Lewis was fastest in all three phases of qualifying and smashed Michael Schuamcher's long-standing qualifying track record on route to his 71st career pole.
Lewis went four tenths clear on his initial Q3 run, before going even faster in the dying stages of the final shootout, to claim his first Suzuka pole.
"I've been coming here for so long, but it's my first pole here at Suzuka! It was definitely worth the wait," said Lewis. "I didn't make one mistake all session and just kept getting better and better.
"We built the foundation in Q1 and then just built upon it as qualifying developed. I've been waiting all weekend for that moment, for that lap in Q3 - and it feels so good when that comes together.
"It's incredible to come here with this car and drive on this track. It's always been one of the greatest but with this car, it's mind-blowing, I wish everyone could feel what we feel. It's always been a crazy rollercoaster ride, but with the downforce on these cars, it's insane. The way you can throw the car around, I love that.
"We know how quick the Ferraris were in Malaysia, so it'll be interesting to see how we compare. We've put ourselves in the right position to get the job done on Sunday.
"I don't know if people watching realise how much effort goes into qualifying, but the team worked perfectly to get me out at the right time, into space on track and allow me to do what I needed to do - I'm so grateful for that. They did a great job, I hope I can capitalise on that tomorrow."