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The Best VPNs for Japan

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

Our Verdict

The absolute best VPN for Japan is ExpressVPN. We rated it 9.6/10 thanks to its servers in Tokyo and Yokohama providing fast access to popular geo-restricted Japanese streaming platforms on the widest range of devices.

Japan VPN

Using the right VPN you can connect to a VPN server in Japan and get an anonymous Japanese IP address from overseas. This way you can unblock geo-restricted video platforms such as Netflix Japan, AbemaTV, Prime Video Japan and many others.

Unfortunately, not all VPNs have servers in Japan, and not all VPNs are able to effectively bypass Japanese geo-restrictions.

Summary: The Best VPNs for Japan

Here are the three VPNs we recommend for getting a Japanese IP address from abroad:

  1. ExpressVPN: Best VPN for Japan
  2. NordVPN: Fastest VPN for Japan
  3. Proton VPN Free: 100% Free VPN for Japan

The Best Japan VPNs Compared

Use the table below to compare the our recommended VPNs for Japan based on Japanese server locations, access to Japanese streaming platforms, speed, and price.

Why Trust Us?

We’re fully independent and have been reviewing VPNs since 2016. Our ratings are based on our own testing results and are unaffected by financial incentives. Learn who we are and how we test VPNs.

VPNs Tested65
Total Hours of Testing30,000+
Combined Years of Experience50+

The Best Japan VPNs Analyzed

In order to find the best VPNs for Japan, we tested the speed and reliability of 65 VPNs with servers in Japan.

During our tests we also assessed their ability to unblock geo-restricted Japanese streaming services, specifically the Netflix Japan catalog.

And after testing which VPNs work with which Netflix library, we can also affirm that most popular VPNs can’t unblock Netflix Japan.

Following our tests, here are the three best VPNs for getting a Japanese IP address and unblocking Japanese streaming services from abroad.

1. ExpressVPN: Best Japan VPN Overall

ExpressVPN's app for iOS

Pros Cons
Fast speeds connecting into Japan Not all Japan servers unblock Netflix Japan
Tokyo, Shibuya & Yokohama servers Above-average subscription cost
Unblocks almost all Japanese streaming services Unable to access DAZN Japan from overseas
User-friendly Firestick, Apple TV & router apps
Seven-day free trial & 30-day money-back guarantee
Overall Japan VPN Rating: 9.6/10

Japan Server Locations: 9.7/109.7/meter>

Unblocks Japan Video Content: 9.5/109.5

Unblocks Netflix Japan: 9.6/109.6

Speed: 9.7/109.7

Device Compatibility: 9.3/109.3

To learn more, read our testing methodology.

ExpressVPN is the overall best VPN for Japan we’ve tested, and our top-rated VPN for unblocking streaming services around the world.

The VPN’s three server locations in Japan continue to deliver extremely fast download speeds, connecting from nearby and faraway countries.

In fact, ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs connecting into Japan, with an average download speed of 83Mbps – only 17% slower than our usual internet speed.

Throughout our tests, these servers unblocked the vast majority of Japanese streaming services we tested including the Japanese versions of Prime Video and Hulu, AbemaTV, TVer, U-Next, and TV Tokyo.

Prime Video Japan with ExpressVPN

We easily streamed Prime Video Japan using ExpressVPN.

ExpressVPN also unblocked the Japanese Netflix library in all our tests, although we found NordVPN’s servers to be more reliable at unblocking that specific catalog.

ExpressVPN with Netflix Japan on macOS

ExpressVPN unblocks Netflix Japan and other streaming services.

ExpressVPN offers the widest device compatibility, especially with streaming devices, in addition to expected native apps for computers and smartphones.

For instance, we used ExpressVPN’s Fire TV Stick and Apple TV user-friendly apps with our TV to easily watch geo-restricted content on Netflix Japan.

Moreover, ExpressVPN has also developed an extremely rare app for routers. This allows you to get a Japanese IP address on devices that don’t support VPN software

The downside to using ExpressVPN is its subscription cost: the best price you can currently get is $6.67 per month on a 15-month plan, which is higher than many other VPNs.

At least you can 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: Fastest VPN for Japan

NordVPN's app for iOS

Pros Cons
Fastest speeds connecting into Japan Servers in Tokyo only
Over 80 Japan VPN servers Smart DNS doesn’t work for Japan
Most reliable at unblocking Netflix Japan Doesn’t unblock DAZN Japan
Good Fire TV Stick & Android TV app No dedicated router app
Very good value for money Renews at a much higher price
Access to Fuji TV, TV Tokyo, Prime Video Japan
Overall Japan VPN Rating: 9.5/10

Japan Server Locations: 9.4/109.4/meter>

Unblocks Japan Video Content: 9.5/109.5

Unblocks Netflix Japan: 9.9/109.9

Speed: 9.7/109.7

Device Compatibility: 8.9/108.9

To learn more, read our testing methodology.

NordVPN recorded the fastest download speeds connecting to Japanese server locations.

During our tests, NordVPN recorded an average speed loss of just 11% compared to ExpressVPN’s 17%. Thanks to these impressive speeds, we easily loaded and streamed geo-restricted Japanese content.

NordVPN was especially consistent at unblocking Netflix’s Japanese library. The default Japan server worked every single time, which didn’t surprise us since NordVPN is a very good Netflix VPN in general.

NordVPN Netflix Japan Streaming

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

The VPN also unblocks other popular Japanese streaming services and catalogs, including those of Prime Video and Hulu. However, NordVPN didn’t work with DAZN Japan.

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.

NordVPN Fire TV Stick App

Using the NordVPN Fire TV Stick app.

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

NordVPN is a very close contender to ExpressVPN as the best VPN for Japan. It’s also more affordable, costing $3.29 per month on a two-year subscription plan.

Before purchasing it, you can use the VPN for free by taking advantage of NordVPN’s free trial offer via Android. Or, you can make the most of its 30-day refund guarantee.

3. Proton VPN Free: Best Free VPN for Japan

Proton VPN Free on iOS

Pros Cons
15 free Japan servers in Tokyo & Osaka Free app doesn’t unblock Netflix Japan
Fire TV Stick & Android TV apps available No browser extensions
Fast speeds into Japan Blocked by many Japanese streaming platforms
Completely free & no data cap
Overall Japan VPN Rating: 5.0/10

Japan Server Locations: 8.5/108.5/meter>

Unblocks Japan Video Content: 0.0/100.0

Unblocks Netflix Japan: 0.0/100.0

Speed: 9.4/109.4

Device Compatibility: 7.0/107.0

To learn more, read our testing methodology.

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

Proton VPN Free Japan Servers

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

These servers worked reliably to assign us a free Japanese IP address and access some Japanese websites, like AbemaTV, although they couldn’t beat the majority of geo-restrictions.

Sadly, Proton VPN Free has never worked with Netflix Japan, or any other Netflix library. For instance, it didn’t unblock the popular Indian catalog in our India VPN tests.

This is not unusual: we have yet to find a free VPN that can access Netflix Japan from overseas. Most free VPNs don’t even operate servers in Japan.

And apart from AbemaTV, Proton VPN Free couldn’t unblock any other Japanese TV or streaming service.

However, if you were to upgrade to the paid version of Proton VPN, then you would be able to unblock Japanese content on its 28 servers in Tokyo and Osaka.

On the plus side, the speeds of Proton VPN’s free software into Japan were exceptional. We recorded speeds of 87Mbps – only marginally slower than our fastest Japan VPN, NordVPN.

Proton VPN Free Speed Tests

Testing Proton VPN Free’s speed.

If you don’t need to unblock geo-restricted Japanese streaming content, then it’s absolutely worth giving Proton VPN a try before buying a VPN subscription.

Popular VPNs That Weren't Good Enough

Not all VPNs offer access to fast and reliable VPN servers in Japan.

We tested 65 VPNs, and while 55 operate servers 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. We’ve listed below popular VPNs that we don’t recommend for Japan.

Private Internet Access

the Private Internet Access iOS app

PIA VPN is a good VPN for Japan, but at the moment it struggles to unblock a number of Japanese video platforms.

Surfshark

Surfshark VPN's app for iOS

While Surfshark maintains servers in Japan unfortunately none of them worked with the Japanese streaming services we tested.

IPVanish

IPVanish's VPN app for iOS

Unlike Surfshark and PIA, IPVanish did unblock some Japanese streaming services, however it couldn’t bypass the Netflix Japan and Prime Video Japan geo-blocks.

CyberGhost

Cyberghost's VPN app for iOS

CyberGhost has servers in Tokyo that worked with Netflix Japan, but its speeds from abroad into Japan were much slower than ExpressVPN and NordVPN.

The table below summarizes some of the test results from a selection of the 65 VPNs we tested for Japan:

How to Unblock Japanese Streaming Services from Abroad

There are several streaming services exclusive to Japan, as well as regional catalogs of international platforms, that good VPNs can unblock.

The table below lists some of the most popular Japanese video platforms, and the VPNs that we’ve verified can access them from overseas.

Streaming Service Recommended VPNs
AbemaTV ExpressVPN, NordVPN, Proton VPN, IPVanish
TVer ExpressVPN, NordVPN, IPVanish
U-Next ExpressVPN, NordVPN, IPVanish
DAZN Japan Windscribe, PrivateVPN
dTV ExpressVPN, NordVPN
Hulu Japan ExpressVPN, NordVPN, PIA VPN
Prime Video Japan ExpressVPN, PrivateVPN
TV Tokyo ExpressVPN, NordVPN, Proton VPN
WOWOW TV ExpressVPN, NordVPN

Below are three popular international streaming services that offer subscribers in Japan a different catalog of titles:

Amazon Prime Video Japan

The Amazon Prime Video library is completely different in Japan compared to the United States and other regions.

Using a VPN with Prime Video, you can obtain a Japanese IP address and unblock content restricted to Japanese subscribers.

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.

To access Hulu Japan from overseas, we recommend using ExpressVPN. However, you’ll still need a Japanese payment method to create an account.

How to Watch Netflix Japan with a VPN

Netflix displays different content in different countries. It uses your IP address location to block you from streaming libraries outside your physical location.

To change your Netflix region you’ll need an effective VPN, which not only spoofs your IP address but is specifically-designed to evade Netflix IP address bans and blacklists.

The Japanese Netflix is one of the most content-rich available, but many VPNs fail to unblock it. The video below shows you how to do it using ExpressVPN.

Unblocking Japanese Netflix from the UK using ExpressVPN.

Below are simple step-by-step instructions on how to unblock Japanese Netflix with a VPN:

How to Access Japanese Netflix from Abroad with a VPN:

  1. Subscribe to a VPN with fast international speeds and consistent access to Netflix Japan, like NordVPN.
  2. Download and install the VPN on your chosen device. Keep in mind that not all VPNs are compatible with Smart TVs, routers, or Amazon Fire TV Stick.
  3. Launch the VPN and log in with your usual account credentials.
  4. Connect to a VPN server in Japan.
  5. Head to netflix.com/jp/ 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 access other country catalogs. You can use your existing Netflix subscription, alongside a VPN, to access international content.

Many of our readers use a Fire TV Stick to access their favorite streaming services, including Netflix.

The video below shows how to use a VPN, in this case NordVPN, to unblock Japanese Netflix on Firestick:

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

How to Unblock Netflix Japan on Fire TV Stick with a VPN:

  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.

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

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

  • Range of Japanese server locations: 30%
  • Reliable access to Japanese video platforms: 20%
  • Reliable access to Netflix Japan: 20%
  • Speed connecting into Japan from abroad: 15%
  • Streaming Device Compatibility: 15%

FAQs

How Can I See English Subtitles on Japanese Netflix?

Many Japanese Netflix titles include English subtitles, but not all. If they’re available, you’ll find them in the Audio and Subtitles section (bottom right corner) of the options panel.

Netflix Japan English Subtitles

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

Do I Need a VPN to Watch Fuji TV?

No, you do not need a VPN to access Fuji TV from abroad. You can access the TV channel’s website and stream its video content from anywhere in the world.