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Best VPN for Japan

Charlotte Darrell
By Charlotte DarrellUpdated
Illustration of the flag of Japan

Government surveillance and intelligence-sharing with countries such as the US mean that using a VPN in Japan is essential if you want to keep your personal data secure. The country also has some of the harshest anti-torrenting laws in the world, so using a VPN will ensure your online activity remains private. The VPN market has become a crowded one as of late, so we’ve thoroughly tested each provider to come up with the 5 best VPNs for use in the country to make your choice a little easier.

Our top VPN picks for Japan let you browse securely, stopping your ISP or any other third parties gaining access to your private data. We’ve chosen providers that boast loads of servers in and around the country, and our proprietary speed test tool means that we can provide you with the most accurate performance data on the market. We even test out each of the apps, so you know just how user-friendly they really are.

The Most Important Factors When We Review a VPN for Japan

  1. Loads of servers in and around Japan
  2. Excellent local and international speeds
  3. Works with Netflix and other services
  4. Useful privacy features
  5. Transparent, fair and privacy-focused logging policies
  6. High quality customer support

Wondering why you should trust our reviews? Take a look at How We Test VPNs

Read More Information on Our Top 5 Best VPN Services for Japan

Ranked #1 out of 99 VPNs for Japan

Works with

Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Sky, SlingTV, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Loads of nearby server locations
  2. Peak local download speeds of 112Mbps
  3. Easy access to streaming
  4. Sensible minimal-logs policy
  5. Connect securely to 94 countries
  1. Expensive on shorter subscriptions
  2. Three simultaneous connections only
The Bottom Line

ExpressVPN is a great all-rounder with high levels of privacy and plenty of coverage in the Asia-Pacific region, making it our top choice for Japan.

It has servers in Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea, which is critical for fast speeds. Access to Netflix & iPlayer will be a bonus for streaming fans.

It maintains a sensible logging policy, collecting only anonymous usage stats, and has some of the most user-friendly apps we’ve come across.

Ranked #2 out of 99 VPNs for Japan

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. 70+ servers in Japan alone
  2. Local download speeds of 201Mbps
  3. Reliable access to Netflix & iPlayer
  4. Strict zero-logs policy
  5. Connect to 60 countries
  1. Manual config sometimes required
The Bottom Line

NordVPN is a great VPN for Japan with a whopping 70+ servers in the country alone – a much greater offering than our other top picks.

Connecting to Tokyo is fast – at 201Mbps speeds are ideal for HD streaming. Access to both Netflix and BBC iPlayer is also quick and easy.

NordVPN does extremely well for privacy with a zero-logs policy and loads of advanced features, as well as dozens of P2P-optimized servers.

Ranked #3 out of 99 VPNs for Japan

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Servers in and around Japan
  2. Peak local speeds of 86Mbps
  3. Access to Netflix
  4. Strict zero logging
  5. Connect securely to 61 countries
  1. Could be cheaper on longer plans
  2. Clunky apps not very user-friendly
The Bottom Line

IPVanish is a speedy zero-logs VPN with plenty of servers located in Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea.

Connecting from Tokyo you can experience speeds of up to 86Mbps, and you can also access Netflix through the VPN, which is a big plus.

IPVanish offers advanced security features, such as first-party DNS servers. Combined with a zero-logs policy, it boasts high levels of privacy.

Ranked #4 out of 99 VPNs for Japan

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Now TV, HBO, Sling TV, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Loads of servers in and around Japan
  2. Local downloads of up to 157Mbps
  3. Reliable access to Netflix
  4. Zero logging
  5. Connect securely to 33 countries
  1. Limited server network
  2. Short refund period
  3. Email support can be slow
The Bottom Line

Private Internet Access is a budget zero-logs VPN offering super fast local speeds of up to 157Mbps and excellent coverage in Japan.

It boasts great security features, such as a kill switch and DNS leak protection, and is totally zero-logs, so your online activity stays private.

If you can overlook the small server network, Private Internet Access remains a good choice for Japan and is a cheaper alternative to IPVanish.

Ranked #5 out of 99 VPNs for Japan

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Multiple servers in and around Japan
  2. Super fast speeds - up to 194Mbps
  3. Access to Netflix and other sites
  4. Simple apps for most devices
  5. Connect securely to 190+ countries
  1. Intrusive logging policy
  2. No nearby servers for P2P
  3. Limited to OpenVPN on desktop
The Bottom Line

HideMyAss! makes it into our top five for offering a huge server network and the fastest performance of all our top picks.

However, it falls far behind the others when it comes to privacy, as it’s based in privacy-unfriendly UK and retains detailed connection logs for 30 days.

Loads of nearby servers means lightning-fast local speeds of up to 194Mbps. Easy access to Netflix makes it a good choice for streamers, too.

How We Picked the Best VPN for Japan

Our top choices for Japan boast loads of servers in and around the country and offer great performance on both local and international connections. They work to access popular streaming sites, such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer. We look for providers with privacy-friendly, minimal logging policies and advanced security features, such as a VPN killswitch, first-party DNS servers and IPv6 leak protection to ensure your personal data remains private.

We are constantly testing each and every VPN on our site to ensure that our reviews and recommendations for Japan are kept up-to-date. We run regular speed tests on Japanese servers to monitor performance in the country. We also put the custom apps through their paces on a range of different devices and get in touch with customer support to make sure that it’s top quality.

Do I Need a VPN in Japan?

If you want to ensure that your online activity remains private, using a VPN in Japan is an absolute must.

With a movement towards higher levels of surveillance and intelligence-sharing agreements with privacy-unfriendly jurisdictions, such as the US, your personal data and privacy are at risk. Japan also threatens expensive fines and prison sentences for breaching copyright laws, and even accessing torrenting sites without illegal intent could flag you up as suspicious. For these reasons, it’s essential to use a secure VPN so that your online activity remains private.

Are VPNs Legal in Japan?

It’s perfectly legal to use a VPN in Japan in order to protect your personal data and hide your true IP address. However, you should bear in mind that using a VPN doesn’t exempt you from any national laws, particularly when it comes to torrenting, and we definitely don’t condone using a VPN to hide illegal activity of any kind. The main purpose of a VPN is to keep your online activity private, and there are no laws against using one for that purpose in Japan.

How to Choose a VPN for Japan: 7 Tips

In order to experience the best performance, you should look for a VPN provider that boasts plenty of servers in and around the country. Ideally, you should connect to the server nearest to your physical location as this will give you the fastest possible speeds.

Most providers will offer custom apps for at least Windows and Mac, with some also providing clients for Linux, Android and iOS devices. If custom apps aren’t available, you can usually manually configure your device to work with the VPN. Some of our top picks are also compatible with routers, games consoles and streaming devices, such as Amazon TV.

Popular streaming sites, such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer, have recently cracked down on VPN providers, meaning that they block VPN traffic from accessing their content. If streaming on these sites is a must for you, make sure to check out our up-to-date reviews to see which providers offer reliable access.

The term ‘zero-logs’ is thrown around a lot in the VPN industry, but unfortunately many providers do, in fact, collect at least some data from their customers. A good provider wouldn’t log personally-identifiable user activity, but most will collect basic metadata for maintenance and troubleshooting purpurses. We have thoroughly read each and every provider’s privacy to find out which offer the highest levels of privacy and sum them up in the Logging section of our reviews, so you don’t have to.

If you want to protect multiple devices for you and your family, you should look for a provider that offers a generous amount of simultaneous connections. Most will allow at least 3, but some offer up to 10 if you need it.

Whether you are a VPN newbie or a more experienced user, everyone wants an app that is slick and easy to navigate. Look for a VPN with a simple, well-designed client and you’re bound to use it much more often than you would with a clunky, confusing one. Be sure to look at the Ease of Use section of our provider reviews, where we give you the low-down on how user-friendly each app really is.

Each of our top picks offer different pricing plans to suit all budgets, but they’re still all pretty affordable. You’ll find the best deals on longer-term subscriptions, so make sure to look for one that offers a genuine ‘no questions asked’ money-back guarantee (preferably 30 days), just in case it turns out to not be the right VPN for you.