Updated: July 25th, 2017 – This method still works for accessing Netflix in Japan.
If you’re living in Japan, you already know that Netflix is not yet available to access within the country. In fact, besides the US and a few other countries (Canada, UK, Mexico) you can’t access Netflix. And even if you’re lucky enough to live in a country like Canada, UK, or Mexico which do have Netflix streaming available, you’re still not able to access the FULL American Netflix library. This is due to copyright and license arrangements between Netflix and the major movie studios.
So while Netflix is not officially available in Japan, I do have some really great news! With a quick an easy trick that I will show you below, you’ll be able to signup and access Netflix as if you were a regular American customer!
The rest of this post will show you step-by-step, how to access Netflix from Japan. Take my word when I say that this is very easy to do and it requires absolutely no technical skills.
Let’s get to it!
First off, how does Netflix know you’re trying to access their service from Japan anyway? This is because of a well know internet practice called geo-targeting which uses your IP address to learn where you are in the world. To give you a quick example, if you are an internet user in Japan and you log onto Netflix.com, you will be greeted with a nice little message that says something like “Netflix is not yet available in Japan.” The reason you see this message is because the people behind the site know you are trying to logon from Japan because of your Japanese IP address.
So, because we’re super smart, we can conclude that to access Netflix in Japan, we’re going to need to change our IP address so that Netflix thinks we’re logging on from the United States of America. So now the question is, “How we change our Japanese IP address to a US IP address?”
Well, it’s a lot easier than you may think. By far the easiest way to go about changing your IP address is by using something called a Virtual Private Network or VPN. Trust me when I say you should know be intimidated by this acronym. It’s a lot less complicated than you may think. Basically, a VPN is a private connection between your laptop or computer and a server somewhere in the world. Let’s say that your laptop is in Japan but we’re going to connect to a VPN server in Miami, Florida. When you connect to the remote server, you are establishing a connection that allows you to surf the web as if you were in Miami, Florida, even though you’re actually in Japan. Pretty cool, right?
VPNs are used most frequently by banks, medical companies, and other large corporations. Corporate VPN networks allow company employees to login to the servers located at the corporate headquarters so that employees can access corporate files in a protected environment. VPN are also used by individuals who are looking for added internet security and additional online privacy. Note that use of a VPN is 100% legal.
In this case, we’re going to use a VPN to change our IP address so we can get the added benefit of accessing Netflix from Japan.
Here’s some more good news – setting up a VPN connection is so frickin’ easy my 12 year old sister can do it. It’s as easy as downloading a very small piece of software. There are also many VPN software application you can choose from but be very careful because not all of them are “good” and not all of them will allow you to stream content on Netflix. I made this same mistake when I signed up for several different VPN programs before finally finding one that worked.
The VPN software I personally use and recommend is called ExpressVPN. There are literally a hundred reasons why I chose to use this particular VPN software – too many to put into this post. To save some time I’ll give you just the quick overview on why ExpressVPN is the best VPN to use for Netflix streaming.
ExpressVPN works on all major operating systems which include Mac, PC (Windows) and Linux systems. They also allow you to use the program on your iOS and Android devices. The company also has many, many VPN servers located in multiple different countries/regions which means you have access to thousands IP addresses. And, as I said earlier, they offer the fastest bandwidth speeds out of every VPN provider I’ve tried.
Below you can see what the software looks like on a Windows operating system. As you can see, logging in is as easy as entering your username/password and selecting the new location you’d like to switch to.
Once you’ve selected your new IP address location and made a connection to the remote server, you can go to Netflix.com, signup for an account, and start streaming TV shows and Movies like you were in the US – except you’re still in Japan. Pretty cool, right?
I hope you enjoyed this guide and let me know if you have questions by leaving me a comment below.