Whether you live in Japan or you're just visiting the Nippon islands, one of the best VPN services can be a handy tool to optimize all your devices in a couple of clicks.
A VPN for Japan encrypts all the data leaving your device to prevent intruders from spying on you. It also grants better anonymity by hiding users' real IP address, making them appear in a completely different location in no time. This also allows you to bypass geo-restrictions on streaming platforms, for example. Likewise, you can access content restricted by your school, workplace or government firewalls.
A VPN for Japan can even improve your gaming experience, or grant better protection when torrenting. A nifty piece of software that offers plenty of great features and better functionality for a plethora of devices, our experts have been reviewing security products for over 15 years to recommend only the best services. Keep reading below to see our top five Japan VPNs right now.
Today's top 3 best Japan VPNs:
1. ExpressVPN: the #1 best Japan VPN
ExpressVPN has the strongest overall VPN game in the world right now, so it's only natural that it would top our Japan VPN list, too. Picture a great combination of speed, security and simplicity to use, and then mix in a 30-day money back guarantee and three months extra free. Happy days!
How to choose the best Japan VPN
Unfortunately there's no straight answer as this really depends on your own needs. However, there are a few characteristics that you should look out for in any case.
You should also make sure that your next Japan VPN offers a diverse network of servers across the world, including some within the nation border to safely browse locally. All the providers listed below fulfill this description.
Then, you need to think of how you want to use your software. Are you a keen gamer? Fast speeds are a must here. Looking to unblock streaming platforms? Pick a provider with reliable unlocking skills. It is also worth noting that many services like Netflix are trying hard to prevent this, so that features like obfuscation technology or streaming DNS option are a good addition here.
The best Japan VPNs in 2023:
Simply the number #1 VPN for Japan (and everywhere)
Japan-based servers: Yes (Tokyo, Yokohama and Shibuya) | Number of servers: 3,000+ | Server locations: 160 | Maximum devices supported: 5
Best Japan VPN 2023 - Get 3 months free with an annual plan
The best all round virtual private network is ExpressVPN, making it perfect for Japan. That's largely thanks to its superb security with enterprise-level encryption, its very own WireGuard based Lightway protocol and a ton of strong security features like its ultra-reliable kill switch. Plus, its native apps for all major devices and platforms are some of the best we have seen.
Security is also excellent with DNS content unblocking and leak protection, P2P support, Bitcoin payment options, a no logging policy and a kill switch. While privacy-wise, the provider regularly calls independent auditors to confirm its no logging policy and security claims—11 times in 2022 alone.
ExpressVPN is perfect for accessing otherwise geo-blocked content, too, as it boast 24/7 customer support and, most importantly, we managed to unblock every streaming platform we tried last time we checked. Plus, despite not being the fastest VPN around still, its peak speeds improved from 560 to 750Mbps with Lightway during our last round of testing.
The only real negative is that you can only use this on five devices at any one time. But since you can set this up on the router or even opt for its own VPN built-in router Aircove, that helps bypass that issue at home. Try it out risk-free for 30 days to take advantage of the special offer on its 1-year plan available to TechRadar readers only.
Get the best Japan VPN 2022 with 3 months FREE
You can tell that we really rate Express - it's the VPN we'd choose if we were getting one! And the good news is that TechRadar readers can get a little perk, too. ExpressVPN has agreed to give readers three months extra free when you sign up—fantastic value for a brilliant Japan VPN.
An emphasis on security from NordVPN
Japan-based servers : Yes (Tokyo and Osaka) | Number of servers: 5,600+ | Server locations: 59 countries | Maximum devices supported: 6
NordVPN is the one of the most secure ways to get online thanks to its double encryption at 2048-bit. Plus, it has not one but two kill switches along with strong DNS leak protection. Bitcoin and PayPal payment options help add another layer of anonymity. This all spans a whopping 5,600+ servers spread across 59 countries giving great performance in Japan...or anywhere else for that matter.
A great addition this time around, its new Meshnet option allows you to connect your and other devices via encrypted NordVPN connections to create your own secure mesh network. That makes it perfect if you want to protect your workload across multiple devices. Even better as it's now free of charge for all users.
Speaking of performance, NordVPN offers one of the most reliable experiences when it comes to its speed performance with peaks of 950+Mbps with NordLynx protocol that match with the fastest VPN services out there. This is promising for those after a consistently strong connection that will hold up against just about any task including online gaming and streaming.
The special SmartPlay service helps you get around geo-restricted content for the likes of BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, and so on in Japan. In fact, NordVPN is perhaps our go-to for a strong streaming VPN.
While we're not fans of its smartphone map-orientated interface, this is quite a subjective flaw. NordVPN is otherwise excellent, providing speedy live chat support if and when you're not in need of assistance. Again, you can even try it out for yourself with its 30-day money-back guarantee!
The go-to name for an affordable - yet premium - VPN
Japan-based servers: Yes (Tokyo) | Number of servers: 3,200+ | Server locations: 65 countries | Maximum devices supported: Unlimited
Perhaps, the main reason to download Surfshark is its tiny price. Grab it and you'll have a VPN for Japan that costs less than the equivalent of $2.50 USD per month. That's one cheap VPN—and it doesn't skimp on features or overall performance for that price, either. What's more, an unlimited connection allowance allows you to cover all your household's devices with just one subscription.
There's plenty more reasons to like it, though. Its Windows, Mac, iOS and Android clients are super easy to download, install and use. And, for unblocking, it's one of the few VPNs that gave us access to Japanese Netflix, as well as BBC iPlayer, Hulu and more. For streaming, Surfshark gets full marks all-round.
Also this time, Surfshark reached a staggering 950+Mbps with WireGuard protocol making it the #1 fastest VPN out there. However, speeds are below average when you connect through OpenVPN. This promises a stable and speedy connection through its 3,200+ servers based in 65 countries around the world, including in Tokyo, Japan.
In terms of security, Surfshark surely doesn't disappoint either. The proviper is packed with many features like its own obfuscation technology to bypass VPN blocks, DNS protection, split tunnelling and even an extra protection layer with its Double VPN hop.
Its kill switch isn't always super reliable, though. We experienced some minor issues but only across its Windows apps and under extreme testing. Nothing to worry about if you use Surfshark on mobile or as a reliable Mac VPN.
Get personal with this highly-configurable VPN
Japan-based servers in: Yes (Tokyo) | Number of servers: 9,200+ | Server locations: 91 countries | Maximum devices supported: 7
When it comes to server networks, Cyberghost will amaze you with over a whopping 9,200+ servers spread across 91 countries including over 100 in the Japanese capital only. It even comes complete with advert and malicious site blocking, automated HTTPS redirection and optional data compression to save you money on the move if you're exploring Japan.
Thanks to its Smart Rules panel this Japan VPN will automatically find the best servers to suit the job of what you're streaming, meaning access to BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Hulu, US Netflix, and so on will have the best geo-restriction removals. This is just one of the many advanced functionalities.
It is worth noting, though, that we were less impressed by its performances this time around. Its unlocking power wasn't the best—it failed to unlock Disney Plus, but it managed to do so with US and UK Netflix—so were its top speeds. However, a solid 630Mbps when connected to the WireGuard protocol still beats the likes of ProtonVPN.
The interface might be complex at times, but it does mean lots more personalization options for those wishing to delve deeper. However, it still lacks a full security audit on its apps—at the time of writing, only a no-logging audit has been released. Still not sure? CyberGhost is actually a rarity as a VPN with a free trial. With the CyberGhost free trial, you can test it out for 24 hours on desktop and mobile.