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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

How to Access Japanese Google Play Store From Anywhere

Ernest Sheptalo Updated on 23rd April 2024 Fact-checked by Ryan Jones Senior Writer

You can’t usually access the Japanese Google Play Store outside the country. The store changes its content based on your location, making it difficult to update or download Japanese games and other apps outside Japan.

Thankfully, a VPN can help you use the Japanese Google Play Store anywhere. This is a little tool that lets you borrow a Japanese IP, which grants access to your favorite games. However, not all VPNs have servers in Japan, and some lack the necessary security features to reliably mask your real location.

My team and I tested 35+ VPNs, and ExpressVPN is my top recommendation for accessing Japanese Google Play. It has a huge server network and fast speeds to download apps quickly anywhere. The service also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try ExpressVPN risk-free. If you don’t like it, getting a refund is a breeze. Editors' Note: ExpressVPN and this site are in the same ownership group.

Access Google Play Japan With ExpressVPN >>

Quick Guide: How to Access Japanese Google Play Store With a VPN in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Get a VPN. ExpressVPN is ideal for accessing the Japanese Google Play Store, offering fast speeds and lots of Japanese IP addresses. Plus, you can try ExpressVPN without risk (it has a 30-day money-back policy).
  2. Connect to a Japanese server. When you connect to a VPN server in another country, your IP address is replaced with one from that specific location.
  3. Add a new account to Google Play. You need a new account that’s free of your actual location information to get access to the Japanese Google Play Store.
Important: Access to Google Play Japan's content may be limited outside of Japan due to geo-restrictions related to copyright and content rules. While using a VPN to access Google Play Japan is legal, it's crucial to understand that accessing restricted content could breach copyright rules. We advise you to be fully aware of all relevant laws and terms of service before connecting. Please note that my team and I do not endorse any illegal activities.

Why You Need a VPN to Access the Japanese Google Play Store

Due to licensing agreements, Google changes the content available on the Play Store based on your country or region. This can make it challenging to download Japanese games outside of Japan. When accessing the app store from a different country, you will be redirected to the respective country's Play Store variant. Similarly, if you’re abroad, you may encounter difficulties accessing your Japan-only apps.

A VPN masks your actual IP address with an IP from a different country, such as Japan. This is done by routing your internet traffic through a server located in Japan before it reaches the Play Store. This makes it seem like you’re actually browsing from Japan. As a result, you can access the Japanese Google Play Store abroad without issues.

Best VPNs to Access Japanese Google Play Store — Updated in 2024

1. ExpressVPN — Best VPN for Accessing the Japanese Google Play Store With Fast Speeds and Excellent Security

Best Feature Fast speeds and powerful security to safely and quickly download large apps from the Google Play Store
Server Network 3,000 servers in 105 countries, including Japan
Speeds 92Mbps (8% drop from base connection)
Works With Google Play Store Japan, Netflix Japan, Amazon Prime Video Japan, DAZN Japan, Hulu Japan, Disney+ Japan, YouTube, and more
Editors' Note: Expressvpn and this site are in the same ownership group.

ExpressVPN unblocks Google Play Store Japan with the best speeds I tested. All VPNs slow you down as they encrypt and reroute your traffic, but ExpressVPN’s in-house Lightway protocol is designed to minimize this impact. When testing the Japan servers with Lightway, I recorded excellent results. I had no problems playing Taiko no Tatsujin as my speeds didn’t drop below 92Mbps (just an 8% drop from my normal connection speeds).

Screenshot of ExpressVPN working with Taiko no Tatsujin gameMy ping remained consistently low

The VPN can get you a Japanese IP address from multiple locations across the country. Most of the VPNs I tested only have one server center in Tokyo, but ExpressVPN gave me access to servers in Tokyo, Shibuya, and Yokohama. Having more Japanese locations means the servers are less likely to become overcrowded with VPN users, so you don’t get any slowdowns.

The VPN’s Android app is intuitive and easy to use, so you can get started right away — even if you’ve never tried a VPN before. It’s also compatible with nearly every Chromebook and Android device, including Android 13, Pie, Nougat, Oreo, Marshmallow, and Lollipop.

My only complaint is that the VPN's pricing is a bit high. However, ExpressVPN often offers discounts and promotions that can lower the overall cost. When subscribing to a 12-month plan, I got 49% off and 3 extra months for free, for a final price of just $6.67/month. Additionally, if you're not satisfied for any reason, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee, so it’s easy to get your money back.

Useful Features

  • Masks your actual location. Your real IP address and identity are kept hidden by the highest level of encryption possible (AES 256-bit). I ran DNS/IP/WebRTC leak tests, and my actual location remained private at all times. There’s also an automatic kill switch (Network Lock) that shuts down your traffic if the VPN loses connection — preventing your IP address from being exposed to the Play Store.
  • Works on restrictive networks. ExpressVPN's servers use obfuscation technology that disguises VPN traffic as regular traffic. So you can download Japanese games, even on restrictive networks that block VPNs like some schools and workplaces.
  • Simultaneous device connections. You can connect the VPN on up to 8 devices at the same time, which is useful if you want to download apps on multiple Android devices.
  • Split tunneling. ExpressVPN lets you choose which Android apps route through the VPN and which don’t. So you can unblock the Japanese Play Store while simultaneously using your browser with your actual IP address.
ExpressVPN Offer May 2024: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

2. CyberGhost — Reliable Japanese Servers for Streaming, Gaming, and Downloading

Best Feature Specialty servers for popular online activities
Server Network 11,690 servers in 100 countries, including Japan
Speeds 87Mbps (13% drop from base connection)
Works With Google Play Store Japan, Netflix Japan, Amazon Prime Video Japan, DAZN Japan, Hulu Japan, Disney+ Japan, YouTube, and more
Editors' Note: CyberGhost VPN and this site are in the same ownership group.

CyberGhost offers reliable Japanese servers for accessing Google Play Store Japan. They also let you play online games without interruptions. Plus, some servers are specialized for streaming Japanese content on apps like Netflix, though I’d only recommend using these servers while inside the country to avoid breaching any copyright laws. My colleague in Japan used the Netflix Japan server and streamed the local library in HD without buffering.

Screenshot of Parasite streaming on Netflix Japan with CyberGhost connectedThe tester's streaming quality didn’t drop below Ultra HD when streaming “Parasite”

The VPN’s Android app is especially easy to use. The optimized servers are clearly labeled and listed by country, so it’s simple to find the right ones for Japan. The default settings worked well for unblocking the Japanese Google Play Store during my tests. However, if you want to adjust any of the settings, they’re intuitively laid out and with easy toggles.

While not as fast as ExpressVPN, CyberGhost also delivers reliable speeds. I recorded a minor 13% decrease from my base speed, which is hardly noticeable. The app includes a compression feature that reduces the size of data packets transmitted between your device and the VPN server. This can help improve connection speeds, which is particularly useful for downloading apps and saving mobile data.

Opting for CyberGhost's monthly plan can be costly and only provides a 14-day refund window. However, the long-term plans offer more affordability, starting at a mere $2.19/month. Additionally, these plans come with an extended 45-day money-back guarantee, so you can try CyberGhost for free.

Useful Features

  • Automatic WiFi protection. This feature, when enabled, allows you to safely unblock the Japan Google Play Store on public hotspots, which usually are unsecured.
  • WireGuard protocol. This protocol is specifically designed for fast speeds, making it an excellent choice for quickly downloading large Japanese games.
  • Content Blocker. Unlike many VPNs, CyberGhost has an ad and tracker-blocker that works with its Android app. Content Blocker can stop annoying in-app ads, plus app trackers that monitor what you do online.
May 2024 Deal: CyberGhost is currently offering 83% off its most popular plan! Take advantage of this offer now and save more on your CyberGhost subscription.

3. Private Internet Access (PIA) — Unlimited Device Connections to Use the Japanese Google Play Store on All Your Android Devices

Best Feature Lets you use the VPN on all your devices at the same time
Server Network Massive network with 29,650 servers in 91 countries (including a streaming-optimized server in Japan)
Speeds 84Mbps (16% drop from base connection)
Works With Google Play Store Japan, Netflix Japan, Amazon Prime Video Japan, DAZN Japan, Hulu Japan, Disney+ Japan, YouTube, and more
Editors' Note: Private Internet Access and this site are in the same ownership group.

PIA gives you unlimited simultaneous device connections so you can access the Japanese Google Play Store on as many devices as you like. The VPN also has a dedicated Android app, so it works with most devices that use the Play Store. I tested PIA with my Android smartphone, Samsung tablet, and Chromebook and didn’t see any speed drops — even when I downloaded apps on all of them at the same time.

Customizing your security settings gives you an additional speed boost too. PIA supports two encryption levels. While AES 256-bit is the most secure, AES 128-bit gives you faster speeds while still hiding your real location. With 128-bit, I played Moster Strike without lag on my phone.

Screenshot of PIA's security settingsYou can also choose from the secure OpenVPN protocol or the fast WireGuard

The only downside to this array of settings and security features is that they can be overwhelming if you’ve not used a VPN before. That said, the default settings are great for speed and security, so you don’t have to touch them unless you want to. This means you can effortlessly access Google Play Store Japan without the need for an intricate setup.

I had no issues unblocking the Japanese Google Play Store during my tests. I just selected “Japan” from the app’s server list, and PIA connected me with one click. If you want to specifically use Japanese streaming apps while in the country, there’s also a server that’s optimized for buffer-free streaming of Japanese content.

Useful Features

  • MACE security suite. Like CyberGhost, PIA has a built-in ad and tracker blocker (MACE). In my tests, MACE successfully got rid of various ads in Monster Strike.
  • Affordable subscriptions. By going for a long-term plan, you can get PIA for just $2.19/month. I recommend the 3-year subscription for the best value.
  • 30-day refund term. PIA comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans. This means you can try it for free and get your money back if you don’t like it.
May 2024 Update: PIA doesn't usually have deals or discounts (it's already so affordable), but right now you can get a new subscription for a crazy 82% off!

4. NordVPN — Intuitive Mobile Apps to Easily Access the Japanese Google Play Store

Best Feature The Android app is quick to install and easy to use
Server Network 6,376 servers in 111 countries, including Japan
Speeds 80Mbps (20% drop from base connection)
Works With Google Play Store Japan, Netflix Japan, Amazon Prime Video Japan, DAZN Japan, Hulu Japan, Disney+ Japan, YouTube, and more

NordVPN mobile app is user-friendly, making it an excellent choice for VPN beginners. Installing the app on my POCO phone was a breeze and took only a few minutes. NordVPN’s intuitive map interface allowed me to quickly find and connect to the desired server during testing. Plus, the service allows 10 simultaneous device connections, so you can get the app on multiple devices.

Screenshot of the NordVPN Android app being connected to a Japan serverYou can access the regular server list by double-tapping the home button

Like ExpressVPN, the service offers Japanese IP addresses from several different regions — though it doesn’t say where these are, so you can’t choose one specifically. Another minor gripe is that some of the Japanese servers took a while to connect. However, restarting the app quickly resolved the issue and all of the servers I tested let me use the Japan Play Store and download the e-amusement app.

Downloading apps from the Japanese Google Play Store is quick with NordLynx. Similar to ExpressVPN’s Lightway (though not as speedy), NordLynx is a unique protocol built on the fast WireGuard. I recorded speeds of up to 80Mbps with NordLynx — more than enough for quickly installing large apps and games.

Subscription plans start at only $5.99/month. You can also try NordVPN for free, thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Useful Features

  • Meshnet. This feature allows gamers to create secure, direct connections with friends for private gaming sessions, potentially reducing lag and bypassing regional restrictions.
  • Double VPN. NordVPN’s Double VPN feature routes your internet traffic through two different VPN servers, doubling the encryption and security level of your online activities.

5. Surfshark — GPS Spoofing to Prevent the Google Play Store From Tracking Your Phone’s Location

Best Feature GPS spoofing gives you additional help for unblocking the Play Store
Server Network 3,200 servers in 100 countries, including Japan
Speeds 78Mbps (22% drop from base connection)
Works With Google Play Store Japan, Netflix Japan, Amazon Prime Video Japan, DAZN Japan, Hulu Japan, Disney+ Japan, YouTube, and more

Surfshark's GPS spoofing feature allows you to fake the location on your Android device. This lets you access the Japanese Google Play Store without worrying that you’ll get assigned to your local store. When testing, I could set my Android phone’s GPS to show I was in Japan, ensuring that my real location was completely hidden.

Screenshot showing how to enable Surfshark's GPS Spoofing featureTo activate developer options, tap 10 times on the Build number in the About Phone menu

The VPN’s Camouflage Mode also helps you access the Google Play Store Japan in restricted countries. It’s designed to conceal your online activity and bypass restrictive ISP firewalls. Likewise, the NoBorders mode automatically selects the most suitable servers when it detects network restrictions — so you can access the Japanese Play Store from anywhere.

During my tests, I did experience noticeable speed reductions of approximately 22% — especially when trying out Surfshark’s more complex security features. That said, I got acceptable speeds for downloading large apps from the Google Play Store with the Tokyo server. If you find the VPN is too slow, it’s easy to get a refund with the 30-day money-back guarantee.

Useful Features

  • Unlimited simultaneous device connections. Similar to PIA, the VPN lets you protect all your mobile devices with a single subscription.
  • IP rotator. Regularly changing IP addresses makes it harder for advertisers, trackers, and malicious actors to profile or track your online behavior.

Editors' Note: Intego, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost and ExpressVPN are owned by Kape Technologies, our parent company.

Tips on How to Choose the Best VPN to Access the Japanese Google Play Store

Every VPN on my shortlist gives you access to the Japanese Google Play Store. However, if you wish to run your own tests, you can use my checklist:

  • Japanese servers. Make sure your VPN has reliable servers in Japan for easy access to the Japanese Google Play Store.
  • Fast speeds. Opt for a VPN that doesn’t drop your speeds by more than 50% to avoid long downloading times for apps.
  • Device compatibility. Look for a VPN that has a native Android app so you can use it with your Play Store-compatible devices.
  • A reliable money-back guarantee. A trustworthy refund policy allows you to test your selected VPN risk-free.

How to Access the Japanese Google Play Store With a VPN

Here’s a reliable way to download Japanese apps using a VPN. Before following any of these steps, make sure you have a freshly created Google account that you haven’t used on your Android device (this is needed for a later step).

  1. Get a VPN. While all the above VPNs will work, ExpressVPN is my top recommendation as it comes with the fastest speeds and numerous Japanese servers.
  2. Connect to a Japan server. You need a Japanese IP to access Google Play Store Japan. Screenshot showing how to connect to a Japanese server using ExpressVPNOnce connected, you can close the app window
  3. Locate the Google Play app. After connecting to your VPN, open your phone's settings and navigate to Apps (may require scrolling). Select Manage Apps and search for the Google Play Store app. Screenshot of Android app management user interfaceTo find the app, you can also scroll the list manually
  4. Clear the Google Play app settings. Simply tap on the Clear data and Clear cache options to erase any stored data associated with your local Google Play Store account. Screenshot showing how to erase Google Play Store dataMake sure you press both “Clear all data” and “Clear cache” to avoid location errors
  5. Open the Google Play Store app. Tap on the profile icon and select Add another account from the drop-down menu. Screenshot showing how to erase Google Play Store dataYou can’t use an existing account as it contains your actual location information
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions. Just make sure you skip the phone number verification step, as this can give away your real location.
  7. Open Google Play Store. Select the newly added account from the top-left corner to access the Japanese Google Play Store. Screenshot of ExpressVPN successfully granting access to Japanese Google Play StoreYou’ll also need a VPN connection when updating apps
  8. Start downloading. Now, you can download Japanese apps from the Google Play Store. Just keep in mind that some apps require a Japanese phone number to work.

FAQs on Accessing the Japanese Google Play Store With a VPN

Is it illegal to change the country in the Google Play Store?

Changing your Google Play Store country isn’t illegal. However, Google only allows users to change their country setting in the Google Play Store once every 12 months. Use a reliable VPN to access a different Google Play Store.

Can I change my Google Play region without a credit card?

Changing your Google Play region typically requires a payment method from the new country. However, you can connect to a new region using a VPN and then use Google Play gift cards or prepaid cards to add funds to your Google Play account. That way, you can purchase new apps without having to add a local credit card.

My VPN isn’t working with Google Play — what can I do?

If your VPN isn’t working with Google Play, there are a few steps you can try. Note that VPN compatibility with Google Play can vary over time. If none of the below tricks work, consider switching to a reliable VPN provider with a proven track record of working with Google Play.

Other than that, here are a few steps you can try to resolve the issue:

  • Change your DNS server. Changing your DNS settings might help if you’re having trouble accessing Google Play Store.
  • Clear the cache and data. This can help refresh your connection and resolve any temporary issues.
  • Try switching to a different VPN server. VPN servers can sometimes get blocked by Google. Switching servers helps you find one that works.
  • Use obfuscation. VPNs that support obfuscation scramble your internet traffic, hiding the fact that you’re using a VPN (so Google can’t block you).
  • Contact customer support for assistance. The best VPNs usually have 24/7 live chat support. Your VPN team may have specific recommendations or troubleshooting steps to resolve your issue.

Can I change my Google Play location with Smart DNS or a proxy server?

These methods rarely work. Some DNS or proxy services can bypass the Play Store’s geographical restrictions but they’re often too slow for reliable downloads. VPNs also offer better security, speeds, and privacy compared to Smart DNS or proxy servers. Smart DNS and proxies don’t encrypt your connection, making it more likely that the Play Store will detect where you really are.

Can I use a free VPN to change the country or region on Google Play?

It’s not recommended. Free VPNs often have limitations and drawbacks compared to paid VPN services. They deliberately restrict your speeds, server options, and data allowances, making unblocking or downloading impossible. You’re better off using a reputable paid VPN service with a money-back guarantee. That way, you get reliable access to the Japanese Play Store and fast speeds to download apps.

Additionally, some free VPNs are unsafe to use. To make money, they can record what you do online and sell the data to marketers. Others have been caught hiding malware in their downloads.

Access the Japanese Google Play Store With a VPN in Minutes

A VPN is the most convenient solution for accessing the Japanese Google Play Store from anywhere. All the recommended VPNs on my list successfully change your store’s location and offer fast speeds to quickly download large apps. None of them limit your bandwidth, and they’re all safe to use too.

ExpressVPN is my top pick for the Japanese Google Play Store. With multiple Japanese server centers, fast speeds, and easy-to-use apps, it’s ideal for accessing Japanese apps on Google Play. It's also backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test ExpressVPN risk-free. In case it doesn’t meet your standards, getting a refund is simple.

To summarize, these are the best VPNs to access the Japanese Google Play Store...

Rank
Provider
Our Score
Discount
Visit Website
1
medal
9.9 /10
9.9 Our Score
Save 49%!
2
9.7 /10
9.7 Our Score
Save 83%!
3
9.5 /10
9.5 Our Score
Save 82%!
4
9.4 /10
9.4 Our Score
Save 74%!
5
9.3 /10
9.3 Our Score
Save 86%!
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The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.

VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.

Visit ExpressVPN

We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
Learn more
vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

About the Author

Ernest Sheptalo is a Senior Writer at vpnMentor, and an expert in the field of VPNs. Ernest creates detailed reviews, comparisons, and guides that assist people in navigating the web safely, protecting their online data from theft.

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