How to Watch Japanese Netflix With VPN

How to Watch Japanese Netflix With VPN

While international titles like Money Heist and House of Cards are available worldwide on Netflix, hundreds of titles are locked exclusively within the streaming service’s geo-restrictions. As Japan is a powerhouse of content with a booming Anime and TV industry, one may wonder how he or she can view the animes and dramas not available outside Netflix Japan.

To watch Japanese Netflix with VPN, select the right proxy provider like ExpressVPN that Netflix can not easily detect. After installing the VPN, you have to connect to a Japanese server and then register a new Netflix account to get full access to content exclusive to Japan.

Throughout this article, you will learn:

  • How to view Japanese Netflix on your laptop
  • How to view Japanese Netflix on your mobile phone
  • The reason why many anime and shows are only available on Netflix Japan
  • The top anime shows to watch once you can browse Japanese Netflix with VPN
  • Whether you will be able to watch regular American shows with Japanese Netflix

How to Watch Japanese Netflix on Laptop Using a VPN

Whether you want to watch your favorite One Piece title or you’re interested in an episode of Case Closed, the best way to watch Netflix is on a big enough screen where you can enjoy the content in its 1080p glory. Below are the steps you need to follow to watch Japanese Netflix on your laptop.

Find a Reliable VPN Provider

To access Japanese Netflix, you will need to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and mask your location. If you do this by following the steps in the article, Netflix will think you are viewing from Japan and will let you access its Japanese content.

That said, if you try to install just any free VPN and try to browse Netflix, you will be able to browse title cards of Japanese Netflix, but if you click on a title and try to play the content, an error box will appear and prevent you from playing that content.

That is because many VPN providers help create a tunnel connection that makes your IP address seem like it is in a different location and leaks the fact that the connection is made through a VPN connection.

VPN connections have some very clear indicators that give away the fact that a user is not truly in a location that their IP address indicates. Netflix cracks down on any sign of using a VPN, and many high-priced VPN providers don’t work with Netflix.

Therefore this is the most crucial part of accessing Japanese Netflix. There are several ways to find a VPN provider that works with Netflix. First, you can sign-up for free trials of hundreds of VPN providers and try each one with Netflix. One of them might work. This is a very time consuming and risky way of finding a reliable provider.

We have found ExpressVPN to work most consistently with Netflix. In fact, whenever Netflix finds a new way to stop ExpressVPN, the provider seems to update its technology to allow access to Netflix. This implies that a significant portion of ExpressVPN’s subscriber base is interested in using it for Netflix. 

The VPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee with a no-questions-asked refund, so if it does not help you connect to Japanese Netflix, you can get your money back.

Install the VPN

Whether you have opted for the tried-and-tested ExpressVPN or have another VPN provider you want to try, you will need to download the software to your laptop. Since VPN services are meant for a mass market, the installation process is pretty simple. You have to download the application from the provider’s download page and sign-up for an account if required.

Once the software installer is downloaded, you need to double-click it and run with administrative privileges. This means you will be asked if you want to let the software make changes to your computer. 

If the provider is reliable, you should press okay and let the program install. If an additional dialogue box appears asks whether you want to give the installer administrative access to your computer, again, you should click okay if you trust the provider. This will lead to the VPN program being installed on your computer or laptop.

Run the VPN Program and Connect to a Japanese Server

If you have installed the program properly, there will be a desktop icon with the VPN’s name. You will launch the program by double-clicking the icon. At this stage, you are ready to appear anywhere in the world the provider allows you to. 

ExpressVPN has Japan among its 94 countries. Simply look at the server list and pick an IP address or server with a Japanese Flag next to it. To make things simpler, ExpressVPN lists the countries next to server options.

When you initially connect, the default location will be a ‘smart location’ selected by ExpressVPN. This is for the highest speed, but since you are interested in a specific country, it is advisable to click the “All Countries” tab and scroll down to Japan. Click the server, and you will start appearing in Japan.

Register for Netflix

One of the easiest ways for Netflix to know that you are using a proxy or a VPN is if you sign-up from one country and suddenly appear to Netflix from a different country. It is also crucial to remember that Netflix’s pricing is different from country-to-country. For this, the streaming platform charges visitors based on the content available.

In other words, if Netflix is paying Toei Animation a few million dollars to get streaming rights to One Piece in Japan, users in Alabama will not be charged for that investment.

Because users are charged at sign-up based on the content available to them in the country they are at the time of sign-up, even physically visiting Japan after signing up from Dubai would not give one access to Japanese TV shows. So make sure that you actually sign-up to Netflix Japan after connecting to a Japanese location.

If you already have a Netflix subscription, you may need to logout and clear cookies before visiting with a Japanese IP address. In the instance that you are interested mainly in the content on Netflix Japan and already have subscribed to the American Netflix or Netflix in any other country, you can cancel your Netflix subscription and subscribe with a new email address with a Japanese VPN connection.

Enjoy Japanese Netflix

Once you have found the right VPN, installed it, and connected to Japan, the truly final step is to sign-up for Netflix, and you have done that in the previous step. All that is left for you to do is enjoy your favorite anime, tv shows, and film titles available on Japanese Netflix. Just remember, always visit the streaming service while connected through ExpressVPN’s Japanese server.

How to Watch Japanese Netflix on iPhone or Android Using a VPN

Let’s face it, watching shows on a laptop might give you a bigger screen, but nothing beats the mobility of your phone. If you want to visit your office or school refreshed with your favorite episode of anime that you watched on your commute, you have to get access to Japanese Netflix on your mobile phone. Follow the steps below to make sure you have access.

Find the Right VPN App

Finding the right VPN is crucial for your success in convincing Netflix that you are in Japan. If you want to know the reason why most VPNs fail to help you watch Japanese Netflix and how you can find the right one, you can scroll up to the “Find a reliable VPN provider” section of the article. 

If you want our best recommendation for a VPN app that works most consistently with Netflix, download the ExpressVPN app on your android phone using Google Playstore or on your iPhone using the Appstore.

Chances are you might want to watch Netflix on both your laptop and your mobile phone. Some VPN providers may require an additional payment for your phone. ExpressVPN allows you to use its service on five devices simultaneously.

This works perfectly with Netflix’s multiple users feature. You can allow your siblings or friends access to Japanese Netflix and simultaneously use it on several of your laptops and mobile phones.

Download and Install the App

This step is pretty straightforward for anyone who has previously installed an app. You can search for the app name in the store’s search bar. Once you find the ExpressVPN app, you click download or Install. This will execute both the download and the installation process, and the app will be visible on your home screen or app list.

You may be prompted to delete some files if the content and apps on your phone occupy too much data. Make sure there is enough space and re-try the process.

Run the VPN App and Give It Sufficient Permissions

When you run the VPN app, it will require certain permissions that allow the provider to change your phone’s VPN configuration. You should agree and allow this if you trust the VPN provider. It is possible that a VPN provider may be malicious and would use the access for nefarious purposes though both Playstore and Appstore try to avoid this. 

It is important to exercise caution and rely on VPN providers like ExpressVPN with over 195,000 reviews and ratings across app stores. 

On an Android phone, you will be prompted to give permission by clicking okay, and on some systems, you may need to re-enter your password. This is for your security, so no one can borrow your phone and install apps with high-level access without your permission. For the same security reason, your ExpressVPN app will require the touch ID or face ID to allow administrative access.

Connect to a Server in Japan

By default, when you open Netflix, the service will automatically connect you to a smart location. As mentioned earlier, this is for optimizing speed, and as you are interested exclusively in a Japanese server, you will need to click the ‘All countries’ tab in the server list and scroll down to Japan. By clicking the country name, you will be connected to a sufficiently masked Proxy server that makes your browsing activity seem to come from Japan.

Sign-Up or Login to Netflix

If you want to stream Japanese Netflix content, you will need to have a Netflix account signed-up with a Japanese IP. That means if you signed up for Netflix Japan using the method detailed in the fourth step of the “How to Watch Japanese Netflix on Laptop Using VPN” section of this article, you would only need to sign in with the credentials you signed up with.

Some sources even prefer installing the Netflix application from your AppStore or Play Store after connecting to a Japanese Proxy. However, whether you already have an app or not does not impact your access as long as you sign-up with a Japanese IP and sign in to the app only with Japanese proxy connections.

However, if you skipped that part and are establishing the first connection with Netflix via a Japanese proxy, signing-in with an American Netflix or any other Netflix ID that you signed up with will alert Netflix that you are using a VPN. 

If you have already signed up for another country’s Netflix while your main interest is in Japanese Netflix, you will need to cancel that subscription. Rejoin Netflix as a Japan-based visitor with a VPN connection to a Japanese server. It is also advisable to use a different email to sign-up.

Enjoy Japanese Netflix

This is the step where you enjoy the fruits of your labor. Simply pop in your headphones and browse thousands of popular titles on Netflix, including content exclusively available in Japan, and being able to do this on your phone is more convenient. 

Why Are Some Shows Only Available in Japan on Netflix?

Now that you have learned how to watch Japanese Netflix on your phone and your laptop using ExpressVPN, let’s discuss the main reason you want to watch Japanese Netflix, exclusive content.

It turns out that Japanese anime studios and media companies have already sold licensing rights with exclusivity to foreign broadcasting companies. As a result, Netflix cannot purchase the right to stream these animes, shows, and movies abroad because the studios have lost their right to license the content in other countries.

Furthermore, certain production houses rely too much on DVD set sales to opt for smaller revenue sources like streaming deals. 

With TV channels, one has to watch at a certain time, and because of restriction replaying content, TV broadcasting deals do not cut into the media companies’ DVD sales revenue. With Netflix, the content becomes accessible without time restriction. This can directly hurt DVD sales abroad.

However, when it comes to showing content in Japan, almost no studio has licensed an exclusive deal. That is because too many people watch anime, and multiple channels can get non-exclusive streaming rights and still draw enough eyeballs. 

As a result, despite broadcasting content on TV, Japanese media companies have the freedom to license streaming rights to Netflix. Since most of the anime DVD purchases in Japan are in a collectible capacity, the ability to stream a show does not cut into the revenue of DVD sales.

Top Shows to Watch on Netflix Japan

With a Japanese Netflix comes the ability to enjoy exclusive content, and since that content spans hundreds of titles, we have selected some of the top shows you can watch on Netflix Japan.

Dragon Ball Z

The epitome of Shonen Manga, Dragon Ball Z, inspired a list of Mangakas including Eiichiro Oda, the storyteller artist behind One Piece. The show revolves around Goku, who has become the equivalent of Superman for the Japanese pop culture. In fact, most who follow the anime insist that Son Goku could take on Superman in one-on-one combat.

The protagonist comes from a foreign world and belongs to a race of Sayans, who are naturally gifted, martial artists. The tale inspires one to explore his or her full potential as Goku tries to become the strongest fighter in the galaxy while protecting Earth, the planet he was sent to destroy as a child. 

After watching the incredible show, one can only thank heavens that the boy warrior lost his memories of the destructive mission and grew up to love our planet. Raise your hand, help him build that perfect spirit bomb, and enjoy the show on Japanese Netflix.

One Piece

Inspired by both Naruto and Dragonball BallZ, one Piece is a tale of adventure that starts with a romance dawn. The boy protagonist Luffy gets inspired by a charismatic pirate to become stronger than him. The inspiring figure is none other than Shanks, a famed pirate who passes him a Straw Hat with a mysterious past. 

Promising to return the hat to Shanks once he is strong enough, Luffy embarks on his adventure as a teenager. The adventure has continued for hundreds of episodes with Luffy gathering allies and exploring the powers of his devil fruit: Gomu Gomu No Mi.

Join Luffy and the Strawhat Pirates as they fight the bad pirates, liberate people of different islands, and explore the Grand Line in an incredible story about friendship, persistence, and the power of rubber.


If you have seen people run with their arms behind their backs, you have seen the international influence of Naruto. Dubbed as Gen Z’s Dragon Ball Z, the anime has influenced many writers, entertainers, and aspects of pop culture. Japan’s only existing lineage of ninjas, Togakure Ryu, saw a spike in interest when the anime was released.

That’s because the anime takes place in a Ninja village and spans inter-village Ninjutsu battles and multiple ninja battles between individuals of different capabilities. Unlike real-world Ninjutsu, Naruto’s brand of Ninjutsu relies on superpowers developed through the ninjas’ chakra. As a baby born with a beast’s chakra, Naruto is discriminated against and lonely.

The child prodigy grows up to take on the challenge of becoming the best ninja in his village. The story is a lesson in how far a little love can go as we see Naruto develop from a lonely, insecure child into one of the most productive members of his Ninja society.

Fairy Tail

This popular show plays on the fairy tale title but actually is about a Wizarding guild labeled the Fairy Tail Wizards. In this tribal dueling, narrative magic comes into play in interesting ways. Follow Natsu Dragneel as he grows from a prodigal Wizard to a fighter in the magic games alongside his partner Lucy. 

The duo takes on conspiracies of biblical proportions to prove that their guild is indeed the best. Expect showdowns in privates, battles in coliseums, and a narrative of persistence that lies underneath the entire tale.

The story starts with Natsu befriending Lucy and takes a fast-paced approach where a rival guild becomes the antagonist real quick. By the time the rivals are defeated, Natsu learns that there is internal trouble and has to take control of the guild. The story progresses from external to internal battles, and before you know it, you are so engulfed in the politics and inter-guild dynamics.

The story helps one remember that the true magic is in making one’s circle the best, taking accountability for his or her actions, and becoming the best one to take the group the farthest. An allegory for ‘blood is thicker than water,’ you leave the series with a true sense of belonging with the Fairy Tail Wizards guild.

Gin Tama

Do you enjoy alien and sci-fi stories? Or are you interested in narratives from the past? Who said it has to be one or the other. Gintama combines the intrigue of futuristic intergalactic warfare with the beauty of tradition and historical appreciation. Set in the Edo period of Japan, the anime follows a samurai-for-hire who has to face off against beasts from another world. 

The story of bravery, courage, and resilience has encapsulated the attention of Japanese and International audiences alike. It has spawned a series of parodies, references, and even songs.

Gintoki, the protagonist Samurai, breaks free of his contract with the Shogun after realizing the man’s cowardice as he gives up power to aliens. This does not sit right with the brave Samurai, who starts taking odd jobs to help individuals of affluence fight the alien threat. 

The tone of the narrative shifts as the protagonist takes the heroic route of saving someone who couldn’t afford to pay. The saved girl’s brother becomes the sidekick as the story becomes a travel adventure combined with katana warfare and political strategy.

Unlike traditional manga to anime adaptations common in Japan, this anime was created as an Original Video Animation (OVA), where the director takes liberties to better adapt the story for a motion picture medium. That’s why you can expect a crisp, precise story that brings you all the emotions and the thrill of the original manga.

Conan, The Boy in Future

If you are familiar with Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Castle In the Sky, you probably know about the legend of the anime movie industry Hayao Miyazaki. Before Miyazaki founded the powerhouse that is Studio Ghibli, he created a fantastic post-apocalyptic adventure story known as Future Boy Conan.

If you enjoy Studio Ghibli’s animation style that celebrates the childhood wonder, you will enjoy this beautiful story animated at length.

In the anime, the protagonist survives an apocalyptic war between The United States and Russia. Living on a secluded island, the boy has no call to adventure.

However, the death of kin and the love of a girl compels him to travel the farthest distances to rescue her from a militia that wants her for reasons one discovers in a plot-twist worth omitting here. The tale of resourcefulness, friendship, and kindness makes for a fantastic viewing experience.

Can I Watch Other TV Shows on Japanese Netflix?

If you are canceling your standard Netflix subscription to opt for a Japanese Netflix, you may be wondering which Netflix shows you will lose access to as a result of this trade-off.

With Japanese Netflix, you will still have access to the majority of the internally available Netflix shows. However, you will not have access to the shows that are exclusive to your current location. To find out which shows are available exclusively to your country, you can search terms like “List of USA-only Netflix shows.”


Japanese anime and dramas populate a subculture that has become a billion-dollar industry. Unfortunately, this led to licensing restrictions, making it impossible to watch the best Japanese shows on Netflix without being in Japan. But you can get access to these shows with a VPN.

Here’s a recap of how you can watch Japanese Netflix.

  • Get a VPN service provider advanced enough to not get detected by Netflix.
  • Install the VPN and give it the necessary permissions.
  • Open the VPN app or program and set your location to Japan.
  • Sign-up for a Netflix account with your location set to Japan.


Mark Lewis

Security nerd with a Data Privacy First mindset!

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