Fun Japanese Music for Listening Practice

Hi everyone! I’m always looking for upbeat but interesting Japanese music to listen to. This post lists 10 tracks I love, but I’m looking for more, especially stuff that’s a bit off the mainstream. Do you have any recommendations? Ten Japanese Pop Songs to Listen to on the Way to Work – Classroom as Microcosm


Anything Vocaloid is likely to fit the bill (okay, aside from the “off the mainstream” bit maybe, depending on what you mean by mainstream), and is likely to have a bunch of covers from amazing vocalists.

I’m just gonna use this opportunity to plug some VTubers while I’m at it, they cover the stuff left and right :smile:

Some VTubers in general are gonna have a lot of similar stuff, original works and covers alike.

Beyond that, maybe things like Band-Maid


might be something? I have no idea what your tastes are but “off the mainstream” is very broad.


This is great; thank you! I will check these out.

“Off the mainstream…” The post I linked to shows 10 songs I really like, but they are all massively popular hits. I’m not sure how to access Japanese music other than huge blockbusters; I imagine there are people here who know a lot about Japanese music and can point me in the direction of more indie/underground stuff.

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Honestly, a good way to find more artists is to do “radios” based off of the artists you already know, and if you find another artist you like, listen to them for a while, then do a “radio” off of them, and rinse and repeat (of course noting down artists you like if your memory tends to forget things like mine does lol).
EDIT: Also, if you watch anime and have openings/endings that you really like, look up the artists, and listen to their other music.


Yes, good advice. I have discovered a ton of stuff I like through anime and through “Discover Weekly” playlists. Thanks!


The song I wanted to link was already in your article so uh… have some anime music.

And I’m a macross fan, which is like half music half giant transforming robot plane anime so they have a lot of fun music leaning towards pop

(this video has scans of the booklet in it which has the lyrics! However, the cover is a little nswf)

Sheryl Nome - Universal Bunny

There’s a pretty massive indie/doujin that’s usually associated with events. Unfortunately, that also means that many things were physical/import only for a long time, but uh… here’s a big old list of event names from a certain part of the net Doujin Music (同人音楽) Event Dates - Google Docs
Many of this kind of stuff originates from games and anime (see also: Touhou), but it’s a pretty diverse field if you dig long enough. I think the easiest discovery point for me was piracy channels since they’ll post event details + xfds (crossfade demos) for everything, but actually purchasing is all over the place (eg. bandcamp, booth, diverse direct, etc.)


Very intriguing. Will look into all of this stuff. Thank you!

Also, I’d be interested to know what song it was that you wanted to link to but discovered in my list!

You look like Pam when she dressed as olive oil Lol :slight_smile:

First place my mind went when reading that was a different Pam and a literal bottle of olive oil…

Suffice to say I was thoroughly confused for a bit :joy:


I’m a fan of both Pam and Olive Oyl so I will take this as a compliment.

Lolol care to elaborate what you had in mind?

Definitely a compliment!! : D

Lol nevermind. I just saw you provided a link. Completely disregarded that for some reason

I listen to a lot of music all the time, so thought it would be a good idea to get into Japanese music to improve my vocabulary and listening skills. The problem is that the music I like often has hard to hear lyrics or lyrics that are super poetic, so not really good for non-native speakers start with.

There are exceptions, of course. I’ve got a public playlist of the current stuff I’m listening to on Spotify. for the most part, I try and keep it to stuff that will help me drill Japanese as the main goal, but if I find something else I include it as well. The playlist is always changing.

Just checked your playlist and am very excited about this. There’s a bunch of stuff on there that I know and a bunch I’ve never heard of; it looks like it’s right up my alley. Thank you - I look forward to making some new discoveries thanks to you.

if we’re chucking playlists in, have mine. this is pretty much every song in japanese i’ve ever liked (with some instrumentals thrown in there i think). i’m not gonna say it’s all good, but there should be enough variety in there to get you going (it’s enormous).

bands/groups i listen to the most are band-maid, kalafina, lisa (popular, but for good reason), gesu no kiwami otome, hello sleepwalkers, and sayuri. also songs from love live that’s off the top of my head tho, so those are fairly well-known.


So great; this playlist looks amazing! I guess I know what I’m doing with my next few evenings… Pleased to see lots of Aimer on there; I like her a lot.

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Probably mainstream, but I still like it a lot:
東京スカパラダイスオーケストラ / 星降る夜に















Oh, this is fun.