Helix Sounds Gift Guide: Japanese City Pop Edition

Helix Sounds Gift Guide: Japanese City Pop Edition

From Tatsuro Yamashita to Anri to Tomoko Aran, get a taste of our favorite Japanese City Pop albums.

Do you know someone with an old soul with an eclectic Japanese Jazz / Funk / Soul / Disco / Boogie taste in music? If so, you're in for a treat. We have a massive collection of Japanese City Pop albums on vinyl and some CDs and tapes. To name a few, here are 10 albums for your perusal. But definitely explore the rest of our expansive city pop collection.


For You by Tatsuro Yamashita
1982 (RCA / Air)

If you enjoy laid-back tunes, feel-good vibes, and dancing in rollerblades on The Strand at sunset on a hot summer day, then Tatsuro Yamashita's "For You" is definitely for you. Released in 1982, this iconic album features 10 tracks of smooth Japanese city pop, produced by none other than Yamashita himself. Notably, "For You" topped the Oricon charts upon its release, cementing its status as a classic of the genre. With its infectious grooves and timeless melodies, it's no wonder this album remains a favorite among music enthusiasts worldwide.


Timely!! by Anri 
1983 (For Life Records)
If you're craving a blast from the past with a futuristic twist, then Anri's "Timely!!" is it. From the neon-lit streets of the 80s to the cutting-edge sounds of synth-pop, this album is a captivating journey through time and space. With Haruomi Hosono at the production helm, "Timely!!" isn't just an album – it's a sonic adventure that's sure to transport you to another dimension. Featuring 10 tracks of infectious rhythms and shimmering synths, "Timely!!" is a timeless classic that's ready to groove you like never before. So, buckle up and get ready to dance into the night.


Love Trip by Takako Mamiya 
1982 (Kitty Records)
"Love Trip" by Takako Mamiya is a blissful journey through the soundscape of 1982, featuring 8 tracks that showcase Mamiya's talent as a singer-songwriter. Produced by Masataka Matsutoya, this album captures the essence of the era with its smooth melodies and soulful vocals, making it a timeless classic for music lovers everywhere. With its dreamy atmospheres and catchy hooks, "Love Trip" is the perfect soundtrack for those looking to escape into a world of timeless beauty and romance.


Taeko Onuki 


Fuyuu Kuukan (aka Floating Space)
Tomoko Aran 


Tokyo Sniper


Momoko Kikuchi 


First Light
Makoto Matsushita 


Haruomi Hosono, Shigeru Suzuki & Tatsuro Yamashita 


Junko Yagami 

Back to blog