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vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering 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 the independent, 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 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering 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 the independent, 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 Watch Japanese TV Online Without Buffering in 2024

Lea Hyatt Updated on 8th January 2024 Cybersecurity Researcher

Due to licensing constraints, you can only watch channels like SKY PerfecTV!, Tokyo TV, and NHK if you’re in Japan. These sites check your IP address to ensure you’re in the correct region.

Though a VPN can provide you with a Japanese IP, theoretically making it possible for you to watch these streaming sites from abroad, doing so could be considered copyright infringement. It also goes against Japanese TV channels’ terms of service.

If you’re already in Japan, I recommend ExpressVPN for streaming Japanese TV securely. It was the best VPN I tested while I was traveling in Japan. ExpressVPN is extremely fast, which means you can watch in HD. Plus, it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Stream Japanese TV in HD >>

Quick Guide: How to Watch Japanese TV 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’s fast enough to stream without buffering.
  2. Connect to a server near your location in Japan. For this, I chose ExpressVPN’s Tokyo server as it was close to the hotel I stayed in.
  3. Start watching Japanese TV! Go to the website for the channel you want to watch and start streaming.
Important. My colleagues and I do not support copyright infringement. The VPN services below have no-logging policies in place, which means they do not monitor your activity. The responsibility for how you use a VPN lies with you, please adhere to all relevant rules and regulations.

Best VPNs to Watch Japanese TV in 2024

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

  • Fastest available streaming speeds for watching Japanese TV in HD
  • 3,000 servers in 105 countries, including plenty of Japanese servers
  • 8 simultaneous connections to watch Japanese TV on more devices simultaneously
  • Works with: 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 is fast — you can watch Japanese TV securely from Japan 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 from my accommodation in Tokyo, 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 it’s easy to find a location near you in Japan. The closer the server is, the better your speed will generally be. There are server locations in Tokyo, Shibuya, and Yokohama.  During my tests, I watched Tokyo TV, NHK World, and Netflix 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 nearby.

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.

All of its plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, which means you can try ExpressVPN without any risk. 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.

ExpressVPN Offer February 2024: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

2. CyberGhost — Optimized Servers to Easily Stream Japanese TV

  • 11,683 servers worldwide including streaming-optimized servers
  • Connect up to 7 simultaneously to watch TV securely with family in Japan
  • Great speeds for streaming in HD
  • Works with: 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

CyberGhost has servers optimized for Netflix Japan and Amazon Prime Video Japan. Each server is designed specifically for its respective platform so it easily boosts your connection. When I connected to them from my hotel room in Tokyo, both servers worked well for streaming. I was especially impressed with the video quality during my tests, as it was crystal clear.

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 from Japan. While the picture quality of the optimized streaming server was clearer, the regular Japanese servers worked with all the channels I tried, including NHK and Nippon TV. These servers are great if you want to watch other local channels securely.

CyberGhost offers great speeds to stream your favorite content in good quality. I only experienced a 15% speed decrease on servers near me in Tokyo, from my base speed of 79 Mbps. This 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 from Tokyo 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 $2.03/month. Additionally, it offers dedicated IPs for a small fee which helps you to avoid IP blocklisting. This happens when some streaming sites, like Netflix JP, block public VPN IPs even though you’re watching from within Japan.

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.

February 2024 Deal: CyberGhost is currently offering 84% off its most popular plan! Take advantage of this offer now and save more on your CyberGhost subscription.

3. Private Internet Access — Reliable Servers For Secure, Uninterrupted Streaming in Japan

  • 29,650 servers in 91 countries, including several locations in Japan
  • Decent speeds for streaming Japanese TV without buffering
  • Unlimited simultaneous device connections for watching Japanese shows
  • Works with: Netflix Japan, Nippon TV, TVer, Hulu Japan, and more
  • Compatible with: macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, Roku, gaming consoles, and more

PIA worked really well with all the Japanese TV sites I tested from Tokyo — Netflix Japan, NHK World, and TVer. For part of my testing, I used the nearby Japan Streaming-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 I was able to watch NHK World and Sky PerfecTV! 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 in my hotel in Tokyo without the VPN on. When I connected to the nearest Japan 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 on Tokyo TV from Japan in great quality. I tested both of its Tokyo server locations and got similar results.

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

The app provided by PIA has a wide range of customization features, which could be perplexing if you're new to VPNs. Nevertheless, the app is already pre-set, meaning there's no need for any modifications to stream Japanese TV securely from Japan.

Pricing is fair, starting at $2.03/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.

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

  • Unlimited device connections so you can watch securely on multiple devices in Japan
  • 2,200 servers across 75 countries, including a large Japanese server network
  • Fast speeds for streaming Japanese TV in HD
  • Works with: Netflix Japan, TVer, Sky PerfecTV!, Nippon TV, and more
  • Compatible with: macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, Roku, gaming consoles, and more

IPVanish offers unlimited device connections so you can securely watch Japanese TV on all 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 from my hotel in Tokyo. 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 near me in Tokyo. Each of them worked wil Netflix JP 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.

Unfortunately, IPVanish didn’t work with Hulu Japan in my tests. Sometimes, streaming sites block VPNs’ IPs even though you’re watching from within the licensed region. This was the case with Hulu Japan. Despite being in a hotel room in Tokyo, I couldn’t stream. The good news is that I didn’t have trouble with any other sites — it worked with Netflix JP, SkyPerfecTV!, and TVer.

Like with most VPNs, you get the best savings with longer plans. IPVanish’s prices start at $3.25/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.

5. PrivateVPN — Easy-to-Use App to Stream Securely Without Issues

  • Beginner-friendly app so you don’t have to spend time setting it up
  • 10 simultaneous device connections to watch securely with family in Japan
  • Speeds good enough to stream Japanese TV in clear quality
  • Works with: Nippon TV, Fuji TV, Netflix Japan, Hulu Japan, and more
  • Compatible with: macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, Roku, gaming consoles, and more

Watching TV securely from Japan 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 server closest to my hotel room in Tokyo to connect to. It took only 3 steps. To disconnect, you just have to push the power button, and the VPN turns off.

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. With these speeds, I could watch Fuji TV, Nippon TV, and Netflix JP in HD from my location in Tokyo.

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.

FAQs on Watching Japanese TV With a VPN

Where can I watch Japanese TV?

You can watch Japanese TV on multiple sites from Japan, including:

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

These streaming services are only available in Japan. Although you could theoretically use a VPN to obtain a Japanese IP and watch from abroad, this goes against their terms of service and could be considered a copyright violation. If you’re already in Japan, the VPNs on my list can help you watch these platforms securely and in HD.

Can I watch Japanese TV in the US?

You can watch some Japanese TV shows on US platforms, like Netflix and Crunchyroll. However, due to licensing restrictions, Japanese TV channels are only available to viewers within Japan. With a VPN, you can securely stream Japanese TV from Japan, without sacrificing speed.

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 provides a selection of excellent Japanese channels, including JapanTV, NHK World, and dLibrary Japan. However, they are only available from within Japan. Roku identifies your location based on your IP address, so if you're not in Japan, the content will be unavailable to you.

You could theoretically change your virtual location by replacing your IP address with a Japanese one using a VPN. However, this is against the sites’ terms of service and could be considered a copyright violation. VPNs are still useful for streaming if you’re in Japan, though. I tested multiple services from Tokyo and found the best ones for secure, HD streaming. Luckily, all the VPNs I have listed work on a wide variety of devices, including Roku.

Can I use free VPNs to watch TV securely in Japan?

No. Every free VPN I tested from Japan was too slow to watch Japanese TV, even in standard definition. Some didn’t even have nearby servers, so I couldn’t use them for streaming in my Tokyo hotel room. Beyond that, they tend to have small server networks that lead to overcrowding and slow speeds. This isn’t an issue for reliable VPNs.

Additionally, free VPNs pose a risk to both your devices and your confidential online information. They can covertly introduce malware that effectively ruins your device. Unlike reputable VPNs, they retain your data, which can then be sold to third-party organizations, potentially resulting in identity theft. The risks simply outweigh the benefits.

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.

If you want to stream securely and in HD from Japan, you’ll need a VPN. The services on our list are available in many languages.

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!

Watch Japanese TV Securely and in HD

I recommend ExpressVPN for watching TV securely in Japan. It’s the best option for reliable, fast, HD streaming. It’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can give ExpressVPN a risk-free try. If you’re not completely satisfied, you can get a full refund.

To summarize, these best VPNs for watching TV securely from Japan are…

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 84%!
3
9.5 /10
9.5 Our Score
Save 82%!
4
9.4 /10
9.4 Our Score
Save 77%!
5
9.3 /10
9.3 Our Score
Save 85%!
Privacy Alert!

Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!

Your IP Address:

Your Location:

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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 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering 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 the independent, 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

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

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