still from a Japanese drama with 6 more jdrama posters

No other genre can pull the strings of your heart as much as the romantic genre. It just an emotional rollercoaster, there’s love, anger, joy, excitement, sadness, jealously, heartbreak, and whatnot. 

If you are a romantic genre lover like me then you know that the only place where you’ll get the whole package of everything said above is in Asian Dramas. 

Even in Asian dramas, Japanese dramas take the cake when it comes to writing and producing super awesome romantic stories. So in this post, I’ll be sharing with you a list of 15 Highly Rated Romantic Japanese dramas that’ll make your heart go zoom.

1. 1 Litre of Tears | 1リットルの涙

  •  Logline: A story of a girl who suffers from an incurable disease and tries to live life to the fullest.
  • Year: 2005
  • Cast: Asae Oonishi, Kazuko Kato, Yoneko Matsukane, Yoshimi Ashikawa

Fair warning ahead, if you gonna watch this Japanese drama, make sure you got tissue paper beside you at all times. It is one of those stories that just pierce your heart with pain but at the same time heals it with the warmth of love and courage. I’ve nothing but mad appreciation for this drama.

Summary

Ikeuchi Aya is an ordinary 15-year-old girl. Her life takes a turn for the worst when she is diagnosed with an incurable disease. In such depressing times, she meets Aso Haruto, a fellow classmate. For Aya, Aso comes as a light in the darkness, and she decides to live whatever life she has left to the fullest.

Where to watch 1 Liter of Tears?

You can watch this drama on YouTube.

2. Hana Yori Dango | 花より男子 

  • Logline: A girl from a poor background gets a scholarship in a rich school but becomes prey to bullying by the notorious boy group called F4.
  • Year: 2005
  • Cast: Inoue Mao, Matsumoto Jun, Oguri Shun

Inspired by a Japanese Manga series by the same name, this Romantic Japanese drama has already been remade 5-6 times in different languages but Hana Yori Dango is the real classic. The drama shows everything, it has comedy, it has friendship, romance, drama, and youthful energy. 


Summary

Makino Tsukushi is a hard-working girl and comes from a poor family. She gets a scholarship at a prestigious school for the wealthy. There she finds that the whole school is feared by four notorious rich boys called F4, who like to bully other kids in the school. Makino Tsukushi’s days at school were bad as she couldn’t get well with other students of higher status but later becomes worse when she becomes the new bullying target of the F4.


Where to watch Hana Yori Dango?

You can watch this Japanese drama on Dailymotion.

3. Hanazakari no Kimitachi e | 花ざかりの君たちへ

  • Logline: A story of a girl who joins an all-male boarding school disguised as a boy for a guy who studies there.
  • Year: 2007
  • Cast: Horikita Maki, Oguri Shun, Ikuta Toma

Inspired by a very popular Japanese Manga called ‘Hana Kimi‘ which has already been adapted into drama in Taiwan, Korea, China, and of course Japan. This Romantic Japanese Drama will forever be ingrained in your memory once you watch it. Definitely worth the watch.

Summary

The story starts with Ashiya Mizuki who decides to join an all-boys boarding school to get close to Sano Izumi who also studies there. She disguises herself as a boy to enter the school and becomes Sano’s roommate. The story is filled with chaos, troubles, fun, and lots of other emotions.

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Where to watch this Japanese drama?

You can watch all the 12 episodes of Hanazakari no Kimitachi e on Kissasian.

 4. Itazura na Kiss: Love in Tokyo | イタズラなKiss~Love in TOKYO

  • Logline: A sweet love story of a couple who are complete opposites of each other.
  • Year: 2014
  • Cast: Yahagi Honoka, Furukawa Yuki, Yamada Yuki

Based on a Japanese manga by the same name, “Itazura na Kiss: Love in Tokyo” is a romantic comedy revolving around the life of two schoolmates. The story has been adapted in Taiwanese and Chinese and well but the Japanese version remains to be the best one so far. It is indeed predictable at times but the blend of comedy and sweetness is by far the best you can expect from a Romantic Japanese Drama.

Summary

The drama is focused on two high schoolers- a dull and silly girl Aihara Kotoko and the handsome and intelligent Irie Naoki. For Aihara Kotoko, it was love at first sight but her love proposal was arrogantly rejected by Irie Naoki. After a series of events, both reach a situation where they can no longer ignore each other’s presence and eventually Irie also starts having feelings for Aihara Kotoko.

Where to watch Itazura na Kiss: Love in Tokyo?

You can watch both seasons of this Japanese drama on Youtube.

5. Rich man, Poor Woman | リッチマン、プアウーマン

  • Logline: A relationship started with a fight, blossoms into something very pure and beautiful.
  • Year: 2012
  • Cast: Shun Oguri, Satomi Ishihara, Saki Aibu

I am sure many of you have seen dramas where the guy is rich and rude and the girl is poor and persistent. It is a cliché plot used in many Asian dramas. However, what this romantic Japanese drama does differently is that it doesn’t sorely focus on the social standings of the couple. 

Summary

Hyuga Toru is the CEO of ‘Next Generation’ company and has advertised regarding new job interviews. Sawaki Chihiro is an intelligent student who has exceptional learning skills. In a series of unexpected occurrences, Huga Toru offers Sawaki Chihiro a job for her super-learning skills and things take a sharp turn thereafter.

Where to watch Rich Man, Poor Woman?

You can watch all the 11 episodes of this Romantic Japanese drama on KissAsian.

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6. Cherry Magic! | 30歳まで童貞だと魔法使いになれるらしい

  • Logline: A 30-year-old virgin is blessed with a superpower on his 30th birthday.
  • Year: 2020
  • Cast: Akaso Eiji, Machide Keita, Asaka Kodai

This is the only gay drama on this list and trust me, it totally deserves to be on this list. The best thing I liked about this Romantic Japanese drama is that the story isn’t all about male romance, but about overcoming one’s fears. Definitely a must-watch for anyone reaching this webpage. 

Summary

The show talks about a 30-year-old virgin named Adachi Kiyoshi who gains a magical power to read people’s minds whenever he touches someone. One day he accidentally touches his co-worker Kurosawa Yuichi and learns that he has feelings for him. 

Where to watch Cherry Magic!?

Watch Cherry Magic on TVer.

7. Nodame Cantabile | のだめカンタービレ

  •  Logline: Two people dealing with challenges come together and support each other in overcoming them.
  • Year: 2006
  • Cast: Ueno Juri, Tamaki Hiroshi

Nodame Cantabile is a Romantic Japanese drama with music at its core. Everything in this drama is expressed through music and you’ll definitely get mesmerized by it. So, if you are looking for some drama to soothe your heart then I’ll recommend you to watch it.

Summary

Megumi Noda is a very talented musician but afraid of crowds and she teaches at a kindergarten. Shinichi Chiaki is a very famous piano and violin player but he wants to become a music conductor. Both meet at the music school and along the way their paths cross and a beautiful relationship emerges.

Where to watch Nodame Cantabile?

You can watch it on KissAsian.

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8. Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge| ヤマトナデシコ七変化

  • Logline: Takano Kyohei is asked to turn a girl into a lady who is completely opposite of what is called ladylike.
  • Year: 2010
  • Cast: Kamenashi Kazuya, Tegoshi Yuya, Omasa Aya

If there’s one drama on this list that surprised me the most, it is this one. It has over-the-top acting, it contains all the typical drama cliche and still, I enjoyed it throughout. It has a simple story that few people may find not very captivating but once you get attached to the characters, everything feels nice about this Japanese drama.

Summary

The landlady of Takano Kyohei asks him to turn her niece into a lady and she’ll let go of Kyohei rent. Kyohei immediately accepts the offer but it’s not as easy as it seems. Sunako is a totally weird girl who has bangs that reach her mouth, she wears a cloak, sleeps in a coffin, has a science lab mannequin as her best friend. Instead of changing her, Kyohei fell in love with the horror girl itself.

Where to watch Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge?

Watch it on Kissasian.

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9. An Incurable Case of Love |恋はつづくよどこまでも 

  • Logline: After their first interaction, Nanase decides to study medicine just to join Dr. Kairi’s workplace.
  • Year: 2020
  • Cast: Kamishiraishi Mone, Sato Takeru, Karina, maiguma Katsuya

An incurable case of love is a popular Japanese romantic drama with some bits of comedy thrown in. If you are looking for a lightweight, not-so-overly dramatic show, this will be a perfect watch for you. 

Summary

Set in a medical genre this jdrama talks about a 23-year-old girl named Nanase Sakura who is a fresher in her medical career. 

A few years ago Nanase met Kairi Tendo, a professional doctor, and couldn’t get over him. In the hope to meet Kairi again, she decides to practice medicine.  

Nanase’s hard works pay off and she finally gets to meet Kairi. However, her expectation of Kairi didn’t match the reality. 

Where to watch An Incurable Case of Love?

Watch it on dramacool.

10. Nodame Cantabile | のだめカンタービレ

  • Logline: Two young musicians having similar abilities but different energy unites together. 
  • Year: 2020
  • Cast: Juri Ueno, Hiroshi Tamaki, Eita

Like many of you, it was hard for me to accept that Jdramas can compete head to head with Kdramas. This is one such Japanese love series that can make highly rated Kdramas look small. Nodame Cantabile is a strongly recommend Jdrama and I would not refrain from calling it the best romantic comedy-drama ever made in Asia.

Summary

Shinichi Chiaki is a young prodigy who has mastered the art of piano at a very young age. Chiaki is a pretty straightforward and sophisticated guy who doesn’t wish to indulge in love relations.

His adamant behavior evolved when he met Noda Megumi. Noda is also a child prodigy but due to her childhood trauma she doesn’t aspire to become a musician anymore.

The story sets these two musicians in plot and discovers their journey to become great musicians while getting closer to each other.

Where to watch Nodame Cantabile?

Stream Nodame Cantabile online on Netflix.

11. 5-ji Kara 9-ji Made | 5時から9時まで

  • Logline: A series of tragedies ties up Sakuraba with a handsome monk named Hoshikawa Takane.
  • Year: 2015
  • Cast: Juri Ueno, Hiroshi Tamaki, Eita

Another cheesy Japanese love story that can’t be skipped is 5 to 9. A unique concept performed by talented Japanese artists that’ll make you fall in love with Japanese tv culture. It is a love comedy with charming pair of leads featuring an uncommon plot of a monk falling for a freakish girl. 

Summary

Centered around Sakuraba Junko, an ambitious 29-year-old English teacher who dreams of settling in New York. 

The story starts with Sakuraba attending a funeral at a temple where she accidentally spills ashes over a monk leaving her embarrassed. Little did she know that she will be meeting the same monk on a blind date in the future.

Where to watch 5-ji Kara 9-ji Made?

Watch this drama on Facebook.

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12. Suki na Hito ga Iru Koto |  好きな人がいること

  • Logline: Sakurai unexpectedly ends up spending her summer with her high school crush and his two siblings.  
  • Year: 2016
  • Cast: Juri Ueno, Hiroshi Tamaki, Eita
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Shot with beautiful Japanese sceneries in the background this soft and light Japanese Drama turns a simple premise into an interesting watch. Being my first Jdrama “Suki Na Hito ga Iru Koto” has a special place in my heart and would definitely recommend it if you are just starting your Jdrama journey.
 

Summary

Sakurai Misaki dreams of owning a Bakery store someday but fate had decided different plans for her. When she gets kicked out of her job she unexpectedly meets her high school love. 

In this moment of darkness, she was helped by her high school love Shibasaki Chiaki who offers her a job at his restaurant. It’s for you to find about how she ended up traveling and spending summers with him and his brothers.

Where to watch Suki na Hito ga Iru Koto?

You can watch this Japanese drama on KissAsian.

13. Kiss that Kills | トドメの接吻

  • Logline: Otaro Dojima faces a weird situation where his life runs in a 7 days loop after kissing a woman with red lipstick. 
  • Year: 2018
  • Cast: Juri Ueno, Hiroshi Tamaki, Eita

If you made this far into the list and still haven’t found a Japanese romantic drama of your type, Todome no Kiss will surely end the search. It’s a super intriguing story that makes you think about the vicious lie of a so-called perfect life we humans tend to dream of. 

Summary

Maybe the title gives away too much- “Kiss of Death”. Dojima Otaro is a loner who believes love and sentiments only make people unhappy. His only pursuit in life is money and fame. 

His life shook apart when a mysterious girl wearing red lipstick kisses him. The mysterious kiss of death takes him 7 days back into his life. 

He repeatedly meets her after seven days and goes back to his past over and over again. This situation creates a perfect plot for a comical romantic drama.

Where to watch Kiss That Kills?

Watch this drama on Kissasian.

14. Watashitachi wa Douka Shiteiru | 私たちはどうかしている

  • Logline: What happens when childhood friends meet each other after years but in disguise.
  • Year: 2020
  • Cast: Hamabe Minami, Yokohama Ryusei, Takasugi Mahiro, Kishii Yukino

“Such brilliance can only be crafted in Japan” was my expression when I saw this drama. You would miss a romantic masterpiece show if you skip over this one. A suspenseful plot tied to interesting characters that will keep you desperately guessing what happens in the next episode. It’s love, friendship, drama, and a lot of suspense.

Summary

It is a kind of story I don’t wish to spoil even a bit. Add this to your Japanese drama bucket list today and give it a try! I can assure you of not getting bored rather you’ll start craving for wagashi(candy in Japanese). 

Where to watch Watashitachi wa Douka Shiteir?

Watch this love story on kissasian.

15. Nobunaga Concerto | 信長 協奏曲 コンツェルト

  • Logline: Saburo time travels to Sengoku Era where he finds out that the young lord of Sengoku looks exactly like him.
  • Year: 2014
  • Cast: Oguri Shun, Shibasaki Ko, Hirasawa Kokoro, Mukai Osamu

It may be the last show on the list but its appeal is as high as the first one. Nobunaga Concerto is a unique drama that incorporates the concept of time traveling to present. A series full of comedy, disasters, and romance. 

Summary

The story follows Saburō, a high school boy who accidentally travels through time and lands up in Japan’s Sengoku Era. To his surprise, he looks exactly like Oda Nobunaga, a young lord.

After the real Oda leaves, people mistakes Saburo for the young lord and brings him to Castel. Now he must play Oda Nobunaga, the warlord who helps unite Japan.

Where to watch Nobunaga Concerto?

Watch this Japanese show on Netflix.