The best VPNs for Japan in 2020
Installing a VPN is one of the best precautionary measures you can take toward protecting your online anonymity and curbing digital surveillance. In Japan, it’s especially important that Internet users protect themselves with a trusted VPN to keep watchful eyes at bay.
American and western intelligence agencies such as the NSA work closely with Japan and their Directorate for Signals Intelligence. All personal data collected by Japanese signals intelligence authorities are shared with the NSA and the entire Five Eyes Alliance.
So, I decided why not give you an overview on the best options for Japan. I will describe each VPN in detail, but here’s a short summary just in case:
Best VPN Services for Japan
- PureVPN: Best VPN for Japan. 6 Japanese servers available for expats. Available for $2.91/mo
- Surfshark: Best low-cost VPN for Japan. 2 servers in Japan. No logs recorded. Audited. Costs $1.99/mo
- ExpressVPN: Upward trending VPN for Japan. 3 Tokyo based servers Unblock all VoDs. Maximum anonymity.
- CyberGhost: Best for unblocking in Japan. 44 Japanese servers. Different modes are available.
- Ivacy: Best VPN for security in Japan. 2 Tokyo-based servers. Dedicated IPs available. Buffer-free streaming.
Why Use a VPN in Japan?
The Japanese government is staunchly anti-privacy, as evidenced by their sweeping new “anti-conspiracy” law that limits civil liberties despite outcry from international advocacy groups.
Although intended to prevent terrorism and curb organized crime, the security bill makes it easier to track ordinary Japanese residents and monitor their online activity.
It’s no secret that Japan collects massive amounts of data from its residents and citizens, including web browsing and traffic data.
However, Japan has recently made efforts to share the data it collects with international Five Eyes partners, including the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Using a VPN in Japan lets you bypass government censors and access otherwise prohibited sites and services without alarming authorities or having your data mined or collected.
5 Best VPNs for Japan
To evade privacy and internet freedom related issues in Japan, these top 5 Japanese VPNs should prove incredibly useful:
6 Japanese Servers Available
PureVPN, based in Hong Kong, is an excellent option for Japanese users in need of a inexpensive VPN service. This company has over a decade of experience in the VPN market and maintains six dedicated servers in Tokyo and other Japanese cities.
There are a host of benefits that Japanese users of PureVPN can enjoy, including five multi-logins across various devices. PureVPN allows users to access a speedy VPN service that can connect them with a Japanese IP address supported by a global network of over 2,000 servers in 141 countries.
Better yet, Japanese PureVPN users aren’t subjected to bandwidth caps and can access hundreds of unique Japan-based IP addresses.
- Compatible with SmartTV, Kodi, Amazon Fire, and more
- AES 256-bit encryption
- Prevent ISP bandwidth throttling
- Slow responses from support
For more information, check out this full 2020 review of PureVPN!
2 Servers Located in Japan
Relatively new to the market is Surfshark, with dedicated Japanese servers as part of their 61-country network. Unlike other prominent VPN services in Japan, Surfshark passed an independent audit by Cure53 that found that it did not log its users’ personal data.
Surfshark is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands, which protects all saved data from seizure or collection by UK authorities. On top of that, Surfshark never fails to unlock US Netflix and British Netflix services for Japanese users.
Offering the most reasonable VPN deals, Surfshark subscribers in Japan can take advantage of speedy connection times and a host of premium HTTPS security services.
- Unlimited number of devices supported
- No data logging
- Dedicated Tokyo servers
- No free trial
- Slow customer support responses
For more information, check out this full 2020 review of Surfshark!
3 Tokyo-based Servers Available
ExpressVPN offers one of the fastest and most reliable VPN connections for Japanese users. Headquartered in the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN is subject to the laws of this independent state and is not beholden to Five Eyes authorities.
There are three discrete servers stationed in Tokyo to help Japanese ExpressVPN users enjoy the fastest speeds possible. Plus, ExpressVPN lets users enjoy premium anonymous content by Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and BBC iPlayer.
Best of all, ExpressVPN has a stellar track record regarding its no-log data protection policy, that foreign authorities were recently unable to access upon a server seizure.
- Ultra-fast connection speeds
- Three dedicated Japanese servers
- Great customer support
- More expensive than competitors
- Slightly confusing UI
For more information, check out this full 2020 review of ExpressVPN!
44 Servers Located in Japan
A great choice for HD/4K streaming, Cyberghost VPN services offers lightning-fast connections for Japanese users thanks to its 44 servers housed in the country. Cyberghost is one of the few VPN services that doesn’t log customer data.
Cyberghost’s lightweight design comes in the form of a Chrome and Firefox extension, which makes it a breeze to install and setup. It’s also available on Mac and Linux systems.
If you’re looking for a highly secure service to stream HBO, Hulu, Netflix, or merely torrent files anonymously in Japan, Cyberghost is a can’t-lose choice.
- 44 Japanese servers
- Zero IP leaks
- Allows seven simultaneous connections
- Secure Romanian headquarters
- Poor customer service hours
- Pricier than some competitors
For more information, check out this full 2020 review of CyberGhost!
2 Tokyo-based Servers Available
On a two-year plan, Ivacy subscribers can enjoy all the benefits of a foreign IP address in Japan without any of the bulky software or security hangups of other Japanese VPN services.
A torrent-friendly service, Ivacy supports PPTP, L2TP, and IKEv2 protocols to help secure your traffic data. It even ranks as the best VPN for China, offering a dedicated app called “IvacyPrime”
Although Ivacy has a small (yet growing) network of only 100 servers, the speed reductions are hardly noticeable compared to its rivals. Plus, Ivacy packs a host of benefits such as automatic kill-switching that other brands don’t offer.
- Multiple Japanese servers
- Automatic kill switch
- Safe Singapore-based HQ
- Supports split tunneling
- Smaller network size
- Problems with Windows client
For more information, check out this full 2020 review of Ivacy!
Will a VPN Protect You from Japan’s Privacy Laws?
In short, yes. Japan’s restrictive privacy and counter-terrorism legislation expand the state’s authority to collect and share personal data. However, effective no-log VPN services mask users’ IP address to essentially anonymize their location and personal identity.
Wrapping Things Up
We suggest opting for a highly secure and competitively priced VPN service to mask your internet usage in Japan. That’s why we decided on PureVPN as the best VPN for Japan—it’s secure, it’s fast, it’s affordable; in short an all-rounder!