How do I get Japanese App Store apps?

If you want to download apps from the Japanese App Store, there are a few options available depending on your situation. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through the different methods to access and download apps from the Japanese App Store no matter where you are located.

Using a Japanese Apple ID

The easiest way to download apps from the Japanese App Store is to create a Japanese Apple ID and sign in to the App Store with it. Here’s how:

  1. Go to and click “Create Your Apple ID”. Choose “Japan” as your country or region.
  2. Enter your name, birthdate, email, password and agree to the terms and conditions.
  3. Verify your email address to complete the sign up process.
  4. On your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, open settings and tap on your name at the top. Tap “Media & Purchases” and then “Sign Out”.
  5. Sign in with your new Japanese Apple ID and password. Your App Store will now be switched to the Japanese store.
  6. You can now search for and download any Japanese apps or games!

The main benefit of using a Japanese Apple ID is that you’ll have access to Japan-exclusive apps not available in other countries’ App Stores. You’ll also be able to view ratings and reviews written by Japanese users.

Using a VPN

If you don’t want to create a new Apple ID, another option is to use a VPN (virtual private network). Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up for a reliable VPN service with servers in Japan. Make sure they allow VPN access on iOS.
  2. Download the VPN provider’s app and connect to a Japan server.
  3. This will make your internet traffic appear as if you’re in Japan.
  4. Open the App Store on your iPhone or iPad. It should now switch to the Japanese store.
  5. Search for and download any Japan-only apps you want!

The advantage of using a VPN is you don’t need to juggle multiple Apple IDs. However, some VPNs may be slow or unstable, which could interfere with downloading larger apps or games.

Switching App Store country without VPN

There is a way to switch your App Store country to Japan without using a VPN. Here are the steps:

  1. Go to Settings > iTunes & App Store on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap your Apple ID at the top and select “Country/Region”.
  3. Change your country to Japan. It will warn you that some media may become unavailable.
  4. Tap “Agree” and your App Store region will now change.
  5. You can browse and download apps only available in Japan.

The downside to this method is that you’ll need a valid payment method for the Japanese store. Your current payment method may not work if it’s not based in Japan. You’ll have to add a Japan-issued credit card or gift card to make purchases.

Using a Japanese friend’s Apple ID

If you don’t mind sharing an Apple ID, ask a friend who lives in Japan if you can borrow theirs. Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign out from your current Apple ID on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Sign in with your friend’s Japanese Apple ID and password.
  3. The App Store will switch to Japan. Download any Japan-exclusive apps you want.
  4. When done, sign out from your friend’s account and sign back into your own.

The advantage here is you can access the Japanese App Store without needing a new payment method. The downside is you’ll have to frequently switch between Apple IDs which can be inconvenient.

Creating a second Apple ID based in Japan

Another option is to create a second Apple ID specifically for accessing the Japanese App Store. Here’s how:

  1. Go to to create a new Apple ID.
  2. Enter Japan as your country/region and fill in the rest of the required info.
  3. Verify your email to complete the creation process.
  4. On your iPhone or iPad, open Settings and tap your name.
  5. Tap “Media & Purchases” then “Sign Out” to sign out from your current ID.
  6. Sign in with your new Japanese Apple ID. The App Store will change to Japan.
  7. Download any Japan-only apps you desire!

The upside of having a dedicated Japanese ID is you won’t have to swap back and forth. The only caveat is you may need a Japan-based payment method for purchases.

Using gift cards for the Japanese App Store

If you don’t have a credit card that works internationally, you can purchase App Store gift cards for Japan. Here are some options:

  • Buy Japan iTunes gift cards online – Many retailers sell digital codes that will work for Japanese accounts.
  • Import physical gift cards – Some speciality import shops sell Japanese iTunes cards shipped overseas.
  • Ask friends in Japan to buy & email code – Friends can purchase Japanese gift cards locally and send you the redemption code.

Once redeemed to your Japanese Apple ID, the gift card balance can be used for any app purchases or in-app transactions.

Considerations when accessing Japanese App Store

Here are a few important things to keep in mind when downloading from the Japanese App Store:

  • Language – Most apps will be in Japanese. You’ll need basic Japanese literacy.
  • Payments – Make sure you have a valid payment method for the country.
  • Reviews – App ratings and reviews will primarily be written by Japanese users.
  • Censorship – Some content may be censored compared to versions available overseas.
  • Availability – A small portion of apps may still not show up even when switching countries.

Overall though, switching to the Japanese App Store is not overly difficult. With the right setup, you’ll have access to a whole new set of amazing apps not available in your home country!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to access the Japanese App Store? Will I get in trouble?

It is generally safe and you should not get into any trouble. Apple does not prohibit switching to different regional App Stores. Millions of people access foreign App Stores regularly with no issues.

Can I keep my current Apple ID and just change the country?

Unfortunately no. Your Apple ID is permanently tied to whichever country it was created in. To switch countries, you’ll need to either create a new ID or use a VPN.

Will my current credit/debit card work on the Japanese App Store?

Probably not. In most cases, you’ll need a Japan-issued payment method like a credit card or gift card specifically for that region’s store.

Do I need to speak Japanese to use the Japanese App Store?

Not necessarily, but having some basic Japanese literacy will be very helpful. A majority of apps will have Japanese descriptions, reviews etc so it can be difficult navigating without any knowledge of the language.

Can I switch back and forth between App Store regions easily?

Yes, it’s straightforward to swap between different regions on your iOS device. Just repeat the steps above to change to another country anytime.


Accessing and downloading apps from foreign App Stores like Japan is very doable with the right setup. The easiest options are creating a new Apple ID based in that country, or using a VPN service to mask your IP address. With a localized payment method and some language knowledge, you’ll gain access to exclusive apps and games not available in your own country’s App Store.

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