Best VPNs For Japan in 2021

Japan is home to a nation where 92 percent of its residents utilize the world wide web, and although the government isn’t incredibly concerned with locking down the internet right now, there are subtle restrictions that result in some content becoming inaccessible. Both sightseers and residents alike turn to a VPN to get access to region-locked content and as a means of taking back control of their privacy online.  

Written By: Kazi

There are a wealth of providers available in Japan, but when you compare them to the ones on our list, some of the core features simply don’t stack up. 

We’ve compiled this article to help you understand the blocks you may come up against while visiting Japan and to answer some of your burning questions. You’ll also find a list of some of the best VPNs available to gain access to the content you’re looking for. 

You can rest assured that the providers we’ve listed have been put through some of the most intensive testing possible so that you’ll remain anonymous while browsing the web, when streaming, and downloading content in Japan.

Top 5 VPN Picks - Quick Overview

  • Excellent speeds - no slow down experience
  • Zero latency – smooth gaming experience
  • Ease of use - set up in a couple of minutes
  • No-logs policy - Your data is 100% untraceable.
  • Impressive security – military grade encryption
ExpressVPN
$8.32/mo 30 Days Moneyback
Available on:
Speed Test:
107ms Avg.
45.09Mbps Avg.
9.29Mbps Avg.
Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Starting speed US 8 ms 58.56 Mbps 12.25 Mbps
Quick connect US server 10 ms 54.52 Mbps 11.85 Mbps
Manual connect US server 12 ms 53.22 Mbps 11.12 Mbps
Quick connect UK server 140 ms 42.85 Mbps 6.69 Mbps
Manual connect UK server 133 ms 37.64 Mbps 9.21 Mbps
Quick connect FR server 82 ms 40.41 Mbps 11.09 Mbps
Quick connect JP server 180 ms 38.42 Mbps 6.01 Mbps
Quick connect AU server 291 ms 35.11 Mbps 6.09 Mbps
VPN locations:
145 Servers in
VPN locations: 92 Countries
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahamas
  • Bangladesh
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Bhutan
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Guatemala
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Jersey
  • Kenya
  • South Korea
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macao
  • North Macedonia
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Myanmar [Burma]
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Pakistan
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam

The fastest VPN in the world is our #1 best-rated VPN for its outstanding security, consistent speed and reliability

Visit ExpressVPN
  • Generous connection limits: connect up to 30 devices under the same account
  • Simple installation: one-click instant set up
  • Highly robust: plenty of customizability for veteran users
VyprVPN
$1.66/mo 30 Days Moneyback
Available on:
Speed Test:
142.13ms Avg.
44.55Mbps Avg.
10.34Mbps Avg.
Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Starting speed US 9 ms 55.13 Mbps 12.21 Mbps
Quick connect US server 10 ms 53.43 Mbps 11.42 Mbps
Manual connect US server 13 ms 45.82 Mbps 10.79 Mbps
Quick connect UK server 128 ms 46.99 Mbps 10.28 Mbps
Manual connect UK server 150 ms 40.99 Mbps 10.21 Mbps
Quick connect FR server 58 ms 48.29 Mbps 11.21 Mbps
Quick connect JP server 419 ms 36.29 Mbps 8.98 Mbps
Quick connect AU server 350 ms 29.42 Mbps 7.65 Mbps
VPN locations:
73 Servers in
VPN locations: 64 Countries
  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • United States
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Marshall Islands
  • Algeria
  • Egypt
  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Luxembourg
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Costa Rica
  • Panama
  • El Salvador
  • Lithuania
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • Ukraine
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Uruguay
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Macao
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • Bahrain
  • Israel
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • United Arab Emirates

VyperVPN has an impressive array of features. It is trusted by over 2 million users worldwide and is known for having decent speeds.

Visit VyprVPN
  • No limits - unlimited bandwidth available
  • No logs - the official CyberGhost policy is to have zero usage logs, keeping your information totally safe
  • Max protection - DNS and IP leak prevention features
CyberGhost
$2.25/mo 45 Days Moneyback
Available on:
Speed Test:
39.5ms Avg.
73Mbps Avg.
61.5Mbps Avg.
Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Quick connect UK server 45 ms 79 Mbps 67 Mbps
Quick connect US server 34 ms 67 Mbps 55.99 Mbps
VPN locations:
6466 Servers in
VPN locations: 88 Countries
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahamas
  • Bangladesh
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Egypt
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Ireland
  • Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macao
  • North Macedonia
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Norway
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam

With a massive selection of over 6300 servers to choose from in over 110 locations, CyberGhost has one of the most impressive networks for a VPN.

Visit CyberGhost
  • No limits: you can connect as many devices to your account as you want
  • No logs: like many VPNs, Surfshark advertises a strict no-log policy
  • Security audit: its privacy and security features have been verified by third-party analysts
Surfshark
$2.49/mo 30 Days Moneyback
Available on:
Speed Test:
28.5ms Avg.
67Mbps Avg.
28.5Mbps Avg.
Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Quick connect UK server 34 ms 78 Mbps 23 Mbps
Quick connect US server 23 ms 56 Mbps 34 Mbps
VPN locations:
62 Servers in
VPN locations: 63 Countries
  • Albania
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Luxembourg
  • Moldova
  • Netherlands
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Mexico
  • Paraguay
  • United States
  • Israel
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Australia
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

Surfshark is a great VPN that offers a wide range of unique features. It is easy to use, and has an impressive array of over 3,200 servers in 65 countries.

Visit Surfshark
  • Fast, stable, and encrypted connections
  • Multi-device security for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS
  • Proxy extensions for web browsers Chrome and Firefox
  • Up to 6 simultaneously connected devices
NordVPN
$3.71/mo 30 Days Moneyback
Available on:
Speed Test:
163ms Avg.
42.71Mbps Avg.
9.23Mbps Avg.
Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Starting speed US 11 ms 56.23 Mbps 11.71 Mbps
Quick connect US server 10 ms 49.83 Mbps 10.75 Mbps
Manual connect US server 15 ms 46.73 Mbps 10.64 Mbps
Quick connect UK server 148 ms 45.79 Mbps 11.11 Mbps
Manual connect UK server 241 ms 32.01 Mbps 10.85 Mbps
Quick connect FR server 84 ms 49.99 Mbps 11.28 Mbps
Quick connect JP server 361 ms 23.14 Mbps 1.69 Mbps
Quick connect AU server 434 ms 37.97 Mbps 5.84 Mbps
VPN locations:
80 Servers in
VPN locations: 59 Countries
  • United States
  • Canada
  • Brazil
  • Argentina
  • Mexico
  • Costa Rica
  • Chile
  • South Africa
  • India
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Israel
  • Turkey
  • Australia
  • Singapore
  • Japan
  • Hong Kong
  • New Zealand
  • Taiwan
  • Vietnam
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • France
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Ireland
  • Czech Republic
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Finland
  • Serbia
  • Austria
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Bulgaria
  • Hungary
  • Latvia
  • Romania
  • Portugal
  • Luxembourg
  • Ukraine
  • Greece
  • Estonia
  • Iceland
  • Albania
  • Cyprus
  • Croatia
  • Moldova
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Georgia
  • North Macedonia

While NordVPN didn’t quite manage to make our number one spot, it’s an excellent VPN with a long list of security features and server locations that provide phenomenal value.

Visit NordVPN

What is a VPN and Do I Need One for Japan? 

One of the main purposes of using a VPN in Japan is to shield your online activity from the outside world. The next reason for using one is to unblock region-locked services that’d typically only be accessible if you were in the country or region where the content is freely available. You might want to access streaming services from Japan, such as BBC iPlayer, Netflix US, Hulu, or RaiTV. With a direct internet connection, you’d bump into an impenetrable virtual wall that blocks access. 

A Virtual Private Network masks your IP address to your Internet Service Provider so that you remain anonymous while you carry out your online activities. Your ISP sees an IP address, and that data is being transmitted, but they don’t get any information on what’s contained in these data packets because you’re connected to a private VPN server.

If your usual place of residence is Japan and you visit Europe, for example, TV channels like Fuji TV would be inaccessible. Set your VPN location to Japan and you’ll gain access to the shows and channels you’re used to back at home. 

Likewise, suppose you’re in Japan and wish to access international streaming services like US Netflix. In that case, you’d set your VPN location to the USA, which would open a world of access to services typically only available to US residents or expats.

Your Privacy is Vital When Choosing a VPN For Japan

We’ve mentioned how great a VPN can be at bypassing region locks in Japan, which is great for entertainment purposes, but the other side of the coin is ensuring your privacy and personal information are kept safe during your time spent online.

If you decide to use a direct internet connection for torrenting to download copyrighted material, your information is captured by your ISP and it’s required to pass any logs to local authorities where they’ll no doubt proceed to take further action. Depending on your VPN capabilities, torrenting is possible anonymously, as your information isn’t logged or shared with any third party.

We’d like to stress here that torrenting is actually illegal in Japan, and while we wouldn’t condone breaking the law, a VPN is an absolute must for anyone considering this activity. The authorities regularly make arrests of those operating file sharing sites, although individual users that download content rarely see significant action taken against them. Either way, you’ll need to take care and ensure you’re protected by a VPN. 

Additionally, accessing public Wi-Fi hotspots in Japan often provides no security whatsoever, meaning any data you transmit over the connection could be easily picked up by snoopers and hackers. Switch on a VPN and you can block out any prying eyes and browse the web without any concerns.

We’ve completed in-depth testing for every one of the services mentioned on our top picks to ensure your privacy and security are the priority. Plus, each provider operates a log-free policy, meaning records of your internet activity aren’t stored and can’t be passed to authorities when/if they’re requested.

Which VPN is the Fastest and Most Secure for Japan? 

Thanks to our expert team’s dedication to narrowing down our list into a handful of providers, we crown ExpressVPN as the champion of all the services we tested. Believe us, it was no easy task to separate the best providers as there were so many that came close, but ultimately it was ExpressVPN’s range of features that clinched it ahead of the others. 

Our top pick goes beyond holding the key to locked content around the world and offers a VPN powerhouse ready to cloak your privacy so that you can focus on surfing the web without a second thought. ExpressVPN, like our other picks, ensures logs aren’t kept and operates 3000+ servers.

Once users connect to the ExpressVPN network, internet connection throttling becomes a thing of the past. In other words, because your ISP is unaware that you’re performing intensive internet tasks like online gaming or P2P file sharing, it doesn’t slow down your connection.

We tested the resilience of the servers available to Japan, and as a result, for people using the service, speeds remain lightning fast. Ultimately, ExpressVPN does everything it advertises, and you can be confident knowing it functions for the reasons you need it to when it’s used in Japan.

What to Consider When Choosing a VPN For Japan

Every provider on our list is put through several tests to ensure it includes the benefits and features we’d expect from a robust VPN.

There are a huge number of services claiming to be the best but they lack the speeds, privacy, and support available with many of the other leading brands.

The features of an excellent provider are easily broken down by asking the following questions:

  • Does it have a large range of servers available? This is important for anyone that needs to access overseas services. This could be anything from catching up on streaming services in the US, accessing news not available in Japan or even connecting to India if you’re a fan of Bollywood movies. Essentially, more servers means better choice of services. It’s worth checking that your chosen provider has a good range of servers within Japan itself too so you can get fast local connections. Luckily, Japan is one of the world’s data center tech hubs, so this shouldn’t be a problem.
  • Are any logs of your activity recorded, and if so, is the provider obliged to hand them to the authorities? If you can, download a platform that’s registered in a jurisdiction that doesn’t have any data sharing agreement with Japan. That way, you won’t be at risk if the authorities make an information request of the vendor. 
  • Are servers fast and reliable across a range of locations? It’s not enough to have thousands of servers all over the world, you need to be able to connect to them efficiently, and quickly. It’s easy to check which platforms have the fastest connections, and with some of the best providers you won’t notice any difference in speed to using your own ISP at home. 
  • Is the customer support responsive? Sometimes you need an urgent answer to a question. Remember, this is your data privacy at stake and you’re paying good money to have your online activities protected. You’ll find 24/7 chat support is becoming standard across the industry these days, but try to keep an eye out for the most responsive providers.
  • Can the VPN unblock access to region-locked content such as Netflix US and BBC iPlayer? A lot of people use VPNs solely for this reason. Some providers are better than others, and while the best ones can unlock hundreds of sites, some struggle with big names like Amazon Prime. Check to see your favorite is available before handing over your cash. 

Keep these questions on the top of your mind before selecting a provider and you’ll be well on your way to finding a flawless VPN.

Extensive Review – Full Overview of the Top Five VPN Services for Japan

Written By: Kazi

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is a platform that frequently takes the top spot for its combination of speed, security, simple interface and multiple device compatibility. A major selling point for Japanese users comes from the sheer number of streaming services that it can unlock, more than 100 in total across dozens of countries. 

Japan has one of the highest proportions of people studying English as a second language, and those students are hungry for content. The platform allows them to access English-language shows from popular streamers like Netflix and Amazon Prime right across the Anglosphere, all for just a few dollars per month. 

Others turn to the platform for the security features available here. Offering military-grade encryption and a series of useful tools like split tunnelling and a kill switch, users can take comfort that their data is safe. The company has recently started to back up these claims via external security audits, and now regularly engages reputable firms to test its defenses. To date, no-one has been able to breach these impressive protections.

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ExpressVPN Key Features

Available On Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, browsers, video game consoles and Smart TVs
Data logging Independently audited, strict no-logging policy.
Money-back guarantee 30 days
Number of servers Over 3000
Top download speed reached 96Mbps
VPN locations 160 locations in 94 countries
Maximum devices supported Five simultaneous connections
24/7 live chat Yes
Plans one month, six months and 12 months

Our favorite VPN is unrivalled with super fast connections, and a wide variety of server locations.

ExpressVPN Speed

Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Starting speed US 8 ms 58.56 Mbps 12.25 Mbps
Quick connect US server 10 ms 54.52 Mbps 11.85 Mbps
Manual connect US server 12 ms 53.22 Mbps 11.12 Mbps
Quick connect UK server 140 ms 42.85 Mbps 6.69 Mbps
Manual connect UK server 133 ms 37.64 Mbps 9.21 Mbps
Quick connect FR server 82 ms 40.41 Mbps 11.09 Mbps
Quick connect JP server 180 ms 38.42 Mbps 6.01 Mbps
Quick connect AU server 291 ms 35.11 Mbps 6.09 Mbps

Not good for… ExpressVPN is one of the more expensive services you’ll find, but we believe it’s money well spent. However, if budget is a major concern for you, you might want to try one of the cheaper options on our list. 

ExpressVPN Bottom Line 

We don’t see anyone taking the crown away from ExpressVPN any time in the foreseeable future. It’s difficult to compete with the connection speed, flexibility, server choice and protection features found here. If you’ve got the budget for it, we’d recommend signing up without hesitation. 

Read ExpressVPN Full Review

2. VyprVPN

VyprVPN is an up and coming provider that’s putting in a lot of effort to differentiate itself from the competition. Its goal is to steal away customers from its rivals and retain them by providing stellar customer service. The 24/7 live chat is responsive, and service agents have expert knowledge of the geographic regions they’ve been assigned to. So, if Japanese users are looking for the best US Netflix server, just drop the team a message and you’ll find out in just a couple of minutes.  

The company has been steadily investing in more server coverage across East Asia and now has 14 locations in operation, including Japan. This means ultra-fast connections for local news and activities, but also an increasing range of overseas choices too. 

Those committing to a two-year plan will see significant discounts to an already reasonably priced service, making it one of the best all-round providers on offer. 

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VyprVPN Key Features

Available On Windows, iOS, macOS, Linux, video game consoles, Smart TVs, browser extensions, compatible routers, and more.
Data logging Strict no-logging policy
Money-back guarantee 30 days
Number of servers Over 700
Top download speed reached 78Mbps
VPN locations Over 70
Maximum devices supported Up to five simultaneous connections
24/7 live chat Yes
Plans one month, 12-month, and two-year plans

VyprVPN is ideal for Japan as it comes in at a great price and gives access to the content you need.

VyprVPN Speed

Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Starting speed US 9 ms 55.13 Mbps 12.21 Mbps
Quick connect US server 10 ms 53.43 Mbps 11.42 Mbps
Manual connect US server 13 ms 45.82 Mbps 10.79 Mbps
Quick connect UK server 128 ms 46.99 Mbps 10.28 Mbps
Manual connect UK server 150 ms 40.99 Mbps 10.21 Mbps
Quick connect FR server 58 ms 48.29 Mbps 11.21 Mbps
Quick connect JP server 419 ms 36.29 Mbps 8.98 Mbps
Quick connect AU server 350 ms 29.42 Mbps 7.65 Mbps

Not good for… As a relatively new company there are still a few teething troubles. For instance, the service is still unable to unblock Amazon Prime in the US, and we haven’t seen an independent security audit of the platform since 2018. However, these aren’t major gripes and you’re still getting reliable service for your money.

VyprVPN Bottom Line 

If you’re after strong security, fast speeds and a decent range of server choices at around half the cost of some of the big players, then VyprVPN will be the choice for you.

Read VyprVPN Full Review

3. CyberGhost VPN

CyberGhost is one of the oldest, and most trusted, VPN services on the market. Its lengthy experience in the marketplace has taught it a trick or two about implementing robust security features, and it remains a top pick for anyone concerned about their online safety. 

It’s refined its offering over the years and doesn’t complicate things with different tiers or levels of service. It now presents itself as the budget option, costing just a few dollars per month, and manages to undercut the competition without making significant sacrifices to security. 

As is now standard in the industry, a no-logs policy is in place and only top level encryption is employed. However, we’ve yet to see external security reviews conducted to verify this. 

The company prides itself on offering the largest selection of servers, which currently stands at over 6,000 and growing. Few other providers can offer this range of choice and flexibility, and you’re guaranteed to find a fast connection to meet your needs. Many of the servers are set up to specialize in certain tasks, like gaming, torrenting, and streaming. If you’re not sure which one to go for, drop the customer service team a message and someone will be able to help you out. 

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CyberGhost VPN Key Features

Available On Windows, iOS, Mac, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire Stick, Amazon TV, Chrome, PlayStation, Firefox, Xbox, Nintendo, and compatible Smart TVs and routers
Data logging No-logging policy
Money-back guarantee Up to 45 days
Number of servers 6,000+
Top download speed reached 88Mbps
VPN locations Over 100 locations in 90 countries
Maximum devices supported Seven devices
24/7 live chat Yes
Plans One month, six months, and 18-month subscriptions

Connect seven devices at once and enjoy fantastic speeds with a cost that can’t be disputed.

CyberGhost VPN Speed

Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Quick connect UK server 45 ms 79 Mbps 67 Mbps
Quick connect US server 34 ms 67 Mbps 55.99 Mbps

Not good for… With so many servers to choose from, connecting to the right one can sometimes be a little slow, or become a case of trial and error when trying to find the best one. In addition, the platform can sometimes struggle to get around really tough blocks, like the ones found on the BBC iPlayer. If you’re having trouble, a customer service agent should be able to resolve your issues.

CyberGhost VPN Bottom Line 

You can’t argue with the price at CyberGhost and it’s definitely looking like it’s going to corner the budget VPN market in the coming years. Combine the price with an intuitive user interface and some great security features and you’ve got a highly desirable budget package.

Read CyberGhost Full Review

4. NordVPN

NordVPN is a Panama-based provider with more than 5,200 servers in 60 countries. That includes servers in Japan, although the exact cities aren’t specified. 

NordVPN unblocks pretty much anything you can throw at it, including both the US and Japanese versions of Netflix, and you’ll have no problem accessing RaiPlay from abroad. NordVPN also unblocks Hulu, HBO, Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer, among others.

Connections are guarded by 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection. NordVPN also has specialized servers set up for specific uses. These include ultra-fast streaming, anti-DDoS, double VPN, and Tor over VPN. A single subscription allows you to connect up to six devices at the same time and the provider adheres to a strict no-logs policy.

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NordVPN Key Features

Available On Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, iOS, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Deluge, Vuze, Kindle Fire, Opera, compatible routers and game consoles
No-logging policy Strict no-logging policy (fully verified)
Money-back guarantee 30 days
Number of servers 5,500+
Top download speed reached 98Mbps
VPN locations Over 80 in 59 countries
Maximum devices supported Six devices
24/7 live chat Yes
Plans One month, one year, and two-year subscriptions

Nord is another wallet-friendly provider, and other than its great range of locations, it can be connected with a single click

NordVPN Speed

Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Starting speed US 11 ms 56.23 Mbps 11.71 Mbps
Quick connect US server 10 ms 49.83 Mbps 10.75 Mbps
Manual connect US server 15 ms 46.73 Mbps 10.64 Mbps
Quick connect UK server 148 ms 45.79 Mbps 11.11 Mbps
Manual connect UK server 241 ms 32.01 Mbps 10.85 Mbps
Quick connect FR server 84 ms 49.99 Mbps 11.28 Mbps
Quick connect JP server 361 ms 23.14 Mbps 1.69 Mbps
Quick connect AU server 434 ms 37.97 Mbps 5.84 Mbps

Not good for… Speeds are impressive with NordVPN but you might find there’s often a slight drop in parts of the Middle East. 

NordVPN Bottom Line 

NordVPN is a good value choice. With a broad range of servers, including a few in Japan, this is a decent all-rounder option that unblocks Netflix US, FujiTV, and most other streaming services. Great privacy and security credentials, a 30-day money-back guarantee: what more can you want?

Read NordVPN Full Review

5. Surfshark VPN

Another service that’s fighting it out with CyberGhost to become the king of the budget VPN is Surfshark. The latter certainly wins when it comes to its introductory offer, as right now you’ll get 12 months of the service completely free when you join, making it the best sign up bargain currently available.

These low prices don’t mean the platform has had to cut back in other areas, though. With a dedicated app for most operating systems, more than 1,700 servers in 160 countries and the ability to connect an unlimited number of devices at once, you get a lot of bang for your buck here. 

The majority of big name streaming services can be unblocked worldwide, ticking off that all important requirement for a lot of Japanese users, and you’ll find very little slow-down occurring with your connections, wherever you’re logging on in the world. 

Alongside standard encryption and data protection controls, there’s an added layer of protection from the company being registered in the British Virgin Islands. The territory has no information sharing agreement with the Japanese government, and no data retention laws to speak of. The organization will never be obligated to hand over your data to anyone. Luckily, in most cases there’ll be nothing to find anyway, as the no-log policy means all of your activities are deleted.

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Surfshark VPN Key Features

Available On Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux, Android, Chrome, Firefox, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox, PlayStation, and more
Data logging No-logging policy
Money-back guarantee 30 days
Number of servers 1,700+
Top download speed reached 95Mbps
VPN locations 63 countries
Maximum devices supported Unlimited
24/7 live chat Yes
Plans One month, six months, and two-year subscriptions

Hook up Surfshark in Japan and you’ll immediately enjoy streaming and blocked content that’s only typically accessible from specific countries.

Surfshark VPN Speed

Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Quick connect UK server 34 ms 78 Mbps 23 Mbps
Quick connect US server 23 ms 56 Mbps 34 Mbps

Not good for… The provider has had to cut a few corners when it comes to customer service. The support site is limited in terms of articles and FAQs, and it might take a little while to get answers to your queries. What’s more, you might run into the odd technical issue, and users in the past have reported problems with the platform’s kill switch. 

Surfshark VPN Bottom Line 

Budget providers aren’t always the best, but Surfshark manages to easily shake off any preconceptions you might have after seeing the price. It remains one of the most reputable, reliable and affordable options on the market.

Read Surfshark Full Review

Additional Insights and FAQs

Can I access Netflix Japan using a VPN?

It’s pretty straightforward to access Netflix Japan while you’re out of the country. Switch your VPN location to Japan, and you should get instant access to the Netflix you’re used to using in your home country.

If you encounter errors, try using a different Japan server, and failing that, contact your VPN support team. If you wanted to access Netflix while inside of Japan, you’d have to select the server location of the Netflix version you wish to access. For example, if you wanted to access Netflix UK, you would switch your server from Japan to the United Kingdom, and this, in theory, should unblock the geo-restrictions preventing you.

Can I use torrents legally in Japan?

Torrenting in Japan is taken quite seriously. In fact, getting caught for torrenting could result in fines of up to ten million Yen, and if that’s not enough, you could also be slapped with two years in prison.

Using a VPN while torrenting is by far the safest way to download files, but if you do get found out by authorities, you might land yourself in some deep water.

In 2013 there were 27 arrests as a result of people being caught torrenting copyrighted material; without approval of the copyright holder, of course.

If your main intention of a VPN is to torrent in Japan, you should select a provider that enables and protects this activity, and ensure it has a no-logs policy to avoid information being leaked upon request from authorities.

Is it illegal to torrent anime in Japan?

As we’ve mentioned above, torrenting any copyrighted material is illegal. Although you could be faced with massive fines and imprisonment, Japanese authorities are more focused on those uploading the content versus those downloading. With the harsh punishments that are enforceable, though, we’d advise avoiding downloading any illegal material via torrenting or other means.

Should you wish to continue the VPNs we’ve listed allow the use of torrenting. We’d always advise checking the website of your chosen provider before subscribing for its plans.

Are free VPNs safe to use?

Aside from the premium services on our list, there’s a range of free VPNs to help you avoid being tied to a subscription. You’ll have no trouble finding free providers with a quick Google search as they tend to somewhat saturate the market altogether.

Some are much more genuine than others and act as a limited experience of the premium version on offer. For the not-so friendly alternative, there are a handful of expectations you should keep in mind, like crippling connection speeds, unreliable or non-existent encryption, and zero support for when things go wrong.

The companies that offer free VPNs have various expenses to cover, like infrastructure, personnel, and server upkeep, and without income, how are these free providers paying for this? Somewhere within the heaps of privacy policy text it’ll most likely be revealed that they’re sharing your data, including browsing history, cookies, and more, with third parties in order to make money. That’s if they’re not lying in this part of their websites too. Plus, if a free VPN is packed with adware, you’ll be greeted by swathes of pop-ups and intrusive ads. The third parties may include targeted advertisers or data-mining companies.

Free means data caps

Some internet activities require a ton of data, and when you use the web throughout the day with a free provider, you’re likely to hit a data cap pretty fast. Streaming services like Amazon Prime and Abema TV will drain your free quota of data in the blink of an eye.

Don’t be fooled by thinking it’s only the data you download that has a cap, either, as uploads are often metered as well. Uploading a clip to YouTube or Facebook, for example, could eat all of your leftover data right away. If you meet or exceed the limits, the provider may even prevent you from accessing the VPN altogether by pausing your connection.
VPN providers like Nord have servers located across the globe, while free ones could be limited to as little as three locations.

Many of us do more than surf the web these days; anything beyond that takes a steady stream of data to function, so if a provider offers a 1GB download limit, you’ll probably use that up within an hour of hitting connect.

How can I tell which VPN providers are trustworthy?

Each of the Virtual Private Network services we’ve mentioned within this article have a proven track record. They all operate a log-free policy and use the highest standards of encryption to safeguard the privacy of their users. Any that have the features we’ve recommend will give you the peace of mind knowing your identity remains anonymous because your IP address is changed each time you hit the connect button.

If you need a VPN that’s reliable on geo-spoofing, a trusted provider means one that will also work in the country you need it to. Again, the ones we’ve provided have proven to open access to the world’s best online services, even in Japan.

There are a range of different features that set a trusted VPN apart from a bad one. Regardless of how good you think yours is, if it’s leaking your data or has the capacity to, it’s time to jump ship.

How can I change my IP address to Japan?

It’s fairly straightforward to connect to a Japan-based server and obtain a Japanese IP address as a result. You might wish to do this when you’re out of the country and traveling abroad in order to access sports, news, or even your favorite TV shows that can’t be watched right as they air without a VPN. To change to a Japanese IP, follow the instructions below.

Select one of the VPN services we’ve listed or find your own that has Japanese server locations.
Head to your provider’s website, download the app for your device, and install the software.
Launch the VPN app and select a Japanese server before hitting connect.
Ensure you’re actually connected by Googling ‘what is my IP’ and seeing what the results are. Your VPN’s website should be able to tell you if it can trace your IP too.
You can also test a website that you’d typically only be able to access from Japan.

If the steps above don’t work as expected, we’d recommend contacting the support team for your specific provider and you should have any issues diagnosed without any problems.

Can I get a Japanese VPN for my smartphone?

In general, most VPNs will work on virtually any smart device you plan to use, but make sure the one you plan to register with is compatible with your OS. For example, VyprVPN and CyberGhost support all popular operating systems. ExpressVPN, on the other hand, doesn’t have a kill switch for its iOS app.

Some platforms are less commonly used than the major operating systems. If you have a smartphone, you’ll be able to find apps for both Android and iOS without issue.

Do ISPs block VPN users?

Yes, theoretically, ISPs can block VPN users. ISPs can use various techniques such as blocking known VPN IP addresses, certain ports used by VPN connections, and through deep packet inspection. They’re unlikely to do this, though, and especially not in Japan. One example being that the sheer volume of users on a public network makes it unlikely that an ISP could block them due to such casual use.

That said, using a quality VPN service with top-notch security features like high-level obfuscation and the ability to switch ports and choose between a large number of servers can help users effectively circumvent any attempts by ISPs to block VPN use. Each provider listed in this guide should have no issues getting you connected successfully.

Can a VPN protect my privacy in Japan?

As we’ve touched on previously, monitoring in Japan is growing all the time, which means residents and visitors to the country that use the internet are at risk of having their information under a microscope.

Your Internet Service Provider has the power to pass logs of your online activity to the government if they believe there’s a reason to, or if the local authorities request it.
If you want to become invisible online, the best and safest way to do this is via the use of a VPN.

Wondering what types of information your Internet Service Provider can collect on you if you use a direct connection instead of a VPN? At the very least, your ISP can obtain the following and keep it for a period of 12-months:
Your IP address
Your personal details (address, payment details, etc.)
A log of every website and the time you visited it
Your communications metadata (emails, messages, etc.)

Japan’s online surveillance is becoming stricter, so now’s the time to employ a VPN and take back control of your privacy.

Will a VPN improve my speeds?

A VPN can’t improve broadband speeds in most cases. Since you’re avoiding your ISPs network and connecting to private servers, you can avoid being throttled for data-intensive traffic, such as with P2P or gaming, or simply for being in the area you are. This has a positive effect on your speeds but doesn’t technically improve them. If you have naturally slow broadband speeds, using a VPN won’t make them better.

Connecting to a Virtual Private Network actually may, in some cases, reduce your connection speeds since data is traveling further and is put through rigorous encryption.

Summary 

As we’ve mentioned, a Virtual Private Network isn’t only about enjoying the region-locked content that you’d normally be unable to access, but also to become invisible online. Japan employs known surveillance techniques and though it isn’t as strict as other countries, it’s better to know that you’re ISP nor the government are aware of your online activity. What’s more, you’ll be able to use public Wi-Fi hotspots without the worry of falling foul of man-in-the-middle attacks or anything similar. .

Whatever your reason for needing a VPN, we hope you’ve found the answers to your burning questions within our article. The services we’ve listed here are more than sufficient for covering all requirements in Japan, but if you derive from our list to find your own provider, please keep in mind security, performance, and the range of servers are key when making your considerations.