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How to Online Shop For Japan Items Safely with a VPN

Learn all about how VPNs can be an essential tool when shopping for items from Japan!

In our increasingly accessible world, it’s become really easy to find anything we want just by using the internet. With this comes a lot of tools that make our online experiences safer, smoother, and more secure, and one of the best tools that exists for this out there is a VPN. For anyone who’s a frequent user of the internet — whether it’s for browsing, online shopping, streaming TV shows or movies, and much more — a VPN is something that you can’t do without, and if you aren’t using one yet, then there’s no better time to start than now.

So with that in mind, let’s get into the world of VPNs, what they do, why they’re useful, and more specifically, how you can use them for a smarter online shopping experience.

What is a VPN?

What is a VPN
A VPN, which stands for Virtual Private Network, is a tool that protects its users by encrypting their data and masking their IP addresses. What this means is that using a VPN will hide your browsing activity, identity, and location — allowing for greater privacy and autonomy. Anyone seeking a safer, freer, and more secure online experience could benefit from a VPN.

According to Microsoft, one easy way to remember what VPNs do is by taking a look at its individual letters and what they stand for:

By its very definition, a VPN connection is:

  • Virtual because no physical cables are involved in the connection process.
  • Private because through this connection, no one else can see your data or browsing activity.
  • Networked because multiple devices—your computer and the VPN server—work together to maintain an established link.

Why Should I Use a VPN to Buy Things from Japan?

Easy Access to Japanese Websites

What is a VPN

Using a VPN and setting your VPN region to Japan will give you access to tons more Japanese websites that you wouldn’t be able to access otherwise. For example, in 2022, Yahoo! Japan announced that they will be shutting down their services in Europe, and this means that people living in the member nations of the EU, Britain, Iceland, and Norway cannot access Yahoo! Japan’s websites. This also includes Yahoo! Auctions, the biggest online auction website in Japan.

Although you will be able to see Yahoo! Auctions item listings on One Map by FROM JAPAN with no issues, if you want to view the original item page from any of the countries mentioned above, you will get a page that looks similar to this:

What is a VPN
How the Yahoo! Auctions website looks like when accessed from the EU

Even when you’re using a proxy shopping service like One Map by FROM JAPAN, having a VPN that can connect you to Japan means you will have no problem browsing any Japanese shopping website and you can also easily check the original item pages for websites like Yahoo! Auctions included in our website.


  • A VPN allows you to change your location virtually so that you can access content or websites that can only be viewed from certain countries. This can be especially useful for websites like Yahoo! Auctions where access from the EU has been restricted, and for some Japanese online shopping websites that only allow users from within Japan to purchase from their website. With a VPN, you won’t have to worry about any of these restrictions.

Safer Browsing and Payment for Items

What is a VPN

Data such as your payment information and location tagging is constantly being transmitted online. This information is trackable and easy to exploit, especially on a public network, where anyone who has access to the network has potential access your personal data. A VPN connection scrambles your data into code and renders it unreadable to anyone without an encryption key. It hides your browsing activity so that no one else can see it.


  • A VPN hides your payment information so that it can’t be stored in unsecure websites. In cases when there’s a data breach on an online shopping website you’ve used in the past, a VPN ensures that your credit card, bank details, and other sensitive payment information will not be leaked elsewhere.
  • Keeps your devices safe from common internet hazards while browsing for items online, such as malware, web trackers, flashy ads, and malicious links.

3 VPN Services You Can Use when Online Shopping for Items from Japan

What is a VPN

Surfshark: Security and Unlimited Possibilities

Surfshark is a leading VPN service that prioritizes privacy and security. With its military-grade encryption, strict no-logs policy, and an extensive network of servers across the globe, Surfshark ensures your online activities remain private and protected. What sets Surfshark apart is its unlimited simultaneous connections feature, allowing you to secure all your devices under one account. Additionally, Surfshark offers features such as CleanWeb, which blocks ads, trackers, and malware, and a built-in kill switch for added protection. With Surfshark, you can access geo-restricted content and websites for a smooth experience.

PureVPN: Versatility and Advanced Features

PureVPN is another popular VPN service known for its versatility and robust feature set. With PureVPN, you can enjoy enhanced online security through its strong encryption protocols and secure VPN tunneling. The service boasts a vast network of servers in over 180 locations, ensuring fast and reliable connections. PureVPN offers features like Split Tunneling, which allows you to route specific app traffic through the VPN while keeping other traffic direct, and dedicated IP addresses for added customization. Whether you need to bypass restrictions, protect your data on public Wi-Fi, or ensure anonymous browsing, PureVPN has you covered.

VPN Gate: A Community-Driven Approach

VPN Gate takes a unique approach to VPN services by offering a volunteer-run network of public VPN servers. Developed by the University of Tsukuba in Japan, VPN Gate provides free and open-source VPN connections. It allows users to access the internet securely, while also contributing to the network by operating their own VPN servers. This community-driven approach fosters a sense of collaboration and privacy advocacy.

You can also take a look at this handy comparison chart below to see quick facts about each VPN service we’ve introduced:

What is a VPN

Enjoy a smoother and safer online experience with a VPN!

VPN services like Surfshark, PureVPN, and VPN Gate provide invaluable tools to protect your privacy and security online. These VPN services cater to a wide range of user needs — including online shopping — and constantly makes sure that your online experience is smooth and secure. Take control of your online presence and enjoy a safer, more private internet experience with the help of a VPN service.