Top 15 Japanese Influencers On Instagram

Posted By Jim Kersey

Whether they’re known for posts featuring pranks, dance trends, fashion, or lifestyle inspiration, influencers play a growingly important role in Japanese culture.

From the world-famous Naomi Watanabe to Kemio, the Gen Z fashion icon, we outline Japan’s top influencers in 2023 and explore why they’re so popular today.

Explore Japan’s Social Media Landscape in 2023

Table of Contents

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Forecasted Growth of Influencer Marketing in Japan

As budgets for influencer marketing increase across all types of businesses and more content creators enter the market hoping to grow their popularity and earn money through endorsements and sponsorships, the industry is predicted to almost double over the next few years.

Year Annual Expenditure (in Billion Japanese yen)
2020 33.2
2021 46.5
2022 61.5
2023 74.1
2024 88.4
2025 102.1
2026 115.9
2027 130.2

Source: Statista

Key Facts

It is less common for Japanese influencers to have a following that is as high as their US counterparts, yet their influence over their audience cannot be understated with many creators enjoying high levels of loyalty and engagement from their fans.

Given Japan’s high context culture with social norms that differ from other countries, it is more likely that homegrown Japanese influencers will play a more essential role in people’s daily media consumption and how they influence decisions and opinions more than foreign influencers and celebrities.

In Japan’s competitive marketing landscape, brands are collaborating with influencers more proactively than ever as brands recognise that partnerships with well-known creators is one of the most effective ways to build brand visibility, drive engagement, and impact purchasing decisions.

Popularity, user demographics and content trends on Japan’s social media platforms can vary significantly from what you might find in other markets.

Learn More About the Japanese Social Media Landscape

Top Japanese Influencers On Instagram

Japan has a rich influencer scene made up of all types of content creators, yet some of the biggest follower bases on Instagram still belong to models, actors and comedians. Many of the nation’s biggest names operate on multiple platforms, from TikTok to YouTube, but use Instagram as a way to showcase their most polished, curated and lifestyle-focused content.

This is also the channel where collaborations with some of the world/s biggest brands are commonplace, including the likes of Louis Vuitton, Channel and Nike.

1. Naomi Watanabe


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A post shared by Naomi Watanabe (@watanabenaomi703)

Naomi Watanabe is a household name in Japan. Initially gaining popularity for her impressions and comedy acts, she now partners with the world’s biggest brands and can often be seen on the front cover of Japanese magazines and billboards.

Humor is still a central theme of Naomi’s online content, but she is also one of the country’s best-known advocates of body positivity. For many young people, she is a symbol of diversity and a reminder that some of the country’s most entrenched standards and expectations should not limit one’s potential.

As well as developing her own brand and venturing into the world of acting, she has partnered with several international fashion brands like Kate Space, Adidas, Moschino and Ami Paris.

Account Name @watanabenaomi703
Instagram Followers 9.9M
Topics/Themes Comedy, Fashion, Body Positivity

2. Rola

Rola is one of the most sought-after faces in Japanese advertising and at one point had more commercial contracts than any other celebrity in Japan. She has been featured in countless ads from drinks to beauty products and today can take her pick from an endless pool of brands interested in collaborating.

Initially, Rola was a fashion model for some of Japan’s staple fashion magazines such as Vivi and Popteen before she featured in TV shows such as Tokyo Girls Collection.

Content on her Instagram profile will often feature some of her biggest brand endorsements, from YSLBeauty and Stella McCartney, but she also posts regularly about healthy living, fitness, organic food, and more recently the environment.

Account Name @rolaofficial
Instagram Followers 8.7M
Topics/Themes Fashion, Lifestyle

3. Kiko Mizuhara


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A post shared by i_am_kiko (@i_am_kiko)

Kiko Mizuhara has emerged as one of Japan’s most recognised style icons, both for her domestic audience as well as those abroad.

Starting in the modeling world at an early age, she has appeared in several fashion magazines like Vogue and partnered with major fashion labels like Coach and even featured in Chanel’s short films after becoming a favorite of Karl Lagerfeld.

Mizuhara’s Instagram content is a classic roundup of her modeling work, travel, brand partnerships and behind-the-scenes snapshots.

Account Name @I_am_kiko
Instagram Followers 7.5M
Topics/Themes Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel

4. Kento Yamazaki


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A post shared by 山﨑賢人 (@kentooyamazaki)

Kento is a Japanese actor and model best known for his roles in the films like Death Note, Kiss That Kills, Good Doctor, and the popular Netflix series Alice in Borderland. He has won several awards for his acting and is popular throughout Japan and China.

As well as curated collaboration with brands like Armani Exchange and Kagome, his Instagram profile heavily features glimpses into his acting career through behind-the-scenes photos and videos from production sets, as well as his interactions with other stars.

Account Name @kentooyamazaki
Instagram Followers 6M
Topics/Themes Entertainment, Fashion, Lifestyle

5. Nicole Fujita


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A post shared by 藤田ニコル (@2525nicole2)

Nicole Fujita is a New Zealand-born Japanese model, TV actress and singer who became popular for her use of “gyaru”—Japanese fashion featuring vibrant colors and high contrast make-up. She is now an exclusive model for the major fashion publication ViVi and has gained huge popularity on her YouTube channel in recent years for her beauty content.

Fujita’s Instagram grid is filled primarily with snippets from her modeling portfolio and general lifestyle content.

Account Name @2525nicole2
Instagram Followers 5.4M
Topics/Themes Fashion, Beauty

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6. Tomohisa Yamashita


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A post shared by BVLGARI Official (@bulgari)

Tomohisa Yamashita is a popular singer, actor, and TV host. He has starred in several popular Japanese shows and has performed as a member of the Japanese idol group NEWS, as well as solo. Major brand partnerships include Bulgari an ambassador for in 2021, but he has also worked with labels such as Onitsuka Tiger and Dior.

Yamasita’s Instagram content centers heavily on selfies and videos where he narrates his recent opinions, experiences and ideas.

Account Name @tomo.y9
Instagram Followers 5.2M
Topics/Themes Lifestyle, Travel

7. Tomomi Morisaki

Tomomi Morisaki is a popular Japanese YouTuber who is well known for trying clothes and beauty products on her channel as part of her daily lifestyle vlogs. She is an actress and model with brand partnerships that have included Burberry and Louis Vuitton.

Content on Morisaki’s Instagram profile features a highly curated collection of modeling shots and fitness inspiration.

Account Name @morisakitomomi
Instagram Followers 5M
Topics/Themes Beauty, Lifestyle, Fitness

8. Nozomi Sasaki


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A post shared by 佐々木希 (@nozomisasaki_official)

Nozomi Sasaki is a Japanese fashion model, actress, and former gravure idol. She began her career as a fashion model in 2006 and quickly gained popularity due to her cute and “girl-next-door” persona. Sasaki has appeared in several magazines, TV dramas, movies, catwalk shows and commercials as well as won several awards, including the “Best Smile of the Year” award at the 2009 Smile Awards.

Her online content is generally cheerful and positive with regular features of daily life and inspirational content. As well as images of herself, you’ll find food, travels, toys, friends and recommended products on her IG grid.

Account Name @nozomisasaki_official
Instagram Followers 4.7M
Topics/Themes Fashion, Lifestyle

9. Mei Nagano

Mei Nagano is a Japanese actress, model and influencer who made her acting debut in 2013 when she was just 10. She has since appeared in numerous TV dramas and movies, including “Koinaka,” “Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru,” and “My Little Monster.”

You’ll find casual selfies, behind-the-scenes glimpses, lifestyle inspiration and moments with friends on Nagano’s Instagram profile, with little to no video or Reel content.

Account Name @mei_nagano0924official
Instagram Followers 4.6M
Topics/Themes Fashion, Lifestyle

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10. Kasumi Arimura

Kasumi Arimura has appeared in over 40 films and dramas in Japan, as well as dozens of commercials. Some of her notable works include “Amachan,” “Strobe Edge,” and “Love That Makes You Cry,”. She has won several awards for her performances, including the Best Supporting Actress Award at the 36th Japan Academy Prize and the Best Actress Award at the 57th Blue Ribbon Awards.

Arimura’s brand partnerships include Liniere, Andrea Lev and Chanel, which you can find on her Instagram profile in addition to a wealth of behind-the-scenes content and general scenes and objects from her daily life, including flowers, pets, interior design and meals.

Account Name @kasumi.arimura.official
Instagram Followers 4.5M
Topics/Themes Fashion, Lifestyle

11. Sakura Miyawaki


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A post shared by Sakura Miyawaki (@39saku_chan)

Sakura Miyawaki is a Japanese singer, actress, and former member of the popular Japanese idol groups HKT48 and AKB48. As a solo artist, she has released several singles and albums, and her music has been well-received by fans in both Japan and Korea where she is based.

In the past, she’s partnered with brands such as Louis Vuitton, Lily Brown and multiple cosmetic brands from Korea. Instagram content primarily features modeling shots, magazine covers and brand endorsements.

Account Name @39saku_chan
Instagram Followers 7.6M
Topics/Themes Fashion, Lifestyle

12. Fumino Kimura


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A post shared by 木村文乃 (@fuminokimura_official)

Fumino Kimura is a Japanese actress and model who began her career as a model before making her acting debut in the TV drama series “Kokosei Restaurant” in 2011. Since then, she has appeared in numerous TV dramas, movies, and stage productions.

Kimura differentiates herself on Instagram by featuring meals she has cooked and food inspiration more than anything. As well as a standardized top-down shot of carefully arranged meals with classic Japanese trays and utensils, her content also includes tips, tutorials and recipe reviews.

Account Name @fuminokimura_official
Instagram Followers 2.3M
Topics/Themes Food, Travel

13. Riisa Naka

Naka Riisa has one of the most vibrant Instagram grids in Japan among fashion models and actresses. Expressing her bold sense of style, her profile is colorful, bold and unique.

Bright tones, mixed textures and contrasting colors can be found throughout as well as humorous Reel content, often mimicking current social media trends. Her partnerships include the likes of luxury brands Gucci, Coach, and Bape among others.

Account Name @riisa1018naka
Instagram Followers 3.6M
Topics/Themes Fashion, Modelling, Photography

14. Haruna Kojima


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A post shared by 小嶋陽菜 (@nyanchan22)

Haruna Kojima is a Japanese actress, model, and former singer known for her performances as a lead vocalist and dancer for the idol group, AKB48. More recently, Kojima has made several appearances in several dramas and movies.

On her Instagram feed, you’ll find a collection of fashion inspiration, modeling shots, travel photos and product recommendations, with luxury brand endorsements for brands such as Fendi and Louis Vuitton.

Account Name @nyanchan22
Instagram Followers 3.7M
Topics/Themes Fashion, Travel

15. Kemio


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A post shared by kemio (@mmkemio)

Kemio is one of the most popular Japanese influencers among millennials and Gen Z today. Once a viral sensation for his popular Vine videos capturing his life as a high school teen, he now appears regularly on television shows as a star guest and has a strong subscriber base on his YouTube channel.

In Japan he is well known as an advocate for LGBT rights and ethnic diversity but is now also an increasingly well known fashion icon globally, working on campaigns for brands like Dior and Marc Jacobs.

Kemio’s Instagram grid showcases a diverse range of styles, locations, moods and trends—capturing the diverse interests of his audience.

Account Name @mmkemio
Instagram Followers 1.1M
Topics/Themes Fashion, Modelling, Sexuality

Tips On Working with Japanese Influencers

Working with a Japanese influencer with a following as big as the individuals featured in this article would be great, but this isn’t feasible for most brands due to the high cost that comes with official brand partnerships with creators and celebrities that have national fame.

Fortunately, working with micro-influencers who have much smaller but often more engaged fans interested in specific topics or niches can be more effective. There are a huge number of Instagram influencers with a following of 5-100K who could be the perfect fit for your brand.

Working with micro-influencers who have much smaller but often more engaged fans interested in specific topics or niches can be more effective.
When considering individuals to work with, make sure you’re evaluating the level of trust their audience are likely to have in their recommendations and opinions rather than just the number of people who consume their content.

Also, striking a relationship with an up and coming content creator can offer mutual benefits for both parties. This can start with something as simple as gifting them your latest products or investing them to visit your store.

Equally, it’s important to understand exactly what you want from working with influencers, whether it’s brand awareness, direct sales or increasing your credibility in the Japanese market. From here, you can map your brief to the individuals who are the most likely to help you achieve your goals.

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Actionable insights straight from our data

Here are a couple quick discoveries we’ve pulled from the data of our latest projects. Why? To help you make the changes you need to gain traction in the Japanese market! As an agency, we are always digging deeper and searching for those little yet significant tweaks that will push our clients to the next level of success. If you need a partner to help you identify and implement changes like these on a monthly basis, let us know!

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Taking advantage of season and trending content increased engagement by 775% on Instagram Discovery card

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