Netflix launched in Japan in 2015, and as of 2020, Netflix Japan’s catalog is one of the largest of any country, according to uNoGS. In particular, Netflix users in Japan get access to tons of anime that’s off limits to subscribers in other countries. And anime that eventually reaches the global market often appears on Japanese Netflix first, such as Violet Evergarden.
If you are traveling abroad you can regain access to your home country’s Netflix library with the help of a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
If you don’t have the time to get into all the details about the top VPNs to watch Netflix from Japan here’s a list and summary of our top picks:
- NordVPN Our top choice for Japanese Netflix! Has very fast speeds, a huge range of security features, a no-logs policy, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark The best budget option for Netflix Japan. Quick and highly versatile, with strong security and privacy features. No connection limits.
- ExpressVPN Super fast servers in Japan, works with Netflix and most other popular video streaming services. Great privacy and security credentials.
- PrivateVPN Small provider with a few servers in Japan. Can access Netflix Japan from anywhere.
- VyprVPN Strong security, easy to use, and can securely access Netflix Japan.
The easiest and most reliable way to watch Netflix abroad is with a VPN. Short for Virtual Private Network, a VPN encrypts all of a device’s internet traffic and routes it through an intermediary server in a location of your choosing. By connecting to a VPN server in Japan, you can browse the web as if you lived in the country and access tons of Japan-only websites, apps, services, and content.
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Netflix has caught onto this workaround, however, and actively blocks connections from known VPN servers. If you attempt to access Netflix Japan from a blacklisted server, you’ll receive an error message:
“Whoops, something went wrong… Streaming error. You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of these services and try again.”
Only a small handful of VPN providers know how to reliably bypass the ban, while the rest remain locked out. We took the trouble to test several providers and find out which VPNs work with Netflix Japan. Note we only tested the desktop apps with Netflix in a browser, and cannot vouch for whether or not they work with Netflix apps on smartphones, tablets, and media consoles.
Here’s how to watch Japanese Netflix from anywhere:
- Sign up for a Netflix account if you don’t yet have one.
- Pick a VPN provider from our list below. For speed and reliability our first choice is NordVPN.
- Connect to a server back home in Japan.
- Open the Netflix website or app as you normally would. You should be automatically redirected to the Japanese version.
- Login and start enjoying Japanese Netflix from any location!
Best VPNs for Netflix Japan
Our list of the best VPN service providers for Netflix Japan is based on the following criteria:
- Can securely access Netflix Japan
- Fast connection speeds
- No-logs policy and strong security
- Unlimited bandwidth and data
- Quick and competent customer support
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN offers access to more than 80 Japanese servers and easily acceses Netflix Japan from abroad. What’s more, this service is the fastest we’ve tested, which all but guarantees you a flawless streaming experience. Should you have any problems, 24/7 support is on-hand over live chat and email.
There are all kinds of security features built-in, including 256-bit encryption, DNS and WebRTC leak protection, and a customizable kill switch. Additionally, this VPN offers special obfuscated servers designed to give you even greater online privacy. NordVPN is a zero-logs provider and can’t divulge details of your activities under any circumstances.
NordVPN apps are available for iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows, and Linux. Manual configuration is required for use with supported routers.
NordVPN speed test data
|Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||111.7 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||122.3 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||112.0 Mbps|
- 70+ high-speed Japanese servers
- One of the best for accessing streaming sites like Netflix
- Excellent security and encryption standards
- Keeps no logs whatsoever
- Offers 24/7 live chat
- Desktop app can take some getting used to
BEST VPN FOR NETFLIX JAPAN:NordVPN is our first choice. It’s extremely fast and doesn’t compromise on security. Works with Netflix and similar platforms with ease. Comes with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
Check out the full NordVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark has more than 1,700 servers in 63 countries, Japan included. This service boasts excellent streaming speeds and works with not just Netflix, but also major platforms like Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. VPN speeds vary from one server to another but are generally fast enough for lag-free HD streaming. Users can connect as many devices as they like from one account.
Security is one of Surfshark’s strong points. It offers 256-bit encryption, an automatic kill switch, and leak protection, as well as automatic ad-blocking and malware-scanning. There’s even a NoBorders mode that can help you get around especially stubborn geo-blocking. This VPN doesn’t keep any logs that could identify you, and offers 24/7 support over live chat.
Surfshark provides MacOS, iOS, Windows, Android, and Linux apps. It can be manually installed on select network routers.
Surfshark speed test data
|Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||170 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||230 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||220 Mbps|
- Steady speeds and unlimited bandwidth
- Unblocks some of the most popular streaming services abroad
- Unlimited devices
- Strong security and privacy credentials
- Keeps no logs
- A relatively small server network
- Some slow connection speeds
BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark manages to provide impressive speed, security, and unblocking ability while remaining affordable. Better still, this service comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read the full Surfshark review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN has multiple servers in Japan and not all of them can access Netflix in the country, but some do. We don’t want to draw undue attention to them here, suffice to say you can find the correct server quickly by either contacting the 24/7 live chat support or experimenting with a bit of trial and error. Speeds are fast and reliable enough to stream in HD. ExpressVPN is a veteran when it comes to using streaming sites, including Netflix US, HBO Go, HBO Now, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer.
You’ll also have industry-leading security standards, a smart DNS service, and over 1,500 servers in 94 countries at your disposal. The company stores no activity or IP logs.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and certain wifi routers.
ExpressVPN speed test data
|Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||135.7 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||134 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||136 Mbps|
- Superfast servers in Japan have no issues accessing Netflix from anywhere
- Top-class security and privacy protection features
- Also unblocks most major streaming sites, e.g. Amazon Prime Video and BBC iPlayer
- Live chat available 24/7
- Not as configurable as some power users would prefer
- Slightly higher price than some of its rivals
SECURE AND PRIVATE:ExpressVPN is a solid choice. Reliably accesses Netflix Japan and most other popular streaming services with exceptional speeds for buffer-free HD viewing and total security and privacy. Try it risk-free with the 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full ExpressVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN hasn’t been around as long as its rivals, but it certainly deserves its spot on the list. It’s one of the most capable VPNs for Netflix, bypassing the firewall in nearly every country we’ve tested it in. We easily streamed Psycho-Pass in HD when connected to the Japan server. PrivateVPN also unblocks Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer, among others. It scored well in our speed tests and is as reliable as they come.
PrivateVPN doesn’t skimp on privacy either. You’ll get 256-bit AES encryption and perfect forward secrecy. The company doesn’t store any logs of user activity or personally identifiable metadata about their use of the service. A single subscription allows you to connect up to six devices at one time.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android.
PrivateVPN speed test data
|Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||94 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||56.7 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||61.7 Mbps|
- Easy to stream Japanese content including Netflix
- Also unblocks Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer and more
- Keeps no logs whatsoever
- Streaming speeds are good enough for HD
- Newer network with a smaller number of servers to choose from
- Live chat goes offline for two hours per day
SPEEDY AND SECURE:PrivateVPN is extremely fast, security-conscious, and able to access Netflix Japan. and security. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full PrivateVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
We were pleasantly surprised to find out that we could access Netflix Japan when connected to VyprVPN’s Japan server. We had no problem watching an episode of Fate/Stay Night in HD. VyprVPN also works with US Netflix.
VyprVPN uses top-notch encryption and owns, rather than rents, all of its physical servers. That ensures hardened security, but the company does have a policy of logging users’ real IP addresses, so torrenters had best steer clear. Otherwise, it’s a great provider that’s easy to use and has round-the-clock customer support.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
VyprVPN speed test data
|Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||41 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||44.3 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||47.3 Mbps|
- Worked with Netflix Japan during our testing with no issues
- Fast speeds are perfect for streaming
- Class-leading security and privacy
- Apps are slick but lack advanced configuration options
- A little pricey
- No cryptocurrency payment method.
EASY TO USE APPS:VyprVPN is user friendly. Works with Japanese Netflix with excellent speed and uptime as all servers are owned by VyprVPN. Good security and privacy credentials. Not the cheapest option. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full VyprVPN review.
Can I use a free VPN to watch Netflix Japan?
We’ve heard of a few Japanese proxies that can access Netflix Japan, but the free ones are likely too congested or unreliable to stream in anything resembling decent quality. At any rate, you’ll need to be able to read Japanese to register and use them. Free VPN services generally lack the bandwidth to stream video without tons of buffering, and many of them cap data at a hard limit.
We generally recommend avoiding free VPN services. Even if you don’t have to fork over payment details, free VPN services are not charitable entities. They often make a profit collecting data from your browsing habits and selling it to third party advertising agencies. Some inject ads into your web browser, while others even carry malware payloads to infect your device.
In any case, it’s unlikely that a free VPN has the resources to reliably bypass Netflix’s firewall.
VPNs that don’t work with Netflix Japan
The following VPNs do not work with Netflix Japan, either according to our tests or by their own admission.
- Private Internet Access (PIA)
English subtitles and dubbing on Netflix Japan
If you don’t speak Japanese, finding subtitles or dubbed voices for anime on Netflix Japan can be a bit hit and miss. Subtitles are more common than dubbing, for sure, but many titles have neither. We suggest you take advantage of a VPN’s free trial or money-back guarantee period to watch Netflix Japan and check to see whether subtitles or dubbing is available for the show you want to watch.
While not comprehensive, here’s a list of anime on Netflix Japan with English subtitles or dubbing, according to Aerial Biscuits:
- 5cm per second
- Children who chase lost voices
- Devilman Crybaby
- Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood
- Ghost in the Shell Innocence
- Gunslinger Girls
- Kill la Kill
- Little Witch Academia
- Magi: Adventures of Sinbad
- Sword Art Online
- The Garden of Words
- The Irregular at Magic High School
- Tokyo Ghoul
- Violet Evergarden
- Voices of a Distant Star
Still seeing the Netflix proxy error? Try this:
If you signed up for one of the VPNs we recommended above but still see the Netflix proxy error when you try to stream video, try the following:
- Log out of any Google accounts, including Chrome browser. Google caches your IP address and can reveal your true location to Netflix.
- Disable GPS and any other location-based services on your device and browser. If you’ve given Netflix permission to use your location in the past, you’ll need to disable the permission in your browser settings.
- Clear your browser cookies, cache, and temp files. We’ve got tutorials for both clearing your cache and clearing your cookies for all the major operating systems.
- Disable IPv6. This is mainly for Windows 10 users, but may cause problems on other operating systems as well. In Windows 10, you can disable IPv6 in your Wifi properties.
- Flush your DNS cache. In Windows, open Command Prompt as an administrator and enter the command:
- Change your device’s time zone to the country’s in which you’re trying to watch Netflix. Japan’s time zone is UTC+9.
- If you are connected to a wifi network and can access the router, rename the wifi network, or SSID. Add “_nomap” to the end of the network name, without quotation marks. This will opt your wifi network out of Google’s geolocation services. You will need to reconnect your device to the updated network to regain internet access.
- Disconnect and reconnect to the server location to see if you can get a different IP address.
How to watch Japanese Netflix FAQ
Is streaming anime legal from Japan?
As with many other countries, Japan has both legal and illegal streaming sites. The former are those that have been granted permission by the copyright holder to provide the content in question. In summary, streaming anime from Japan is perfectly legal if you do so via official licensed sources such as Netflix Japan, Amazon Prime Video, and Bandai Channel.
What are the top 3 Netflix Japanese series?
It’s open to debate as to which are the top 3 Netflix Japanese series. After all, there are plenty of Japanese series on Netflix and opinions can vary on each and every one. However, arguably the most popular Netflix Japanese series are Good Morning Call, Switched, and Erased.
Do I need to change my region to watch Japanese Netflix?
If you’re in Japan then no, you don’t need to change your region in order to watch Japanese Netflix. However, if you’re traveling abroad, you’ll need to connect to a VPN server in Japan. Doing so provides you with a Japanese IP address, allowing you to watch Netflix Japan from anywhere in the world.
How do Japanese films differ from Hollywood films?
You might be surprised to find out there are crossovers between Japanese and Hollywood cinema. Studio Ghibli, for example, is very popular in the West with recordings made using Japanese and American actors for each market.
Take a look at this in-depth review of the differences between American and Japanese movies.
How do I get Japanese subtitles on Netflix?
If you can access Netflix Japan either locally or through a VPN, you should be able to take advantage of Japanese subtitles. Click the closed captioning box in the video player to bring up subtitle and language options.