Rakuten TV is geo-restricted and its Japanese library has quite a lot of exclusive content. In other words, international travelers usually won’t be able to stream their favorite show. Luckily, you can watch Rakuten TV abroad with the help of a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
VPNs make it easy to get a Japanese IP address, and as an added bonus, they encrypt your traffic, hiding your activities from service providers, public hotspot owners, and hackers. Below, we’ll explain how to bypass Rakuten TV’s regional blocking and stream your favorite content from anywhere in the world.
Here’s quick overview of the top Rakuten TV VPNs. If you’d like to learn more, just scroll down for a more detailed look at each.
The best VPNs for watching Rakuten TV abroad:
- NordVPN: Our #1 choice for watching Rakuten TV. Works with most major streaming sites and delivers top-tier performance. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free.
- Surfshark: Best budget VPN for streaming Rakuten TV. Fast and security-conscious with no simultaneous connection limit and 24/7 support.
- ExpressVPN: Works with Rakuten TV, Netflix Japan, and more. Impressive speed and security. Lots of Japanese server locations.
- CyberGhost: Has servers specially-optimized for watching Japanese content abroad. Impressive speeds and customizable security features.
- IPVanish: Reliable, secure connections and the ability to unblock Rakuten TV from anywhere. No-logs VPN that can protect all of your devices at once.
- PrivateVPN: No issues accessing Rakuten TV’s Japanese library abroad. Puts your security first and allows up to 10 simultaneous connections.
- Hotspot Shield: One of the best streaming VPNs on the market. Very fast, with uncrackable encryption and 24/7 customer support.
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How to watch Rakuten TV outside Japan with a VPN
Using a Virtual Private Network is easier than you might think. Just follow these steps to stream movies and catch up with your favorite content while outside of Japan.
Here’s how to watch Rakuten TV online from anywhere:
- Choose a VPN provider from this guide – we recommend NordVPN because it is secure, versatile, and has fast servers in Japan.
- Download and install the VPN onto your device.
- Login to the VPN app and connect to a server in Japan. This will give you the Japanese IP address you need to access the Japanese content library from outside Japan.
- Visit Rakuten TV and try streaming something. Videos should play without any errors but if not, we’ve often found that clearing your cookies and reloading the page fixes most problems. Still having trouble? Contact your VPN’s support team for one-on-one assistance.
Best VPNs for Rakuten – at a glance
We’ve compared the most important features for the top VPNs here. Prefer to read the in-depth reviews? Start with NordVPN – our #1 choice for watching Rakuten from anywhere.
|Website||NordVPN.com||Surfshark.com||ExpressVPN.com||Cyberghost.com||IPVanish.com||PrivateVPN.com||Ranking for Rakuten TV||1||2||3||4||5||6||Avg Speed (Mbps)||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||39 Mbps||Servers in Japan||Total number of servers||5,700+||3,200||Undisclosed||9,300||2,200+||200+||Simultaneous Connections||6||Unlimited||5||7||Unlimited||10|
|Best deal (per month)||$3.19|
SAVE 61% + 3 month FREE
Get 2 Months FREE with a 2-year plan
SAVE: 49% on the annual plan
SAVE 82% on the 2 year plan + 2 months FREE
SAVE 72% on the 2 year plan
SAVE 85% on the three year plan
The best VPNs to watch Rakuten TV outside Japan
There are many VPNs on the market, but they don’t all provide the same level of service, security, or reliability. What’s more, many VPNs aren’t able to unblock Rakuten TV outside Japan. To find the best VPNs for Rakuten TV, our team of experts looked for providers offering all of the following:
- Network of servers around the world (including Japan!)
- Fast and reliable connections for high-quality streaming
- The ability to securely access major streaming sites
- Strong security with 256-bit encryption
- A strict no-logs policy to protect your privacy
- Fast and efficient customer support, preferably with live chat
You can read more about how we test the VPNs we recommend further on in this article. But for now, let’s check out the VPNs that made our list.
The best VPNs for watching Rakuten TV from anywhere:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN is our number-one choice VPN for watching Rakuten TV. It has thousands of servers across roughly 60 countries, with over 130 in Japan alone. This service is capable of accessing a ton of geo-blocked content from Rakuten TV to Netflix Japan and boasts extremely fast speeds (over 190 Mbps in our most recent tests). Better still, it offers 24/7 support over live chat, and in our experience, staff are knowledge and quick to reply.
This VPN secures your internet traffic using 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, automatic tracker-blocking, and leak protection. It also has its own privacy-focused protocol named NordLynx, a Meshnet tool for connecting devices on multiple networks, and a no-logs policy that’s been verified by independent auditors.
NordVPN offers apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and Android TV. You can also manually install it on routers to get around the six-device limit.
- Great for watching Japanese content
- Fast and consistent connections
- Plenty of security features, including specialty servers
- User-friendly apps for most major operating systems
- 24/7 live chat support
- Collects advertising IDs on mobile devices
BEST VPN FOR RAKUTEN TV:NordVPN is our #1 choice It’s fast, reliable, and secure, plus it works with a huge range of streaming apps. Includes a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full NordVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark is our top low-cost option. It has more than 100 server locations around the world and outpaces many of its rivals with average speeds of almost 200 Mbps. In other words, it’s perfect for watching your favorite content as you travel. Users can connect as many devices as they like and if you run into any issues, support staff are only ever a live chat message away.
This VPN has a strong security toolkit, with 256-bit encryption, leak protection, and a kill switch enabled by default. Additionally, it blocks ads and trackers automatically, and can swap your IP address at regular intervals. Surfshark doesn’t keep any logs, something we know for sure as a result of its third-party audits.
Surfshark has apps for Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS, and Android devices. You’ll have to follow manual setup instructions to get it running on your router.
- Fantastic streaming ability
- Large server network
- Very affordable
- Easy to use
- No logs policy
- Some tools are exclusive to Surfshark One subscriptions
BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark gives amazing value for money. No connection limit, real everyday usage potential, and exceptional speeds. Plans also include a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full Surfshark review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs on the market, boasts exceptional cloaking ability, and servers in 94 countries. This means that a flawless streaming experience is almost guaranteed, even on tricky platforms like Netflix Japan. Of course, if you’re having any issues, you can reach out using the 24/7 live chat help desk. Monthly subcribers can connect up to five devices at a time, with longer plans allowing a maximum of eight.
As well as 256-bit encryption, ExpressVPN keeps you safe using IPv6 and DNS leak protection and a kill switch that stops sending data the moment your connection drops. There’s even a Threat Manager blocking access to malicious sites in the background and automatic obfuscation that kicks in when you visit a country with strict online restrictions. ExpressVPN doesn’t log any personally identifiable data and has been audited to prove it.
You can use ExpressVPN via the apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and Android TV. This is the only major provider with its own router firmware, making it as easy as possible to secure every device you own.
- Works with just about any live or on-demand streaming service
- User-friendly apps are easy for beginners
- Customer support available 24/7
- Strong security offering with encryption and a kill switch
- Short-term subscribers can connect fewer devices
GREAT ALL-ROUNDER:ExpressVPN is another good option for Rakuten TV. It’s a fast VPN that can access most geo-blocked content. Apps are user-friendly, and 24/7 customer support is available. All plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full ExpressVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost is an ultra-fast VPN with over 100 reliable servers in Japan and a further 7,000 in 90 other countries. As such, it’s a fantastic option for watching geo-restricted content, streaming, torrenting, or even just browsing safely while traveling abroad. Customer support staff are standing by 24/7 over live chat, though in our opinion, this is one of the most novice-friendly VPNs on the market.
When it comes to protecting your online privacy, CyberGhost uses 256-bit AES encryption, protection against DNS leaks, and a kill switch. Additionally, users can create smart rules that tell the VPN to connect automatically in certain situations. CyberGhost is based in Romania – a country with no mandatory data retention laws – and has a strict no-logs policy.
CyberGhost apps are available for Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS, Amazon Fire TV, and Android devices. Routers must be configured manually.
- Plenty of servers in Tokyo, Japan
- Strong performance with unlimited bandwidth
- 24/7 live chat feature
- Has specialty servers to provide the best streaming experience
- Doesn’t work reliably from China
GOOD FOR NOVICES:CyberGhost is quick, reliable, and secure. Makes it easy to get a Japanese IP address while abroad. Includes a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full CyberGhost review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish is an excellent VPN for families because it allows an unlimited number of simultaneous connections.There are more than 2,000 servers in 60+ countries including Japan, and this provider has really improved its streaming abilities lately. In fact, it now works with a ton of geo-restricted content platforms including Rakuten TV and NHK. 24/7 support is ready to help over live chat if you have any problems.
While IPVanish is based in the US, it has an independently-verified zero logs policy. As such, even if customer data was requested by the government, this VPN couldn’t give them anything usable. Apps include 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch that cuts your internet traffic should the VPN connection drop, preventing any data leaks.
You can download IPVanish for desktop (Windows and Mac), mobile (Android and iOS), as well as for Amazon Fire TV. Both Linux and routers require some manual configuration.
- Connect an unlimited number of devices with a single account
- High-speed servers
- Includes all of the essential security features
- Offers apps for desktop and mobile as well as Amazon Fire TV
- Based in the US, which is in the Five Eyes alliance
CONNECT ALL YOUR DEVICES:IPVanish can be used on as many devices as you like. Fast and reliable with good security, but is headquartered in the US. Annual plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full IPVanish review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN excels at accessing geo-restricted content. We’ve had good results testing it against platforms like Rakuten TV, Netflix JP, and NHK, and more importantly, this VPN is fast enough for uninterrupted live streaming. It does have a relatively small network (200 servers in 63 countries) but there’s a generous 10-device limit and near-24/7 customer support service.
The PrivateVPN apps are easy to use for beginners while still providing enough advanced options for experienced users. There’s 256-bit encryption (with the option to reduce this for higher speeds), a customizable kill switch, DNS leak protection, and a stealth mode capable of beating China’s Great Firewall. What’s more, PrivateVPN doesn’t keep any logs at all, meaning even it doesn’t know what you get up to online.
PrivateVPN apps are available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. However, manual setup is necessary for Linux and routers.
- Fast servers and unlimited bandwidth
- Works with many services, including Rakuten TV and Netflix Japan
- Zero logs policy
- Not as many servers to choose from
- Live chat support is not 24/7
GREAT FOR STREAMING:PrivateVPN is super fast, and uses uncrackable 256-bit AES encryption, making it perfect for streaming. Offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full PrivateVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
Editor’s Note: Hotspot Shield is owned by Pango, Comparitech’s parent company.
Disclosure: Hotspot Shield is owned by Pango, Comparitech’s parent company. This has not impacted our review in any way; all praise or criticism is the result of hands-on testing.
Hotspot Shield is a freemium VPN service with servers in 80 countries including Japan. It provides consistently high speeds, works in China, and is able to securely access major platforms like Rakuten TV, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video with ease. Better still, it offers 24/7 support over live chat and permits up to 10 simultaneous connections per account.
Now, Hotspot Shield does collect some information (anonymized browsing activity, session duration, device hashes, and bandwidth used), but it doesn’t store any logs that could personally identify you. The apps include 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and leak prevention features, as well as automatic wifi protection. This makes it ideal for travelers looking to stay safe while reliant on public hotspots.
Hotspot Shield apps are available for Linux, Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. You’ll need to install it manually on supported routers.
- Steady speeds and a high connection limit
- Suitable for just about any task
- Good set of security features
- Only has streaming servers in two countries
- Some connection logs
SERVERS IN 80+ COUNTRIES:Hotspot Shield works with Japanese services. and offers 24/7 support. Superfast Catapult Hydra protocol. Fully featured apps with robust security. Provides a 45-day money-back guarantee on paid plans.
Read our full Hotspot Shield review.
The best VPNs for Rakuten TV: Methodology
Picking a VPN seems pretty straightforward but there are hundreds of options with different prices, features, and protocols, so it’s easy to get overwhelmed. That’s where we come in. We’ve been testing streaming VPNs for years and can identify the best options for your needs. Here are the factors we considered when choosing the best VPNs for Rakuten TV:
- Server network: First, we look for Japanese servers as these are required to access Rakuten TV’s JP library. Also, how many other countries are supported? Are they physical or virtual locations? Are there multiple clusters in one country? These are all important questions that need to be answered.
- Security & privacy: We ensure that the VPN uses robust encryption protocols and doesn’t keep any logs of your data. At a bare minimum, we require providers to offer leak protection and a kill switch as well, although we strongly prefer those that include more advanced security tools.
- Versatility: Can the VPN access Rakuten TV? What about other streaming apps? We perform extensive testing to simulate day-to-day usage, looking for P2P support, the ability to beat online censorship, and general usability.
- peed & reliability: A good VPN should be fast enough to stream HD video without buffering and reliable enough never to drop the connection.
- Price: You don’t want to overpay for a VPN, but you also don’t want to be stuck with a cheap and unreliable one. We balance the two to find the best value for your money.
- Ease of use: The VPN should be easy to set up and use, even if you’re not a tech expert.
- Customer support: If you run into any problems, you want to be able to get help from a top-notch customer support team.
Want to learn more? Read all about our VPN testing process.
Watching Rakuten TV with a VPN: FAQs
Can I use a free VPN to watch Rakuten TV outside Japan?
Many free VPNs don’t work with services such as Rakuten TV, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and ESPN. Even if you find one that does, it’s almost certain to impose a low data limit, speed restriction, or server limitation until you pay up.
Unfortunately, the problems don’t stop there. VPNs are privacy services first and foremost, and they should provide you with a secure connection if nothing else. Unfortunately, free VPNs that often lack crucial security features such as encryption and we’ve seen multiple cases of free providers misleading their users about how anonymous their activities really are.
We recommend sticking with reputable paid VPNs. This approach ensures the best experience and highest security.
What can I watch on Rakuten TV Japan?
On Rakuten TV, you can buy and rent a wide range of content such as movies and TV shows. In addition, some content is available to stream for free, as long as you have an account.
Some of the content you can watch on Rakuten TV for Japan includes movies and TV shows from Japan as well as foreign content such as from South Korea, Taiwan, and the US (Hollywood movies, for example).
Other categories on Rakuten TV Japan include anime, documentaries, kids, music (live concerts), adult, and live TV.
Where else is Rakuten TV available?
Rakuten TV is available not only in Japan but also in more than a dozen European countries including Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
According to the Rakuten TV Help Centre, “To have access to our service in one of those countries, you have to be connected from that country. Each of the international Rakuten TV sites work independently of each other and feature different content…”
Note that while this article is primarily aimed at Rakuten subscribers from Japan, you can use the VPNs in this guide to access any regional version of Rakuten TV while on vacation.
Simply connect to a VPN server in your home country while traveling, and you will be able to access your Rakuten account as usual.
Why is my VPN not working with Rakuten TV?
There are a few reaspms you might still be having trouble accessing Rakuten TV while connected to a VPN. For instance, the site could have access to old location data, your chosen VPN server might not be in the right location, or your current IP address may simply be blacklisted.
In our experience, you can solve most playback issues by clearing your cookies and cache, then refreshing the page. Failing this, your VPN’s support team should be able to point you towards a server that works.