Japanese nail art designs are (perhaps) more artwork than cosmetics, with
full-blown competitions that feature some amazing work. From the fun and flirty to the sleek and serious, there’s a little bit of everything with this style.
We looked through
thousands of designs to try and narrow it down and we’re really just scratching the surface here. We’ve tried to cover a little bit of everything and you might find a design you just fall in love with and try yourself – but also look at this as inspiration to get you started. You might also like to check out the trending Korean nail art list.
Sailor moon is waving, y’all! I grew up watching this anime on TV and Sailor Moon nail art lets you play around with some really out there styles. So, even if these nails are too girly for me, I might try them.
Sakura or cherry blossoms symbolize rebirth and optimism. In Japan, they believe that it is a reminder of hope and the beauty of life. Honestly, this whole list could be cherry blossom nails and it’d still be fantastic.
Dull colors? I don’t think so. These nails are fantastic, especially the flowers that look like faded smoke. Will you give them a try?
Another set of sakura nails, but this time all-white. Such detail for a handpainted set and those little stones just really tie it together. Japanese nail art is really one of my faves!
I will give you a bunch of sakura-inspired nails in this post. What can I do? They are too gorgeous not to include.
Pusheen the Cat is actually an Irish national. But you know how Japanese culture is so fond of anything kawaii. So, we can consider this a Japanese nail design.
All right. Cherry blossoms aside, don’t you just love those pink, little kiss marks? I am in love with all the nails I included in this list.
Ooh, I love that blue polish in ombre style. It looks like the clear blue water you see in Japanese films and animes.
How about this sea green color? Will you be willing to get this elegant set?
3D Japanese nail art for those who like embossed flowers. The light pink color of the flowers combines so well with the lilac tips.
Line art is a pretty interesting kind of art. It has been quite a trend these days among nail artists. Try it for yourself!
Japanese nail art in dark colors can also look good, and this design is proof. I love the glitters and foils. The whole thing gives me galaxy vibes.
Something simple to please your eyes. We live for these kinds of color combinations.
These rainbow pastel clouds are a blast. Won’t you agree? I like all the colors, but I’d pick lavender as my favorite.
Handpainted flowers that are too awesome not to show off. Oh, and that gold accessory on her middle fingernails is a characteristic of Japanese nail art.
These aesthetics are also handpainted. Can you see ocean waves in purple color? I do, and they are simply incredible.
Pink and flowery. Gotta love that heart-shaped flower on her nails.
If you want to stick with natural nails but still would like a touch of a lovely flower design, you can go for these nails.
Sakura flowers in crystal forms. Wow, right?! The color of black in the night sky style even made the whole thing more magical.
Cherry blossom design made out of gold and pink foils; how can these artists be so talented? I feel like Japan knows something about nails that we don’t. They do tend to focus a lot more on care of the nail bed than we sometimes do.
All right, let’s take a break from the cherry blossoms. How about tulips? Tulips represent deep and perfect love. Have you found your perfect love?
3D objects and the lines in the middle of fingernails are also characteristics of Japanese nail art. Were you aware of that?
Believe it or not, these are bridal nails. We got so accustomed to white, elegant nails, no? These nails are to be matched with a kimono for a wedding photoshoot.
Spring nails, but in Japanese style. I like this shade of blue. It looks neat and refreshing.
Blue and off-white look good together, especially when they are in concrete marble style. I like the addition of the flowers; they made the set shine.
Marble nails shine more because of the gold add-ons. I am amazed by how Japanese nail art can look so cute and classy at the same time.
Are you wondering how these nails can look so glossy, firm, and surreal? They used magnet gels to deepen the color.
The marbled nail and the Sakura flower are my favorites in this set. What’s yours?
I feel like I am looking at an abstract Japanese painting. Have you ever gone to a Japanese museum?
Royal blue for the queens, of course! Add some gems and golds, and you are ready to rule.
Who can ever refuse the elegant combination of black, white, and grey? I dare you to say no to these splendid nails. I know you can’t.
That feather design that looks like an inverted mountain really got me wondering. Even now, I’m still not sure if it’s a feather or a mountain.
Take a guess. Do you think these are stamps? Or are they handpainted? I’d like to keep it a secret, but I also want you to be amazed. Well… yep, handpainted.
It’s the marble design for me. How about you? I can’t contain my curiosity about how they neatly do the marble nails.
Another indicator of Japanese nail art would be the simple gem or gems at the bottom part of one nail, like the one on her ring fingernail, for example.
You might want your flowers too fab and bewitching. Can you handle the attention if you wear these nails?
From super kawaii and lovely, why don’t you try something sexier? These red nails, for instance, are what you need to spice up the game.
Classy black and white nails, but a Japanese version. You can try wearing these nails at the next wedding you need to attend. Whatever the motif is, these nails will look splendid.
The moon has got your back, dear. Always and forever. Love these 3D objects for this cute Jap nail art. I am feeling some Studio Ghibli nail design vibes.
really want to know how far some of these designs go, tsunaguJapan went to an expo of nail art in Tokyo and… wow. They have press-on nail sets from well known nail techs that actually get auctioned off.
Really, Japanese nail art is a
very broad style and it’s so varied and inspirational. Our inspiration photos come from user submissions and open sources and we’ll always give credit. All of the fantastic styles belong to their respective owners. If we’ve got a credit wrong or you’d rather we don’t feature you – just drop us an email.
If you try one of these designs for yourself (or you have in the past) send us a photo and let us see!