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If you ever find yourself traveling through coastal Asia, chances are you will pass through or very close to the islands known as Japan. It is a land rich with culture, tradition, myths, legends, and amazing discoveries. There are also many interesting names to be heard in Japan, and some of the more intriguing and beautiful belong to the girls of this island nation. From the common and ordinary to the unique and extraordinary, thousands of names are out there to be discovered. Whether they are locals or those who have moved from their homeland, there are many opportunities for you to meet someone with one of these beautiful and unique names for yourself. Names hold deep meaning for many cultures, and it is important to understand--Japan is no different, as a look at these names will reveal.

Amaya is a Japanese name that has been around for many years but has never gained a ‘popular’ standing. The name means ‘night rain’ and some Japanese girls who were born on a stormy night may have found themselves being named Amaya. Even outside of its country of origin, the name has become popular as many Japanese-Americans and other Americans have named their daughter Amaya. From 2008-2012, more than 400 out of every million babies born in the US had this name.

This popular girl's name has been given to many Japanese girls over the past decades. Cho translates into ‘butterfly’ or ‘graceful one.’  While this name has been very popular in Japan, it has not caught on so much in America. The name does not appear on very many baby name lists and has not been on the top international baby names within the US. Chances are you will meet a Cho only if you know a Japanese family or if you are traveling in Asia.

A popular name that many are surprised to learn has its origins in Japan, Mika has made several appearances on top name lists in the US and other countries outside of Japan. The name is typically said to mean a new moon or a pleasant aroma and is one that symbolizes beauty, purity, and contentedness. Mika is a beautiful name that has made the transition to modern Western culture quite well and is one you may well run into.

A very unique name, this Japanese name for a girl is translated with the meaning ‘abundant,’ ‘gracious,’ or ‘prosperous.’  It is an old traditional name in Japan that was used to mark significant events in the family. Despite the sometimes negative view the nation has had towards girls, the name shows that there have been times where the birth of a girl was a celebrated occasion. It has never really caught on in the US and still remains a name you are likely to hear only during your Asian travels.

As one of the most popular names for girls in Japan, Sakura has long been heard throughout the region. The word Sakura means ‘cherry blossom’ and speaks to the elegance, grace, and beauty of those given the name. A few hundred years ago, the name Sakura was not given to children because cherry blossoms wilt and fade quickly and it was thought to be a bad omen that the child would die young. That changed in the 1900s and the name began to be used and soon became very popular among girls. Though it is one of the top names in Japan, Sakura has not seen much use in the United States.

With several variations and each one with a unique meaning, the general translation of Hinata has to do with the sun. Sun rise, sun flower, sun rays, and sun light are some of the meaning the various forms of this name have. The name has been around for a while, but it has seen highs and lows in its usage in Japan as a girl’s name. In America it gained in popularity and has continued to be used more and more. However, it has yet to make it onto any top name charts in the US.

With a name meaning the sound of a thousand birds chirping, the name Chidori is often used to symbolize peace, tranquility, and a love for song. It is an older Japanese name and though it is not one of the more popular girl names and does not appear on top name lists, it is still used to this day in Japan. The name is one that not only means beautiful melody--it also sounds like a beautiful melody when said.

Meaning child of joy, this is a popular Japanese name for a girl and represents the joy a new child can bring to the family. It is a beautiful name that has been used in cultural and media productions for years and still remains popular in Japan and surrounding nations. It is not so popular overseas in the US, but it can be found now and then and sometimes makes an appearance on a listing of beautiful yet unique names.

When a girl gets a name that literally translates into beautiful, there are high hopes and expectations set early on. Zuri is a simple yet beautiful name and is one that is still used in Japan and is considered to be a respected and beloved name. It is indeed a beautiful name and is very fitting for the beautiful features of a Japanese girl.

Japan is a culture that is rich with traditions and meanings. Names carry a significance and importance, and there are many unique and interesting names that exist. Here we have looked at nine of the multitude of Japanese names you may encounter during your travels of Asia. You may even run into some of these names in the United States and some of these are starting to become popular. So be on the lookout for these popular, unique, and beautiful girl names the next time you meet someone from Japan!

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