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Top 8 Japanese Guitar Brands [Acoustic & Shamisen]

Music brings joy to our ears, lifts our mood, and allows us to all express ourselves in various ways. Guitars allow you to express yourself by strumming the strings. When you are looking for a guitar brand to choose from or to elevate your game, Japanese guitar brands are a good place to look. Not only are there an abundant amount of them.

All Japanese products are of high quality and will enable you to play to the best of your ability. Here are the top Japanese guitar brands we could find.

Top Japanese Guitar Brands


Yamaha first began in 1887 making reed organs. In today’s time, Yamaha is one of the largest manufactures in all musical instruments, audio and visual products, and many others such as sporting goods and appliances. Their international cooperation established in America in 1960. Being such a large and successful cooperation, they have been able to create office spaces for their employees that allow for exploring their musical creatively. Along with that they have their own music foundation to support kids who want to pursue music.

The guitars they produce are for anyone, from beginners to experts. They offer guitars for every style of music and music genre. The three main guitars they sell are acoustic guitars, electric guitars, and silent guitars. Guitars come in various colors, and all produce great sound. The price for these guitars is reasonable.

Ranging anywhere from $100 to $200 or more. A special guitar they offer is their Keith Urban guitar. This guitar is a little more expensive at $250 but comes with lessons by Keith Urban. Reviews for this guitar and guitars for the brand all range above 4 stars out of 5.


  • Rated highly
  • Cheaper options
  • High quality wood used
  • Offer acoustic, electric, and silent guitars
  • One of the oldest Japanese guitar brands



  • Less intimate of a brand
  • Focuses on other products, not just guitars



Ibanez was founded in 1908 and has been creating guitars through the height of the rock era. They started out making lower quality guitars but since the 60’s had begun producing high quality guitars. Ibanez guitars have a reputation for being one of the best guitar brands out there. They offer acoustic, electric, basses and guitar accessories.

Each guitar product on their website has a description along with the deigns and features of the guitar. Each aspect of the guitar is broken down from the neck to the springs. They offer a huge option of colors to choose from. Their guitars range around the 4 stars and above out of 5. These guitars are slightly more expensive since they are now a premium guitar brand. Price can range anywhere from $150 to $400 or more.

A basic acoustic guitar they offer is the Ibanez 6 String Acoustic Guitar. It is only $150 and would be a good buy for a beginner, although there are cheaper options out there if you are not sure if picking up guitar is for you. Overall, this brand carries a wide range of guitars for beginners to rock stars.


  • Rated highly
  • Offers guitars for beginners
  • Offers premium guitars
  • Multiple colors to choose from
  • Website has a guide explaining each component to their guitars


  • Can be expensive


3.ESP (Electric Sound Products)

ESP is a Japanese guitar brand that was founded in 1975. They produce guitars and basses which go through a rigorous quality and design process to create the best possible guitars. ESP has six series in which their guitars fall under. Their LTD serries is one of the cheaper series they created to produce guitars at a more affordable price.

Their signature series is slightly more expensive because it has guitars that artists use. Such artists are Ted Agular and Alan Ashby, but there are a lot more artists that use ESP.

This a guitar brand that offers a lot more shapes than other brands. From an arrow shape to their EX serries guitars that have a bold design you have to see for yourself. Like Ibanez, they offer a lot of different colors, but ESP offers patterns as well. Their guitars are top of the line guitars and are made for those who are invested in playing.

Most of the guitars are $1000 or more. The signature series ranges in the $2000 area. It is likely to find resellers of their guitars or price discounted guitars on Amazon such as their LTD EC-256 Electric Guitar, but they are not always for sale.


  • Rated highly
  • Top of the line guitar brand
  • Reputable artists use their guitars
  • Can find cheaper options from resellers or price discounts


  • Not for beginners
  • Expensive


This guitar brand was founded in 1967 by Toshio Moridaira. Morris offers a wide variety of different guitars to choose from. They offer cheaper ones for beginners to hand made ones for professionals. Wood used for the guitars come from all over the world.

There is a chart of where the woods came from and the type of wood. Since all of their guitars are mainly hand crafted, they only produce acoustic guitars. Reputable names that use them are Ivan Cardozo and TOKI. The list of artists is quite long, and they appear to be a trusted brand.

Their guitars are broken into three categories and have just implemented a fourth called the S series. Each guitar is broken down by a table next to a picture of the product which tells you about all the product’s details. Ordering from Morris is slightly different from other brands.

ince each guitar is hand made you have to send in an inquiry to them to begin the purchasing process. Prices of the guitars are not listed. However, these guitars can be found used on sights like eBay and other resale sights. Resale prices appear to range around $300 but it depends.


  • Produces handmade acoustic guitars
  • A lot of artists in Japan and the US use their guitars
  • Details are given about each guitar
  • Offer beginner level guitars


  • Price not listed
  • No online store



FGN was created by FujiGen and founded in 1960. This Japanese guitar brand features only electric guitars and basses. There are five guitar types to choose from and many within those categories.

Their Odyssey categorie features guitars which are simple are great for modern day use. The Iliad series is a traditional T-styled guitar that is used for all genres of music. The Mythic series consists of rock guitars. The Flame series feature a guitar that is modern style single cut with a sleek body offering better balance than a traditional guitar. Last but not least, their Neo Classic series features premium guitars for artists or professionals.

These guitars are rated positively and are for those who have played before. The price tag on these guitars on the FGN webstore are anywhere from $600 to $2000. These guitars can also be found on reseller websites but are generally the same price as their own website.

Buying directly from FGN may be the best option because they offer a one-year warranty which may come in handy since the guitars are pricey. If you check out their social media pages such as Instagram, they sometimes have giveaway and announce sitewide discounts up to 25% off.


  • One year warranty
  • Very high-quality electric guitars
  • Social media pages offer discounts or giveaways
  • Different categories of electric guitars to choose from


  • Expensive
  • Not for beginners
  • Only sell electric guitars



Guyatone was established in 1933 by Toshihiko Torri and Nathaniel DeMont. This brand manufactures both in Japan and the US. They sell a wide variety of musical instruments such as drums, keyboards, and guitars. There are also amps and parts available on their website.

Guyatone sells acoustic, bass, and electric guitars. The acoustic guitars are standardly designed while their electric and bass guitars are designed to look more individual. There are a lot of different styled electric and bass guitars that appear to be completely different from the other brands.

Their guitars vary on price. If you are looking for an acoustic guitar, they carry some of the cheapest ones. Ranging from $100 to $300. The bass and electric guitars price range varies a lot more.

You can get a $900 electric guitar or an $1500 electric guitar. This brand also offers vintage styled guitars which the other brands do not. The vintage style ones are more expensive but if you are invested in vintage guitars this brand would be perfect for you.


  • Cheaper options ($100)
  • For beginners and experts
  • Carry vintage guitars
  • Manufacture both in Japan and the US
  • Carry products other than guitars


  • Can be expensive
  • Main focus is not guitars



Alvarez guitars was established in 1965. It was first created by St. Louis Music but quickly they began working with Kazuo Yairi. With the combination of the two, Alvarez is a brand that is well known among big name artists. Such artists include Johnny Cash, Paul McCartney, and other recognizable names.

They create acoustic guitars and ukuleles crafted by hand. It took two years to handcraft the best possible guitar they could think of which falls in the Alvarez-Yairi collection.

When searching through their website they offer filter options to find the guitar you are looking for since there are so many. There are more than ten series, more than 15 shapes, and allow you to look for specific front or back and side wood.

Since these acoustic guitars so such high quality they come at a more expensive price. These guitars range anywhere from $230 to $2000. If you need to get your hands on one of these top of the line guitars, their cheapest one is the Regent RD26. Since a lot of these guitars are carried on Amazon, they allow for payments over 12 months if you are not looking to spend a large amount of money in one sitting. Ratings for this guitar brand are extremely high. Ranging around 4.5 and above out of 5 stars.


  • Highly rated
  • Cheaper options
  • Handcrafted acoustic guitars
  • Huge named artists use this brand
  • Can purchase from Amazon and pay in installments



  • Can be too expensive



Takamine started out as a small family business in 1959. This brand is dedicated to guitars and have created multiple series of acoustic and electric guitars. To make their guitars, they use skilled people and machines. They emphasize focus on the soundboard balance, the fret because other brands do not spend enough time on it, the body, and on the neck. The whole guitar is important to them.

They offer thirteen different series, all with different meaning and importance. Their highest quality series would be the signature guitars because those were crafted in collaboration with artist. Prices of their guitars can range from $300 to $1900. They do not have an online webstore but offer a list of distributors.

Their guitars can also be found on Amazon, some with discounts. Such as the 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar which you can get a large discount on as a prime member. These guitars are rated very highly, ranging in the 4.5 and above out of 5 stars area.


  • Cheaper options
  • Rated highly
  • Produce both acoustic and electric guitars


  • Expensive
  • Not for beginners

How to Choose the best Japanese Guitar Brand

Guitars are composed of a various number of components. Made with different wood, hardware, and more. With different brands come different wood quality or different tones. When you are picking out the perfect Japanese guitar brand for yourself, psychically entering a store and trying the guitar for how it feels, and sounds would be one of the best ways to do so.

Make sure to consider your price range and if you are a beginner or more advanced. If you are unable to psychically go to a store, then reading reviews and watching videos are a great way to help you determine if a brand holds the right guitar for you.