Best Japanese Guitarists Ever


The Top Ten

1 hide (X Japan)

More than 50.000 people pour into the street crying hysterically to see the hearse carrying Hide's body passing, million others around the world mourn his death, even now 13 years after the incident, millions of people that knows Hide, still miss him very much. No need other explanation. He is the best. As a musician, and as a person. He is Hide.

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).


Hide all the way.
X Japan has the best guitars there are.
-pink spider-
He nails solos in all of the X songs, even the softer ones.

I like X Japan, but I think I slightly prefer his solo work. Genkai Haretsu is my favorite song.

Moreover, hide is just such a fascinating person. It's really hard to explain, but I can't listen to any of his songs without feeling some connection to him, and I don't even speak Japanese. He just seems like such an artistic, genuine person with a good heart. That's not even to mention the fact that I'm automatically drawn to anyone who seems like a tragic figure. I can relate to the struggle, I guess.

I'm disappointed that he died before I was born, as he could've accomplished so much more had he lived. Hell, he might've even been an American household name. It's a personal goal of mine to go to Japan and put flowers on his grave one day.

V 57 Comments
2 Aoi (Gazette) Aoi (Gazette)

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.

he's really cool and talented

Even if he is not the main guitar I think his job is not easy, because all of the GazettE song were difficult melody, because of that, he is the gratest!

The best guitar player! I love Aoi

V 62 Comments
3 Pata (X Japan)

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

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

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 the best

V 1 Comment
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

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.

Amazing composer. His skills can make your jaw drop. So much grace when performing live it can't be ignored.

His guitar solos are pure awesomeness and so deep by their story telling.

V 38 Comments
5 Mami Sasazaki (SCANDAL)

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.

She has a probably the best Japanese female guitarist, she deserves to be in the top 20 at least her skills on the guitar are insane, she definitely the queen on this post, om not sure about her being the best ever, but shes definitely the best girl guitarist ever in Japan.

Mami is the best!
Her guitar skill very pro!
I learn a lot from her
Please vote her!

She is beauty, is amasing, have talent, is the number 1.

V 153 Comments
6 SUGIZO (Luna Sea)

I think sugizo is the best (for me). Because sugizo is the master of sustained sound. Every luna sea song has an sustained sound guitar from sugizo. Especially for his solo song, there was screaming sound from his guitar. I like his ESP brilliant mixedmedia!

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.

Vibrancy. His sounds is global and reach so expansive he can rule it worldwide if he wanted.

V 13 Comments
7 Uruha (the GazettE) Uruha (the GazettE)

Uruha composes excellent guitar lines that are both interesting and challenging. He is also the "lead" guitarist, he plays the majority of solos in all GazettE's songs.

Awesome composer, awesome guitarist.

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.

Uruha must be better than Aoi, Aoi just do an accoustic things, whether Uruha do All the difficult solos.

I won't compare him to any other guitarist, all of them are unique, they all have a different style of playing, different signature riffs and so. It's just we don't have enough time to listen to all of them. Keep up the good work Uruha and Aoi. Best of Luck the Gazette for your future. (RU)

V 50 Comments
8 Ken (L'arc en ciel)

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!

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~

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

Ken is the best guitarist in japan and very romantic, he play beautiful mellody..

V 4 Comments
9 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.

He's talented guitarist, talented composer and best leader ever! - Niikura_Akonya

Kaoru is an amazing songwriter, and best guitar player in the world

V 10 Comments
10 miyavi (S.K.I.N)

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.

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

While my guitar gently weeps!... how about when his guitar howls!...magic! This is a guitarist who plays to his own rhythm... Rock.n Roll!

V 21 Comments

The Contenders

11 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 is awesome. I'm always speechless while watching him play his guitar. This guy is truly amazing.

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. ) - dearut

Sakito is very very good guitarist... Perfect

V 7 Comments
12 Toru Yamashita (One Ok Rock)

What? Why is this guy not part of the the top 10 or 20? Have you seen him play? He has style and he's just getting better and better

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.

Toru should be in the Top 5. Because, he has a excellent skills and he is the most tough leader. When he plays his guitar, you can see that, he's enjoying it. And his passion for what his doing is awesome. He is a multi-talented person. He knows how to handle the band.. He is the best, rather THE MOST..

My vote goes to toru bec he has been an inspiration for most young guiterist. but he is not the best guitar player.he is a musician who can create good melody. And his live performance are crazy and energetic.ask any oor fan u wil knw wht m takng abt.

V 334 Comments
13 Die (Dir En Grey)

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.

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. - TD17

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.

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 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!

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

Cool and speed guitarist! - rakora77

V 2 Comments
15 Syu

One of the best guitarists and composers ever, he is technical, melodic, fast and emotional, all we need in a true guitar god.

One of the best guitarist in the world, great composer, cool performance (better than studio version), amazing speed, perfect bend and vibrato what else? perfect guitarist

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.

Destiny and angel salvation is best guitar so far

V 24 Comments
16 Teru (Versailles, Hizaki Grace Project)

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 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.

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!

I couldn't believe how good this guy was! After watching, I had to go and practice for hours!

V 5 Comments
17 Daisuke (Aqua Timez)
18 Takayoshi Ohmura

Great fluid player with taste and style. He is also a great rhythm player. He is obviously a big Yngwie fan, but has evolved into his own style.

takayoshi is amazing, I don't believe that he's in that position, you like guitarist that are really bad playing and composing...

He is the fastest player in Japan.

He's a beast, with insane tecnical abilities, currently he plays with BABYMETAL and Marty Friedman and definitely deserves better than the 18 spot dude what the hell, just hear The Cataclysm, a real virtuoso

V 3 Comments
19 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

one of the best guitarist in japan. he is the idol of modern guitarists esp. visual kei bands like dir en grey. - ronluna

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

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

V 2 Comments
20 Hitsugi (Naitomea)

AHH I finally came back to vote for you Hitsugi

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 )

V 3 Comments
PSearch List

Recommended Lists

Related Lists

Best Guitarists Ever Best Japanese Rock Bands Best Metal Guitarists Best Japanese Rock Singer Best Japanese Rock Drummers

List StatsUpdated 26 Feb 2017

7,000 votes
109 listings
8 years, 212 days old

Top Remixes (11)

1. Imai Hisashi
2. SUGIZO (Luna Sea)
3. INORAN (Luna Sea)
1. hide (X Japan)
2. SUGIZO (Luna Sea)
3. Sakito (Naitomea)
1. Mami Sasazaki (SCANDAL)

View All 11


Add Post

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.