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Best VPNs for Japan in 2023


Are you an anime fan and want to enjoy unlimited access to the best shows, or are simply traveling in Japan and want to protect your personal data when using public wifi? Then getting a good and reliable VPN for Japan is in your best interest.

Not only will a Japan VPN provide access to the Japanese Netflix library, which contains exclusive anime titles, but it will also grant you unparalleled security while browsing. Good VPNs have features such as ad blockers and obfuscation, as well as malicious website protection – all you need to be safe and secure online at all times.

However, not all VPNs have servers in Japan, and not all of them are the best at security. To save you time and effort researching dozens of providers, we selected the best VPNs for Japan in 2023. All you need to do is choose one.

Top 5 best VPNs for Japan

  1. NordVPN – the best and most secure VPN for Japan
  2. Surfshark – affordable and fast VPN with Japanese servers
  3. PureVPN – feature-rich Japan VPN option
  4. ExpressVPN – solid VPN option for streaming Netflix Japan
  5. CyberGhost – reliable and secure Japan VPN

How to choose the best Japan VPN

When you’re picking a VPN for use in Japan, as long as you make sure the following points are covered, you’ll find you can do everything you need to:

  • Japanese servers. This one’s a no-brainer. If you’re trying to unblock Japanese content you’ll need a VPN that has servers located in the country. Luckily, all the VPNs on this list have servers in Japan – some of them even in several cities.
  • Good speed. Good connection speed is crucial both for streaming and casual browsing. Since VPNs naturally slow down your connection speed, you want to choose one that has the fastest protocols available. For example, NordVPN offers NordLynx, and other providers have WireGuard.
  • Good unblocking capabilities. Unblocking content isn’t easy. All the top sites like Netflix Japan, Amazon Prime Video, and Rakuten TV are always improving their geo-blocking technology. That’s why you need a VPN that consistently stays one step ahead. Services like NordVPN have an excellent unblocking track record.
  • Privacy features. The best VPNs will keep you hidden from snooping ISPs and your data safe from prying eyes. As long as your VPN has a strict no-logs policy is based in a private location, and offers some additional privacy features such as tracker blocking and obfuscation, you’re good.
  • Money-back guarantee. A simple refund policy gives you the confidence to try out a service, all our recommended VPNs offer 30-day money-back guarantees so you’re safe in the knowledge that if you’re not entirely happy you can easily get your money back, no fuss.

The best VPNs for Japan - our detailed list:

For optimum VPN use in Japan, you’ll need to look out for a selection of key features, such as Japanese server, security measures, and extra features. Let’s explore our top-rated VPNs in detail to see how they match up.

1. NordVPN – overall best VPN for Japan

NordVPN
Based in:Panama
Servers/countries:5500+ servers in 60 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:🔥 Get NordVPN with 63% OFF 🔥

NordVPN is the best VPN for Japan and overall. It has an excellent track record in unblocking streaming platforms, offers a number of useful security and privacy features, and is pretty affordable.

Streaming: we tested NordVPN with unblocking Japanese streaming libraries and services. And we were not at all surprised to find out that NordVPN provided unlimited access to Japanese Netflix, Hulu, and a number of other streaming services, including Tokyo TV. There were virtually no issues with video quality and buffering either.

Apps and servers: NordVPN has applications available for all major operating systems, both desktop and mobile, as well as several other devices. You can hook up NordVPN to your smart TV or gaming console, too. As for servers, out of 60 server locations, one of them is also in Japan.

Speed and security: if we were to look for the fastest VPN, NordVPN would surely take the first place. Its proprietary NordLynx protocol delivers exceptional connection speeds. Coupled with advanced security and privacy features such as kill switch, obfuscation, and threat protection which deals with ads, malware, and trackers, NordVPN is truly a one-of-a-kind VPN provider.

Price: the prices for NordVPN start at $3.49/month. You can also get a 7-day free trial on mobile apps, as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee.

For more information, check out our in-depth NordVPN review.

2. Surfshark – fast and affordable Japan VPN

Surfshark VPN banner
Based in:The Netherlands
Servers/countries:3200+ servers in 100 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:🔥 Get 82% OFF Surfshark + 2 months FREE 🔥

Surfshark is a great VPN for Japan. It is fast, affordable, and most importantly, it has servers in Japan, which is just what we need. Besides, the numerous useful features make it even better.

Streaming: during our testing, Surfshark was really great at providing access to Japanese Netflix and a number of other streaming platforms that are only available in Japan. There were no noticeable issues with streaming quality.

Apps and servers: Surfshark has 3200 servers in 100 countries, including Japan. The Surfshark apps are available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, as well as some other devices including Smart TVs. You could even try to set it up on your router and succeed.

Speed and security: known as one of the fastest VPNs on the market, Surfshark didn’t disappoint during our testing, too – you can see the live results in our VPN speed test tool. The security features of Surfshark include a kill switch, CleanWeb for safer and ad-free browsing, and obfuscation.

Price: the pricing for Surfshark starts from $2.30/month. You can also get a 7-day free trial. After that, there is also a 30-day money-back guarantee.

For more detail, read our full Surshark VPN review.

3. PureVPN – secure and feature-rich VPN for Japan

purevpn banner
Based in:British Virgin Islands
Servers/countries:6500+ servers in 78+ countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:🔥 Get PureVPN, now 87% OFF 🔥

PureVPN is a good Japan VPN, especially for those who appreciate having many server locations to choose from, including Japan. It also has adequate speeds that are more than enough for streaming.

Streaming: like any other respectable VPN, PureVPN is great at unblocking streaming services in different countries. It successfully let us access the Netflix Japan library, as well as Hulu in US and Japan, too. Fortunately, we experienced no buffering or other issues.

Apps and servers: besides the major operating systems such as Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, PureVPN also has apps available for several browsers and smart TVs. In terms of servers, it has 6500 virtual and physical servers in 78 locations all over the world, including Japan.

Speed and security: while PureVPN might not be the fastest of them all, it is certainly fast enough for quality streaming and browsing activities. Speaking of browsing, with PureVPNs functional security features you will be perfectly anonymous and secure online.

Price: PureVPN’s pricing starts at $1.49/month. You can get a 31-day money-back guarantee too, and try this VPN risk-free for a month.

For more information, check out our PureVPN review.

4. ExpressVPN – solid Japan VPN option

ExpressVPN banner
Based in:British Virgin Islands
Servers/countries:3000 servers in 94 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:🔥 Get ExpressVPN, now 49% OFF the 1-year plan! 🔥

Liked by many, ExpressVPN is a rather acceptable VPN option for Japan. It is slightly more expensive than most VPNs, though. Nevertheless, it offers pretty good features and functionalities.

Streaming: during our testing, ExpressVPN successfully unblocked several streaming services, including Netflix in Japan, as well as Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. There were no noticeable issues with video quality either, which is a pretty big win.

Apps and servers: besides apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, ExpressVPN is also available on several browsers. The VPN also has 3000 servers in 94 locations, which are not at all bad numbers. 4 of those locations are in Japan, too.

Speed and security: the signature ExpressVPN Lightway protocol makes this VPN provider pleasantly fast. Although it might not yet be able to compete with the likes of NordVPN, it still provides pretty good results. The security side of ExpressVPN is pretty standard– it offers an ad blocker, as well as a threat management feature, and stealth servers.

Price: Express VPN is quite expensive – the prices start at $6.67/month. You can get a 1-day, 3-day, or 7-day trial depending on your device, as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee.

For more information, read our ExpressVPN review.

5. CyberGhost – reliable VPN for Japan

CyberGhost VPN banner
Based in:Romania
Servers/countries:9700 servers in 91 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:🔥 Get CyberGhost VPN, now 83% OFF + 2 months FREE🔥

CyberGhost is an adequate VPN for Japan – it has servers in Japanese locations, some pretty basic VPN features, and good security. It’s also pretty good with unblocking streaming services.

Streaming: while CyberGhost didn’t manage to unblock all streaming services that we tested, we could access Netflix Japan with the specialized streaming servers. So even if CyberGhost is not the best option for streaming, it still does an adequate job.

Apps and servers: CyberGhost is available for all major operating systems, including desktop and mobile. As for the servers, it has 9700 servers in 91 locations, some of which are in Japan. You get pretty good worldwide coverage.

Speed and security: unfortunately, CyberGhost is not the fastest VPN out there. While the speeds were overall enough for streaming and casual browsing, they definitely could be better. As for security, CyberGhost doesn’t really offer any features that stand out – you get the usual kill switch, split tunneling, and a pretty solid ad blocker.

Price: the price for CyberGhost starts at $2.19/month. This is a reasonable price. CyberGhost also has one of the longest money-back guarantees, which spans 45 days. That, however, only applies to 1-year and 2-year plans. The 1-month plan has a 14-day money-back guarantee.

For more details, check out our CyberGhost review.

6. ProtonVPN – the best free VPN for Japan

ProtonVPN banner
Based in:Switzerland
Servers/countries:1800 servers in 66 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:🔥 Get up to 50% OFF Proton VPN!🔥

Out of all freemium VPNs, ProtonVPN is the best VPN for Japan with a free version. In fact, it might be the only VPN that offers free servers in Japan. Other than that, it’s still a pretty good VPN with adequate features and unblocking capabilities.

Streaming: ProtonVPN is pretty good at unblocking streaming services in different countries. The free servers in Japan easily granted us access to the Japanese Netflix and Hulu libraries. Other streaming services can be a bit of a gamble with the free version.

Apps and servers: you can get ProtonVPN for all your most popular devices, including Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. In terms of servers, the free ProtonVPN version offers servers in 3 locations, one of which is Japan.

Speed and security: ProtonVPN is pretty fast – we didn’t have any speed issues when browsing or streaming. The free version also offers an unlimited amount of data. As for security, ProtonVPN uses industry-standard encryption. The free version lacks some more advanced security features such as a NetShield ad blocker and a double VPN.

Price: the free ProtonVPN version costs nothing, but since it is pretty limited, you might want to upgrade to the paid plans. The premium ProtonVPN plans start at $4.99/month, and there is a 30-day money-back guarantee, too.

For more information, read our ProtonVPN review.

Best VPNs for Japan compared

Here’s how the best Japan VPNs compare to each other:

NordVPNNordVPNPureVPNExpressVPNCyberGhostProtonVPN
Brandlogologologologologologo
Rating
4.9
4.7
4.4
4.3
4.2
4.2
Japanese serversYesYesYesYesYesYes
Fastest protocolNordLynxWireGuardWireGuardLightwayWireGuardWireGuard
CountryPanamaThe NetherlandsBritish Virgin IslandsBritish Virgin IslandsRomaniaSwitzerland
Kill switchYesYesYesYesYesYes
No-logs policyYesYesYesYesYesYes
Max connections6Unlimited105710
Streaming servicesNetflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and moreNetflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and moreNetflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTubeNetflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and moreNetflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and moreNetflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, HBO Max, Disney+
Price$3.49/month$2.30/month$1.49/month$6.67/month$2.19/month$4.99/month
Money-back guarantee30 days30 days31 day30 days45 days30 days
ReviewNordVPN reviewSurfshark reviewPureVPN reviewExpressVPN reviewCyberGhost reviewProtonVPN review

How we selected and tested these VPNs

This is how we found out whether a VPN was worth joining this list:

  • Is it good for streaming? Unblocking streaming content is one of the most popular uses of a VPN, but as sites like Netflix Japan improve their geoblocking technology, you need a VPN that does the job consistently. The VPNs on this list are all efficient at content unblocking.
  • Is it fast? A speedy connection is vital for streaming. The last thing you want is your movie buffering at a tense moment. The VPNs on this list consistently deliver fast speeds worldwide.
  • Is it secure? A top VPN will always offer robust security. Features like Vault-like encryption, no-logs policies, and kill switches are the things to look out for to ensure your data is always protected.
  • How much does it cost? Value for money is a top priority, and the price needs to reflect the service. Our recommended VPNs strike the right balance of cost and quality, so you can sign up with confidence.
  • How reliable is the customer support? Sometimes you might need a helping hand to guide you through a feature or assist with a query, there’s where reliable tech support comes in. We’ve chosen VPNs that have several support options such as 24/7 live chat and informative guides.

Why do I need a VPN in Japan?

  • Staying private. Japan doesn't have the same online restrictions as some of its neighboring countries, but ISPs and authorities can still track your data and activities, just like most countries. If you want to keep your online use hidden for any reason, a VPN will cloak your activity and give you total online privacy.
  • Accessing Japanese entertainment. If you’re not in Japan but still want to watch some Japanese content, using a VPN to connect to a server in Japan will mean you can access all the Japanese content you want without any error messages popping up.
  • Lower prices on goods and services. When looking for a new streaming platform to subscribe to or a product to purchase, you might find that different locations can be charged different prices. A VPN helps you change the location and potentially gain access to better deals.
  • Protect your data. If you like to download content online, ISPs and copyright protection could come calling. By hiding your IP address, a VPN will conceal your online traffic data and make you anonymous and lowkey on the internet.

Online censorship in Japan

Thankfully, you can use the Internet fairly freely in Japan. People can access everything available online, including apps, social media, blogs, and content sites - it’s all good in Japan.

However, Japan does have some very strict laws against downloading unlicensed content, which could be a big problem if you regularly use P2P file-sharing/torrents.

If you’re caught downloading unlicensed music, movies, anime, manga, magazines, or literary texts online you could face a maximum sentence of two years in prison.

This is why it’s vital to have a VPN if you’re using torrents, regardless of what you’re downloading. With a VPN hiding your IP address and your data from content owners, websites, and your ISP, no one will ever be able to see what you're downloading. Since the best VPNs have strict no-logs policies, your browsing data will never, ever be stored and you can do whatever you want online with complete anonymity.

Torrenting in Japan: is it legal and secure?

In Japan, torrenting is legal. But like in many places all around the world, in Japan it is still illegal to download copyrighted materials of any form.

However, torrenting in Japan might still be troublesome, even if you aim to download completely legal data. People in Japan have been sharing their experiences on how ISPs massively throttle any torrent downloads. With super low download speeds, the overall experience might be seriously underwhelming.

This is where a VPN can help. It protects your P2P activities from all interested parties. When ISPs don't know what content you are downloading – your information can't be gathered, and you can enjoy full privacy.

Can I use a free VPN for Japan?

Yes, you can use a free VPN for Japan, but we don’t recommend doing that. Completely free VPNs often don’t work, and they have some other downsides:

  • Free VPNs earn money by selling your data to third parties;
  • They often don’t have a lot of servers, lack the most important features, and the performance is poor.
  • Some free VPN apps can contain malware, trackers, and display annoying and malicious ads.

However, if you really want to find a free VPN option for Japan, you should consider a freemium VPN. Freemium VPNs are better in the sense that they’ll usually come from a reputable brand, so you won’t have to worry about security threats. However, many VPNs that offer free versions keep the best features and server locations under a paywall. So while they might be a good way of getting a feel of the VPN, you’ll likely want to upgrade to the paid version to get everything you need. ProtonVPN is the best free VPN for Japan, as it offers Japanese servers in its free version.

Conclusion

All in all, usign a VPN in Japan is a perfect way to stay secure online when travelling. You will also be able to access Japan’s excellent streaming content from anywhere in the world.

With a VPN on your devices, you can unblock Netflix Japan and watch the latest anime that isn’t available anywhere else, download torrents without your ISP knowing, protect your data from digital snoopers, and make sure your info isn’t stored anywhere.

Our top choice for a Japan VPN is NordVPN. It has servers in Japan, as well as excellent content unblocking capabilities. And on top of that, it is the most secure VPN which offers threat protection, and blocking, and other online safety and privacy features.


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