Despite Japan being the sole creators of some of the best technology in the world, it’s among a few countries that impose online surveillance. To bypass these issues, you’ll need the best VPN for Japan.
No, Japan isn’t among the strictest countries in the world when it comes to online freedom, and in fact, is pretty flexible. But, when it comes to downloading copyrighted content or illegal international streaming, that’s when the Japanese government puts its foot down.
To safely access foreign content within the country, or access local Japanese platforms abroad, you’ll need the best VPN for Japan.
Short on time? These 5 providers are the best VPNs for Japan:
- Surfshark is the best VPN for Japan overall and is quite affordable. It offers Japanese and international servers, unlimited device connections, fast speeds, and high-end security. There’s also a Smart DNS feature that would be helpful.
- NordVPN usually tops the list for being the most secure VPN. Its apps operate using robust security and offer double encrypted servers. NordVPN can unblock Netflix Japan, US Netflix, and more with the fastest speeds.
- ExpressVPN is a high-powered VPN engined with optimized servers that produce fast speeds. It offers advanced features like MediaStreamer DNS and comes with a free trial.
- IPVanish great for unblocking US streaming services and websites in Japan, unlimited device connections, and a no-logs policy.
- CyberGhost is the best VPN for Japan for online privacy. It offers optimized and labeled servers for streaming, user-friendly apps.
The best VPN for Japan in 2021
A VPN can aid you in online protection, help bypass ISP throttling, unblock geo-restricted services, and more. However, not all are great, some are cheaper than others, and only a few are functional; delivering desirable results, and such is the case for the best VPNs for Japan.
To choose the best VPN for Japan, you’re going to need one that delivers to your specific needs. One that provides access to international and local streaming services worldwide, with the best security features, and offers the best VPN discounts.
For instance, the VPN you choose needs to unblock Netflix Japan from abroad, and at the same time unblock Netflix in general within Japan. Keeping that in mind, I chose 5 of the best. They are:
- Known as an all-rounder in the VPN industry, hailing from the British Virgin Islands, a privacy friendly region, observing strict privacy and no-logging policies.
- In terms of location coverage, it has 3200+ servers in 65 countries, with servers included in Japan.
- Its security features include military-grade encryption on OpenVPN protocol, a Kill Switch, GPS Spoofing, Whitelister (split-tunneling), and more.
- It produces reasonably good speeds depending on the servers you connect to in comparison to your physical location.
- It provides unlimited bandwidth, and access to stream through any geo-restricted platforms with ease like Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime.
- It’s also compatible with a wide series of major devices and apps, which include Windows, FireTVstick, iOS, macOS, Android, browser extensions, Nvidia Shield, and more.
Surfshark is a diverse VPN and is the best VPN for Japn. If you think you’d like to get to know the provider a little more before investing, try testing the VPN first using its free trial and 30-day money-back guarantee.
- This Panama-based VPN provides a strong grounding on security backed with its strict no data-retention policies.
- It covers 5400+ servers in 59 countries, with the inclusion of 80+ servers in Japan, allowing you to stream through unlimited content worldwide.
- Nord utilizes the 256-GCM AES encryption with the 2044-bit DH key making it double protected. It has a Kill Switch, DNS and IP leak protection, a CyberSec feature, Double VPN, and other superlative features.
- In terms of streaming and torrenting, it has optimized servers that can give you access to restricted services like Disney Plus, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and BBC iPlayer. I got access to all this and more when I tested and reviewed the app.
- Its compatibility is leveled up to supporting major devices and apps for Windows, iOS, Android, macOS, Linux, Firestick, and others.
- Where speeds are concerned, Nord offers the best with unlimited bandwidth. NordVPN has proven to be one of the best VPN services in its field, making it an exceptional option for Japan.
You can now put NordVPN to the test using its 7-day free trial for Android and iOS mobile devices or test it out for a longer time using the 30-day refund. Not happy with the NordVPN services? No problem! You can ask for a refund and cancel your account at any time.
- Besides Surfshark, we have another British Virgin Island VPN, called ExpressVPN. Keeping that in mind, your chances of an internet experience for maximum privacy and anonymity are very high!
- It has around 3000+ servers in a huge coverage of 94 countries with servers in Japan. Most of its servers deliver the best speeds.
- Besides having a wide coverage, it runs on tight security features like bank-grade AES 256-bit encryption, a Kill Switch, Split-tunneling, runs a private and encrypted DNS, inbuilt Speed Test feature to check out the best server for you.
- It also produces some of the best speeds with no bandwidth limit for torrenting and streaming on platforms like HBO GO, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Netflix, and others.
- Keeping compatibility in mind, it also supports major devices for Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, Routers, FirestickTV, and a lot more.
- It also has a built-in feature called MediaStreamer which aids in accessing restricted streaming sites, worldwide. So, even if you’re in Japan, just connect to the VPN using any one of its servers to access these streaming services.
Most users consider ExpressVPN to be extremely expensive. However, I always make sure to review and test the entire ExpressVPN app before jumping to conclusions. Judging by what this provider offers and how it performs, ExpressVPN is worth the expenses.
- IPVanish is a US-based provider, which means you’ll be able to access the best US streaming services and more.
- When I tested and reviewed the app, I got access to Disney Plus, Popcorn Time, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and a lot more.
- The IPVanish app also offers great security features that will gives you online privacy in Japan. It offers this unique Scramble OpenVPN traffic fetaure that will allow you to use the VPN without getting detected.
- Where network coverage is concerned, IPVanish offers around 1600+ servers in 75 countries, with 20 servers in Japan (Tokyo).
- The IPVanish apps operate using 256-bit AES encryption, and offer a collection of popular protocols to choose from. It even has a Kill Switch, Split-tunneling, and DNS and IP leak protection feature.
- Besides streaming, its servers are P2P optimized; also providing unlimited bandwidth and great speeds.
- IPVanish allows unlimited device connections and offers apps for Windows, iOS, Android, macOS, Roku, Firestick and others.
There isn’t a typical free trial that you could use, but IPVanish does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can use that risk-free to test the VPN.
- Since surveillance and online censorship is practiced a lot in Japan, definitely consider this Romanian-based VPN, known for its privacy and no-logging policies.
- CyberGhost has 6000+ servers in 90 countries, including 91 servers in Japan.
- Coming to its security features, it runs on 256-bit AES encryption, has a Kill Switch, an Automated HTTPS Redirect, and a Data Compressor which is best when traveling to Japan, a split-tunneling feature called Exceptions, and much more.
- It provides access to some of the biggest geo-restricted websites like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, HBO GO, and access to local Japanese content.
- Speaking of streaming, its servers are also P2P optimized and provide unlimited bandwidth and good download speeds.
- It supports a wide platform of devices and apps for Android, Windows, iOS, macOS, browser extensions, Linux, Fire TV.
Besides the limited free trial period, CyberGhost also comes with a long 45-day refund period on top of any subscription. You’ll be able to test its premium features on multiple supported devices and not pay a dime if you cancel on time. All of the above and more is why CyberGhost is popular among most users.
Why do you need a VPN in Japan?
Before discussing my list of top VPNs for various purposes, I like giving a quick briefing on how I chose them. But, in the case of needing a VPN in Japan, it’s quite different. Japan is home to some of the best inventions in tech, for instance, PlayStation, but there are other factors that might come in the way of full internet freedom:
The Japanese government is extremely strict when it comes to downloading copyright material; resulting in serious consequences. It can be torrenting from Pirate Bay or even streaming on Netflix since it comes with copyrights. And believe me, the consequences can result in jail time. So, if you plan on indulging in blocked streaming platforms, the only way to safely access them with full privacy is by using a VPN in Japan.
Unknown internet sources
There are other reasons why you may need a VPN in Japan. It also goes back to needing one to protect yourself from unknown Wi-Fi sources or protecting your devices from hackers just waiting for opportunities.
Accessing geo-restricted streaming services
Streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime are blocked in many countries including Japan. These are due to geo-restrictions held by the government and also because Netflix itself is serviced to only certain countries in the world.
Accessing Japanese content from abroad
Also, when traveling abroad, you’re probably going to be blocked off from accessing any Japanese content for free from back home, it also includes the Japanese Netflix library. For this, you need the best VPN for Japan that additionally offers Japanese IP addresses.
Torrenting is by far almost illegal throughout the entire world, including Japan. I, nor topvpnservice, by no means, condone any activities you choose to do in your time.
Torrenting copyrighted content in Japan is considered a serious offense. I mean, torrenteers could face serious jail time and more. However, what I can tell you is if you feel like going ahead with it, you should do it safely. The only way around it is with the best VPN for torrenting.
Online censorship – masking your identity
Other reasons include the widespread of hateful or wrongful comments over social media platforms. To avoid this, the government does routinely monitoring; with regular surveillance around the internet activities by many users. To get a full report of why you definitely need a VPN in Japan, why don’t you check out a blog on “The Freedom on the Net” in Japan by FreedomHouse.org.
How to choose the best VPN for Japan?
Do you have any idea how many VPNs are there in the industry? With the fast pacing issues regarding cybercrimes and online surveillance, it makes the topmost agenda where cyber-security is concerned. There are a ton of great VPN services, but not all fit certain criteria depending on your needs.
For this instance, choosing the best VPN for Japan depends on a bucket load of factors regarding its online surveillance and censorship issues. Most of these factors are the backbone, showing you just what VPN you need and one that’s best for Japan.
So, to choose the most suitable Japanese VPN for you, consider looking at these pointers. They include:
1. Platform of servers
This may seem like an unimportant factor, but it isn’t. When looking for a VPN, let alone one for Japan, look for one that doesn’t have the biggest but should incorporate server locations with the best coverage.
This means for Japan, taking into regard its censorship issues, you’ll need a VPN with US or UK servers. This unblocks multiple entertainment platforms that are blocked in most parts of the world. Secondly, go for one that provides Japanese IP addresses, to unblock and binge on Japanese cable TV or watch local anime when traveling abroad.
2. Tight security encryption and other advanced features
There’s nothing better than a VPN that’s rich in features. Some VPNs claim to have the best security, but when you come to check them they lack overall performance. For choosing the VPN with profound functionality, also take a look at what the greater amount of people are using. All the VPNs enlisted are in the top 10 VPNs in the industry.
A good VPN always runs top-grade encryption, has a Kill Switch by default, and supports all the major protocols, offers DNS and IP leak protection, and other advanced features like GPS Spoofing or Split-tunneling.
3. Speeds and unlimited bandwidth
What’s the point of a VPN if not for great speeds and unlimited bandwidth? Without that, all you’re left with is string security backing and that’s about it.
To enhance the speed of your VPN performance, always tweak around with the servers. Most US servers are best for streaming on Netflix or Disney Plus. To watch these servers you need to either connect to a server location that’s not only close to you but one that also has the ability to unblock these services.
If a US server is what you need, then connect to a US server that offers greater speeds. There are ways to check that out. If your VPN doesn’t have an in-built speed tester like ExpressVPN, then go to a website like speedtest.net and weigh your options.
4. Stable privacy and no data-logging policies
To choose a VPN with the best privacy policies, they need to originate from privacy-friendly regions that observe a watertight no data-retention law. This is extremely important, especially considering your online activities are already in cahoots by the government.
Knowing that downloading pirated content is or streaming movies on limited platforms is illegal, it could easily trigger off your ISP or the government into keeping an eye on you. For this, go for a VPN that offers an ample amount of privacy and strong encryption, keeping both your identity and physical location safe.
5. Refund or trial periods
The best thing about using the best VPN, is the fact that you can put it to the test with its free trials. All Japanese VPNs on my list, offer either a trial period or a reliable refund policy.
That’s the best thing, you’ll be able to check out all its premium services with great speeds and unthrottled bandwidth. And of course, you won’t even have to pay a dime. If ever during the refund period you’re not fully satisfied with the services, you can simply ask for a refund during the time period.
6. Multiple devices and simultaneous connections
To choose the best VPN for Japan, always go for one that supports multiple devices and apps for major devices like Windows, iOS, Android, macOS, Smart TVs, browser extensions, and many more depending on the device you mostly use. Secondly, go for a VPN that allows you to make multiple-device connections per subscription.
For example, did you know that Surfshark allows unlimited device connections? That’s practically free!
How to access the Japanese Netflix library from anywhere
If you know a great deal about Netflix, you should also know that it has a number of libraries included in its service. Netflix is a US-based streaming service that almost everyone in the world is trying to gain access to.
Why you ask? Well, copyright reasons.
Just because Netflix is available in many parts of the world, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to access all its libraries. For instance, the most in-demand library is the US one, and to access it, you’re either going to have to live in the US or get yourself the best VPN to access it.
In the same way, there are many Japanese movie fans all around the globe, including Japanese-born citizens who’ve moved abroad.
Once abroad, you’re not going to be able to access any Japanese movies from the JP library, due to geographic restrictions. So to gain access to it, you’re going to have to:
- Make sure you’ve signed up with the best VPN for Japan that provides Japanese IP addresses. I’ve recommended 5.
- Sign up for Netflix.
- Open the VPN and connect to a Japanese server.
- Proceed to Netflix and you’ll be met with the Japanese library.
- Start watching!
However, if you still face any more difficulties, here’s what you can do:
- Check to see if you’ve connected to any GPS related apps and disable it.
- Disconnect from your Google accounts.
- While you’re logging out, also check to see which time zone you’ve logged in as. If you need Japan Netflix, then change the clock to Japan’s time zone. Netflix can go to great lengths to unveil your actual IP.
- Tweak around with the server location you’re connected to. Disconnect and connect again to it, achieving a different Japanese IP address.
- Accessing restricted platforms usually calls for extra settings like clear your cookies and cache from the settings on any device you’re using.
- Make sure to disable the IPv6 from your devices.
Can I use a free VPN in Japan?
I don’t know, do you want to get ripped off? Hate to be blunt but free VPNs just don’t cut it in my books. Many users including myself were completely delusional when it came to “free VPNs”. There is literally no such thing! Metaphorically speaking.
Using a free VPN will only get you a limited platform of servers, not much you can choose from. They also produce extremely lethargic speeds and throttling bandwidth. It’s like borrowing money from someone with no returns only to find out you have to return the favor in kind. Free VPNs may not cost you a dime, but it sure does cost you a lot more. You’ll be putting your data or private information that you log online, at risk.
Free VPN services often sell their VPN user’s details to third-party clients. That’s the fee you’ll be paying. Most of them might have military-grade encryption, but what good is that if you’re not going to be able to access multiple services?
Are VPNs illegal in Japan?
No, they’re not!
The thing is, Japan provides ample freedom to its users to stream the net as they please. The government only puts a foot down when it comes to downloading copyrighted content or streaming on international platforms that are geo-blocked. It isn’t mentioned anywhere that the use of VPNs is looked down upon.
Although, just because there isn’t a tight hold on censorship in Japan, it’s still more than wise to use a VPN for the safer side. Hackings are always at large and can strike at almost any given time. So, stay protected with a Japan VPN while you can!
As I and probably many others have mentioned, there are many VPNs in the industry. Even though there is an abundance of great ones, you’ll have to go through certain criteria to pick the best according to what you need.
In this case, I’ve listed the best VPN for Japan (Surfshark, NordVPN, ExpressVPN, IPVanish and CyberGhost) based on the ongoing issues in online surveillance and censorship in the country. All these top providers are capable of providing the best security through high-end encryption, and its ability to unblock restricted entertainment platforms worldwide.
To Summarize, the Best VPN for Japan is…
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