Vissel Kobe forward Yutaro Oda has signed with Heart of Midlothian on a three-and-a-half-year deal, the Scottish Premiership club announced Tuesday.

Oda came through the ranks at his local J. League club Kobe and has been capped by each Japanese national youth side from under-15 onward.

"I have been looking for a challenge, so this is a great club for me to come to. I am really looking forward to showing the fans what I can do," he said on the Hearts website.

"When I had my meeting with Hearts, it was clear that they had done their research on me. To me, that shows that they really wanted to sign me, and that they are keen to help me develop further as a player."

Hearts are currently third in the Scottish top tier, 26 points behind leaders Celtic who count former Kobe forward Kyogo Furuhashi and defender Yuki Kobayashi among their Japanese contingent.