Published on July 3rd,2011 at 9:19 AM
By >Ike

Japan music: Singles & Albums 2011 Top 10

Oricon just released the top ranking singles and albums from the first half of 2011.

In the Singles department

The top seeds were fairly expected yet yielded impressive sales numbers. Top seller in the singles list is the killer hit “Everyday, Katyusha.” from AKB48 with 1.5 million singles sold, which is impressing knowing the single has only been out for 1 month. Second place was also dedicated for the girls from AKB48 with “Become A Cherry Tree”, good for almost 1.1 million copies sold. Third place was for the boys group Storm with their hit single “Lotus”, good for 624 865 copies sold.

In the Album department

Sales weren’t going as high as the singles. Reasons for this could be the fact of the unsteady economy mainly due to the disasters that struck Japan a couple of months ago. Singles are cheaper and always deliver you that “one song you really cared about” experience, whereas albums tend to have 2 or 3 songs you really like for a much higher price tag.

Number 1 in Albums: Exile with “Tower of Wishes (Limited Edition)”. Exile is a j-pop boy’s band who gained huge popularity by delivering the audience quality voice skills combined with solid lyrics. Their album is a well mixed variety of romance and general pop music in a well delivered English/Japanese voice package. Released in March this year, sold 702 058 copies.

Number 2, no surprise here… AKB48 with their latest album “It Was Here”. AKB48 is a girls group who razed the j-pop landscape and rebuild it. Success of the album is due to a solid group with amazing voice potential, a top notch production house and one of world’s best marketing hidden behind it. The new album sold already 601 985 copies since it’s release in June this year.

Third in the ranking was Namie Amuro with “Checkmate! (Best Of)”. Namie is a Japanese allround artist focussing on a fairly niché market, her music is  a blend of Japanese/English pop songs, equally dual lingual hip hop tracks and western style house/dubstep blended with pop/hip hop vocals. Overall a very original concept with potential to make it overseas as well.

Strangely enough we see Lady Gaga’s album, even after her visit to Japan and all of her love expressions towards the people, still not making the top 10 in Japan. Furthermore noticeable is the fact that Avril Lavigne is the only western singer who made an appeal large enough to rock herself into the Japanese top 10 rankings of the first half of 2011.


Single name(Artist) – Number sold

  1. Everyday, Katyusha (AKB48) – 1 499 026
  2. Become a cherry tree (AKB48) – 1 076 916
  3. Lotus (Storm) – 624 865
  4. Why? (TVXQ) – 284 410
  5. Venus banzai (SKE48) – 270 208
  6. Let’s try again (Amuse team!) – 262 091
  7. TWL/Yellow pansy street (About Jani) – 252 634
  8. Eternal (Akanishi Jin) – 241 630
  9. Weekend not yet (Not yet) – 237 813
  10. Dear J (Itano Tomomi) – 215 466

Album name (Artist) – Number sold

  1. Tower of wishes (Exile) – 702 058
  2. It was here (AKB48) – 601 985
  3. Checkmate! (Namie Amuro) – 442 876
  4. Musicman (Keisuke Kuwata) – 403 757
  5. Summary 1 (Aiko) – 362 189
  6. Members Best Of (Creatures of clues) – 339 314
  7. Cosmonaut (Bump of chicken) – 337 706
  8. Summary II (Aiko) – 335 429
  9. Goodbye lullaby (Avril Lavigne) – 330 200
  10. Girl’s generation (Girls) – 325 658

Notice: most track names are translated from Japanese, and are not guaranteed to exactly replicate the Japanese meaning of the word when read in English.

Category Offbeat
Related Articles



Let’s NOT visit: Aokigahara Forest


Let’s Visit Tokyo – Owakudani, the Great Boiling Valley


  • BJS

    Any reason why you are translating also the artist’s names to English?
    “Storm” has to be “ARASHI” and “About Jani” is “Kanjani8″…

    Cause otherwise your website is really great…

    • Ike Leus

      Thanks.  Well since the kanji/hiragana/katakana would made it unreadable for many visitors, I decided to throw the list in google translate. The listings are from Oricon. By the way: I got that Namie Amuro album, but still not sure if this can be labeled as j-pop or hiphop… :-)    Also, I’m testing the water with this article, to see if our readers appreciate this type of content, never posted stuff like this before.

    • P.

      It is often hard to find Japanese music on youtube etc so maybe it would
      be good to include hiragana/katakana names next the English
      translations. Still very good idea with the Singles and Albums, thanks
      for that. It’s good to have a list with latest hits. While in Japan I heard a lot of cool songs but its impossible for me to find them not knowing the titles (much easier with Korean songs since there is so much of them on youtube). Keep up the good work.

    • ToyNN

      I like this type of content and agree – do use the romaji for artists – we all know Arashi not Storm ie. not the literal translation, etc…. Nami Amuro should always be included.

  • Jojo

    I like it two thumbs up

  • Project Zero05

    It’s not that weird that Lady Gaga’s new album isn’t on the list, it’s probably to new. But given the fact that it’s still in the Top 10 daily, I wouldn’t be surprised if it made the list in the Year End Rankings.

  • Charles 

     Exile with “Tower of Wishes ”  is a number one Album.
    Exile is a j-pop boy’s band who gained huge popularity by delivering the
    audience quality voice skills combined with solid lyrics. Their album
    is a well mixed variety of romance and general pop music in a well
    delivered English/Japanese voice package.



Panasonic - Massager that relaxes your muscles and warms them gently


World's lightest and thinnest circuits pave the way for 'imperceptible electronics'


Panasonic - Smartphone-sized portable full body massager


Nestlé - KitKat - 2013 summer seasonal special flavors


Turn your iPhone 4/4s or 5 into a real pocket camcorder thanks to Donya


Japanese Technology from the Future Friday!


LG - Pink-colored model will be added to Pocket photo


Sharp - Electronic handwriting notebook that can save 2000 pages data


LG - Ultra-wide LCD monitor with a cinematic 21:9 aspect ratio


Panasonic – DMC-XS3 – Slim & classic designed Lumix camera


Panasonic - DMC-FZ70 - Lumix camera with the world's first 60X optical zoom


Japanese Robots: The Seemingly Least Cool Robotics Story of July is a Must-Read!


Sony - α58 - DSLR camera with interchangeable lenses


Thanko - 7.5mm biz card sized portable battery - Increased in battery capacity by 1200mAh over the previous model


JVC Kenwood - ADIXXION "GC-XA2" - dustproof, shockproof, waterproof, low-temperature resistant action camera


NTT docomo - Disney Mobile on docomo F-07E - Disney official smartphone