Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Danedream failed to sparkle as she finished out of the frame behind Buena Vista in the Japan Cup at Tokyo.
Peter Schiergen's charge was well fancied for the 12-furlong Grade One but, after settling in the pack early on, she had no extra to give in the straight.
Andrasch Starke launched his challenge down the middle of the track but Danedream just could not pick up in the same style as she had done at Longchamp.
That left the local runners to fight out the finish as Tosen Jordan, who had been prominent throughout, made an early break for home.
However, Yasunari Iwata was making swift progress as Buena Vista set off in pursuit and she threw down her challenge around a furlong out.
The pair battled out it the final few yards but Buena Vista just edged it for trainer Hiroyoshi Matsuda, with Jaguar Mail in third.
Buena Vista's win offered some compensation for last year's misfortune in the race when the five-year-old mare was first past the post only to be disqualified for causing minor interference.
Danedream finished sixth with Alain de Royer-Dupre's Shareta chasing her home in seventh.
Fellow French raider Sarah Lynx was 12th while Victoire Pisa, winner of the Dubai World Cup in March, was well off the pace in the early stages and eventually finished 13th.