How to Watch Tsutaya Outside Japan (Updated for 2024)

Japan is considered the last stronghold of video rental stores. However, that is changing in recent times. Subscription-based streaming services are making inroads into the country. One of such is Tsutaya.

Tsutaya formerly ran a chain of video rental retail stores all over the country. It has since branched off, offering unlimited video streaming services on its platform, Tsutaya TV. It offers close to 100,000 streaming titles that can only be accessible from Japan.

The reason for this restriction is tied to the licensing agreement regarding the content on the platform. The company behind Tsutaya only has the license to show its content in Japan. Hence, when you try to connect from anywhere else, you will be geo-blocked. 

In this review, we show you how to get around the restriction challenge on Tsutaya TV. It would no longer matter whether you are within or outside the country. You will be able to access your favorite titles with no challenges whatsoever.

How to Watch Tsutaya with a VPN

A VPN (Virtual Private Network)’s primary job is ensuring your privacy while online. However, it also helps you beat geo-restrictions, such as the one on Tsutaya TV. With a VPN, you can connect to a server in any location you want:  in this case, Japan. When you do so, the VPN will assign you a temporary IP address that is Japan-compatible. You can then access Tsutaya with no hassles. 

To use a VPN to connect to Tsutaya, you first need to do the following:

  1. Get on a subscription 
  2. Download the VPN app to your device and install it
  3. Connect to a server located in Japan 
  4. Minimize the VPN app and then go on to 

At this point, you will be able to access its content, regardless of your location. 

Top VPNs for Accessing Tsutaya Outside Japan

Below, we’ve put together an impressive list of VPNs that grant you access to Tsutaya TV even when you are outside Japan. There are some minor differences in their features. However, you can expect reliable service when you make use of any.

Overall Best in Our Tests


Overall score: 9.8

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

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The first on our list is ExpressVPN. This provider comes tops for obvious reasons, chief amongst it being that its services are beyond reproach. Its strength is manifested in its ability to get around even the toughest geo-restrictions. You can comfortably beat the Great Chinese Firewall when you hook on to this service. Also, expectedly, this provider grants you access to Tsutaya TV whenever you are outside Japan.

ExpressVPN has more than 3000 servers in 94 countries and 160 locations. It has 5 servers located in Tokyo and Yokohama. You can connect to any of these servers for whatever needs you have. Remarkably, ExpressVPN’s servers are primed for speed. They deliver video content within the shortest time possible, without any lags or buffering. You can expect to have a seamless streaming experience while making use of this service.

You do not have to worry about privacy or security while viewing content on Tsutaya TV. This provider secures all of its servers with the AES 256-bit encryption. This is virtually uncrackable and is even used by the United States military. Furthermore, ExpressVPN has its headquarters in the British Virgin Islands. It maintains a strict no-logs policy, retaining no data of your activities while you use the VPN. Besides, you benefit from other security features such as a kill switch, support for split tunneling, and the remarkable Lightway protocol.

This provider has an affordable subscription plan and offers support for most of the devices you can think of. ExpressVPN is also a good choice for accessing similar streaming plattforms abroad, such as Japanese Netflix or Japanese Hulu.

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Cheapest Option


Overall score: 9.6

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

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If you are a tech enthusiast – and maybe even if you aren’t – you must have heard of NordVPN. This is the only provider that routinely gives ExpressVPN a run for its money. It boasts of unique stellar features that place it well ahead of the pack when it comes to the provision of VPN services.

NordVPN is highly regarded because it gets around blocks on even the toughest platforms. For instance, you can reliably stream content on Netflix, Deezer, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, etc., no matter where you are located. Hence, you can expect that it would provide you the same benefit when it comes to Tsutaya TV. Other Japanese shows such as AbemaTV, GYAO or TVer is also easily unblocked abroad.

This provider has no less than 5000 servers in 59 countries. It would interest you to know that more than 80 of these servers are located in Japan. This gives you an armload of options when it comes to connecting to any server. Furthermore, you would hardly experience buffering or lags when you hop on to this service because of how broad its reach is.

For security, NordVPN makes use of the standard AES 256-bit encryption. In addition, it encrypts your network twice using its double VPN feature. It supports Tor over VPN and offers the dedicated IP address option for an improved streaming experience.

You will find NordVPN apps for a variety of operating systems: Windows, Linux, MacOS, iOS, and Android. It allows you to connect 6 devices using one account and gives you a 30-day money-back grace within which you can cancel your subscription and obtain a refund, no questions asked.

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Best for connecting multiple devices


Overall score: 9.5

  • Allows unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Integrates Stealth mode
  • Multihop feature available
  • 3,000+ servers

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Surfshark is one provider that is currently making inroads into the VPN market. It is relatively new but has features that place it in the same ranks as top-tier providers. You can rely on it to provide access to content on Tsutaya TV even when you are outside of Japan.

With 3500 servers in 60+ countries, Surfshark can compete with some of the best in the market. A good number of these servers can be found in Japan. Once you log into the account, you are connected to the best server for that location. This saves you the time it would have taken you to search for the best. This also assures you that you will have no challenge whatsoever when streaming, downloading, and surfing.

Surfshark is also ideal for other uses. For one, you can unblock and stream content on DAZN Japan, Amazon Prime Japan, and BBC iPlayer using the provider. Additionally, it supports torrenting and P2P file sharing. This is another benefit you enjoy if you are into torrenting. Furthermore, this provider allows unlimited connections and no cap on bandwidth, too. This means that you can connect as many devices as possible to one account without experiencing any issues. Also, with no caps on bandwidth, you can surf to your heart’s content.

Surfshark has available apps for iOS, MacOS, Windows and Android, and Linux.

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Best VPN with a Free Version


Overall score: 9.0

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

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ProtonVPN is no stranger to the business of providing security. Over the years, it has built a reputation as one VPN-provider to look out for. You would be glad to know that even more so, the provider provides stellar service for people looking to connect to Japanese servers from wherever they are located. This makes the provider a good choice for streaming Japanese TV overseas.

ProtonVPN has no less than 1000 servers in 50+ countries, with 23 of those available in Japan. Some of these servers are located in Japan. You can connect to any of those if you wish to break the geo-restrictions on any platform. This provider has decent server speed, a reliable network, and unimpeachable security features.

When it comes down to security, ProtonVPN is up there with the best. The AES 256-bit encryption preserves its servers’ integrity. This provider supports some of the more popular protocols, including OpenVPN. Additionally, stellar features such as the kill switch, Perfect Forward Secrecy, etc., keep you safe while you stream video content on Tsutaya TV.

It is also a stalwart when it comes to privacy. This provider is emphatic about its no-logs policy. This means that it does not retain any data of the activities you do online. This keeps you safe even in the face of a government subpoena. More so, the fact that this provider is domiciled in Switzerland augurs well for your privacy, too. This is because Switzerland is notorious for its friendly privacy laws.

ProtonVPN is well known for its relatively cheap subscription offers. It even has an entirely free version, unlike so many other providers. The free version even has 4 Japanese servers you could connect to. On the premium version, you are allowed to connect to up to 10 devices using one account. All of the VPN’s premium features will be available on all of the devices connected to that one account.

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Offers the best money-back guarantee


Overall score: 8.8

  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • 7,000+ reliable servers
  • Strict no-log policy
  • Tough security features

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This is another reliable provider that you can trust to connect you with Tsutaya TV outside of Japan. CyberGhost is remarkable because it has more than 6000 servers in 90+ countries, 71 of those are located in Japan. These servers are some of the fastest you can find in the market. This gives you the twin options of speed and versatility. You will be able to connect to any server of choice with minimal stress.

The security features you find on CyberGhost are exceptional. First, there is the AES 256-bit encryption that protects the servers. In addition to this, the VPN boasts of a kill switch, DNS-leak prevention features, and allows for split tunneling.

This VPN is also excellent for bypassing geo-restrictions on major streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu. Regardless of the country’s library that you want to access, CyberGhost makes sure that that is possible. It allows you to connect no less than 7 devices to one account.

More so, with its 45-day money-back window, you can test the waters and request a refund if you are displeased with the quality of service. There is a standby customer care agent to help you sort those out when you run into challenges. These agents are courteous and deeply helpful and will resolve the problem quickly.

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How to Determine a Good VPN for Accessing Tsutaya Abroad

If you are a newbie, you may be stumped regarding the features to look out for in an ideal provider. Below, we list some of the pertinent considerations you should have before settling for any provider.

Server Strength

The ideal provider should have an array of servers. Specifically, it should have servers located in Japan. This is the only way you can access Tsutaya from your location outside Japan. 


Streaming is one activity that heavily relies on speed. The quality of your experience will depend on the speed of the servers. Thus, it is important to confirm that your service provider of choice has superfast servers. This would make sure you do not experience any lags or buffering while streaming your favorite show on Tsutaya TV. 


You should settle for a provider whose offers are within your range. Additionally, you may want to consider if the provider affords you a money-back guarantee. The standard is 30 days, but some go as high as 45 days. This is important, especially if you are looking to be out of the country for just a short while. You can subscribe and obtain a refund within the money-back window. 

Privacy Policy

It would also be advisable to consider the privacy policy of the provider in question. You ought to always insist on the standard no-logs policy. You may also then go further to consider the location of the said provider. This would help you determine if the country is privacy-friendly or not.

Security Features

Primarily, a VPN should offer you stronger security. All VPNs encrypt your network. This makes sure that you are impenetrable, regardless of the antics of hackers and other cybercriminals. Additionally, an ideal provider should have a slew of other security features. Some of the more popular ones include the kill switch, obfuscated server options, and the ability to split tunnel your traffic. Top tier providers take it a notch higher by providing compatibility with the Tor network and unique protocols such as NordVPN’s NordLynx and ExpressVPN’s Lightway.

Why is Tsutaya Blocked Outside Japan?

Japan is one of the countries that take its internet laws seriously. This means that there are strict laws in place that protect against breaches and copyright infringements. Tsutaya, like most streaming platforms, needs to purchase a license to put up several contents on its website. Sometimes, as part of such agreements, Tsutaya can allow only people in Japan to access the contents.

However, to ensure that this agreement is lived up to, the platform implements geo-restrictions based on IP addresses. This means that only users with a Japanese IP address have access to watch Tsutaya.

How To Access Tsutaya Videos Abroad

Since Tsutaya requires a valid Japanese IP address for you to access the platform, the only way you can bypass the geo-restrictions is to have one. For this, many users turn to proxies, but those are not very effective and secure. So, instead, the best option is to use a VPN service. Luckily, a VPN is easy to use, so you don’t need to be an expert to use one.

A VPN allows you to connect to a secure VPN server in multiple locations to encrypt and route your traffic anonymously and safely. Also, a VPN hides your real IP address and replaces it with a new one from its server. This means that you can connect to a server in Japan from anywhere in the world, and you will get a new Japanese IP address. This will let the system think you are in Japan, give you access to Tsutaya’s exclusive Japanese libraries, and offer top-notch security and privacy. 

However, there are paid and free VPNs on the market, but the paid ones are more reliable. This is because they give you access to more servers, offer faster connections, reliability, outstanding unblocking abilities, and other features that help you get the most of Tsutaya.

Frequently Asked Questions on Watching Tsutaya Outside Japan

Can I use a free VPN to watch Tsutaya outside Japan?

Yes, you can use a free VPN to watch Tsutaya outside Japan. However, we suggest you do not use free VPNs for many reasons. Firstly, many free VPN services will only give you access to some servers out of their server fleet. Additionally, not all of these servers can unblock Tsutaya because they lack the sophistication needed to bypass its geo-restriction technology. Also, free VPNs can transfer malicious software to your devices. There have been several that Google has removed from PlayStore for hosting malware. Finally, free VPNs also limit how much data and bandwidth you can use. So, it is always better to get a paid VPN service, especially one of the top ones. 

Will a VPN have any impact on the streaming quality of my connection to Tsutaya?

Yes, VPNs can either increase or decrease your connection speed, which ultimately affects the streaming quality of your connection. Encryption requires a lot of resources, and it hurts your speed. In addition, your data reaches the VPN server before moving to its final destination. The presence of an additional server on your data’s route can also reduce your connection speed. However, you are not likely to notice any speed downgrade if you use the best VPN services because they ensure it is unnoticeable. Still, your ISP mainly determines the streaming quality of your connection to Tsutaya.

What is the best VPN for watching Tsutaya outside Japan?

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for watching Tsutaya outside Japan. This is because ExpressVPN is an all-around performer and will give you the best VPN experience. With high-grade servers in Tokyo and Yokohama, you will have little or no worries watching Tsutaya outside Japan. Additionally, it uses military-grade encryption and other security features to keep your connection solid. Finally, you can count on ExpressVPN’s always-available support team to help you when you are stuck. 

Is it illegal to use a VPN to watch Tsutaya outside Japan?

No, it is not illegal to use a VPN to watch Tsutaya outside Japan. However, the legality of VPN usage depends on where you are. Be careful with using a VPN to watch Tsutaya if you are in a country that regulates or bans it. Otherwise, you would have zero problems with law enforcement for using a VPN to watch Tsutaya outside Japan. One more thing, using a VPN to commit unlawful online activities is illegal.


If you have concerns about connecting to Tsutaya TV from your location, then this article should have put such concerns to rest. With the VPNs discussed above, you will be able to have seamless access in no time. Get on the subscription of any and begin streaming.

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