Japanese City Pop has become quite popular especially on sites such as YouTube where mixes are being uploaded daily containing many songs. This genre of 80s Japanese City Pop is certainly a great time for music with the earliest tracks coming out from 1979 – 1990. So today we’re covering our Top 25 Japanese City Pop Tracks to listen to with insert clips. If you enjoy this list please give it a like and share it if you can. This whole list has tracks that range from the 1970s to the 1990s.
25. Momoko Kikuchi – Glass no Sogen (1987)
Originally coming out in 1987 Glass no Sogen (ガラスの草原) translates in English to: Glass Grasslands. Kikuchi wrote the song a few years before and performed it live in 1987. The song features 25 verses and was performed in 1987 by Kikuchi herself when she was 19 years old. The song was a hit when it was released and featured on 4 charts,
24. Mai Yamane – Tasogare (1980)
You may have heard this song somewhere before, as it appeared in the intro to “kid cudi” a song performed by Playboy Carti. Not many people know that the original intro for this song was taken from this song by Mai Yamane, a Japanese artist who made many similar and successful songs. It’s one of the Best Japanese City Pop Track. The song “Tasogare” which is defined as “dusk” or “twilight” came out on the 25th of May on 1980 was a big hit and was composed by Kintaro Nakamura, who was a guitarist in the back band of Joe Yamanaka, and “Get Away” composed by Tomaru Yoshino of SHOGUN, who later worked with Makoto Matsushita on AB’S. It fits right into the 80s Japanese City Pop Genre.
23. Anri – Shyness Boy (1983)
Originally, Shyness Boy came out in 1983 and was another big hit on this list. The song was sung by Anri, a popular Japanese City Pop artist at the time. The song was very popular and quickly rose on the charts. You can read the lyrics (here). This 80s Japanese City Pop track was also released as a Single by Anri and was well-loved by Fans.
22. Momoko Kikuchi – Deja Vu (1986)
This catchy happy track called Deja Vu was a hit when it came out in 1986, and is certainly a great 80s Japanese City Pop track to listen to. Deja Vu was performed by the artist, Momoko Kikuchi how has written and performed many different popular Japanese City Pop songs over the years, and is still a much loved musical artist among fans.
21. Mariko Takahashi – Nigai Rhapsody (1992)
Originally released on 1992-07-22, this upbeat and harmonic track was well-loved when it came out. Mariko Takahashi, who performed the song, was active from 1973 onwards and is a very successful singer and songwriter for many of her musical life. This song features many entrancing vocals from Mariko and features a great 80s Japanese City Pop style beat as well.
20. Meiko Nakahara – Go Away
Meiko Nakahara is a well-known Japanese City Pop artist who saw large amounts of success during the 1980s. The track featured on this list is known as “Go Away” and was produced in mass on the compact disc for some of her foreign listeners. The track is very catchy and features many instruments used during the 80s, even including the harp which beautifully fits into the song with ease. The track came out in 1982 and was loved among fans.
19. Kingo Hamada – Yokaze No Information (1985)
Yokaze No Information was a hit track released in 1985 by the popular songwriter Kingo Hamada, who rose to fame in the 80s after making many different Japanese-style tracks. The song includes many trumpets and guitar segments making it an amazing, and inspiring track to listen to with a lot of heart. It’s a very relaxing and upbeat track to listen to and you should definitely listen to it while you have the chance.
18. Omega Tribe – アクアマリンのままでいて
If you’re looking for a catchy and upbeat song with a tropical vibe to it, then look at this song. Released in the 1980s, this song is called “Stay aquamarine” and was a big hit when it was released because it is part of the Omega Tribe, who was a popular Japanese music group during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
17. Takako Mamiya – Midnight Joke (1982)
This laid-back track from 1982 is a very popular and well-loved song among City Pop lovers. This was from the 3rd track from the album “Love Trip” (1982) The comments for this song are also very supportive, with tons of non-Japanese speaking people saying they loved it. The album cover features a black kitten with the word “kitty” in red underneath it.
16. Anri – Remeber Summer Days (1983)
If you were a fan of the last City Pop track by Anri then you’ll love this track which came out in 1983. This lovely number was loved when it came out and was instantly a hit. Many new City Pop fans have discovered this track and are already in love with it. Anri’s track was released on the album called Timely!! and is easily one of the best tracks on the album.
15. CINDY – Angel Touch (1990)
This is certainly one of my favorites from this list, and I would like it if you would listen to it too! The track is called “Angel Touch” and features some beautiful vocals by the artist CINDY and it is simply one of the best songs that she has released so far, and certainly during the 1990s. It’s a very relaxing and harmonic tune and is a very good City Pop track to listen to.
14. Mai Yamane – Wave (1980)
Speaking of relaxing City Pop tracks, this one from Mai Yamane, who we previously featured on this list, is very similar and a lot more laid back than some of the other tracks on this list. Mai Yamane is a very popular and much-loved music creator and has made many more amazing tracks which have all mostly been very successful.
13. Tomoko Aran – Midnight Pretenders (1983)
This lovely and harmonic tune from Japan which came out in 1983, features an eye-catching album cover illustrated in matching beautiful colors, with the artist, Tomoko, appearing sitting down in what appears to be a subway. The song, which was a much-loved hit when it came out features different amazing, melodies and is a very good City Pop track.
12. Tatsuro Yamashita – Silent Screamer (1980)
Originally released in September 1980, this song was written by Tatsuro Yamashita, who writes pretty much all of his songs. Tatsuro is a well-known Japanese Musical artist, producing and writing many different songs over the years up until now. Silent Screamer is certainly an 80s Japanese City Pop song and fits right in with the music genre. The song, called Silent Screamer, starts with an awesome guitar solo, performed by Kazuo Shiina, then followed by some amazing vocals by Tatsuro himself.
11. Toshiki Kadomatsu – Hatsu Koi (1985)
This cool and upbeat song has everything about it which just screams 80s Japanese City Pop song, and it also has the album cover to go with it. The artwork shows Kadomatsu standing on a roof in a city in Japan. The song is very catchy and memorable and is similar to many different popular other Japanese City Pop tracks.
Top 10 Contenders – Japanese City Pop
We’ve already covered 15 of the best Japanese City Pop tracks to listen to, we hope you’ve enjoyed these picks and we’re happy you’ve made it this far. If you want to stay up to date with Cradle View and our new article and blog posts, then you should consider signing up to our Email Dispatch below.
We really hope you’ve enjoyed the tracks on this list. Anyway, without further hesitation, let’s get into the final top 10 Japanese City Pop tracks to listen to with inserts.
10. Miki Matsubara – Stay with me (1980)
Now if you know anything about this genre of music, then you’ll certainly have heard this song. That’s because it’s been everywhere and in many different Anime music videos. The song was pretty popular when it came out but found even more success when it made its way onto TikTok, Instagram and of course, YouTube, where its videos featuring the song got loads of views and supportive comments. The song is performed by Miki Matsubara and is one of her most successful songs to this date.
9. Anri – Last Summer Whisper (1982)
The visual for this video pretty much sums up the feel of the song which we hope you enjoyed. The song is very calm and relaxed, with a simple beat on the background topped with a beautiful vocal part from Anri while a really nice melody plays in the background.
8. Taeko Ohnuki – Jajauma Musume
One thing that is certain about Taeko Ohnuki is that she has a one in million voice. The moment you take time to hear her voice you will fall in love almost immediately. There may be some more tracks by Taeko on this list, but for now, listen to this track and enjoy it, because it’s certainly a great and memorable 80s Japanese City Pop track.
7. Junko Ohashi – Telephone Number (1981)
Now if you want a very memorable, catchy, and melodic song about someones telephone number then this song is for you! This much-loved number Junko Ohashi came out in 1981 and is one of the songs from this genre that I listen to first, so in a way, it’s kind of special to me. The song is part of Junko’s album called Magical and was later released in 1984.
6. Mariya Takeuchi – Plastic Love (1984)
Now it would be hard to say anything about this genre of music without mentioning this song, it’s pretty much how this genre of music was amplified into the eyes of the average YouTube user. In fact, the song, when it was released in 1984, didn’t even do that well. It was not very successful and hardly appeared on the charts. However, in terms of number now, the song has been viewed at least more than 50 million times. It is great that the song may have not been that successful and popular when it came out, still managed to be appreciated by a generation of people who were decades ahead of some of the original listeners during the 80s.
5. Junko Yagami – Bay City (1984)
Here is another track you must have heard if you listen to any kind of 80s Japanese City Pop playlist over the years. Bay City is a very popular and memorable song from the 80s. You can read the lyrics for the song (here) and watch it on YouTube above. The track was part of Junko’s Bay City album, which was part of the Funk and Soul genre of music at the time.
4. Takako Mamiya – Love Trip (1982)
Coming in at number 4 is a great and memorable track from 1982 that was very popular when it came out. Some comments by listers were very promising, and upon listing to this track and discovering it, I knew I had to add it to this list as soon as! One person wrote:
“Sounds absolutely amazing, the strings really come out on this and everything sounds so clear”
We hope you have as much fun playing this as we did.
Top 3 Contenders – Japanese City Pop
We hope you’ve been enjoying this list as much as we have as it took us quite a long to compile and get all the tracks together, as we had trouble choosing the last 3 songs as there were many different Top Contenders that we wanted to include. So without any more talk, let’s get into the top 3 best Japanese City Pop tracks from our list.
3. Tatsuro Yamashita – Magic Waves
We understand that most of the artists on this list are female, but we can’t help that! It’s not our fault. However, to try and even it out a bit here Tatsuro Yamashita, with his chart hit single, Magic Waves. This song really is a great track from the City Pop genre, being a great and upbeat song that very much encapsulates music from this specific period. We really hope you enjoyed this one!
2. Hiromi Iwasaki – Street Dancer (1980)
At number 2, we have a lovely laid-back track featuring the singer Hiromi Iwasaki, whose voice really is one of a kind. Hiromi’s song: Street Dancer was part of her album called “Wish”, which was released in 1980 via the label Victor. The song is very nice to listen to and features some really truly unforgettable vocals by talented singer Iwasaki.
1. Junko Yagami – 1984 (1985)
Not to be confused with the popular book by the writer George Orwell, this indelible song certainly had me adding it to my YouTube City Pop playlist almost instantly. This song definitely has more of an 80s vibe, and being from Spain myself, where 80s music is still very popular, I noticed that it sounds a lot more like mainstream 80s/90s tracks I’ve heard from my childhood. This is mainly because the song features many synths and mixers which were all popular at the time. This is also similar to the beats. Taking all that in, it’s easy to see why we like this song, and although you may not agree that it should be at the top of this list, we hope you can understand why it’s one of the best tracks on this list.
This song by Junko Yagami, who we have featured previously on this list is a great artist to end on, and certainly one ill be revisiting in the future. Did you enjoy this list? Let us know by commenting below, or sharing and liking this post. We really hope you enjoy this list as much as did and hope you really find some new Japanese City Pop songs that may not be on this list. Thank you for reading, we’ll hopefully see you again soon!
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