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Who Are Japan’s Most Influential Actresses on Instagram?

#Meet Them Behind The Screen

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Long gone are the days when we had to line with up hundreds of other fans to buy posters and photos of our favorite celebrities — just to get a glimpse into their private lives, their fashion, and their favorite places to dine and wine. Luckily, things are far easier now thanks to Instagram. The ‘gram has opened the door into the lives of our favorite role models allowing us to finally learn almost everything about who they are off-screen — for free, too, if you don’t count the WiFi. From red carpet fashion to healthy recipes to walking their dogs in the park and even announcing marriages, here are the five most-followed Instagram accounts of Japanese actresses (along with their best ‘on’ and ‘off’ snaps) that you should be checking #rightnow.

1.Kiko Mizuhara 5m followers

A model, actress, designer, occasionally a singer, and most recently Asia’s first ambassador for Dior, Mizuhara is a multi-talented celebrity best known for her role in the 2010 movie adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood and Mika Ninagawa’s Helter Skelter (2012). With 5 million followers as of present, Mizuhara is also the most followed Japanese actress on Instagram.

Premiere of “Yomeddine” Directed by A.b.Shawky 本当素晴らしいかった。言葉にうまく表すのが難しいけど、、 苦しくても諦めずに自分の思う道に突き進んで行く事の大切さ、 そして自分の人生の諚を受け入れて、自分自身が強くなって行く事が、 より自分に幸せをもたらしてくれるのかな、とか。 幸せと感じる心が変わっていくというか、、 沢山考えさせられました。 映像も音楽も素晴らしいかったです。 心を打たれる、とてもインパクトの強い映画でした。 沢山の方に見てほしいです❤️ ?#DiorCannes @diormakeup @dior #Yomeddine #abshawky

i_am_kikoさん(@i_am_kiko)がシェアした投稿 –

Kiko Mizuhara at the première of Egypt’s Yomeddine at the Cannes Film Festival, May 2018.

Her account is and Kiko she is: natural, down to earth, bold and beautiful. She actively posts everything about her frequent travels, work, her friends and pets, and isn’t afraid to show her completely-no-make-up-on face — which looks fabulous anyways!


i_am_kikoさん(@i_am_kiko)がシェアした投稿 –

Kiko Mizuhara chillin’ at a park during a vacation in Hawaii.

2.Nozomi Sasaki @nozomisasaki_official 3.3 million followers

Nozomi Sasaki launched her career as a model when she was still a teenager and has since become one of the most famous and loved Japanese celebrities, with a number of TV and film roles in addition to her modeling work. Her film debut was the comedy The Handsome Suit in 2008, following which she starred in multiple comedies and love romances, including Afro Tanaka (2012), Enishi: The Bride of Izumo (2016), and her most recent work, The Many Faces of Ito (2018).

Nozomi Sasaki at the Tokyo International Film Festival in 2016.

Known for her sweet looks and fun personality, Sasaki uses her Instagram account to post everything about her behind-the-scenes life, including her gorgeous fashion looks, her love for her pets (and animals in general) — and even the announcement of her marriage to comedian Ken Watabe in 2017 in a two-shot photo which became the most liked Instagram photo by a Japanese account for 2017. Unfortunately, the photo is no longer up (perhaps the traffic was too intense?), but you should still check out her account for some real #fashiongoals.

Nozomi Sasaki poses a photo of her private fashion look of the day.

3.Mirei Kiritani @mirei_kiritani_ 2.7 million followers

An actress with nearly 70 movies and TV dramas since her debut in 2006, Kiritani is one of the most popular faces on Japanese TV, also thanks to her career as a newscaster since 2012. Best known for her role as Ume Kurumizawa in the 2010 romance drama manga-adaptation Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You, Kiritani is a rather private and shy person on screen.

Mirei Kiritani poses for the cover of a magazine in her typical on-screen “cool” look.

Set her free on Instagram though and she’ll kindly welcome you into her world full of laughter, fashion, makeup, and her cute pets. In 2016, Kiritani was among the three Japanese women chosen for the world’s 100 Most Beautiful Faces of the year, an annual ranking published by the US-based TC Candler since 1990. This was Kiritani’s fifth appearance in the ranking. And while she is indeed stunningly beautiful, we have totally fallen in love with her face below, too!

Mirei Kiritani getting ready for a drama shooting.

4.Erika Toda @toda_erika.official 2.7 million followers

An actress with a strong character and fearless personality, Erika Toda is among the top rated Japanese celebrities in the cinema industry and Instagram alike. Popular for her roles in the Sci-fi thriller sequels Death Note (2006), the action Amalfi: Megami No 50-Byou (2009) and the heartwarming human drama Hankyu Densha (2011) among other works, Toda has earned a reputation as a tough actress that can play any given role, be it action, thriller or a tear-jerking drama.

Erika Toda posts a reference to her role as Misa in the latest sequence of Death Note, Death Note: Light Up the New World, released in 2016.

On TV she has starred in a series of drama series, in some of which she also tried comical roles. Her most recent work is the TV series Code Blue 3, a medical drama. On Instagram you’ll find her traveling, working and, occasionally making fun of herself (or other people).

Erika Toda is fun to be around: that’s what we get from following her account!

5.Kasumi Arimura @kasumi_arimura.official 2.5 million followers

A rising star on the Japanese cinema frontier, Kasumi Arimura only debuted less than eight years ago, yet has a long list of films, TV dramas, commercials — and 12 lead roles in the 24-something movies she has to date starred in.

Kasumi Arimura during a press event for the opening of March Comes in Like a Lion in 2017.

Her most popular role to date is that of Sayaka Kudo in Flying Colors (Biri Gyaru), 2015, in which she played a highly unmotivated and not very bright high school student who was told to give up university — something that gets her blood rising to the point where she gets motivated and in fact gets enrolled in one of the most prestigious ones in Tokyo. Sweet and kind to everyone she works with, Arimura is loved by fans an co-stars alike — many of whom we get to see on her Instagram account. Follow her if you need some good vibes and positivity in your life — and a dose of Japanese food, too.

Kasumi Arimura poses with a giant “melon bread,” a popular snack in Japan.

Found your favorite Japanese actress on this list? Then wait no longer and start exploring — their Instagram accounts are endless wells of inspiration and fun delivered to you straight from #Japan.

Text by: Alexandra Homma