If you have a soft spot for anime and movies featuring samurai and swordsmen, Japanese Netflix might be your jam. However, some of the most exciting “Hogawood” movies are not available when you’re in the U.S. For that, you’ll need a VPN to get into Japanese Netflix. In this post, we’ll show you how to watch Netflix Japan in the U.S., step by step.
Key Takeaways: Accessing Netflix Japan
- Netflix’s Japanese library is exclusive to residents of the Land of the Rising Run. If you’re abroad, a VPN is your best bet for watching Japanese Netflix.
- To watch Japanese Netflix, download and install a VPN, connect to a Japanese server and the Japanese library should display.
- ExpressVPN’s top-notch unblocking ability makes it the best for unblocking Japanese Netflix. NordVPN is a cheaper and faster alternative. If money’s tight, we recommend Proton VPN, since it has free servers in Japan.
We’ll also highlight the three best VPNs to watch Japanese Netflix and what features make them stand out. Keep an eye out for the list of the best movies you can watch on Japanese Netflix further down. If you’re in a hurry, ExpressVPN is our top pick for streaming Japanese Netflix, thanks to its best-in-class unblocking ability and fast speeds.
You can unblock Japanese Netflix outside Japan by connecting to a Japanese VPN server. It will give you a Japanese IP address, making Netflix display its Japan library.
You can change your Netflix location by connecting to a proxy server or using a smart DNS. However, none of these options are as reliable as using a VPN.
We recommend either ExpressVPN or NordVPN. Proton VPN is a worthwhile free alternative. To use any one of these VPNs, simply download and install it and connect to a Japanese server.
How to Watch Netflix Japan in US States With a VPN
If you live in Japan and often travel abroad, you’ll notice that some of your favorite Japanese movies have pulled a disappearing act. This is because Netflix’s catalog differs from country to country, a practice known as geoblocking. The streaming giant is bound, by copyright and streaming rights restrictions, to show specific titles in specific countries.
To get past Netflix’s geoblocks, you need a robust VPN. Short for virtual private network, a VPN can change your IP address, tricking Netflix into displaying a specific library. For instance, you can connect to a Japanese server to get a Japanese IP address and access Japanese Netflix, even if you’re in the U.S.
Best VPNs for Netflix Japan
The best VPN for Netflix Japan must have at least one server in Japan and be capable of skipping past Netflix’s geoblocks. On top of that, it must be fast enough to enable you to watch Netflix without any lag or buffering wheels.
One of the core tasks of a VPN is to ensure your security and privacy while online. As a result, features like AES-256 encryption, IP and DNS leak protection, a variety of protocols and a strict no-logs policy are must-haves. All the VPNs on this list have those features. They also have apps for the major operating systems, including Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.
- Servers in Japan
- Fast streaming
- Dedicated smart TV app
In all our years reviewing VPNs, ExpressVPN has always been the odds-on favorite for unblocking Netflix and other major streaming services. It has four servers in Japan: three in Tokyo and one in Yokohama. In our testing, all of these servers accessed Japanese Netflix on the first crack without any hassle. No wonder, ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Japan.
Another reason ExpressVPN earns the top spot is that it’s a great VPN for streaming on smart TVs. You can install it directly on your Android TV or Fire TV, or use its Smart DNS feature (Media Streamer) for other TVs. It also offers a dedicated router app, as well as ExpressVPN Aircove (a WiFi router with built-in VPN protection).
ExpressVPN’s main shortcoming is that it’s pricey. The monthly plan is the most expensive of all the VPNs on this list. It has a six-month plan, which the other VPNs don’t have, but it’s still highly priced. Your best bet is the one-year plan, which slashes the price slightly. You can take it for a test drive using its 30-day money-back guarantee, or read our ExpressVPN review to learn more.
- Multiple Japanese servers
- Lightning fast
- Excellent security features
- High latency of far servers
ExpressVPN nudges NordVPN to second place, thanks to its best-in-class servers. That aside, NordVPN and ExpressVPN are neck and neck. For starters, of its over 5,000 servers, more than 100 are located in Japan. That should give you ample options for getting a Japanese IP address to stream Netflix Japan.
Additionally, NordVPN is lightning-fast, topping our fastest VPNs list. This makes it an excellent choice if you intend to stream Netflix Japan in HD or 4K resolution, since you won’t suffer any lag. NordVPN’s Double VPN feature is also worth mentioning, since it adds an extra layer of security by routing your traffic through two servers instead of one.
With respect to pricing, NordVPN’s monthly and yearly plans are cheaper than ExpressVPN’s. However, the best-value plan is the two-year deal. You can try out NordVPN yourself using its 30-day money-back guarantee offer. Read our NordVPN review if you want more information on this premium VPN service.
3. Proton VPN
- Many servers in Japan
- Free Japanese servers
- No data limits on free plan
- No Mac/iOS split tunneling
Proton VPN makes this list because it has free servers in Japan that can unblock Netflix. This means that if you’re short on money and you need a VPN to access Japanese Netflix, Proton VPN is the perfect solution. Many free VPNs cap your data, limiting the number of movies you can watch. However, Proton VPN, the best free VPN, doesn’t restrict your data on the free plan.
When you read our Proton VPN review, you’ll see that the free VPN performs admirably when it comes to speeds. It’s more than fast enough to help you watch your favorite Japanese flicks without missing a beat. Plus, it’s an easy-to-use, intuitive and beginner-friendly VPN, so you should have no trouble navigating the VPN’s app.
As already mentioned, Proton VPN has a free plan, so you can unblock Japanese Netflix without paying a dime. The monthly plan is relatively cheap, but the one-year and two-year plans are a bit pricey. You can get other affordable VPNs, like Surfshark (read our Surfshark review), that offer excellent performance. All of Proton VPN’s plans are covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
By now, you should have a clear idea of how to set up a VPN to stream Netflix Japan, regardless of your location. All you have to do is to download and install a VPN and connect to a Japanese server. Since Netflix has firewalls that track and block VPNs, you need a robust VPN for the task.
We recommend ExpressVPN because of its unmatched unblocking ability. It’s also fast and the ideal pick for streaming on smart TVs. If ExpressVPN’s price is a deterrent, NordVPN is slightly cheaper and boasts better speeds. Alternatively, you can use Proton VPN, a service offering free servers in Japan that unblock Netflix.
Have you used a VPN to unblock Japanese Netflix or any other Netflix library? Did the VPN give you access to Netflix? What do you think about the three VPNs we’ve mentioned on this list? Which one do you intend to try out? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below. As always, we appreciate you for reading this article.