" from Frozen is a Disney favorite that is beloved by both children and adults.
    "Let It Go" from Frozen in other rankings
  5. 5
    "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen
    Queen · Public domain
    "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen is a rock classic that is challenging but rewarding to sing.
    "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen in other rankings
  6. 6
    "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion is another iconic ballad that is a favorite among Karaoke enthusiasts.
    My Heart Will Go On is a power ballad by Canadian singer Celine Dion. It was recorded as the theme song for the 1997 blockbuster film Titanic. The song, written by James Horner and Will Jennings, gained enormous popularity and became one of the most iconic romantic tunes of all time.
    • Genre: Pop
    • Released: December 8, 1997
    • Length: 4:41
    • Album: Let's Talk About Love
    • Label: Epic, 550, Columbia
    "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion in other rankings
  7. 7
    "Can You Celebrate?" by Namie Amuro is a chart-topping J-pop hit that has stood the test of time.
  8. 8
    "Sukiyaki" by 4PM is a cover of the Kyu Sakamoto classic that became a hit in the US.
    Sukiyaki by 4PM is a popular Karaoke song in Japan. It is a cover of the original Japanese song 'Ue o Muite Arukou' ('I Look Up As I Walk') performed by Kyu Sakamoto in 1961. The song was translated into English and adapted by 4PM, an American R&B vocal group, in 1995. Sukiyaki is a timeless ballad that has become widely known globally.
    • Genre: R&B
    • Language: English
    • Original Version: Ue o Muite Arukou by Kyu Sakamoto
    • Cover Release Year: 1995
    • Global Popularity: High
  9. 9
    "Y.M.C.A." by the Village People is a disco classic that is a crowd-pleaser in Karaoke bars.
    Y.M.C.A. is a popular karaoke song in Japan performed by the American disco group The Village People. It was released in 1978 as the lead single from their album 'Cruisin'. The song has a catchy disco sound with an uplifting and energetic atmosphere. The lyrics encourage people to join the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) and participate in the various activities offered by the organization. It has become an iconic anthem with its recognizable dance moves, including forming the letters 'Y', 'M', 'C', and 'A' with arm gestures.
    • Release Year: 1978
    • Album: Cruisin'
    • Genre: Disco
    • Language: English
    • Length: 3:45
  10. 10
    "Kiss" by Prince is a popular song that showcases falsetto vocals and a catchy chorus.
    Kiss is a popular Karaoke song in Japan, originally recorded by American singer Prince. It was released as the lead single from his eighth studio album Parade in 1986. The song is known for its catchy and energetic funk-pop sound. It became a major hit, reaching the top position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States. The lyrics depict a playful and flirtatious relationship, with Prince expressing his desire for a kiss from his lover.
    • Release Date: February 5, 1986
    • Album: Parade
    • Genre: Funk-pop
    • Chart Performance: Reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100
    • Duration: 3 minutes and 46 seconds

Missing your favorite song?


Ranking factors for popular song

  1. Song popularity
    The song should be well-known and loved by people of various age groups and backgrounds. This includes chart-topping hits, classic tunes, and evergreen favorites that have stood the test of time.
  2. Singability
    The song should have a catchy melody and lyrics that are easy to follow and sing along to. This means it should have a simple structure, a memorable chorus, and a manageable vocal range for the average person.
  3. Emotional resonance
    The song should evoke a strong emotional response from the audience, whether it's nostalgic, romantic, or uplifting. This factor can help to create a more enjoyable and engaging karaoke experience for everyone involved.
  4. Audience participation
    Songs that encourage audience participation, such as call-and-response and sing-along sections, are often popular choices for karaoke. This can help to create a more lively and interactive atmosphere.
  5. Language and cultural relevance
    The song should have lyrics that resonate with Japanese audiences and reflect Japanese culture, language, and sentiments. This will make it more likely to be chosen and appreciated by Japanese karaoke-goers.
  6. Versatility
    Songs that can be adapted to different singing styles, skill levels, and voice types will be more popular. This will enable a wider range of people to enjoy and participate in the karaoke experience.
  7. Familiarity
    A song that is frequently played on the radio, television, or other media platforms will likely be more popular as people are more familiar with it. Generally, popular songs from the past few decades would be a good bet.
  8. Availability
    The song should be readily available on popular karaoke platforms and in karaoke bars and establishments. Having a wide selection of songs to choose from is important for karaoke enthusiasts.
  9. Timeless appeal
    A song with a timeless appeal will continue to remain popular for years to come. This would include songs that have been consistently popular over a long period of time, transcending multiple generations.
  10. Genre balance
    A variety of songs from different genres, such as pop, rock, ballad, and enka, should be considered in order to cater to different preferences and keep the karaoke experience diverse and interesting.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular Karaoke song in Japan. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or song is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 204 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each song once every 24 hours. The rank of each song is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular karaoke song in japan

Karaoke culture is deeply ingrained in Japanese society, with millions of people flocking to karaoke bars and private rooms every year to sing their hearts out. This vibrant culture is fueled by a love of music, socializing, and the freedom to express oneself without fear of judgment. As a result, the popularity of certain karaoke songs in Japan can be seen as a reflection of the country's collective musical tastes and cultural values. So, what is the most popular karaoke song in Japan? Let's take a closer look.