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5 Best Free VPNs for Japan: Access Japanese Content

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The best free VPN for Japan is AtlasVPN, considering its unlimited simultaneous connections, decent streaming speeds, and reliable encryption on a free service.

Alternatively, you can get Hotspot Shield or ProtonVPN to enjoy Japanese IP addresses or other servers not provided in the free AtlasVPN plan.

After testing 35+ risk-free and truly-free VPN providers, NordVPN and Surfshark also make my top five VPNs for Japan. In fact, they offer some of the best value you could get in a Japan VPN, and we’ll get to all that in a minute.

So, if you’re interested in learning why these are your best free VPN services for Japan, continue below to see my tests and findings.

Top 3 Free VPNs for Japan

GET JAPANESE IP
ProtonVPN
protonvpn devices updated

ProtonVPN is the only genuinely free and reliable VPN provider with a Japanese server to unblock Japanese Netflix, stream anime, and download torrents from 65 servers across 3 countries.

4.6/5
Read More
MOST CONNECTIONS
AtlasVPN
AtlasVPN multiple devices screenshot

Unblock geo-restricted content and secure your internet with fast speeds over free USA and Netherlands servers. AtlasVPN offers unlimited simultaneous connections to protect all your devices with a single free plan.

4.8/5
Get Discount
FAST & FREE
Hotspot Shield
Hotspot shield devices

Enjoy up to 1Gbps speeds on the US server location provided in your free Hotspot Shield plan. It also includes coverage for the notable mobile and PC platforms, so you’re well protected everywhere.

4.6/5
Read More

Japan doesn’t have severe internet limitations, but you won’t always get the best of western platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Thus, you’ll need a VPN to unblock these content libraries.

Likewise, some content is banned in Japan by the content creators, your internet service provider (ISP), or the Japanese government. This includes streaming services like Hulu US and gambling websites like 888 Poker. So, even if you’re not Japanese but traveling to Japan, you’ll be facing these internet limitations.

On top of that, Japan is also a prime location for anime content, esports gaming content, etc. Thus, you’ll need a Japanese IP address to unblock these streams and services when outside Japan.

Even inside Japan, these Japanese IP addresses are handy to secure your internet connection over public Wi-Fi networks without losing access to local services.

Fortunately, these just scratch the surface of what my tested free VPNs for Japan offer. They unblock content from anywhere, provide Japanese IP addresses and secure your internet connections.

If you’re in a hurry, read the summary of my top VPNs below to get the hang of what they do.

Ready to Stream Japanese Anime or Unblock Content From Anywhere Else in Japan? Here Are My Top VPNs

access netflix japan

Whether you’re a fan of Japanese anime on Netflix, love to stream Japanese news, or want to unblock content from elsewhere, my free VPNs for Japan are up to the task.

Here’s a quick summary to help you make a faster choice.

  • AtlasVPN – Offers unlimited simultaneous connection and 3 servers to unblock most online content streams.
  • ProtonVPN – Provides Japanese IP addresses to access Netflix Japan, secure your local internet connection, and unblock content elsewhere with 2 other free server locations.
  • Hotspot Shield – Get a US IP address to access US-available websites, encrypt your internet connection, access the free internet, and enjoy privacy from your ISP.
  • Surfshark – Connect to Japanese IP addresses or 3200+ servers in 99 countries to unblock content, download torrents easily, bypass speed throttling, and secure your internet experience.
  • NordVPN – Enjoy 80+ Japanese servers with 6Gbps speeds, DDoS protection while gaming, and reliable content unblocking over 5500+ servers in 59 countries.

There’s a massive gap between what these VPNs offer, so it doesn’t make sense to rush your decision. To help you make a better choice, I’ve summarized the details of my tests on these VPNs in the headings below.

So, continue reading to choose the best free VPN service for Japan.

Mini-Reviews and Comparisons of My Best VPNs for Japan

When choosing the best VPNs for Japan, I looked for speed, security benefits, privacy features, Japanese servers, and international server spread.

I also tested these servers and features, uncovering areas where each VPN performed better (or worse) than the others. I’ve presented all my findings below.

AtlasVPN – Free Japan VPN With Unlimited Simultaneous Connections

streaming bilibili with atlasvpn using us server
AtlasVPN unblocks Bilibili anime content over US servers

AtlasVPN offers three servers on the free plan: two in the United States (Los Angeles & New York), and one in the Netherlands.

This makes it less ideal for unblocking Netflix Japan and streaming sites like TV Asahi, NHK, and NTV.

However, it did well with Holland and US Netflix libraries, unblocking content that I didn’t have access to in Japan.

Likewise, I tested AtlasVPN successfully with:

  • CNN Go
  • Hulu US
  • Amazon Prime Video US
  • Disney+ (US)

These are the streaming services I’m subscribed to, and I don’t doubt that it works fine for other streaming services in the US.

us servers on atlasvpn
AtlasVPN's servers in the USA

But there’s a catch.

Atlas VPN isn’t as fast on the free plan since you’ll only get its ultra-fast speeds on the premium plan.

In contrast, NordVPN and Surfshark consistently maintain a 25-28Mbps speed on a 30Mbps network, making them the fastest risk-free VPN providers on this list. In fact, they’re fast enough on all servers to stream content in HD.

Likewise, Atlas VPN has a monthly 5GB bandwidth limit.

This makes it impossible to stream content in HD reliably since you’ll quickly use up that bandwidth allocation. Alternatively, the rest of the free VPNs I reviewed don’t impose any bandwidth limits.

highlighting atlasvpn bandwidth

If you’re willing to overlook that, you’ll appreciate the gaming support on Atlas VPN. Thanks to its fast P2P servers in the US and Netherlands, you can get better gaming speeds and break into game rooms you might not have had access to from Japan.

Some of the mobile games I tested over AtlasVPN on my iOS device are:

  • Mobile Legends (I connected to a US server to get a less crowded flag)
  • Apex Legends
  • Fortnite

I even unblocked PUBG and played with my friends in the US from Japan!

However, the VPN server limitation also means you don’t get Japanese servers. So, you’ll suffer relatively high ping, which could induce latency if you’re playing a local online game or with other peers in Japan.

highlighting japan server location on atlasvpn
AtlasVPN's Japanese servers are limited to the premium plan alone

A better alternative is NordVPN or ProtonVPN, both offering Japanese IP addresses.

Also, there’s no SmartDNS support on the free or premium plan to unblock content on your PlayStation, Xbox, and other gaming consoles.

I had to use NordVPN’s SmartDNS service when I needed to play CoD with peers outside my region.

Even so, AtlasVPN has a final trick or two up its sleeves.

For one, it offers unlimited simultaneous device connections on the free plan. With Hotspot Shield and Proton VPN, you only get one device connection. In fact, Atlas VPN is only rivaled by Surfshark here, also allowing unlimited simultaneous device connections.

But there’s something else you should consider.

Since you’re restricted to 5GB monthly bandwidth, connecting multiple devices just means you consume that bandwidth faster.

Then, you’re left without the premium protection of an AtlasVPN server, its security and encryption benefits, and unblocking capabilities.

premium and free plans on atlasvpn
AtlasVPN is missing adblockers and other premium solutions on the free plan

Also, if you’re worried about ad-blocking and threat management over VPN, AtlasVPN doesn’t provide either on the free plan. You’ll have better luck with NordVPN (Threat Protection) and Surfshark (CleanWeb)

Choose the affordable premium plan if you want to get more out of AtlasVPN. It offers 750+ servers (including one in Tokyo – Japan), 4K streaming speeds, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited simultaneous connections.

Get these AtlasVPN discounts to save more and enjoy a 30-day money-back guarantee on your paid plan.

Pros

Cons

ProtonVPN – Best Fully Free VPN With Japanese IP Address

japan ip servers on protonvpn

ProtonVPN’s free plan comes with 60+ servers in 3 countries.

These are the most servers I’ve seen on a free plan with no deposit.

The best part is there are 5 servers in Japan, with the other free options in the Netherlands and USA.

Thus, it covers the exact locations as AtlasVPN and adds the choice server (in Japan) on top.

I wanted to ensure that the Japan server isn’t just there for show.

So, I tried to unblock Try Knights, Sorcerous Stabber Orphen, and Real Girl anime on Nippon TV. They all played, didn’t lag, and my video didn’t buffer.

streaming nippon tv with protonvpn using japan server

I also connected to the US servers to unblock US-available sites and US-only streams. Some of the content I tested include:

  • Sports platforms like MLB TV and NHL TV via ESPN.
  • Banned games like PUBG.
  • News websites like CNN Go and NBC only available in the USA.

ProtonVPN unblocked the content stream every time and never caused my videos to buffer.

But there’s a lurking issue: ProtonVPN isn’t optimized for streaming service support on the free plan. So, if you use it to unblock content streams long enough, you’ll have some problems.

protonvpn free plus plans

I confirmed this when I tried to unblock Japanese anime on Netflix with ProtonVPN.

Another area where ProtonVPN shines over AtlasVPN is in offering unlimited bandwidth over its servers. So, you can stream content, play games, and encrypt your primary internet connection without limits.

Even so, you can’t enjoy torrent download support on the free plan, and you risk getting served nasty warnings and DMCA copyright notices.

That’s unlike AtlasVPN, NordVPN, and Surfshark, with reliable torrent download protection and support, no matter what.

post about free japan vpn
Need Japanese IPs on a free VPN? Choose ProtonVPN

Moving on, I tested ProtonVPN with the same games I played on Atlas VPN.

I also shared my free plan with an Android user who successfully played other titles like Clash of Clans and League of Legends over ProtonVPN.

In all these tests, we enjoyed buttery smooth gaming.

Unfortunately, ProtonVPN is also with AtlasVPN in not offering a Smart DNS service. But it offers router support, which is missing on AtlasVPN, to connect your gaming consoles to a secure network.

protonvpn features comparison

Despite that, ProtonVPN falls through with only one device connection on its free plan. Whereas AtlasVPN allows you to connect as many devices as you have to the single free plan. Even when you upgrade to a paid ProtonVPN plan, you’re still limited to ten simultaneous connections.

If you want more out of ProtonVPN, get the paid plan.

Here, you can access 60 more countries, up to 10Gbps speeds, the ad-blocker, torrent support, and Tor over VPN. However, the VPN’s best deal is 2.5x more expensive than AtlasVPN’s offering.

ProtonVPN Annual Prices in USD
ProtonVPN Plans and Annual Pricing (USD)

Grab these ProtonVPN discounts for better savings if you plan to upgrade.

Pros

Cons

Hotspot Shield – Unlimited Bandwidth Free VPN for Japan

hotspot shield speed test ip

Hotspot Shield mimics the rest of the VPNs on this list (besides AtlasVPN) in offering unlimited bandwidth whenever you connect for security, privacy, and content unblocking.

But is it worth it? Let’s find out.

For starters, you only get one virtual location in the USA on this VPN.

This is less than the 3 servers (in 2 countries) from Atlas VPN and 60+ servers (in 3 countries) from ProtonVPN. It also increases your chances of overloading the server since many users are simultaneously connected.

available server locations on hotspot shield
Hotspot Shield automatically connects you to the US server on its free plan

In other words, you risk unreliable connections and slow speeds on the single free server from Hotspot Shield.

Due to the lack of Japanese servers, you can’t stream Japanese anime on Netflix or watch NTV or NHK outside Japan. It’s also impossible to secure your internet connection over public Wi-Fi in Japan without losing access to local services.

In those cases, you’ll need NordVPN, Surfshark, or ProtonVPN.

If you want a Japanese server on this provider so badly, you’ll have to upgrade to the premium plan.

japan server on hotspot shield
Japanese server exists on the premium plan

I tested the US server on CNN Go, which is exclusive to the States.

While Hotspot Shield bypassed the geo-restriction to unblock this platform, I got buffering content most of the time. This confirms that its free plan isn’t optimized for content streams.

streaming cnn go with hotspot shield

Sadly, that’s not all.

Hotspot Shield also maintains that its free plans aren’t optimized for gaming either. So, choose any other VPNs for Japan if gaming is a dealbreaker.

gaming and streaming comparisons on hotspot shield

The scariest part of Hotspot Shield’s free offering is the absence of a VPN kill switch. That causes an IP address and internet traffic data leak if the VPN connection drops.

If you’re concerned about your online privacy and the integrity of data you’re sharing or enjoying unblocked content, a kill switch is a serious dealbreaker.

On top of that, it only allows one device connection on the free plan.

This is the same with ProtonVPN. But at least, ProtonVPN enables you to upgrade to six devices. With Hotspot Shield, the basic upgrade package offers you only 5 simultaneous device connections.

Surprisingly, it’s still one of the most expensive VPN providers if you’re paying.

hotspot shield price

So, it’s best to get these HUGE discounts if Hotspot Shield is your preferred VPN.

Pros

Cons

Surfshark – Best Budget, Free Trial VPN for Japan

streaming abema tv with surfshark using japan server
Surfshark unblocks Abema TV over its Japan servers

Surfshark isn’t free like the rest of these VPNs for Japan, but you can test it risk-free for 30 days and request a refund if you’re unsatisfied with what you get.

In those 30 days, you can connect to Surfshark’s Japanese servers to:

  • Unblock Japanese Netflix and anime content
  • Get Hulu Japan, Disney+ Japan, and other regional content
  • Stream NHK, NTV, and other Japanese TV channels from anywhere
  • Secure your local internet experience from coffee shops, parks, and other free Wi-Fi spots

Surfshark even offers static IP addresses in Tokyo – Japan, to unblock content like you’re in one location. This is important when dealing with sensitive banking apps, gaming servers, and other content that may block your account for server hopping.

surfshark japan servers

The best news is that these static IP addresses are free.

In contrast, only NordVPN has something close with its paid, dedicated IP addresses.

Likewise, you can connect to any of Surfshark’s 3200+ servers in 99 countries to:

  • Access content from anywhere
  • Unblock content in your country
  • Secure your internet connection locally, anywhere

Being the provider with the most extensive country reach on this list, Surfshark is better inclusive of all regions and continents.

That way, you stand a better chance of getting a local server in your country if you’re traveling to Japan.

available server locations on surfshark

Such local servers may be the difference between accessing your local TV channels at home, banking services, game servers, etc., or not.

Since I didn’t get any lags when streaming on Surfshark, I knew it was fast. But how fast?

So, I tested it on a 30Mbps connection and averaged 26Mbps speeds.

That’s a negligible connection drop, considering VPNs cause connection drops due to their encryption.

Once I confirmed that the speeds were incredible, I tested Surfshark for gaming too. Here, I successfully unblocked and played the following titles:

I also enjoyed Surfshark’s Smart DNS service to unblock games on my PlayStation and Xbox since I can’t download a native VPN app on them.

It also came in handy for streaming on my smart TV.

surfshark smartdns service

But the service mostly unblocks content in the USA.

So, you’ll need to set up the Surfshark router VPN to broadcast Japanese IP addresses (or IPs from other regions) to your TV.

Lest I forget, Surfshark is a reliable torrenting VPN.

It unblocks torrent websites like the Pirate Bay, encrypts your connection, and keeps you anonymous while downloading torrent files fast.

This feature suite already puts it far ahead of ProtonVPN, AtlasVPN, and Hotspot Shield. Even so, there’s more!

torrenting with surfshark using argentina server

Surfshark offers unlimited simultaneous connections with unlimited bandwidth. It’s also one of the most affordable VPN providers I reviewed. Like I said at the start, you could easily request a refund within 30 days of purchase if it doesn’t meet your expectations.

Grab these Surfshark discounts to save more and enjoy the 30-day money-back guarantee on your purchase.

Pros

Cons

NordVPN – 80+ Japanese Servers & 5500+ Global Servers in 59 Countries

streaming tver with nordvpn using japan server
NordVPN unblocks TVer over Japanese servers

NordVPN and Surfshark are similar in how they offer risk-free VPN services. So, you can also test this VPN for the first 30 days and request a hassle-free refund if you don’t like what it offers.

Speaking of, what does NordVPN offer?

For starters, you get 80+ Japanese servers, making it the largest collection of Japanese servers on this list. That’s even more servers than ProtonVPN, Hotspot Shield, and AtlasVPN (combined) provide on their free plans.

information of japan and worldwide servers and speed on nordvpn

I connected to one of these servers to stream NHK TV, NTV, Abema TV, TV Tokyo, and other Japanese TV channels live without issue.

If you’re interested in streaming content elsewhere, NordVPN offers 5500+ servers in 59 countries. I connected to some of these servers to unblock popular and geo-blocked streaming platforms like

NordVPN claims to have optimized the Japanese servers for over 1.6Gbps speeds. I didn’t encounter lags or buffering during my tests, and I even streamed some content in up to 4K!

accessing netflix japan with nordvpn
Get Japanese anime on Netflix via NordVPN's Japan servers

Besides that, NordVPN offers robust gaming support with a combination of:

  • Low ping servers
  • Smart DNS service for Xbox, PlayStation, and other gaming consoles that can’t download a VPN
  • High-speed servers
  • Numerous server locations to unblock titles like PUBG, Fallout 3 (original), Mortal Kombat, Judgement, etc.
  • DDoS protection on all servers and protocols

Some of the games I played while connected to NordVPN over two weeks include:

  • FIFA 21
  • Fortnite
  • PUBG
  • Apex Legends
  • Mobile Legends

Like Surfshark, NordVPN is also optimized for downloading torrents securely. It even provides P2P-optimized servers for faster, more secure torrent downloads.

torrenting with nordvpn

Finally, NordVPN offers six simultaneous device connections.

This is less than what Surfshark and Atlas VPN offer, but it beats the free plan offerings on ProtonVPN and Hotspot Shield.

You can share this NordVPN plan with family members or secure your other mobile and PC devices from the same account. No matter your choice, you still pay the same affordable NordVPN price.

Luckily, you can bring down the price with these NordVPN discounts while enjoying your 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros

Cons

How to Setup a VPN for Japan?

It’s easy to set up a VPN for Japan. Choose the correct VPN protocol for the best balance of speed and security, and connect to preferred servers to enjoy your VPN’s services.

Also, enable the VPN kill switch to prevent getting deanonymized when the connection randomly drops.

Here’s a stepwise guide to setting up your VPN for Japan from anywhere.

  1. Choose a reputable VPN provider. I preferred the NordVPN risk-free plan.
  2. Enable the VPN kill switch. Go to Settings > Kill Switch > toggle Internet Kill Switch.”
locating nordvpn kill switch features
  1. Choose a protocol or leave it set at Automatic. I recommend NordLynx for impressive unblocking speeds and security on NordVPN.
locating nordlynx protocol on nordvpn
  1. Search and connect to a preferred server.
  2. Wait for the connection confirmation.
  3. Test for leaks (go to www.ipleak.net).
  4. Start surfing the web and unblocking content securely.

Limitations of Free VPNs for Japan

The free VPNs for Japan are great because you don’t have to pay.

But in most cases, you’re sacrificing a lot of your speed, some security, and other relevant VPN features to save a few bucks.

free vpn privacy breach post
One of the truths about many free VPNs

Some of the many limitations I encountered when testing these free VPNs include:

  • Lack of Japanese servers. This was the case with many of the VPNs I tested, including AtlasVPN and Hotspot Shield, that made this list. That makes it impossible to stream Japanese content, unblock content like home or encrypt your local internet connection in Japan.
  • Lack of global server options. Most free VPNs only give you servers in 1-3 locations. What happens when you must unblock content in a country not provided under the free plan? That’s why I like Surfshark’s risk-free trial plan, which still offers 99 countries!
  • Limited bandwidth. A VPN should help bypass your ISP’s speed throttling, not limit your bandwidth. Unfortunately, they must share their resources between you and other free users. Thus, limited bandwidth.
  • Limited connectivity. Minimal servers shared by a lot of free users will lead to overcrowding. Thus, it’s only realistic that you’ll sometimes face some connectivity issues when connecting to these servers.
  • Unreliable unblocking. I couldn’t access Japanese Netflix on ProtonVPN’s Japan servers, and Hotspot Shield wouldn’t play CNN Go on its US servers. However, NordVPN handled both instances with ease.
  • Data logging. Most free VPNs will have to make their money in a way. Suppose they don’t pepper you with ads. In that case, some collect your internet browsing data to sell to advertisers and other third-party bodies.

Instead of facing these issues, I believe you’ll fare better with an affordable VPN like Surfshark. It offers unlimited simultaneous connections to servers in 99 countries, and you can get it for almost nothing with these HUGE deals.

Frequently Asked Question

VPNs are legal in Japan. So, you can use them to secure your local web experience, unblock content, get faster gaming speeds, and download torrent files without getting nasty copyright notices. Travelers to Japan can also use a VPN to access content in their home country, encrypt their internet connection on free Wi-Fi networks or keep internet service providers out of their data.

Save More and Stay Safe

If you’ve been wondering whether you could get a reliable, free, no-logs VPN provider with decent speeds, I’m sure AtlasVPN has proven that to be true.

However, some of the VPN’s limitations (such as lack of high speeds, Japanese servers, ad blockers, etc.) can create a negative experience. So, it’s best to choose NordVPN.

No matter which you choose, I’m sure you have all the information to make the best choice at your disposal.

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