If you're looking for a VPN for Japan, the choice can be overwhelming. We've done the testing for you and today I'll be rounding up the top 7 options.
Finding the right VPN for a specific service can be an incredibly hard task these days and with so much information and ‘misinformation', it's hard to know where to turn.
Something you should understand very quickly, no one VPN service is the ‘Best', but there are a group of providers which can be considered the best for a specific purpose.
I've been researching and testing a whole range of VPN services from big to small, cheap to expensive and cut out the rubbish to find you the most suitable options.
So whether you're in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Kumamoto or anywhere else, these VPNs will be suitable.
My current favourite provider for a Japanese VPN is ExpressVPN, but below you can explore all seven of my top choices.
Top 7 VPN services for Japan
Without question, my favourite VPN service for Japan is ExpressVPN. If you're looking for a VPN for Japan or service with local servers, then they have you covered on both bases.
Servers are available in Tokyo and they're not limited to just one server like many other providers but they offer a few different servers and connection options.
ExpressVPN is one of the faster services I've tested which means if you want to unblock Japanese dramas, Anime or Japanese Netflix outside Japan or you want to protect your privacy inside Japan, then they're suitable for both purposes.
From overseas you can also use the VPN for Japan by tunnelling in to access sports such as NPB Baseball, J1 League Football, NJPW wrestling and more.
ExpressVPN offers apps for a broad range of devices including Windows & Mac, Android & iOS, Linux and the Amazon Fire TV and Fire Stick. If you're looking for a VPN for Japan or a VPN server from Japan then you should make ExpressVPN your first choice.
Our #1 Recommended VPN for Japan
30-day money back guarantee
IPVanish is one of the longest-running and most respected providers. As a VPN service for Japan, they're up there with the best.
Japanese VPN servers are available in Tokyo and further afield you've also got the options of connecting to South Korea and Hong Kong. If you're in Japan, then you'll be able to protect your privacy and access movies and TV shows from other countries too.
If you're looking for a VPN from Japan to access Japanese services, then the Tokyo based VPN services will cover your needs.
I really like the fact you can use IPVanish on as many devices as you want. This isn't available from many other services so certainly makes them stand out.
IPVanish supports all major devices and even has an Amazon Fire TV / Firestick app. If you're travelling in Japan or live there and have a Fire TV Stick, you'll be able to unblock content from across the world.
NordVPN is one of the best newcomer VPN services that has improved dramatically in recent years. If you're looking for a Japanese VPN, then they've got plenty of features.
It's not specified where the NordVPN servers are located in Japan, but you can pretty much guarantee they're in Tokyo. What is clear is with 140+ Japanese-based VPN servers they offer more than nearly any other service provider.
NordVPN is also incredibly easy to use. I found their apps to be not only quicker but also look better than most of the competition.
Apps are available for Windows and Mac and Android and iOS plus a range of other platforms and their desktop and mobile apps are easier to use than most.
The service is certainly suitable for use as a VPN from Japan if you want to access Japanese content and services or as a VPN in Japan if you're living or travelling there.
Plus if you're not entirely happy they've got a huge 30-day money back guarantee.
4. CyberGhost VPN
CyberGhost VPN has been expanding recently and in the past 12 months they've more than doubled the number of server locations. Japan is no exception and there are now over 92 Japanese VPN servers available.
One of the best things about CyberGhost VPN and using them as a Japan VPN service is the fact their servers are currently really low utilised. I struggled to find a period where there were more than ten users on any of their Tokyo based VPN servers.
This essentially means that you're going to get better speeds and a better quality of service due to their lesser-used status.
Apps to help you connect to their Japan VPN servers are available for Windows and Mac and iOS and Android. No matter what type of device you want to connect on, you'll be covered.
If you're not 100% sure then give them a try with their 45-day money back guarantee.
VyprVPN did use to offer a 3-day trial but sadly that's no longer the case and they instead provide the standard 30-day money back guarantee.
However, don't let that put you off because there's still a reliable service to be found.
Japanese VPN servers are available and VyprVPN owns all the hardware in their network, making their servers safer than most. They also have nearby connection points in Hong Kong, South Korea, Macau and the Philippines.
If you're looking for a VPN, then there are plenty of options at VyprVPN to keep you covered. Just as if you are looking for a VPN to access blocked Japanese content.
I really like the apps on the VyprVPN service because they're incredibly easy to use. Just a couple of clicks gets you connected to a Japanese VPN server and protected.
Surfshark is a young VPN service located in the British Virgin Islands.
As such, it is far from any intrusive governments, and entirely out of the Fourteen Eyes Alliance's jurisdiction. In addition, it has excellent security features, as well as a reliable, fast, and vast server network.
In fact, its network is quite impressive, considering that this VPN is only two years old.
It has over 1,700 servers in 63 different countries. That, of course, includes Japan, which is perfect if you wish to access the country's content from abroad, as well as those who want to access it while keeping their connection secure from the inside.
Apart from Japan, there are also servers in other nearby countries, such as Hong Kong, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, India, and more.
7. PrivateInternetAccess (PIA)
Lastly, we have Private Internet Access (PIA), which comes with all kinds of exciting features, aimed at protecting your online privacy and identity.
It can unblock censorship filters, encrypt your Wi-Fi, protect you as you use torrents, block ads, trackers, malware, and more.
PIA has over 3,263 servers around the world, located in 48 different countries.
In Japan, specifically, PIA has 16 servers in a single location. However, that is more than enough to unblock anything that Japan has to offer while still being safe from intrusive eyes.
Apart from Japan, PIA also has servers in surrounding countries, including Singapore and Hong Kong.
How to choose a VPN service for Japan
Searching for a VPN for Japan is much like searching for a VPN for any other country.
Type in ‘Best VPN for Japan' in Google and you'll be flooded with information. Some good, some bad. What's a certainty though is the amount of choice is simply too much.
When looking for a Japanese VPN, you should consider the following points:
Does it have servers in Japan?
One of the most critical questions to ask is, does the VPN service have servers in Japan? It may sound like an obvious question but not all do.
It's easy to be bowled over by flashy VPN websites promising the world but if it doesn't have VPN servers in Japan then is it really the best choice and more importantly, the VPN for your needs?
Does it offer apps for my devices?
You should consider what devices you're mainly going to use the VPN on. If you're an Android user but the provider only offers Apple apps, then they're not suitable for your needs.
No matter how good their Japanese coverage is, if they don't offer apps for your type of device, then they're not suitable.
A good option is ExpressVPN because they cover all the most popular devices, including some such as Linux and the Amazon Fire TV Stick that others don't.
Does it offer nearby connection points?
If you're looking for a VPN from Japan to access from outside, then this isn't too important. However, if you're looking for a VPN to use inside the country, then you should consider nearby access.
Providers such as NordVPN offer a whole host of nearby connections in South Korea, Hong Kong and more.
If you're in Japan, this will allow you to protect your privacy to a greater extent by sending your data outside the country. It will also allow you to unblock any websites or services that are blocked in Japan.
Why do I need a VPN in Japan?
Censorship, in a traditional sense, is not that big in Japan, which is a good thing.
The country's constitution protects all forms of speech, while censorship is strictly prohibited. However, just because there is no typical censorship, it doesn't mean that there is no censorship at all.
In other words, Japan's citizens have a tendency to exercise self-censorship, which tends to happen when it comes to social or historical issues.
For example, people often avoid criticising Japan's Emperor, particularly when it comes to WWII events and alike.
Those who do not respect this unwritten rule could be censored or even attacked. With a VPN, users would be protected and able to post their thoughts freely.
Access overseas content
Like everyone else, Japan's people are also interested in accessing content that is only available in other countries.
Foreign cultures and content are interesting, but geo-restrictions tend to stand in the way of that.
Just think of the UK or US Netflix, which have hundreds of different movies and shows than what is available in Japan.
With a VPN, anyone can access such content from the country, regardless if they are a born resident, a visitor, or an expat.
Secure your Wi-Fi usage
Japan is generally perceived as safe and welcoming. While it is true that lost wallets and phones would most likely be brought to a police station or the closest lost and found service, there are always those who would abuse the easygoing atmosphere and try to exploit people in some way.
In Japan, this is most likely to happen if you connect to free Wi-Fi.
Online criminals are everywhere, and free Wi-Fi has always been one thing that attracts tourists, especially as there is so little of it available across Japan. While it also serves as a hunting ground for hackers.
As such, data theft is a genuine danger, even in Japan.
This is why you should never use a Wi-Fi that has a generic name, or that is free but requires no password. Meanwhile, using a VPN whenever you connect to a Wi-Fi that is not your own is a must, just to keep safe.
Protect your online privacy
Of course, using a VPN is a necessity to protect your privacy online.
Advertisers are always after customer data, hackers are waiting for unprotected victims, and government surveillance is something we have come to expect everywhere in the world.
With a VPN, you can protect your data from being intercepted and stored, at least until you log into your accounts on social media and alike.
A VPN will not be able to protect you from the social media site owners, but it will from random websites that you visit during your browsing session.
Torrent anime more securely
If Japan is known for one thing these days, it is its huge anime culture.
With it being such a large part of its modern culture, people tend to access it in all kinds of ways, including via torrents.
However, there are still the usual dangers when using torrent, such as accidentally downloading copyrighted materials, or suffering internet throttling.
You can prevent these and similar issues by using a VPN and completely hiding not only your identity but your online actions, as well.
Are VPNs legal in Japan?
The short answer is yes. Japan has no problem with its people protecting their privacy and identity on the internet by using a privacy tool such as a VPN.
Privacy is your human right, and you won't get in trouble for protecting yourself.
However, as always, be careful of what you do while the protection is on, as the abilities of a VPN are still not an invitation to perform illegal actions.
How to get a Japanese IP address?
Obtaining a Japanese IP address is very easy with a VPN, as long as you use one that has servers in Japan.
All you need to do is follow these steps:
- Create a VPN account with one of the recommended VPN services.
- Download and install their VPN app.
- Launch the app and log in with your account details.
- Find a list of servers, and select any server located in Japan.
- Hit ‘Connect,' and you're done.
At this point, your IP address will be one of the VPN's Japanese-based IP addresses, and any of the country's services or sites will see you as a Japan's resident for as long as you are connected.
Like I said at the start of this article, there is no single ‘Best' VPN for any purpose but there are a group of providers who can be considered the best.
ExpressVPN is certainly my recommended VPN service you should use as the ‘Best' for Japan. They offer a little bit more than the rest and although they may cost a dollar or two more than some services you do get what you pay for.
The ExpressVPN service is faster than most and has more access points both in Japan and across the world than many others. They also have the most extensive range of apps too making getting connected as effortless as possible.
You can take a look at ExpressVPN by clicking the button below.
Alternatively, if you've got time take a look at all seven providers above and select the one you find most suitable for you.
After all, they're my top choices for use in the country so you really can't go wrong.
Have you tried any of the above VPN services in or for Japan? I would love to know what you think of them, so why not let me and others know in the comments section below.