Kenshi Yonezu’s “Lemon” returns to No. 1 on the Billboard Japan Hot 100 dated Dec. 24 to 30 after 39 weeks, reflecting the song’s exposure on various year-end music programs looking back at the Japanese music scene in 2018.
The Japan Hot 100’s No. 1 song of 2018 performed better in all but one metric - - it’s not available for streaming - - during this chart week than the week before, increasing in physical sales (from 4,432 to 7,227), downloads (from 23,515 to 50,953), and video views (from 4,771,142 to 6,913,409). The long-running hit leads downloads, Twitter, and karaoke this week.
Meanwhile, the No. 2 song of 2018, DA PUMP’s “U.S.A.,” also returns to No. 2 boosted by increased downloads and streaming, while video views - - which as always been the song’s strongest point - - jumped up as well. Views for the music video rose from 8,211,719 to 9,385,512 times and the song leads the metric for the 28th inconsecutive week.
Looking at the karaoke metric that was added to the Japan Hot 100’s methodology from the first week of December, the most-sung song of the year-end party season (data from Dec. 3 to 30) was “Lemon” and the runner-up was “U.S.A.,” demonstrating the widespread popularity of these two smash hits.
Coming in at No. 3 for karaoke during this period was back number’s “Christmas Song,” which returns to the top ten of the Japan Hot 100 this week. The candid winter love song released in November 2015 has returned to the tally for the fourth straight year during the holiday season, and is now solidly a new Christmas classic on par with some of Japan’s most beloved seasonal staples.
The Billboard Japan Hot 100 combines physical and digital sales, radio airplay, Twitter mentions, YouTube and GYAO! video views, Gracenote look-ups and audio streams from Amazon Music Unlimited, Apple Music, AWA, Google Play Music, KKBOX, LINE MUSIC, Rakuten Music, Recochoku provided by Gfk Japan, streaming counts based on lyrics displayed on PetitLyrics, and karaoke data from Daiichikosho and XING.
Lemon Music Video
Billboard Japan Hot 100 Top 10 (dated Dec. 24 to 30)
1.  Lemon / Kenshi Yonezu (7,227 copies / 50,953 downloads / none）
2.  U.S.A. / DA PUMP (3,524 copies / 15,861 downloads / 1,760,261 streams)
3. [-] Harmonics / D/Zeal (73,491 copies / none / none)
4.  Flamingo / Kenshi Yonezu (3,386 copies / 24,795 downloads / none)
5.  Konya Konomama / Aimyon (none / 10,326 downloads / 2,352,236 streams)
6.  Blizzard / Daichi Miura (2,640 copies / 10,426 downloads / 781,413 streams)
7.  Marigold / Aimyon (none / 13,532 downloads / 2,004,458 streams)
8.  Prologue / Uru (2,909 copies / 18,598 downloads / none)
9.  Kaerimichi Ha Toomawari Shitakunaru / Nogizaka46 (15,145 copies / 4,446 downloads / 848,085 streams)
10.  Christmas Song / back number (none / 11,262 downloads / 683,201 streams)
[ ] : Position last week.
( ): Physical sales / downloads / streams (Top 50 only).
Text: Billboard JAPAN / Photo: Taro Mizutani