One of the biggest downsides to traveling abroad is having to miss out on one’s favorite television programs. Hotels and vacation rentals very rarely have access to television channels outside their own country. Which means tourists from Japan are usually limited to watching whatever’s on.
Technology now allows for so much mobility that people can take their whole digital lives with them wherever they go. It’s amazing how far society has progressed in this aspect. Yet, there are still many disappointing barriers that force people to either do without or find workarounds. Like watching their favorite programs while traveling to another country.
Some television packages in countries around the world now include Japanese channels. But unfortunately, it’s still pretty hard to find consistent access to Japanese television outside of the country. Especially while traveling around. So here are some workarounds that will help anyone catch up on Japanese shows no matter where they are.
Why is it Still Hard to Find Japanese Shows Outside of Japan?
Regional licensing determines where a television show or movie can be watched. Both satellite, cable, and legal streaming services in every country vie for the right to air these shows. Ultimately, the networks who own the content then decide who gets that right. This works on a “per-country” basis.
Meaning that even if a streaming service can show content in one country, they might not be able to do it in another. Geo-blocking is the main way that regional licensing laws are adhered to when it comes to streaming.
In some cases, like with Japanese programs, it’s just not in the interest of the provider to try and get the rights to broadcast them. Because the demand in that country might not be high enough to warrant the expense. This is also why popular streaming services like Netflix, for instance, has different libraries of content for every country.
4 Workarounds To Watch Japanese Shows While Traveling
There might be plenty of restrictions on content thanks to regional licensing laws, but this is the internet. The internet’s crafty denizens always have a workaround for everything – even while traveling abroad.
Use Free & Paid Streaming Services
There are a few streaming sites that offer both free and paid content that’s available to any county. Of course, these services (especially the free ones) have a limited amount of content. And the streaming quality isn’t always too great either, like with some of the channels on AQ Stream. But they do have a couple of popular channels like Fuji TV and NHK.
As for paid options, anyone traveling abroad can look at getting a subscription to something like ForJoyTV who offers various channels. Both of these options work across multiple devices and operating systems.
Find Uploads on YouTube
This isn’t the most reliable method of finding content while abroad, but it doesn’t cost anything, at least. Plenty of people upload episodes of shows to YouTube, so it is possible to find some Japanese programs on there. However, there’s no guarantee that these will be quality videos nor that they will stay up for long. A person will also have to know exactly what they’re looking for when searching for shows on YouTube.
Try Third-Party Apps on Kodi TV
Kodi is a popular media service that works on laptops and PCs. It allows for third-party add-ons, including streaming services. Some of these add-ons stream Japanese programs. It’s just important to find the right ones, as there are many add-on options, and not all of them stream Japanese content.
Pretend to be in Japan With a VPN
A VPN is probably the most reliable way to watch content while traveling. It replaces a device’s IP with a different one. So someone who accesses streaming sites via a VPN will be able to pretend they’re in Japan even if they’re in Britain. VPN services generally work well in every country, but it’s important to choose a provider that has servers in Japan. Since the IP address of one of these servers will be replacing the user’s, it will look as if they are in Japan.
Thankfully, traveling overseas doesn’t have to equate missing out on any beloved programs. It might be a little bit harder to get to them, but there are plenty of workarounds to choose from. An added bonus: it’s not necessary to travel with lots of bulky devices. A mobile phone will work perfectly well. Happy watching!