Japan is very advanced technologically with an internet penetration rate of up to 92%. It is credited for introducing some of the most famous inventions, such as the PlayStation, lithium-ion battery, and others.
The country does not impose surveillance or censorship on its citizens like many of its neighbors. However, it is tough on copyright infringement, and you can get hefty fines, incarcerated, or both if you are caught.
That is why we recommend you to use a virtual private network (VPN). It is a tool that will enable you to bypass the restrictions and access content from anywhere in the world.
This article will look at the best Japan VPNs, factors to look for when choosing a VPN, frequently asked questions, and more.
A quick summary of the best VPNs for Japan
- NordVPN – Our top choice VPN for Japan. Fast-speed servers, robust security and privacy measures, unblocks all geo-blocks
- CyberGhost – Generous money-back guarantee, expansive server coverage, zero-logs policy
- ExpressVPN – Advanced security features, compatible with major devices, double VPN, DNS leak protection
Best VPNs for Japan
NordVPN Main features
- 5,500+ servers in 60+ countries
- P2P optimized servers
- 30-days money-back guarantee
- Double VPN
- Six simultaneous connections
- Native apps for Windows, Android, macOS, Chrome, Firefox, and Chrome
NordVPN is a well-established VPN with some of the best features you would want in a VPN. It offers robust encryption, super-fast speeds, and incredible unblocking capabilities.
The VPN has one of the industry’s biggest networks, with over 5,500 servers in 63 countries, including 84 in Japan. A Quick Connect feature will enable you to identify and connect to the fastest server based on your latency and location.
Does NordVPN unblock Netflix Japan? It has a SmartPlay feature that makes the VPN bypass even the most stubborn geo-restrictions while maintaining your security and privacy. This means you will be able to unblock BBC iPlayer, Netflix US, Hulu, and other popular streaming sites.
It keeps you protected with security features such as AES 256-bit encryption, perfect forward secrecy, secure protocols, automatic kill switch, split tunneling, and DNS leak protection. The double encryption feature will route your traffic through several servers for extra security.
Many of NordVPN’s servers are P2P optimized, and it does not cap on bandwidth and data so you can download or share torrent files unrestricted. The provider does not store logs and is based in Panama, a privacy-friendly country, to keep your torrenting activities anonymous.
NordVPN has a native app for iOS devices and other platforms such as Android, macOS, and Windows. It also works well with Chrome, Firefox, Linux, and a wide range of routers. Fortunately, it allows you to connect up to 6 simultaneous connections on a single subscription.
- Several servers in Japan
- Watertight security and privacy features
- Unblocks all major streaming sites
- Use hard drive on servers instead of RAM
CyberGhost Main features
- 7,000+ servers in 90 countries
- Support P2P sharing
- Best Server Location Feature
- AES 256-bit encryption
- WireGuard protocol
- Zero logs policy
- 45-days money-back guarantee
CyberGhost is one of the best VPN providers and a trustworthy choice VPN for Japan, especially for beginners. Its apps are user-friendly and intuitive and guarantee to unblock even the toughest geo-blocks. In some ways, it outdoes its competitors in terms of allowable simultaneous devices and server count.
This VPN has unbelievable unblocking capabilities and will bypass restrictions of major streaming sites such as Amazon Prime Video and others like Netflix, Sky Go, Hulu, etc. Some of its servers are optimized for streaming to give you a smooth watching experience.
If you are looking for a VPN to play online games, you should choose CyberGhost. This is a fast VPN and you can play speed-intensive games like Fortnite in HD definition without lagging or buffering.
CyberGhost VPN works well with all major operating systems, and regardless of the device you are using, it is most likely compatible with it. There is something interesting on the Android app when you look at it closer. It is very similar to the desktop version with interesting features such as ads, trackers and malware blockers, split tunneling, and Wi-Fi protection.
It allows you to connect up to seven devices at once, but you can install it on your router to add infinite connections. This means you can share a single subscription with the whole family.
- Simple to navigate apps
- Multiple servers in Japan
- Generous money-back guarantee
- Limited iOS app
ExpressVPN Main features
- 3,000 + servers in 160+ locations
- Zero-knowledge DNS
- P2P optimized servers
- No-logs policy
- Smart Location feature
- AES 256-bit encryption
- Network Lock
- Split tunneling
- TrustedServer Technology
ExpressVPN guarantees your online freedom and anonymity with the provider based in a privacy-friendly country and observing a strict zero-logs policy. It has worldwide server coverage with three servers in Tokyo and one in Yokohama, Japan.
The servers are super-fast and bypass all obstacles on their way. We were able to unblock UK TV and content in other regions such as the US, Brazil, and Canada. You are guaranteed to get HD streaming without buffering, lag, or pixelated images.
ExpressVPN safeguards your data and traffic with AES 256-bit encryption. It is combined with other security features such as perfect forward secrecy, an advanced kill switch (Network Lock), split tunneling, and DNS leak protection.
Furthermore, it is compatible with the Tor network and supports the Tor over VPN setup. This adds an extra level of anonymity to keep your online activities completely private. The provider is headquartered in British Virgin Island, a privacy-friendly country, and does not keep user logs.
- Swift installation process
- User-friendly apps
- Impressive unblocking capabilities
- The speed test is not available for mobile
Factors to consider when choosing a VPN for Japan
A good VPN for Japan should have the capability to maintain your online security and privacy as well as unblock geo-blocked content from anywhere. These are some of the most critical factors you should consider before settling on the best VPN.
Choose a VPN with a big server network located in strategic locations such as the UK, the US, Canada, and of course, Japan. The provider should also offer a wide variety of recycled and shared IP addresses so that streaming services do not easily block you.
Having servers in countries such as the UK and the US will help you access more content on services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer. On the other hand, it will mask your IP address and enable you to access locally blocked content at high speeds (the closer the server, the more the speed).
Free VPN options for Japan
Free VPNs are heavily advertised on the internet, and it is easy to notice them because they claim to offer VPN services at no cost. However, there is a catch as most of them have major limitations like inferior encryption standards, bandwidth and data caps, inconsistent speeds, congested servers, and unreliable unblocking capabilities.
At the same time, most of them engage in malicious activities to generate revenue to pay technical teams, server maintenance, and general expenses. Some of the ways they make money are injecting ads and even selling your data to third parties without your consent.
They will likely insert malware and trackers to monitor your browsing history in addition to the list of potential risks. If you are tight on budget but need a VPN for a short-term solution, you can try these reliable, really free VPNs.
Japan VPNs frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Is it illegal to use a VPN in Japan?
No, using a VPN is perfectly legal in Japan. However, you shouldn’t use it to commit illegal activities like downloading copyrighted materials because you can easily get into trouble. Moreover, we don’t condone using a VPN to break the law but recommend using them for legal activities like streaming.
Do I need to use a VPN in Japan?
Even though Japan’s internet is not surveilled or censored like many of its neighbors, your ISP and government can still track your activities. When you use a VPN, it will hide your IP address and allow you to browse privately and securely.
How can I stream Netflix Japan with a VPN?
If you are travelling abroad and would like to access Netflix abroad, you only need to connect to Japanese servers. Depending on the VPN service, you can easily switch servers or contact the customer support if you face any connection issue.
Is it illegal to torrent in Japan?
It is absolutely legal to torrent in Japan. However, you should know that the country has some of the strictest anti-torrenting laws with large fines of up to 10 million yen or two-year imprisonment. In 2013, over 27 people were arrested for uploading video games, manga, music videos, and anime without the copyright holders’ consent.
Although there is internet freedom in Japan, it is still good to use a VPN when accessing the internet. It will keep you secure and anonymous and enable you to access geo-blocked content from all over the world. After several weeks of testing, we have compiled for you the best Japan VPNs. Our top recommendation is NordVPN because it is a good all-rounder option with a wide range of servers in Japan.