Ryoko Kuninaka was working part-time at a Zenzai store when she was discovered by a talent scout. In 1998, she entered the "Idol High School" for aspiring female entertainers. And at the age of 18, she debuted in a Fuji TV drama, in which her character is also named "Ryoko". The following year, she debuted in the TBS drama "LxIxVxE".
Two years later, she starred in the NHK drama series "Churasan" and her portrayal of the heroine Eri won her rave reviews. "Churasan" made Ryoko Kuninaka a star and she continued to appear in numerous TV dramas and movies afterwards.
In 2001, she was given the "Best Smile of the Year" award and the following year, she was dubbed the "Best Newcomer" at the "Golden Arrow Awards".
In 2003, she debuted as a singer when she sang the theme song to "Churasan 2" titled "Ryukyu Moon". In 2004, she released her first album "Furusato" and her second single "Meguri aeta ne", the theme song to "Churasan 3".