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The Best Free & Paid VPNs for Japan & Getting Japanese Netflix

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Callum Tennent oversees how we test and review VPN services. He's a member of the IAPP, and his VPN advice has featured in Forbes and the Internet Society.

Fact-checked by Simon MiglianoAdditional Testing by David Hughes

A VPN allows you to connect to a Japanese VPN server and get an anonymous Japanese IP address. We identified two top-performing VPNs that unblock Japanese video platforms from overseas, including Netflix Japan. We also found a free and unlimited VPN that gives you a free Japanese IP address.

Japan VPN

Highly-rated VPNs for Japan have fast and secure servers located in Japan, giving you access to anonymous Japanese IP addresses.

The best VPNs for Japan can even unblock geo-restricted video platforms like Netflix Japan, AbemaTV, Prime Video Japan, and many more streaming services.

Sadly, not every VPN service operates servers in Japan, and not every VPN can bypass Japanese geo-blocks effectively.

What Is the Best VPN for Japan in 2023?

According to our testing, the best free and paid VPNs for Japan are:

  1. ExpressVPN: Best VPN for Japan
  2. NordVPN: Best VPN for Netflix Japan
  3. Proton VPN Free: Best Free VPN for Japan

The best VPN for Japan in 2023 is ExpressVPN. It’s rated 9.6/10 thanks to its consistent access to geo-blocked Japanese streaming platforms, fast long-distance speeds, and excellent server coverage. ExpressVPN unblocked Japanese Netflix in every test, delivering the fastest speeds of any VPN we tested for Japan.

These three VPN services manage numerous servers in Japan, and deliver fast internet connection speeds connecting into Japan.

Furthermore, all three VPNs can unblock the Japanese Netflix library, as well as other Japanese streaming services like Fuji TV, Hulu Japan, and Amazon Prime Video Japan.

Comparison of the Best VPNs for Japan

Use the table below to compare the top Japan VPNs based on the number of Japanese server locations, access to Netflix Japan, speed, and price.

In this guide, we’ll review the best Japan VPNs in more detail, explain how to get Japanese Netflix from outside Japan, and how to unblock other Japanese streaming platforms, too.

Why Trust

We’re completely independent and have spent hundreds of hours reviewing VPNs for Japan using our bespoke testing process.

Our ratings are based on our own data, and are unaffected by financial incentives.

VPN Services Reviewed65
VPNs with Japan Servers55
Streaming/Unblocking Tests10,000+
Weekly Speed Tests3,000+
VPN Security Tests Conducted9,500+
Money Spent on VPN Subscriptions$25,000+

The Best VPNs for Japan (and Japanese Netflix)

Every week we manually test 65 VPNs specifically for Japan and for Netflix Japan access.

After carrying out thousands of tests, we have the data to prove which VPNs actually work in Japan.

We mainly test for the speed, range, and reliability of a VPN’s Japanese servers. We also measure for consistent access to Netflix Japan and other Japanese video platforms.

After testing which VPNs work with which Netflix library, we can reveal that most popular VPNs can’t unblock Netflix Japan.

Following our tests, below are the three best VPNs for getting a Japanese IP address and streaming Japanese Netflix from abroad:

1. ExpressVPN: The Best Japan VPN Overall

Consistent access to Japanese Netflix, fast long-distance speeds, and bespoke apps across devices.

Pros Cons
Reliably unblocks Japanese Netflix Not all Japan servers unblock Netflix Japan
Fast speeds connecting into Japan Above-average subscription cost
Tokyo, Shibuya & Yokohama servers Unable to access DAZN Japan
Quality Firestick app
Free trial & money-back guarantee options
Best for Hulu Japan & Prime Video Japan
Overall Japan VPN Rating: 9.6/10

This overall score is based on the following category ratings. To learn more, read our Japan VPN testing methodology.

Japan Server Locations: 9.7/109.7/meter>

Unblocks Japanese Netflix: 9.6/109.6

Unblocks Other Japanese Content: 9.5/109.5

Speed: 9.7/109.7

Streaming Device Compatibility: 9.3/109.3

ExpressVPN is the overall best VPN for Japan, and it’s also our highest-rated VPN for unblocking video content.

The VPN service has fast download speeds connecting into Japan, the widest device compatibility, and great server coverage – but it’s not as good as NordVPN for unblocking Netflix Japan specifically.

ExpressVPN unblocked the Japanese Netflix library in all our tests, and it accessed other Japanese streaming platforms including the Japanese version of Prime Video, Hulu, and local channels like TV Tokyo.

Prime Video Japan with ExpressVPN

We easily streamed Prime Video Japan using ExpressVPN.

While ExpressVPN unblocks 10 Netflix regions, we found NordVPN’s servers to be more reliable at unblocking Netflix Japan, though.

If you’re looking to stream Netflix on your TV, ExpressVPN may be the better choice, though. It’s easy to use ExpressVPN with a Fire TV Stick. It also offers a native app for routers, too.

ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs for Japan, even when connecting from far away countries. We recorded an average download speed of 83Mbps connecting to the VPN’s Japan servers – only 17% slower than our normal internet speed. This is more than enough for HD and UHD/4K streaming.

Much like NordVPN, you can also use ExpressVPN’s free trial to test the VPN for free. This is available to iOS and Android users, and there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee for other platforms, too.

2. NordVPN: Best VPN for Netflix Japan

NordVPN provides the fastest speeds and consistent access to Japanese Netflix, with user-friendly apps and the largest number of Japanese VPN servers.

Pros Cons
Consistent access to Netflix Japan Servers in Tokyo only
Over 80 Japan VPN servers Smart DNS doesn’t work for Japan
Fastest speeds connecting into Japan Doesn’t unblock DAZN Japan
Good Fire TV Stick & Android TV app No dedicated router app
Excellent value for money
Access to Fuji TV, TV Tokyo, Prime Video Japan
Overall Japan VPN Rating: 9.5/10

This overall score is based on the following category ratings. To learn more, read our Japan VPN testing methodology.

Japan Server Locations: 9.4/109.4/meter>

Unblocks Japanese Netflix: 9.9/109.9

Unblocks Other Japanese Content: 9.5/109.5

Speed: 9.7/109.7

Streaming Device Compatibility: 8.9/108.9

NordVPN is the best VPN for watching Japanese Netflix abroad. It consistently unblocked Netflix Japan in our tests – we’ve found that the default Japan server works every single time. In fact, NordVPN is a very good VPN for Netflix in general.

NordVPN Netflix Japan Streaming

NordVPN is able to reliably access Netflix Japan and stream popular Japanese TV.

Our latest speed tests indicate that NordVPN is the fastest VPN for Japan on this list, overtaking ExpressVPN. We recorded an average download speed of 89Mbps connecting into Japan from our base in the US. This is an excellent result and more than fast enough for HD streaming and quick video loading times.

The VPN also unblocks other Japanese streaming services, including the Japanese version of Prime Video and Hulu. However, it did not work with the Japanese version of DAZN.

NordVPN’s apps are well-designed and intuitive to use. You can use NordVPN on a wide range of devices, and its Fire TV Stick app is particularly great if you want to stream on your TV.

Sadly, NordVPN doesn’t have a dedicated router app like ExpressVPN does, which makes it harder to use on games consoles and smart TVs.

While NordVPN does offer a Smart DNS tool, it’s only designed to access US streaming websites.

Despite these minor drawbacks, NordVPN is an affordable VPN cheaper than ExpressVPN and Proton VPN. It only costs $3.29 per month on a two-year subscription plan.

You can even use the VPN for free by taking advantage of NordVPN’s free trial offer. You can try the VPN free for 7 days on Android, or claim the 30-day money-back guarantee on other platforms.

Get NordVPN or read our complete NordVPN review.

3. Proton VPN Free: Best Free VPN for Japan

Proton VPN Free includes access to multiple Japanese servers, with quality apps for Fire TV Stick and Android TV.

Pros Cons
15 free Japan servers Free app doesn’t unblock Netflix Japan
Fire TV Stick & Android TV apps available No browser extensions
Fast US to Japan speeds DAZN Japan blocked
Completely free & no data cap
Private logging policy
Overall Japan VPN Rating: 5.0/10

This overall score is based on the following category ratings. To learn more, read our Japan VPN testing methodology.

Japan Server Locations: 8.5/108.5/meter>

Unblocks Japanese Netflix: 0.0/100.0

Unblocks Other Japanese Content: 0.0/100.0

Speed: 9.4/109.4

Streaming Device Compatibility: 7.0/107.0

The free version of Proton VPN is one of the only free VPNs that comes with both an unlimited data allowance and multiple servers in Japan.

You can therefore use Proton VPN to get a free Japanese IP address and access Japanese websites. But the VPN won’t unblock Netflix, unfortunately.

During our many years of testing, Proton VPN Free has never worked with Netflix Japan, or any other Netflix library for that matter. It didn’t work to unblock the Indian library in our recent India VPN testing, either.

Proton VPN Free Japan Servers

Proton VPN Free comes with a number of servers in Japan.

This is not unusual: our tests have been unable to find a single free VPN that works to access Netflix Japan from other countries. Most don’t even include Japanese servers on their free network.

However, the paid version of Proton VPN does have an excellent history of unblocking Japanese Netflix. It has 28 working servers based in Japan that assign you Tokyo or Osaka IP addresses.

Using the free version of the VPN, we recorded speeds of 87Mbps connecting into Japan from our base in the US. This is fast, particularly for a free VPN, and only marginally slower than NordVPN.

At $4.99 per month on its longest subscription, the paid version of Proton VPNs app is more expensive than many other competing VPN services. However, it’s user-friendly and it will work with Netflix in multiple regions, including Japan.

Other VPNs We Considered for Japan

Not all VPNs will give you access to fast and reliable VPN servers in Japan.

We’ve tested 52 VPN services, and while 55 do have physical or virtual server locations in Japan, many were slow or couldn’t bypass Japanese geo-blocks.

Even some very big industry names failed to deliver optimal results in our latest tests. Here are some popular VPNs that we don’t recommend to connect into Japan:

Private Internet Access

What we don’t like: PIA VPN is a good VPN for Japan, but at the moment it struggles to unblock a number of Japanese video platforms.


What we don’t like: Unfortunately Surfshark doesn’t work with any Japanese video platform we tested.


What we don’t like: IPVanish couldn’t unblock any of the Japanese streaming services we tested it with.

CyberGhost VPN

What we don’t like: CyberGhost has servers in Tokyo that work with Netflix Japan, but its speeds into Japan are too slow compared to our top-rated VPNs.

The table below summarizes some of the test results from a selection of the 52 VPNs we tested for Japan:

Popular VPNs That Don't Work with Japanese Netflix

There are more VPNs that don’t work with Netflix Japan than those that do. We’ve tested every major VPN, so we can tell you which VPNs you need to avoid.

Based on our most recent tests, VPNs unable to stream Japanese Netflix include:

  • Astrill
  • AtlasVPN
  • CactusVPN
  • HideMyAss
  • Hotspot Shield
  • IPVanish
  • Ivacy
  • IVPN
  • Mozilla VPN
  • Mullvad
  • Norton Secure VPN
  • Private Internet Access
  • PureVPN
  • SurfEasy
  • Surfshark
  • VyprVPN
  • TunnelBear
  • VPNArea
  • VPNUnlimited
  • Windscribe

EXPERT ADVICE: If you want to know if a VPN works with Netflix Japan, email us on and we can test it for you.

How to Get Japanese Netflix with a VPN

Netflix displays different movies, documentaries and TV shows in different countries. It uses your IP address to identify your location and block you from streaming libraries outside your physical location.

The easiest way to change your Netflix region is to use a VPN, which provides a pool of international IP addresses.

In fact, the most effective Netflix VPNs not only spoof your IP address, they are specifically-designed to evade Netflix IP bans and blacklists.

Here’s how to stream Japanese Netflix from anywhere using a VPN:

  1. Subscribe to a VPN that offers Japanese IP addresses, fast international download speeds, and reliable access to Netflix Japan. We recommend NordVPN.
  2. Download and install the VPN on your chosen device. Not all VPNs are compatible with Smart TVs, routers, or Amazon Fire TV Stick, so keep this in mind.
  3. Launch the VPN and log in with your account credentials.
  4. Connect to a VPN server in Japan.
  5. Head to and sign in.
  6. You should see that the content library has changed, and you can now stream Japanese Netflix content.

EXPERT ADVICE: You don’t need a new Netflix subscription to unblock different regions. With a VPN, you can use the same Netflix subscription to stream content from multiple countries.

In the video below, we demonstrate how to get Japanese Netflix using ExpressVPN as an example:

Unblocking Japanese Netflix from the UK using ExpressVPN.

Not every VPN has Japanese servers, though – and even those that do can often struggle to unblock Netflix. That’s why it’s key to use a VPN that works reliably in Japan.

If you encounter issues following the instructions above, there are a number of solutions to fix your VPN not working with Netflix.

How to Stream Japanese Netflix on Fire TV Stick

Streaming Japanese Netflix on Fire TV Stick is easy, as long as you have a VPN with a Firestick app.

To get Netflix Japan on Fire TV Stick, follow these simple instructions:

  1. Launch your Fire TV Stick and head to the Appstore.
  2. Search for your VPN and install its Firestick app. We recommend NordVPN’s Fire TV Stick app Fire TV Stick, which works reliably in our testing.
  3. Login to your VPN account and connect to a Japanese server.
  4. Open Netflix while connected to the Japanese server.
  5. You can now stream Japanese Netflix content on your Fire TV Stick.

In the video below, we show how easy it is to stream Japanese exclusives using NordVPN’s Fire TV Stick app:

You can stream Japanese Netflix via your Fire TV Stick when using a VPN.

How to Get Japanese Netflix On Xbox, PlayStation, and Apple TV

Installing the Netflix application on your Smart TV, or games console is easy. However, it’s much harder to install a VPN on these devices.

There are three ways to get Japanese Netflix on your games console or Smart TV:

  1. Use Smart DNS.
  2. Connect your console to your computer.
  3. Install a VPN on your router.

If you want to stream Japanese Netflix on a games console or Smart TV, you can still use a VPN by setting up Smart DNS, AirPlaying content from your iPhone, or connecting to a VPN server directly from your router.

It’s often easier to use Smart DNS than a VPN on games consoles. However, most Smart DNS services cater predominantly to US streaming sites, which means they’re not as useful when it comes to Netflix Japan.

Only Windscribe’s Smart DNS, Control D, can be set to Netflix Japan, but it’s not always reliable.

A better approach is to share your computer’s internet connection with your games console via WiFi or Ethernet. You can then change your VPN server and it will take effect on your console, too.

Alternatively, you can get Japanese Netflix on your games console by installing a VPN on your home router. This can be quite complicated to set up, but it will encrypt and reroute the connections of all devices connected to your WiFi network.

Can I Watch Japanese Netflix without a VPN?

If you want to stream Japanese Netflix from a different country without a VPN, the best method is to use a smart DNS service.

Smart DNS services spoof your DNS address instead of your IP address, making it appear as if you’re in another country. This works to unblock geo blocked content from abroad, but it does not encrypt your web traffic like a VPN service.

Smart DNS is more complex and less flexible than VPNs, but it can be effective for accessing geo-restricted streaming services, including Japanese Netflix.

The best smart DNS for Netflix Japan is Control D from Windscribe. Most alternatives only cater to US streaming sites, including MediaStreamer from ExpressVPN and Smart DNS from NordVPN and Surfshark.

Windscribe Control D Netflix Japan

Control D allows you to select a Japan proxy for Netflix content.

Control D also isn’t included in the standard Windscribe subscription. It costs an extra $20.00 if you’re already a Windscribe subscriber, and $40.00 if you’re not. Based on our testing, Windscribe isn’t always reliable when it comes to unblocking Netflix Japan, either.

This means you’ll be paying extra money without the guarantee of continuous access. For this reason, the best way to watch Netflix Japan is with a VPN. It’s easier to use than Smart DNS and much more flexible.

Can I Watch Japanese Netflix for Free?

The only way to watch Japanese Netflix for free is to take advantage of a premium VPN free trial or refund guarantee. We’ve tested every 100% free VPN that comes with Japanese servers and found that none of them work to unblock Netflix Japan.

It’s rare that a free VPN includes servers in Japan, and even rarer that these servers work to get around Netflix’s geo-detection methods. Even then, it’s difficult to find a free VPN for Netflix without slow speeds or data caps.

The best free VPN for Japan is Proton VPN Free, which comes with a number of free Japan servers. It doesn’t have a data cap and you can sign up without any payment information – just don’t expect it to unblock Japanese streaming sites, including Japanese Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, or DAZN.

What Is Available on Japanese Netflix?

There are over 5,000 titles on Japanese Netflix, including a number of exclusive movies and TV shows that aren’t available in the US or any other Netflix regions.

For example, Japanese Netflix is home to lots of anime – more than any other Netflix library. It’s even started producing its own anime. All of these are available with English subtitles.

Some of the most popular anime shows available to stream on Japanese Netflix include:

  • Aggretsuko
  • Attack on Titan
  • Cowboy Bebop
  • Death Note
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
  • Jujutsu Kaisen
  • Monogatari
  • My Hero Academia
  • Neon Genesis: Evangelion
  • Tokyo Revengers
  • Violet Evergarden

Netflix Japan has a number of great Japanese-language live-action movies, too, including the Rurouni Kenshin movies, A Silent Voice, and Mirai.

There are also English-language movies that are only available on Netflix Japan. For example, Xavier Dolan’s The Death and Life of John F. Donovan and The Intern can only be streamed on Netflix Japan and is unavailable in all other Netflix regions.

Netflix Japan English Language Movies

Netflix Japan has both Japanese and English-language exclusives.

You can use a website like uNoGS or JustWatch to see what content is only available on Netflix Japan.


Netflix organizes its catalog by subcategories. You can access these subcategories by using secret Netflix codes, adding them to the end of this URL:

For Japanese Netflix content, add these secret codes:

  • Japanese Anime: 1462141
  • Japanese Anime Based on Comics: 2316199
  • Japanese Movies: 10398
  • Japanese TV Dramas: 711367
  • Japanese TV Shows: 64256
  • Japanese Movies & TV: 100385
  • Critically-Acclaimed Japanese Movies: 571
  • Award-Winning Japanese Movies: 1165766

How to Watch Other Japanese Streaming Services from Abroad

Netflix isn’t the only platform you can access with a Japanese IP address. There are several other streaming services exclusive to Japan that a good VPN can unblock.

Here’s a table of popular Japanese streaming services and the VPNs that can access them from overseas:

Japanese Streaming Service
Recommended VPNs
ExpressVPN, NordVPN, Proton VPN
DAZN Japan
Windscribe, PrivateVPN
ExpressVPN, NordVPN
ExpressVPN, NordVPN, Surfshark
Hulu Japan
ExpressVPN, NordVPN, PIA
Prime Video Japan
ExpressVPN, PrivateVPN
TV Tokyo
ExpressVPN, NordVPN, ProtonVPN
ExpressVPN, NordVPN

Japanese Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video is entirely different in Japan compared to the US or other regions. You can access Japanese shows and movies on Prime by using a VPN to assign yourself a Japanese IP address.

Prime Video geo-blocks aren’t as strict as Netflix, so more VPNs are able to access it. Our tests found that ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and Proton VPN all work to unblock Prime Video Japan.

DAZN Japan

Alongside Canada, Japan has one of the best DAZN libraries. It lets you stream NPB, UFC, boxing, Formula 1, English Premier League soccer, and more.

We’ve done extensive testing to see which VPNs work with DAZN so that you can stream the best sports from anywhere.

The only two VPNs that work with Japan’s version of DAZN are Windscribe and PrivateVPN. They also work with DAZN Canada. All other VPNs fail.

Hulu Japan

Hulu is very popular in Japan. In fact, except for the US, Japan is the only other country that has Hulu.

Unlike with Prime Video and Netflix, you cannot just change your VPN server and stream Hulu Japan. You have to start from the bottom up and create a Japanese account with a Japanese payment method.

Hulu Japan Home Screen

You have to create a Japanese account to access Hulu Japan.

All the VPNs we recommend for a Japanese IP address can be used to set up a Japanese Hulu account from overseas. If you want to access Hulu Japan, we recommend using ExpressVPN. However, you’ll need Japanese payment details to create an account.

How We Test VPNs for Japan

Our Japan VPN testing methodology is designed to identify the very best VPNs that give you access to Japanese IP addresses from abroad.

The top VPNs must have great server coverage in Japan, but also unblock geo-restricted Japanese web content. This includes video platforms like Netflix Japan and AmebaTV.

Because of the importance of unblocking streaming services, we test connection speeds into Japan from far away. Fast speeds ensure high picture quality with no buffering.

Similarly, we consider device compatibility a key factor, especially having a native Fire TV Stick application that successfully unblocks Japanese streaming apps.

See how the best Japan VPNs performed in our key testing categories using the table below:

Below is how each category that we test for is weighted, in order for us to determine the overall Japan rating of each VPN:

  • Range of Japanese server locations: 30%
  • Reliable access to Netflix Japan: 20%
  • Reliable access to other Japanese video platforms: 20%
  • Speed (based on US to Tokyo connections): 15%
  • Streaming Device Compatibility: 15%


VPNs are entirely legal in Japan and it’s completely okay to get a Japanese IP address from abroad. There are very few countries that have made VPNs illegal, and Japan is not one of them.

Japan is ranked 96/100 for political rights and civil liberties by Freedom House, with an internet classified as “free”. There are no restrictions on the internet, and hardly any instances of censorship from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

How Do I Get English Subtitles on Japanese Netflix?

Many Japanese Netflix titles include English subtitles, but not all of them do.

If the Japanese content you’re watching has English subtitles, you’ll be able to find them in the Audio and Subtitles section in the bottom right corner of the options panel.

Netflix Japan English Subtitles

Most Netflix Japan titles come with English subtitles, but not all do.

Is Studio Ghibli on Netflix Japan?

Netflix Japan is home to lots of anime, but this does not include any Studio Ghibli movies. That means you won’t be able to watch Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, or My Neighbor Totoro.

Other Netflix libraries do have these films. For example, you can watch Spirited Away on Netflix Canada, France, UK, and more.

You can use a website like uNoGs to find which country has the Studio Ghibli films and use your VPN to connect to a server in that country.

Do I Need a VPN to Watch Fuji TV?

No, you do not need a VPN to access Fuji TV from abroad. The normal website URL works just fine wherever you are in the world. You can stream its Japanese-language content without a Japanese IP address.