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How to Watch Japanese TV Online From Anywhere in 2023

I fell in love with Japanese TV when I lived there for a year. It was frustrating that I couldn't access my favorite shows after I left the country due to geo-restrictions. Because of licensing regulations, these geo-restrictions keep Japanese TV from being available outside Japan. Fortunately, I knew of a solution.

A VPN is a simple app that changes your virtual location to one of your choice. To watch Japanese TV from abroad, you need to appear to be in the country. This will let you watch sites like Tokyo TV, NHK World, and TVer as if you were there.

Not all VPNs have Japanese servers. So, I did extensive testing and found the best ones to access Japanese TV. ExpressVPN performed the best, and I highly recommend it. It's extremely fast and provides HD streaming. I was impressed that it easily unblocked every Japanese streaming site I tested. You can try ExpressVPN risk-free because it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied, you can get a full refund.

Start Watching Japanese TV Today

Quick Guide: How to Watch Japanese TV From Anywhere in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Get a VPN. Choose a VPN with fast connection speeds and reliable servers in Japan. I recommend ExpressVPN because it consistently unblocks Japanese TV.
  2. Connect to a server in Japan. This will give you access to your favorite Japanese channels.
  3. Start watching Japanese TV! Go to the website for the channel you want to watch and start streaming.

Quick Tip: Your browser’s cookies can store location data. If you’re unable to access Japanese TV after connecting to a Japanese server with your VPN, try clearing the cache and cookies on your device and try again.

Watch Japanese TV With ExpressVPN

Why You Need a VPN to Watch Japanese TV

Japanese channels are often only allowed to broadcast in Japan due to copyright and licensing laws that enforce geo-restrictions. If you’re outside Japan, you’ll find yourself blocked from watching Japanese TV channels such as SKY PerfecTV!, Tokyo TV, and NHK. These streaming sites can see where you’re logging in from by looking at your IP address. So, you need a Japanese IP address in order to seem like you’re in the country. Here’s where VPNs can help.

A VPN is a tool that masks your real IP address and gives you a new one in your chosen location. All you have to do is connect to a server in Japan. Once you do, you appear to be virtually there. This means you can access all your favorite Japanese streaming channels even if you’re traveling abroad.

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free

Best VPNs to Watch Japanese TV From Anywhere in 2023

1. ExpressVPN — The Best VPN for Watching Japanese TV in HD From Anywhere

  • Fastest available streaming speeds for watching Japanese TV in HD
  • 3,000 servers in 94 countries, including plenty of Japanese servers
  • 5 simultaneous connections to watch Japanese TV on more devices simultaneously
  • Can unblock: Nippon TV, Tokyo TV, NHK, Netflix Japan, Hulu Japan, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Apple TV, browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge, and more
ExpressVPN Offer February 2023: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

ExpressVPN is fast — you can watch Japanese TV without buffering and in HD. Before I turned on the VPN, my speed stood at 79 Mbps. Usually, VPNs decrease your speed by 10–20%. I only experienced a speed loss of 11% when I connected to the Tokyo and Shibuya servers, leaving my speeds at 70.3 Mbps. You only need 5 Mbps to watch videos in HD, so ExpressVPN’s result was really impressive. I could stream several shows on Nippon TV and Netflix Japan in great quality without any interruptions.

It offers 4 reliable server locations in Japan, so you can easily unblock your favorite shows. There are server locations in Tokyo, Shibuya, and Yokohama. ExpressVPN regularly updates the IP addresses on its servers so Japanese streaming sites can’t easily detect and block them. During my tests, I accessed Tokyo TV, NHK World, and Netflix Japan.

Image showing ExpressVPN unblocking Netflix JapanExpressVPN lets you watch any of your favorite Japanese TV shows with its high-quality servers located in Japan

If you’re new to using VPNs, ExpressVPN is a great service to start with because it’s easy to set up and use. The interface of the app is simple and self-explanatory. You just have to click the “Selected Location” button to find a server. There’s a search bar on the server menu, so you won’t have to scroll through the entire list to find a Japanese server.

The pricing can be steep, starting at $6.67/month for a long-term plan. This can be a little discouraging at first glance. However, ExpressVPN offers great discounts that keep payment options affordable. I was able to save up to 49% when I signed up for my subscription, and I was pleased with my purchase.

You can try ExpressVPN risk-freeall plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Even though I was delighted with its service, I wanted to see how easy it was to get my money back. I contacted customer support through the 24/7 live chat and requested a refund. Customer support processed my request without any hassle, and I had my money returned within 3 days.

Watch Japanese TV With ExpressVPN

2. CyberGhost — Optimized Servers To Easily Access Netflix JP and Prime Video JP

  • 9,753 servers worldwide including Japan-optimized streaming servers
  • Connect up to 7 simultaneously to watch Japanese TV with friends and family
  • Great speeds for streaming in HD
  • Can unblock: Netflix Japan, NHK, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu Japan, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Apple TV, browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox, and more
February 2023 Deal: CyberGhost is currently offering 84% off its most popular plan! Take advantage of this offer now and save more on your CyberGhost subscription.

CyberGhost has servers optimized for Netflix Japan and Amazon Prime Video Japan. Each server is designed specifically for its respective platform so it easily unblocks access and boosts your connection. When I tested them, both servers unblocked each streaming site without a problem. I was especially impressed with how the Prime Video-optimized server accessed the platform because it can be very difficult to unblock it.

Image showing CyberGhost unblocking Netflix JP effortlessly with the Netflix JP optimized serverCyberGhost’s special server doesn't slow your connection so you can watch Netflix Japan without buffering

It also has 50+ regular servers in Tokyo. I tested a few of them as well. While the picture quality of the optimized streaming server was clearer, the regular Japanese servers unblocked all the channels I tried, including NHK and Nippon TV. These servers are great if you want to watch Japanese shows other than what’s on Netflix.

CyberGhost offers great speeds to stream your favorite content in good quality. I only experienced a 15% speed decrease from my base speed of 79 Mbps, which is a normal loss for a VPN. My speed only went down to 67.15 Mbps. The drop was higher than my results with ExpressVPN, but CyberGhost proved fast enough for HD streaming. I watched Hwarang on Netflix Japan in excellent quality, without buffering.

The downside is that it's a little expensive and offers a very short money-back guarantee if you choose its 1-month subscription. However, you can get a long-term plan for just $2.19/month. Additionally, it offers dedicated IPs for a small fee to help you avoid being blocked in case one public IP gets detected and blacklisted.

I chose a long-term plan, so I was eligible for a refund with CyberGhost's 45-day money-back guarantee. I was able to get my money back quickly and easily via the 24/7 live chat. Even though I was happy with the service, I wanted to see if you can really try it risk-free. After contacting customer service and putting in my request for cancellation, I had my money back in my bank account within 5 business days.

Watch Japanese TV With CyberGhost

3. Private Internet Access — Reliable Servers That Unblock Japanese TV Consistently

  • 29,650 servers in 84 countries, including servers in Japan to access Japanese TV
  • Decent speeds for streaming Japanese TV without buffering
  • 10 simultaneous device connections for watching Japanese shows
  • Can unblock: Netflix Japan, Nippon TV, TVer, Hulu Japan, and more
  • Compatible with: macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, Roku, gaming consoles, and more
February 2023 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 83% off!

PIA unblocked all the Japanese TV sites I tested — Netflix Japan, NHK World, and TVer. For part of my testing, I used the Japan-optimized server, which is specifically made to keep the VPN from slowing you down when streaming. I watched some shows on Netflix Japan and TVer with it effortlessly. The regular Tokyo server worked well, too, and unblocked NHK World and Sky PerfecTV!. The site didn’t detect my VPN, and I kept a steady connection for the most part and only encountered a few moments of buffering.

It performed well in speed testing with a 20% decrease in speed, which is typical for many VPNs. I started at 79 Mbps without the VPN on. When I connected to the Japan streaming-optimized server, my speeds went down to 63.2 Mbps. Though PIA’s speeds weren’t up to ExpressVPN’s standards, I could still stream content on Tokyo TV in great quality. I tested both of its Tokyo server locations and got similar results. In conclusion, you can watch Japanese TV from anywhere in HD.

Image showing PIA's optimized server in useAfter you connect to the optimized server, you can watch Japanese TV from anywhere

I found that PIA's app offers many customization options, which might confuse you if you’re a VPN beginner. However, the app comes pre-configured, so you don't have to change anything to stream Japanese TV.

Pricing is fair, starting at $2.19/month. All plans have the same features, so you don't miss out on anything. I signed up for its longest subscription because it came with a discount and 3 extra months.

You can try PIA for 30 days with its money-back guarantee. All you need to do to claim your refund is message customer support via email or live chat. I tested the refund policy and had my refund within a few days of submitting my cancellation request.

Watch Japanese TV With PIA

4. IPVanish — Unlimited Connections to Watch Japanese TV on Different Devices Simultaneously

  • Unlimited device connections so you can watch Japanese TV on multiple devices
  • 2,000 servers across 75 countries, including a large Japanese server network
  • Fast speeds for streaming Japanese TV in HD
  • Can unblock: Netflix Japan, TVer, Sky PerfecTV!, Nippon TV, and more
  • Compatible with: macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, Roku, gaming consoles, and more
IPVanish February 2023 Deal: It's hard to find active IPVanish offers so I was really surprised to find this one! Click here to get 66% off your IPVanish subscription today! Discount automatically applied (no code required).

IPVanish offers unlimited device connections so you can watch Japanese TV on all of your devices. This is great if you have a family or roommates that enjoy Japanese TV too. Everyone can connect their devices to the VPN at the same time. I connected my laptop and 2 iPhones all at the same time. Having all 3 devices connected simultaneously didn’t interfere with my speed or how well the VPN worked, so I was pleased.

There are around 20 servers in Japan, meaning you won't come across overcrowded servers that slow down your speeds. I tested 4 of these servers, all located in Tokyo. Each server successfully unblocked Netflix Japan and TVer. There was only a 17% drop from my base speed, so I could watch in HD with just a little buffering when I started the videos.

Image showing IPVanish unblocking Japanese TV in clear quality.You can watch TVer, Netflix Japan, and Sky PerfecTV! with IPVanish

Unfortunately, IPVanish couldn’t bypass Hulu Japan’s VPN detection, no matter which server I tried. Though disappointing, the good news is that there are other Japanese TV sites you can access with IPVanish. It unblocked Netflix Japan, TVer, and Sky PerfecTV!.

Like with most VPNs, you get the best savings with longer plans. IPVanish’s prices start at $3.33/month. I was pleased with the package I got, as it includes malware protection and came with a large discount.

You can try IPVanish for 30 days risk-free with its money-back guarantee. A small catch is monthly users are exempt from the money-back guarantee. When I tested the refund for myself, I didn’t even have to use the 24/7 live chat to speak to customer support. All I had to do was cancel my subscription via the account portal. I had my money back in a week, no questions asked.

Watch Japanese TV With IPVanish

5. PrivateVPN — Easy-to-Use App to Stream Japanese TV Right Away

  • Beginner-friendly app to watch Japanese TV without issues
  • 10 simultaneous device connections to watch Japanese favorites with friends
  • Speeds good enough to stream Japanese TV in clear quality
  • Can unblock: Nippon TV, Fuji TV, Netflix Japan, Hulu Japan, and more
  • Compatible with: macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, Roku, gaming consoles, and more

Watching Japanese TV with PrivateVPN is excellent if you are new to using this kind of software. It offers “Simple View,” which is extremely basic with only 2 buttons — one to connect and the other to change the server location. All I had to do was click “Change”, search for “Japan” in the server list, and select the desired server to connect to. It took only 3 steps. To disconnect, you just have to push the power button, and the VPN turns off.

image showing PrivateVPN streaming in clear qualityPrivateVPN doesn’t affect your speed as badly as other VPNs can, so you can still watch in HD

I initially found it concerning that there is only 1 Japanese server location out of the 63 locations it has. However, after testing, I realized that it works reliably and gave me speeds with just an 18% drop. I accessed popular Japanese TV sites like Fuji TV, Nippon TV, and even Netflix Japan and watched in HD.

Prices start at $2/month. You can choose between a few different plans. Each one is discounted differently depending on the length of the subscription. I decided to subscribe to the most popular plan on the site to get the most savings.

Each has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try PrivateVPN risk-free to see if it's the right VPN for you. Like all the VPNs I tested, I wanted to see how the refund process went. As expected, it was easy — I just had to contact customer support through the live chat to cancel. I had my money returned within 5 days.

Watch Japanese TV With PrivateVPN

FAQs on Watching Japanese TV With a VPN

Where can I watch Japanese TV?

You can access Japanese TV from multiple sources:

Fuji TV Nippon TV NHK World Tokyo MX
Sky PerfecTV! TV Asahi Tokyo TV TBS TV

However, due to geo-restrictions, you need a VPN to be able to watch Japanese TV outside of Japan. It gives you an IP from the country of your choice, so you can appear as if you're there and access your desired content. I recommend ExpressVPN since it reliably unblocks Japanese TV channels with ease and lets you watch in HD.

Can I watch Japanese TV in the US?

Yes, you can watch Japanese TV in the US, Australia, the UK, or anywhere else with a VPN.

Japanese TV is geo-restricted to the country due to licensing agreements. So to access it while traveling, you need to change your IP since it shows your location.

A VPN masks your IP address with one of your choice. When you connect to a Japanese server, you’re assigned a Japanese IP in place of your actual one. You then appear as if you're browsing from Japan.

How can I watch Japanese TV on Roku?

You can watch Japanese TV on Roku by going to its website. After that, just search for "Japanese TV" in the channel store.

Roku offers some great Japanese channels, such as JapanTV, NHK World, and dLibrary Japan, but they're geo-blocked. So, you can't watch them while traveling outside of Japan, even if you have your Roku region set up in that country. Roku reads your IP address, which determines your location. If you're outside of Japan, you won't be able to view the content.

You can change your virtual location by replacing your IP address with a Japanese one using a VPN. I have tested multiple VPNs and found the best ones that reliably unblock Japanese TV. Luckily, all the VPNs I have listed work on a wide variety of devices, including Roku.

Can I use free VPNs to watch Japanese TV?

No, every free VPN I tested was unable to unblock Japanese TV because they are poor quality, slow, and have small server networks. Some didn’t even have Japanese servers, so I couldn’t get a Japanese IP address.

Most streaming sites, like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, block VPNs. This isn’t an issue for reliable VPNs like ExpressVPN because they can bypass detection. However, when I tested the free VPNs, most couldn’t get past VPN detection technology. Beyond that, because they have such small server networks that lead to overcrowded servers and terrible speeds, none were fast enough to stream anything.

Also, free VPNs can cause harm to your devices and put your sensitive online data at risk. They can sneak malware on your device, which essentially destroys it. And unlike trusted VPNs, they store your information which can be sold to third-party companies and lead to identity theft. It’s simply not worth the risk.

How do I watch Japanese TV with subtitles?

Streaming sites, like Netflix Japan, offer subtitles and audio in a variety of languages. Each site/app is designed differently but with similar settings.

However, Netflix Japan is only available in Japan, so if you are traveling abroad, you need a VPN to access the Japanese library.

To enable subtitles for Netflix:

  1. Open Netflix, either by the app or web page.
  2. Find what you want to watch and select it.
  3. Select the caption icon — this is located on the bottom right-hand side of the screen.
  4. Choose your preferred language for audio and subtitles.
  5. Continue watching!

Try ExpressVPN Now

Start Watching Japanese TV Now

Japanese TV isn’t available outside of Japan without the help of a VPN. Connecting through a VPN will give you a Japanese IP address so you can access your favorite shows while you’re traveling abroad.

I recommend trying ExpressVPN. It's the best option for reliable, fast, high-quality streaming of Japanese TV from outside of Japan. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can give ExpressVPN a risk-free try with Japanese streaming services. If you’re not completely satisfied, you can get a full refund.

To summarize, the best VPNs for watching Japanese TV are…

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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.

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About the Author

Lea is a writer who focuses on cybersecurity. Online privacy and security are her top priorities in her research.

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