How to watch Japanese TV abroad

As you’re probably aware, many websites and services (particularly streaming platforms) are unavailable outside of specific countries. This is typically for copyright and licensing reasons. Fortunately, a VPN lets you spoof your location and stream Japanese TV abroad.

In case you’re wondering, a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, routes your internet traffic through an encrypted tunnel. This prevents outsiders such as your ISP or hackers from seeing your true IP address and online activity. In short, connecting to a VPN server offers the advantage of improved online privacy and anonymity while browsing the web.

You’ll find reviews of the best VPNs for watching Japanese TV outside Japan further below. However, here’s a short summary of each in case you don’t have time to read the full article.

Best VPN for Japanese TV:

  1. ExpressVPN: The best VPN for streaming Japanese TV. 3,000 servers in 94 countries. Fast, reliable connections. Unblocks NHK and Nippon TV. Secure and offers 24/7 support.
  2. NordVPN: The best budget VPN. 80 servers in Japan for streaming Fuji TV. Connect up to six devices at once. No-logs service with 24/7 support and double VPN servers.
  3. CyberGhost: 70 servers in Japan. Watch TV Asahi and TV Tokyo. Very fast speeds for lag-free streaming. Strong security and allows up to 7 simultaneous connections.
  4. IPVanish: Use on up to 10 devices at once. Fast servers in Japan for streaming TBS TV without lag. User-friendly apps, 24/7 support, and secure with a no-logs policy.
  5. PrivateVPN: High-speed servers in Japan. Works with Nippon TV and Tokyo MX. Beginner-friendly desktop and mobile apps. Offers a no-logs policy and encryption.
  6. Surfshark: Unlimited simultaneous connections. Stream Japanese TV including NHK and TV Asahi. Excellent apps, 24/7 support and plenty of security features.
  7. Hotspot Shield: Servers in 80 countries, Japan included. Works with Nippon TV and Fuji TV. Secure up to five devices. Uses encryption and offers 24/7 live chat support.

How to stream Japanese TV abroad with a VPN

In order to watch Japanese TV shows abroad, you’ll need to connect to a VPN server. This is quick and easy to do. Simply follow the step-by-step guide below and you’ll be streaming outside Japan in a matter of minutes:

Here’s how you watch Japanese TV online with a VPN:

  1. The first step is to sign up with a VPN that has servers in Japan. We particularly recommend ExpressVPN.
  2. Next, download and install one of the VPN’s apps. Be sure to check that it’s the correct version for your operating system.
  3. Open the VPN app and connect to a server in Japan for a Japanese IP address. This allows you to spoof your location and stream Japanese TV shows overseas.
  4. Go to your preferred Japanese streaming platform and select any geo-blocked content which should now play without restriction.
  5. If the content is still blocked, you should clear your browser’s cookies. Alternatively, try another server or contact your VPN’s customer support for further assistance.

TRY A PAID VPN FREE: Don’t want to commit to a VPN long-term? ExpressVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee means you can watch Japanese TV risk-free. Although this requires an upfront payment, all you need to do is request a refund within the 30-day period if unsatisfied.

What Japanese TV can I watch online for free?

If you connect to a VPN server in Japan, you’ll be able to stream various Japanese TV channels abroad for free:

  • NHK General TV
  • NHK Educational TV
  • Nippon TV
  • TV Asahi
  • TBS TV
  • TV Tokyo
  • Fuji TV
  • Tokyo MX

Choosing the best VPNs for watching Japanese TV online

While many VPNs offer servers in Japan, the quality of these VPNs varies drastically based on factors such as speed and security. We’ve found the best VPNs for watching Japanese TV outside Japan by selecting those that offer the following:

  • Fast, consistent connections for streaming
  • Unblocks the likes of NHK, Nippon TV, and TV Tokyo
  • Secures your data with the use of encryption
  • Doesn’t keep identifying logs of its users
  • Offers customer support via live chat and email
  • Easy-to-use apps for desktop and mobile

Best VPNs for Japanese TV

Here’s our list of the best VPNs for watching Japanese TV online from abroad:

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN May 2020

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.ExpressVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ExpressVPN is a strong all-rounder, making it the best choice for watching Japanese TV abroad. Aside from having a large network of more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries, it offers fast, consistent connections for lag-free streaming. You can use this VPN to unblock NHK, TV Asahi, and more thanks to its servers in Kawasaki, Tokyo, and Yokohama. A single subscription lets you secure up to five devices simultaneously.

Not only does ExpressVPN offer unrivaled performance for browsing and streaming, it’s also highly secure. 256-bit AES encryption means no one can see what you’re doing online. You’re protected from DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks while a kill switch ensures your data cannot be compromised should the VPN connection unexpectedly drop. ExpressVPN doesn’t keep any identifying logs of its users and also offers 24/7 live chat and email support.

To connect to ExpressVPN’s servers, simply download one of the apps. These are available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux. You also have the option of browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox as well as custom firmware for routers.

Pros:

  • Very fast and reliable servers for streaming Japanese TV
  • Unblocks many Japanese channels including NHK
  • Servers in 94 countries for accessing content worldwide
  • Very strong security with encryption and kill switch
  • Doesn’t keep logs by which you can be identified
  • Live chat and email support available 24/7

Cons:

  • Fairly expensive compared to most rival VPNs

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST VPN FOR JAPANESE TV:ExpressVPN is fast and reliable, offering lag-free streaming of Japanese TV. Unblocks NHK, Nippon TV, and Fuji TV. Very easy-to-use apps and includes 24/7 live chat support. Strong security with encryption. Try it risk-free thanks to the 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

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2. NordVPN

NordVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

NordVPN has a network of over 5,500 servers, some 80 of which are located in Japan. As such, you can use this VPN service to unblock region-locked content from all over the world. This includes Japanese TV such as Fuji TV and TBS TV. As well as offering high-speed Japanese servers, NordVPN has some that are optimized for P2P file-sharing, as well as special obfuscated servers for bypassing strict internet restrictions.

With NordVPN, you can connect up to six devices at once. What’s more, you’ll have access to 24/7 support via live chat and email. NordVPN operates a strict no-logs policy and has been independently audited to prove it. What’s more, your personal data is protected through its use of 256-bit AES encryption. You can also take advantage of DNS and IPv6 leak protection, an automatic kill switch feature, and Double VPN servers for extra security.

NordVPN offers apps for the following operating systems: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and Android TV. There’s also browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. However, you’ll need to follow manual setup instructions for use with routers.

Pros:

  • Dozens of servers in Japan for easy unblocking of Japanese TV
  • Works with channels including NHK, TV Tokyo, and Fuji TV
  • Includes 24/7 live chat and email support
  • Highly secure thanks to encryption and a strict no-logs policy
  • Lets you secure up to six devices simultaneously

Cons:

  • Not the fastest server speeds

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST BUDGET VPN:NordVPN has 80 servers in Japan and unblocks TV Tokyo. 5,500 servers worldwide. 24/7 live chat support and specialty P2P servers. Strong security with high-end encryption and a strict no-logs policy. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full NordVPN review.

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3. CyberGhost

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Cyberghost.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

CyberGhost has an excellent track record when it comes to offering both speed and security. It has one of the largest VPN networks available with approximately 6,000 servers in 90 countries. This includes around 70 servers in Japan for streaming Japanese TV. Indeed, CyberGhost unblocks NHK and Tokyo MX, among others. Unlimited bandwidth allows you to stream and torrent without having to worry about interruptions such as lag or buffering.

Unlike most VPNs, CyberGhost lets each user secure up to seven devices simultaneously. Better still, 24/7 live chat and email support are also on offer should you need it. Protecting your privacy is this VPN’s priority, as evidenced by its strict no-logs policy and use of 256-bit AES encryption. There’s also an automatic kill switch and protection from DNS leaks while CyberGhost’s independently operated NoSpy servers reduce the risk of third party interference.

Connect to a server in Japan via CyberGhost’s apps for desktop (Windows, Mac, and Linux), mobile (Android and iOS), Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV. You can also download browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. Use with routers requires manual configuration.

Pros:

  • High-speed servers for lag-free streaming of Nippon TV and NHK
  • Protects your privacy with its strict no-logs policy
  • Lots of security features including high-end encryption and kill switch
  • Allows you to connect up to seven devices at once
  • Offers live chat support which is available 24/7

Cons:

  • Lacking in options for more advanced users

Our score:

4 out of 5

HIGHLY SECURE:CyberGhost has over 6,000 servers worldwide including 70 in Japan. Use it to stream Tokyo MX and NHK. Fast servers and unlimited bandwidth. Protects your privacy with a strict no-logs policy. Use on up to seven devices at once. 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full CyberGhost review.

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4. IPVanish

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.IPVanish.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

IPVanish is a good option for watching Japanese TV abroad thanks to its servers in Tokyo and fast, reliable speeds. Overall, its network is made up of around 1,400 servers which are located across dozens of countries. This means you can use IPVanish to unblock geo-restricted websites and services worldwide. If you’re suffering from throttling, you’ll be happy to know that IPVanish offers unlimited bandwidth, making it perfect for streaming NHK and TBS TV.

One of IPVanish’s most notable features is that you can use it on up to 10 devices at once. While this is a very user-friendly service, it does offer 24/7 support over live chat in case you have any questions. IPVanish takes your security seriously, using 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch to ensure your data cannot be compromised. Last but not least, a zero-logs policy allows you to browse the web anonymously.

Sign up with IPVanish to access its apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and Amazon Fire TV. In order to use this VPN with Linux and compatible routers, you’ll need to follow manual setup instructions.

Pros:

  • Servers in dozens of countries including Japan
  • Use it to watch the likes of Nippon TV and Tokyo MX
  • Consistent connections and unlimited bandwidth with no lag
  • Secures your data with encryption and zero-logs policy
  • Connect up to ten devices at once via a single account

Cons:

  • Doesn’t offer browser extensions or a Linux app
  • Headquartered in the US which is a member of Five Eyes alliance

Our score:

4 out of 5

SECURE 10 DEVICES:IPVanish works with Japanese TV channels such as TBS TV. Offers good speeds for streaming and lets you connect up to ten devices simultaneously. User-friendly apps and 24/7 support. Zero-logs policy. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full IPVanish review.

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5. PrivateVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.PrivateVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

PrivateVPN boasts some of the fastest speeds of any VPN. As such, you can connect and expect to stream Japanese TV overseas without excessive lag or buffering. This is a smaller VPN service with approximately 100 servers in 60 countries. It possesses strong unblocking ability and works well with the likes of Nippon TV and Fuji TV. With PrivateVPN, you can connect as many as six devices at once via a single account.

It’s possible to browse the web with your privacy intact as PrivateVPN has a no-logs policy. Your data is secured from hackers and snoopers with 256-bit AES encryption. There’s also protection from DNS leaks and a kill switch. Signup requires little personal information (only a burner email account) while there’s even the option to pay in Bitcoin which is the best payment option for maintaining online anonymity.

PrivateVPN has apps for iOS, MacOS, Android, Windows, and Linux. However, if you’d like to install it directly on your home router, you’ll have to configure it manually.

Pros:

  • Very fast servers for browsing and streaming
  • Unblocks NHK, TV Asahi, TBS TV, and more
  • Easy-to-use desktop and mobile apps
  • Includes all of the essential security features
  • Can be used on up to six devices simultaneously

Cons:

  • Live chat support isn’t available 24/7
  • Limited selection of apps and no browser extensions

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

LAG-FREE STREAMING:PrivateVPN has fast servers in Japan for streaming Fuji TV. Very user-friendly apps and also offers live chat support. Can be used on six devices at once. Security features include encryption and no-logs policy. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full PrivateVPN review.

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6. Surfshark

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Surfshark.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Surfshark is a newer VPN service that has a rapidly growing network of over 1,700 servers. These servers can be found in Japan and a further 62 countries. Speeds are more than fast and consistent enough for streaming in 1080p HD. Further, this service has strong unblocking capabilities, meaning you’ll be able to connect to a server in Japan and watch Nippon TV, NHK, and TV Tokyo. Best of all, Surfshark doesn’t impose any limits on the number of devices you can connect simultaneously.

Perhaps Surfshark’s main selling point is its sheer number of security features. This starts with its strict no-logs policy that ensures your online privacy is protected. It secures your traffic with 256-bit AES encryption while DNS leaks and a kill switch ensure sensitive data is never exposed. If that’s not enough, you can always connect to a MultiHop (Double VPN) server for an extra layer of encryption. Surfshark also has live chat and email support, both of which are available 24/7.

Surfshark offers easy-to-use apps for the following operating systems: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. You can also download an app for Amazon Fire TV as well as browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. Manual installation is required for use with routers.

Pros:

  • Unlimited simultaneous connections per account
  • Strong unblocking ability — watch Nippon TV and Fuji TV abroad
  • Lots of security features including double VPN servers
  • Offers excellent customer support available 24/7 via live chat

Cons:

  • Occasionally slow speeds on some servers
  • Smaller server network than the likes of ExpressVPN and NordVPN

Our score:

4 out of 5

EXCELLENT UNBLOCKING:Surfshark unblocks the likes of Nippon TV, TV Tokyo, and NHK. Reliable connections for streaming Japanese TV. Very user-friendly service with easy-to-use apps and 24/7 support. Strict no-logs policy. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full Surfshark review.

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7. Hotspot Shield

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Hotspotshield.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

Hotspot Shield has a network of more than 3,200 servers in 80 countries including Japan. This allows you to unblock and watch Japanese TV such as TV Asahi abroad. However, it also means that you can stream the likes of Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. When it comes to streaming performance, Hotspot Shield is a reliable choice thanks to the fast server speeds. You can use this VPN to secure up to five of your devices at once.

It’s particularly easy to connect to a Hotspot Shield server and obtain a Japanese IP address. In fact, you can do this in just a few seconds. However, 24/7 support is available via live chat to address any issues you might have. In terms of security, Hotspot Shield offers 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection. What’s more, it doesn’t keep any logs by which you can be identified.

Connecting to a Hotspot Shield server requires downloading an app for Windows, Mac, Android, or iOS. Alternatively, you can use this VPN’s Chrome browser extension. Linux and routers can be configured manually.

Pros:

  • Servers in 80 countries including Japan for watching Japanese TV
  • Unlimited bandwidth for streaming without lag and buffering
  • Offers 24/7 live chat and email support
  • Secures your data from hackers and snoopers with encryption

Cons:

  • Some past privacy issues
  • Doesn’t work well with Netflix

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

CONSISTENT STREAMING:Hotspot Shield offers good, reliable speeds for streaming Japanese TV without lag or buffering. Works with TBS TV and TV Tokyo among others. Includes 24/7 live chat support and uses encryption. 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full Hotspot Shield review.

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Can I watch Japanese TV abroad with a free VPN?

While it is possible to stream Japanese TV abroad with a free VPN, it’s certainly more challenging. For starters, most free VPNs simply don’t offer servers in Japan. Those free VPNs that do offer servers in Japan tend to have too many users, resulting in heavy server load and slow speeds.

Another difficulty you may experience with a free VPN is unblocking geo-restricted content. Free VPNs struggle in this respect and may not work with Japanese TV such as TV Tokyo or US streaming services such as Netflix. The average free VPN also lacks features, be it live chat support or the option to connect multiple devices simultaneously.

Last but not least, we don’t recommend free VPNs due to their lack of security. Many lack the most essential security features such as encryption and a kill switch. Worse still, some free VPN services spam you with ads or even log your data and sell it to third parties. All in all, free VPNs are extremely limited and may even compromise your privacy.

What Japanese content can I stream with a VPN?

By connecting to a server in Japan, you’ll be able to unblock and stream all sort of Japanese TV shows online:

  • Japanology Plus
  • The Professionals
  • Great Gear
  • Journeys in Japan
  • Science View
  • Terrace House
  • Kaseifu no Mita
  • Sazae-san
  • Gaki no Tsukai
  • Doraemon

See also: Best VPN for Japan