The Best VPN for Japan: Watch Netflix US, Play Games, and Unblock Content

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Japan maybe a free nation, but it puts great emphasis on copyright protection and online surveillance in the country. It also works closely with the US government in exchanging intelligence.

Do you want Netflix US content in Japan?

Wanna play Japanese Games?

or want to access blocked apps and websites?

Here, a VPN is the key to the kingdom!

Following in this article, we are going to describe you about the best Japan VPN providers in 2018 that’d accomplish all of your desired internet tasks.

A trusted VPN service would help you play Japanese games anywhere, watch Netflix movies and access any kind of blocked websites without exposing your identity and location. In addition, it will also allow you bypass online surveillance and to keep your online activities hidden.

5 Best VPN Services for Japan Reviewed

Following we have described the leading VPN services that work in Japan efficiently.

RankProvidersPrice ($)DiscountMore Info
1
PureVPN
Editor's Choice
 $10.95 
$1.32Per Month
88% Off
5 Years for $1.32/month
2
NordVPN
 $11.95 
$2.99Per Month
75% Off
3 Years Plan
3
Surfshark
 $11.95 
$1.99Per Month
83% Off
2 Years Deal
4
CyberGhost
 $11.99 
$3.50Per Month
73% Off
6 months Free
5
ExpressVPN
$8.32Per Month
35% OFF
No Exclusive Offer

 

1. PureVPN

An all-round VPN provider to access any Japanese website

Best VPN for Japan

PureVPN is an excellent choice to use in Japan; it is our preferred choice when it comes to streaming HD content and keeping yourself protected at all times. It has a military grade OpenVPN which is a strong encryption and is easier to setup. It is based in Hong Kong and will never keep any logs.

Best Servers:

PureVPN has 2,000+ servers, but in Japan it has only 1 server located in Tokyo. This server allows users to enjoy unrestricted internet access from anywhere around the world.

When you’re accessing any online content, you will be invisible to all the advertisers trying to monitor your movement. All PureVPN’s servers are self-engineered, equipped with advanced level of encryption.

 

Pros of PureVPN

  • Fully encrypted internet
  • 750+ servers in 140+ countries
  • Secure online transactions
  • Automatic kill switch
  • 5 multi logins

Cons of PureVPN

  • None

 

2. NordVPN

Unbreakable VPN encryption for your online security

NordVPN Japan Service

NordVPN is an ideal choice to go for in 2018. NordVPN has the strongest encryption amongst all VPN providers as it offers double encryption. If you’re looking for speed, then there is no better option than NordVPN as it’s got fast speed servers. Located in over 50+ countries.

Servers:

NordVPN not just has the highest list of server i.e. 4,900+ but it also has a great number of servers in Japan i.e. 60. With its huge stack of servers, it gives users a variety servers to choose from.

All of the Nord servers offer a robust and secure connection. Moreover, it does not keep any activity log, so Japanese government has no chance to track your activity.

 

Pros of NordVPN

  • Perfect for streaming
  • Strict zero-log policy
  • Double encryption
  • 30-days money-back guarantee
  • DNS leak protection

Cons of NordVPN

  • Speed can be slow due to double encryption

 

3. ExpressVPN

Ultra secure with faster streaming needs

ExpressVPN - Best Japanese VPN

We listed ExpressVPN as the second best provider here. Its lighting fast servers makes it perfect for streaming in HD quality. Express VPN is not just the fastest one, but it is also the strongest one with 256-bit encryption.

ExpressVPN admires the importance of Japanese TV dramas and anime that has captured the attention of audiences worldwide. TV serials such as Spirited Away, Seven Samurai, and others that are widely viewed in the world. The service, with its highly capable VPN encryption i.e. 256-bit, it manages to unblock all of these content from their official websites.

Nippon Professional Baseball and J1 League is highly popular in Japan and outside. People travelling to other countries can view theses leagues using ExpressVPN. Including these sports, there are streaming services such as DAZN that are blocked in the region. DAZN brings your Live Sports and Live TV Channels. DAZN is easy to access using a Japan VPN server provided by the ExpressVPN.

Servers:

In total, ExpressVPN has 2,000+ servers, out of which 2 of them are located in Tokyo.

 

Pros of ExpressVPN

  • Servers available in 94 countries including Japan and Hong Kong
  • Does not save logs
  • Blazing fast servers
  • Stealth mode
  • 30-days money-back guarantee

Cons of ExpressVPN

  • A bit expensive but worth a try

 

4. IPVanish

Friendliest to setup and use

IPVanish Japan VPN

When it comes to Japan, IPVanish will unblock geo-restricted websites and content anywhere in the world. Further, it will help you in faster streaming with its efficient high-end servers. The service has big spread of servers located in 60+ countries. Even though it is based in the US, but it does not keep any logs.

Servers:

To bring further online freedom, IPVanish has made the availability of 6 servers within Japan. Their high-end state-of-the-art servers make Japanese websites and apps accessible to everyone around the world.

Whether it be Animated TV Shows, JBL Basketball, Japan Golf Tour, NJPW Wrestling, or any sports, IPVanish unblocks geographical restriction very smoothly.

 

Pros of IPVanish VPN

  • Available in 60+ countries
  • Military grade encryption
  • User-friendly apps
  • 256-bit encryption
  • Get around censorship filters

Cons of IPVanish VPN

  • Based in the US

 

5. Ivacy VPN

Bypasses any kinds of content restrictions in Japan

Ivacy - VPN Service for Japan

Ivacy is a Singapore-based VPN provider, which means that you will never have online privacy and security concerns because Singapore promotes privacy. It was the company that introduced the revolutionary split-tunneling technology in VPN industry. Split-tunneling gives VPN a permission to which data it should send it to ISP.

Ivacy understands the restrictions imposed by Japanese government, but Ivacy always manages to find ways to unblock it without being detected. Its VPN encryption i.e. 255-bit allow users to access any web content from anywhere.

Servers:

Ivacy may not be popular when it comes to the number of servers it has across the globe, but it never compromises on speed ever. It may have only 1 Japanese server, but it is the fastest of them all. Not only that, all of favorite Japanese content such as Live Sports, Animated TV Dramas are all accessible for people that are travelling abroad in the world.

 

Pros of Ivacy VPN

  • Split-tunneling
  • Torrent anonymously
  • 256-bit encryption
  • Protects you from 3rd-party spying
  • Automatic kill switch

Cons of Ivacy VPN

  • Only 7-days money-back guarantee

How to Choose the Right Japan VPN?

Following are the factors you must consider while choosing a VPN provider for Japan.

1. Reliability

First you need to make sure that the VPN you chose is reliable and trustworthy. The VPN you’re going to use must keep your trust and provide you utterly reliable service. You can also search about the service whether it is a trusted one or not.

2. Privacy Policy

You can check out thee privacy policy of the provider, read their logs and privacy points very carefully.

The VPNs that are provided in this guide follow extremely strict privacy policy. VPN providers claiming a zero-log policy are committed to never compromise your online security.

3. Encryption

Other than offering complete privacy, a VPN must have strong and state-of-the-art encryption techniques. 256-bit encryption is currently the highest and updated encryption setting.

4. Servers

A VPN must also have a large network of servers that must be located all over the world. These servers must offer fast connection speeds and wouldn’t buffer while streaming video content.

5. Free Trial

Lastly, you must consider a VPN that offers either a free-trial or a 30-days money-back guarantee. This feature helps you in assessing the performance of a VPN.

 

Benefits of Using a VPN

Japan has very little censorship when it comes to the internet world. However, it doesn’t feel shy to take a strong stand against copyright piracy. In fact, anyone in Japan who violates copyright piracy would receive a prison sentence.

Even though there are minimal cases referred for copyright piracy, but the copyright law exists there. For anyone who doesn’t like being under constant internet surveillance by the government, can also subscribe to a reliable VPN service for Japan.

Following are the benefits of subscribing a VPN.

  • Watch free content i.e. movies and television shows
  • Get access to blocked websites
  • Get any type of media streaming
  • Access any form of content privately

 

1. Play Japanese Games

Japanese gamers are really serious when it comes to playing games on their smartphones. Many would play just to kill time while travelling, but there are still a handful of gamers who would spend time and money playing their favorite games.

Indeed, they never realize that their favorite games are blocked outside of Japan and it can only be unblocked using a VPN. For example, if you’re travelling abroad and wants to access Japanese games, it just won’t play.

We have a fix for it!

Jikkyou Pawafuru Puro Yakkyu is a Pro-Baseball game which is a part of series for Pro Sports games. It has extremely detailed graphics and that is why it is gaining huge popularity in Japan, and of course it is fun to play.

VPN-for-Japan-Play-Japan-Games

However, it is only available in Japan. You will not find this game in any App Store on your smartphones.

Follow the steps to unblock this game using the best VPN for Japanese games:

Step 1: Subscribe to any of the VPN provider from the list

Step 2: Download its VPN app for either Android on iOS

Step 3: Enter Username and Password > Connect to the right VPN server

Step 4: Now open Play Store or App Store

Step 5: Search for Jikkyou Pawafuru Puro Yakkyu

Step 6: Press Install > Enjoy playing the game!

 

2. Get Cute LINE Map/Stickers

LINE is a messaging service available on your Smartphone devices that happens to close the distance between people living in different parts of the world. You can make free voice and video calls as often as you want. In fact, there is one feature that outshines all of its features combined, and these are its LINE Stickers.

Line Stickers

It has a sticker shop of your favorite characters and celebrities that helps you share exactly how you feel. You can purchase over 10,000 stickers and emoticons from its shop. Here’s a twist, each country has its own shop where you find stickers that are developed specifically for that country’s taste and culture. If you ever want to purchase another country’s LINE stickers, just get a VPN and be over with it. We tell you how to do it:

Step 1: Select a VPN from the list of table presented above

Step 2: Download the VPN app

Step 3: Enter Username and Password > Connect to a specific country server of LINE Sticker you want. For example US server

Step 4: Now connect LINE app

Step 5: Go to its LINE Sticker Shop > Make purchase!

 

3. Watch Netflix US in Japan (or Japanese Netflix in Any Country)

If you’re visiting Japan and fear missing your desired shows on Netflix US, a VPN comes to the scene here. It will allow you to connect to a US server and access Netflix like if you were really somewhere in USA.

Vice versa, if you are looking to access Japanese Netflix across the world, you can simply connect to a VPN and enjoy latest movies and content on the go. By doing so, you can access to the impressive media library of Netflix Japan from anywhere instantly.

Japanese Netflix VPN

VPN services in this regard provide online streamers with a comprehensive list of benefits.

  • Online protection and anonymity
  • Unblock Netflix accordingly
  • Access to 365 days 24/7 customer support
  • Availability of unlimited bandwidth feature

 

4. Accessing Blocked Websites

Japanese authorities struggle against piracy is an open secret. For years, the government has been attempting to crackdown on illegal Anime and Manga distribution. The government has now succeeded to shut down some of the most visited sites in the country. Such websites include Mangamura, Miomio, and Anitube.

Follow the steps below to access the blocked websites with a VPN:

Step 1: Go on to subscribe a VPN as mentioned in the table above

Step 2: Once you have subscribed, download the VPN app from its website

Step 3: Now enter credentials i.e. Username and Password > Connect to US/UK server

Step 4: Open the website i.e. Mangamura, Miomio, and Anitube

Step 5: Happy streaming!

 

List of Blocked Apps and Websites in Japan

There is a reasonable number of blocked internet resources inside Japan. These websites allow illegal downloads of Anime and Manga content, and are listed below:

  • Mangamura
  • Miomio
  • Anitube
  • Sling TV
  • USA Network

Some of the blocked apps are listed below:

  • BBC iPlayer
  • DAZN
  • Crackle
  • NFL Game Pass

 

5. Bypass Internet Censorship

Although the Japanese government does not implement strict censorship regulations, but it doesn’t stand alongside services that abuse copyright material. As a result, it has blocked some popular torrenting websites such as Mangamura and others.

Bypass Internet Censorship with A VPN in Japan

But the question still remains, how would you bypass internet censorship? With a VPN.

  • Select a VPN from the table provided above
  • Download its VPN app from Desktop/Mobile
  • Enter credentials
  • Connect to US server
  • Bypass internet censorship!

 

6. Protect your Privacy

Once you’re trying to access websites that are blocked in Japan, at the same time you also need to hide your online activity from the government and cybercriminals. If your ISPs catch you using restricted websites in Japan, it could lead you getting legal notices served by your ISPs.

Protect your Privacy with a Japanese VPN

To prevent that from happening, a VPN for Japan such as mentioned in the table above. It has a strongest encryption i.e. 256-bit which protects your data by creating a tunnel. All your data that flows within the tunnel remains encrypted.

 

7. Secure your Connection

Japan is probably the only country that has free access to internet in almost every public place. Wi-Fi is considered a necessity in public areas such as restaurants, cafes, parks, museums, airports, etc. However, a downside is we all know how easy it is to hack data over your phone with a public Wi-Fi.

Public Wi-Fi’s are never safe, just a reminder. A VPN keeps all your data over your phone encrypted. Also, it keeps you anonymous when you’re using a public Wi-Fi. When no one is able to detect your presence, it makes it impossible for them to intercept your data.

 

8. Hide your IP Address

A virtual private network service would hide their online IP address, meaning they remain anonymous to everyone on the internet including your ISPs and the Japanese government. Therefore by using a VPN, you are able to hide your IP location from online snoopers, hackers, surveillance authorities and everyone straightaway.

 

9. Watch Live Streams from Anywhere

In the last but not the least, a VPN allows you to enjoy live streams of your favorite media content like sports, documentaries and much more. Likewise, you can unblock foreign TV streams of different online media services like Hulu, BBC iPlayer and others.

You can also view a list of New Zealand VPN providers and unblock your favorite apps if you’re to visit ‘the land of long white cloud‘.

 

Set up a VPN to Use in Japan

We have described a very easy process for setting up a VPN. Just follow the outlined steps below:

Step 1: Select the right VPN. We recommend that you subscribe to PureVPN that has strong encryption and blazing fast servers.

Step 2: Once you have subscribed, you can download the PureVPN software on your device

Step 3: Upon opening of the software, select OpenVPN protocol which is the strongest and secure tunneling protocol

Step 4: Select a Server

Step 5: Hit Connect > Now enjoy internet freedom with strong protection!

 

Best Free VPNs for Japan

You can also get a VPN for paying absolutely nothing. There are only a few amongst hundreds that we recommend. This is because majority of the free services have doubtful logging policies. Many of them would sell your online data to third-parties to earn money, while others have outdated encryption.

As a rule, even the best free VPNs have serious limitations. These include small server network, unstable connection, frequent server downtime, bandwidth caps, and poor encryption protocols. Therefore, you should consider these drawbacks of free services before you opt to use one.

Following are some of the free VPNs that work in Japan.

 

1. VPN Gate

VPN Gate is a free VPN that has Japanese servers including the servers available in other countries. It offers good online security alongside online protection of your data. With that said, you can also access websites and apps that are blocked outside Japan using US/UK servers.

 

2. Hide.Me

Hide.Me is perfect for Japanese expats living abroad. It allows you to to access the blocked websites and apps safely. If you’re travelling to Japan and worried if you’re going to access websites or not, then get VPN called Hide.Me. It has a total of 150+ servers available in 34 countries.

 

3. ZenMate

ZenMate is the user-friendly VPN app that is used in Japan and across the world. It has servers in 30+ countries and is able to access any website or app you wish. It has a free version including a premium version if in any case you wish to unblock more features.

Nonetheless, with our recommended best free VPNs, you won’t be putting your online privacy at risk. If you like their service, you might even upgrade to their full VPN version that unlocks enhanced features. However, you should always bear in mind that there is no perfect substitute for a paid VPN service.

 

Best Protocols

There are protocols under VPN providers that determines how VPN will secure your data. It basically depends upon the kind of usage you have in Japan. For instance, people use a VPN to unblock foreign websites, then your preference of protocol. There are quite a few protocols, but I will brief the 3 most important of them.

OpenVPN

It is often recommended by experts and I will tell you exactly why. It is a new VPN protocol that has been designed to the requirements of current online users who wants to access everything over the internet without compromising their data and identity.

It relies on OpenSSL encryption which happens to be the strongest, but most importantly it bypasses every restrictions that are placed in front of it. No doubt it is technical to setup, but the VPN providers that are discussed above have it installed by default.

PPTP

When it comes to streaming, no one beats PPTP as the fastest VPN protocol. If you intend to stream video content, they will find no faster than PPTP. But since online security is also a concern in Japan, it fails to keep up with their expectations because it has security loopholes.

L2TP/IPSec

L2TP protocol itself doesn’t offer any encryption, but combined with IPSec it offers reasonably well encryption. However, it is easily blocked by firewall and therefore you would not be able to access websites that are located outside of Japan.

 

Torrenting in Japan

Be careful if you’re trying to access free copyright material in Japan using torrents. Japan carries a penalty of 10 million yens in fine and up to 2 years in prison. Around the world, Torrenting is perfectly legal.

There is no way a government can claim a torrenting website illegal until it abuses the copyright material. In Japan, there are certain torrent websites where manga and anime content are distributed for free, are therefore considered illegal and have been banned.

 

How to Do Torrenting in Japan?

Step 1: Get a VPN from the list provided above

Step 2: Download the app

Step 3: Enter Username and Password > Connect to US server

Step 4: Open Mangamura website or any other websites that are blocked

Step 5: Start uploading and downloading Torrents

 

Is Torrenting Legal in Japan?

Torrenting itself is completely legal in Japan, but the government strictly prohibits the use of downloading free copyright material. I would certainly advise against downloading Movies and TV Shows in Japan without a VPN.

Harsh punishment such as jail sentences and hefty amount of fines are handed out to anyone abusing copyright laws in Japan. It has already sentenced 27 people to jail who uploaded Manga, video games, and anime on torrenting websites.

 

User Reviews about VPN for Japan

The Japanese users prefer to opt a VPN in order to access their favorite TV shows or movies outside Japan. Interestingly, the users also  connect to a VPN when they have to perform their online activities through public Wi-Fi.

There are various Twitter users suggesting they can watch their preferred media content through a VPN app.

Here is the response of one Twitter user that indicates you can listen to a song only available in Japan through a VPN.

 

Twitter Reviews:

A Twitter follower uses VPN app to perform online activities anonymously.

 

The Wrap Up – Best VPN for Japan

Japan may be a country of the rising sun, but there are many online vulnerabilities its people has to face. Keeping your online privacy anonymous has become a challenge and a VPN helps to resolve it. Uploading and downloading of Torrents carrying free copyright material are also banned in Japan; therefore using a trusted VPN service is crucial for your online security and privacy.

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Shahmeer Baloch

Shahmeer Baloch

Author
All Posts by Shahmeer Baloch

Shahmeer Baloch's Biography :


Shahmeer Baloch is a marketing professional-turned-tech writer who despite had a successful career at Evyap made a drastic change when his interest in technology and international cyber laws became evident. Baloch’s love for new technology is profound and well addressed. Loves to play tennis on weekends.


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