How to Unblock and Watch Japanese Netflix
Heidi Finigan | Last Updated:
VPN Streaming Expert
Netflix Japan has one of the best anime catalogs compared to any other Netflix region, which is great news if you live in Japan, but maybe a little frustrating for those from other countries. Many anime series which eventually get released in other regions also start off by being first shown only in the Japan region, due to licensing issues. So unfortunately, if you live in any other country outside of Japan such as the United States, Canada, Australia, Sweden or England you will not be able to view the full Japanese Netflix library.
If you’ve already run through every anime series in your Netflix library and are looking for more, one good way to do so is to switch your region to Japan with a VPN. A VPN works by creating a secure tunnel for your internet traffic with the help of a private VPN server, hiding your true IP address and spoofing a fake location to Netflix servers. This allows you to unlock any region (including Japan!) where the VPN service has servers in, as long as you pick a strong VPN provider able to get past Netflix’s anti-VPN detection.
Changing your current IP Address so that you can unblock the full Netflix Japan movie catalogue from any location is actually a very easy thing to do.
VPN Netflix Guide: Setting up a VPN is a quick and hassle-free process, simply follow our five simple steps below!
- Get a reliable VPN – we recommend NordVPN for its excellent server coverage in Japan, as well as it’ proven ability to unblock Netflix Japan.
- Download & Install – login to your new vpn account and download an app for your device: PC, Mac, iOS/iPhone, Tablet, Android, or even an app for your Smart TV.
- Select a Japanese VPN Server – once installed, login to the vpn on your device and simply select a Japanese vpn server from the list. (This will give you a Japanese IP Address, and will make it appear to Netflix that you are now located in Japan!)
- Congratulations! VPN set up is complete, simply open Netflix and search for your favorite anime movie or series! The full Japanese Netflix library is now available for you to watch and enjoy from any location around the world. How quick and easy was that!
Our Recommended VPNs for Unblocking Netflix Japan
Many VPN services market themselves as being able to fully unblock streaming services, but we have found that to be not always the case. Netflix employs strict VPN detection measures, which are able to block internet connections from known VPN servers. For unblocking Netflix Japan, NordVPN is our top pick for its proven ability to unblock Netflix with its wide server network, followed by ExpressVPN and Surfshark.
#1. NordVPN – great all-round provider with the proven ability to unblock Netflix
NordVPN works great with Netflix Japan, mainly due to its wide server coverage. The provider has 5,200 different VPN servers located in 65 countries, and most critically, it has more than 80 servers in Japan itself. This makes the VPN service unmatched when it comes to unblocking Netflix Japan: even if one NordVPN Japan server is discovered and blocked by Netflix, you can easily connect to another Japanese server and try accessing Netflix again.
And it’s not just Netflix Japan that NordVPN is capable of unblocking. Users report that the VPN is able to fully unblock eight regions of the video-streaming platform in total – the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia and, of course, Japan. This allows you to hop across borders online and enjoy shows from any of these regions freely, a great deal for only a single VPN subscription! While not all NordVPN servers work in each region, you can easily contact their 24/7 customer service hotline for help on which servers would allow you to connect to Netflix.
NordVPN also has the speed necessary to stream HD anime video without buffering. Their newly-developed Nordlynx VPN connection protocol, enabled by default, is twice as fast as competing protocols used by other services. This allows the VPN provider to offer peak internet speeds of 112 MBPs in Japan, ensuring a smooth Netflix experience.
NordVPN takes your security to heart as well, with a bevy of security enhancing features such as military-grade AES 256-bit encryption, WebRTC leak protection, private DNS servers and even the ability to set up a customized kill switch. Not only does this encryption prevent Netflix from finding out your true IP address, they can also protect your information from hackers on public WIFI networks and allow you to evade restrictive firewalls on school or office networks.
Netflix might be constantly improving its VPN-detection technology, but NordVPN has managed to stay ahead of the video-streaming service for many years. It’s likely that they’ll continue to do so in the future as well, making the provider a great investment for watching regional Netflix content. NordVPN is available on a wide range of devices including MacOS, Windows, Android, iOS, and Linux, and even offers a 30-day money-back trial period for first-time subscribers.
Below are the latest NordVPN subscription prices, current as at December 2023:
- 1 Month: $11.95
- 1 Year: $4.92 (Save 58%)
- 2 Years: $3.67 (3 Months Free + Save 69%)
Note: All prices are in USD, and are Per Month.
#2. ExpressVPN – reliable speed-focused VPN service
- Supported Devices:
While ExpressVPN has a slightly less dense server network compared to NordVPN, with 3000 servers in 95 countries, they make up for that with their impressive connection speeds. The service is able to consistently unblock the six top Netflix regions with the most content – the US, UK, Canada, France, Japan and Australia, on all three of its browser, iOS and Android apps. ExpressVPN’s Lightway connection protocol is also able to serve up speeds of up to 136 MBPs for its Asia servers, ensuring that lagging anime streams is something you’ll never need to worry about.
This incredible speed, coupled with it’s no bandwidth limit, means that ExpressVPN is also great for torrenting anime to watch offline at your leisure. Unlike many other apps, ExpressVPN allows users to download torrents on its network. The service’s security features, such as DNS and IPv6 leak protection, make torrenting safer as well by hiding your true IP address when downloading files online.
And ExpressVPN works great no matter where in the world you are, due to its obfuscated servers which can disguise your VPN connection as just another ordinary internet connection. This allows the VPN program to run smoothly even in China, a country with notoriously strict restrictions against VPN use.
#3. SurfShark – budget VPN provider with super-premium features
- Supported Devices:
Surfshark is a relative newcomer to the VPN market compared to the other providers on our list, but their disruptively cheap pricing and offer of unlimited simultaneous device connections have already won them many loyal customers. They’re a full 50-70% cheaper than many other competing services, despite also offering premium features such as a huge 3,200 server network across 65 countries, and the ability to unblock 30 Netflix regions, including Japan.
Surfshark is also able to unblock many other streaming services such as BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Player, HBO, Disney + and more. With average connection speeds of around 71 MBPs, the service is fast enough to stream 4K UHD video on any of these video-streaming platforms, as long as your original internet connection is up to the task.
The service also comes with a full set of security features, including military-grade AES 256-bit encryption, a 2048-bit DHE-RSA key exchange and SHA512 authentication hash. A strict no-logs policy ensures that not even Surfshark itself would be able to access your internet activity records. All this means that not only is your true IP address and location safely hidden from Netflix, no third-parties such as your ISP, network administrator or even government authorities are able to spy on your internet activity.
Can I use a free VPN to watch Netflix Japan?
No, the vast majority of free VPN services are unable to unblock Netflix. Many free VPN services do not have servers in Japan at all, and the few which do only maintain a very limited server network in the country. Netflix puts a lot of resources into detecting and blocking VPN servers, and maintain a constantly updating blacklist of known VPN services which often prevents free VPN servers from connecting to the video-streaming platform at all. Free VPN providers are also far slower than their premium counterparts, and nothing is more painful than trying to watch anime on a constantly buffering connection.
Rather than risk being greeted by the infamous Netflix proxy error page when using a free VPN, we recommend using a premium VPN service such as NordVPN instead. NordVPN has the proven ability to unblock Netflix Japan with more than 80 servers located in the country. By using a premium service, you also avoid the many potential security risks associated with free VPN providers, since many free VPNs engage in shady business practices such as stealing and selling your user data in order to turn a profit.
What’s the difference between Netflix in Japan and the US?
Netflix Japan has significantly more total shows compared to Netflix US, with recent records showing that the Japan region library contains a total of 6,300 shows compared to around 5,600 for the US. The Japanese catalog also has a far larger collection of anime compared to the US. For example, Japan boasts the full seasons of popular anime such as Attack on Titan, Haikyu and Overlord, while the US only has the first one or two seasons of these shows. If you’re an anime fan living outside of Japan, we highly recommend using a VPN to unlock the many region-restricted anime series only available on Netflix Japan.
Can I get English subtitles on Netflix Japan?
While the answer would differ for each individual series, the majority of anime shows on Netflix Japan do come with an English subtitle option. Sometimes an English dub option is also available, but the chances of that are lower.
Netflix Japan proxy error with your VPN?
Try these trouble-shooting steps. The infamous Netflix proxy error pops up when the video-streaming site discovers you connecting from a known VPN server. This often happens with free VPN providers, and we recommend switching to a premium VPN service such as NordVPN, who have the tested ability to unblock Netflix Japan.
If you’re getting this error page even on a reliable premium VPN however, here are some additional troubleshooting steps you can try out:
- Restart your device and VPN connection. Oftentimes, a quick reboot is all that’s needed to fix any issues.
- Delete your browser cache and cookies. One way that Netflix can identify VPN use is through a location data mismatch – your VPN-spoofed IP address is reporting one location to Netflix servers, but your browser history and cache reveals your true location. Going into your browser settings and wiping all history, including your cache and cookies, should fix this.
- Choose a different VPN server. The specific VPN server you’re on might have its IP address blacklisted by Netflix. Switch to a different server in Japan if possible.
- Check for potential leaks. Sometimes, your location might not be completely hidden by the VPN due to DNS or IPv6 leaks. Check in your VPN settings that leak protection is enabled.
- Consult Customer Service. When all else fails, you can always turn to a professional for help. Most good VPN services offer 24/7 online customer support able to help you out with technical issues such as this – take advantage!
Is using a VPN to stream anime legal from Japan?
Streaming anime from Netflix Japan is perfectly legal. Netflix holds the copyrights to shows on its platform, unlike many other free anime streaming sites which host copyright-infringing material. VPN use is also perfectly legal in Japan, and as long as you’re not located in one of the few countries in the world where VPN use is illegal (such as China or Iran), you’re in the clear legally.
Do I need to change my region to watch Japanese Netflix?
Unless you’re connecting to Netflix from Japan, you would need to use a VPN to change your region in order to watch Japanese Netflix. We recommend using a premium service such as NordVPN with the consistent ability to unblock video-streaming sites – simply subscribe to the service, download the program and connect to one of their many Japanese servers to start enjoying anime on Netflix Japan. Check out our five-step connection guide above for more details!
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