How to Watch Japanese Hulu Outside Japan

Hulu is one of the most popular streaming platforms, right behind Netflix. It has an assortment of TV shows and videos, which are only available to users in the United States and Japan. If you aren’t in any of these two locations, you will be barred from accessing the content.

This restriction is tied to the Copyright laws surrounding the contents. Hulu only has the right to allow access to the two locations. Violating that would be a breach of the agreement.

Despite this challenge, there is a means to watch Japanese Hulu outside Japan. This is through the use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN). In this review, we show you how to achieve this.

How to Use a VPN to Watch Japanese Hulu Outside Japan

You cannot watch Japanese Hulu freely because the platform identifies and blocks your IP address. Thankfully, a VPN can provide you with a Japanese IP address. All you need to do is find a suitable one and connect to their Japanese server. Your IP address will change, reflecting that you are in Japan, even though you aren’t. You will thus be able to access restricted content this way.

Below, you will find a step-by-step process:

  1. Sign up to a VPN provider (We will provide a list you could choose from.)
  2. Download and install the VPN on your device of choice
  3. Connect to a Japanese server.
  4. Minimize the app and go straight to Hulu’s app.
  5. You should have access now. Stream!

Top VPNs to Watch Japanese Hulu Outside Japan

To save you the trouble of having to scour the internet looking for the best providers, we’ve compiled a list of the best 5 VPNs you could consider for Japanese Hulu while outside Japan. Here goes.

ExpressVPN is one of the most remarkable VPN providers you could find. It has some of the best features in the industry. Besides that, this provider is one of the very few you can trust to get through any geo-block. Hence, you can expect to unblock Hulu Japan regardless of where you are in the world.

1. ExpressVPN

Overall best in our tests

  • Super-fast servers
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Supports private protocol, Lightway
  • Money-back guarantee

This provider has no less than 3000 servers located in 120 locations and 94+ countries. The great news is that no less than 5 of these super-fast servers are located in Japan. When you connect to any of these, you automatically get a Japan-compatible IP address. You will thus be able to stream or download videos on Hulu, and the platform will be none the wiser.

ExpressVPN protects your privacy while you go about your business. It makes use of the AES 256-bit encryption on all servers. It also has an automatic kill switch and a split tunneling feature you will surely find helpful. It tops this off with a stringent no-logs policy. In fact, there is no way your data could leak.

You can download and install ExpressVPN on an array of devices. You can even find apps compatible with routers, which will surely give you wider coverage. You can connect up to 4 other persons to one account besides yours. More so, its 30-day money-back guarantee will come in handy if you suddenly need a refund within that period.

ExpressVPN is also a good choice for accessing the Japanese version of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Best offer: $6.67/month (Save 49% + 3 months free)

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2. NordVPN

Definitely the fastest in our tests

  • Incredibly fast servers
  • Great security features
  • Verified no-logs policy
  • Unblocks streaming platforms

There are only a handful of VPNs that can match the quality of NordVPN’s services. It makes use of the latest technology available. In fact, this provider gets you through the Great Firewall of China. Piercing through Japanese Hulu restrictions to grant you access will be nothing but a walk in the park.

This provider is primed for streaming. It boasts of a feature – SmartPlay – which is engineered to deliver fast and lag-free content streaming. Furthermore, it has 5500+ servers in 59 countries, with 83 dedicated solely to Japan. These servers are super-fast and reliable. You can stream the latest Hulu Japan shows at breakneck speed and no buffering detected.

NordVPN also shines when it comes to security. It makes use of the standard AES 256-bit encryption to tighten your security. It has a kill switch and allows for split tunneling. It provides you with an array of security protocols to choose from, including its own creation, NordLynx. In addition, your network gets run through its servers twice thanks to its double encryption technology. You also can combine the VPN with the Tor network for stronger security.

You do not have to worry about device compatibility as NordVPN has you covered. Whether you use an iOS, macOS, Linux, Windows, or Android device, this provider has apps for you. It allows 6 simultaneous connections to one account. If you are leaving Japan for a brief period, you can take advantage of its 30-day money-back guarantee to access Japanese Hulu. You can always request and obtain a refund within the window.

NordVPN is in general a good choice if you want to watch Japanese TV shows overseas, letting you access shows such as NicoNico and GYAO overseas.

Best offer: $2.93/month (Save 68% + 3 months for free)

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3. Surfshark

Best for connecting multiple devices

  • Allows unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Integrates Stealth mode
  • Multihop feature available
  • 3000+ servers

Surfshark is relatively a newbie in the industry when compared to the two others just discussed. However, you would be making a mistake if you look down on the provider. Despite being new, it has endeared itself to a lot of users. More so, you can count on its 3200+ servers to provide you worldwide access to whatever content you want. Quite a number of these servers are in Japan, so accessing Hulu Japan abroad will be quite easy.

This provider has remarkable security features that will certainly draw you in. The first is its AES 256-bit encryption mechanism that it uses for all of its servers. It also has a feature known as MultiHop. This routers your network through multiple servers. Its NoBorders mode makes sure you fly below the radar of any government-imposed snoop. Finally, its CyberSec feature takes care of malware or any ads that could pop up.

The biggest attraction with this provider is that it allows unlimited simultaneous connections. At the same time, it affords you uncapped bandwidth. You can stream and download content from Japanese Hulu to your heart’s content.

Surfshark has intuitive apps for most device types. This includes iOS, Android, macOS, Linux, and Windows. Its subscription offers are very affordable. More so, if you run into any challenges while using the app, you can request help from its customer care unit. The response is quick and effective. Surfshark is also a good choice for watching similar shows such as DAZN Japan and AbemaTV abroad.

Best offer: $2.21/month (Save 81% + 3 months free)

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4. ProtonVPN

Best VPN with a free version

  • Free version available
  • Strong security features
  • Reliable no-logs policy
  • Allows Perfect Forward Secrecy

ProtonVPN is another strong recommendation from us. It has a modest server count – just above 1000 at the moment. However, it continues to grow and improve on every side. 23 of its servers are in Japan. Hence, you can expect unhindered access to Japanese Hulu even while abroad.

ProtonVPN takes the security and privacy of its users very seriously. It makes use of the AES 256-bit encryption on all of its servers. In addition, it supports popular VPN protocols, including OpenVPN. Its Perfect Forward Secrecy feature makes sure that previous sessions do not get compromised when you use the VPN.

This provider stays by its no-log policy. It has its headquarters in Switzerland, a region noted for its friendly privacy stance. Thus, this provider will be under no obligation to sell you out to the authorities.

ProtonVPN has remarkably cheap subscription offerings. In fact, it has a totally free version, although this has restricted functionalities. It may interest you to know that a few of its servers are operational even in the free version. With a paid plan, you can connect up to 10 devices at the same time. ProtonVPN is a sure bet for accessing Hulu Japan from anywhere in the world.

Best offer: €8/month (Save 25%)

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5. CyberGhost

Offers the best money-back guarantee

  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • 7000+ reliable servers
  • Strict no-log policy
  • Tough security features

Although this is the last on our list, it is in no way the least. With 6000+ global servers, 71 dedicated solely to Japan, this provider is a heavyweight. It has been around for a long time and continues to provide unimpeached services the whole time.

CyberGhost keeps its servers up to date. That way, they can deliver content with startling speed, regardless of the nature of the geo-block. Apart from Japanese Hulu, you can unlock a host of other restricted streaming sites. These include Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, etc.

This provider has a host of security features that it uses to protect your data. It makes use of the remarkable AES 256-bit encryption on all of its servers. It also has an automatic kill switch and allows you to split your traffic with the VPN and your regular provider. It stands by its no-log policy. Thus, it does not retain any data that concerns your usage with its services.

You will find CyberGhost apps regardless of the type of device that you use. It allows you to connect 7 devices at the same time. All of those will enjoy maximum protection and be able to stream content in HD with no issues. It has a 45-day money window within which you can request a refund if unsatisfied with the nature of the services.

Best offer: $1.9/month (Save 84%)

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Can Free VPNs Allow You Access to Japanese Hulu Outside Japan?

You may have observed that most of these VPN providers are not free. Although most of them offer relatively affordable options, some people still prefer freebies. They wonder, as you may be wondering too, whether there is any point going with a paid provider when free VPNs exist. Thus, it is essential to address the issue of free VPNs.

In the first place, it is almost guaranteed that you would be unable to unblock Japanese Hulu with a free provider. This is because Hulu has almost impenetrable firewalls. They routinely identify and block IP addresses they believe are making use of a VPN.

You must understand that it is possible to identify an IP address that is VPN-enabled. This is much in the same way an IP address reveals your location. Free VPNs are no match for Hulu. You will surely be discovered and kicked out, that is, if you even gain access in the first place.

However, there are also other reasons which might make it unpalatable to use a free VPN. You could encounter slow speeds and lags. Free providers typically have a few servers that are crowded. This slows down your speed. Also, these providers have caps on the bandwidth you can expend while connected to them. Imagine getting logged on while streaming a particularly interesting show.

Finally, you can expose yourself to danger when you go with a free provider. Some of them collect your data and sell them to the highest bidders. Your browsing history could be out in the open, exposing you. Hackers and cybercriminals can gain access to your details this way. Apart from cleaning out your account, cybercriminals could also target your family and friends.

Features to Consider When Choosing a VPN for Japanese Hulu

These VPNs discussed above are excellent. They have awesome features across the board, and you will scarcely find any complaints with them. However, how do you narrow the options to just the one that will serve you will.

The only way to do this is to list the considerations you have, and consider them against the features each provider has. For someone looking to access Japanese Hulu from anywhere in the world, the chief considerations you should have are:

Frequently Asked Questions on Watching Japanese Hulu Outside Japan

Is it illegal to watch Hulu outside Japan?

No, it is perfectly legal to watch Hulu outside Japan. There is no law that explicitly condemns watching Hulu outside Japan. You can’t stream content on Japanese Hulu outside Japan because the streaming company uses geo-restriction technology to prevent people outside the country from accessing its catalog. However, it is unlawful if you use a VPN on Hulu to do anything illegal, like doxxing or hacking. Also, Hulu may block you if they discover you’re using a VPN as it may be against their terms and conditions. 

Will a VPN allow me to watch movies on Hulu Japan in HD or UHD?

It depends on your connection speed before connecting to the VPN. While VPNs can negatively impact your connection speeds, most premium services ensure the reduction is insignificant. Watching HD and UHD on Hulu Japan require about 5-8Mbps and 25Mbps, respectively. There is no way using a VPN on a 5Mbps connection will permit watching UHD. However, you can watch HD and UHD with a connection speed of 30Mpbs with a VPN. 

What is the best VPN for watching Hulu Japan outside Japan?

ExpressVPN stands out as the best VPN you can use to watch Hulu outside Japan. Its server network in Yokohama and Tokyo is more than capable of unblocking Hulu and delivering fast connections. In addition, its security architecture ensures malicious entities find it extremely challenging to take on your network, except you hand them the keys. Furthermore, it only uses servers that operate without persistent storage. Overall, only NordVPN comes remotely close to ExpressVPN.

Can I stream Hulu Japan outside Japan on my Smart TV?

Yes, you can stream Hulu Japan with a VPN on your Smart TV. However, you need to be sure your VPN service provider has an application that can work on your Smart TV. Otherwise, you’ll need to install it manually or on a router. This requires explicit instructions from your VPN service provider. You’ll need to reach out to your VPN service’s support team if there is no information on manual installation for Smart TVs or routers on its website.

What movies and shows are available on Hulu?

Hulu Japan has several movies, anime, and shows you can watch. Notable mentions include Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Attack on Titan, My Hero Academia, Death Note, One Piece, One-Punch Man, Naruto, Shoplifters, and 13 Assassins.


It can be disappointing being unable to access your favorite shows on Hulu due to geo-restrictions. However, even while outside Japan, you can get around this challenge using a VPN. In this guided review, we’ve shown you how to do so, as well as the best VPNs for this purpose.