The Japanese skater, who finished runner-up to his Canadian rival in last year's Final, produced an impressive display to top the pile while his compatriot Yuzuru Hanyu sits third.
It is good news for Japan in the ladies' competition as well as Mao Asada leads the standings after the short program with American Ashley Wagner, who qualified in first place for the Grand Final, just behind.
In the Ice Dance hot favourites Meryl Davis and Charlie White from the USA are sitting pretty after a dominant display in the short dance.
The American duo, who won this event last year, lead Canada's Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir with Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat of France in bronze-medal position.
And finally in the pairs competition Russia's Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov look well placed to improve on their silver at last year’s Grand Prix Final.
The Russia duo lead compatriots Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larionov with China's Qing Pang and Jian Tong in third after the short program.