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How to watch Japanese Netflix outside Japan

Netflix’s Japanese content catalog is one of the best in the world, giving you access to fantastic anime, movies and TV shows you’d struggle to find anywhere else. But because Netflix has a different content library for each country, Japanese Netflix won’t be readily available to you if you’re outside Japan.

Luckily, there’s an easy way around this. All you need to do is use a reliable VPN that can unblock Netflix in Japan. By connecting to a Japanese server, you’ll be able to bypass Netflix’s geo-restrictions and access the desired content.

In this guide, we’ll explain how to do this, as well as tell you which VPNs to avoid and even help you decide what to watch on Netflix Japan.

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Why can't I get Japanese Netflix?

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The content you can access on Netflix varies depending on your location. This is because Netflix has to comply with copyright laws and distribution agreements in each country it operates in. So, if you want to access Japanese Netflix or any other Netflix library for that matter, you’ll need to use a VPN to connect to a server in the country you want to access.

However, Netflix has recently updated its geoblocking technology, which makes it extremely hard for VPNs to bypass its restrictions. Therefore, if your VPN used to be able to unlock different versions of Netflix but can’t anymore, it’s likely that Netflix’s latest technology is now too sophisticated for your VPN to get around.

Never fear, though, because a small number of VPNs can still unblock Netflix Japan. In our testing, only NordVPN was able to give us access to Japanese Netflix every time we tried it. Hence, if your current VPN is unable to bypass Netflix’s geo-restrictions, we’d recommend trying out NordVPN.

It’s also a good idea to clear your cache and cookies and set your device location to Japan before you log back into your Netflix account.

Why should I use a VPN for Japanese Netflix?

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A VPN will let you access all the Japanese content Netflix has to offer, from anime to movies and TV shows, no matter where you are in the world – and maybe even save some money in the process!

If you’re a big fan of anime, you might be thinking about getting a Crunchyroll subscription. But Japanese Netflix already has plenty of the same content, so if you use a VPN to bypass Netflix’s geo-restrictions, you’ll be able to watch loads of great anime using your existing Netflix subscription: getting a massive increase in your library at no extra cost.

Besides this, a VPN is the safest and most reliable way to bypass Netflix’s region restrictions. Your other option would be to use a proxy server, but this won’t necessarily provide you with any additional security features. On the other hand, a VPN will encrypt your traffic, which means it will be safe from cybercriminals, government bodies, and other third parties, even if you use an unsecured network, such as public Wi-Fi in hotels, cafes, or airports.

Another benefit of using a VPN is that it can stop your internet service provider (ISP) from throttling your speeds. If your ISP detects high-bandwidth usage, such as streaming Japanese Netflix in HD, it may intentionally slow your internet down so it can deliver similar speeds for everyone. But a VPN will hide your online activity, meaning your ISP can’t tell what you’re up to, thereby preventing them from throttling your speeds.

Here you can check out our detailed list of the best VPNs for Japan.

Yes, it’s completely legal to use a VPN to access Netflix in Japan, provided you’re in a country where using a VPN is legal. However, some countries, such as China, Iraq, and North Korea, ban the use of VPNs altogether. If you use a VPN for any reason in one of these countries, you will be breaking the law.

Aside from that, while using a VPN to bypass Netflix’s location restrictions isn’t illegal, it does go against the streaming platform’s terms of service. But in the unlikely event that you get caught trying to access Japanese Netflix with a VPN, the absolute worst that would happen is that your account could get suspended. However, it’s important to note that, as far as we’re aware, this hasn’t yet happened to anyone. In short, it’s extremely unlikely you’ll face any negative consequences if you use a VPN to unblock Netflix Japan.

VPNs to avoid with Japanese Netflix

TV Programmes on Japanese Netflix

As we mentioned earlier, Netflix has improved its geoblocking technology, so most VPNs can’t access Japanese Netflix. None of the free VPNs we tested were able to successfully bypass Netflix’s location restrictions. More troublingly, most of the paid VPNs also failed to give us access to Netflix Japan, although many of them were able to bypass region restrictions on other Netflix libraries.

However, as Netflix invests more resources into geoblocking its content, many VPN providers are also improving their technology to help users access the content they want. Therefore, just because a certain VPN currently can’t access Netflix’s Japanese content, they might be able to do so in the future.

Having said that, at the time of writing, the following VPNs are unable to unblock Japanese Netflix:

List of Japanese movies and TV shows on Netflix

There’s so much to watch on Netflix Japan. Whether you’re a big fan of anime, superhero movies, or comedy shows from around the world, you’ll find no end of content to keep you entertained.

But to help you decide what to watch, we’ve curated three lists based on recommendations from Netflix, online reviews, and our own favorites.

Best anime on Netflix Japan

Children of the Whales anime on Netflix

One of the best things about Netflix Japan is its vast collection of anime. But which ones should you watch? Well, it depends who you ask.

Best anime on Netflix Japan according to Netflix

Netflix has identified the following content as its best anime:

AnimeEnglish subtitles or dubbing
Jojo's Bizzare AdventureYes
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No YaibaYes
My Hero AcademiaYes
One PieceYes
The Seven Deadly SinsYes
Violet EvergardenYes
Tokyo RevengersYes
Jujutsu KaisenYes
Cowboy BebopYes

Best anime on Netflix Japan according to online lists

We scoured the internet to pull together a list of the most popular anime on Japanese Netflix:

AnimeEnglish subtitles or dubbing
Fullmetal Alchemist: BrotherhoodYes
Neon Genesis EvangelionYes
Death NoteYes
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No YaibaYes
Violet EvergardenYes
The Great PretenderYes
Japan SinksYes
Jojo's Bizzare AdventureYes

Our favorite anime on Netflix Japan

We’ve been watching a lot of anime on Japanese Netflix, and these are our favorites so far:

AnimeEnglish subtitles or dubbing
Cowboy BeebopYes
Devilman CrybabyYes
Fate/Stay NightYes

Best movies on Netflix Japan

If you’re not a big fan of anime, there are still loads of movies on Netflix Japan for you to enjoy. Here’s Netflix’s Japanese top 10 movies at the time of writing:

  • Nihontouitsu Series
  • SAS: Rise of the Black Swan
  • Red Notice
  • Jumanji: The next level
  • Asakusa Kid
  • We Couldn't Become Adults
  • Godzilla
  • A Silent Voice
  • Blue Jay
  • Crayon Shin-chan the Movie: Crash! Rakuga-Kingdom and Almost Four Heroes

Best TV shows on Netflix Japan

As if all this content wasn’t enough, you’ll find tons of TV shows available on Netflix Japan. Here are some of the best ones you can binge-watch right now:

  • Followers
  • Samurai Gourmet
  • Good Morning Call
  • Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories
  • Underwear
  • The Naked Director
  • Rilakkuma and Kaoru
  • Super Crooks
  • Terrace House
  • The Many Faces of Ito

Can I watch Japanese Netflix for free?

Unfortunately, you can’t really watch Japanese Netflix for free. For one thing, you’ll still have to pay for your Netflix subscription, no matter which country’s content you’re trying to access. But if you want to use a free VPN to watch Netflix Japan, you might be disappointed.

As we discussed earlier in this guide, none of the free VPNs we’ve tested have managed to unblock Japanese Netflix. This isn’t a surprise, as free VPNs can’t normally be used to bypass geo-restrictions on streaming services, like Netflix.

And even if you could use a free VPN to unblock Japanese Netflix, you probably won’t get a good user experience. That’s because free VPNs tend to be much slower than paid-for VPNs, which means they’re not good for binge-watching content. More concerningly though, free VPNs are usually bad for security. In fact, they often make a profit by tracking user data and selling it to third parties.

However, some paid VPNs that can unblock Japanese Netflix, such as NordVPN, are very reasonably priced. And in terms of overall user experience, you’d be much better off opting for a secure, reliable, and efficient VPN like NordVPN.


Thanks to Netflix’s recent geoblocking technology upgrades, it’s now harder than ever for VPNs to successfully unblock Japanese Netflix. In fact, you may have found that your VPN used to be able to bypass Netflix’s location restrictions but has now been blocked.

But there’s no need to panic. Luckily, there are a few VPNs out there that can still give you access to Netflix Japan. In our testing, only NordVPN was able to consistently unblock all the content we wanted to watch. And if you’re a fan of anime or other Japanese movies or TV shows, it’s well worth investing because there’s a whole host of great content to watch on Netflix Japan.

And besides letting you access Netflix content from other parts of the world, a VPN is also a great cybersecurity tool, as it encrypts your internet traffic. This means that no one can see what you’re up to, even if you’re connected to public Wi-Fi. It’ll even help you avoid having your speeds throttled by your ISP.

Have we answered all your questions about watching Japanese Netflix from anywhere in the world? Let us know in the comments section below!


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