Looking for Japanese names for your baby girl? Some people choose names based on the way they sound, or to name a child after a loved one, and others prefer to look into the meanings and connotations of particular names.

While choosing a certain name because of its meaning won’t guarantee that your child is endowed with that quality, it’s still a popular way to choose a baby’s name. So if you’re looking for Japanese girls names and their meanings, check out our top twenty popular names.

These three are our favorite:

  • Aki (Autumn/Fall)
  • Hana (Flower)
  • Suki (Beloved)

Akari (Light, Brightness)

Do you have visions of your little girl lighting up the room as she walks into it? If so, Akari could be the perfect name for her. It’s a popular name across Japan and there are many celebrities with this name, such as the singer Akari Yoshida, the model Akari Yamada, and the idol Akari Uemura.​

Aki (Autumn/Fall)

If your baby girl is due in the autumn, Aki is a lovely choice of name. Think of all those autumnal colors, the crisp autumn leaves on bracing country walks – this is a name imbues the serenity of the season as well as the strong, fiery colors of the changing of the leaves.
The 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice features a character called Aki, and the actress who played her was named Akiko.

Aya (Numerous meanings)

This is a great multicultural name to choose for your baby girl, with lots of different meanings. In Japan, it means beautiful or colorful. In Hebrew it means bird, and in Arabic it means miracle. In old German, the name means sword. The name has also been used in Mongolia and Turkey, where it has musical connotations. Finally, in the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria, it means wife.

Chika (Wisdom)

Do you want your little girl to grow up wise and smart? If so, Chika could be the name for her. Japanese names beginning with a ‘C’ are not common, and are always followed by an ‘h’ to make the ‘ch’ sound. In Japanese, there are numerous different ways to write the name, with different kanji (characters)

Etsuko (Joy)

In Japan, ‘ko’ means female child and the ‘ko’ ending is often seen in girls’ names. Etsuko is not so common as other names, and if a good choice if you want something unique. Interestingly, the name has been common amongst Japanese female athletes in recent decades, including a figure skater, a sprinter, a tennis player, and a wrestler.

Emi (Beauty)

Emi is a super-cute name that is a great bilingual choice as it sounds like a shortened version of ‘Emily’ or ‘Emilia’. The meaning can be slightly different depending on the kanji used, with variations in meaning translating as blessing, reflection and smile. It’s a popular name both in Japan and abroad.

Hana (Flower)

One of the most popular names for baby girls in Japan, Hana means ‘flower’ and has several variations. Hanami is the name given to the cherry blossom viewing festival in the spring, Hanako is another similar name for flower. Popular across the world as a shortened version of ‘Hannah’, which is a biblical name, Hana would be a lovely choice.

Hiroko (Generous)

When describing what qualities, we wish our children to have, many parents hope that their offspring will be kind and generous. Hiroko is a lovely name, and while it is more traditional than other names on the list, many parents still consider this option. The nickname Hiro is also popular.

Ishi (Strength, Rock)

This name had a bit of a revival in 2014, but is still a unique choice if you’re searching for the perfect Japanese name for your baby girl. Ishi is a name that means strength, as strong as a rock.

Kaede (Maple tree)

Kaede is a cute name for charming little girls and is hugely popular in Japan, and also in fiction. Dozens of characters have been named ‘Kaede’ in Japanese manga comics and videogames. In both 2006 and 2014 the name soared in popularity, though it experienced a dip in 2015, making it a more unique choice once again.

Michiko (Knowledge)

This is a name that has been popular for quite a while, and though Michiko has a traditional ring to it, parents can always shorten it to Mimi for a cute nickname. The meaning of this name is knowledge. Michiko is also the name of the current Empress of Japan, who was the first commoner to marry into the Japanese Imperial Family.

Momoko (Peaches)

Peaches are a popular fruit in Japan, and so names that include the word ‘momo’ are also popular. There are a number of folk legends involving peaches in Japan which contributes to the popularity of this girl’s name. The name was used for a brand of fashion doll called the Momoko Doll, debuting in 2001 and similar to a Barbie doll, though slightly smaller.

Ren (Lotus)

A unisex name, Ren is short and punchy and a popular choice. It’s particularly gained popularity since the Star Wars character Kylo Ren. Also, the name ‘Rei’ is gaining popularity, thanks to Star Wars heroine Rey. The name sound similar to Wren, an old English name which soared in popularity in 2015, and is a type of small, cute bird.

Ryoko (Dragon)

A woman with dragonfly qualities (such as strength) would do well with a name like Ryoko. With the traditional ‘ko’ ending, this is a lovely choice for your baby girl. Other meanings for this name include ‘helpful’, ‘good’, ‘understanding’ and ‘refreshing’. The name enjoyed popularity in Japan in the 70’s and 80’s but is more unique these days.

Sakura (Cherry Blossom)

This is the perfect name to choose if your baby girl was born in the spring. One of the most popular names for a baby girl, Saki is a nickname you can choose if you call your daughter Sakura. It’s a youthful name, reminiscent of spring time, and would be the perfect choice for a little girl who you long to dress in pink – the color of the cherry blossom blooms.

Suki (Beloved)

This is a name that has found popularity across the globe, though you might be interested to learn that, despite being a Japanese word, Suki is rarely used as a name in Japan.
The word ‘to like, to love’ in Japanese is tsu-ki (pronounced Soo-Key) and isn’t actually used as a female name, but despite this, all over the world people have the impression that ‘Suki’ is a cute Japanese name, and have adopted the word as a feminine forename.

Taki (Waterfall)

Taki isn’t such a popular choice nowadays, but there was once a Japanese Princess called Taki, who lived in the Asuka period. Taki can also be used as a boys name, and is the name of a dyslexic boy genius in the Marvel Comics comic books, where the character is also known as Wiz Kid.

Tomoko (Friendly, Knowledgeable)

A modern name which is popular for girls, which means both friendly and knowledgeable. A lovely name, with a similar variation which is Tomoka. Interestingly, the Icelandic singer Hafdís Huld (making music from 1995 – present) released a song called ‘Tomoko’, though her pronunciation of the name isn’t correct in Japanese!

Tori (Bird)

Popular with bilingual families as Tori is similar to the nickname for Victoria, the name means bird. Also, ‘Tor’ is the name for the Norwegian God of Thunder (also called Thor, the name of a recent major motion picture).

Yuki (Snow)

A Japanese girls name which is known across the world, Yuki would be the perfect choice for a daughter born in the winter. The name is also popular for male children, though it is pronounced with a longer ‘u’ sound and is spelt Yuuki. While it was a popular choice for girls in the 60’s though to the early 90’s, it’s more fashionably a boys name nowadays.

There are so many cute Japanese girl’s names to choose from – this list is just the tip of the iceberg. As well as the most popular names, in this list we’ve included a few Japanese first names that are well due a comeback and worthy of your consideration for your little princess. For more ideas, check out lists of Japanese celebrities (like J-pop bands and actresses) and the names of manga/anime characters to discover more super-cute Japanese names for your baby girl. I’m sure you’ll find one that’s kawaii (cute), tokubetsu (special), kakkoii (cool) and tsuyoi (strong).