What are the best streaming services available in Japan?

Streaming services for movies, series, and sports have become an essential pastime wherever you are in the world.

Streaming services for movies, series, and sports have become an essential pastime wherever you are in the world.

While YouTube and TikTok, where anyone can easily post videos, are great for short-time consumption, movies and series with high production value, as well as sports with a certain length of game time, are more suitable for long-time enjoyment.

Nevertheless, different territories have different content and platforms to watch them on. In the era of streaming, in addition to globally known platforms, there are also quite a few platforms that are little known internationally but with a strong local presence.

Japan is a popular destination for vacation and studying abroad. In times when you want to take it easy or simply it is raining (it rains a lot in Japan), or during a long wait before and during a flight, a streaming service would come in very handy. In this article, we list our recommendations for watching a variety of content during your stay in Japan.


Netflix, as well known, is the global streaming service with the largest user base in the world. They produce and stream various content made in different territories around the world in their local languages.

As such, they have a strong presence in Japan, with original series and movies produced locally in Japan. The studio even has an anime production team based in Japan and has released strong original anime titles such as DEVILMAN CRYBABY and PLUTO. Of course, their flagship series such as STRANGER THINGS and SQUID GAME are also available in Japan.


For those who love Marvel superhero movies and the STAR WARS franchise, it is perhaps great news that Disney+ is accessible in Japan. Launched in the territory in October 2020, Disney+ allows viewers to enjoy Disney original films and series such as THE MANDALORIAN.


U-NEXT is a local Japanese VOD platform and, while it is little known in the US, is one of the top five elite platforms in Japan.

U-NEXT does not produce original works, but unlike the two SVOD services above, it has massive Japanese and Korean drama libraries. Also, it is remarkable and unique that its subscription plan includes e-books such as manga, novels, and magazines, which may be suitable for book lovers.


Traditionally Japanese people love watching sports, just like the United States. Soccer and baseball are the most popular sports in that country, and access to these sports is not that difficult.

ABEMA TV is a unique online broadcaster with no terrestrial broadcasting that is becoming stronger and stronger. Although Abema has not been particularly known for sports in the past, its reputation shifted dramatically when it won the intense competition to obtain a broadcasting license for the FIFA World Cup 2023 in Japan. Now, viewers can enjoy a wide range of lineups, including baseball, boxing, major European soccer leagues such as the Premier League, sumo wrestling, and more.

Currently, Abema TV offers two types of subscription plans: a free account with limited access to content, and a premium account with paid membership with full access to the content.


Dazn is a global VOD platform specializing in sports. The streamer has been present in Japan for a while already and is therefore recognized as one of the main platforms for sports entertainment amongst sports enthusiasts.

Dazn offers various soccer leagues and tournaments like the UEFA Champions League and Spain’s La Liga, as well as Formula 1, Grand Slams in tennis, and numerous boxing matches. NFL fans in particular will become best friends with Dazn during their stay in Japan.


Different countries, different sports. Naturally, what is popular in your country might not necessarily be so in Japan. Even platforms like the above can be hesitant to show sports that have not yet developed their audiences in Japan.

In that case, watching sports on an online bookmaker could be a good idea. Some of them offer live streaming on their sites and usually, users can access their live streaming by just registering or having deposited at least once to the account. One of the world’s biggest bookmakers, bet365 offers high-quality live streaming and is also active in the Japanese market.

The bet365 platform offers odds on more than 45 sports, many of which can be streamed live. It also offers a mobile app that allows you to enjoy live streaming on your mobile.

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video is also available in Japan. Amazon Prime Video offers a large number of original series in Japanese, such as BACHELOR JAPAN. In addition, they tend to be very quick to show some of the must-not-miss Hollywood films exclusively.

It would be worth mentioning that Amazon Prime offers very low monthly subscription fees in Japan. As of February 2024, they offer just 600 yen, while Netflix is from 790 yen, Disney+ from 990 yen and U-NEXT 2189 yen.


For anime fans, this Japanese local streamer, DMM TV is probably a go-to platform. Launched only in December 2022, the service is rather new but already has over 5400 titles, including popular series SPY×FAMILY and many other exclusive titles. Their monthly subscription fee of just 550 yen is also attractive.