Comparison of Watching Japanese TV Abroad

Traveling out of Japan can be an exhilarating experience. But what happens when you’re in a new environment with a culture or lifestyle that’s different from your Japanese regularities? You find yourself feeling nostalgic, missing a lot of the fixtures and norms found back home. Japanese food, clothes and even down to TV shows. Thankfully, even if you don’t have immediate access to Japanese food and clothes you can still feel close to home from the comfort of your couch without having to hop on the first plane back home.

Through Japanese TV, you get the feeling of home with all the captivating shows its numerous TV channels have to offer. Although it may seem like a challenge to get some restricted Japanese TV content outside of Japan, there are ways to bypass these restrictions as well as other mediums to watch Japanese TV abroad. Find out all about them below.

Quick Guide

  1. Virtual Private Networks – VPNs keep their users secure while they carry out activities such as torrenting, streaming, and many others. Most VPNs have strong encryption protocols that prevent hackers and middlemen from accessing your personal information.
  2. Smart DNS – A Smart DNS is another alternative to help you access Japanese TV abroad. Although it does not provide the same level of security as a VPN, it has features that make it a very suitable choice to watch your favourite Japanese shows.
  3. Streaming Boxes and Sticks – Streaming boxes and sticks like Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick, etc, bring that extra spice to your TV life by streaming content from all around the world.
  4. Smart TV – This is a digital television that allows you to connect to the Internet and watch Japanese TV shows from anywhere you are in the world. Different technological companies make newer models and additions to improve the delivery of their Smart TVs.

How to Watch Japanese TV Abroad

1. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Virtual Private Networks have become one of the most widespread online security tools. A VPN hides your IP address and allows you to carry out your internet activities without interference from the government, ISPs, streaming services and other middlemen. They do this by passing your data and activities through tunnelled and encrypted servers.

Once this is done, you would not only be safe on the internet, you would also be able to watch and stream geo-restricted content from around the world. If you want to watch Japanese TV from abroad, VPNs would give you unrestricted access to these shows. However, not all VPNs can bypass the restrictions placed on Japanese TVs. Nevertheless, there are a few that have been tested and verified fit to unblock Japanese TV. See them below.


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Key features

  • No logging of personal data
  • Excellent customer support
  • Over 3000 servers
  • Fast and reliable speeds

ExpressVPN is our best choice for streaming Japanese TV abroad. It operates a strict no-log policy, keeping you hidden from prying eyes. It has over 3,000 servers in about 94 countries, including Japan. These servers keep you secure on the internet and deliver fast and reliable connections for streaming and downloading.

ExpressVPN unblocks TVs like dTV, GYAO and several other streaming services. It allows a maximum of 5 simultaneous device connections to one account. This means you can watch your Japanese TV from any of your devices. ExpressVPN offers 24/7 customer support to assist you at all times and promises a 30-day money-back guarantee to any unsatisfied customer.


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Key features

  • Super-affordable
  • Cryptocurrency payments allowed
  • Compatible with all devices
  • Optimized servers with AES 256-bit encryption

NordVPN is the perfect choice for users on a budget. It is comparatively cheaper than ExpressVPN and still delivers top-notch services. NordVPN has over 5,000 servers with 80 of them in Japan dedicated to the streaming of Fuji TV and other Japanese TV content.

The service allows the connection of up to six devices at once on a single subscription and promises unlimited bandwidth when you download. In addition to streaming content on Japanese TV overseas, you can unblock other services such as Japanese Netflix and Japanese Amazon Prime. No matter what you do online, with this VPN and its 256-bit military-grade encryption, you’re safe.


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Key features

  • Ads and tracking blocker
  • Connects unlimited devices simultaneously
  • Excellent speed
  • 24/7 customer support

SurfShark is considered to be one of the fastest working VPN services which bypass Japanese TV restrictions. It promises high-definition streaming with fast connections. This makes it easy for you to watch your favourite Japanese TV shows and movies from all your devices. Again, if you love torrenting, you would love SurfShark. It has over 1,700 servers and they support torrenting, without having any restrictions.

With SurfShark, you can connect unlimited devices to just one account. In addition to delivering swift connections, SurfShark also provides top-notch security features like military-grade encryption, DNS leak protection and a kill switch. If you want to watch services like TVer overseas, SurfShark is a good choice.


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Key features

  • 256-bit AES encryption.
  • App compatibility with most devices.
  • Unlimited bandwidth.
  • One-click connect.

UltraVPN unblocks restricted Japanese sites, giving you access to Japanese TV shows without much hassle. It has over a hundred servers, with a good number of them in Japan, thus providing a Japanese IP address in place of your foreign one. You can connect swiftly to your streaming sites without experiencing buffering or slow downloads.

UltraVPN promises privacy and security to its users. In addition to passing your online activities through a secure VPN tunnel, UltraVPN has 256-bit AES encryption that makes your data impossible to hack, while also supporting the OpenVPN protocol. This gives you that extra security on all your streaming activities. If you want to watch services like AbemaTV overseas, UltraVPN is a good choice.


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Key features

  • Been around for a long time
  • Robust and fast servers
  • Many servers in Japan

CyberGhost is excellent at hiding your IP address, if you’re interested in watching Japanese TV, such as TV Asahi, TV-Tokyo, outside the country. Its global servers, with about 70 of them in Japan, provide fast and lag-free connections.

CyberGhost provides top-notch security to its customers with its robust encryption and strict zero-log policy. Additionally, the VPN allows up to 7 connections on one account; so you can spend less on subscription plans.


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Key features

  • Best free VPN on the market
  • Easy to use Android app
  • Superb security features

ProtonVPN is a Swiss-based VPN company that is mainly concerned with hiding your IP address and replacing it with a new one from whichever location you wish. For instance, since you are looking to watch content from Japan, ProtonVPN would give you a Japanese IP address, making it easy for you to access your Japanese TV shows. Its unlimited bandwidth ensures that you have no issues while streaming or downloading.

ProtonVPN runs with a no-log policy that keeps your activities from being monitored by the government and Internet Service Providers. An unbreakable 256-bit encryption and 4096-bit RSA key guarantees that hackers or malware will not disrupt you while you watch your Japanese TVs and shows.

2. Smart DNS

Smart Domain Name Server (DNS)  is a close substitute for a VPN. It gives you access to restricted or blocked websites such as Social Media sites (Facebook, Twitter) and streaming sites (Netflix and various TVs). This is achieved by disguising your location or IP address, but not changing it.

Using a Smart DNS to unblock Japanese TV sites and services is a good alternative to VPN. The following providers change your DNS server to the country where you want to access the content from, in this case, Japan.

  • Smart DNS Proxy – This Smart DNS provider, which has over 130 channels, allows up to 27 device connections. It also unblocks almost all the channels. It promises a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • HideIPVPN Smart DNS – It allows 8 device connections and has about 68 channels. In addition to its Smart DNS services, it offers VPN services, keeping you secure while you stream. It supports Bitcoin payments.
  • Smarty DNS – This provider allows for 12 simultaneous device connections and about 130 channels provided for your viewing. It, however, does not support payment in Cryptocurrencies.

What’s more? Most Smart DNS providers allow you to set up their services on your router to enable you to view your Japanese websites and TVs on all your devices at once.

3. Streaming Boxes and Sticks

Streaming boxes or sticks are digital media players that connect your television or home theater to the Internet and allow you to stream content to your heart’s content. You can stream services such as Netflix, Fuji TV, TV-Tokyo, Hulu, Tubi etc, easily to your TV. Common streaming boxes and sticks today include Roku, AppleTV and Amazon Fire Stick.

  • The Amazon Fire Stick – This promises very reliable and fast downloads. It also comes with an amazing voice assistant, Alexa, who carries out commands without you having to use the TV remote.
  • Roku – Roku’s streaming boxes and sticks expand your TV viewing venture through its incorporated operating system.
  • Apple TV – This is a palm-sized box that connects to your home’s wireless network and brings the magic of internet videos and TVs from around the world to your home TV. It is compliant with HDMI to ensure you get high-definition viewing and streaming.

To get the channels on your streambox, you might need to pay, in the form of a subscription, while some are free.

4. Smart TV

Smart TVs are ‘connected TVs’. They are TVs that are connected to the internet to provide you with certain web-related features including movies and shows from around the world. With a Smart TV, you can make use of services such as Netflix, YouTube, Fuji TV, TV-TOKYO, iSakura TV, etc., and you can even visit your social media sites. A Smart TV is similar to a Roku or an Apple TV, so if you have some experience with these two, you should have no problem with a Smart TV.

Comparison of Ways to Watch Japanese TV Abroad

With all the available options and ways through which you can watch Japanese TV abroad, it is necessary for you to understand which of these options is best for you. These mediums of watching TV, offer different features which are useful for your Japanese TV experience. See the pros and cons below to help you make an informed choice.

Virtual Private Networks


  • VPNs keep your private information secure, while also ensuring you stay anonymous.
  • VPNs bypass most geographical restrictions that have been placed on websites by the government and Internet Service Providers so that you can access TV shows.
  • A VPN hides your IP address and gives you the IP address of any country you want.
  • Most VPNs use 256-bit encryption, which makes your data practically immune to hackers. 
  • There is no bandwidth limit with most premium VPN services.


  • It is a bit more expensive than other methods of streaming.

Smart DNS


  • Smart DNS provider reroutes your location information.
  • Smart DNS services are easy to use and maneuver around.
  • Smart DNS services are compatible with many devices.
  • It delivers fast Internet services and connections during all your activities online.
  • Smart DNS providers give you instant access to hundreds of websites that have been geographically blocked.


  • Some Smart DNS providers do not support Bitcoin payments.
  • It exposes you to risks since it does not have the encryption feature that most VPNs have.
  • Smart DNS does not hide your IP address, making it easy for ISPs and third-parties to track your actions.

Streaming Boxes


  • It gives you more unblocked content.
  • It makes updates without giving you hassles or slow connections.
  • It reduces clutter on your device by previewing only relevant programs.


  • Streaming boxes do not come with an unlimited bandwidth feature.
  • Streaming boxes do not provide access to geo-restricted content

Smart TV


  • Smart TVs change and improve with every new model.
  • Most Smart TVs include voice control features like Alexa to change channels and other functionalities.
  • It provides access to a large range of content.
  • It is convenient and easy to use.
  • Allows you to connect to other devices e.g. your Smartphone.


  • Smart TVs may crash or hang.
  • You may experience glitches and encounter cumbersome interfaces.
  • You need to combine a Smart TV with a VPN to access geo-blocked content


With this comparison guide, you would find that there are several ways through which you can watch Japanese TV abroad. Each of these methods has its pros and cons but above all, VPNs stand out as the best choice for streaming your Japanese shows. VPNs give you that security and privacy that you need to enjoy your streaming adventures. With provisions like kill switches, no-log policies, military-grade encryption, unlimited bandwidth, and simultaneous connections, it’s quite clear why VPNs are our recommended streaming method.