Japan is a diverse and technologically advanced nation. Internet censorship and government surveillance isn’t considered much of a problem in the country. However, with a strong international presence – and booming tourism – Japan is a place where there is a lot of interest in VPN services. Why? Because a VPN for Japan allows anybody living in or visiting Japan to easily unblock geo-restricted websites from overseas. Whether it be to watch US TV shows and movies, to unblock foreign sports streams, or to use blocked web services, a VPN is the perfect ticket.

In addition, Japan is highly opposed to copyright piracy. Prison sentences are enforced for watching geo-restricted content online. As such, Japanese citizens need to be extremely vigilant when it comes to torrenting and streaming. Reliable VPNs provide a strong layer of encryption to all incoming and outgoing internet traffic. The result is high levels of privacy and internet security.

vpn for japan flag

In Japan, technology is extremely pervasive, with over 90% of people connected to the internet. Half of those people live in just three cities, and public WiFi availability is widespread. Although convenient, public WiFi hotspots carry huge risks to mobile internet users. Public WiFi allows hackers to hijack people’s devices and steal social media passwords and bank credentials. VPNs are the solution.

VPNs are the number 1 personal cybersecurity product available today. However, not every VPN was created equal. Some VPNs are a complete rip-off and give users a false sense of security. A world-class VPN for Japan needs to be lightning fast, have servers worldwide and provide strong encryption. That is why we have created this up-to-date five best VPNs for Japan article. Enjoy!

Rank Company Score Price Link

1

ExpressVPN Logo
Read Review10/10
$8.32 / monthVisit Site

2

IPVanish Logo
Read Review8.4/10
$6.49 / monthVisit Site

3

NordVPN Logo
Read Review7.6/10
$5.75 / monthVisit Site

4

VyprVPN Logo
Read Review6.8/10
$6.67 / monthVisit Site

5

VPNArea Logo
Read Review6.4/10
$4.92 / monthVisit Site

*All prices shown in US dollars

* Advertiser Disclosure

Editor's Choice Award

Winner

ExpressVPN

5/5

Best VPN for Japan

  • ProsPROS
  • Fast Japan servers
  • Servers in 87 countries
  • P2P: yes
  • Strong encryption
  • Apps for all platforms
  • ConsCONS
  • Some connection logs kept (for internal use only)

ExpressVPN is a service that we often recommend and that definitely comes out best for Japan. Stealth servers in Hong Kong are close to Japan, and Hong Kong is a location that has a truly free internet. It does not require VPNs to keep logs, and is fairly immune to DMCA takedown notices and other anti-piracy measures. That will mean great speeds. In addition, ExpressVPN has excellent servers located in Japan and the rest of the world (87 countries).

ExpressVPN is highly reliable. It has been around a long time, has a tight privacy policy, is trusted worldwide, and implements encryption at the highest levels. It also keeps no usage logs (the important ones that could give away what you have been doing). This makes it perfect for protecting your privacy at home, as well as while traveling and on public WiFi. Customer care is outstanding, and available 24/7 via live chat. The VPN software is absolutely superb and very easy to use.

In addition, that software is fully featured with all the best VPN extras such as a kill switch, auto-connect, and DNS leak protection. The software is also available for all popular platforms, and subscribers may install on three simultaneous devices. Finally, it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee to test the service thoroughly.

Try the best VPN for Japan now!

Visit ExpressVPN »

30-day money-back guarantee!

2nd place


IPVanish

4.2/5

 IPVanish

  • ProsPROS
  • Fast Japan servers
  • Servers in over 60 countries
  • Strong encryption
  • Zero logs
  • P2P: yes
  • ConsCONS
  • Based in the US
  • Customer care only in US daylight hours

IPVanish is an excellent VPN that is incredibly good value. It is an outstanding VPN for Japan because it has fast servers both in Japan and nearby Hong Kong. The VPN also has excellent software that is really is easy to use and is fully featured. Servers are located in 60 countries, which is great. Encryption is strong and it provides our preferred protocol, OpenVPN (all the VPNs in this list do). In addition, encryption is implemented strongly (though not quite as strongly as with ExpressVPN).

The VPN is based in the US, which can be considered a drawback. However, it keeps zero logs, which certainly makes up for it. Sadly, customer support is only available in US working hours. Finally, it offers a seven-day money-back guarantee to test the service.

Visit IPVanish »


3rd place

NordVPN

3.8/5

NordVPN

  • ProsPROS
  • Japan VPN servers
  • Strong encryption and security features
  • P2P: yes
  • Zero logs
  • Great customer care
  • ConsCONS
  • Speeds falter from time to time on certain servers (particularly if using double encryption)

NordVPN is a great VPN for Japan for people who want really strong security and privacy. Encryption is implemented strongly and it has extra features such as VPN into Tor and double encryption. It is also fully featured, with a kill switch and DNS leak protection.

Servers are located in over 50 countries around the world and it has fantastic servers in both Japan and Hong Kong. Sometimes speeds can falter on some servers, but it has plenty to choose from, so that shouldn’t be a problem. Do bear in mind, however, that double-hop encryption will slow you down, because the traffic travels further. The VPN software looks great and is really easy to use. Customer care is outstanding. Finally, it has a 30-day money-back guarantee to allow you to test the service.

Visit NordVPN »


4th place

VyprVPN

3.4/5

VyprVPN

  • ProsPROS
  • Strong encryption
  • Servers in Japan and Hong Kong
  • No usage logs
  • Fast connection speeds
  • Good customer care
  • ConsCONS
  • P2P: not recommended
  • Keeps some connection logs

VyprVPN is owned by the huge internet conglomerate Golden Frog. For this reason, it owns its own infrastructure of servers and can provide outstanding speeds. It has excellent reliability and has servers in both Japan and Hong Kong. The software is fully featured and is easy to use. Encryption is robust and will keep you private. The VPN will keep you secure at home and on public WiFi. Servers are located in over 70 countries and the VPN is based in Switzerland

Although it does allow it, VyprVPN asks users to respect the laws in their country with regard to torrenting on P2P. For this reason, P2P is not generally recommended on this VPN. Customer care is 24/7 and is outstanding. Finally, it offers a three-day free trial and a 30-day money back guarantee to test the service.

Visit VyprVPN »


5th place

VPNArea

3.2/5

VPNArea

  • ProsPROS
  • Servers in Japan
  • Servers in over 60 countries
  • Strong encryption
  • Zero logs
  • P2P: yes
  • ConsCONS
  • Slightly younger firm

VPNArea is a lesser-known VPN for Japan from Bulgaria. It provides an outstanding service that is great all round. Though not quite as robust as some of the VPNs above, encryption is still implemented incredibly well and will keep you secure at home and on public WiFi. The software is highly intuitive and available for all the popular platforms.

Customer care is superb and highly friendly. In addition, this VPN is fully featured with all the VPN accessories you would expect (kill switch and auto connect). Servers are fast and situated in over 60 countries around the world (including Japan and Hong Kong). Finally, the VPN offers a seven-day money-back guarantee to test the service.

Visit VPNArea »


VPN for Japan: Considerations

Japan is a country that is politically aligned with the US, home of the NSA. As such, despite the fact that Japan is outwardly non-invasive, it remains possible that there is a level of secret surveillance happening in the country. All over the world, governments are passing laws to spy on their citizens. In addition, governments are spying on each other at epidemic levels.

With a contentious history with neighboring China, no one could deny that there is a risk of China hacking Japan’s web traffic. Under the circumstances, citizens of Japan are advised to take their personal privacy into their own hands. After all, a reliable VPN costs insanely little money compared to the amount of benefit that it provides.

Some Snooping Already?

Global trends are going in the direction of more government surveillance and censorship. Are there any clues that demonstrate a similar trend in Japan? Sadly, the answer is yes.

In 2012, a new law called the Computer Network Monitoring Law was introduced. Its main job is to allow negative reports about Fukushima radiation levels to be removed. However, some privacy advocates feel that the law could be used for nefarious purposes. The legislation permits Japanese authorities to monitor the internet without restriction. As such, the law has been heavily criticized due to its potential for abuse.

For this reason, people are well-advised to protect their digital footprint. Especially when one considers that watching copyrighted content is a criminal offense that can land you a two-year prison sentence. Ouch.

Why Get a VPN for Japan?

First of all, it is worth noting that a VPN for Japan isn’t just useful for spoofing from Japan to a foreign country. Pretending to be in the US or Martinique to watch a larger Netflix catalog is an awesome option. However, a VPN is also useful for spoofing into Japan to use Japanese websites and services from overseas.

There are a whopping two million people of Japanese descent living in Brazil. That is a huge number, considering that only 3.6 million people of Japanese descent live outside of Japan in total. For those people, being able to watch Japanese TV shows with a VPN is a way of staying in touch with what is going on back home. Sadly, like most places these days, copyright restrictions mean that Japanese movies and TV shows can often be geo-restricted. A VPN allows anybody to connect to a server in Tokyo, gaining a Japanese IP address in the process.

japan vpn pic

VPN Servers in Japan

In addition, Japanese citizens who are privacy conscious may want to encrypt their web traffic even while they are visiting websites that aren’t blocked. Advertisers, ISPs, landlords, schools and colleges all tend to monitor web traffic. By encrypting a user’s web traffic, a VPN provides high levels of privacy. That means that VPN users are free to use the internet to explore anything they wish, without fear of being watched.

Unblock Restricted Content

While privacy and security are the cornerstones of a VPN service, most people want a VPN service for unblocking geo-restricted content. There is nothing more annoying than navigating to a page to read (or watch) content that you are interested in, only to be served a restriction notice.

Perhaps it is understandable that the Japanese government might want to curb panic levels during a catastrophe like Fukushima. However, we believe that people should be able to unblock content to read news (or watch a video) if they truly wish. Knowledge is power and any censorship should be frowned upon in 2017.

VPNs work like a miracle for their subscribers, allowing them to ‘spoof’ their location to a foreign country. Using a VPN, anybody located in Japan can quickly, and easily, pretend to be in the UK to watch the news on BBC iPlayer. If news isn’t your thing, then a VPN is still a blessing, because it will allow you to unblock whatever interests you, no matter where in the world that content is supposed to be restricted to.

Honk Kong Servers

In order to get the best connection speeds possible, it is always advisable to connect to a server that is as close as possible. Of course, if you want to unblock something in the US you will need to connect to a US server, and for citizens from Japan the best idea is to connect to a server on the west coast of the USA. For most other unblocking purposes, however, a server in  Hong Kong will be ideal. Hong Kong is a place that has little to no censorship. In addition, when compared to Japan, Hong Kong doesn’t take issue with copyright piracy. As such, we advise Japanese VPN users to use Hong Kong servers when possible.

Connection Speeds

There are over 800 commercial VPNs on the market and most of those have terrible server networks that provide poor speeds. In order to get the most out of a VPN’s unblocking capabilities, subscribers require a VPN that has plenty of servers all over the world. Those servers should be fast and reliable, providing close to 100% uptime. In addition, those servers should be consistently good across the network for unblocking things in different places at different times.

All of the VPNs for Japan that we have recommended have these things and provide everything that you need to securely access any desirable content from around the globe.

A World of Possibilities

Recently, news emerged that international song plays do not count toward the Korean music charts. As such, citizens of Japan who have a big love for K-Pop need to start using a VPN for their song plays to count towards the daily and weekly charts.

Best Japan VPN: Conclusion

In this article, we have discussed all the important facets of a VPN for Japan: server locations and network speeds, reasons for getting a Japan VPN, encryption, and privacy policies. We have covered all areas, so all that is left is for you to choose a VPN service for Japan.

All the VPNs for Japan in this guide are at the top of their game, but all of them differ slightly. With that in mind, we urge you to take your time and look at the recommendations carefully. We are confident that there is a perfect VPN for Japan here for everybody, no matter what your personal needs are. If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact us below.

Best VPN for Japan: Summary

Rank Company Score Price Link

1

ExpressVPN Logo
Read Review10/10
$8.32 / monthVisit Site

2

IPVanish Logo
Read Review8.4/10
$6.49 / monthVisit Site

3

NordVPN Logo
Read Review7.6/10
$5.75 / monthVisit Site

4

VyprVPN Logo
Read Review6.8/10
$6.67 / monthVisit Site

5

VPNArea Logo
Read Review6.4/10
$4.92 / monthVisit Site

*All prices shown in US dollars

* Advertiser Disclosure

Title image credit: Mmaxer/Shutterstock.com

Image credit: JBOY/Shutterstock.com

Image credit: Cezary Wojtkowski/Shutterstock.com


Ray Walsh I am a freelance journalist and blogger from England. I am highly interested in politics and in particular the subject of IR. I am an advocate for freedom of speech, equality, and personal privacy. On a more personal level I like to stay active, love snowboarding, swimming and cycling, enjoy seafood, and love to listen to trap music.

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