Top 10 Best Japanese Guitarists

The Top Ten
1 hide (X Japan)

Hide is, WITHOUT A DOUBT, the BEST of THE BEST. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot more guitarists out there who has good skills, but hide surpass them all! To top that off, he is a kind hearted person, who has the sweetest smile, and a caring heart. You may not know, but us X Japan fans KNOW what he had gone through, and what he had done. We support him, even when he's not around anymore. I respect the other guitarists, but I love hide MOST. Plus, he is the one who inspires, even the one below him (yes, Aoi).

ROCK ON, PINK SPIDER!

I think we all know that he is not the best in the technical way (But not always the ones who dominate more techniques are the best). But he knew well how to make good music and and take advantage of his talents giving his very unique touch to his songs. Also hide has something that captivates me, he makes me feel that I can see its essence trough his guitar solos specially, it's something I just can't explain with words.
He was also a very charismatic and multi talented person, and I respect him a lot.

Hide is a special person brought to this world with his very unique talent.. And no one compared to that! He is still until now the best guitarist ever. No one can replaced hide. He is loved by fans all over the world. Eventhough I just knew him after he was no longer alive, but just by watching his live concert video - the last live concert.. Made me in love with him. He played guitar with his heart, and touched all his fan heart. He spreaded his love through his talent.. And that made hide so special. He was the best guitarist ever!

Concert The Last Live, year 1997 and the song is Kurenai. Song starts with hide's solo guitar, and during the solo, hide touch everyone's heart and soul who listen the song. It's enough for explain why he's best. We know he can play guitar, well, very well, very very... But therewithal, he knows the people, he knows how can he touch our heart, make us cry, make us happy, make us rocker, make us.. you know that.. He's watching us in Rock Valhalla and smiling. And he must know, he's the best of all time. Bec. he is.

2 Aoi (Gazette)

As many fans have said, Aoi's work in the band is not the easiest one. May be he is not the main guitar but it is a fact that he make fairly good music and I think that he is a very nice and clever person. Think about the band in the other way round: If some of the members, in this case Aoi, wasn't in, how it would be? He is a very important part of the band as a group and in it's sound

Aoi has the ability to play a range of guitar styles from amazing rifts, and solo's to amazing acoustic ballads. The greatest thing about him is his ability to constantly asses and improving himself. He is always striving to be more than he is at the moment and convey they greatest level feeling through his music to reach all of the six guns around the world.

The first time I watch "Nameless Liberty Six Guns Live 2006" "Cassis Solo" when Aoi-san play the guitar at the end of the song...my expression was he is so amazing...He such a talented guitarist...Its been 3 years since I became the GazettE fans, until now I always listen to "Cassis Solo", his guitar sound makes me felt so peaceful.

He works well with Uruha, but in addition to playing difficult rifts and solos, he manages to maintain flowing acoustics and play unforgiving acoustics roles in his lives. He's overshadowed by Uruha's in-your-face leads, but is by no means any less of a talented guitarist.

3 Pata (X Japan)

Making killer duos with Hide. Almost nobody can do the solo harmonies like Pata and mostly they just harmonize the bridge-part not main solo like Pata. Hear, how the synchronization of the Pata's 2 harmony on each X Japan ballad while Hide plays the main melody. So beautiful.

Pata rocks on quietly. I love how he can play with anyone, but doesn't have the ego that ruins so many people's lives. Enjoy your fame and life.

Pata is a rock. Played with HIDE note for note. Too cool to complain, just keeps rocking, even now.

X Japan has both of Japanese Best Guitarists. Pata should be in the list

4 Hizaki (Hizaki Grace Project)

Hizaki is the best guitarist and talented of Japan actually together Teru, Versailles band is a Young Band relatively and their progress is AMAZING, Her (His I know xD) techniques and performances are perfectly. Ah, Hizaki falls on stage in london when he begin with the solo of Revenant Choir, and he go ahead with the solo on the floor! And I'll tell the reason because Hizaki is the best guitarist in Japan togheter Teru... Because The Play Symphonic Power Metal and Progressive, one of the biggest evolved genres of metal combinated with Visual Kei Ero Guru music style with Sounds o Gothic Metal xD and because, their costume are amazing xD

Hizaki is without a doubt my favourite Japanese guitarist, he is almost alone in terms of talent and technical ability. Teru is good but not on the same level, the only other guitarist I'd rate similarly in Japan would be Syu. I feel this list is somewhat biased based on the fame of the bands, I do like X Japan and Scandal... but to say Mami Sasazaki is a better guitarist than Hizaki? Just listen to any song from either Versailles and Scandal and you'll realise how that doesn't make sense.

I'm really torn between hizaki, aoi, uruha and miyavi
But I must say that hizaki is the best guitarist for me (I'm sure GazettE and Miyavi fans will kill me but hizaki is really the best for me)

His guitar skills is so awesome and he really made me want to learn how play the electric guitar.. His looks can be deceiving though but I really like his guitar skills.

This guy is a God. I know this is a big statement but the best guitarist I have ever heard. I understand that the others are more well known but Hizaki soon will be known across the globe. I cannot recommend a better guitarist to listen to if you are serious about the instrument and music overall.

5 SUGIZO (Luna Sea)

These voters are based on fanboy/fargirlsm just MEH. They don't have ideas what the meaning the art of playing guitar and only listen to one band especially the posers of the Gazette & Scandal. What a joke! Sugizo is international level not only in Japan. His musical radar is very wide.

"Sugizo's solo style structure can be patented" - Hisashi of Glay.

Sugizo is the best guitarist for me. I like his way when playing guitar. Besides playing guitar, he also can plays violin. Did any guitarist from can do like him? Of course not. That's why I said he is the best. More than that, Yoshiki very confident to take him as a new guitarist for X Japan to replace Hide. He plays guitar for two bands. That is not easy. Anyway, I hope Sugizo will at the top to be the greatest. Please vote for him.

I can't say I like him better than hide, but I feel badly that Sugizo gets so much flack from people who think hide should never be replaced. The fact of the matter is, X Japan CAN'T perform without a guitarist, and if Yoshiki thinks he's a good person for the job then I trust his judgement. Sugizo's a great musician and he's awesome in his own right. He's also one of the few celebrities that I honestly feel is a good person.

For me, he is definitely the best Japanese guitarist. Very cultured and intelligent, his playing style is his identity. He isn't just about playing riffs, he's about making it right for the song. Quintessential to the beloved rock band, Luna Sea, Sugizo really had that sound that separated the band from all other's in their era. We only get one Sugizo in this lifetime.

6 Mami Sasazaki (SCANDAL)

It's not something we see everyday, a female guitarist doing solo parts of a rock song. Considering their background and how they actually work themselves to the top, Mami Sasazaki of SCANDAL should at least go to the top 5. No offense, but she really do deserve that. From the beginning, up till now, they (SCANDAL) face tonnes of obstacles and to some point, almost lost it. But Where are they now? At the top.

Anyway, the band gives positive influence to many youngsters out there. So yeah, I vote that Mami Sasazaki to be at least, at least be at the top 5 list. She deserved it. I have seen them grow.

Her guitar skills are totally awesome, making her the best female Japanese lead guitarist! Her solos are always amazing. Also, like the other members of the band, she developed so much in such a short duration of time. She's very supportive of her band mates, and does everything in her power to do so. She may appear serious (well, she really is serious especially when it comes to guitar playing), but she's actually very cheerful and goofy, and plays around together with the other members.

Mami is really amazing as a girl guitarist.. I think she deserve in top 20... Her guitar skills is awesome and sounds great. I played guitar for a long time but seeing her playing made me absolutely change my own point of view on guitar playing. I learn so much from her. She is the pro.
I love many others guitarists too but only because of her I became such a good player.

Well... What can I say? Mami is the star of Scandal.. When I heard Mami playing for the first time, was like magic, I started to fall in love, Mami is one of the best guitar players of j-pop scene. She has not only skill, but she involves you on her music, on her style. Mami deserves to be in the top of the top 20, 'cause she is the best of all. Mami Sasazaki

7 Ken (L'arc en ciel)

Ken proves that becoming a great guitar player doesn't need very good technical skill. Just use your skill to put the right guitar part into each song, it will be different to others.

Ken can compose beautiful-mellow melodies with his unique style even his skill is not as fast as hizaki-teru, or hide-pata. But his melodies can be heart-touching. And he is very creative to re-arrange every part of melody guitar. Because he never play the same melodies in every laruku live. Sugoii~

His solos are just amazing! Every time he plays the guitar he can transport everyone to heaven, and He is compared to many famous guitarist like Slash and Steve Vai!

He's very skilled and very fast at playing.. The emotion looked clearly..

8 Kaoru Niikura (Dir en Grey)

Kaoru is truly a freaking God of guitar. Granted Die is amazing too but Kaoru has some of the best solos as well as songs he has composed. He comes up with so many unique rhythms for each song that I am blown at the differences in each song. He is a strong band leader and a very strong guitarist. I mean come on, he's managed to keep Dir en grey together for so long!

It's hard to argue with the composition in Dir en Grey. They are incredible songwriters and know the perfect part to complement what is going on in the song at any given time. Kaoru is great, along with Die. They may not be the most technical, but they certainly make up for it in literally every other category. I can't think of a more inspiring song writer.

Ugh, can't stand to see Aoi above Kaoru! Kaoru is way more talented. However Aoi's classical acoustic fingering is very well played. But Kaoru is has more range, he can do more than what Aoi can.

He's the best guitarist in the world! His play makes you wanna live, move, scream, fly, dream, create and love! He is The real God!

9 Uruha (the GazettE)

Uruha is the most talented guitarist in my opinion. His solos are fantastic, his fingers are so fast... And to think he taught himself how to play guitar! Nobody taught him how to play it, he's just a genius when it's about guitars! Not to mention his sexy thighs He's beautiful and very talented! Plus the songs he composes are often my favorites by the GazettE.

I don't know why Uruha is not in the top ten but I can tell that Uruha's skills can be as superior as his seniors such as Daita or Sugizo. His composition on the other hand has many varieties just like Ruki's compositions. Even though Uruha's composition is not that melodious compared to Ruki or Aoi, but when it comes to hardcore sound with fine details, his composition tops the other two.

Uruha really is the best guitarist I've ever seen. I just love his solos and the way he plays them. I saw "the GazettE" live in Cologne this year (2019 World Tour "THE NINTH" Phase #04 99.999) and I stand right in front of him (second row). His playing was AWESOME! ♡

Haha, this list is for sure influenced by other features than the actual true guitar skills a person has. Anybody who plays the guitar and The Gazette songs, knows that both are talented, but that Uruha makes a clear difference in terms of solos and live arrangements.

10 Sakito (Naitomea)

Sakito is a super guitarist. Most o the people just admire the heavy guitarist, such as aoi, uruha. However, there is nothing compare to sakito. I am pretty sure sakito can play as good as him, if he wants to play heavy stuff. Sakito got the super fast strumming, even in acoustic. That's super hard, you can see the skill in The song Shian. Fantastic two hand tapping in the song trickstar. Super fast solo in the song in the trash music. He knows how to use delay perfectly in the song cloudy dayz.
And he got the awesome funk riff. To be honest, I don't think gazette guitarists can beat him, at least he is more handsome than those. Sorry this is very subjective. I think there is only few guitarist can compare to him who are hide, sugizo and syu.

Sakito should be number 1 on this list, not only because he is a brilliant guitarist, but also because he composes beautiful music. I have never heard a band like Nightmare with so many consistently great songs (and yes, I have heard all the bands whose guitarist are mentioned above including Xjapan, Luna Sea, The Gazette etc. )

I completely agree with rock hero. Sakitos compositions completely obliterate the Gazettes guitar compositions structurally and harmoniously (No offense to Gazette fans, I really like them). If you don't believe me refer to their newest album (2011). Completely underrated.

AAAH! I don't know who to vote for Hitsugi or Sakito! They are both brilliant and so cute and sweet and the rest of the band work really well with them (Ni~Ya, Ruka, Yomi). I wish I could see them in concert. PLEASE COME TO Australia NIGHTMARE! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!

The Contenders
11 Die (Dir En Grey)

I think daisuke is such a great guitarist and he's good looking also, so it would be wonderful if he has the opportunity to win this contest, I think he has what takes to be the winner.

Just amazing! IF you don't believe me why don't you listen to some of his riffs from their newest album DUM SPIRO SPERO. I suggest Juuyoku, Different Sense, Diabolos, and Rasetsukoku (new version). Please take a listen for yourself.

Awesome guitarist alongside Kaoru. Listen to Yokan, Cage and Mushi.

it's really hard to decide because all of these guitarist are awesome. but from all these I only saw dir en grey live and die was the one who really made it good actually, he is an awesome guitarist with an awesome personality. I love him and his/their music.

12 miyavi (S.K.I.N)

Everyone in this list deserves to be here. (Small thank you who-ever added Pata, he always seems to live in Hide's fame-shadow)
But I think Miyavi shines in a way. It might be just me, but I personally hated his voice at first, he got a lot better though. I think without his amazing guitar skills (and unique style) he would never have stayed famous. Hence my vote goes to Miyavi.

Hide is probably the best Japanese guitarist ever for style and he's like a legend, but MIYAVI... MIYAVI has an unique style, he's like... wow. his guitar is part of him and he's got an amazing charisma. And last but not least, his technique is just PERFECT

Miyavi uses the guitar in a way I hardly ever see with any other artist. He known for his skills world wide. I even know music buffs who know of him despite having no interest in Japanese music. He is THAT good.

You can play well things that others have taught you, but you're even better if you can create your own style with the instrument. That is why I vote Miyavi; unique in his guitar playing because it's his.

13 Toru Yamashita (One Ok Rock)

How come my Toru is not in the Top 10?
When I heard a One Ok Rock song for the first time I was not just impressed with the vocals but also with its intrumentals. The lead amazed me! And he just keeps on improving every time. And have you seen them live? You'll be speechless! Not just he have those starstruck looks but the way he moves onstage like he is enjoying every part of the show. He also doesn't miss a note even with all those jumping, running, turning around. Words will not be enough when you seem him play onstage. And not only he is a very good guitarist but also a very impressive leader of the band. And his good looks is just an additional to the package

I've watched a lot of guitarists play on stage but this guy has grabbed my attention the most. His presence alone demands attention, more so when he starts holding his guitar - it's almost impossible to take your eyes off of him! He can spin in tight circles while rocking his instrument without missing a beat. And when he starts dancing and swaying to the beat, deym, it feels like he is hypnotising you to join the dark side. Technicality wise, he's getting better and better. And he's one of the guitarists out there who's very meticulous with the sound. He makes sure that every guitar he's gonna use on live shows are in perfect condition. And you know by the way he plays his instrument that he's always all about his passion for music and love for the band he created.

His guitar playing skills have been really good from the beginning, but are still getting better and better with each year. When he plays live, he sometimes looks like he is in his own world. He is really passionate and I admire him for that a lot. In fact, he is the reason I started playing the guitar again after years of not finding the motivation. I saw him live in Europe for the fourth time, and when I went home, I thought back to how much heart he put into playing guitar and the band itself, and somehow, it motivated me to put up my guitar again everyday since.

Ehh? He's far back in the list? How can that be? He's just so simply amazing every time he plays his guitar! And even if he moves around the stage he can still perfectly play every single note without missing anything. And he still gets better and better every time they play a new song. When he picks up his guitar you could clearly see his love and passion for music. It's like that you're being mesmerized by him that you can't focus on the other members because your eyes are stuck to him. Personally, I think that he really is a great guitarist with a lot of potential in him.

14 You (Janne Da Arc)

I listened to all the bands on this list, and although none of the guitarists could hold a candle to guitarists like Herman Li of Dragonforce, this band (You included) impressed me the most.

He is very good, and I like his. That's very wonderful.
I think to that he is hard practice everyday, and he love the guitar.
I respect to his technique. I love he.

Simply the best one! My only favorite guitarist ever. You plays so fast, and he is also a nice composer as well.

He is very technical, and put all his soul on the music. he's a wonderful composer, very attend to the others and has a lot of presence!

15 Teru (Versailles, Hizaki Grace Project)

Teru is in all aspects just perfect. His fast solos have always an awesome melody in it, and live he is just... Like a GOD! Or probably god number2, because Hizaki is the true reincarnation of awesomeness! We are VERSAILLES!

No one can keep up with the speed of his magic fingers. His artistry cannot be surpassed by many and with the assistance of Hizaki he can be a musical entity that none can defy.

Teru is such a good guitarist! He's awesome and more better than oder people! Vote for him! He needs all support he get! Support Versailles! And Hizaki Grace Project! I count on you People! Vote for your love!

Teru has so much skills I think he's totally the best. He deserves for the first place EVER because he's such a great guitarist, composer and artist in general.

16 Syu

How can this guy in 16? This is completely a joke, he should be in the top 3 easily. This guy is complete package, this guy is International level not on Japan anymore. He can totally compete with any Guitars God from Europe.

Look on YouTube between comparison him and Hizaki see how far the gap between these two, and Hizaki in 4, really?
Also he can eliminate Gazette's guitarists combined with very little effort.

Hey Nitta you should edit again very correctly. Research again by yourself, don't listen the fans. If you ask about great guitarist between Justin Bieber and EVH to Bieber fans they would says Bieber because they don't care about EVH same with these shame fans.

It was really difficult for me to choose a guitarist, there are a lot that I like and I enjoy listening to. But what makes me put my vote on Syu is the fact that every time I listen to this guy (and I think this happens to almost every guitarist) I go "! Dude, is that even possible?!? " His technique, his speed and his compositions makes him deserve the first place of this list.

In my opinion, he is the best among the rest.. I love hide (x Japan), leda and pata too... But he always make me want to hear his art everyday... He can play from soft to metal, slow to damn fast, melonic.. he's got all what I want... Hide is good too.. But I like him in live only because I can't here his music crearly on mp3...

Good skill, speed, melody and also genius guitarist. And also why Syu just stacked below top10 best japanese quitarist in here? Come on dude, don't vote because of the appearance, just vote because he deserve to get this title.

17 Imai Hisashi

Oh please... How come he got so far down on the list, below so many less skilled and experienced guitarists? His technique, his unique style of playing, his creativity and all these years of hard work deserve at least some recognition.

He's so unique, such an incredible player. He's also an absolutely incredible songwriter and the founder of BUCK-TICK. Should be number 1 definitely!

One of the most skilled, talented and imaginative guitarists and composers I've ever heard. I can't understand why he didn't make it to the top 10!

He's working so hard I just can't, he's the best for sure

18 Daisuke (Aqua Timez)
19 INORAN (Luna Sea)

He may be LUNA SEA's rhythm guitarist, but nobody can beat him for subtle impact. Listen to his live solo with Tourbillon at Budokan - like having good sex with someone who is both your lover and best friend.

He is so under rated. There wouldn't be Luna Sea without his melody

20 Gentaro
21 Hitsugi (Naitomea)

Just listen to "Criminal Baby", and "The World" and you will know why you should vote for him

Hitsu~! :3 Definitely underrated, or at least it seems that way. I don't know why though. He's a great guitarist (and funny on top of that, but that's not why I vote for him )

Hit...

Hits ~~ Love him and his music!

22 Shinji (SID)

Shinji's style of guitar is different from any other guitarist I've heard. He has this mixture of rock and pop and even some jazz. It's just a sound that only he can make, and a unique one at that.

Shinji is just so silly... His guitar skills are just amazing- In fact he composes a lot of songs in SID

Shinji is the guitarrist number one in the world. He's Style is an mixture of rock/pop/jazz an here style is simple

I am very like Shinji. Guitar skill is extremely well, he wear clothe very gentle.

23 Miya (MUCC)

Awesome guitar player. He can play sanshin and seven string guitar. He's a great musician and brings a lot of energy when he plays. I love that he also plays other instruments such as piano, harmonica and drums. There's depth to his guitar playing and the music he writes.

Miya is a fantastic and unique guitarist, my favorite from Japan! He is very talented and is a great band leader. He writes beautiful music and I have a lot of respect for him.

His guitar skills are so deep, I want to cry and scream with joy at the same time. He has passion

24 Cipher (d'erlanger)

He is one of the founders of the vk style and a massive influence.
Check out some of his bands like Body, Craze and D'erlanger

Too bad that D'erlanger is not that popular outside of Japan.. I really enjoy his playing!

all of them are talented, but cipher needs to be popular as hide and ken of l'arc

very relaxed guitarist player, and do you think that he can't play like hide and ken? ure wrong

25 Cazqui (Nocturnal Bloodlust)

He is impressive, is the master of the guitar, be great and talented is their nature. Cazqui is always in continuous improvement, looking to be better than it is, it demonstrates professionalism. In each song you can hear the passion, dedication and love for his work, he gives shape, color and life to music. He deserves to be among the best guitarists. Because it's one of them.

Nocturnal Bloodlust is an excellent band, each member is talented, and Cazqui is no exception.

He is just awesome, he is the master of the guitar by nature. Cazqui is talented, is passionate for his work, his work is the result of dedication, a lot of passion for music. Is always in constant improvement, the way he plays is wonderful, gives shape, color, gives life to the music, and that's what It makes it the best guitarist.

His work in Nocturnal Bloodlust is something you can identify, everyone in the band are talented, and Cazqui is no exception.

Cazqui is a God when it comes to guitar shredding, have you seen him play in their mv Genesis? He is amazing, you can really see his passion, he should be in the top 5! Nocturnal Bloodlust is one of most unique bands out there, with a mix of visual-kei and trashcore metal they create this unique sound and heavy music that will surely bring out the beast in you.

Cazqui is talented beyond his years. He is a insanely good guitarist. Seeing him play live leaves you totally mesmerized and wanting more. Distinctive sound & very talented, Nocturnal bloodlust is a force to be reckoned with.

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